Wednesday, June 4

:: 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!


onelight321 said...

Senator Clinton's speech last night was a justifiably proud recitation of her accomplishments over the course of this campaign, but it did not end right. She didn't do what she should have done. As hard and as painful as it might have been, she should have conceded, congratulated, endorsed and committed to Barack Obama. Therefore the next 48 hours are now as important to the future reputation of Hillary Clinton as the last year and a half have been.

I am disappointed. As a long time Hillary Clinton supporter and more importantly, an admirer, I am sad that this historic effort has ended with such a narrow loss for her. There will be the appropriate "if onlys" for a long time to come. If only the staff shakeup happened earlier; if only the planning in caucus states had more focus; if only Hillary had let loose with the authentic human and connecting voice she found in the last three months of the campaign. If only. If only. I have written many times on this site about the talents of Hillary Clinton and why I thought she'd make a great President.

After last night's final primary, she was only about pledged 100 delegates behind him. Ironic that after not wanting to make the decision for so long, it was in fact, the superdelegates who made the decision. But I guess they did so for another reason. It just isn't her time. It is his time. It's a new day that offers a freshness to our party that many have longed for. We felt the rush of new voices and a new energy in the Congressional sweep of 2006 and the sweep continues. It has been an organic shift. And a healthy one.

The life's work of Bill and Hillary Clinton in partnering with so many African Americans uniting our purpose and promoting our mutual issues is as responsible for Barack Obama's success as our first African American nominee as anyone. And yet, that joy is being denied for them by themselves. It is so sad.

So, I am also so very disappointed at how she has handled this last week. I know she is exhausted and she had pledged to finish the primaries and let every state vote before any final action. But by the time she got on that podium last night, she knew it was over and that she had lost. I am sure I was not alone in privately urging the campaign over the last two weeks to use the moment to take her due, pass the torch and cement her grace. She had an opportunity to soar and unite. She had a chance to surprise her party and the nation after the day-long denials about expecting any concession and send Obama off on the campaign trail of the general election with the best possible platform. I wrote before how she had a chance for her "Al Gore moment." And if she had done so, the whole country ALL would be talking today about how great she is and give her her due.

Instead she left her supporters empty, Obama's angry, and party leaders trashing her. She said she was stepping back to think about her options. She is waiting to figure out how she would "use" her 18 million voters.

But not my vote. I will enthusiastically support Barack Obama's campaign. Because I am not a bargaining chip. I am a Democrat.

onelight321 said...
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Unknown said...

Are you familiar with Operation Chaos? If not, long story short: Rush Limbaugh wants Democrats to campaign against themselves, protest at the DNC, and not vote for the nominee or vote for McCain. It's the only shot they have at getting into office. You're playing right into their rich white sexist hands.

What about white privilege? While Obama was assisted by sexism carried out by supporters and (predominately) the media, the Clinton campaign actively said and did racist things. Hell, McCain has trumped Clinton on class thus far.

Like it or not, Clinton lost. Like it or not, Clinton engaged in more questionable behavior / said more screwed up stuff than Obama (God bless the rich? Really?). Would you rather vote for another rich white male and all of his sexist, racist, imperialist, classist platforms?

Nina Miller said...
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Nina Miller said...

Dear Max,

First of all, the Clinton campaign did not use racist tactics. Period. End of story.

Clinton surrogates, to my knowledge, did not use racist tactics. I do not believe former Sen. Bob Kerrey is a racist. I do not believe Bill Clinton is a racist. I do not believe Geraldine Ferraro is a racist. And so on. All of their "incidents" were trumped up by Obama's campaign - directly - to foster emnity between certain Democratic leaders and African American voters.

Second of all, Sen. Clinton clearly denounced racism; for example, she denounced the viral emails that have plagued Obama from the get-go. She also doesn't deny that racism is a problem, nor does she refuse to acknowledge that there may be some Democrats who do not support Obama because they are racist.

That's the difference.

Also, it is absolutely crystal clear that Obama is the candidate of the rich. Support for Obama increases along with income. It also increases along with gender. Rich white men love Obama. End of story.

You are still too wrapped up in feeling morally superior to Clinton supporters to be able to capitalize on the challenge - or opportunity - before you. Which is my point. Even if Obama does the right thing, people like you will blow it for him by continually reinforcing that Obama's people just don't get it.

Unknown said...

What about Operation Chaos? What about the effect of a divided Democratic voting base?

