Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Legitimacy, Not Unity

The continued calls for "unity" in this campaign have bothered me for some time. As I alluded to in an earlier post, unity means something very different in politics than being in agreement. It would mean that contestation for the resources and social goods of the nation had been set aside. Rousseau and Machiavelli were both vital to helping Madison develop his theory of countervailing power in a system of institutions. Machiavelli, quite in contrast to his popular image, was a man who very firmly believed in laws, independent institutions to counter the power of princes, and humane rule. The result of any political excess would be chaos and death unless power was used to check power. Rousseau was the first theorist of "the general will" and thought that perfect unity is the absence of legitimacy because there is no possibility of dissent. He was always uncomfortable with the formation of the general will due to its tendency to consolidate power to depotic levels, yet feared social dissolution almost as much.

In a democratic political system, the consent of the minority to the majority's power is the measure of legitimacy. The majority, after all, has what it wants. How dissenters are treated and the degree to which they assent to the majority's possession of power while retaining the ability to dissent from the majority's policies and objectives shows how much the majority is trusted, respected, and considered within the bounds of acceptable political behavior. One of the markers of the Bush regime is the degree to which it has no legitimacy with most of the citizens. They are still trammeled by the institutions of government, but have continuously sought to dissolve these boundaries and rule through sheer force.

The increasing rejection of Obama by voters is a measure of his declining legitimacy. People who once thought they would gladly vote for him, like me, are now implacably opposed to him. He is no longer legitimate in our eyes. He has not sought legitimacy, which would mean facing up to oposition and allowing himself to be challenged, questioned, and probably be found wanting by some people, but has opted to pursue power at any price. Participating in and profiting from the media hatred of the Clintons, throwing out accusations of racism to try to forestall criticism and inflate AA vote counts, encouraging people to be "Obamacans" not Democrats, the "Democrat for a Day" strategy, engaging in intimidation and threats to extract caucus votes, aggressively trying to monopolize money specifically to silence alternative voices, and treating voters who do not choose him first with contempt.

Lack of legitimacy means relying on force to win. If you have to bully people to make them be quiet, you have lost legitimacy. If you have to remove votes from the contest in order to win, you have lost legitimacy. The objection Hillary supporters have to "teh Rulz" to exclude Michigan and Florida is how nakedly they are used to force the numbers themselves into submission. The rules, as Hillary made clear in her incredible speech today, have a legitimacy problem just like Obama himself because of their instrumental use for the benefit of a particular candidate, not just to the detriment of a competitor, but to the detriment of democracy itself. Insisting on unity as a substitute for legitimacy corrodes the institutions meant to defend democracy. Insisting on unity in order to avoid dealing with dissent is self defeating.

Take a moment to read comments by CMike, documenting the highly contested election of 1972, and Esmense, relating a personal memory of that election, and the ways in which the Democrats have fought over these questions of contestation and legitimacy before.

BTD on TalkLeft has spent many inches of blog posts trying to talk the Obamacans down from their rarified atmosphere and get serious about this Unity stuff, but the part of the puzzle he misses (or has missed in the past, as his recent posts have been of much sharper caliber) is the failure of the Obam camp to establish the conditions for legitimacy, starting first and foremost with seating Michigan and Florida as is. Failure to create the conditions under which vast majority of the party will have no doubts that he will serve the interests of the party and be protective of those who dissent from him will leave not just Obama but the party itself in dire straits in the months to come. Riverdaughter has a brilliant post up on The Confluence. You need to go read it all beause it is good in every regard, but these two paragraphs get to the heart of the matter:

Who is giving them permission to set aside their ethics and shuffle off the standards of acceptable behavior? Who is running the party that allows for the brutal suppression of one half by the unleashed id of the other half? I put the blame at the top of the party and Obama himself.

There is a price to be paid for such aggressive and insensitive behavior. People do have free will. The party belongs to the people who believe in its principles. Those principles of social justice, equality and shared responsibility can not be discarded for Change! without the party suffering some severe blows to its foundation. Going forward, the party becomes a fragile shell, easily blown to bits by outside forces because its foundations of support have been carelessly undermined.

