Sunday, May 18, 2008

Unifying the Party

I've tried to come up with some sophisticated, nuanced, theoretically meaningful way to say this but nothing is working, so I'll just say it plainly.

I don't see the Hillary campaign saying a bad word about the voters, even those who vote for her opponents. I don't see the campaign explaining away their losses because of some flaw or failing in the voters. Even the group of Obama voters most vociferous and adamant in their objections to her do not get criticized or condemned. To the contrary, she defended MoveOn from politically motivated attacks. She went to Yearly Kos and spoke without rancor or defensiveness to a deeply hostile group.

When she says she is impervious to attacks from the right-wing noise machine, the MSM and political opponents, it shows up in the way she will not be badgered and baited. She can look Richard Scaife in the eye and tell him exactly what she intends to do as President without belligerance and without apology. Their cruelty and crudeness cannot disrupt her calm civility, though she may poke some sly fun at them.

This is not someone who has burned bridges on the Democratic side. In a hard-fought campaign, she has been firm that there will be nothing from her side to prevent resolution and reconciliation within the party. She pulls no punches on issues, but has not stooped to personal attacks of the kind leveled at her by her opponents and even by some party leaders. When somone on her campaign has behaved dishonorably, they are told to leave at once.

Unity is not obedience or falling into line. It is being able to strongly and persuasively present yourself and your objectives and be victorious, but do so in a way that does not demand the humiliation, denegration or destruction of your opponents. It is to treat others as valued colleagues to be won over, not as enemies to be obliterated.

In short, when people speak about the need for party unity, the person who most perfectly embodies this stance is Hillary. These qualities as much as her specific policies, are what make Hillary a compelling candidate for me. No one person, no matter how talented, can achieve the goals of the party. All must be done in concert. All must be done under conditions of cooperation, not coersion.

I do not find any qualities in Obama that indicate he is capable of bringing about this cooperation. I see arrogance, imperiousness, inflexibility, and contempt for those who do not hand him what he wants. He does not appear to want unity, only capitulation.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the person who is best suited to unify the Democratic Party.



lori said...

In point of fact, when she was accused of race baiting in South Carolina, she showed up and apologized directly and unambiguously. When her campaign found out that someone within had forwarded the Muslim email, she flew to a tarmac and apologized to Obama personally. She has kept her nose very, very clean. And African Americans still hold her in high regard as evidenced by the polls.

orionATL said...

amen, sister.


a requiem-like amen.

Shainzona said... snatched my comment.

Amen to that!

Truly a remarkable women. I could never have held up under the pressure that has been pressed upon her.

Frenchdoc said...

From your blog to the ears of the superdelegates!

The Red Queen said...

Hear hear!

I think Hilary is the definition of grace under fire.

orionATL said...

i will add this -

in november/december 2000, the person who was badgered by the corporate media to cease the contest for the presidency for the "benefit of the country" was al gore.

even though al gore was, by a very, very wide margin, more qualified to be president than george bush,

it was the thoughtful, wise gore who, in the end,

in the interests of harmony, and, probably, to avoid damage to his political career,

acceded to the pressure to avoid demanding a full recount and ensuring "more conflict".

what this nation got out of that very bad bargain was


5 years and counting,

of deadly, expensive conflict.

i write this because i strongly sense for senator clinton's public statements that,if she is not "ahead" on june 3, she will concede.

if she does so, i think she will be doing so for the same reason as gore,

because she cares about something greater than herself.

i hope she does not concede on june 3.

were she to do so, i think she would be making a great mistake for the future of this nation.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Hillary is awesome precisely because she does not do what I would be doing in her situation: getting pissed off and giving all the sexist assholes the finger. How she does it I'll never know. But every time she charges on with such civility in the face of "claws coming out", "tea parties," and "you're likeable enough," it just reminds me what a leader she is.

Nancy said...

you are so right, anglachel. i couldn't agree with you more.

Anonymous said...

May I added that she went to the Black state of the union and MLK remembrance. Both events Obama was no show. said...

*Standing up*


Thank you.

jangles said...

Anglachel: In light of your earlier post about ponies, k street etc. what is your perspective on the news posted yesterday (at TM) that Clinton donors and Obama donors were meeting to look at unifying their efforts moving forward? Do you think Clinton donors are doing this with or without her blessing and support? When I first read that news, I thought well that is probably a logical step for her to make, then I was a little dubious. Now that I have caught up on your posts, I find that news sort of scary. Would really appreciate if you would be able to comment on this in one of your future posts. Also what your take is on the Iowa rally O is promising to conduct May 20 to announce his ascendancy and what it means that he has chosen to return to Iowa to do this.

jangles said...

