Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Gathering Storm

My post yesterday called out the degree of violence, particularly misogynistic violence, present in the current Democratic contest. However, the characterization of Democrats who would not support the Democratic nominee in the general as "infantile" has stuck with me. I'm dropping the snark for a post and really looking at what blind spots are demonstrated through this stance. My point is not to criticize a particular blogger (richly though he may deserve it), but to get into the center of some profound self-deceptions going on with people all over the Left over the nature of political legitimacy.

Declaring people unwilling to support the nominee "infantile" is a very poor way of looking at the emerging dynamic of the race, though it would have been an appropriate chastisement prior to any of the caucuses or primaries. At that time, both Edwards and Obama publically refused to commit to supporting Hillary (which equates to telling their supporters not to vote for her) should she be the nominee. That was the point at which a slap should have been administered and not to HRC. I do not remember the Blogger Boyz complaining about this language when it was assumed the person being penalized by such threats was Hillary.

The fundamental problem with categorically labeling Hillary voters as infantile is that it takes as true the elite pundit meme that she and her supporters are illegitimate participants in the process, the equivalent of Ralph Nader and his adherents. This initial error is further compounded by assuming that those who will refuse to vote for Obama are simply a small group of delusional HRC supporters, though the vehemence with which the prospect of voter defections is being met belies that public stance. There are two increasingly overlapping groups of voters who are likely to defect from the Democratic column in November, and they illustrate two ways in which Obama has lost political legitimacy.

Taking up the first issue, the presumption of the punditocracy that we all know that a Hillary victory cannot be for real, has ironically enough become the foundation of Obama’s lack of legitimacy, but has expanded to include the Democratic Party itself. This crisis brewed for some time, but took form when HRC was not permitted a level playing field in the campaign. The refusal to grant her equal footing may have begun with the MSM, which has always hated her, but they were soon joined by progressive blogs and the other campaigns, producing a phalanx of elite opinion trying to delegitimize her at every step. The signature moment was the Drexel debate where Obama and Edwards took up Russert’s invitation to batter her in front of the cameras and then played the victims afterwards by claiming that Hillary was playing a “gender card”.

To those several million people who support Hillary or who at least regarded her favorably, this pointed attack upon her as a person as well as a candidate, coupled with the relatively gentle treatment granted the other candidates, had the effect of solidifying a great deal of our support. To declare her unworthy of participating, a monster who would “do anything to win,” was seen for what it was, straightforward demonization of a perfectly acceptable candidate, one with a deep well of support and an enviable record of public service. We simply don’t accept the elite framing of our candidate.

When A-list bloggers begin to lecture HRC supporters about having to grow up and not be infantile, they just dig themselves into a deeper hole, because they trivialize and mock our considered support for her. The arguments they offer up about her – duplicitous, hateful, cold, power-mad, disliked, criminal – are straight out of the Rightwing sewer, do little save undermine the validity of their own stances.

Then, there was the comment from Obama that he knew all the Hillary supporters would vote for him, but he didn’t think she could get his. What incredible offensiveness, to claim that he could take my vote for granted. It dismissed the fact that, were he to become the nominee, he would then have to ask for the support of those who had not selected him the first time around, and thus put in a position of providing reasons to vote for him to the people he casually dismissed.

Thus, among HRC supporters, the effect of this particular campaign has been to erode the legitimacy not of our candidate but of Obama. As polling shows, his presumption that he automatically inherited her supporters has been proved untrue, in great part because he assumed that no one could really support that “monster”.

The second issue, which is interwoven with the first and is, in my opinion, a far greater problem for the party as such, has to do with the treatment of rank and file Democrats who vote for Hillary. As shown in exit polls, these voters are the bulk of the Democrats who voted (as opposed to all who participate), people for whom being a Democrat is a part of their personal as well as political identity. Falling support for Obama among this group is a more recent phenomenon, one that he might have been reversing in mid-February but which is trending down with every poll. There is some anger here over the treatment of Hillary, but even more it is rejection of Obama himself as a candidate due to his own actions and statements. At a slightly deeper level, it is an upsurge of the latent resentment and distrust between the so-called “tracks” in the party – beer and wine – the shorthand way of identifying the significant social and economic and increasingly gender stratification of the Democratic Party.

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post (can’t remember which one), the sour note that Obama has struck with this constituency is the sore spot of anti-Americanism, the constant attack point of Republicans on the Democrats, and the way in which Obama simply is not able to credibly counter that threat. It is also the case after the Wright disaster that these Democrats don’t believe that Obama is patriotic enough. It wasn’t Wright’s racism but his cursing of the nation that has gone down sideways. On top of this is the perception that he does not care much for “the little guy” (the NAFTA waffling, the lack of serious legislative achievements), and the foundation for his own legitimacy becomes narrow and unstable.

There is a deep irony here. In Obama’s set piece speeches he excels at tapping into the leftwing version of the patriotic narrative, about equality, justice and opportunity. This was the power of his keynote speech in 2004. But the promise of that speech has not been present in the candidate. The spousal unit sums it up in a single sentence – he ran too soon. He did not give himself the time to distance himself from the Chicago mess (political, financial, religious) and put some substantive national level public service under his belt. In some ways, the Chicago power base has insulated Obama from the conundrums of running a Democratic campaign in a centrist nation.

This is a lesson both Bill and Hillary Clinton have learned. Big Dog got his ass handed to him his first reelection bid in Arkansas because he came across as too elite and alien to the population, too eager to push his agenda and not inclined to listen to what people told him. In a word, arrogance. You don’t run as a member of the liberal elite in middle America. You cannot be perceived as having contempt for the people whose votes you need. Hillary faced this in upstate New York, plus even more baggage – carpetbagger, outsider, Billary monster, favorite punching bag of the right – and some real Republican opponents. She did it the hard way, by demonstrating her work for the voters of the state, won the first election, then busted her chops for her constituents, and had a blow-out reelection. She certainly has legitimacy in New York.

Back to the race. The rank and file Democrats who have favorable attitudes towards the Clintons and also for McCain look at Obama and see someone running a negative campaign and who appears to disdain the nation. The mix of pocketbook issues with a straightforward and direct love of country is not favoring him with these voters. The more they hear, the less they are inclined to support.

Then we get into the recent events of the campaign. Florida and Michigan are the contests where actual legitimacy for the candidates and thus the eventual nominee will be founded. A 48 state strategy is not viable if those two are not part of the 48. In these places, Hillary voters are being written off, dismissed as illegitimate voices in the process. The insistence on only one aspect of the rules, the penalty, while ignoring the full set of rules that could be used to manage the situation is eroding Obama’s claims to legitimacy because people don’t care about arcane party rules. They want their votes to count. The acts by Obama to prevent a revote have done nothing to increase his standing with ordinary voters, let alone strong Clinton partisans. This does not make him attractive to people who will have to switch their allegiance should Hillary not be the nominee. Conversely, her insistence on having votes counted will earn her greater legitimacy as well as benefit her with extra delegates.

In Ohio and Texas, the lack of respect for the opposition combined with a lack of legislative track record has cost Obama the victories he needed to shore up his legitimacy as a credible general election candidate and to counterbalance the problems raised by not counting Florida and Michigan. The sneer about Ohio voters who failed to vote for him as “Archie Bunkers” was a slur that every solid Democrat understands. He was calling those voters stupid racist bigots. Then we got the Wright controversy, which has simply added more fuel to the perception of Obama as an elitist liberal who does not honor his country or respect his countrymen.

Obama has rudely lost the good regard of Democrats like me. The hysteria and hate of the elite punditocracy who have declared me and my candidate to be illegitimate in an attempt to bully her supporters, while giving him a free ride, cannot be rewarded. The Democratic Party is choosing to declare Hillary voters to be expendable (can’t count your vote if it would change the outcome of the race) and of lesser worth than Obama supporters. And all of this is being viewed with increasing disgust by a growing number of Democratic voters.