Tuesday: Bird Brains

You gain legitimacy by being willing to risk power. This is the root cause of Obama's failure to be a unifying figure even as he preaches Unity. Obama would have lost some power in relation to Clinton early on by being willing to seat Florida and revote Michigan (I have said before that had he agreed to an immediate MI revote he would have won that state), but he would have gained an immeasurable amount of legitimacy with the voters, which would be paying off now. Clinging to a formal numbers count and defending that as the measure of victory rather than leaping for the chance to be affirmed by the voters is may garner a party nomination, but it makes Obama look like a beleagured dictator bleating about how he won an election that everyone knows was dirty and compromised.

Unity is power to quell dissent, legitimacy is power under conditions of dissent.



Other Lisa said...

Great essay - but the Riverdaughter link actually links back to "Revolution of the Saints."

CognitiveDissonance said...

Clinging to a formal numbers count and defending that as the measure of victory rather than leaping for the chance to be affirmed by the voters is may garner a party nomination, but it makes Obama look like a beleagured dictator bleating about how he won an election that everyone knows was dirty and compromised.

Wow, that really nails it, anglachel.

Everywhere I go, I find Obamabots or Obamacons, or whatever you want to call them, insisting that anyone who doesn't see Obama as the victor is delusional. Especially insulting is the idea that we're all going to come around.

But you're right - this isn't a normal election. Every year since I started voting in 1972, I've ended up voting for a person I didn't initially support. But I always found that I could eventually support them because we agreed on more than we disagreed on. And they had won the nomination fair and square.

There has been nothing "fair" about this nomination, no matter how much Donna Brazile bleats about "teh Roolz." The FL/MI debacle not only robbed Clinton of delegates, but it robbed her of momentum that would have affected later contests. It robbed her of frontrunner status. In fact, with those 2 states and Super Tuesday, she probably would have been close to winning. But it isn't just Clinton that got robbed. It was the voters of those states who don't get a say in who the nominee will be. Plus the voters of every state that Clinton has already carried, since their choice has also been disenfranchised.

And the racist allegations against the Clintons and constant race-baiting of voters has been the worst travesty of all. How any party leader who could actually believe a majority of us would vote for the person who perpetrated this fraud is just unbelievable! I guess they figure the whole world is as lacking in principle as they are.

Personally, I feel robbed. We could have had a great president (and we may yet - all is not yet lost). But instead we will probably have to choose between 2 disasters, with no clear choice available. In the meantime, we have dire problems that won't get solved anytime soon, including a financial collapse and global warming that has to be addressed very soon. I get really angry when I consider that.

Cathy said...

Awesome post as always.

Your comments on Madison struck me the most. Yes, Bush has destroyed the remaining check and balances we use to set boundaries. But ultimately Bush is the end of a long line of coarsening that began with Gingrich.

(As an amateur historian, I hate to say that one period is worse than the other. It's always possible to dig something up in the past. After all pre-civil war we had a representative nearly beaten to death in the halls of congress.)

However, I feel safe in saying the Gingrich -- with Reagan leading the way -- really destroyed bipartisanship in this country. Parties could no longer reach across the aisle to solve problems. Now that has dysfunction has permeated the Democratic party.

Obviously the press aids and abets these fissures. Toss in media consolidation so only a few voices get heard and it gets worse. Throw in few (if any) limits on campaign spending and it combusts out of control.

Sigh. Moralizing aside it's the hand we are dealt now and we must play it. As painful as it must be for Hillary she must continue pointing out Obama's lack of legitimacy. Today's speech, with its allusions to W and 2000, started to make a comparison that had been left to her more feverent online supporters. She cannot let up.

lakelobos said...

Yet again, a thoroughly thought out post and one based on solid foundation.

I do agree with the post, although my arguments would have differed in places.

I do, however, have questions. You present legitimacy as an absolute measure. In a democratic political system, the consent of the minority to the majority's power is the measure of legitimacy.

In November, we may find out that the roles of those of us who reject Obama have dwindled substantially. Will we, the hard core, constitute a minority for the sake of legitimacy?

It is also unclear to me whether the legitimacy measure is similar to a blood test where measures tend to have ranges. For instance measure L can be between 3 to 7. Exceeding this interval raises an alarm, e.g. 8. However, if A is 80 all hell breaks lose.

Politically, a minority's consent may vary from event to another and from time to time. Does legitimacy change as well?

The latter matters because in theory Obama may turn out to be the progressive he isn't now. We may swallow our pride and regret our current disbelief and the temporary illegitimacy was temporal and meaningless.

