Category Archives: Campaign ’08

I don’t wanna talk about it

Racism.  I don’t want to talk about it.

I started this blog primarily to have a place to voice thoughts and feelings about what was sure to be an historic election.  From the comfort of our living room, John and I heard Obama’s speech at the 2004 convention.  We were almost certainly multi-tasking at the time, but we quickly engaged.  As the speech ended, we looked at each other and knew:  he’s going to be President, and we’re going to help.  We had been waiting for this man and this message for a very long time.

Of course there is joy in that he’s African-American.  But that isn’t why we would vote for him.  It’s about the national conversation—talking, listening, finding common ground.  About change that will stick.  About civil discourse, not games.  (In spite of the media talk, this is an election, not a sports contest.)

I’m not so naive that I believe that racism in this country has been eradicated, like a disease.  But to have to face the fact that it is still so strong in some areas that people will vote against their own interest rather than vote for a person of color makes me queasy.  To acknowledge that it may be so prevalent that “racists” need to be part of the political calculus makes me angry.  And sad.

I don’t want to talk about it.  So I’ve just gone silent.  But an encouraging comment from Rosalie this morning brought me to express my thoughts—however inelegantly—and move on.

The Democratic Party survived the defection of the Dixiecrats over civil rights.  The party survived again when the me-first Reagan Democrats took a hike.  And the party will survive—in fact, probably thrive—when the racists leave.  So in my freshest, most ringing prose, I say to Democratic racists, “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”

The very idea of an election strategy, a party coalition, built around appealing to racists is disgusting.  Sure some will leave.  Fug’em.

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Who’s been reading Garrison Keilor?

From Quote of the Day for May 7 . . .

I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.

~~Garrison Keillor

Someone had fun selecting this one.

Hillary still running because?

Did I understand this correctly?  Hillary is still running and thinks the Supers should ignore the pledged delegates because she gets more of the old-poor-uneducated-white-folk vote?

Now that’s a vision for the party’s future that makes me proud.  Just shoot me.

Yo, Superdelegates, your moment in time is now

Listen up, Supers.  This is the moment you were created for.

You’ve prepared for it.  You’ve practiced for it.  You’re ready.  This is why you exist.  (No.  Supers were not invented just to guarantee nice floor seats at the convention.)

Your job is to insure the good of the party, to step in and act when needed so that Democrats, top and down ballot, will be elected in November.

Some years your wisdom and courage isn’t needed, but this year it’s needed big time.  The field has narrowed to two candidates.  Neither candidate will get to the magic number of 2025 based on the primary/caucus process alone, but one candidate will be ahead in every metric—popular vote, pledged delegates, and states won.

Our front-runner is an extraordinary leader, offering a new kind of politics and bringing new voices and energy to the Democratic party.

There’s just one problem.  The runner-up won’t quit the campaign.

In fact, the race was decided on March 4.  In the words of her surrogate in chief, the former president, Senator Clinton needed a big win in both Ohio and Texas to stay in the race.  She did get a strong win, but not strong enough to leave her as a realistic contender.  But with a 25-point lead in Pennsylvania—turf just made for her—and with a hoped for uptick in contributions, she decided to campaign on.  That wasn’t good, but it was understandable.

Then comes the Pennsylvania primary.  Anything short of a 20-point victory wouldn’t be enough.  But her 25-point lead dwindled to 9%.  She claimed victory that night, but instead of graciously conceding in the next few days, she just went on.  And on.  And on.

It would be funny–it’s already fodder for the late night comics—if it weren’t so damaging to the party.  We’ve left our Democratic nominee to fight on two fronts—one of them from inside the party—when the party should have his back.

But you, oh Superdelegate, can stop the insanity.  Wait, you say?  Is he electable?  Let’s compare the two.

  • Senator Obama comes with baggage.  Senator Clinton comes with baggage.
  • He’s young.  Shouldn’t be a problem since the Republican candidate is perceived as too old and is showing signs of inattention.  She’s a nice in-between age, but with little experience of her own.
  • He’s African-American.  Yep.  And there are still racists in this country who will not vote for someone based solely on race.  She’s female.  And there are still sexists in this country who don’t think a woman can be president.
  • He has uncomfortable associations, such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.  She has . . . a long, very long, list.  The ink wouldn’t have been dry on her nomination papers before the where-are-they-now stories about Gennifer, Paula, and Monica would have shown up.  Then there was Whitewater Gate, Travel Gate, friends in prison, who-knows-what-else Gate, rude behavior, sniper fire, NAFTA.  Why didn’t these come up much during the primaries?  Who was going to bring them up?  Not the media who want her to keep running.  It fills their air time.  Not the Republicans who want to see her nominated, as the easier candidate to beat.  And not Senator Obama because that’s not the kind of campaign he is running.

So, Supers, this is your moment.  As the song says . . .

“I face the pain/I rise and fall/Yet through it all/This much remains

“I want one moment in time/When I’m more than I thought I could be/When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away/And the answers are all up to me/Give me one moment in time/
When I’m racing with destiny . . . “

Not later.  Now.  Right.  Now.  Before the polls close tomorrow.  Or at least before the sun rises on Wednesday.  Man-up or put on your big girl panties, whichever suits, and get ‘er done.  This is your moment in time.

What we talk about

Sometimes you just need a break.  Last week was one of those times.

I wouldn’t begin to defend the tone or phrasing of Jeremiah Wright’s recent remarks.  But just how long can supposed professionals continue to talk about an “issue” without ever talking about the issue?  How much can you say about style, completely avoiding any substance?

Apparently pretty long.  Four days, five days, six days?  Months?  Years?

The sad part is that underneath Wright’s bombast and divisive language are real issues that we need to discuss.  Not shout about or poll about.  But discuss, as in you speak.  I listen.  I think about what you said.  I respond.  You listen.  We consider one another’s points and perspectives.  We posit ways to improve.  You speak.  I listen.  It continues.

Didn’t happen.  It scares me, and it makes me sad.

Then again, maybe it’s better to laugh than to cry.

Reverend Wright and the MSM

They wouldn’t know a hermeneutic if it jumped up and bit them in the patootie.

I am of the considered opinion that there may not be 10* people in mainstream media who are intelligent, educated, principled, and courageous enough to cover the Jeremiah Wright story.  This morning’s quick response commentary on MSNBC to Wright’s wow performance at the National Press Club included a ditzy lady saying she went to a black church (note past tense) and the preacher didn’t talk like that.

Arghhh.

Hey, this democracy thing is predicated on the foundation of an educated, informed electorate.  How’s that working out?

 

* Hmmm.  That would be Keith Olbermann, Jim Lehrer, Ray Suarez, and . . . and . . . help me out here.  Okay, make that “less than 10.”

Today’s best one-liner

From Andrew Sullivan and The Daily Dish . . .

[Back to the 1990’s] when Bill Clinton was a less impressive version of Barack Obama.

Heh.  Sullivan goes on to quote a NYT’s piece about superdelegates’ reluctance to support candidate Clinton.  That would be Bill Clinton.  In 1992.