The candidate with the legitimacy problem in this campaign is Obama, not Hillary.


bluesky said...

Anglachel you are a brilliant writer. I could not sum up how I feel inside about this Primary any better. I really appreciate your articulate vision. I look forward to reading every entry. I only wish Pelosi and Dean would read your posts as well, so they can get their heads out of their ass, and finally see how they are driving our party over a cliff.

Bottom line is Hillary is in it to the convention. She was brilliant tonight on Fox. You can see the interview at No Quarter. Check it out, it certainly got me fired up.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post. This really sums up how I feel. There is no way in hell I will consider an Obama win legitimate without FL and MI being seated. No way. And you are right - this devalues all our votes, makes them not matter. I won't vote for Obama under any circumstances if this is how it goes down. The whole thing will be a farce to me. This election will have an asterisk after it.

I also loved Greta's interview of Hillary tonight. I'm so glad to hear her making a big issue of FL and MI. The dem party is in deep doo-doo if they don't get this right.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Well, I'm up late finishing a project and saw this new post and had to comment. Anglachel - you nailed it perfectly.

For myself, my disgust comes from the fact that I've got one foot in each of the two categories you describe. But you wouldn't ever guess it if you knew a bit about me: (1) Male @ approx. 40 years, (2) married w/ children, (3) traditional wife who stays home w/ the kids (thank you sweety!!), (4) make > $140K per year, (5) graduate level education, (6) Democratic Party Lifer (at least until now). From this bracketing data, I should be squarely in the Obama camp. But I'm not. Here's my story:

My mother is/was a radical feminist. She had/has a strong perspective and a lot sunk in. Although I am my own man and I disagree with her on a lot of stuff, here is one core principle that you do not cross with me or else IT'S ON: you don't attack ladies with gender based weaponry. Call a lady an asshole - fine. Call her a total jerk asshole - fine. But start flinging around the B-word, the W-word, the C-word and IT's ON. Start making innuendo based on gender and IT's ON.

I'm a guy - I know how this shit works. First you make little comments like "the claws are coming out" or "she's just hosted tea parties". Then, as a leader, you sit back and watch this seed grow. Your companions escalate the anti-female discourse and you sit back and watch that seed grow. I know b/c (I'm ashamed to say), I've done this shit. It's so easy it's second nature for guys.

Some lady calling you out in that graduate seminar? Well, respond first by saying "well, if we reflect rationally on the matter ...". That's the first subtle BS manuever. Then, after class, wink at your male buddies and say dismissively: "well, it was probably just one of *those* days for her." That's all you need. That seed will grow and before you know it, in a couple weeks, nobody's taking the lady seriously in class. I know because I've done this shit, and it's despicable. If Obama would learn some fucking empathy (as I finally did) he would know that.

So yeah - Hillary is my gal in this fight. You don't like her Obama? That's cool. Call her an asshole. That's fine. But I know what's going on w/ all this subtle gender crap, all these little seeds you plant to get us guys to have ourselves a little verbal gang-rape orgy at HRC's expense. So guess what, IT'S ON FUCKER! Can't wait to vote against you in November.

So, Anglachel - that's how my left foot got firmly planted in the first category you described. Let me tell you about my right foot.

I was poor as a very small kid. Dirt poor - as in mom had to go without so I could eat at times. Respect for the poor, and for people who have the odds stacked against them; respect for the people who actually *NEED* the Democratic party, who actually DRINK FROM THE TROUGH; respect for the people whose bellies actually go hungry w/o the Democratic party; respect for parents who have to go w/o basic necessities just so that their kids can have a scrap of dignity; respect for these hardcore Democratic party lifers for whom the Democratic party has deeply personal resonance rather than a passing "this is so rad" trust-fund baby college fad centered on a person rather than the party - THIS RESPECT IS WHAT'S BRED INTO ME.

So, Obama, when you start talking about how oh so fab Reagan was, and how oh so un-fab Clinton was; when you start talking about me and my traditional lunch-pale concerns as the past, and some rad-cool Unity-Pony future as what we need to change into; well then - i give a big FU to you and your wine-and-cheese crowd. I'll take my beer and brats and Dunkin' Donuts, sit at the fucking kids table, and vote against your ass in November - asshole.

And in case anyone wonders where the name comes from, it's from the Chinaberry tree. It's a friggin awesomely beautiful tree that grows in a lot of parts of the south. It also grows like a weed, and being un-rare, makes it undesirable amongst high-falutin' gardeners (i.e. the wine-and-cheese gardeners). Well, I claim that which the wine-and-cheese folk dismiss. It's a beautiful tree that should not be scorned.

And, oh yeah - I like turtles. And on top of all that, in case it wasn't crystal fucking clear:


Pilar said...

Thank you for your insightful posts. I 've been reading them for a few days now. I have a comment about Nancy Pelosi when she was giving her opinion about why she didn't think that the "dream ticket" was possible. She started her sentence by saying: "I don't think the Clinton's administration (sic) would be interested in a dream ticket after blah, blah, blah..." Instead of referring to the "Clinton's campaign", or simply Senator Clinton, she had a very interesting slip. To me it means that she dislikes Hillary and secretely 'd like Obama to win the nomination, although she recently said, not convincingly, that she 'll remain neutral. At least H. Reid sounded more convincing about not wanting to take sides.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Just to clarify, by posting about myself I didn't mean to imply that there's anything at all important about me. There's not - and that's the point.

I consider myself a run-of-the-mill Democratic Party Lifer with old-school lunch-pale and women's issues concerns. I was just hoping to explain, in heart-felt angry words, how some of us have been pushed over the edge by Obama.

Anglachel gives a beautiful analysis, and I was just hoping to share how deep and personal my own anger is. The A-List Blogger Boyz, calling me infantile, don't seem to understand the fire they're playing with. (Not that there is any chance of reconciliation at this point; there's not; that bridge is burned till 2012).

The fact that I am so unremarkable (as Democratic Party Lifers go) should scare the piss out of Dean, Pelosi, Obama, et al.

gendergappers said...

There is a hunger among many voters to hear and read well thought out analysis of the individuals running on the Dem ticket.

The problem is, how to get this kind of information out there above the yelling, threatening fits of the Obamajuvies who own the Internet and are loved by the MSM.

BTW, isn't there anyone on our side that can make short, punchy films and comments for U-Tube?

Anne said...

It's stunning to see one's feelings so wonderful articulated! Thank you Anglachel! I haven't seen finer writing on this campaign! Excellent!

and Chinaberry turtle!
I liked your anger!

Call her a total jerk asshole - fine. But start flinging around the B-word, the W-word, the C-word and IT's ON.

Thank you!That's how it feels when those labels come up!

Obama and the DNC have given Hillary a huge club , called Fla and Mi,
with which to beat them with over the head . As Dems, we CANNOT be the party that doesn't count votes!
WTF? And WHY would we hand these states over to the GOP?

If this continues I have to wonder if Howard and Nancy actually want to win in the fall. Howard ! What happened to the 50 state thing you were talking about ?

Anonymous said...