Another question pertains to the blood test analogy. Is Obama's illegitimacy measure already at 80? In other words all hell broke lose and such patients are terminal as is Obama power grab.

I hope the above doesn't sound picky. (Measurement is part of my work.)

Jane Austen said...

This was one of the best posts I've read and spot on in its analysis. Your history/political science prof would be proud.

gendergappers said...

Dean on the way out of DNC Chair?

Report is that BO is already cleaning house of all the old Dem Power Posts to put in his guyz.

Of course, he'll doubtless hand Dean a shriveled plum.

And if the rules committee goes against HRC and BO is coronated, my bet is that he'll pick a woman VP just to try to humiliate HRC - it would be so like him.

Shainzona said...

Sorry that it sounds corny, but, this post literally took my breath away.

I have not been able to articulate why I am so furious every time I hear the word unity that I lash out at any one and everything.

Now I know why.

Simply a wonderful post (and I'm not pandering!) - I will copy and save this to re-read time and time again. I think everyone of us should think about our calls and letters to the SD's - this is such a powerful argument.

I wish you would post this at MyDD EXCEPT I know you won't AND I also don't want to let the Obamacots over there onto you as our little haven of sanity. I even hate to mention your name around the blogs for fear that we will be overrun with insanity.

Thank you for my morning pick-me-up.

And what does everyone think about gendergappe's notice about Dean maybe being on the way out at the DNC. Serves the idiot right...but who will BO put in his place....please don't tell me Brazile!

pm317 said...

Wow! This should be required reading for every voter. I have noticed this with all your blogs -- the title so ever succinctly tells everything. Thank you.

This (FL and MI) was Obama's first test of leadership (in a Democracy) and he failed miserably.

orionATL said...

anglachel -

this is the finest post of yours i have ever read. it is hard for me to convey just how much i -

- appreciate a discussion of the concept of legitimacy, lack of which underlies the constitutionally destructive reign of george bush.


- appreciate your placing the discussion of legitimacy in a historical and philosophical context.

this short, powerful essay can only be described as truly beautiful political writing.

as i see it, the skilled manipulation of our political system's elections by political "engineers" like karl rove and david axelrod has all but obliterated the use of wisdom, history, and tradition in making critical national political decisions.

elsylee said...

great article!!!

You should check out “Bought and Sold” at

debi said...

Another great post!!

Angela said...

This is the reason I've never become a member of either party.

They are supposed to serve us, not us serve them by adding another to their "unity" shenanigans.

If anybody wants my vote they'll have to work for it and prove to me they are worthy of it. My vote is my currency.

gendergappers said...

With this article, Anglachel, another reason why I fear a BO illegitimate presidency surfaced.

I believe, from the way he has conducted his campaign, and from his attitude and that of his supporters, he would carry on Bush's "Patriot" Games - all in the name of protecting us.

Like arresting, holding without bail and without legal rep., torturing etc any American who disagreed with him and his policy.

That would mean women who opposed him. And I think his bloggers are telling us that.

Also, disgusingly, pundits/reporters are saying he was gracious to Hillary in his speech this week - why do they not hear all the paternalistic inuendos that we do?

grayslady said...

Legitimacy might well bring some unity to the party that we don't see now; however, I think that we women are the key to whether or not the party will unify. Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember how, in girls' groups and games, there was always an emphasis on fairness: winning was less important than whether every participant had been treated fairly. Boys, of course, were very different in this regard, because winning automatically bestowed power.

So, naturally, with a woman competing in this campaign, our sensitivities to fair play have been heightened. We see that "the rules" are constantly changing, making it almost impossible for the woman candidate to win "within the rules". We see a woman with greater experience and knowledge being asked by proponents of "unity" to take a back seat to a less qualified male--regardless of skin color--and, immediately and naturally, we question both the fairness and legitimacy of such a proposal.

The Democratic party elders who fail to account for women's perceptions of what constitutes legitimacy do so at their peril.

Florence said...

Another excellent piece!

Double Jointed Fingers said...