Frankly, I don't like Obama. I'm not an Obama supporter. There are things I like about him, but there's one problem: I'm more into post left anarchism than the Democratic Party.

I don't really care so much about what you believe. Racism = power + prejudice. White privilege is very real. I'm a white male anticapitalist that studies third wave feminism and antiracism. I've recognized rampant misogyny in this election season, as well as rampant racism. I've also recognized white feminists apologizing for or denying Clinton's repeated racist and classist actions / statements. There's a very large problem in modern feminism in that it's very white, it's very privileged, and it's gotten pretty good at playing Oppression Olympics.

Anyway. As a feminist, you'd rather play into Rush Limbaugh's hands and, by your righteous indignation, help to put an anti-choice candidate in office? I have far more problems with Clinton than Obama, but I'd have spent the 5 minutes it takes to vote for her if she got the nod, because she's not McCain. Though, I'm not selfish and in denial about my privilege. That could make a difference.

Unknown said...

I'm a white male anticapitalist that studies third wave feminism and antiracism.

Wow, Max, I bet you're great fun at parties.

Anonymous said...

Granted, the ridiculous lie that Obama used "99 Problems" to celebrate a win came from a Clinton supporter, and not from the campaign itself. Unfortunately, you still bought into the lie in order to justify your hardline hatred of the man. Searching out the truth took me 30 seconds. Why did you never bother?

Of course, the other problem with citing that, even if it were true, is that you show an inability to decipher hip-hop lyrics. I'm not even a Jay-Z fan, but even I get that the basic premise is that he doesn't have a problem with women & how thankful he was to have Beyonce by his side. Sure it's well-phrased for an academic discussion, but within the world of rap it makes perfect sense.

Clinton's speech Tuesday night was universally condemned, not due to sexism, but simply because it came off as defensive and low-class. Obama said some great things about her in his speech, and she was unable to do the right thing and acknowledge that he had the delegates for the nomination. One person had to lose, and she lost because she ran a poor campaign. Some fringe Obama supporters probably did use misogynistic statements, just like some fringe Clinton supporters were definitely race-baiting. Both candidates did well to try and keep that out of their official campaigns.

The one good thing I can see from her loss is that the incompetents she chose to run her campaign (Penn, Wolfson, McAuliffe, etc.) won't be allowed anywhere near the White House.

Unknown said...

Wow. You've destroyed my entire argument. I bow before your superior snark.

On a serious note, what about the other dozen or more sentences in my comment?

Nina Miller said...
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Nina Miller said...

Jason, I never bothered to check it because I was inclined to believe it, so on that, you are correct.

I was inclined to believe it because I've come to believe that's how Obama operates. If he thinks the crowd wants him to be "Jay-Z"-ish, he'll do it. Just like when he campaigned in Southern churches, he was Mr. "Ray Ray" and "Okey-Doke." And when he was in San Francisco, in front of a different kind of audience, he shared his sociological musings about bitter poor people clinging to religion.

[If I were to reach back into my Af-Am studies, I'd say he's become adept at 'passing.' But I'm not expert. So you explain it to me.]

So when I heard that he went onstage to "99 Problems" I believed it, and assumed he would just say it either didn't happen, or someone from the venue did it without his knowledge, or no one realized it would be taken wrong, or the song doesn't mean what "they" say it means, wink wink nudge nudge, or that his words were taken out of context, or he returned all the funds, or okay maybe he didn't but now he's returned all the funds, or he said it but he didn't mean it, and so on and so on.

Moving on, I find it really hard to buy that Jay-Z was referring to Beyonce as a "bitch." That is what you're saying, isn't? He has 99 problems but a bitch ain't one, because his bitch, Beyonce, ain't like that? Or is he saying that he counts himself lucky, because although he has a lot of problems, at least his girlfriend, Beyonce, ain't a bitch? [and we all know what that's like, right guys?]

Jason, your remedial homework assignment: listen to Queen Latifah's "U.N.I.T.Y." A lot.

Beyond that - my dear, please. Politico is not a source. It is infotainment. Neither is a site called "clintonattacksobama." Good lord.

I can see I'm going to have to make a list of all the various statements. Apparently posting the video wasn't enough. Kids today... all they want to do is read!

Finally, her speech was not universally condemned. Look again, this time outside of the mainstream media.

Nina Miller said...

FYI, the two deleted comments were both mine - I accidentally double posted. Twice. This is what happens when you make me testy.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why I came back, but thank you for at least acknowleding that you were wrong to be helping spread a baseless smear.