One other question: what do you think this victory rally by O in Iowa is going to mean for future unity efforts. It just seems so arrogant and offensive to me that I can't believe he is doing it. I can't believe Super Ds would like having a candidate basically shut them down along with MI and FL.

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

You were mentioned in the NWA news

Betty44 said...

I read your note below about limiting comments from those Obama guys and brethed a sigh of relief. I want to say thank you.

Pat Johnson said...

A good teacher must first employ the tools of a good communicator. Hillary has all the qualities of both communicator and teacher. She is able to make her point and reduce it for all to understand. She is able to convince.

Obama has been praised for is ability to communicate. However, I am unable to understand just how he plans to implement those policies. He is not able to convince because he is too wrapped up in the delivery.

The thought of him actually becoming president is disconcerting. As of today I have no idea what his core principle involve and what "transcendent" actually means with regard to us.

If he thinks that he can win back the millions of us women who have had to listen to the insults ad nauseum, he had better think twice. Not me.

CMike said...

Kitty Glendower,

Thanks for the link. Gene Lyons is one of the good guys and Anglachel should be pleased he's one of her subscribers.

It surprises me that Lyons called out Joe Conason. Not that Conason didn't have it coming for his preposterous invocation of the memory of George Wallace.

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Anonymous said...

Hate to rain on this lovely parade. Not that Hillary is not the cool under fire, prudent, responsible and classy candidate. But this admirable person is "selling" traits that are not in big demand.

Neither Obama and his skin heads nor the party leaders aka super delegates are in the market for such a person.

Our current polity appreciates threats, money, posturing, rigidity, etc.

If they were eager to achieve party unity, Obama would have been a goner by now.

A little night musing said...

Anglachel, I've only recently discovered your blog and it has become a must-read.

Thanks for all your writing and all the research that goes into it.

And thanks for this post. I could not agree more.

I also have to agree with the commenters above who wrote about Hillary Clinton's grace under pressure. As the attacks have mounted she has just become more and more impressive.

CognitiveDissonance said...

Quite frankly, the woman is a hero. She has stood up to the worse kinds of attacks, race-baiting, horrible media coverage, and misogyny I've ever seen in any kind of political campaign in my 55 years. She has done so with grace, humility, and humor. And she hasn't let them bully or intimidate her or make her back down. She has stood her ground and kept going, no matter how loud the opposition.

Is it any wonder that she is now seen as the fighter for the working class? Far more so than John Edwards will ever be. He may give a good speech, but Hillary goes out there and shows them exactly what she's made of. Back in January, I was a lukewarm supporter. But now I love this woman! I have no doubt that she would be the most transforming president of my lifetime.

That reminds me of a conversation I had with my 78 year old mother on Mothers Day. I asked her who she thought was the best president of her lifetime. She thought for awhile and said it was a tossup between FDR and Truman. I looked at her in astonishment and said, "But, mom, you've always been an adamant Republican." And she said: "Well they don't seem to make democrats like that anymore." I think we've got one this year. And mom has been dropping hints that she may vote for her in the general if Hillary gets that far.

gendergappers said...

And to think she has maintained her values and message despite the filthy slings and arrows of outraged fortunes of BO contributors. BRAVA!

wbever said...

I, too, was a lukewarm supporter of HRC in the beginning after realizing that Obama was too much of an opportunist and was in this race primarily if not entirely based on ambition.

After the TX debate and HRC's exquisite closing remarks that received a standing ovation from both sides of the aisle - remember when she said that the slings and arrows shot at her paled in comparison to the dilemmas many other Americans faced every day, including underserved wounded vets - I realized her deep engagement with the issues and her poise and grace despite whatever diversions and hatred the bastards hurled her way was due to her belief that the highest purpose of her life is to serve the public and not ego as it is for BO.

That, too, is why her campaign has behaved honorably. It reflects HRC's values. The same goes for Obama of course. - but not the part about being honorable.

alibe said...

This comment talking about Hillary's honorable values made me re-think whether I would vote for Obama if she were on the ticket if she should not happen to get the nomination. Originally I said no. I would never vote for him. But I probably would because I expect Obama and his shady character and his corrupt people around him would put him in places where he would have to resign or face impeachment. Better to have Hillary there to right the ship. We all know he is a fool and corrupt and not ready for prime time. This country needs someone like Hillary who is so much better than what this country deserves.

Sherry said...

