Sunday, June 22

:: Ever Get The Feeling You've Been Cheated?

Witch-burning accomplished, Obama can finally get real
I can barely keep up. Seriously.

ONE: Obama Not So Keen on the Constitution After All

This is the big one – Barack will go along with the evisceration the 4th amendment (aka the FISA Amendments Act of 2008) including instant retroactive immunity for the telecoms. This is VERY important stuff. Read about it here (the ACLU) and here (Salon's Glenn Greenwald). Yes, this is really happening, and yes, it is that bad.

Side Note: Obama loves implying that if he had been in Congress when the vote to authorize the war in/on Iraq came up, he would have opposed it. I never bought that particular cup of soup.

Some of us noted that his "present" votes on abortion were a sign that we couldn't count on Obama to stand up for us ("us") if it meant taking a hit, even on a matter of Constitutional importance. Others said those "present" votes were his way of showing leadership - a kind of "topping from the bottom" - and that he would never compromise on civil liberties. Well, score one for our side, unfortunately.

TWO: Obama's "Generation Joshua"

Read it and freak, I guess.
With the Democratic presidential nomination in his grasp, Sen. Barack Obama is making a full-throttle push for centrist evangelicals and Catholics. [...]

This month, the Illinois senator held a closed-door meeting in Chicago with almost 40 Christian leaders, including evangelical heavyweights such as the Rev. Franklin Graham, publishing magnate Steve Strang and megachurch pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes.

Obama's campaign is also launching a grass-roots effort, tentatively called Joshua Generation, with plans to hold concerts and house meetings targeted at young evangelicals and Catholics.
Read approving coverage from the Christian Broadcast Network (700 Club) here. However, Its seems "Joshua Generation" and "Generation Joshua" were already trademarked by the Home School Legal Defense Fund... amuse yourself here.

Side Note: Don't worry, ladies. I'm sure he won't be looking for "middle ground" between the two "extremes."

THREE: Obama Tells Koreans to Eat our Beef

It seems like every week our nation’s factory farmers mow down a new cluster of unhappy customers with a deadly tomato scourge or a plague on cheeseburgers. No inspectors, watered-down rules and general moral depravity make this country’s meat industry, well, words fail me here. Its horrible. But don’t tell Barack. If the cause is free trade, no product is too infectious for our exports….
“You can’t get beef into Japan and Korea, even though, obviously, we have the highest safety standards of anybody, but they don’t want to have that competition from U.S. producers,” Mr. Obama said last month in a speech to farmers in South Dakota.

Many scientists, public health experts and consumer advocates in the United States and abroad, though, have suggested that American beef exports are lagging at least in part because United States safety standards are lax compared with those in Europe and East Asia.
Side Note: Australia has grabbed most of our market share in those countries because their producers adjusted to the new, tighter safety standards. Its so unfair! Hey, what was that about being willing to say anything to get elected?

FOUR: Obama's Vetters Not So Good with the Vetting

From ABC News:
As a top official in the Clinton Justice Department, Eric Holder, one of the people chosen by Sen. Barack Obama to help screen possible vice presidential candidates, failed, by his own admission, "to focus" on the controversial pardon issued by President Bill Clinton to fugitive financier Marc Rich.

In testimony before Congress in 2001, reviewed by ABC News, Holder conceded 'some bells should have gone off, some lights should have gone on" in his vetting process then. Holder, now a lawyer in private practice, is one of three people selected by Obama to screen and vet possible running mates, looking for possible problems that could arise.

One of the three, Jim Johnson, resigned the post after questions were raised about favorable mortgages he received from a sub-prime lender, Countrywide Financial.
Side Note: Do I even need to say it? "Change." The end of the Evil Clinton Era. No more "Politics as Usual." This one is just too easy.

FIVE: Yes Possums Can!

Surely you've heard about the Obama Presidential Seal. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words. Best part: the myriad possible translations of the slogan, "Vero Possumus." This is my favorite: "Truly, We Are All Possums."

Side Note: I got your side note right here.

SIX: "Get Over It"

I wish this were on tape. But hearsay is all we've got.
Obama agreed that a lot of work needs to be done to heal the Democratic Party, and that he hoped the Clinton supporters in the room would help as much as possible.

According to Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Obama then said, "However, I need to make a decision in the next few months as to how I manage that since I'm running against John McCain, which takes a lot of time. If women take a moment to realize that on every issue important to women, John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it."

Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., a longtime Clinton supporter, did not like those last three words -- "Get over it." She found them dismissive, off-putting.

"Don't use that terminology," Watson told Obama.
Side Note: There is no side note. It is what it is. Get over it.

Read more!

Friday, June 20

:: Un-flipping-believable

The Kings of the Liberal Blogosphere are up to their necks in crap
We've all seen the story about Obama declining public funds for the general election. Quick recap: he pledged to take public funds and to "aggressively" pursue a meeting with his opponent to set ground rules. Now he's reversed himself, and it seems he never bothered trying to meet with McCain. Barack claims he has to break his pledge because McCain won't control the spending of 527s. [This is the same attack he used against John Edwards in Iowa. Obviously Barack knows full well that a candidate can't force outside groups to do anything; furthermore, is all over the air right now attacking McCain on his behalf]. Flip. Flop. Repeat.

Its the Kings of the Liberal Blogosphere that I find amusing.