Won't vote for Obama because he does'nt care one whit about the party. He is a self seeker who only uses the party as a vehicle of personal ambition.
He is no uniter and the working class sees right through him. The party of FDR is ingrave jeapordy and trashing the Clintons is a mistake. Dean, are incompetent and Obama using Clinton ex-lawyer ( Craig has an obvious bar assoc. ethical violation here ), Right wing McCarthy baiting McPeak, and unscrupulous Judas's Kerry gutting Edwards, Richardson, Dissing Ferraro whilst Kerry says worse, etc... Democrtic politics has always been a little messy, part of the fun, but this is a serious incursion to the rapidly shrinking tent. We need a fighter in the tradition of FDR, and that is plainly Clinton a party activist and respected senior party leader. Kennedy, Dean, Brazille, Pelosi etc... just don't get it. If we as a party are going to survive we have to get past pandering to the special issues of the day and the yammering factions that have derailed every candidate since Gore, and played right into GOP hands. By the way, i for one have been skeptical about Obam's granny. Sounds a little implausible and both grandparents and daughter scream liberal by the actions of their lives. Sounds a little inflated perhaps to gain street cred with his church base? In any event throwing Granny under the bus was a typical and ugly action by this candidate. But then again I'm just a typical ignorant working class liberal, just connecting the dots and not buying the sell.

Shainzona said...

So much upon which to comment!! But let me try two:

1. "The spousal unit sums it up in a single sentence – he ran too soon....In some ways, the Chicago power base has insulated Obama from the conundrums of running a Democratic campaign in a centrist nation."

My own spousal unit and I were talking about this last night. And we concluded that his and Michelle's ego (she's involved!) got the best of him. I understand that in 2004 he had a plan put together for a three step process - including another Senate run, the governor of Illinois and then POTUS. Something made him decide it was his time at the top of the heap NOW.

We have never seen him as qualified for this job. A good talker. With the potential to be POTUS someday...but not in 2008. That was our view of him from the start. And this campaign has only proven that point to us. He is being manipulated by people who want the power and he does not see that he is ruining himself in the process. That's blind ego!

2. His stupidity about Michigan and Florida is so obvious and the fact that he and his campaign seem to be blind to it is amazing. He should have immediately supported re-votes and taken his chances. THAT would have been the position of the leading candidate - instead he comes across fearful of the results....and now he should be.

But who has he been fearful of? Democratic hard core voters.

But we also add that by sticking a sharp stick in the eyes of Michigan and Florida Democrats, he is flaunting two other parts of this process that many life-long Dems are realizing are not "democratic". Specifically, Obama is "winning" on the strength of Dems for a Day and non- democratic (small d) party caucuses. So he will trample on millions of Dem votes while he kisses the ass of a small group of "others" who, we think, are only out to determine who the Dem candidate is, not because they are truly Democrats at heart.

Shainzona said...

chinaberry turtle...glad to learn about you. And very impressed, too, as Anglachel noted that yesterday's journal entry was prompted by a comment you left about domestic violence. You're obviously a very sensitive guy...and the world needs more ike you.

Congratulations to your mother, too!

hg said...

The spousal unit sums it up in a single sentence – he ran too soon. He did not give himself the time to distance himself from the Chicago mess (political, financial, religious) and put some substantive national level public service under his belt. In some ways, the Chicago power base has insulated Obama from the conundrums of running a Democratic campaign in a centrist nation.

Amen, amen, amen. You've beautifully articulated my ambivalence and frustration with Obama's candidacy. Obama has indeed been sheltered by all of the establishment figures that have rushed to prop him up (the situation is starting to sound familiar, isn't it?), and I strongly fear that either his candidacy will sink like a stone in the GE or his presidency will be the farthest thing from what his supporters envision.

I'm a Hillary supporter who will vote for the Democratic nominee no matter what because I think "100 Year War" McCain will push the U.S. over the cliff for good. But I fear Obama is not ready for the catastrophic mess that Bush is leaving on his desk. Hell, does he even *realize* that the next 8 years can't be about unity? It will be one long fight--fighting to get countries to respect us again, fighting to expunge all of the Bush hacks embedded in the government, fighting against the corporate powers that control legislation to a frightening degree, and just fighting to keep the Democratic Party together, especially if his nomination is less than legit.

Shainzona said...

hg...your comment, "But I fear Obama is not ready for the catastrophic mess that Bush is leaving on his desk." is so true. All I know is that we need a brilliant (as in intelligent) wonk sitting behind the desk for the next 8 years because it will take that long (and more) to undo what Bush has done.

Interesting, since Obama has acknowledged that his own desk is always messy.

show me said...

The irony for me is the fact that the right wingnut wing of the Republican party finally had them on the ropes and now the left wingnut wing is doing the same thing to us.As a life long Dem I see this as a fight for the soul of the party. If party leaders continue to put their thumb on the scale for what I consider to be an unproven, unknowable, candidate they show that they are willing to bring the party down because of their collective personal ambitions. They see the same blank slate that we see, only they each have an agenda of personal power that they think they can write on that slate. They are willing to take the chance that the party will break up to further themselves. They continue to show such comtempt and disrespect for the rank and file at their own peril, what exactly are they leading if a third to a half of the party leaves. As another smart commenter said " let them eat arugula" is not a good motto for Democrats.A thought just occurred to me....wasn't it the left wingnuts who during the 60's invited black panthers to their dinner parties,treated returning Viet Nam vets with disrespect and sent people like Jane Fonda over to embarrass this country while they glorified sex,drugs and rock and roll to the point that a huge backlash developed that have kept Dems in the woods for the last 30 years? ( with the exception of the only two term Democrat since FDR, Bill Clinton.

gendergappers said...

Better the devil you know. Those who have said if HRC isn't nominated they will have to vote for BO may be making a huge mistake. At least we know the devil McCain but IMHO, BO and what we know of him already is much more frightening.

Millie said...

Hi Anglachel,
Thank you for this latest post. It eloquently articulates my feelings about this elections. I was angry when the MSM declared her campaign dead after Iowa, when it gleefully predicted her downfall on Super Tuesday, when it called Mar.4 her "last stand." I was angry when Obama supporters blithely assumed we should stick with the party and vote for Obama should he become the nominee, conveniently dismissing our feelings about the way he ran his campaign.

How dare the Democratic party try to push Hillary out of this race when millions have not voted. What good would it be to only vote for one candidate? I'm sure Obama could win easily then. How dare they use "the math" to try to push Hillary and her suppporters out of the race? We are not stupid. We know that there are millions more of us who want Hillary to win. We know the math is meaningless when Obama has no chance of reaching the magic number of delegates. Sure, if Hillary drops out, Obama would have a chance, but so would my neighbor's dog.

I am a young voter who has always voted Democrat. Initially I thought I would have no problem voting for Obama if he became the nominee, but now there is 0 chance that I would push that lever for his name. His arrogant, dirty, negative campaign, combined with his easy acceptance of the MSM's character assassination of Hillary, and the fluff that is his accomplishments, has been disappointing and completely disgusted me. I cannot vote for a president that I can't trust.

Peregrine said...

Bless you for writing this.

In response to the comments of others:
“I listen to the Rev's sermans and they ARE inflamatory, but since they are out of context,”
My question is, Since when does hate need a context?

Since January, I have spent 3-4 hours everyday reading everything I can about Obama, Clinton and this primary season. Because I didn’t want my information to come just from news sources or partisan politics, I’ve spent many hours in the library reading Illinois and US senate reports about Obama.

I’ve tried to share what I’ve found, in conversation and on my blog, because it’s important.
The bottom line for me is that Obama will put our country in danger. The people supporting him seem to be either invested in identity politics; or economically privileged, cynical, bitter and defiantly uninformed; or naïve and gullible.

In short, if Obama becomes the nominee—and it’s very likely though thousands like me support Hillary everyday by sending money, writing emails to the Super Delegates, etc, I will either write in her name in November or vote for McCain. I will do everything I can to keep Obama out of office. But it won’t be up to me alone—he can NEVER win the GE. Average Americans trust their gut reactions to his spending 20 years sitting in the pews with that minister; his trumped up but empty rhetoric; the contrast between his message of hope and his actions of desperation; and the messages delivered by his mean-spirited supporters.

Common Sense Gram said...