Let me add my voice to the chorus of gratitude. Thank you for articulating this so well, Anglachel. And for the lovely photograph! Doesn't Hillary look beautiful there. Eat your heart out, Rush Limbaugh.

Námo Mandos said...

The conundrum is that there are people on the Obama side who feel exactly the same way. Whichever candidate wins, they will have the problem of assessing what the other candidate brought to the table that made their supporters passionate about them. For Obama's supporters, it clearly appears to be first and foremost about party process reform.

Shainzona said...

Namo: and what, exactly, has Obama brought to party process reform?

And isn't the best place for that within the DNC and not as a deficient candidate for the presidency - a position that requires a thousand more important things than "party process reform".

We all want party process reform. Let's elect Hillary Clinton and get to it. As well as doing more important national issues that face us.

Pat Johnson said...

Could someone please explain to me what this "party reform" process is supposed to look like and how they are going to go about achieving it? I am so sick of this hope and change crapola with little substance to back it up. We have sat here since the 2006 elections with the expectation that things were going to change. Nothing did. Yet the same people are still in place, some more than willing to back Obama and I have no idea what this is supposed to achieve. And at whose expense.

cls said...

What Pat and shainzona said

No Blood for Hubris said...

Let's hope the voters in Oregon will see the light.

Námo Mandos said...

Basically, they have a theory of campaign tactics and campaign involvement that they feel that a Clinton campaign would not be conducive too, and they were willing to sacrifice two states to get a 48-state strategy rather than what they disparagingly call a "13-state" strategy or, more charitably, a "swing-state" strategy.

There's also the whole conflict over the role of an inspirational leader.

I mean, all of that is water under the bridge. But I read a reclisted Kos diary the other day that led me to think about this again. By Obamafan "thereisnospoon", with whom some of you might be familiar, who was explaining triumphantly that it wasn't sexism that caused Clinton to be in a weaker position but "ideology".

S/he even gave comparative lists of what s/he considered the "ideological" differences between the two candidates, and few of the items were actually ideological in the classic sense. Rather, it was party and campaign mechanics and attitudes---these s/he considers to be "ideology".

And these were his/her primary criteria for selecting a candidate. Laid out in detail, triumphantly.

So obviously, as I've said before, there are people who are passionate about campaign mechanics. They've defined Hillary as being representative of a particular other set of "ideologies" of campaign mechanics, and therefore cannot accept a party leader that doesn't reflect their issue.

I'm also afraid that it's pretty clear that one has to seize the nomination to put "ideology" in practice

Námo Mandos said...

That's why I think it's really hard to say that either candidate could be a "unifying force". The priorities of each half of the party seems to be mutually exclusively embodied in these candidates.

I guess the hypothetical Unity Candidate would have had to be the one that promised health care mandates while focusing his/her campaign on winning Colorado...

Pat Johnson said...

Namo, why not be honest in explaining your choice. "I want to be on the bandwagon that nominates the cool black guy". Parsing ideology is wildly out of context for this discussion. Obama, as far as I can determine, has not core principles.

gendergappers said...

Interesting that today on FOX they were comenting on BO's acting as if he were the winner - questioned if he was showing his arrogance in doing this.

Then they raised the question as to whether he could stop the so-called attacks on his wife. Knowing smiles all around - my thought was he ain't seen nutin yet and the kitchen is just beginning to get hot for him.

Námo Mandos said...

My choice?

A. I don't got no vote. (Nonresident alien, who for some reason is legally permitted to reside, but whatever...)

B. I don't think that Obama can win the GE at this point.

However, I'm a habitual contrarian and I think it's worth examining the situation from a bird's-eye view. Clearly, Clinton has made campaign-mechanical mistakes during the primary, and clearly there are people who see or saw something in Obama that can't just be his skin colour...

Becki Jayne said...

Brilliantly written and spot on, Anglachel.

Amen, amen.

jacilyn said...

For Obama's supporters, it clearly appears to be first and foremost about party process reform.

Perhaps that, not "racism", is why so many Democrats refuse to vote for him.

I too am angry about the last 8 years - about the economy and the war, about questionable election tactics, environmental degradation, attacks on science, attempts to rewrite history, the manipulation of education, the disconnect between productivity vs. wages, poverty on the increase while living standards go down, and no accountability.

However, I don't agree that the proper response to all of those things I am angry with is to desire bipartisan or post-partisan "unity" with the guys that brought us these goodies. Nor do I particularly want to see our party - that is, the opposition - "reformed". (Personally, I prefer the term "neutered".)

I just don't think the party will be better off after the working class, the gay & lesbian community, women, the elderly, the state I live in and all its neighbors, and those needing health care are tossed out.