Campaign finance reform and the conceits on which it is predicated have been left wing dogma for years. I think we all know the drill:
  • We need to get money out of politics!
  • Public financing is necessary to level the playing field. Its the only way to guarantee a fair, democratic process!
  • Money does not equal speech! The Supreme Court was crazy when it said that!
  • PACs and 527s are just gaming the system. They are evil and must be stopped!
Once Obama dropped out of public financing, the KLBs faced a dilemma: how to reconcile the standing liberal-left dogma with the Messiah's new teaching? It didn't take long for them to decide to adjust their principles to meet the candidate's position (just as they did with health care reform). Here's a link to DKos, where a thousand flowers of stupidity are in full bloom; and this is the NY Times' take (the comments at both sites are priceless, by the way):

The liberal blogosphere’s reaction to Senator Barack Obama’s decision to opt out of public financing can be summed up in the one-word opening line of its king, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga: “Good.”

He echoed Chris Bowers of OpenLeft, who wrote:

An Obama victory in the general election is worth nearly infinitely more than following an abstract ethical principal about the role of private money in elections, especially considering that the vast majority of Obama’s money will come from small donors giving $250 or less.

Indeed, a TalkLeft blogger had only one objection to Mr. Obama’s announcement via YouTube video this morning: the timing. “I think he should have announced it during the primaries as he will now get some tough media coverage for this decision when he would have gotten a free ride when he was running against Hillary Clinton,” Big Tent Democrat writes, adding that public financing does not provide enough money to Democrats.

So, circa now, the new dogma is:
  • Money in politics is great, so long as it is our money going to our candidate!
  • Only losers want to force the taxpayers to pay for their campaigns. Public financing is for chumps!
  • We need massive amounts of money to get our message out! Money does equal speech after all!
  • PACS and 527s are evil and must be stopped, unless they are on our side, in which case they are great!
Bonus lessons in the dogma:
  • When a candidate answers a question with a "yes," everyone knows you have to keep reading / listening to catch the conditions and nuances. "Yes" never just means "yes," dummy! How could anybody be so lazy as to take "yes" for an answer!
  • You shouldn't get upset when a candidate abandons an issue you think is important. Single issue politics is unhealthy. And you shouldn't expect the impossible. Whatever your problem is, there are BIGGER ISSUES here!
From browsing around, I think the next re-education session will cover Obama's response (or lack thereof) to FISA, and his utterly craven decision to support incumbent Georgia Congressman John Barrow, a wiretap enthusiast, over progressive challenger state Senator Regina Thomas. Here's a taste, from Glenn Greenwald at Salon:
As noted yesterday, Blue Dog Rep. John Barrow of Georgia has been one of the most enthusiastic enablers of the radical and lawless policies of the Bush administration. When running for re-election, he ran ads accusing his own party of wanting to "cut and run in Iraq," and was one of the 21 Blue Dogs to send a letter to Nancy Pelosi demanding that they be allowed to vote for the Rockefeller/Cheney Senate bill to give warrantless eavesdropping powers to the President and amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms.

As a result of all of that, Barrow faces a serious primary challenge in July from State Senator Regina Thomas, who decided to run against Barrow due to -- as she told Howie Klein when she announced -- "Barrow's failure to support his constituents against the encroachments of powerful Big Business interests." As Klein noted yesterday, Thomas' positions on both foreign and domestic policy are firmly in line with Barack Obama's views and with the Democratic base in that district, while Barrow has continuously supported the most extremist Bush policies, as he himself proudly boasts.
But what's this? Barack just cut an ad for Barrow:
In the ad, Obama asks voters to join him in supporting Barrow. "We're going to need John Barrow back in Congress to help change Washington and get our country back on track," Obama says in the 60-second ad.
Greenwald thinks this kind of behavior sounds familiar... in fact, it reminds him of this:
Democratic leaders pretend that they are forced continuously to capitulate to the Bush administration due to their "conservative" members, yet continuously work to keep those same members in power, even when it comes to supporting them against far better Democratic primary challengers.

Obama has made himself a central part of that rancid scheme. Recall that in 2006, Obama -- who now touts his commitment to ending the war -- endorsed Joe Lieberman in his Connecticut primary race over war opponent Ned Lamont, appearing with Lieberman to say: "Joe Lieberman's a man with a good heart, with a keen intellect, who cares about the working families of America . . . . I am absolutely certain that Connecticut's going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the United States Senate."
What's this? "Obama - who now touts his commitment to ending the war.." You mean, the claim that "Obama put his political career on the line to oppose going to war in Iraq... Obama has been a consistent, principled and vocal opponent of the war in Iraq" may be something of a, whatchamacallit, fairy tale?

It's okay for a Senator to support the war... unless the Senator is running against Obama. Hmmm. I guess pundits can start to think about this kind of thing now that the real threat is behind us... Read more!

Tuesday, June 10

:: So Now They Tell Us

Guess what? Obama is the candidate of special interests too.
How many times have we heard the boyz claim that Barack was unsullied by corporate contacts and lobbyist money? Do you remember his appearance - and Clinton's - at the DKos blogger conference? When Barack said he would never take Washington lobbyist money, exactly what the crowd wanted to hear, they cheered. When Clinton said she would not commit to that because it was (1) unfeasible and (2) anti-democratic [here's a clue kids: you do NOT get to single out people to exclude from the political process just because you don't like their ideas], the crowd booed and hissed. And continued to say that she was the one who pandered to special interests.

Now comes an article that explains that not only do both McCain and Obama have numerous ties to evil lobbyists (half-serious there- some of them are evil) but that totally distancing yourself from lobbyists is impossible.

