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Thursday: What we’re up against because the “Creative Class” just *had* to have its way

Oh, how bittersweet to know what’s coming but unable to knock any sense at all into the children who got us into this mess.

I noticed yesterday that they seemed unusually quiet.  Well, except for the gits at the Big Cheeto who seem determined to blame all of this on the hicks in the sticks.

No, don’t blame it on an increase in the number of indies going Republican.  The problem is a good chunk of your own team didn’t bother to show up.  It’s that “party unity” thing you bludgeoned us with.  Remember when Nancy Pelosi brought down the gavel like she was late for a plane and the band struck up, “People all over the world, join hands, get on a LOVE train, LOVE train”.   That song is ruined for me. The party was being 1 part sincere and 45 parts mean spirited and contemptuous, rubbing salt in the wounds of everybody in Denver who was sent there to represent a middle class/working class constituency that was desperately looking for a return to peace and prosperity.  Instead, they were railroaded and stuffed in the closet while a small bunch of fanatics took over the party.

Based on the comments I saw on various blogs yesterday, the “creative class” intelligentsia still do. not. get. it.  They now seem receptive to the idea that Obama should be primaried, preferably from the left.  But they keep trying to ignore the only legitimate person in the room who has a shot of doing it.  Desperately, they grasp at names like Elizabeth Warren, who has never run for public office, and Russ Feingold, who just got tossed out of one for, I suspect, being a bit too much of a man of mystery.  Even Anglachel who was a Clintonista backs off from entertaining the possibility: Continue reading

Remember When We Believed In a Place Called Hope?

Remember when Donna Brazile told us all that the Democratic Party was forming a New Coalition that was “…more urban, as well as suburban…” and that the party didn’t need gays, Hispanics, blue collar voters (more commonly known as Jacksonians) and us bitter, clingy feminists anymore? Donna was either flying high that night, or she was serious. We can safely assume she was serious, particularly after she wrote this gem in response to an innocent young voter’s (ie: me) inquiries about seating the delegates in Florida and Michigan.

As of today, I am not going to respond to any more anti American, Anti Democratic emails. Have a nice day.
I am sorry because you are sincere, but the Hillary forces are uncivil, repugnant and vile. When you come up for air and would like to email a person who cares about America and not just a personality, I will respond.
Thanks for your time and your interest.
Donna

This afternoon, in between being uncivil, repungant and vile and also hating America (and also toting a gun and being raycist), I came across this article on FB, which explains why the conventional wisdom about Obama’s current joke of a Presidency is, as usual, wrong:

The conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama’s decline in the polls represents a new, unexpected turn against him. But an examination of the results of the recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts suggests that what we might really be seeing is a return to the skepticism that significant portions of the electorate have showed about Obama from the beginning of his national career.

For six months during the 2008 primaries, Obama and Hillary Clinton crisscrossed the country wooing voters. Obama consistently failed to win over important parts of the Democratic base, even after it became clear that he was going to be his party’s nominee.

On February 5—Super Tuesday— Obama did poorly in both New Jersey and Massachusetts, losing to Clinton by 10 and 15 points, respectively. The exit polls were in line with Obama’s performance throughout the primary race: He did very well with blacks, wealthy voters, highly educated voters, and very young voters. He did poorly with working-class whites and older voters. In New Jersey, Obama was +20 among voters under the age of 29, but about -26 among voters over 50. In Massachusetts, he ran even with young voters, and -31 among those over 65. As for education, Obama was -41 among voters with only a high school degree, but ran even, or just ahead, among voters possessing postgraduate degrees. And then there was gender and race. In New Jersey, Obama was -19 among white men; in Massachusetts he was +1.

[...]

The question, then, is how these various coalition groups—the white ethnic enclaves, the Jacksonians, the suburban and industrial town voters—have reacted to Democrats since Obama took office. And the answer is: Without enthusiasm.

(Note: only cool young people like me and Regency voted for Hillary, but you all ready know that.) There’s usually no point in Nostalgia. But remember when the Democratic party was the party of the “Big Tent?” Remember when it was supposed to represent the interests of those who were “invisible,” as our Shero used to say? Remember the party that could overcome the labels and name calling defined by the Village and the Right Wing Noise Machine in service of things like Health Care for children, job creation, the environment and tax cuts for the Middle Class? I’m having a hard time, because it’s been a long time since the Big Dawg was President, and I was only an (adorable) little tot back then, but I digress.

The point is, the Democratic Party we once loved and belonged to bit the dust on May 31st at the RBC meeting, but we all know that. Its just that its only now, too late, that the rest of the world is realizing we were right all along about our beloved leader and the “New Coalition.” It is extremely enjoyable to relish in Donna and the rest of the DNC’s Karma, and it is at times satisfying to watch President Obama crash and burn, not because we wanted that to happen–Obama’s failure isn’t just dragging down his poll numbers, its also dragging down this country and all of the unemployed people who are struggling to make ends meet while Wall Street Bankers point and laugh at them from on high atop of their giant mounds of bailout money–but because it is only small consolation after having our vaginas compared to grilled cheese sandwiches (well, my vagina wasn’t compared to a grilled cheese sandwich, but I was still mad about the reference in general) and being basically kicked out of the party a lot of us remained loyal to our entire lives, despite it being such a hot mess.