Unknown said...

I kind of wrote something like this myself.

Check it out.

So, I need to write this. Partly because I need to express my frustration, anger and sadness about this Primary Process and partly because I need to go back to some simple facts that will help keep my spirit and support alive and well. I am doing this for purely selfish reasons - truth be told I need to vent. Yet I am not going to include Senator Obama in this; he is not worthy of my keystrokes. Call it divisive, call it ignorant. This has never been about the other candidate for me, it has been about the one candidate who I believe, now more than ever, has the tenacity, strength, vision and compassion to be the 44th President of the United States. Take what you want from this - solace, strength, energy, determination, motivation, or maybe a tinge of sadness or despair that it hasn't exactly worked out how we thought it would.

Yet bear this in mind - good things come to those who wait. If that means 2012, lets go there. Stronger, feistier and more steadfast in our convictions. As supporters, we know we are right in backing the best candidate running for President. It is simply that the hype has taken over the fundamental facts, which we never foresaw and we did not comprehend.

I have loved her since the tender age of 15 when I first started to become interested in politics, and was mesmerized by her ability to be a forthright and active First Lady and then an astounding Senator for New York. In "Living History" she wrote "My faith has always been a crucial, though deeply personal, part of my life and part of my family's life. When I was confirmed into the Methodist Church, I took to heart John Wesley's words" "Do all the good you can, by all the means you long as you ever can." I sat on a beach, with my diet Coke in one hand and Living History, slightly sandy, in the other. I gazed at the sunset and dreamt of what the promise of a second Clinton Presidency could hold and bring to America and to the world at large. This wasn't just a woman, this was a leader. In 2007, she spoke the words the world had been waiting to hear. "I am putting together a Presidential exploratory committee." My heart skipped a beat that day, and all the joyous feelings I had experienced at 15, my beach day, came gushing back to me. It was time for a woman President. It was time.

So in West Virginia after a 41 point victory on Tuesday evening, she once more infused my heart, mind and soul with hope and spoke confidently, passionately and courageously. She brought to the table the kind of hope that isn't empty, that isn't cheap and that comes at a great price. Her supporters poised once more, rose to the challenge she posed to them - to stay with her until the lady in the pantsuit says that its over. We have all prayed, in the face of a biased media and a reluctant democratic party, that the nation would listen to our calls and push her further towards the nomination. West Virginia, amongst the other crucial primary states, did not let us down. We'll stand, we'll fight, we'll defend and we'll continue.

"As long as we remember that there is no challenge we cannot meet, no barrier we cannot break, no dream we cannot realize. So, let's finish the job we started. America is worth fighting for."

This next part cannot be written without alluding to Senator Obama -sorry I am breaking my promise but it is essential to place my feelings into some kind of context.
At the White House's Two-Hundredth Anniversary Dinner, Gerald Ford stated "Once again, the world's oldest Republic has demonstrated the youthful vitality of its institutions and the ability and necessity to come together..the clash of partisan political idea's does remain just that - to be quickly followed by a transfer of authority." In response to this she wrote that this was proof that America's foundations were stronger than individual's and politics. So what baffles me about Senator Obama's 'change in Washington' politics is that it really is empty rhetoric. For a system that has worked for hundreds of years, albeit abused by the Bush Administration and in great need of re-establishing accountability and governance of the American people, not simply alluding to the ideals and preferences of those in power, it seems an awful lot of individuals are blindly buying into the 'change we can believe in' mantra. This is without really thinking through the fundamentals of what this entails, it being quite simply, unworkable and unnecessary in a system that serves American citizens each day, and with accountable political leaders having their best interests at heart, well.

The overwhelming advantage she has, has been her ability to really tackle head on, without reservation, the special interests that seek to curb positive change for the American people. Whether they be the drug companies, the insurance companies or the lobbyists. That resounding ability to rise to the challenge is what will lay the foundations for a remarkable Clinton Administration. She is unafraid, she is capable, she is ready and she is more than willing to be the fearless agent of change. That is why my thoughts are entangled within a web of uncertainty and moreover, frustration, at why this woman is not already the nominee, and why the Democratic party are so forceful in their rejection of continuing the race and keeping her Presidential bid alive. It is baffling to me, when here for the first time in a long while, America has been presented with the opportunity to elect an extremely able candidate, who also has a personality that oozes compassion and concern for 'real problem's. A candidate who not merely works for the people, but listens to their needs and acts upon their fears, dreams and desires towards a better future for all involved.