This is an important post and it puts into words exactly what is going on and what we are "expected" to do. You've hit the nail squarely on the head and this should be required reading. I'm going to link it and pass it around. We need people to understand what is really happening.

orionATL said...

reading this essay for the fourth time,

it occurred to me,

senator obama, or, more accurately and fairly, senator obama's campaign,

are acting out of fear.

they are afraid they will lose.

they are afraid they will lose the "game".

ruling wisely and well is nowhere a part of their playbook.

this lets me understand in a special way just how unfit senator obama is to be president at this time.

even when he tries, in what are obviously coached efforts, to be conciliatory, his actions fail to display any personal conviction.

by contrast, personal conviction is something senator clinton routinely and effortlessly displays.

BennyHinn said...

Hats off to you, Anglachel. Eloquent, insightful and most importantly, TRUE!

A great tribute video

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Good god this could have all been so easy. Obama could have wrapped everything up after Iowa. Had he immediately come to Hillary's defense regarding the "crying" incident, then voters wouldn't have to choose between voting "for" versus "against" sexism. A vote for either Obama or Hillary would have been a vote against sexism. That's Unity - support your adversary when the principles you (supposedly) believe in say you should.

I think like a lot of current Hillary supporters, I would not have been upset to see Hillary lose in a fair and equitable manner back in the beginning. If Obama would have just played his cards right, he'd have everything wrapped up w/ unified support.

But as Anglachel said, that would have meant putting some of his power at risk. Supporting Hillary against the sexist attacks could have weakened his love-affair with the media. But it just shows the kind of crumby choices the guy makes.

samsgrandma said...

Here to sing your praises, Anglachel!

Julianne B. said...

A friend at the Hillary Clinton Forum (NOT affiliated with the campaign) just gave us a link to your brilliant blog site.

I'm wondering if you'd consider calling John Gibson on Fox (there, I said it!) Radio (btwn 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Mon.-Fri.).

He's been asking Hillary supporters who won't vote for Obama to call in. He's giving them plenty of airtime.The number is 1-888-788-9910.

You'd make an excellent surrogate for all of us! Your reasoning is sound and your writing superb! Thank you!

kateNC said...

I'm worried about Obama's lust for power. George W has blasted so many holes in the balance of powers that Obama can walk into a presidency predicated on authoritarianism.

Hillary has a real regard for the proper allocation of power. She doesn't concern me a bit.

lakelobos said...

I read the post first time at 3am. I reread it several times since then (between listening to scientific mambo jumbo by weak scientists and scientists to be). Something bothered me from the get go, but 3am isn't the sharpest time for me.

I believe that the term legitimacy does not correctly convey the crux of the matter. When Obama becomes the nominee as a result of delegates+superdelegates count, he will be a legitimate candidate no matter how much I resent it. Similarly, the DNC is a legitimate body even if it is highly partial and unfair.

The Republican congress, 1994-2006, was legitimate (it was elected in democratic elections) although undemocratic and oppressive.

How dissenters are treated and the degree to which they assent to the majority's possession of power while retaining the ability to dissent from the majority's policies and objectives shows how much the majority is trusted, respected, and considered within the bounds of acceptable political behavior.

The above quote from the post is a brilliant summary of the problem and the symptoms the post raises. The post implies that Obama fails to meet the minimal requirements of a democratic leader. So does the DNC and the Republican congress.

Alas, I don't have a concise term to replace legitimacy, but it seems to me that it has to do with a measure democracy.

As clumsy as it sounds, I would rather say that Obama, the DNC and the Republican congress do not meet the minimal leadership requirements of a democratic system.

Shainzona said...

chinaberry: Well said

"Obama could have wrapped everything up after Iowa. Had he immediately come to Hillary's defense regarding the "crying" incident, then voters wouldn't have to choose between voting "for" versus "against" sexism. A vote for either Obama or Hillary would have been a vote against sexism. That's Unity."

I think that would have blunted some of the anger and hatred I feel at this time toward him.

lakelobos: I understand that legitimacy may nto quote define the problem...but at this time, it's a hell of a lot better than Unity.

AND, if I hear anothee Obamacan use the term "metric" I will blow, I mean dinner. Seriously.

cellocat said...