So why didn't they tell us this before, when Obama was using the issue as a cudgel against Clinton?

Here are some excerpts from Special Interest Access Abounds in Campaign (AP):

Obama's team in Nevada, put together last summer to help him with the state's January caucuses, included at least two Nevada lobbyists: one that represented Barrick Gold of North America, a mining company that also lobbies in Washington, and another whose clients included U.S. Airways, Corrections Corp. of America and consulting company Accenture, which lobby in Washington.


Obama accepted an endorsement from former Sen. Don Riegle of Michigan but never mentioned Riegle also is a Washington lobbyist whose clients include London-based metals merchant Norimet Ltd. and Geneva-based liquor distributor SPI Group SA.

McCain and Obama have each taken new steps to hold lobbyists — at least those in Washington — at arm's length. But such moves are incomplete, at best, for putting real distance between their campaigns and special interests. Many operate below the public's radar: Unless the advisers are paid staff or donors, the candidates are not required to identify them or their lobbyist connections.


To consort only with outsiders, McCain and Obama would have to accept help only from people who never worked in politics, wanted anything from government or worked for anyone who has.


Technology experts who endorsed Obama include Andrew McLaughlin, who lobbied Congress and the Bush administration on trade issues for Google Inc. last year with McCain donor and former McCain Senate chief counsel Pablo Chavez; and Ed Zander, chief executive of Motorola, an Illinois-based communications company that lobbies in Washington.


Superdelegates backing Obama include Joyce Brayboy of North Carolina, a Washington lobbyist and former congressional chief of staff whose clients include the American Bankers Association, Moneygram International money-transfer service and Recording Industry Association of America.

Obama superdelegate Moses Mercado of Texas, a former aide to then-Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., has been a lobbyist at the same Washington firm as Wayne Berman, who raised money for McCain. Mercado's client list at Ogilvy Government Relations includes the American Chemistry Council trade group; the American Petroleum Institute and Chevron, both with big stakes in energy policy; and the American Trucking Associations, whose priorities include highway funding and labor rules.

Shackelford, who lobbied Congress and the Bush administration on behalf of Hyundai, also lobbied for Lyondell Chemical Co. over discontinuing use of the gasoline additive MTBE, which helps prevent engines from knocking. MTBE's leading alternative is ethanol, which Obama supports. She is with the lobby firm Global USA, whose chairman, Stanton Anderson, lobbies for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform and is among Reagan alumni who endorsed McCain.

Another superdelegate, Robert Strauss of Texas, a former ambassador and Democratic National Committee chairman, founded the firm that became international law and lobbying giant Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Its clients include the governments of Panama and South Korea, who want trade agreements with the United States that Obama opposes. Akin Gump also lobbied for Chinese oil company CNOOC, reaching out to McCain's staff and others on Capitol Hill as CNOOC unsuccessfully tried to win backing for its offer to acquire Unocal.

Oh my. It sounds like Mr. Clean is Mr. Hypocrisy. How many times has he stood in front of a crowd and declared he would rid Washington of special interests - while he had some of the biggest special interest representatives assisting his campaign?

The thing is, none of this is news. These people have been involved for some time. So why are we only hearing about it now? Why didn't journos point this out when Barack was falsely and hypocritically drawing a contrast between himself and Clinton, smearing Clinton as "the" candidate of Washington insiders and corporate fat cats? How do those DKos boyz feel now, knowing that they cheered the man who was lying and booed the woman who was telling the truth? And can any of them explain their behavior as the result of anything but a "burn the witch" mentality?

The bully boyz in the media and the blogosphere quite simply hated her. And no lie was too egregious to print. No fact too obvious to be misreported - or never reported at all.

Read more!

Monday, June 9

:: Two Photos of the Boys in Action

Its the new metric.
You tell me what these photos say.
Old vs. Young? Security vs. Risk? Solid Leadership vs. Fruity Narcissist? Country vs. Urban? Tradition vs. Trendiness? Rugged Individualist vs. Elitist Snob? Experienced Dad vs. Know-it-All Son? Everyman vs. Whole Foods Nation? Beer vs. Malbec? Navy Cap vs. Safety Helmet? or Classic, its Two Guys Again, Of Course.

Enhance your viewing experience. Look at the photos and pretend - one at a time - that you are: a blue collar white or latino man; a suburban soccer mom with two kids; a Wall Street Journal reading white man; a white or latino female nurse; a white or latino low wage worker of any gender. [I think we know already what African American voters think].

Senator McCain speaking to reporters after taking an air-boat ride in the Everglades, June 7:

Senator Obama on a family bike ride, June 8:

Read more!

:: There He Goes Again

Obama's habit of backtracking on bold statements won't cut it in the general.
This is not a post about U.S. foreign policy and Israel. Its a post about the campaign. No ifs ands or buts.
From the New York Times:

The morning after claiming the Democratic nomination, Senator Obama spoke to skeptical members of a pro-Israel lobby and made a pledge that some of them found pleasantly surprising: “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”

That statement generated a storm of controversy in the Middle East, with one Kuwaiti daily calling it “a slap in the face” to Arabs. And over the last 24 hours, as Mr. Obama and his campaign have sought to explain his initial remarks, and suggested that an undivided Jerusalem would be hard to achieve, they have been accused of backtracking, which has generated a new round of criticism, this one here at home among Jewish groups.