However, vindictiveness gets us nowhere. The PUMA brand appears to have been usurped by disturbed lunatics such as the Hillbuzz boys, who now spend their days photoshopping pictures of Senator Claire McCaskill in pajamas and campaigning for conservatives like Sarah Palin, Scott Brown and Michelle Bachmann, and the Teabaggers Tea party is a front for the Right Wing.

Many have suggested forming a third party, but as Joseph Cannon explained third parties have been shown to be unsuccessful and their candidates are spoilers. Like it or not, we have a two party system and its going to stay that way. So what do we do?

The right wing nutsos — the Friedmanites, the libertarians — did not say: “We’re not getting what we want from the Republicans, so let’s form a new party.”

Actually, I tell a lie. Before the great takeover occurred, and during the days of Nixon, some right-wing ultras did go down the third party route. A Libertarian party was formed, and the American Independent Party did well in the ’68 and ’72 elections, under George Wallace and John Schmitz.

George is the one who made that remark about there not being a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties. John is the one who said “If you’re out of Schmitz, you’re out of gear. And if someone doesn’t get that kid get to shut up, I’ll do it myself.”

Apologies for that digression. (If you weren’t alive at that time, you may be confused by the references.)

The reactionary element within this country achieved much greater success when it decided to take over the Republican party. They have now commandeered it to such a degree that John Schmitz’ son Joseph has a comfy place in it. (Joseph used to help run Blackwater and he was the DOD IG under W.) The fanatics not only took over the party, they also commandeered the national debate. They set the limits of permissible thought.

It’s time to take the party back from the “New Coalition.” Its time we gave Donna a fork and made her eat her words. Its time real liberals–and by real I don’t mean fauxgressives of the former Neocon variety such as Arianna and Morkos– I mean real liberals, took the party back from so called “Blue Dogs” and Howard Dean and his crappy “Fifty State Strategy.” Its time we got our party back. Because deep down, we know it still always belonged to us. One needs only to take one look at the flailing Obots on the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos to see that. I miss our “Big Tent.” Lets call it up and tell it to please come home.

I remember being a little kid and knowing I was a Democrat, because I thought that no matter what, I would never feel invisible if there was a “D” after my name. That was what I loved about the Democratic Party. Now so many Americans feel more invisible than ever. Even Wanda Sykes.

I miss my Clinton panties too.

Clinton isn’t out there preaching that only certain types of love are acceptable. He isn’t bemoaning what is wrong with our nation, but constantly emphasizing what is right with it. Clinton is not a gloom and doom kind of guy waiting for an imaginary apocalypse to free us from this evil world. Clinton prefers to see the good in people rather than the worst. The President is an almost idealized concept of an optimist who believes that as long as we are here, we might as well try to make it the best world that we can.

Most of us appreciate that. Because in the end, we, too, would like to believe that we are people who-though we are often flawed and all too human- struggle each day to make the world a little better than how we found it.

Clinton just seems more like one of us. He actually has facial expressions. He plays the sax. He eats at fast food restaurants and struggles with weight gain as a result. He gets all red in the face as he jogs around the block. He even makes bad choices when it comes to picking out which tie to wear for the cameras.

I don’t think anyone would call him a saint. And that is the number one reason that the Republicans hate him so very much. He isn’t a saint at all. Neither are we.

As Andy points out in the song, “He made too many enemies… Of the people who would keep us on our knees..”

And all the while that the Christian Coalition driven lemmings in our government have been harping on the fact that only a saint can run this country effectively, Bill Clinton has been proving them wrong.

And the Righteous Republicans really, really hate that.

Do you still believe in a place called hope? I think I do.

Jane said Lieberman should have abided by the results of the CT primary

Yep. She was pretty steamed when Joe Lieberman decided not to abide by the results of the CT primary back in 2006. Jane was majorly pissed off. The woman just wouldn’t let up. It was an outrage when Joe Lieberman decided to substitute his judgment for the Democratic primary voters of CT in 2006. Jane was a woman on a rampage with missionary zeal. She would not stand for it. How dare Lieberman, Rape-Gurney Joe, ignore all of those Lamont voters and flip them the bird? How dare Chuck Shumer turn a blind eye to the innocent voters of CT?

Even before the primary, Jane was screaming for Joe Lieberman to do the right thing if he lost.  This is from Jane’s infamous blackface post:

E.J. Dionne repeats a piece of conventional wisdom that irks the hell out of me every time I hear it – if Lieberman loses the primary and runs as an independent it will distract everyone from the true villain, the GOP, and therefore we should just give him a pass.

