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Wednesday: There is no unity without FL and MI, Don-na

Donna Brazile did an awful lot of eye-rolling last night. I caught her doing it on several occasions when Paul Begala pointed out the obvious. But it wasn’t Paul that made the outrageous statement of the night. It was Donna herself:

BRAZILE: Well, Lou, I have worked on a lot of Democratic campaigns, and I respect Paul.*** But, Paul, you’re looking at the old coalition. A new Democratic coalition is younger. It is more urban, as well as suburban, and we don’t have to just rely on white blue-collar voters and Hispanics. We need to look at the Democratic Party, expand the party, expand the base and not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

***There are a couple good reasons to respect Paul Begala, Donna. He has actually won the presidential campaigns that he’s worked on. You, unfortunately, have not. I think you ought to listen to him.

This is what followed:

Ok, now let’s think about what Donna has just said: *WE* are part of the “old coalition”. We are working class, hispanic, women, seniors, asians. We cut across all socio-economic and education levels. We are over-represented in Florida and Michigan. What sets us apart is that we vote for Clinton. Therefore, we MUST be white trash Bubbas and Archie Bunkers. You can almost hear the contempt she has for us in her voice. That word “old” probably has a double meaning for Donna. (BTW, I happen to fit the Obama demographic but at this point, I’m beginning to think my mom is right. He is the anti-Christ, just with a lot less experience and the inability to win a debate.) Just where does Donna think the “old coalition” is going to go? And how about all of the women in that “old coalition”?

But this is not the only thing that bothers me about Donna. No, I think the thing that bothers me most is her consistent threat that if African-Americans don’t get Obama, bad things will happen. As if race is permitted to triumph over every other criteria we should use to pick a president. And Obama’s campaign has done the most despicable thing you can do to a fellow Democrat He’s destroyed Clinton’s character by manipulating her words and calling her and her supporters racists. But as we can clearly see from the election results, it is the African-American community that votes based on color of the skin, not content of the character. This is the sordid truth behind his win in urban areas, NC and other southern states where he holds 90+% of the African-American vote. In IN, we have the Gary’s mayor deliberately sitting on votes for hours. We can only speculate what was going on there but it doesn’t look pretty.

And here is Obama’s “new coalition”: college students, DINKS, African-Americans and crossover troublemaking Republicans who will not vote for him in the fall. It isn’t a new coalition. It’s a losing one without us. And without Michigan and Florida, it’s an illegitimate nomination. As Begala said, “Count me out”. Oh, that’s right, Donna already has.

Donna needs to be fired.

One More Thing: This race is not over. There is still KY and WV next week. But the late call for Clinton for Indiana didn’t give her the moment she needed last night to make a triumphant speech and ask for money. Forgive my tin foil hat but for all I know, the votes were withheld for just this reason. Now’s the time to make up for that. If you have a few dollars, throw it her way. Contribute here.

One more thing x 2: Yesterday during one of the breaks in my all day meeting, I had several people approach me to say they would never vote for Obama. They are not politicos and the statements were delivered without any prompting from me. They just flat out said, “We’re voting downticket but will skip the presidential if Obama is on the ballot.” So, Donna and Dean better get control of this situation and soon. There are many, many people who do not appreciate being drowned out by caucuses and the monolithic racial Frankenstein’s monster that Obama created.

Breaking: Obama wins in Guam by smaller margin than he lost in FL!

Obama pulls off a huge victory in Guam less than two weeks after his humiliating defeat in Pennsylvania. However, the result will not be certified until the Democratic Party of Guam can conduct a recount of the ballots, including some 500 spoiled ballots in Dededo. The recount will be overseen at least by Obama’s campaign and Clinton’s as well, providing her representatives aren’t diverted to Midway for a tour of the atoll.

Confluence Senior US Territory Election Analyst, RonkSeattle says, “This long, drawn-out counting process can’t be good for the Party. They should both just give up their Guam delegates.”

Obama’s margin of victory in Guam was 7 votes out of an estimated 4000 participants at the caucuses. He lost in Florida by 17 points in a turnout of 1.7 million voters at a primary. For comparison, the 17 points represent more people in Florida than all of the inhabitants of Guam. (Population of Guam is 173,456)

Once certified, Guam’s half delegates and full superdelgates will be seated at the DNC convention in Denver and will have the honor of casting their votes for the their nominee while Florida’s delegation will be told to take an old, cold tater and wait.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Guam? We’re stressing over GUAM?!