Sensing an opportunity, the Republican National Committee and allied groups on Friday accused Mr. Obama of “flip-flopping,” echoing earlier criticism of what they say is his inconsistent position on having talks with the leaders of rogue states like Iran. And Mr. McCain, campaigning in southern Florida, which has a large Jewish population, quickly echoed those attacks.

“I can’t react to every comment that Senator Obama makes, because it probably will change,” he said after an air boat ride through the Everglades, “as it did on sitting down and talking unconditionally with Ahmadinejad and dictators.”

Its a classic "there he goes again" moment. McCain sounds confident, jocular - like he and the reporters are sharing an in-joke. If Hillary Clinton had said this - after an air boat ride through the Everglades, no less - a chorus of media pundits and liberal bloggers would have condemned her in that "just who does she think she is" tone they use so often. Watch for McCain to use this tone to force Obama into a unlucky paradigm - McCain the responsible father who has seen it all, Obama the irresponsible son who can't decide who he is.

How did Obama handle the blowback from the Middle East? More from the same article:
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Mr. Obama was asked about criticisms from the Arab world, and whether his remarks meant that Palestinians had no claim to Jerusalem.

“Well,” he replied, “obviously it’s going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues,” including the status of Jerusalem.

While restating his support for an undivided city, he also said, “My belief is that, as a practical matter, it would be very difficult to execute.”

An article on Friday in The Jerusalem Post sought to clarify Mr. Obama’s stance further. In it, an unnamed foreign policy adviser to Mr. Obama was quoted as saying that the candidate’s position is that “Jerusalem remains Israel’s capital and it’s not going to be divided by barbed wire and checkpoints as it was in 1948-1967.”

That formulation does not rule out the city simultaneously serving as the capital of a Palestinian state or Palestinians’ being granted control of some Arab neighborhoods there.

With criticism mounting on Friday from Republicans and some Jewish groups, supporters of Mr. Obama rushed to his defense...

[Rep. Robert] Wexler called Mr. Obama’s position the “most pro-Israel of all” because he has promised to respect whatever agreement Israel and Palestinians reach through negotiations rather than impose an American solution.

How do you like that? His shifted from a bold statement to "I'll go along with whatever they say" in roughly one week. He validated McCain's flippant little observation. It won't take long for reporters to realign their bias.

I told you so.

Read more!

Sunday, June 8

:: A note about redemption

I feel it's only fair to warn you that this is a sappy post. Feel free to pass and go on to the next one. Hopefully ciccina or lady bec (or buffy if she isn't still coughing up a lung) will come forward with more cogent analysis of yesterday's news. In the meantime, you get my emotional reaction.

I found myself in tears a lot yesterday as I was listening to the news about Hillary's farewell speech, and Barack's gracious acceptance, and it left me rather confused. I mean, it's not like we didn't know what Hillary was going to do. Hell, we knew it was over weeks ago, even though I was proud of her for fighting it out to the very end. We could probably even have guessed what she was actually going to say: she's talk about the historical meaning of her campaign, the message for little girls, the value of young people, a big endorsement for Obama, etc. So why the tears?

Well, for one thing, watching her finally concede defeat was heartbreaking in itself. And it was a really good speech, even if filled with predictable elements. But then I realized that it wasn't just about Hillary's departure. A few minutes after hearing coverage of her speech, I found myself in tears listening to an NPR story about students at Howard University Middle School, and how Obama's campaign has affected them. Teachers spoke about the changes they'd seen in their students since the campaign started, how much more energetic and engaged they were in their studies. Students talked about how Obama inspired them.

And that's when I realized why I spent so much time in tears: because both of these campaigns have inspired millions of people in this country in ways that past campaigns never could. When I look at McCain in light of the two Democratic contenders, I wonder how on earth people could see value in sticking with white, privileged, narrow-minded, callous, boring, old-fashioned, conservative, war-mongering policies of this administration, as well as a McCain administration. Hillary and Obama's campaigns each talk about a United States that I want to be a part of. And it's been a long long time since I've felt that kind of political emotion. So yes, there were tears of sadness yesterday, but frankly, tears of hope, tears of happiness that these campaigns have reached and touched people who would otherwise have stayed out of the race.

Now, back to our regularly schedule, cynical programming. Read more!

Friday, June 6

:: Too little too late

Well, happily for all of us, the tremendous heat is going to give me a lot of time to catch up on my blogging. And laundry. But that's a different story. So brace yourself for TWO posts.

I've noticed that none of my Esteemed Colleagues have written about Hillary's speech yesterday, so I will attempt to add my opinion from far away, and a day late (this is how leaving the Capitol changes your values: they were at the speech, I was at yoga). But first, I'd like to turn away from the campaign for a moment and back to an earlier topic: the ongoing defensiveness at NARAL Pro-Choice America, following their premature presidential endorsement.

I was somewhat startled to receive in my (virtual) mailbox the other day a (virtual) letter from Nancy Keenan in response to my request to be removed from NARAL's mailing list. This would have been a lovely gesture three weeks ago when they first made this idiotic move, and faced an outstanding backlash from their own supporters and other feminist political leaders. But now, it rings hollow, which is sort of a shame, because this is the kind reasoning I would have liked to hear (and many asked for) at the time:
The timing of our endorsement was based on several factors. At the time our PAC endorsed, Sen. Obama lead overwhelmingly in the important markers leading to the nomination: pledged delegates, superdelegates, popular vote and cash on hand. Sen. Obama needed fewer than 30% of the remaining delegates to win; Sen. Clinton needed to win more than 70%. He is very likely going to be the Democratic nominee.
You can't argue with that cold logic. So why not just display cold logic instead of insipid cheering? Honestly, by the end of Nancy's video announcement, I was ready for her to get up and start waving pompoms.