I love your writing! You really have a knack for bringing out the most important points.
Chinaberry Turtle- your comments also cut right to the heart of the matter.
Pelosi, Dean, Kennedy etc all need to start paying attention. There is an undercurrent in the party that is going to surprise them.
You think Kennedy would know about how dangerous the undertow can be.
maybe that is a post in itself!

madamab said...

Anglachel, you really nailed it! Here is my favorite part, although it's all great:

Then, there was the comment from Obama that he knew all the Hillary supporters would vote for him, but he didn’t think she could get his. What incredible offensiveness, to claim that he could take my vote for granted. It dismissed the fact that, were he to become the nominee, he would then have to ask for the support of those who had not selected him the first time around, and thus put in a position of providing reasons to vote for him to the people he casually dismissed.

That was the "Obama is Dead To Me" moment. I got over it for a while, until I realized he is unelectable in the general, thanks to the oh-so-soundbiteable anti-American effluence of his 20-year pastor, mentor and friend.

There are two things we Democrats cannot afford to do as the future majority party in America:

1) We cannot be the party of "God Damn America." This is what the rightwingers always say about Democrats - that we are unpatriotic and America-haters. An Obama nomination would simply cement that powerful allegation for the foreseeable future.

2) We cannot be the party of disenfranchisement. We always accuse the Republicans of wanting to suppress the vote; where is the sting of those accusations if we do the same thing?

My party (I'm a forty-year-old Democratic lifer) is poised to do these two very things, and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. My vote won't even matter in the general, since New York will go blue - but if Obama is the nominee, say hello to President McCaca.

sarnold51 said...

Thank you so much for your brilliant post. I have been a loyal and vocal democrat my entire 52 years of life. Worked the phones so much in 2000, 2002, 2004, & 2006 so much that I lost my voice. But this year I feel lost, I don't know what happened to my beloved party but it is one and replaced by something I don't recognize nor do I want to be a part of it. I have even tried clicking my heels together trying to get back to reality.:-) I am actually sitting here crying now because I have found some of my party members and some sanity still exists. I hate to even try to imagine how my 76 year old mother and her sister feel at what has happened to the democratic party they thought they knew. Again thank you for bringing back a little bit of home and hope into my life!

Unknown said...

I loved this post. Thank you for saying how I've been feeling.

Your writing is brilliant and it's so nice to feel that I'm not alone in my concerns.

Hillary's interview with Greta was great and she's right, the DNC will never put this on record. It creates an awful precedent.

Bud White said...

Superb post. The injustice and sexism by 'progressives' in this campaign has been breath-taking.

freyja said...

Chinaberry Turtle, I love you. I signed up for an account here SOLELY so I could tell you I love you. :) I'm a 57-year-old Ph.D. working in the high tech industry. What you said about men's ways of dismissing women in academic and technical settings, wow that hit home. I've seen the outright smack-downs, the subtle innuendos, the rolling eyes, the deathlike silence that can follow a perfectly reasonable comment, the interruptions and the talking over, and repeating of my point (which was ignored) by a man who gets lauded for it 10 minute later. At my stage of life, I've learned to avoid group discussions, but compete very nicely, thank you, in getting patents filed, papers accepted, and software written. These days with my accumulated knowledge and intuition in my field of study, I can mostly predict what the young guys are going to say before they say it, so I keep quiet and do other work, or surf the net, while they hold the floor. I'm no longer trying to become the director of the group, the tech lead of the project,
or -- heaven forbid -- an executive in the company. Just collect my nice paycheck and bonuses. The extraordinary thing about you is your ability to admit this stuff. Quite reasonable "non-sexist" men I work with typically profess no knowledge of the phenomenon.

One reason I respect Hillary so much is that she has the incredible courage to go out and subject herself to that stuff. She's super-human if you ask me.

But again, thanks, I'm writing to you and only you. You're my hero.

damozel said...

What an inspired analysis. I have quoted you at length in my own blog

I have forwarded your post to others. Wonderfully insightful, mordant---perfect.


Brownell said...

Terrific post, Anglachel. Thank you thank you thank you. It's the first of your writings that I have read, but it won't be the last.

I cannot add anything to what you said about the feelings of lifelong Democrats for Obama. But who needs us? It's Obama who is bringing in the young and the beautiful NEW PEOPLE who are the future of the Democratic Party. In the face of those not-entirely-false sentiments, I need to look at the fundamentals as well as the feelings.

First, Senator Obama claims that his campaign has sparked a "movement." I have seen a few movements. They do not come along often. Senator Obama has it backwards. Movements are not made by charismatic leaders. Movements make their leaders.

I was one of those dogwhistle types who heard the snarky sexist digs that Mr. Obama made in the early debates - the claws coming out, Hillary's mood swings, etc. - which were ignored in the media, but which established for me who came first with the negative stuff.

And I was sufficiently taken with the Obama potential that I read up on him. Big letdown. He is as firmly ensconced in the elite poll-driven consultant-officeholder-machine part of the Democratic Party as are Bill and Hillary Clinton. David Axelrod is a higher and better type of political strategist than Mark Penn? Not that I can see.

Finally, Senator Obama's message of "change", the rock on which his campaign is built, is essentially hypocrisy. In more than a year, he has not described the change he advocates operationally, past some generalities about bringing people together and not taking money from lobbyists. He took undeserved credit for "passing" the ethics bill; he only supported it, along with Senator Clinton. And she put the lobbyist issue away for me (I can't understand why he keeps repeating it)when she observed that there was no difference between accepting money from lobbyists and accepting money from the corporate executives who hired the lobbyists.

So this is the thing. Senator Obama and Senator Clinton are not more than a few percentage points apart on any of the measures - votes, delegates, polls, whatever. Neither Senator Obama nor Senator Clinton will get enough pledged delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention. If Senator Obama is indeed so unbeatable, why are the fanatic Obamaphiles so rabid in their attacks on her? They are their own proof that the new mantra - she can only win if she destroys him, like Tonya Harding - is actually the opposite. It is they who can win only if they destroy Senator Clinton.

Bottom line: the nomination will be decided on the basis of public opinion at the time of the convention. If the romantic glow around Senator Obama dims before then - due to his thin resume, or the Rev. Wright business, or another unforeseen mishap, or just the nature of fads to fade - how is it not the best thing for the Democratic Party and the country to have Senator Clinton hanging in there just behind him?

Alexander Wolfe said...

I'm not going to wade into anyone's analysis of the Clinton or Obama campaigns, but I will second the notion that the refusal by any Democratic voter to vote for the Democratic nominee (whoever that ends up being) is infantile, juvenile, moronic, short-sighted and petulant. I honestly believe that the vast majority of Clinton supporters would vote for Obama in November (and vice versa) but it seems clear to me now after reading the comments here that there are at least a few of you who won't. If anyone can bring themselves to passionately support Clinton and then turn around and vote for McCain (or not vote at all) if she doesn't win the nomination, then that person needs their head examined. Obama and Clinton share about 80-90 percent in common in their policy positions, and there is no reason to think that one or the other would not advance Democratic policies and interests once in office. If you fail to vote for Clinton or cast your vote for McCain, you are casting a vote for a continuation of a substantial portion of Bush's policies that are in direct conflict with Democratic values, and I don't see how you can call yourself a Democrat. Independent? Okay. Democrat? No.

If you are an Obama supporter or a Clinton supporter who does not like how this is going down then fine, get up and do something about it for 2012. But you have an obligation to your country to vote for whoever the Democratic candidate is. There is no room for petulance when it comes to deciding the future of our country.

KittyNC said...