Here’s what I know about Guam: It’s a tiny rock in the middle of nowhere near the Mariana trench, It was the island where the Enola Gay was refitted for Little Boy’s fly over Hiroshima, it has a problem with brown tree snakes and when my dad was temporarily stationed there during the Vietnam war, he said is was less smelly than Subic Bay in the Phillipines but really boring. When I lived in Hawaii as a kid and one of the other Navy brat’s parents got stationed there or Midway, we thought it was a frickin’ death sentence, like being shipped to Siberia.

And here we are, dozens of bloggers and media outfits, all breathlessly awaiting word from 3000 voters half a world away. Oh, don’t get me wrong. They’re voters and their votes are valuable. But is it going to change the direction of the race? Can a butterfly that small create waves back on the mainland? Call me skeptical. Unless Obama does far worse there than everyone thought, in which case we will be covering it relentlessly until Tuesday. ;-)

Here’s a round up of Guam(?) posts:

Obama leading Guam caucuses
: Todd Beeton keeps score. Apparently, it’s come down to one township. Whoop-de-doo!

At TalkLeft, Big Tent Democrat is covering the throngs */snort* at the Guam Caucuses with not one but FIVE updates. According to BTD, Hillary had better informational material in Guam than Obama did. Let’s hope he didn’t spend too much time dweling on their concerns over the Great Lakes for this one.

CNN Political Ticker has someone on the scene taking the hardship assignment. Their understated title, Showdown in Dededo says it all.

The New York Times is also reporting regularly in The Early Word: Guam, Which Counts, Is Counting
There is a HUGE turnout in Guam. By Golly, people are pushing and shoving to get to the caucuses. Well, you just have to read it for yourself:

Officials noted unusually high turnout, continuing the trend apparent throughout the primary season among locals unaccustomed to having a say in the primaries. Normally, the Pacific Daily News reports, about 1,000 people cast ballots in the caucuses, but about four times that were expected to show up.

Damn! If only Florida or Michigan could have turned out as many dedicated and interested citizens who took their voting reponsibilities as seriously. Maybe they *too* could have had votes that counted.

A Tale of Two Videos

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Er, scratch that. It’s been used before. But surely, ladies and gentleman, you will have never seen a bigger miscarriage of justice since Bush vs. Gore than the DNC hearing that stripped Florida of its delegates. You may want to procure a strong drink or a xanax (but not both together) before you sit down for the next 80 minutes to view this classic of having every opportunity to avoid Murphy’s Law but diving headlong into it anyway. Here is the egregious piece of footage: Florida Democratic Primary Election Hearing of the DNC

(Didn’t it occur to anyone in that room that this was being recorded for posterity? I’m betting some of them regret having ever encouraged technology.)

And this piece of footage is of Howard Dean on This Week with George Stephanopolous (thanks to Katiebird) trying to justify excluding Florida because it broke the RULZ and wouldn’t have a caucus with a total of 150,000 ballots for all 4 million Floridian Democrats who were eligible to vote. It just warms the cockles of your spleen.

All that is left now it to re-erect La Guillotine and to escort Donna Brazile and pals to it in a trundle of their own making.

United we stand; divided we fall

Friends, this post is about Solidarity. Now, what does that mean exactly? Some people may think automatically of union movements and there is no doubt that unions understand that concept. That is, you are only strong if you stick together. If some of your membership get picked off by the bossies, you are diminished and it makes it that much harder to win the day.

So, this message is for all of you voters in NJ, NY, CA, MA, AZ, TN, OH, AR, OK, NH, TX and all of the other states that voted for Clinton, in many cases decisively. We voted for her not because we are ideologues. We’re not in it for the fame and fortune. We aren’t interested in testing some esoteric strategy. We voted for her because she is the best candidate we have to be president. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: she is so much better qualified than Barack Obama that if he weren’t the token male it is hard to imagine how they would be sharing the same stage.

