Saturday, June 07, 2008

Clinton Democrats

This woman has won my unswerving political loyalty. The speech delivered today sets it in granite.

Hillary gave a brilliant, powerful, astute and compelling speech today. It was not actually a concession speech, though that was part of the mix. It was a challenge to the media, the corrupt and co-opted blogosphere, to the petty backstabbers of the DNC, and, yes, to every rank-and-file Democrat, no matter who they supported in the primary.

What we watched today was Hillary laying out, in pitch-perfect detail, a vision of the Democratic Party that justifies its reason to exist, identifies the people it must represent, and outlines the conditions under which it may legitimately hold power.

Those who hold to this vision are Clinton Democrats.

I have a set of four posts I hope to write over the course of the weekend, but they may go on into next week. In them, I will speak more about this speech, the campaign, the nature of party politics and, finally, the political and ethical failure of the Left Blogosphere.

The primary may be over, but the battle has only started.



speck said...

I completely agree. With this speech she's established herself as one of the great political figures of my lifetime. I'm looking forward to your analysis.

draeinoregon said...

I came here first. I knew, that you, and you alone would say what I most needed to here. I don't know how you do it, I am still sobbing; she is so amazing to me.

I liked her in the beginning. I have always supported her, knew she was the best choice, but now, ow I love her. I have never been so proud, so hopeful, and so very sad at the same time.

She will always have my support.

Thank you, for always putting things just so.

femB4dem said...

Yes, the fight must go on. Below is an updated version of a comment I made on TalkLeft today:

Someone asked the question what would I do if Hillary came to my house and asked me personally to support Obama? It's basically what she did in her speech today, which I listened to with tears in my eyes. I now know the answer: I would hug her, and thank her, but firmly say "no."

Here's why: the misogyny that has so stunned us all did not come out of nowhere. It was waiting, buried not very deeply, in the hearts and minds of the Matthews, Olbermanns, Caffertys, etc., of the media, in the hearts and minds of the vicious Obama supporters, and, IMO, in the heart and mind of a certain green, rookie one-term U.S. Senator who felt it perfectly appropriate to challenge his senior, more qualified female colleague for a job everyone with half a brain cell knows should be hers.

Does anyone really think that if Al Gore had thrown his hat in the ring Obama would have too, even if (perhaps especially if) Hillary had not run? Unless you can answer that question fairly in your heart that, yes, he would have run in any event, I submit that you cannot (at least women cannot) stay honest and true to yourself and support him. It is truly that simple for me.

What makes us think this misogyny in the media and our party will go away if we do nothing, sit back and say, "sure sweetie, we'll vote for you." That overt sexism and deeply held misogyny will simply recede back into the recesses of the rotten hearts of Olbermann and his ilk, waiting to surface in 2012 in its most vicious of forms against Hillary, should she run again.

But even worse, it will also wait only to surface against any woman who dares to step out of her place and run for president. It won't need to be so vicious against this hypothetical woman, whoever she may be, instead it will be a more gentle form along these lines: "well, if Hillary was rejected by the American people, what makes you think you will be acceptable as CIC (or whatever)?"

No woman will ever again (at least not in my lifetime) have the unique set of talents, experience and fortitude that allowed Hillary to get this close, to put those 18 million cracks into that glass ceiling. The women to follow won't be savaged -- they won't need to be -- they'll be scoffed at and mocked.

Women, if we are going to make a stand to save our democratic party, it must be now. We must reject the candidate the DNC foisted upon us, and do it with the same vigor and determination Hillary has shown. If we do not, if we just return to that metaphorical coffee pot and ask Obama: "sugar or cream?," we will have lost our voice for generations, just as our foremothers did in 1872 when they did not have the power to insist, loudly and firmly: "yes, absolutely, the right to vote for black men, but the right to vote for us too." We do have that power now, and we must use it.

Susan B. Anthony said it well when she asked "how can any woman support a party that does not support her self?" Indeed. Those words resonate today just as strongly. We must fix our party now by rejecting it's current guise or we will be stuck at the back of that ever more crowded bottom of the bus for generations to come.

If, in the end, that means casting a vote for John McCain, so be it. As a one-term placeholder president for Hillary, he won't be that bad. A strong Democratic Congress can keep him in line. And if it can't, then tell me again why exactly we have been voting for democrats all these years?

This fight is so far beyond Hillary and Barack now;
for our daughters and nieces, for their daughters and nieces, we cannot let it end. This is out time, and this is our moment, we dare not let history say we failed.

Cathy said...

I look forward to your posts because I could not watch the beginning of her speech. Though I'm happy to say I caught most of her it. I simply lack the adjectives to describe it.

Despite its brilliance, however, I cannot follow her into that breach. But that has to be alright. Hillary is a democrat with a big "D" (party is most important so you have vehicle for implementing change). I and others are democrats with a small "d" (party is set of principles and we'll pick the most expedient vehicle to implement change). Both sides are right and wrong. Further folks from both sides will move back and forth between sides as the campaign develops.