Thank you for pointing out the obvious. As one of your previous posters stated, according to the punditocracy, I also should fall squarely into Obama's camp. I based my decision on Hillary Clinton on the issues at hand and I think it very important that we take the primary process as far as we can because the more we find out about Barack Obama, the more we don't like. I do not consider myself to be infantile in declaring that I will not support Sen. Obama, I consider myself to be patently educated in this decision. I can not in good consciousness put the fate of our Nation in the hands of someone so inexperienced yet so experienced in the ways of playing every political trick in the book. For someone who harps on transparency, the more transparent he becomes, the more dangerous he becomes.

KittyNC said...

Thank you for pointing out the obvious. As one of your previous posters stated, according to the punditocracy, I also should fall squarely into Obama's camp. I based my decision on Hillary Clinton on the issues at hand and I think it very important that we take the primary process as far as we can because the more we find out about Barack Obama, the more we don't like. I do not consider myself to be infantile in declaring that I will not support Sen. Obama, I consider myself to be patently educated in this decision. I can not in good consciousness put the fate of our Nation in the hands of someone so inexperienced yet so experienced in the ways of playing every political trick in the book. For someone who harps on transparency, the more transparent he becomes, the more dangerous he becomes.

susannah said...

Anglachel, that is wonderful writing and very intelligently done. it is so refreshing to read.

i too will never vote for obama. the democratic party has the nerve to dismiss us in florida, place the blame on the florida republican legislature, when it was the democratic committee itself who stole our voices, now expect us to "fall into line, donate, and be good little obama democrats". no.

keep up the excellent work!!! it is so refreshing after the hate coming from "mr unity man" and his campaign.

susannah said...

Anglachel, that is wonderful writing and very intelligently done. it is so refreshing to read.

i too will never vote for obama. the democratic party has the nerve to dismiss us in florida, place the blame on the florida republican legislature, when it was the democratic committee itself who stole our voices, now expect us to "fall into line, donate, and be good little obama democrats". no.

keep up the excellent work!!! it is so refreshing after the hate coming from "mr unity man" and his campaign.

Dakota said...

Anglachel, thank you for a sharply insightful post. I gained a lot from it, as well as something worthwhile from each of those who have commented here. To Xanthippas, while I understand your point of view, you are very wrong to dismiss the feelings of those who refuse to vote for Obama as merely "petulance." I've played this one-note refrain on every blog I've posted on recently, but I'll say it again: Obama's willingness to steal people's hopes and dreams in order to further his personal ambition makes him profoundly untrustworthy. He isn't just stealing something political or unimportant. He steals trust and deep dreams, and that's why the reactions of his supporters -- some of them brilliant people -- are so emotional and over-the top.

I can imagine voting for a Democratic candidate who just was not my first choice, but I couldn't go against my deepest instincts to vote for someone I so distrust. We know virtually nothing about Obama (there are no written records from his time in the Illinois Senate??). Why should we assume that he would promote the goals of the Democratic party if he won office, when he's done nothing as a candidate but promote himself? All that I know about him for sure is that he has the ability to seduce vast numbers of people to trust him without proof that they should. That is frightening. And I'm a little bit concerned that part of the reason he decided to speed up his long-range plans and run for the presidency right away was because he saw how easily GWB could control the emotions of most of the country and use them to do whatever the hell he wanted to do, and that maybe Obama decided: "That's for me, and how much more easily I could do it, with my gift for rhetoric."

McCain's war talk is horrifying, but he would be constrained by a large Democratic majority in Congress. I trust that he is not a completely duplicitous human being. That's why I would vote for him before I would vote for Obama. But I don't think it's going to come to that, if Hillary sticks in the race. I think people increasingly are seeing Obama as weak and an unviable candidate in the GE, and I think McCain is going to shoot himself in the foot multiple times and scare too many people to win. Hillary will be seen as what she is: strong, pragmatic, brilliant.

I think this may be the year the people let the MSM know it will not choose our president, just as when Bill was in office the people let the MSM know it could not kick our president out of office.

YAB said...

Going back to Humphrey v. Nixon, just enough progressive Democrats have refused to vote for the Dem. candidate - for a variety of usually good reasons except for the belief that letting the Rep. win wouldn't be so bad because "there's no difference" or to "teach the country a lesson"- that the Rep. has won.

The harm done to democratic ideals and to the country because of these actions is incalculable.

So, yes, I will vote for Obama. But the campaign has done irreparable damage to my opinion of him. A few months ago, I could have voted for him with a certain degree of confidence and hope.

No more. I fear he will be so ineffective, if elected (and I strongly suspect that McCain can beat him because Obama won't be able to trash McCain that way he & his supporters have trashed Hillary) that it will be a one-term Dem. interval before, prob., Jeb Bush runs and wins.

Perhaps, as I learned more about him in the GE, I would have been similarly disillusioned. But the MSM & "liberal" blogosphere's attacks on Hillary have made me seek out, and savor, every possible negative FACT about Obama.

Today I see him as an empty suit,a Chicago pol who, like Reagan, is very good at delivering speeches written by others. And I am more than a little bit afraid of having a President who will be immune from criticism because the entire MSM has been campaigning for him.g

Shainzona said...

Wow, yab....I have never thought of it this way, but I too have done the same thing...."But the MSM & "liberal" blogosphere's attacks on Hillary have made me seek out, and savor, every possible negative FACT about Obama."

Anonymous said...

Could'nt resist responding to Xanthippas, who trivialized the die hards and accused some of us as being infantile if we fail to support The Golden One if he gets the nod. What he and many of the party leaders don't get is that this is much bigger than this particular race. No dedicated life long democrats wants to return to the mess of the party of the 1970's and 1980's. That is why this has gotten so ridiculous. The Clinton administration achieved a miracle by moving the party to the center. The Clinton administration , good students of history moved the party to the center without sacrificing it's modern soul which was built on the pragmatic progressive soloutions of FDR. The party responded innovatively to the ecnomic depression and advanced many liberal causes both incrementally and rapidly. This is why it took LBJ to complete some of the incremental advances and yet still respond rapidly to the civil rights crisis. It's about laying a foundation, or what the party calls a platform. Although each candidate appears to have similarities wth respect to some issues, they differ greatly in experience, priorities, and approach. The working class is hungry for the confidence of FDR, that is who inspires us. FDR solved problems and fearlessly took on those recalcitrant elite of either party who lined their pockets, turned a blind eye to hoovervilles and pummled the labor movements. We need an FDR now. The best hope we have is Clinton. Most of us die hards know Rubinomics and believe that the innovative policies and those who engineer them can begin the process to roll up this mess. We need a fighter who is not afraid, and who is pragmatic enough to work with the opposition when needed, and Clinton has and will continue to do this. Tip O'Niell would be GOB SMACKED at the behavior of Pelosi, Dean,Brazille et, al... St. Obama is a hypocrite pretender and does'nt have what it takes to represent the party or the temperment for the fight that's coming. The republican cross overs are a delusion the party should give up. Dem's for a day is all they are and in Nov. will do what they always do vote Republican because they are ideologically anti-liberal anything. Independent voters don't usually care about party platforms, and vote for individuals and individual interests. In other words they are fickle and tend to vote for the short term. This battle is for the future of the party. Half of Obama's base will be a fiction in the general. He has not appealed to the other 2/3 of the traditional democratic base who care about their party. Some of us will just stay home or write in or protest vote for McCain.
Will the party continue to strengthen the centrist platform while responding to social problems with a less radical progressive approach; or will the party return to a liberal agenda driven by factions that demand shortsighted relief instead of pragmatic soloutions. Obama's campaign recently compared HRC to Nixon. He is playing on the youthful ignorance of his base, most of whom don't even know anything about Nixon. I'm so insulted by this as a democratic voter I could just spit. Obama's tactics would make me laugh if I were a republican. The party needs a grownup in Nov. and McCain is an old hand at this, he'll have the machine behind him for once and they will fight to keep control. Obama is not a uniter and is may even be apolitical for all anyone knows. Who can tell? It takes more than overated rhetoric to govern, and the U.S. is a whole lot bigger than Chicago.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see how popular Anglachel has become. I wish this blog was more mainstream because more people need to read what Anglachel has to say about this election. I've tried to spread the word about this site to all of my friends who are Clinton supporters.
Obama supporters will never understand where we are coming from because they don't see what we see in their candidate. If they did they wouldn't be supporting him. They don't see the sexism and misogyny that exists alll over the MSM and mainstream political blogs. They don't see the sexism coming from the Obama campaign. I have an Obamabot friend who is angry with FOX News for covering the Wright controversy. Ha! Imagine being a Clinton supporter and having to see biased reporting everyday on MSNBC and CNN. So there really is no point in addressing the trolls who come here and tell us that we are "infantile". They don't realize that their ignorance and name calling only helps fan the flames and anger us even more.
Obama is so going to lose the general election if he is the nominee. Anyone who isn't an Obamabot can see that by now.