What is not to like about Universal Healthcare? A renewable energy plan that will pave the way towards tackling global warming on a worldwide scale? An Economic plan that will seek to end the home foreclosure crisis and allow America to once again have a balanced budget and a surplus, with employment opportunities? A plan that will make college affordable and early learning more accessible and widespread, allowing children to reach their god given potential? What is not to like about that John Edward's, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd? Answer me that.

My conclusion is that they are not rejecting the policy ideas that have come with the prospect of a second Clinton Administration: they are perfectly visionary and exciting. They are rejecting the woman who would be the champion of such ideal's.

But let me tell you about that woman: you know the one who said 'Women's rights are human rights", the one who started the Cookie-Scandal holding a sign saying "put Broccoli back in the White House," the first First Lady to ever have her own office in the White House, and testify in front of a Grand Jury. The Senator who stood with New Yorkers consistently, seven years after 9/11 fighting for healthcare, supporting their grief and holding their loved ones as they worked through their pain and anguish. Who stood by and not only fought politically as an elected official, but fought as a wife, as a mother, as a person. She is a beautifully warm woman by all accounts, but she is more than that. She found the strength within herself to forgive her husband, publicly and without shame of an extra-marital affair, managing to run a successful White House despite Michelle Obama's contentions that she did not. She got re-elected into the United States Senate for a second term with a massive majority vote. Some despise her, some like her, some love her. New Yorkers fall into the latter category as do half of the United States it seems if one glances at the 'popular vote' statistics and the fall electoral college map. She is intelligent beyond comprehension. She is kind when kindness matters. She is tough when only toughness will do. She is inspirational.

It is not a case of loving her however. Its a case of recognizing she has the leadership credentials far beyond those of her opponent, and in love and in hate, acknowledging that she has what it takes to be the agent of change America so desperately needs after a destructive Bush Administration.

I just happen to love her. In case you were wondering, she is Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And she is still running for President. Madame President, that is.

Shainzona said...

Lauren - please go and post this at MyDD...I know you'll get a lot of heat, but you've said it so well, maybe someone will actually hear your words.

We'll try and get your back as much as possible!!

Pat Johnson said...

Lauren, your "venting" was transformed into a beautiful elegy. Never apologize because you have successfully captured the feelings of many of us on this blog. What you have described as her attributes is what make us all so proud. She will never be sullied because she will remain the beacon of hope and the agent of change in our hearts.

Thank you.

Pat Johnson said...

Lauren, I will follow Shainoza there as well. We are with you.

RKMK said...

Don't suppose you caught CNN tonight? The MSM has crowned Obama the nominee, and they released the sexism in full force on The Situation Room. I almost broke my television. The. Fucking. Nerve.

Anonymous said...

That Thereisnospoon/TINS wouldn't find sexism playing a role in the contest doesn't come as much of a surprise. He once argued at My Left Wing that having sex with someone who was passed out (and unable to consent with full awareness) couldn't be described as a form of rape.

Anglachel said...

Pat, back off. Namo is a welcome guest on this site precisely for his contrarian views.


Interesting points. Thank you for sharing them.

There's no doubt that both campaigns have made some serious mistakes. I have very good friends (we were over for dinner last night) who are ardent Obama supporters because they really think he is a radical leftist. There is a lot of variation in the reasons different people support this or that candidate, and most supporters are far less exclusive than hard-line partisans believe.

The question is why has the party taken sides against one candidate and for another when they are both obviously popular with the voters?

I think there is a mostly internal debate going on among party strategists and affiliated political activists about the most effective national strategy given the string of losses the party has suffered. I also think there is a lot of disingenuousness about what is really being debated.

There is definitely a mechanistic/instrumentalist approach to what will result in a winning strategy. To a degree, you must be instrumentalist when looking at electoral strategy because procedures create the conditions under which votes are cast, and knowing how to maximize votes under differing conditions is a prerequisite for consistent success.

However, within the Democratic Party right now, there are two "victory" objectives - one is to capture the White House/Congressional dominance and the other is to capture the party as such. (Note - I'm not sure these two objectives are ever *not* in the works. Power is power, after all.)

I think sexism is playing a powerful role in the attempts to defeat Hillary, but I do not think it would be allowed to play such a role except for the intra-party battle. If she were not the leader of a power faction trying to move the party one way, there would not be such a need to grab for any weapon against her. When people say they aren't opposed to a woman president, just not *this* woman, I tend to believe them, but I also believe that their objections carry a whole lot of unacknowledged baggage which includes fear and resentment of a woman who will not "play nice."