Beautifully written. I believe that Obama is a moral coward. Had he spoken out about the horrifically sexist treatment Hillary was getting, I would now be sad that she doesn't seem likely to win, but I wouldn't be struggling with a conviction that I have to decide between my safety (not electing a Repub who'll get to appoint to the Supreme Court) and my principles (not condoning or rewarding moral cowardice with my vote.) For someone who's grown up as a liberal left Democrat, this has churned my gut and made me weep with frustration and anger. Remember McCain saying that Chelsea was so ugly because she was fathered by Janet Reno? Remember his vilification of the dems who dared stand up against the war? He's not a good choice, everyone. We are in a terrible stew, and there are no good choices if Hillary does not win the nomination. But if I vote by my principles, I think I will vote for the Green candidate whose party, after all, lists feminism as one of it central values....

Anglachel said...

No, lakelobos, you are wrong. Legitimacy is exactly what I mean. I am using it in a very precise way, because this is how political theorists distinguish between closely related phenomena in politics.

For example, violence is not the same as force is not the same as strength is not the same as power is not the same as general will is not the same as authority is not the same as official is not the same as legitimacy is not the same as - OK, I think you get the picture. Each of these terms has shades of meaning and is often used interchangeably with other closely related terms (look at how I walk through the chain of related ideas) but they are not equivalent.

There is (legal) authority, which is a formal right to be in possession of a certain office or position and the rights, duties and responsibilities attatched to it. You can also use the term "official", though that does not carry exactly the weight of legal status. We don't talk about the "local legitimates" - we talk about the "local authorities" or the "local officials".

Legitimacy is a condition that requires a grounding in both law (according to rules) and office (within the bounds of an institution), but is not limited to simply these considerations. It is more closely related to authority, which can be both formal or statutory (this person is acting in a way consistent with law and office) or it can take on the more subtle flavor that Hannah Arendt examined in her brilliant work "On Violence" where authority is the condition of being able to render judgment and commands that are obeyed, but is only possessed insofar as it is never deliberately claimed - if you have authority, people submit to it; if you have to insist, you don't have it.

In that very subtle sense, authority and legitimacy are closely related, but they are located in different parts of the polity. Authority is something that a person or body possesses because those who submit to that authority regard it as legitimate. Losing the condition of legitimacy may leave the person or body in office, but it erodes authority. The *office* may maintain its authority, but the office holder may be bereft of it. In current times, we tend to think about the (formal, legal) authority of the office in comparison to the weakness of the officeholder.

Legitimacy, too, may have formal overtones, but it is a quality possessed by the mass and extended to the office holder or government. A dictatorship may be in power legally, but that is not confused with it having legitimacy. People will resist under conditions of illegitimacy, such as refusing to participate, voting against a party, holding protests, writing letters to the editor, and so forth. When the number of of people who do not regard the offial(s) as legitimate reaches a critical mass, then you have a "crisis of legitimacy". Someone who holds an office through utterly transparent and legal means, perhaps elected with a validated majority win, can still lose her legitimacy as an office holder though bad performance, yet remain in possession of the office until the next election.

Modern liberal democracy is the *ONLY* political system founded upon the concept of legitimacy. Other forms of government may be regarded as legitimate, but their foundations are in blood inheritance, military strength, rule of the party, etc. Ancient democracy was merely the rule of the "demos", the largest group. ("And what if there are two mobs?" "Shout with the larger.") The trick of the modern liberal democratic system is to make respectful treatment of the minority political stance the foundation of the right to rule. This also addresses Rousseau's concerns about the "General Will", which is inherently despotic. Levels of legitimacy may fluxuate over the course of an administration, and there will always be entrenched detractors who will not acknowledge the majority's right to set the goals and policies for the polity, but there will always be a tipping point at which the official's rule is rejected. That rejection is not always revolution - it is far more often expressed in silent disengagement.

So, yes, the correct term in legitimacy, it can be applied in any situation where one person, body or organization lays claim to the right to make decisions on behalf of and directly affecting a subordinate group, and its absence indicates that the official no longer possesses authority over the subordinate group.


marirebel said...