But the rest of their explanation makes it clear to me that not only were they just sure they had the right candidate, they also wanted to make it it okay for their members to vote against his opponent, Hillary.
Second, the vast majority of voters still don't know just how pro-choice Barack Obama is and how anti-choice John McCain has been during the quarter-century he has been in Washington, DC. Many voters who may be inclined to support McCain don't know his positions on specific issues, particularly his consistent opposition to a woman's right to choose. They believe instead that John McCain is a "moderate" and a "maverick" so assume he must be pro-choice.

Sen. Obama has also been a strong advocate for a woman's right to choose throughout his career in public service. Since joining the Senate in 2005, he has worked to unite Americans on both sides of this debate behind commonsense, common-ground ways to prevent unintended pregnancy. He is an original cosponsor of the Prevention First Act, a package of proposals that would, among other things, provide teens with comprehensive sex education, prevent pharmacies from denying women access to their birth-control prescriptions, and increase access to family-planning services. Sen. Obama is also a cosponsor of the Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify the tenets of Roe v. Wade and protect the right to choose for future generations. And he is the author of legislation to fix the birth-control pricing crisis facing millions of low-income women across the country today.
In other words kids, you don't need to vote for that crone Hillary! You can be like all the other cool progressive kids and make a vote for Obama AND for choice! (Nevermind that he says really weird and vague things about protecting Roe. With their new close relationship, can NARAL fix that??)

Which leads me to what NARAL continues to miss (or ignore), and which has lead many of us (hundreds? thousands? I'm guessing thousands) to give up our NARAL membership. First, that insipid announcement showed total disregard for its membership, many of whom were (and are) strong Hillary supporters. It made light of an important decision, not just for an organization, but for a movement. If their board was so split, then surely they should have known that their membership would be equally split. For me that indicates either hubris or incompetence. Either way, I'd rather not be associated with it.

Second, the contention that they could not campaign against McCain until they had someone to campaign for. Well, maybe I'm extraordinarily capable, but I have no problem doing that. I could support Hillary, and still acknowledge that Obama was also an excellent choice. And because there are two good pro-choice candidates, I find it very easy to point to McCain and talk about how this supposed "maverick" has embraced the very worst Christian fundamentalists this nation has to offer in order to get elected, and about his horrific voting record on reproductive health and freedom. See? That was easy.

I'll continue to support my local NARAL, one of many that was left scrambling to explain to its own membership that they had not made any endorsement themselves, and I wear my Planned Parenthood votes t-shirt with pride, but I'm staying clear of NARAL-PCA.
Read more!

:: Just Don't Tell Geraldine

The pro-Obama mainstream media's hypocrisy is alive and well.
Back in February, Geraldine Ferraro opined that Obama's biracial identity was an asset to his campaign.

"If Obama was a white man he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Mrs. Ferraro was extending her Gerald / Geraldine analogy, one she had used many times in the past: that if her name had been Gerald instead of Geraldine she would not have been chosen to be Mondale's running mate. Her point was that her legislative record and accomplishments weren't all that different from a lot of her (male) colleagues. But as a woman she embodied a message of change and progress. Mrs. Ferraro's point about Obama was that had he been just another white guy (like Edwards, Biden, Dodd, Gravel, Kucinich, Kerry, Gore and Bradley) he probably would not have stood out so noticeably nor would he have embodied a message of change and progress so dramatically.

What followed was a full bore attack on Ferraro and Clinton. Ferraro's comment was (mis)reported as "Ferraro says Obama lucky to be black" (mysteriously, lots of stories used that headline.... almost as if it had come from a single source. cough cough). She was called a racist by every prObama media stooge and Obamabot out there. Lots of people deliberately misinterpreted her statement.

The New York Times reported it this way:

"The Democratic presidential contest was jolted Tuesday by accusations surrounding race and sex, set off by remarks from Geraldine Ferraro that Barack Obama had received preferential treatment because he is a black man."

Keith Olbermann said this:

"So the senator wants a clearly racist, clearly equal-opportunity-is-not-a-good-thing, that's-the-only-reason-he's-here kind of statement interjected into the campaign?" and "Does it not have disaster written all over it, or are we living in South Africa?"

In the second statement, Keith is accusing Senator Clinton of apartheid-caliber racism for not immediately denouncing Ferraro.

And of course the double standard applied. Clinton was a racist because one of her surrogates made a comment that was twisted into something racist. But is Obama racist because of his association with Reverend Wright? Is he a misogynist like Father Pfleger? I don't recall the liberal blogosphere going there.

To demonstrate just how extreme the double standard is, let's take a look at a recent article from the AP and picked up by Yahoo's news aggregator.
Young voters: Obama's race as an asset, non-issue

By MARTHA IRVINE, AP National Writer Fri Jun 6,


Many young voters say a diverse background is an asset for a candidate.

"Rather than just being tolerant of race, we embrace and accept our differences," says Alisha Thomas Morgan, a 29-year-old black state lawmaker in Georgia. "We all recognize that racism still exists. But I think younger people are much more willing to get over it."

They also are more accustomed to seeing people of color in positions of power. The country has, for instance, had a black secretary of state for the past seven-plus years.