Mike Meyer said...

Riverdaughter said it well. When I go into the polling booth, my hand will hover over Obama's name for a second, and I will decide whether or not I can do it. In that moment, I think I may well remember the thousands of Obamaphiles on the World Wide Web who said Obama doesn't need me, and for the first time in 32 years perhaps I shall skip the presidential ballot and not vote for the Democratic nominee. I shall merrily proceed to my congressional representative and vote a straight Democratic ticket below the presidential ballot

Unknown said...

This is a very interesting commentary... and I agree with most of it...

I am an indepedent that tends to vote democrat.

I made the mistake of voting for Obama, but after the Wright stuff, the America-bashing and his wife's "finally proud of america" comment I cannot support him!... I have friends in the military who are fighting for people like the Obama's to have an open season to bash America...

In addition to your comment that Obama will have to ask people who did not vote for him the first time to vote for him... many of us who voted for him in the primaries have changed out minds and WILL NO LONGER BE supporting him in the General election... Obama has another problem of holding on to the support he had during the primary...

He may have gotten my vote in the primary, BUT he will not get it in the general.. I will not vote for anyone who I think has any association with someone who is so blantantly ANTI-AMERICAN.

Democrat or Republican are just political parties, being American is above either of these political platforms.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Sara,
Thank you for sharing. I always like to hear from former Obama supporters who voted for him in the primaries but no longer support him. That would definitely be an interesting poll to see. I wish someone at SUSA, Gallop, or Rasmussen would conduct a poll asking voters if they now support a candidate different from the one they voted for. I'm going to take a guess that Obama will be the biggest loser in that poll. There is no doubt in my mind that if the MSM had done their job and exposed Wright sooner that we wouldn't be in this predicament right now. Obama would have never won states like MO or WI.
A vote against Obama is a vote against the MSM and the DNC leaders who chose to deceive us rather than vet each candidate equally, keep their noses out of this election, and actually allow ALL of the voters to decide rather than the pundits. There are millions of voters who haven't voted yet and millions in MI and FL who have been disenfranchised. How dare any Obamabot tell us that Clinton has no chance in this election or that winning the popular vote by counting MI and Fl would be cheating or stealing the nomination from Obama?! These elitist snobs think they have a right to everything even if it means labelling half of the party illegitimate, low class, Archie Bunker voters.
I HOPE every working class and middle class Democrat votes against Obama, Pelosi, Dean, Brazile, and the DC media elite in the general if Obama wins the nomination. He doesn't DESERVE to win after the way we've been treated.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Hey freyja, glad we all found each other here at Anglachel.

Don't let those nice non-sexist guys at work fool you when they feign ignorance. Although I'll admit I've got a little different perspective from most guys (most guys did not have a mom like mine), you wouldn't ever guess it from meeting me.

I like to work out, brag w/ guys about how much I can bench, drink beer and eat brats, blah blah blah. The only thing that's different is if I'm hanging out w/ friends and the B-word starts getting tossed around, I shut that stuff down pronto.

But the point is, EVERY guy knows about this (even the supposedly non-sexist ones). We wink to each other about it and we all know what's up. It is utterly ludicrous for any straight man (can't speak for gay men) to claim ignorance about the multitude of ways that we casually demean women in ordinary everyday conversation. These same guys denying the accusations certainly know how to respond appropriately when (in the past) I have sent the "let's get this b*tch" signals. They all know what's up.

And in particular, I'm SURE Obama knows what's up, what with all his nuanced ability to find subtle racism (i'm not saying the subtle racism doesn't exist, but i'll be damned if I don't know exactly what he's getting at when he talks about 'tea parties' - he knows EXACTLY the cue us guys are gonna take from that).

Being an otherwise typical guy, I'm around all this stuff all the time. And I know exactly the response you're talking about. If a lady ever calls us out on this stuff - we just circle the wagons, feign ignorance, and tell her she's nuts. In a quasi-defense of the guys who do it, I know it isn't a conscious strategic response. It's like a knee-jerk reaction; it's like somehow we (us guys) have all learned exactly how to respond when called out ("you crazy b*tch, you're reading too much into it").

Anyway, I don't let that crap go unchallenged in my personal life anymore, and there's no freakin' way I'm letting Obama get away with it either.

Anyway, nothing like having a black man running against a white woman for nomination to the party to bring all this stuff suddenly to the forefront of a national conversation! Glad to meet you freyja.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Hey xanthippas - suck it. I'm so friggin' beyond justifying myself to other weak-ass dudes who put the blinders on about what's going on. If we were hanging out together and you didn't know who I was, I freakin' guarantee you that I'd have you laughing along in a fun little gang-rape session where we start calling Hillary the B-word and all sorts of other vile shit.

Well, when the Obama campaign starts pulling this same shit on the national level - well then you can just suck it. That's right, i'm infantile. I told you to piss off and suck it. Done. Over. See you in 2012 when you support a candidate that acts like a decent fucking human being towards women.

I can't use the C-word cause I'm a guy. But damn it if I can't point everyone else to a fiery-tongued woman who makes the point better than I ever could:

Someone please open a can of Janis on Obama and his minions!

Under The Bus said...

Is it possible to ask all those voters voted for Obama in primaries already to send protest letters to Dean asking for their vote back and switch the vote to Clinton. Imaging millions of these letters reaching Dean, it would be nothing less than an earth quake. That will sure wake them up.

John Stevenson said...

Thank you for this wonderful post! I just linked to it on my blog.

gendergappers said...

Hi Dakota - agreed but there is material on BO and it is scary, especially where he stole hard work of Black Senators in Chicago and claimed all the credit. Here's the URL, read both parts as it is worth it. Sorry, I can't seem to figure out how to make this active.

It is on my blog too.

gendergappers said...

Hi Maitang - great idea to bombard Dean and other dunderheaded dems with e-mails, letters or phone calls saying "I regret that I voted for Obama."

Dean is now playing the abortion card to scare women into voting for BO. Such a silly threat because most women know neither repugs or dems want the issue to go away as it fires up both their bases.