However, both sides need each other. Here in the blogosphere we can communicate with each other. But I worry about folks trapped in endless cycle of false news from MSM.

The logistics of how that communication will work - e.g. - belong on other web pages. I view your site as providing the theoretical underpinnings for our next steps.

Not that we need someone to tell us that something is wrong. Like obscenity, we all recognize it when we see it. Rather we need folks like you to help provide an analysis that makes it seem less random. If you understand something, you can better control it. Let me repeat my plea that you to somehow publishing them in an arena outside the web.

In the meantime - as always - thanks for sharing.

jangles said...

You captured the essence. It was incredible, deeply moving. No one could have laid down the Democratic cause more intelligently, cogently, coherently. She has an amazing gift for going deep but phrasing and presenting ideas in such a way that all of us can follow and grasp her meaning. She makes me so proud to be a woman; she makes me proud to be a Democrat, a Clinton Democrat. Bless her for saluting Bill and his two terms of the only 10 won by Democrats in the last 40 years. I am really looking forward to your posts about this speech.

show me said...


I am a tough old broad and I have been crying all day.

You are correct. Hillary laid out the principles of the Party that I have always loved. I am heartbroken that she is not going to be the one who leads us out of the morass.

I am so looking forward to your posts. I need guidance. I don't think I understand the forces behind this takeover. How could the party reject the most talented leader of a generation?

The country needs her so badly right now.

Other Lisa said...

I was on the road and missed most of the speech but am determined to watch it later - when people like you and BTD say it is one of the best political speeches they have ever seen, I know that I must.

I read Femb4Dem's comment just now on TalkLeft and could not agree more - the Susan B. Anthony quote is particularly apt. I cannot and will not support a party that does not support me. It would be enabling the behavior. Going back to the abuser.

Mister Pleasant said...

You hit the nail on the head. We are indeed the Clinton Democrats. I will remain a Democrat and work hard to see that the party lives up to what Hillary and Bill stand for. However I cannot support the party's nominee for president, as I see his campaign as the antithesis of what the party can and should be. When I hear Barack, Donna B., and their netroots claim that the party no longer needs to pander to its traditional constituencies - blue collar, unions, AA, GLBT, Latino, elderly, and especially women - I know that I have to stay to do what I can to keep this incredible melting pot from evaporating. Not that I can do much as one individual, but if the many that feel as I do not give up, there is hope.

I look forward to your upcoming posts on this subject.

Anonymous said...

I am much more to the left than Hillary is. Yet, I believe that what we saw since New Hampshire was an enormous growth and Hillary became a world class leader. I admire her and admire people who are capable of changing for the better. Since, "my way" has little support, being a Hillary Democrat is an honor.

We are facing major obstacles. The DNC and Obama don't want the blue collar workers; they'll do the utmost to drive them out. (Reasons for another comment.) The DNC and Obama don't care much about health care, social security or Hispanics.

I fail to see how those trends go hand in hand with Hillary Democrats. I'll not vote for Obama because of the above and because he is not even a Democrat or a democrat.

Common Sense Gram said...

Thank you for the remarkable insight. I have yet to watch the entire speech, I was able to read a transcript without completely breaking down.
I spent a considerable amount of time this week trying to work out my anger by weeding the garden. THAT is a never ending battle. The primary season seems to have demonstrated that we must be relentless in pulling the weeds of mysogyny. Weeds and the party bosses are now firmly linked in my mind. Some spread by seed, some send runners undergound, but sure as hell, when they take root, they suck all the nutrients out of the soil and starve the good plants of nourishment.
Being the earth friendly person I am, I do not use poison on my garden. I eat that food and my garden supports a wide variety of bees and birds. I do however, ruthlessly pull the weeds. I hoe them down, I till them under.
My new political goal then is to pull the weeds, get rid of the hacks who are sucking the life out of the party we once knew. The party that gave sustenance to millions upon millions. I will vote for those who will care for the voters like I care for my garden.

misfit said...

I almost feel like the entire meaning of politics has changed for me. I have always been a "political junkie" but it is now as if I had been involved in the politics of a different country than my own. Now that I see what a candidate can truly be, it matters to me in a totally different, deeply personal way. I will never go back. People have used the expression sore loser. Winning or losing a competition is so far from my mind. It was absolutely phenomenal to discover this woman who could be president, who had the experience and knowledge to be president, and who literally would be the best choice of anyone else in the country to be president. I can never be satisfied until she is president. The shenanigans of the DNC to keep her from the presidency are vile and I feel the DNC must be shown a consequence. This may very well mean a protest vote for McCain and I am prepared to do so.

pm317 said...

At June 07, 2008 2:09 PM, Blogger femB4dem said...

Wow! I am blown away by the intensity of your comment and I share every bit of it. This is the time to matters in our own hands and not be cowed down to follow them to their nefarious goals. If we stay silent, we are accepting the outcome of this primary and how it was brought to bear. What does unity mean if we agree to elect a democrat who stepped all over us?
Self respect and pride of ownership of ourselves are more important. We are not for sale.