"I shouldn't say we're taking it for granted. But it's not especially strange to us," says Tobin Van Ostern, a junior at George Washington University who is spending his summer in Chicago as a leader for Students for Barack Obama.

Van Ostern, who is white, says he understands that Obama's victory is historic. "But it's one that seems appropriate for the direction the country is going," he says. "In numerous ways, it presents a new image of the United States to the world — and not just because of the color of his skin."

Throughout the primary season, Obama supporters endured jabs from pundits and Hillary Rodham Clinton backers who called them "latte drinkers," among other labels. To them, it seemed to suggest elitism and the notion that young adults were taken with the Illinois senator because it was trendy.

Certainly, the chance to vote for a black man is part of the appeal, Morgan says. "It's fine if they vote for him because he's African- American, as long as they don't stop there," she says. "But I would be voting for Obama whether he was white or whatever. The fact that he is African-American is a plus."

The way Patricia Turner sees it, Obama's race is just one factor that makes him more accessible to younger voters. Turner is a professor of African-American studies at the University of California, Davis, a diverse campus where she says no one racial or ethnic group is the majority.

She recalls a conversation at a recent university dinner where her table included a few Asian-American students and a white woman in her 30s who was married to a man of mixed race. Asked what struck them about Obama, they listed everything from his age and rearing by a single mother to the fact that he is biracial.

"There's something about the sophisticated and complex ethnic identity that resonates with younger voters as well," says Turner, who is black. "Younger people are able to say 'we' — and that 'we' includes Barack Obama."


[Political science professor Joseph Stewart Jr] has found that many of the youngest voters have little sense of relatively recent incidents of racial strife — for example, the Los Angeles riots that followed the acquittal of the white police officers who beat Rodney King.

"So a lot of the acceptance and the lack of relevance of race is simply a lack of history," Stewart says. "We usually think that's a bad thing — but there may be some positives, too."
This is a pro-Obama article, and the voices the reporter captures are on Obama's side. They are clearly saying that Obama's racial identity is an asset. He embodies change in a way that a white man - say, John Edwards - could not.

How is this any different from what Mrs. Ferraro said?

And why is it that when Mrs. Ferraro said it, she was a race-baiter, but when Obama supporters say it, its a message of progress and hope?

The double standard. Just one of the many reasons I won't vote for Obama.

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Thursday, June 5

:: The Massive Tool(s) Report

Oh my god. These people are such massive tools.
First: the geniuses at Slate's "XX blog" - who have been bashing Hillary for months on end with every anti-feminist talking point to come out of the Obama campaign, but still call themselves feminists - are doing a live-interactive-web thingy at the ever-repellent (sorry, Buffy) Washington Post. I'll cut to the chase - check out this exchange, with a few formatting changes added because I can't help myself:
Edwardsville, Illinois:

I'm a big fan of Meghan O'Rourke's writing, but when she wrote that "Clinton's relationship to gender seemed at turns angry and deeply ambivalent" in contrast to Obama's relationship to race, I had to laugh.

Meghan, have you read "Dreams of My Father" or "Audacity of Hope"? If so, do you really believe that Obama's relationship to race is anything but "angry and deeply ambivalent?" I think the whole controversy with Rev. Wright arose from just that anger and ambivalence, and my Senator's quest to reconcile himself with race.

I also don't think his anger and ambivalence (or hers) ought to be counted as a negative. Shouldn't we all be angry about the role of race and gender in our society, still, after all this time? Aren't women all amibivalent about the impact our gender does or should have on our life choices? What do you think?

Meghan O'Rourke:

That's a really good point, and my only excuse is that I was writing overnight on deadline!

What I was trying to say, more precisely, was that in her demeanor on the campaign trail, Hillary (to my eyes) didn't manage to seem as open and humble about her situation as Obama did.

Obama is deeply ambivalent in those books: you're totally right. But on the stump he seemed willing to admit how hard it was for him -- and to have chosen to let people see how hard it was for him. So there's an ambivalence there, yes, but he managed to project a somewhat unified front ABOUT that ambivalence.

Whereas I felt Hillary switched back and forth more. Part of what I was getting at, or wanted to, IS that women do feel ambivalent and angry. And I nderstand Hillary's ambivalence and anger -- I really do. And I feel I've acted the way she has, writ small, in situations where I've felt chagrined that men seem to be given more authority by default.

But I do think it's the real challenge for women: how to care deeply about women's rights and equality while not becoming embittered.

And let's face the unfair, bitter truth: I, like many women, probably hold Hillary to a higher standard than I would many men. I wish that weren't the case, and I strive against it. But I'm sure I'm complicit in the double standard.
Like I said - what a tool.

Our next entry comes from yesterday's New York Times "Caucus" blog. Its the very patronizing item "For Clinton's Women Fans, Mourning and Anger." Here's your sign:
For many of these women, it was not just a matter of politics, but of identity. Older, more affluent, and often business-minded, Mrs. Clinton’s live audience last night resembled a more mature version of the cast of “Sex and the City.” Still, while they may be wearing Donna Karan and look as if life has treated them well, many said her struggle to gain the nomination -– and the insults they believe Mrs. Clinton has endured along the way – mirrors their own struggles in life and in the corporate world.

I can't muster anything more articulate; these fools have plumb worn me out. Please, someone else do it. Read more!

Wednesday, June 4

:: The Curious Case of the Contradictory Comments

A Tiny Mystery at our Very Own Doorstep

[New! See update below!]