Anglachel, thanks for this post which has helped me begin to articulate more fully my own discomfort with the “unity” pony. I agree that notions of “unity” may be used to quell dissent, and flatten difference. Within the context of our current form of government, which is a plutocracy, not a democracy, the unity pony only serves to consolidate the power of the elite few. Our government is controlled by an elite, and it is the interest of these elites and their corporate allies that are largely taken up by government. Thus, we have wars, pollution, deregulation, tax breaks for the wealthy, a burgeoning military-prison-industrial complex, among other phenomena that contribute to the growing wealth of the elite few. We also have a politics of fear (fear of the other, fear of terror, etc.) known as “nationalism” which lends itself to the dismantling of habeas corpus, torture, threat of prosecution and imprisonment, and more, in order to silence dissent, and consolidate the masses behind the interests of the elite—even though the interests of the elite often are at odds with the interests of the working masses. For all the babble about “too much partisanship,” both parties come together quite well to promote elite interests. For me, Obama is simply a continuation of the move to consolidate power in the top 1 percent of the population, and his “unity” pony is nothing more than a type of nationalism meant to silence dissent. A different model of power would bring together coalitions around well articulated positions that would then disburse and reassemble in different configurations around other positions. Under this alternative vision of shared power there would not be a monolithic “unity” shoring up the dominant hegemonic position. Rather, different voices would be heard at different times around different issues within an evolving understanding of the common good.

lakelobos said...

Thanks a million on your extra effort to explain your view in response to my comment. I possess zero theoretical knowledge in political science and my general reading has deteriorated in quality and quantity with the years. I read Arendt about 40 years ago and never came back.

Accepting that legitimacy is used the way you describe helps me better understand where you are coming from. Furthermore, you are obviously better qualified, in the terms of reading and time spent thinking, than I am. Therefore, extending this exchange is nonconstructive.

We do not disagree on the axiomatic demands from a democracy. The rights of minorities to their opinions, being respected and the ability to dissent and fight for their interests is a concept I have absolute conviction of. It's the discomfort I feel using legitimacy as a subjective measure.


gendergappers said...

Speaking of unity --

Michelle Bernard, one of MSNBC's new "political analysts," said recently:

"There is no way the super-delegates can take this away from Barack Obama. There will be race riots in the street."

On the other hand, Michelle, "Hell has no fury like a whole bunch of women scorned."

lakelobos said...

Wanted to add an orthogonal thought to my reply to your reply.

I am a big believer in the Talmudic tradition where opposing sides exchange views and perspectives to gain depth and better understanding of the issue involved.

The depth of your posts will, hopefully, continue to intrigue me and will, therefore, result in comments with shades, colors and sometime opposing perspective. We know that such a process is the source of knowledge.

Personally, there is nothing more exhilarating than s bright student who catches me making a mistake in class. Sadly, it doesn't happen frequently. (And i am at an age when one starts to lose a step or two.)

Looking forward for more agreement and disagreement. I can blame it on you, after all if you post the run of the mill material, I wouldn't care one way or another.

Anglachel said...


Fair enough. You ask interesting and challenging questions.


orionATL said...

anglachel -

i'm not quite sure what i'm talking about,

but it seems this discussion involves something that could be called "static" legitimacy.

it seems to me that one could also speak of "dynamic" legitimacy, that is, legitimacy over time, since the perception of a leader as "legitimate" can shift according to his/her actions.

in the context of time,

tradition, culture, and political history are brought into play by those individuals or subgroups making repeated "decisions" about legitimacy.

this may be connected with the movement of voters from one party to another,

and with preference for the jacksonian or the stevensonian that you have discussed.

just a thought.

CMike said...


Do you have a link? I'd like to read the wording of the document signed by Hillary Clinton that says she agrees "not to count the votes in FL/MI."

You do have a link, don't you? I mean you must have read a copy of the document yourself before you came here and made this categorical claim.

Gee, I wonder why we haven't heard more about this document before.

CognitiveDissonance said...

Matt, you have it wrong, as do so many Obama supporters who haven't checked what really happened.

What Clinton said Jan. 15th about FL/MI:

"While Sen. Clinton will honor her commitment not to campaign in Florida in violation of the pledge, she also intends to honor her pledge to hear the voices of all Americans," the campaign says. "The people of Michigan and Florida have just as much of a right to have their voices heard as anyone else. It is disappointing to hear a major Democratic presidential candidate tell the voters of any state that their voices aren't important ... Sen. Clinton intends to be president for all fifty states. And while she will honor the pledge she signed and not campaign in either state, she intends to continue to give every American a voice during this election and when she gets to the White House."

Read the full story here.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Thank you CMike & CognitiveD for pointing out Matt's inaccurate rendition of history.