Perhaps we aren't all powerful, but we've got them on smarts.

kaya said...

i'm sorry, you make a lot of good points in your post but i think you and apparently about 95% of your readers are missing a couple of huge points. i don't want to ramble too long, so the main one is this:

i think its extremely narrow-minded and dangerous to view all of the talk going around on both sides as reflections of the candidates themselves. Has this race been incredibly misogynist? yes. has it also been incredibly racist? yes. does that mean we should line up on our respective sides of the fence depending on which one gets us more angry and vote for mccain? i'm sorry, but no. i do think that's pretty infantile. newsflash: the polls show that there are significant numbers of people in both hillary's camp AND obama's camp who would rather vote for mccain at this point. this isn't a case of hillary supporters being stupid, and the fact that its being portrayed as such is another example of hillary getting the short end of the stick media-wise, but that doesn't make the decision any smarter. i mean i'm sorry, but did we honestly think that in this fucked up society we live in a white woman or a black man could run for president and not have all the various "isms" come out? its terrible, and i'm mad about it, but you really need to step back and see the bigger picture. is barack obama personally promoting misogynist attacks against hillary? is hillary really promoting racist attacks against barack? they don't really have to. our entire society is racist and sexist. the media is damn sure racist and sexist. So rather than punishing america further with another 4 years of a republican president, why not wake up and think about ways to protest racism and sexism besides refusing to vote for a candidate practically identical politically to the one you support.

i'm giving you guys the benefit of the doubt and assuming you have at least noticed the racism as well, and that you disapprove of that too. but come to think of it, i haven't seen much evidence of that in the post or comments.

bottom line: i get it. i totally see all the misogyny in this campaign and i can't even tell you how mad it makes me. but voting for mccain is not really a productive solution, and telling yourself it is is a pretty convenient way of acting like you care about women's rights while simultaneously doing absolutely nothing for them.

Chinaberry Turtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chinaberry Turtle said...

kaya, i'm beyond hunting down links to support my responses to your querries, because i've already done this ad nauseum in the past in order to come to my current conclusion. But for what it's worth, here are my responses to your questions.

has it also been incredibly racist? yes.

I say no. Please point out the racism. I've looked for it but can't find it. The run-up to the South Carolina primary? There was nothing. Bill said that the notion that Obama has been continuously anti-war was a "fairytale" propogated by Obama's campaign. Call it dirty politicking if you want, but I don't believe that comment was racist. Furthermore, given the Clintons' considerable commitment to AA causes, I don't think *anyone* really believes the Clintons are racist.

i mean i'm sorry, but did we honestly think that in this fucked up society we live in a white woman or a black man could run for president and not have all the various "isms" come out?

Yes, I honestly thought that in this Democratic primary we would not see the *Democratic* candidates themselves using race or gender as leverage against each other. I've seen race-baiting and misogyny from Obama; I've also seen dirty politicking from my gal HRC, but she has never resorted to racial slurs or innuendo.

is barack obama personally promoting misogynist attacks against hillary?

Yes, he is. That is the conclusion I've come to after carefully watching this entire campaign. If you'd like, go over to Shakesville where Melissa McEwan has meticulously chronicled all of the sexist comments Obama *HIMSELF* has made about Hillary (claws coming out, periodically feeling down, tea parties, etc., etc.).

I'm a guy. I know this crap Obama is doing. Hell, I've DONE the sexist crap Obama is doing. I know what it means. The top-dog leader says subtle sexist/misogynistic crap, and then the followers take this as license to escalate the language.

Go over to Daily Kos. Go over to TPM. Count the number of times you see "bitch" or "whore". Count the GAZILLION instances of more subtle sexist innuendo and virulent woman-hatred. Count the GAZILLION instances of Hillary being held to an impossible and sexist double standard.

Now look at this blog. Look at Riverdaughter. Look at NoQuarter and all of the other pro-HRC blogs. Find me ONE instance of someone calling Obama the N-word. Hell, find me ONE instance of anyone calling Obama a "boy", or telling Obama to "shine my shoes" (those other blogs thought is was SOOOO funny when someone told Hillary to "iron my shirts").

This is a failure of leadership. I guarantee you that if there was a vast legion of Hillary supporters using the N-word or other racist innuendo against Obama she would put a stop to it. But more important, you know why it never started? Because she's NEVER engaged in that crape. We take our example from her. She engages in no racist innuendo, so down here at the bottom of the totem poll, in the HRC blogs, you do not see us ever making light of racism or ever making racist innuendo against Obama.


So, yes - I am past the point of no return. No kissy nice make-up for this dude. As I've said before and I'll say it again, you call my sister a C--- and I'll kick your ass. Obama's going down for what he did to my sister HRC!

the media is damn sure racist and sexist.

Fox news is probably both racist and sexist. But Fox doesn't influence the Democratic primary. Look at the media outlets which actually DO influence the Democratic primary: NBC, MSNBC, Air America, etc. I do not think they are racist; in fact, it is quite clear they are in fact completely in the tank for Obama. In contrast, they are VIRULENTLY misogynistic. I refuse to support this obvious fact to you now with links, but Chris Matthews and David Schuster are just two of the most glaring examples. Chris Matthews has never accused Obama of doing well in this primary simply because people feel sorry for him for being black (cf. his comments about Hillary only winning Senatorship of NY out of voter pity).

You can think we are bad and evil for refusing to get behind Obama in November, but here is one thing you absolutely ARE going to have to deal with:

We are, in fact, NOT going to vote for Obama in November.

Now you can just go and stew about this if you want and call us infantile. Or, you can eat this loss, take it as a learning lesson, and next time around, in 2012, make sure to support a candidate who is a DECENT FUCKING HUMAN BEING TOWARDS WOMEN!!!!!!

Chinaberry Turtle said...

why not wake up and think about ways to protest racism and sexism besides refusing to vote for a candidate practically identical politically to the one you support.

Obviously you have not read Janis

Please read the post at the above link. Janis explains EXACTLY why the Repub/Dem divide means so little to many of us at this point.

If Hillary followers were calling Obama the N-word and Hillary got the nomination, you think African Americans could look past it and say "well, politically they're really both the same". No - they couldn't, they wouldn't, and they shouldn't!

But all this arguing is irrelevant. Most of us are IRRETRIEVABLY lost to Obama. Saying stuff to us now will not change ANYTHING. See you in 2012. Hope we can be fellow party-members again at that time.

kaya said...

chinaberry turtle -

i appreciate your responses, and i want to clear something up: i AGREE that obama and his campaign have been incredibly misogynist. its been pretty obvious and blatant. and obviously i'm not ok with that. my point is that this race has also been extremely racist, and i find it incredibly frustrating that so-called liberals continue to only see what it's convenient to see. of course no one is calling Obama the N-word (or at least not many people). But i find it hard to believe that you honestly think that as long as no one is throwing out the N-word, the campaign has not had its fair share of racism. I can give you a few examples, such as the countless number of times obama's name has been mocked, he's been "accused" of being a muslim, anti-american, etc. etc. and in fact the number of different ways in which he's been accused of being un-patriotic that really just boil down to attempts to point out his connections to more liberal black people than himself, the clinton's campaign's use of people like Bob Johnson to make insinuations hillary's too smart to make on her own, etc. etc.

quite frankly, the continued mention of bill clinton as the "first black president" is also getting pretty old. you can feel free to stop that too if you want.

but the main point is this: i see the sexism, i see the racism (even if you choose not to see it) but i also see that Chris Matthews, David Schuster, Daily Kos and other bloggers, a random dude in the audience who thought it would be soo clever to yell "iron my shirt," etc. etc. are all NOT barack obama. yeah, i hate reading blogs that call hillary a bitch, and i've had to stop reading a lot of blogs that support obama because of this. same way i've had to stop reading a lot of blogs that support hillary because of the way they talk about obama, and especially the way they've been loving this whole jeremiah wright thing. but i recognize that these are all examples of how much racism and sexism there is in our society, and not examples of why hillary clinton and barack obama personally would be bad presidents. i think maybe you're getting a little caught up in the hype. i'd love to vote for a candidate who has respect for women too, but if you honestly believe that a clinton-mccain race would be sexism-free, i don't think "infantile" is so strong a word. if it turns out to be an obama-mccain race, you won't have to see that and you can vote for mccain guilt-free, but i don't think that's really all that great a display of critical thinking.

the kind of sexism we're seeing here, and the kind of sexism in hiring Janis talks about in that post you linked me to suck, yes, and perpetuate all kinds of more violent oppression of women, but these are things to be mad about and try to educate people about, but they are also very much problems rich white women think about. poor women of color are not thinking about hiring discrimination. Sexist discourse in our society needs to end just as much as racist discourse needs to end, but these are not things to decide your vote in november. as far as women's rights go, its obviously all connected, but in the short term i would rather try and explain to obama supporters why this is not ok, and take a chance that maybe the policies he made while in office would help more women get healthcare and things like that. and i'd hope that if hillary was the nominee, obama supporters would take a chance on her policies being more friendly to african-americans than mccain.

kaya said...

one last thing: its an endlessly frustrating habit of rich white liberals to believe that if they manage not to call a black person a nigger or to ask him or her to shine their shoes, they're doing well.

if you're smart enough to see that "if we think about this rationally..." is sexism, i find it hard to believe you don't see any racism.