I just want to point this out in case you missed it. Take a look at the two comments posted in response to the previous blog entry.

At 2:57pm, "onelight321" makes a critical but entirely rational-sounding and polite comment.

He even writes, "if only Hillary had let loose with the authentic human and connecting voice she found in the last three months of the campaign."

At 3:19pm, "onelight321" is a total freak.

As in "I'm sorry your deeply flawed, unscrupulous, despicable candidate lost. Ok, I'm not really sorry, as she is an insane sociopath."

So here's the mystery.

What could have happened in the intervening 22 minutes?

- Could a fellow student at the computer center, or a fellow inmate at the prison library, have jumped on, read the screen onelight123 left open, and taken advantage of onelight321's still-logged-in blogger identity?

- Did he post a comment before reading the item, only to read the item and become angry as all get-out - prompting the second, crazy comment?

- Is it a case of subconscious rage breaking free of the chains of repression? A Jeckyll and Hyde kind of thing?

- Might Obama have distributed different talking points during those 22 minutes, and onelight obediently switched gears?

- Crack? That stuff works pretty fast. Or so I'm told.

- Could both comments have come from two members of the same family? Meaning, perhaps onelight #1 is the mother, and #2 is her drain-bamaged 22 year old son? I'm talking likely demographics here people.

I fear this mystery may never be solved. Cool beans, though. I'd love to hear your theories (all three of you).

And no, of course I did not miss the irony of a guy posting two comments that actually demonstrate precisely the point I'm trying to make. Comment #1: how to blame Hillary for everything but in a polite and conciliatory manner. Comment #2: how to blame Hillary for everything in a way that confirms why I don't want to be part of a club that has people like that as members (and neither should you).

Feeling rather smug, I am.

UPDATE: As much as I don't want to spoil the fun, I think I've figured out at least one thing that happened in the past 22 minutes. It seems our new, demented friend spent time reading the rest of the posts, leaving comments similar to #2 (above) hither and yon.

So this what I think happened.

The Obama campaign sent out new talking points to their little blogger buddies telling them to be nice and giving them some suggestions. Phrases like "authentic human voice" sound exactly like what you'd get from a media hack. But onelight123 couldn't hold it together, for the very reasons I point out in my post. He couldn't stand to see someone - a girl, no less - disagreeing with him. He had to assert his moral superiority.

And that's what so much of this all comes down to, isn't it. Narcissistic - or insecure - guys who can't stand it when girls 'refuse' to agree with them.

Well, sucks to be them.

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:: We Should Not Vote for Obama

If we do something, things still might stay the same.
If we do nothing, we KNOW they will stay the same.
I didn't think I could get any more disgusted. But here we go again.

This is tonight's edition of the New York Times' Opinionator, written by Chris Suellentrop. Here's the link, but I'm going to quote the whole thing here.

Emphasis added:
Maybe it was her night after all: Hillary Clinton decided not to withdraw from the presidential campaign tonight, and the liberals in blogville are not happy about it, to put it mildly.

Matthew Yglesias of The Atlantic begins his blog post on Clinton’s speech by writing, “I probably shouldn’t write any more about this woman and her staff. Suffice it to say that I’ve found her behavior over the past couple of months to be utterly unconscionable and this speech is no different.”

He continues, "I think if I were to try to express how I really feel about the people who’ve been enabling her behavior, I’d say something deeply unwise. Suffice it to say, that for quite a while now all of John McCain’s most effective allies have been on Hillary Clinton’s payroll."

At The American Prospect’s Tapped blog, Dana Goldstein calls Clinton’s speech “troublesome.” “The more I think about it, the more it seems that Hillary’s entire speech was manufactured to rile up her supporters — instead of priming them to shift their allegiance to Obama,” Goldstein writes. “Yes, there’s a situation with Michigan and Florida. But is it really fair for Clinton to claim that her 18 million supporters nationwide have been made ‘invisible?’ Who’s supposed to be the bad guy here, scary Howard Dean? Clinton is offering more fighting rhetoric. But the fight should be over. Hillary tonight was a woman standing down more than half her party’s supporters and practically the entire Democratic establishment.”

The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait uses even tougher language. “I’d say that anybody on her staff who cares about their party has a moral obligation to publicly quit and endorse Obama,” he writes at The Plank, TNR’s staff blog. Chait also writes of the speech:

“Incredible. She justifies her continuing the campaign by saying that she finished the campaign. She doesn’t concede that Obama has a majority of delegates, let alone that he’s won. She repeats her bogus popular vote argument. She congratulates Obama’s campaign on its “achievements,” but barely musters a single good word about him.”

Chait’s colleagues at The New Republic are almost as exercised. Isaac Chotiner, also writing at The Plank, calls the speech “combative and petty” and headlines his post, “A Total Disgrace.” He concludes, “If Clinton wants people to believe that she cares more about the Democratic Party than her own career, she is failing badly.” Noam Scheiber says the speech was “outrageous,” “delusional,” and “inflammatory.” Scheiber writes at The Stump, TNR’s campaign blog:

“What good could possibly come of this? With Hillary proclaiming herself the legitimate winner, they’re clearly going to say “keep going.” If she actually does keep going, that’s a disaster for the Democratic Party. And if she doesn’t, you’ve just drawn a ton of attention to the fact that a large chunk of the party doesn’t accept Obama as the legimiate nominee. No, worse: you’ve encouraged them to think that, then drawn attention to it. What a disaster.”
End quote.