I'd also like to point out that Hillary's punishment for Florida was absolutely appropriate. Basically, she said: "Look Florida, you violated DNC rules. For that, you lose a privilege. Namely, you lose the privilege of having the candidates come to your backyard and woo you for your votes. Your punishment is that you don't get to go on a date with us before you cast your vote."

This is a mature, adult punishment. You don't take away a person's FUNDAMENTAL right (i.e. voting) for misbehaving. Good god, why can't the DNC learn to be an adult like Hillary!

gendergappers said...

Matt -

I looked at your ref's but found nothing where she SAID votes would not be counted.

She did agree not to campaign in either state and she didn't, BUT OBAMA DID BY FLOODING THE MEDIA MARKET WITH HIS ADS IN STATES AROUND FL.

Shainzona said...

debheya: My first reaction to your post was "what is she talking about"?

I then tried your link to find out what you think the MSM and HRC suporters have said that are racist...and they lead nowhere.

Perhaps that's why no one has responded.

My next thought was don't feed the trolls...that may be another reason.

minty said...

The entire Obama campaign has been for short-term gain and long term loss. He refuses to be challenged. When he does poorly and does not try again. He feels he can make "amends" at a later date. That might work in Chicago, but it does not work with the people in the party. He can no longer go back and "reach out" to Appalachia, women, white blue collar workers, Michigan, Florida, rural residents Latinos and who else by now.
There is simply not enough time.He has squandered any good will that may be afforded to him.
It is unfortunate that his supporters do not see the slash and burn of his campaign rest solely on him.

gendergappers said...

All week the media has killed off Senator Kennedy - in their eyes his illness makes him as good as dead.

Then the inconsiderate guy goes out sailing.

And it has considered Hillary as good as dead by filling their news with BO and ignoring anything she said or did.

That was doubtless because they couldn't find anything to slash her with.

Then an interview comes up where she was metioning that there were other campaigns that went into June. One she mentioned was Bobby Kennedy and used the A word.

Suddenly she was resurected - she lives!!!

So the media, putting words into her mouth that she never said, prepare their onslaught for the Memorial weekend of Hillary bashing.

Damn the crepe hangers.

Shainzona said...

debhaeya: although you probably won't see this (since you've left our presence), here's what I have to say about all of those racist voters you reference.

From "The Confluence" the other day:

"...One of the major differences between Obama and Clinton is that when Clinton loses she vows to work harder to reach the voters and win them over. When Obama loses, he blames the voters for not voting for him. And worst of all, he uses false charges of racism to do so. While the lying media elite fawn over his speech on race, Obama is doing untold damage to the African American community by leveling false accusations of racism. This in turn blurs the line between race-baiting and very real racism which is still a serious problem in this country. By repeatedly crying wolf on the race issue, Obama lessens the impact of the charge of racism when it really occurs. Despite what the pundits and the Obama campaign say, this exit poll data is of no use when trying to determine the racial attitude of voters. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some numbers.

Before we start, all numbers I use in this post come from exit polls at The link to their “Election Center” page is here, and you can navigate from state to state, then click on the exit polls, to see where I am getting the numbers (I’m too lazy to link to each individual state).


In Wisconsin, 13% of voters said that race was a factor, yet this is the state that they point to to say that Obama can win white voters. Is that 7% difference between KY and WI even that statistically significant? Furthermore, of those 13%, the majority of them voted for Obama. So does that mean that they are racist but decided to vote for the black candidate anyway? Actually, I think what it shows us is that how certain voters answer stupid exit poll questions is meaningless when compared to how they voted.


In Georgia 18% of voters said that gender was an issue, and those voters backed Obama by 12 points. Does that mean that Georgians are a bunch of sexists who would never vote for a woman? I don’t remember the media making a big deal about that at the time. They certainly didn’t call on Obama to “reject” those sexist voters. Furthermore, 21% (even higher than KY) said that race was a factor in their vote. Of those voters, seventy-two percent voted for Obama. But then again, most of them were probably African American voters. I guess that means that in Georgia, it is African American voters who are racist, right? Not so fast. As gratefulcub told me yesterday, they are allowed to vote based on race because they are voting for the person of the same race, not against a person of a different race. I know, that is about the most twisted reasoning you can think of, but that’s how the Obamabot mind works. I pointed out that by using his specious logic, one could also argue that instead of voting for Obama because of his race, maybe African Americans are just terribly sexist as a group and voting against Clinton because she is a woman. As anyone with half a brain can see, both arguments are equally preposterous.