Chinaberry Turtle said...


If African Americans *genuinely* believe that HRC is racist and that she has given subtle clues to her followers to engage in subtle racism and that she has deliberately sought to benefit from a general atmosphere of racism, then AAs *should* vote against her in November (if she's the nominee) and I won't try to talk any AA out of it if that's where they're coming from.

Now, as to your "rich white liberal" comment, you obviously did not read my full description of myself. I've got one foot firmly planted in both of the constituencies behind HRC. At a personal level, she's my gal and all the sexism is a deal-breaker for me.

But I was also born to a very poor single mom. I've got lunch-bucket core Democratic blood running through my veins. Look at Anglachel's post over here.

For a lot of us lunch-bucket Democrats, it is clear to us that OBAMA is casting himself as the elite liberal transfigurational messiah for whom poor folk and all their boring dirty problems are too much to think about when the focus should be on the glamorous audacity of his own campaign.

If you think it is "rich while liberal" elites who are threatening a revolt against Obama, you've got this thing all misunderstood. Us lunch-bucket democrats who've got working-class in our veins see Obama as the anti-FDR candidate who's trying to take us to some sell-out rad-cool MTV Unity-Pony future.

Of course, that's just icing on my Obama hatred pie. He lost me with the sexism, but it's really HIS elite liberal anti-FDR posturing that's killing him with core Dems.

You know, I'm from the south and when Kerry was running I remember when he took a vacation during the campaign to go wind-surfing up in the NE. It was just such a metaphor that this Massachusetts limousine liberal born w/ a silver spoon in his mouth did not understand lunch-bucket Dems who actually FEED FROM THE TROUGH. But he was a war veteran, he paid his dues in battle, and there was nothing otherwise obnoxious about him, so fine - have your prissy little wind-surfing excursion.

But Obama is like Kerry to the nth degree. Kerry did not exude anti-FDR-ness; Obama does. I really think he has only two agendas (one of which I'm on board with, the other i'm not): (1) racial justice (for black people - don't see him too concerned about Hispanics); and (2) some sort of completely screwed up quasi-religious notion of a Unity-Pony future where the likes of Barbara Boxer and Trent Lott hold hands and sing Kumbaya.


But I really do appreciate and enjoy reading your comments kaya. I REALLY do hope we can back the same candidate in 2012. You obviously don't sound like one of the virulently woman-hating Obamatrons. I just hope you can help change the ways of some of these folks so we can come back to some good *old school* Democratic unity in 2012.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Kaya: just so we make some ground rules so that we can get along:

I wouldn't dare call you "infantile" if HRC is the nominee and you vote against her in the GE because you think she's a racist and that she's run a racist campaign. I would respect that decision. And you know what, whether or not I thought HRC was racist, I would tell HRC:

"Look Hillary, AAs thought you ran a racist campaign last time. Regardless of whether you think you did, the perception of AAs is a FACT that you're going to have to deal with. You better do something different next time."

I'm down with that; seriously, I wouldn't begrudge you ONE BIT if you and other AAs came to this approach.

So, that's why I get a little pissed off when you and others refer to our revolt as "infantile." Number one, it will not do ANYTHING this time around. Calling us infantile just makes us dig our heels in even further. Second, the more you say it the more it ruins the possiblility of us getting along in 2012.

So, I request that you afford me my revolt against Obama's sexism and anti-lunch-bucket-Democrats stance. Specifically, I request that you grant me the same sort of dignity in my revolt that I would grant AAs in any race-related anti-Hillary revolt (should they deem her racist).

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Here is a very good commentary on the nature of race and gender in this primary and the irony of looking at these issues through the lenses of the Democratic party vs. the Republican party.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

If Condi is the VP on the Republican ticket (see link above), that could push me over to vote for McCain instead of writing in Hillary. Sorry Anglachel, I just gotta go w/ the party that honors women.

It is indeed a bizarre and weird political season. Who knew that the clash of race and gender could cause such warping of the time-space-continuum fabric of the political universe?

kaya said...

thanks for the links and comments chinaberry. i like that you assumed i'm an obama supporter - for the record i'm not, but it feels good to keep people guessing.

Unknown said...

Thank you for expressing what so many of us feel. I'm stunned at the mean-spirited treatment and demonizing of Hillary Clinton. If Obama is the nominee, I won’t vote for McCain but I will write in Hillary’s name.

A nightmare I have is that Obama is the nominee, he loses the election, and, Clinton, because she continued her campaign, is blamed for losing the election for Democrats. It’s not an argument that I would accept because I believe that Barack has serious electability problems of his own in the general election. I want Hillary to be my president so I continue to send her donations. I believe in her.

A final word, I understand that Hillary’s run for our nation’s top office is historic. One of the reasons it’s historic is that she’s also the wife of a former President. Many who denigrate her do so because they don’t like her husband. To the best of my knowledge, such a dynamic has never before played itself out in a presidential election. Can you imagine people not voting for BO because they didn’t like his spouse?


navyvet48 said...

Wonderful post. I like Chinaberry grew up poor. There were 5 kids in our family. One of the five us has mental retadation and autism and another required 16 operations, bar shoes and etc. We basically raised ourselves with little oversight from our folks. Mom had schizophrenia and dad worked all the time. Mom and Dad were the typical lifelong Democrats. Well maybe Dad wasn't so typical. I think he was actually the feminist in our household. He encouraged us to go to college and etc.

As for me I was the radical, bra burning Feminist. At least that was what college friends thougt because I wore a T-shirt that said "A Woman's Place is in the House.....and Senate. My quote at MSN messenger says this: " A Very Wise Man Once Said, "I Don't know Go Ask A Woman."

I joined the Democratic Party for the first time on February 5th of this year because I thought there was a real chance for a woman to make it to the White House as something other than The First Lady, President of the United States. I thought there would be a legitimate election. (Caucuses are neither legitimate nor democratic.)At the age of 48, I feel like a mere child that I am living in some kind of time warp.

I feel naive and disembowled by the illegitimacy of Obama's campaign. As it turns out he was the first to start with the personal attacks -Senator Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)- that was last year. He in my opinion is just like the crooked politicians in the illegitimate Chicago political machine. Nothing has really changed since the first Mayor Daley. Why would he even step away from those people because that is who keep him in the Senate if he is not elected President.

Looking at the man in his entirety, I cannot vote for an illegitimate candidate. The thing that clearly remains in my mind today is when he hugged McPeak right after that guy accused Bill Clinton of McCarthyism. That was icing on the cake for Michelle Obama's ignorant statements, Rezko, 2 years in the Senate, and Wright. Obama go back to the Senate. Obama never ever be so arrogant to think you can "get" my vote. Never happen!

Hillary all the way, I know where she stands. I know she will work for me. I know she will and can clean up the economic mess that Bush will leave behind. Hillary has my vote.