So, according to these geniuses, the number one priority is healing the rift in the party and bringing Hillary's supporters over to Obama. So say Matt, Dana, Jonathan, Isaac and Noam.

In fact, they criticize Hillary for being "petty," "combative," and "inflammatory."

And yet it's Matt, Dana, Jonathan, Isaac and Noam who go out of their way to insult Hillary, her staff and her supporters. They cannot muster one gracious word. They can't stifle one petty, combative, inflammatory comment. Apparently they just can't help it. Their nastiness - their hatred just brims over.

And that angry, angry Bill Clinton! Why, Obama's bully boys would never show anger! No, Matt, Dana, Jonathan, Isaac and Noam are the very picture of cool and conciliatory thinking.

And they wonder why we don't want to join them.

Can they not hear themselves?

Are they stupid?

Or are they still so high off the past six months of proclaiming how much more intelligent, more ethical, more strategic, more educated and more wealthy they are than those lowly Clinton supporters that they've burnt out a critical mass of brain cells?

Are they addicted to the ego boost?

Is Obamamania the political equivalent of crack? And are these guys too far gone to be saved?

The answer to all those questions is "yes," especially #3.

These guys have breathed in - and out - the fumes from so many self-congratulatory Obama homages and ego-boosting anti-Clinton bromides that they have lost their critical faculties.

Political crackheads. That's what we're left with.

Well, I'm not having it and I don't think you should either.

As the video I posted earlier says, we loathe Ronald Reagan for having tacitly allowed the so-called Southern Strategy to drum up racist support for his 1980 campaign.

Barack Obama has tacitly allowed a - what shall we call it? Testosterone strategy? That doesn't even do it justice. Its an insult to testosterone. What do you call it when a candidate walks on stage to Jay-Z's "[I've got] 99 Problems [but a bitch ain't one]"? A Prick Strategy? Well, that will have to do.

To get elected, Reagan benefited from the racist Southern Strategy. He never denounced the racism drummed up on his behalf.

To get elected, Obama benefited from the sexist, misogynist Prick Strategy. He's never denounced the sexism and misogyny slung on his behalf.

And I doubt he ever will.

Look, we don't need to agonize over this. Obama and his supporters don't want support from feminists. They don't respect us. This is not a hard decision.

In November, I will vote down-ballot. But I won't vote for President. (Forget doing a write-in, no one counts them). And then I will look for the total numbers of votes cast, and the total numbers of votes cast for President. Subtract the total number of votes cast for President from the total number of votes cast for a down-ballot item. The remainder is the protest vote.

Say No in November.

We can do it!

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Tuesday, June 3

:: A few thoughts on tonight

Why do I strongly doubt everyone would feel so "offended" about a candidate not conceding and supposedly not showing signs of grace tonight if that candidate weren't female? (Isn't it amazing that even when you're running for the highest office in the land, it's all about whether you're nice enough? Women are just expected to be nice in a way that men aren't, and it is so embedded in our culture that people can't even see beyond it.) The woman still won a freakin' primary today - today, when it's all supposed to be over, and people are still voting for her. And after she won a primary by over 30 points on Saturday. I just don't remember Mike Huckabee getting the same amount of scorn from the MSM even when it was over on the Republican side (and not nearly as close), but he was still in the race and still winning primaries. He could take his sweet time and make sure his supporters felt respected.

The MSM, the Obama campaign, and the DNC better wake up fast to the amount of bitterness there is out there among Clinton's voters, and it's not just some kooky old white women and ignorant racist rednecks, as the media keeps trying to portray. And the more they act like they did tonight, they more I just want to stay home in November. If this party and this campaign thinks they can win without the women and other voters who supported Clinton, we can certainly try to test that premise, but I don't think it's going to work so well. And while I'm glad Obama finally acknowledged his grandmother tonight and tried to acknowledge Clinton's contributions to the race, it's going to take a little bit more than that.

I am also sure that I am not the only woman who was stunned at how much sadness I felt tonight realizing that we aren't going to see a woman president any time soon, how that dream is just gone for now. It took 24 years after Geraldine Ferraro to get to this point. How long is it going to take to get back here? It's 2008, I'm going to be 31 years old tomorrow (and how sad was I to hear that I share a birthday with Dorothy Rodham, who will also face tomorrow filled with a sense of what could have been, though so much more so), and it feels like time, and I hate that that is gone. As if the bitterness of this race isn't enough, I think that's a reality as well. I knew what was going to happen tonight, and yet watching it slip away was unbelievably painful. Yes, it's a historic night, but can we also acknowledge the loss that so many of us also feel?
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:: Yes, I Will Not Vote For Obama

Watch this and tell me that despite this, its worth it to vote for this man. I'll take my chances with four years of McCain.
Well, kids, I've fallen a bit behind. I only watched this today, though its been out for weeks if not months. And lord knows its not because I've been working so hard.

I don't need any reminders to stimulate my antipathy towards Obama. But months from now, maybe it'll begin to fade - I doubt it, but maybe - and that's when I'll return to this video.

You have to watch the whole thing for the impact to settle in, because the cumulative effect is the whole point. Would that I had the ability to re-cut it and add some additional material that needs to be in there: the "tea in exotic locales" comment (Obama), the "specious claim to experience" comment (Kristof), the verbal vomit of Father Pfleger. [Also to correct that one typo!] More than any other time in my life, I want to learn video editing.

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