Balderdash.  Lieberman has been an integral part of the GOP’s bully machine for the past six years, the Democrat useful for his willingness to dicipline his own kind.  Ned Lamont is running a legitimate primary contest and Joe is refusing to abide by the results of that primary.  As Lowell Weicker said the other day, when he became an independent he didn’t screw with the Republican primary first (my words not his) he just left.  Joe is mucking up the Democratic primary and then abandoning the party to attack it from the outside.  How this is the fault of Ned Lamont or his supporters I would very much like to know.

Tsk-tsk, Jane.  You sound bitter.  Odd, I remember defending your blackface post.  I thought it was a clever visual metaphor that perfectly illustrated the offensive nature of Lieberman’s pandering.  We all know now that not only is the definition of racism fluid but that it can also be used as a convenient cudgel to bludgeon your opponents into silence.

But wait!  There’s more.  Because Christy Hardin Smith, who I always liked, was practically joined at the hip with Jane back in 2006.  They tag teamed each other.  Christy was the legal, logical one while Jane lead from the gut.  What was Christy’s take on Joe’s Connecticut for Lieberman third party run for the Senate?

From Christy Hardin Smith in the post Lamont Wins:

Joe Lieberman is on C-Span right now thumbing his nose at the Democratic voters and the Democratic party, and announcing his run independent from the party. He’s saying he wants to “unite not divide.” This speech is right out of the Karl Rove playbook. Word on the street in Connecticut is that Lieberman will be running as an independent with Republican backing. Any doubts that his loyalty first and foremost is to Joe Lieberman, whatever it takes?

The question is: where will the DSCC and the party leadership be on this tomorrow? They had better be out in front and supporting the winner of the Democratic primary.

Jane called to say that Ned Lamont will be down to speak shortly. Here’s hoping that Democrats with some level of respect for their party, and with a healthy respect for the voters in the state of Connecticut, have a strong word with Joe Lieberman between now and tomorrow morning.

And here’s more from Christy from It’s a Win!:

Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic primary. And if he has so little respect for the voters in that primary that he will not abide by the results, then the party leadership must show him the door. To do otherwise would be to sanction cheating Democratic voters of their rightful say in the party process — and would render the party leadership moot.  That is true whether Ned Lamont won by one vote — or by several thousand.

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Christy.

This is almost exactly the problem we faced in the 2008 primary.  Let’s do the math.

Hillary Clinton went to the convention in Denver in 2008 with 1730 delegates.  Barack Obama went there with 1747 delegates.  He had a lead of 17 delegates.  That’s a difference of .97%.

Why did it look like Obama had such a commanding lead before he got to the convention?  It’s because of the way MI was apportioned.  Obama got 55 uncommitted delegates from MI and 4 of Hillary’s delegates.  But they and Florida’s delegates were at half strength.  So, Hillary’s numbers and critical mass always looked less than Obama’s.

But the party knew that it couldn’t go to the convention with Florida and Michigan’s voters at half strength.  That could have been an electoral disaster in November.  So, the Sunday before the convention began, they quietly restored the delegates of those two states to full strength.  Voila!  Hillary and Obama are almost equal in elected delegates.  But by then, the media narrative was set, which was all the DNC really cared about.  Even though Hillary technically won the primaries because Obama should never have gotten the uncommitted delegates from MI in the first place, she lost momentum.  The media put everyone else on mute.  The convention steam rolled right over the Clinton primary voters.

Know how I know?  Because I voted for her in NJ, a state she won by 10 points.  And here’s what happened at the roll call at minute mark 49:00:

Our former governor, who no one showed up to vote for last November, gave all 127 delegates to Barack Obama.  I don’t remember giving up my vote to Barack Obama.  The voters of NJ were not consulted. Hillary didn’t get a single delegate from New Jersey or New York or many other states that voted overwhelmingly for her.  Out of the 1730 delegates she went to the convention with, she got  341 votes at the roll call.

341 out of 1730 delegates.

As Christy said, failure to abide by the results of a primary ” would be to sanction cheating Democratic voters of their rightful say in the party process — and would render the party leadership moot.”

Obama didn’t win MI.  He wasn’t even on the ballot.  Why didn’t Jane tell Obama to stop playing games with the voters and abide by the results of the Michigan primary?

He lost Florida by 17 points.  Why didn’t Jane insist that Obama abide by the results of the Florida primary?

Even Jane knows that what happened at the RBC meeting was shady at best and outright vote theft at worst.  But Jane was OK with it when it happened to Hillary.  The old Jane would have been on fire about what happened to Hillary’s voters.  The 2008 Jane?  Not so much.  Because if Hillary’s voters had been treated fairly and with respect, there’s a good possibility that Obama might have lost.  OMG!  We couldn’t have that.

What did that “class of women” know about politics?  It was Jane’s responsibility to take the burden of self-determination from their slender shoulders and relieve their feeble brains from all of that stuff.

Bullshit.

Jane  has lost all credibility with us now.  Nothing she says or emails or pleads to us will make a damn bit of difference.  She was willing to overlook the smarmy, unethical, nasty, cheating tactics of her party and its Lightbringer who never protested once any of the disgusting things that party did on his behalf.   And for that reason, Jane will continue to fail at moving the Democratic party to recognize her or listen to her complaints or do anything she wants.  She gave it permission to ignore her and any voter who inconveniently gets in its way.