That was mainly the point a lot of people have been trying to get across - for all the ridiculous sexist stuff coming from blogs or the media (neither of which Obama can control), there was an equal amount of racist shit (black man = misogynistic rap star) being spouted from the people supporting Clinton. It was mostly on the fringes & it shouldn't have happened, but I don't hold Clinton personally responsible for it, either. A site like clintonattacksobama may not be something you want to read, but it shows that both sides have legitimate complaints about being unfairly depicted for the wrong reasons. For every "She's nice enough", the other side responds with a "He's not a Muslim, as far as I know". Circular firing squads have never had more success.

I didn't like citing those two specific sites, especially politico, but they were two of the first to pop up in the results. When it's a rag like that even admitting that the lie is made up, though, that shows just how far out it was from the start.

The only people defending that speech are hardcore Clinton supporters, especially the ones threatening not to vote for Obama or actively vote for McCain. She could have done something good for the party & showed some sense of humility... and in this case I'm holding her to the same standard as every other losing candidate that has ever run for office. I hated seeing Edwards bow out, but he did it the right way. Huckabee could have kept running (and was still garnering 20% of the vote in recent primaries), but he still congratulated McCain when he was too far back in delegates. Clinton's speech was all about herself. Even a little mention of Obama would have gone a long way. He was gracious towards her.

I'm not going to try to convince the other specifics where you might be wrong. You've already admitted that you're going to believe the worst about the man because you want to do so. It doesn't matter if it's made up or not. He doesn't deserve the demonization and neither does she. Just consider the possibility of how many other stories you believe were also pure bullshit or spun to make him look as bad as possible... yeah, just like you've accused the Clinton detractors of doing to her.

Nina Miller said...

Sigh... Jason, dear Jason, you did not understand what I wrote. Just because you are predisposed to believe something doesn't mean the something isn't true.

Politico is inherently untrustworthy as well as totally in the can for Obama. Of course they retracted a story that could hurt him. The press has covered his ass countless times.

Rather than belaboring this, I will make a suggestion: start reading The Daily Howler. The Howler focuses on critiquing the media. It often has items about how the press distorts Clinton's words, misquotes them entirely, and just plain lies about her. He also has items about Obama when the press does him wrong, and very occasionally, about McCain when the press screw up on him (for example, the bit about McCain wanting to stay in Iraq for 100 years was taken completely out of context).

Thats You'll enjoy it, I promise.

Anonymous said...

This once loyal democrat is protesting the democrats.
Howard Dean TACITLY approved sexism. He FAILED to acknowledge it and speak out UNTIL last Sunday when his selected nominee wins. The party did NOT stand out against sexist comments by Mr Obama, did not speak out when the Obama campaign defamed the Clintons calling them racists the one thing they were not.

Yes Barack your judgment call against the war was a fairy tale. this is not racist, this is fact.
Barack was not in a position to vote. He was not given the intelligence reports and held no voice. He did NOT make a MAJOR speech. He talked locally to local liberal constituents and ONCE in the position to vote voted ala Hillary and did NOT support ending the war by not financing it.

Clinton acknowledged an illusion the Obama campaign created. Illusion rather than fact, Illusion rather than a record of accomplishments. Illusion in vague language.

Illusion in even a fair win. When caucuses were sought rather than primaries and caucuses overturned primary votes and he depended on the SUPER DELEGATES he previously denounced, he won a race by hypocrisy and the democrats lost their moral highground.

We democrates since Bush have fought for every vote be counted. The party chose to insure a selection rather than count every vote. Now my party has shamed themselves by losing the moral highground and telling its once loyal supporters that hypcrisy reigns supreme.

Shame on Dean, Pelosi, Reid, and all the super delegates who kept shifting in the wind.. We now know they listen not to us, but do what is best for themselves. ITs all about personal politics. Change is not in the wind, its sadly a reversion backward.

Unknown said...

Lets put aside the Oppression Olympics, and look forward. McCain is anti-choice. In the next eight years, at least one seat on the Supreme Court will come up empty, possibly up to three. Roe vs. Wade has been chipped away little by little, it's hanging on by a thread.

Your candidate has come out in support of Obama, because getting a Democrat in office is more important than which Democrat gets in. They're similar in their platform. Get over the sour grapes and pay attention to the big picture.

And really, stop it with the Oppression Olympics. You sound like Gloria Steinem.