The arguments about how many states to pursue is a red herring, frankly, and are done more to make a virtue of a flaw, that the anti-Clinton candidates are not able to compete against her in large Democratic majoroty states. I also think this relates back to my ongoing arguments about the very deep divide over how the southern states should/shouldn't be part of the party. The desire to exclude southen states and southern politicians (I know, I know, HRC is not "southern" - and yet in the way the liberal imagination works, she is) has been morphed into a denial of both the states and the voters who will choose such a candidate, and inventing from whole cloth a retroactive explanation of a "48-state strategy".

Yes, I'm a Hillary supporter, but I've also argued, and will continue to argue, that the fury at her candidacy from within the party is tapping a deeper vein of political culture and history. This campaign is throwing into relief divisions the party is usually able to keep papered over, and no matter who the nominee is, I think there is a very serious danger of part of the party picking up its dinosaurs and going to play elswhere.

Like most acrimonious splits, distribution of the assets is the most hotly contested issue.


Cathy said...

Which is why Anglachel your post the other day re 1976 election was so critical. [Folks go back and read it.] Although the Republican party sports the same name, it went through a radical upheaval starting in 1964 and ending in 1980. The same needs to happen with the Dems.

I agree that HRC is best cast as our new Reagan in terms of rebuilding the party. However, I don't see her and Bill putting themselves through it in 2012.

That's why she has to go independent this election. The Party has betrayed not only its core principles, but also its basic due processes to bring this travesty about for Obama.

Byrd's endorsement - which makes sense in light of campaign donations (per Confluence) - is the ultimate finger in eye to rank and file dems. Here is a guy ignoring a 41 point spread in his state in favor of a campaign speech.

[Yes, yes, I want super delegates in Obama states to vote for Hillary. But I would hope they would show some more integrity than Byrd did today.)

The Democratic Party has turned its back on the rank-in-file for the last time. I don't want to wait four years to make them pay. That would be Hillary's best service to the Democratic party she and Bill served their whole lives.

OTE admin said...

The Clintons aren't going third party; please get real.

The best thing that could happen to Democrats is to have a brokered convention. The two sides will never come together, and it is perhaps time to look at somebody else as the party's standardbearer in the fall.

Cathy said...

Susan, up to a week or so ago I would have agreed with you.

But they have made enough noise about May 31, 2008 and the need for a legitimate democratic candidate (e.g. Mich/FLA counted) to give me hope.

Given how the Party has treated her, I don't see many of her supporters (like me) accepting another candidate. Gore all but telegraphed his support to Obama so it will look like a backdoor deal for BO. said...

Agreed! Hillary Clinton is the ONLY candidate who can UNITE the Democratic Party AND its supporters.

rainsinger said...

".. I've also argued, and will continue to argue, that the fury at her candidacy from within the party is tapping a deeper vein of political culture and history. This campaign is throwing into relief divisions the party is usually able to keep papered over, and no matter who the nominee is, I think there is a very serious danger of part of the party picking up its dinosaurs and going to play elsewhere.."

*nodding* Anglachel, although I'm not so sure that is all that meaningful in this year's GE, to the Obama Dem leadership anyway.

They appear to be very confident that they can wear the loss of a significant percentage of defections. I suspect because no matter how weak Obama may be electorally, they see McCain and the Repub Party, as even weaker.

A window-of-opportunity, while the Repubs are in disarray, to win an ongoing internal power struggle thats been bubbling away hidden for years. As Donna Brazille said, along the lines that the old loose fragile Democrat alliances are no longer necessary.

Like you Anglachel, I see the misogyny, partly, as just the weapon-of-convenience used to bring the Clinton wing down. If it had been a male candidate from that wing, another weapon would have been used (and might have worked quicker!). Bribery, threats etc wouldn't work on Hillary, but might on others.

I hope she doesn't take VP slot, because I think she would only be offered it as a last resort to help Obama win, if they are worried about the rate of defections being somewhat higher, than they originally anticipated. Trying to suppress her vote hasn't worked in recent primary states. Probably this is why they are trying Edwards now, see if he helps enough with those stubborn Clinton wing demographics. If Edwards doesn't help, then they might try a couple more before the Convention.

Once he is inaugurated, Hillary as VP, would be hobbled and caged off from any power. Thanks for all your help, now Eff Off. She wouldn't even be able to help defend her own supporting factions within the Party. Whatever is left of the stalwart Clinton wing will likely be purged from Congress in 2010.

Strangely I didn't think much of her at all at first, and was quite undecided between Obama and Clinton, after all the early runners dropped out, and saw both as equally *bleh*.