Jane is a world class hypocrite.

Of course, if she threw her blog to Obama just to keep the money pouring in, that would be worse.

The “screaming woman” who confronted Jane Hamsher on C-Span wasn’t actually screaming

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake

I admit I have been warming up to Jane Hamsher a bit in the past couple of weeks because of her strong fight against the abortion language in the health care bill. But apparently I got fooled again. We’ve all read and discussed Jane’s post, “Shaking Off the Hangover of the Primary Wars.” Riverdaughter did a spectacular verbal takedown of Jane’s rationalizing yesterday.

The post itself is troubling enough, but Jane’s comments about Hillary Clinton and her supporters in the thread clearly demonstrate that she (Jane) is not yet ready to take responsibility for actions she took or did not take during the divisive primary fights of 2008.

Many of us were able to see through Obama early in the primary process–after doing our own research on his character and his political experience (or lack thereof). But Jane claims that her site remained neutral throughout the primaries because there were no significant policy differences among the top three candidates, Obama, Clinton, and Edwards.

It’s true that FDL did not publicly endorse a candidate, but the posts and comment sections certainly favored Obama. It’s possible Jane couldn’t control the Axelrod astroturfers and just threw up her hands, as Digby did. But she allowed her comment sections to be infested with abusive language toward Clinton and anyone who defended her. And she banned commenters who complained about the bullying.

Jane writes:

Sophisticated campaigns marketed the candidates as personalities and people became attached to them and felt like they knew them. Everyone who opposed them was the “enemy,” rhetoric was amped up and overheated, identity politics were exploited by both sides as strategic campaign elements and suddenly the blogosphere was a giant pie fight.

We made the decision to stay true to our charter and didn’t take sides, pledging to support the candidate that emerged with the nomination. We believed that once the election was over and we could get back to discussing issues again and evaluating politicians on both sides of the aisle with the same yardstick, we’d be back in our element.

She assumes that everyone who followed the primary battles focused on candidates as personalities rather than looking closely at their characters, policy goals, and personal accomplishments. She could not be more wrong. Most of us didn’t support Hillary Clinton for her personality. I actually began the primaries as an “anyone but Hillary” voter. But her performances in the debates convinced me she was the best candidate. It wasn’t about her personality or about her husband, and it wasn’t about her gender–although I admit I would have liked to see a woman President in my lifetime. I supported Clinton because she showed herself to be smart, knowledgeable, and most of all issue-oriented.

Obama, on the other hand, was all about Obama. He never was specific about issues, he never demonstrated any commitment to Democratic ideology. He admired Ronald Reagan, for heaven’s sake! He cozied up to fundamentalist preachers their anti-abortion, homophobic followers. Most damning of all, it became obvious from his many comments about and to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin that Obama was a misogynist through and through.

I knew Hillary was more conservative than I am, and I knew I probably wouldn’t be happy with her Iraq and Afghanistan policies. But I was even more concerned about domestic issues. All I wanted was a Democrat in the White House who would fight for universal health care and would protect what is left of our social safety net. Instead, thanks to people like Jane and Markos, we ended up with a Republican pretending to be a Democrat–who, if anything is as bad or worse than George W. Bush.

In the discussion thread attached to her post, linked above, Jane posted this comment:

“I had a woman call up and scream at me when I was on CSPAN the other day for all the horrible things Markos and I had done to Hillary Clinton during the primaries, telling me that I had destroyed the Democratic party.

“And I’m like, seriously? I know some people you should meet, you guys would have an interesting fight.”

Many thanks to Gweema for posting the link to Jane Hamsher’s appearance on C-Span’s Washington Journal on November 26, 2009. I watched the whole thing, and right now I’m practically shaking with anger (want to call me a “screamer,” Jane?).

The women caller on C-Span did no screaming. She did not even raise her voice. Instead, she listed her credentials to confront Jane Hamsher and then did so very articulately. Jane responded with condescending lies and half-truths. I decided to transcribe that portion of the interview so we can dissect it here. The relevant section begins at about 25:50.

Elizabeth from Tennessee, calling on the Democratic line, wishes Jane and the interviewer a happy Thanksgiving and says she appreciates their working on the holiday weekend. Here is Elizabeth’s question:

To Jane Hamsher, I have been a lifelong Democrat, I was very involved in the health care battles of the 90’s. I was involved in actual implementing of town hall meetings back then in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois; so I don’t take a back seat to you.

But in the area of February of 2008, I discontinued reading your blog and also the dailykos blog altogether because of your extreme hatred and villification of another Democratic candidate, and that was Senator Hillary Clinton. [Jane Hamsher rolls her eyes at this point]

I don’t know how much you are aware [of]…how much damage you did and how much damage Markos did–

Hamsher interrupts the caller: “Are you sure you’re talking about our blog? We had Hillary Clinton on [patronizing laughter] …

Elizabeth says: I’m talking about your blog, ma’m, and you should know it. If anyone wants to know they should go read…from that time. [interviewer breaks in and asks when this was, but Elizabeth goes on with her points.]