So far we’ve been looking at southern states where throwing around accusations of racism is nothing new. Now let’s go north to see how they fared. In Connecticut, which Obama won, 15% of voters said that race was a factor in their voting decision. Of those voters, the overwhelming majority voted for Obama. Since only 9% of the voters in CT were black, then some of those voters who considered race must have been both white, and voted for Obama. Using the media’s stupid reasoning, how can we explain this? You could say that it is “white guilt” that led them to vote the way they did. But we all know, like the accusations of racism in KY, this is not only wrong, it manipulates racial tension in this country for political ends. That is unacceptable. Taking this into account, the media and Obama sweeties seem to be more politically akin to David Duke than MLK Jr when it comes to race.


Ahh Florida! We all know that Obama doesn’t think you matter. That “the rulz” are more important than the real votes of over 1 million people. I am confident, however, that Hillary will fight to have your voice heard, so let’s take a look at how Floridians answered the exit polls about race. The questions asked in FL further demonstrate how ludicrous these polls are to begin with. For example, when asked if the US is ready to elect a black President, 71% said yes. Of those voters, Clinton won the majority. Additionally, when asked if the US is ready to elect a woman President, 17% said no, and the majority of them voted for Obama. Using their very same logic it is starting to look like Obama supporters are a bunch of sexist cavemen. Hillary has been ridiculed by the Obama campaign and the media for daring to point out their own sexism. But did Hillary level accusations of sexism against the voters of Florida, or any voters for that matter? Of course not. That ought to give a lot of the sweeties pause to think about exactly what it is they’re doing. And if they have any conscience at all they will be ashamed of themselves.

We Conflucians do not base our objection to Obama on his race. Lodging such accusations against us is intolerable and shameful behavior. Personally, I think it is a projection of the angst that many white Obama supporters feel about their own racist attitudes. I base this on their propensity to stereotype and pigeonhole different groups of people. The lesson to be learned form all of this is that in the end, when you make assumptions about people’s actions based on their race, that’s racism."

Joseph said...


Markos Moulitsas has published a direct death threat against Hillary Clinton. The comments from reader “Jcarter” are still there:

“...a Drive-By Won't Be Out of the Question. What goes around, comes around. The stupid fucking bitch !!”

From the same author:

“Talk About WHITE TRASH that bitch better keep looking over her shoulder.”

I’ve contacted my local Secret Service field office. They take remarks like this seriously. I’ll update my readers when I get feedback. I encourage others to contact the Secret Service. It’s easy. Go to this page and pick the field office near you:

Moulitsas has crossed a very serious line in publishing this crap.

Anglachel said...

EVERYONE - *NO* replies to Joseph's post. Period.

Joseph, I will leave it up, but no more blog whoring here.

The Secret Service knows very well when threats have been made, and will take action accordingly. Do *NOT* give these people any more publicity.


Anglachel said...

Posts from Matt and debhaeya have been permanently deleted and all subsequent posts from them will be deleted. They are simply regurgitating Obama talking points, Matt about Michigan votes and debhaeya about alleged racism from the Cinton campaign. Matt was also whoring his own blog.

I work full time and do not read blogs when at work, so generally do not see comments until the evening. If something seems trollish, ignore it. I'll remove it when I get home.


bondibox said...

People who once thought they would gladly vote for him, like me, are now implacably opposed to him.
Just curious ... when did you ever think you'd gladly vote for Obama? I read back over 4 months on this blog and didn't see any signs that you were ever impartial.

CognitiveDissonance said...

bondibox, I can't speak for anglachel. But please recall that this campaign has been going on for over 16 months. Many of us have been tuned in for much longer than 4 months.

I decided that I could not vote for Obama after the Donnie McClurkin incident and his subsequent handling of it. That happened well before the Iowa caucus. And it was also one of a long list of episodes and debates that convinced me he didn't know what he was doing, that he had no sensitivity to the different coalitions in the democratic electorate, and that his republican dogwhistles were disturbing. Since then, we have his repugnant race-baiting, his questionable associates, and the blatant gaming of caucuses.

My point, though, is that what is wrong with Obama was already evident last year, before there was ever a primary. The fact that more people didn't know is a reflection of the state of our MSM and most of the supposed A-List blogs.