But South Carolina and the race-card being played by *someone* - woke me up with a huge WTF?
Why would any Dem candidate, (let alone the Clintons!) ever play the race-card? With the Party's history? Didn't make sense.

At first I thought the GOP were playing games, but it was still early in their own nomination race. That didn't make sense either.

When I found out that the Obama campaign had been the culprit, at first I thought sadly, ohhh.. just a mistake of inexperience. But no, he did it deliberately, and kept pushing it, and ramming it hard.

Obama lost me with that.

Then the ongoing, never-ending litany of other dirty tricks, the MI/FL debacle, the Party leadership behaviour, and the misogyny etc.

I paid more attention and checked out his record, of, well..nothing really, with some rather dubious flip-flops. Along with an embarrassing lack of knowledge, of government, or policy about, well.. any single thing. Just abstractions and metaphor, dogwhistles and wedge politics.

Combined with the lies he's gotten away with, his manipulation and dirty games, his long list of questionable friendships (does he have any nice ones at all?) and the thug supporters both on-line and in my real-world of workplace, neighbourhood etc - Obama scares the beejeezus out of me. He truly frightens me.

But on the other hand, if he hadn't done that, I wouldn't have found out what a great candidate Hillary is. She impressed me so much more than I expected from the early primaries.

I don't agree with her on everything, and she did make campaign mistakes but nothing major to my mind, other than Penn - who may well have been a plant to betray from within too.

But she does have solutions, plans, policies etc - and an impressive resume and record of achievement over a long professional career to back up her statements.

For me, I don't relate at all to the emerging Dem Party's politics or tactics, or even see it as the 'lesser of two evils' relative to the Republican Party any more.

So that said - I will be de-registering once the Convention is over, and its final reconstruction as a Republican mirror-image is complete. Until then, I will continue to enjoy watching Hillary, and giving her my support.

Shainzona said...

jalc: I agree with everything you said, but one thing stuck out for me.

I was a "bleh" supporter of HRC's to begin with and then did my research, etc....but I have been stunned by the passion that this campaign has made me feel. I started out thinking that whatever happened would be OK with me.

But it's not. I am furious and angry and will not vote for Obama - I even try to envision ways to vote against Obama...short of voting for McCain.

But you've identified the reason behind my feelings - I have been tossed out of the Dem Party - after years of support, walking, talking, donating and giving them my passion, I don't matter anymore.

So it's a two-fer for me. They attacked me as a woman by the misogyny against Hillary. AND they kicked me to the curb.

How dare they think that I will "come around". No way. No how.

orionATL said...

i really doubt that the democratic party can be unified at this point.

in a sense the problem is that women, who make up the majority of the electorate, have been scorned and taken for granted by oblivious party leaders focused on a power struggle.

i'll suggest that this year the national demo leaders are about to discover again

that politics has no furies like voters scorned.

that was the lesson that the democratic party learned in the south beginning in the 1970's.

i happen to think the reaction of those southerner voters AND their political leaders - becoming republican - was morally reprehensible in the extreme. but what i think is moral or amoral is not at issue. what is at issue is that a large number of angry whites "went republican" because they felt scorned.

paul krugman argues, and i am persuaded, that that fact, BY ITSELF, explains why this nation has experienced such an avalanche of right-wing legislation and judicial decisions in the last three decades.

back to present day "unity".

i don't think it can be achieved, period.

why would women who supported clinton, and there are millions of these, vote for obama? well, the argument goes, because they should not vote for mccain. or because they are loyal democrats. or because of the supreme court.

i wonder how many women will buy these arguments. i am betting fewer than the party leaders would hope.

it has astonished me to see democratic party leaders taking the clinton voters so much for granted.

these pro-obama leaders - dean, brazile, pelosi, daschle, leahy, kerry, kennedy, and many others behind the scene - seem to be saying to clinton supporters,

"tough t***, you don't have any other choice."

well, i think clinton supporters do have other choices:

- not vote

- write in clinton's name

- vote for mccain.

but voting isn't the only action that counts.

- not giving money to national democratic organizations, but rather to one's state-level planned parenthood or too the sierra club or the nature conservancy.

- refusing to work actively for the democratic nominee with respect to phone calls, yard signs, rallies.