“You mentioned today that Obama was an anti-war candidate. He was no such thing. In fact, throughout the campaign, he continued to say that Afghanistan was a good war…. “

[Jane Hamsher breaks in to agree with Elizabeth on this point.]

Elizabeth says: “You really caused a lot of people to leave the Democratic party during the 2008 campaign. And I’m telling you now, I’m sorry that you’re sick, I’m sorry that you’ve had three bouts with the cancer, but I’m gonna say this. You are going to be shown exactly what damage you caused our party last primary season, and I will never forgive you for that.”

Elizabeth was a bit harsh at times, but she maintained a level tone of voice and did. not. scream. In fact I’d have to say that Jane’s characterization of Elizabeth’s presentation as “screaming” verges on sexism. Perhaps Jane has some unconscious issues in that department.

Here is Jane’s response [highlighting is mine]:

I know that there was a certain class of women who decided that they would start supporting John McCain over what they thought was bad treatment of Hillary Clinton. In fact…I took a video at the Rules Committee meeting, a woman, Harriet Christian who said that…she was not going to support a party who would have an inept black man as a candidate, and that became a…rallying point for some people.

We didn’t take a position…in the primaries. We said that we would support whoever was the winner and in fact had Senator Clinton as a guest on the blog, so I think we represented all viewpoints. I think there were people their who were Hillary Clinton partisans; I think that there were people there who were Barack Obama partisans, and I think that each side…collectively saw the other side as the issue. But I don’t think we were unfair to Senator Clinton, and I don’t believe that the people who left the party to vote for John McCain, who was very much an anti-choice candidate, a pro-war candidate, reflect the same values that I have anyway, or reflect the values of Senator Clinton.

There is so much wrong with Jane’s response that I don’t know where to begin. You do need to watch the video–her facial expressions while listening to the caller and responding to her are unbelievably patronizing and condescending. It is evident from her use of the words “class of women” that Hamsher sees herself as superior to these working class (?), pathetic women (though we’re not all women by any means) who mistakenly think that Hillary Clinton was treated unfairly. In addition she twists Harriet Christian’s words in order to imply that Harriet is a racist.

And what the f&ck is it these people don’t understand about protest votes anyway?

I honestly think that Jane’s rationalizing is an unconscious defense mechanism. Now that she has seen what Obama really is–a DINO, a conservative hack, maybe just barely qualifying as a Rockefeller-style Republican–she has to go back and try to cover up her own behavior during the primaries. But Jane has a very very long way to go before she understands the damage that she and the other A-list bloggers caused. I sincerely doubt that she will ever take responsibility for her actions–or lack of actions. For one thing, Jane was at the Rules Committee meeting and apparently she had absolutely no problem with Obama being given delegates belonging to to Clinton or with Obama getting delegates from a state he didn’t compete in!

Obviously Riverdaughter demolished Jane’s rationalizing yesterday afternoon, so I don’t have to do it. I’ll just post these three paragraphs from RD’s righteous rant here:

People like me are pretty steamed at you and your buddies. You took away our choice. We didn’t get a fair primary season. We didn’t even get a floor fight. There was no unity, Jane. It was all an illusion. Your guy was forced on many, many Democratic voters because YOU decided that Obama was best for us. And many people swallowed that because they were convinced that Republicans were worse. So they voted for a Democrat and they got a Republican anyway.

Jane, how many times do we have to tell you that it wasn’t about Hillary after May 31, 2008? It was about choice. Remember Choice, Jane? The right to self-determination? The ability to choose your own destiny? If someone else took that choice away from you, you’d be on their doorstep with a bullhorn and wouldn’t let up. But because it was YOUR guy who won, it was OK? What about the choice of the rest of us, Jane? What about CA, NJ, NY, MA, OH, PA, TX, IN, NH, WV, TN, FL, MI and so on and so on? Those big, Democratic states did not vote for Barack Obama in the primaries, Jane. They deserved to cast their votes for the candidate they *did* vote for. I was one of those voters, Jane and I am not letting the Democratic party off the hook for its outrageous behavior towards me and the others. With a primary this close and disputed, the nullification of my vote was unforgivable.

That is why the primary of 2008 isn’t going to go away and why you are going to continue to get angry callers who blame you and your friends for the state of the country under Obama. You took our choice away. Your incredibly high handed and self righteous decision to support Obama and shut down the rest of the party for the supposed good of that party has lead us to this point.

Don’t come crying to me with any more of your action e-mails, petitions, and fund-raising drives, Jane. I figured it out. You think I’m in “a certain class of women” who are beneath your contempt. You won’t get another chance from me, Jane. You’re just not seeing reality clearly yet, and I’m not sure you ever will.

In defense of Jane Hamsher, Democratic party loyalist

Who could have predicted?