- even setting up a new organization to compete with the dem party and raise money to better support women in politics.

i see LIP SERVICE ONLY from national democratic leaders about "unity". i consider that lip service just more bulls**t from politicians who know exactly what THEY want and are going to do what THEY damned well please to get it - while mouthing "excuse me" all the while.

i seriously doubt these leaders will change. the money and the power at the top of the party strongly favor obama.

no one at the top, other than the clintons, sees the impending wreck coming down the road

the only thing that would change dem leaders minds would be large demonstrations in favor of clinton or against the democratic leaders and the selection process.

for myself, i have already made my decision.

i will not vote for any one but clinton for president.

any political party that locks out a leader of senator clinton's quality - extensive experience, superior intellect, a caring nature, and strong political competence - does not deserve my vote.

and don't try to scare me with the mccain boogie man. it won't work.

time for a glass of tea.

p.s i have written this with a focus on women supporters because i see their intense connection with of clinton (i live with one such woman), but there are many men, of which i am one, who are equally admiring and loyal to senator clinton.

gendergappers said...

I don't get it.

If the BO people and the media and the DNC are so sure he has won, why are their bloggers and pundits and "sources close to..." still jumping in on HRC blogs or anything written that is positive toward her with anger, derrogatory remarks and general nastiness?

I don't get it. Why aren't they just doing a crazy goalpost dance?

Shainzona said...

The comments here led me to post this over at MyDD. I am getting overwhelming nastiness..but what should I have expected!!

orionATL said...

i want to add to my comment above.

what i have to say is not directly about unity, but it does bear on the type of victory democratic leaders might anticipate in november, if, indeed, democrats win at all.

if senator clinton were the nominees, i can envision a very large electoral college victory as clinton's support grew by the month as a consequence of voters getting to see her "up close" and,

and this is the key point,

as they compared her style of thinking about problems and of speaking to senator mccain's.

on the other hand, if senator obama is the nominee, we can guess that he may wrestle with senator mccain in a manner similar to that we observed recently in the fuss between the two over middle-east policy - with both campaigns and candidates growling and hurling rocks at each other.

this style of campaigning is generally a turn-off for many voters.

my very tentative guess is that, with obama as the nominee, the democrats can expect, not more and better turnout, but less turnout.

i will guess that that could create a situation in which, if obama won at all, HE WOULD WIN BY A MUCH SMALLER POPULAR VOTE AND ELECTORAL COLLEGE MARGIN

than would have been the case if senator clinton had been the nominee.

the counter to this argument, made by obama supporters is that he will craft a "new coalition", bring in "new voters", etc.

as anglachel and some data analysts have pointed out, this does not seem to be happening so far in the primaries.

and i am not sure that it can happen in the ge. there are small pools of voters here and there to be collected (young voters, non-voting cynics, cross-voting republicans, independents), but the population is fixed at the time of an election.

i would guess that it would take GREAT interest and excitement in the nation to bring out and bring over to the democrats these "new" voters.

but if obama and mccain are seen as bellowing at teach other for two months in the fall, that is not likely to happen.


my bias is that a clinton candidacy would have the chance of creating a very large democratic victory for the white house,

matching a very large democratic victory in the congress.

senator obama's candidacy, coupled TO senator mccain's, will, i predict, lead to a much smaller, perhaps only a marginal, presidential victory.

as one observer put it some months ago, our democratic leadership will once again have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

unityindiversity said...

(Hi, thanks for great blog. If I am at tail end of article/comments that you are replacing with new article, today, PLEASE move up this request, to your May 20 feature)

JOIN MAY 20 EMAIL PROTEST TO SUPER DELEGATES. Let's exercise our rights while we still have any democracy - Below this comment is an exclusive EMAIL ADDRESS LIST of Super Delegates below.

We all know the obama camp intended today as his coronation - at least that seems postponed (thanks to many like us) . However, he is still holding some big phony rally in DesMoines Iowa tonight (you know, the state where he won the first phony caucus) His intention is to detract attention from the Primary voters who are shown to support Hillary tonight - when the votes come in.

Last week, his antics to steal the thunder from WVa 70% HILL win was to put edwards on center MSM stage and send naral/prochoice group on national phone bank to brag they endorsed him. (Smart naral state chapters received such a flood of email protests that the local chapters have distanced themselves from the national. Their national leader retorted that "women need to heal their broken hearts and get on with the business of politics". When asked reason for the endorsement (and its awkward timing, she said that organizations today need to focus on the 'under thirties' demographic.

There we go, thrown under the bus, again.

PLEASE SHOW HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS by sending EMAIL protests to this list of Super Delegates today and tonight, May 20. Let's steal his thunder for a change!


Shainzona said...

unityindiversity: I mailed letters to our 11 SD's in Arizona yesterday. To Napolitano and Grijavla, I told them it's not too late to switch - to the others, "Commit to HRC/Stick with HRC".

Hope it helps.