Jane Hamsher has taken a lot of heat lately from the likes of Booman, whoever the hell he is (we never read him).  Apparently, he wrote a post directed at the disillusioned party faithful who are now disappointed in President Barack Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress.  We know he must be talking about Jane and other bloggers like BTD because he sure as heck isn’t talking about us.  We were hep to that step and we didn’t dig it a long, long time ago.  We’ve been calling ourselves Democrats in Exile since about May 31, 2008.  Do we regret the fact that we no longer have a party to call home?  Heck no.  We know all about free milk and a cow.

But this is a painful lesson for people like Jane Hamsher, who has now been told by Booman that if she doesn’t stop voicing her discontent at the bill of goods that Obama failed to deliver, she isn’t a real Democrat.  I beg to differ.  Jane has indeed defended her party credentials quite admirably in a post today.  I advise everyone to go and read it in its entirety as well as the comments.  It seems some of the commenters are still confused about who supported Hillary, PUMA, both, either and why.  I’ll try to clarify that at the end.

It’s not my intention to dump on Jane Hamsher.  She really does mean well.  I will always admire her for what she did in CT for Ned Lamont.  It must feel like a real sucker punch to be sold out by her own party on the issue of reproductive rights too.  I remember that Jane feels very strongly about that issue.  FDL was also doggedly persistent on Plamegate and I sat riveted to my monitor throughout the duration of Scooter Libby’s trial.  Jane was barely out of major surgery when that happened.  But it was the quality of the journalism, not just Jane’s incredible resilience, that merited an award for FDL.

But something went terribly wrong in 2008.  Jane, the party loyalist, took the path most traveled and lost her way.  She documents some of the atrocities in her post today.  Most of it consists of pitiful excuses for why Jane stayed neutral during the worst of the primary abuses.  I’m sure she would like for the primary of 2008 to die an ignominious but quiet death somewhere so we can all let bygones be bygones and get on with it.  It’s not going away, Jane.

Some of Jane’s commenters and perhaps Jane herself think the problem with us “bitter” holdouts is the fact that Hillary lost.  When they notice us, if they notice us at all, they think it is all about Hillary.  But a couple of days before Hillary dropped out, I had a conversation with Peter Daou on the phone.  I was enraged by what the DNC had done and not just because of Hillary.  Of course I was angry with how they had betrayed her but I was more angry at how they had betrayed US, the voters.  I told him that it wasn’t about Hillary anymore.  It was about the Democratic party primary voters.

Let me address some of Jane’s excuses for doing nothing during the primary war of 2008.  Jane says that during primaries, it’s all about personalities.  Maybe.  But I have certainly never seen anything quite like the massacre I witnessed on DailyKos or the emnity between the campaigns that was generated by Obama’s people.  It was like the primary was taken over by the smartest guys in the room from Enron.  That was my first clue that something wasn’t cool about Obama.  His followers seemed too “ends justified the means”.  The campaign was very weak about reining them in, which eventually lead to the “Sarah Palin is a cunt” T-shirts. But the aggression didn’t stay on the blogs.  Nope.  It made its way to TV and print.  It was evident at every televised debate.  It got ugly when the accusations of racism were thrown at the Clintons.  I thought it couldn’t get lower than that.  That’s when Obama lost me for good, Jane.

But your site stayed neutral.

Then there is the issue of their voting records.  Yes, they were very similar.  So, I can’t understand why Hillary got branded as a “corporatist” and Obama didn’t.  On what basis was that label applied, Jane?  But it was even more illogical than that.  If there voting records were virtually identical, why in God’s name would you choose to go with a guy who had virtually no face time in the Senate and ZERO experience in the Executive branch? Then there was the whole Lieberman Resolution on Iran which Hillary was forced to vote for, because no one with an ounce of common sense would vote against what amounted to an opinion poll on whether Iran should be punished if they used terrorism.  But Obama was conveeeeniently absent that day.  Huh.   But wait, there’s more.  Remember the MoveOn Petraeus Ad motion that Obama voted present on?  How about all of the Illinois Senate votes on reproductive rights and abortion that Obama voted present on?  Or how about the fact that he rode to the WH on a speech he gave on the Iraq War Resolution but never had to vote on?  It was a missing data point.

But Jane’s site stayed neutral.

Then there were the caucuses that were overrun by bussed in Obama people and the caucuses in Texas where the fraud was documented and reported on at length by the likes of Pacific John, who witnessed it.  There was the RBC hearing of August 2007 where Florida and Michigan were punished.  Two whole states’ voters disenfranchised for no fault of their own simply because the politicians involved had a dispute over timing.

But Jane’s site stayed neutral.

Then there was the RBC hearing of May 31, 2008.  We keep coming back to this but Jane doesn’t get it yet.  The issue was not simply Florida and Michigan, Jane.  The issue was CA, NJ, NY, OH, PA, MA and all of the other big and little primary states where voters did not vote for Barack Obama, sometimes by more than 10 points.  We covered that hearing, Jane.  We had boots on the ground too.  We saw Amy Siskind giving an impassioned speech about what it meant to her to be disenfranchised simply because she voted for Hillary Clinton and didn’t like being called a sweetie.  And then we watched when Donna Brazile had the nerve to call Hillary Clinton a cheater simply because she wanted to keep four of her delegates and leave the rest of the uncommitted delegates at that status.  Clinton’s position, as communicated by her representatives, was extraordinarily fair.  Instead, that same committee gave Michigan’s votes to a man who wasn’t even on the ballot and by doing so, wiped out every other Clinton voter in every other state.  They knew this is what they were doing.  They threw the game to Obama, in front of all of us.

But Jane’s site stayed neutral.

Then we went PUMA, which simply meant that we were going to withhold our votes from the Democratic party because we could not reward this outrageous, undemocratic and fraudulent behavior.  Since the convention hadn’t taken place and Hillary hadn’t officially withdrawn her name from the race, we felt there was time for the party and the party faithful to come to its senses.  We hoped that the party loyalists would put principles before party.  We thought they would be alarmed by the amount of money pouring into Obama’s campaign.  Where was it all coming from?  What did the money people see in a less than one term senator who had almost no legislative experience?  Then there was the FISA vote.  We were glad to see Jane as a signatory on a sternly worded letter in The Nation.  But when we got to Denver to protest the shameful way the party was treating Hillary Clinton and her voters, where was Jane?  I swear, Jane, if you had woken up and smelled the coffee and joined us, I would have followed you to the ends of the earth.  What did a full time working person with a new blog and a ferocious out-of-the-blue insurgency know about organizing and making a scene?  I could have used a Jane Hamsher.  If Jane Hamsher had stood up and demanded a real roll call vote for Hillary Clinton, if Jane Hamsher and her followers had insisted upon fairness and against delegate intimidation, Jane would have little to complain about today.  Jane could have said, “Well, at least I tried.  At least I did *something* to keep the party together.  At least I stood up for principle instead of letting a tidal wave of accusations and incrimination destroy the good intentions of the people who voted for Clinton.  At least I could say I stood up for the working class instead of the bonus class who controls us now.”

But Jane can’t say any of those things because Jane’s site flipped from neutral to pro-Obama as soon as the Convention was over.

This in spite of FISA and primary voting improprieties and Obama meeting with evangelicals and promising them God knows what.  In spite of the overt misogynism of the media that Obama never decried or the fact that the candidate barely called himself a Democrat or that he lobbied for the first TARP bailout bill- before the election- Jane was happy to climb aboard the Obama bandwagon and buy into the scare tactics on abortion to whip the rest of us into line.  We were all supposed to come together in unity and support Jane’s Democratic presidential candidate.

And now Jane doesn’t like her guy or the Congress he rode in to town with. Who could have predicted that he’d turn out to be a corporate loving, weak president with an equally craven Congress behind him?   The nation was in such dire straits last year that only a skilled and experienced politician with a quiver full of well developed policies ready for action could have *maybe* put the country and its financial sector straight.  We got Obama and his billion dollar campaign backers instead.  And BTD is still citing the DLC as the reason why he couldn’t get behind Clinton.  Oh, please.  When Bill Clinton was president, the center was where the left is now.  To centrists back then, the Left was a bunch of tree hugging, Birkenstock wearing, Alfie Kohn loving, Noam Chomsky pacifying vegans.  We’re not the new Centrists, the Lieberman types.  We former Clintonistas, Democrats in Exile, last year’s PUMAs are FDR style liberals.  You would think that Jane and us would have a lot in common.  But Jane has some weird mental image in her mind about who we are and who we support.  We are not Palin people.  We’re not birthers.  We’re not tea partiers.  And we sure as hell aren’t racists.

We are Democrats who were set free from the party or set ourselves free to go our own separate ways.  We put principle before party.  That’s all.  We saw what the Obama campaign and the DNC was willing to do in order to get him elected and suspected that big, corporate money had a lot to do with it.  It was the neo-feudalists flexxing their muscle and we wanted no part of it.  So, yeah, we are not Democrats anymore.  For us, the primaries told us everything we needed to know about Obama.

But one thing you can’t say about Jane is that she is not a Democrat or loyal to the party.  She is the most loyal of them all and she is facing an uphill struggle.

My condolences, Jane.

I’m tired and I don’t wanna do it

care


I know I’m supposed to be all excited that Nancy Pelousy promised that there will be a roll call vote on single-payer, but I can’t work up any enthusiasm:

Seeking to dampen liberal anger about deals cut with centrists, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said House leaders have agreed to allow a floor vote on a government-run, single-payer system.

“A lot of members on our committee want a vote on that,” said Waxman said in an interview. “I believe their wishes will be accommodated.”

I guess the memory of last year is still too fresh. After a year and one-half of campaigning, with debates, fundraisers, rallies, primaries, caucuses, drama and trauma we had two nominees in a virtual tie, with Hillary holding a slight lead in votes and Obama (thanks to the RBC and the boys from Brazile) holding a slight lead in pledged delegates. Neither candidate had enough pledged delegates to claim the nomination outright.

The Democratic leadership had annointed Obama and they used threats and promises to apply pressure on the superdelegates to choose  so that they could declare Obama the “presumptive nominee.” Then they began planning his coronation with a scripted delegate vote where only his name appeared on the ballot.

PUMA members and other liberals put a lot of effort into making the roll call vote genuine, and succeeded in getting Hillary’s name put on the ballot. Since superdelegates could change their votes up until the last minute it was hoped that enough of them could be persuaded to support Hillary and give her the nomination instead. This application of democratic principles and Democratic rules was commonly referred to by Obama supporters as a plan to “steal” the nomination.

We got our roll call vote but it was a sham. The delegates actually voted in their hotels where they were strong-armed into voting for Obama. Despite the millions of tax dollars spent to hold primaries across the nation and laws requiring delegates to cast their votes for Hillary their votes were cast for Obama instead.

Even Hillary went along the kabuki.

This single payer vote will be another sham. All it will do is give Democratic sell-outs political cover so they can face the voters next year and say “I voted for single-payer.” After the votes are dutifully counted and the bill is defeated, they will pass a piece of shit Obamacare instead.

No single payer. No genuine public option. No ponies.

It might be different if the A-List “progressive” bloggers hadn’t betrayed us, but they sold their souls for Kool-aid and the occasional conference call with Obama. Right now they’re too busy worrying about birthers and Sarah Palin and beer summits to concern themselves with health care reform.

I’m gonna save my enthusiasm for the SF Giants and the Oakland Raiders. Unlike single payer, neither team has been mathematically eliminated yet.


meh


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Scratching Post DNC Tuesday – Hillary speaks! 10 pm EST (estimated time) Plus DNC “Caption this moment”

RISE, HILLARY, RISE!!!

WE LOVE YOU HILLARY!!!!

Conflucians, Senator Hillary Clinton will speak tonight at the Democratic National Convention at 8pm EST.  Our first viable female candidate who won more votes than any candidate in our nation’s history, is being forced to relinquish her votes on the 88th anniversary for Women’s Suffrage.  We know that she’s going to ask us to unite, to come together as she’s graciously asked us to do since suspending her campaign on June 7th, 2008, but everyone who reads the Confluence knows that we cannot unite as we have in the past when the DNC stole votes and delegates, thrwarting the DNA of Democracy itself: our right to have our votes counted and cast as they were intended.   

Esteemed Senator Clinton, we acknowledge you are between a Mt. Everest of rocks and a hard place.  But we will march and fight until every vote is counted and reported, and when Democracy comes back to the Democratic Party, so will we.  Until then, PUMA!

While Riverdaughter, Mawm and Gary go with their PUMA packs to PUMA headquarters in downtown Denver or prowl in the PUMAmobile, Rico’s got his Pink PUMA & Mountain Lion Martini glasses chilling in ice, while Flo’s got her catcher’s mitt ready for unwelcome words.  If you didn’t have any dinner, we have Denver Bison (or Tofu) mini-burgers and fresh popcorn for all the action that’s going down in Denver.

Speaking of action, just like RiverDaughter said here, and BostonBoomer said belowPUMAs are the news story!  Here’s this little nugget from Rebecca Traister from Salon.com:  Rebecca’s not exactly a PUMA-friendly reporter, but at last she gives Tweety a good slap: 

Aug. 26, 2008 | DENVER — “This is where you see the civil war!” burbled Chris Matthews, experiencing near-asphyxiatory pleasure on an outdoor stage in the sweltering Denver heat, while behind him two competing groups, Obama supporters and the PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) backers of Hillary Clinton, chanted “Obama! Obama!” and “Hillary! Hillary!” at each other. Matthews looked as though he might wet himself as a camera panned the crowd, and he declared, “We’re at ground zero!”

Talking to these women, I began to believe that the threat of PUMAs, or aggressive Hillary supporters who planned to take over the convention, was a full-blown myth. I couldn’t find any; I hadn’t seen any. I half suspected that they were the creation of a media anxious to gin up a story in which the villains were a bunch of grumpy old white chicks.

But that was before I left the confines of the official indoor events and stepped out into the wide world of public protest and freedom of expression. And before the news of Monday’s shifting policies on the roll call vote began to leak out, and before Hillary supporters lining the streets of downtown Denver heard convoluted versions of what was likely to happen.

“You mean Reverend Wrong,” Mar interrupted. “Look, I know about the race card. I know about race. I’m African-American. And it was Obama who played the race card, and it’s going to come back and bite Obama in the butt.” African-American supporters of Obama, in Mar’s view, “are proud. Yes, I understand that. But you want someone who can lead America, not because he’s African-American, or because she’s a certain gender, but because she can lead.” But what about the woman they wanted as America’s leader? Clinton has been leading her supporters, or trying to lead them, to vote for Obama. “We want Hillary,” said Novacek, with the fingers-in-her-ears insistence of an implacable toddler. “She can stand on her head and plead with us, and I still will not vote for him. I want her. She is best for the country.”  

Caption this DNC moment!  Add your Conflucian Savoire-Snark to these photos:

PHOTO 1:

PHOTO 2

RISE, HILLARY, RISE!!!

¡QUE VIVA LOS PUMAS!

(Long live PUMAs!)

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