But the bossies have picked off two of our members. I have to say that I am astonished that they think they can disenfranchise the biggest and most Democratic states by refusing to seat MI and FL but that is their goal. By shutting down MI and FL until the convention, they have weakened the other states that voted for Clinton, depriving us of our impact on choosing the nominee, who they have determined will be Barack Obama, the token male.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I think it is very important that we get MI and FL back on our side and let the bossies know that we will choose the nominee with our votes. We will not be bullied or intimidated by the press or by the RULZ or dimwitted bloggers. There is a possibility that the DNC Rules and Bylaws committee that will be meeting April 5 will wake up and smell the coffee. But the best way to wake them up is to let them know how you feel. If you are a voter in one of the states I’ve mentioned, your opinion carries special weight because unless MI and FL are seated, *their* fate is *your* fate. Your vote means nothing.

That makes me, a NJ voter who proudly cast her vote for Hillary on super Tuesday, very, very angry. My vote is considered somehow less worthy than some Republican crossover in Utah. If my vote is thrown away because MI and FL are not seated, after all of the stonewalling by Barack Obama, Donna Brazile and Howard Dean, I may just decide to not cast a vote for president this year. My choice will have been made for me in spite of millions and millions of my compatriots who will see the best presidential candidate cheated out of her nomination.

But you can send a message to the Rules and Bylaws committee. There are still a few days left. If you are in a Clinton state, let them know that you know EXACTLY what’s going on here and you aren’t going to put up with it. See Hillary’s Action Alert: Florida and Michigan Deserve to be Heard. Be polite but forceful and let them know who the real bosses are. We Clinton state voters stand in Solidarity with Michigan and Florida.

And now I am going back to nursing my poor ski muscles…

Oh, Brother

*rolling eyes*

This is another Deep Thot from Matt Yglesias, he of the “If only voters would listen to those of us who know better, they would stop voting, volunteering for her and donating money to her campaign” schtick. Today’s Thot should be called, “How to piss off entire states so that you must travel incognito while in them”:

Chris Bowers sketches out a plausible and appealing scenario in which Barack Obama wraps up the nomination on May 6. Among other things that would be good about such a scenario, it’s worth noting that at this point the main obstacle to a satisfactory resolution of the Florida/Michigan situation is that Clinton continues to be in the race. If she drops out and endorses Obama on May 7 or shortly thereafter, it’ll be easy for Michigan and Florida to be “forgiven” in late May and allowed to fully participate in a rubber stamp convention in exchange for promising to never do it again.

This is what, I think, everyone believed would happen when the harsh sanctions were first announced. Only the fact that Hillary Clinton is trying to use the seating of the improperly selected delegates to actually overturn the results of the legitimate nominating process is creating a crisis situation that threatens Democratic prospects in the fall.

Forgiven, Matt? Florida has to be forgiven for exercising it’s right to vote? What were they supposed to do instead? Not go to the polls in January or only go to vote on the ballot resolution but refrain from the cardinal sin of voting for Hillary Clinton? I wonder, if the results had been reversed and Obama was leading Clinton by 17 points in the Florida primary, would Obama have “forgiven” them sooner? Three Hail Marys, two Our Fathers and a Rosary? If only they had known in advance they wouldn’t be facing eternal damnation and hellfire.

Jeez.

Tuesday- Turmoil

Good Morning. Everyone ready for another day in the trenches? Here’s what the rest of the world has been up to while you wasted your time sleeping:

  • Phil Bredesen, Governor of Tennessee, has a plan to settle the superdelegate count by early June. This plan is to have a pre-convention just for the Supers so they can pick a candidate before the actual convention in August. His reasoning is that it would be sooo much better for the party if we got this out of the way before August so we could get on with the business of crushing McCain. He can’t help it that he’s been duped to stupidity by Obamamania, bless his heart. Much to our surprise, this is a plan that Obama thinks is “interesting” and “would probably be the best way to insure that at least there’s a couple of months before the convention” for the party to unite. I call it a complete non-starter and just another variation on the “Why Won’t That Stupid Bitch Quit?” (WWTSBQ) idea that’s been floated for some time now. (This one may be donation worthy. We must consult Lambert) A Superdelegate convention would just lock in the SDs for whoever is the delegate leader, I suspect, because it would be haunted by zombie Obamaphiles who would threaten to eat the SD’s if they don’t comply with their noisy demands. And that would be risky because if Obama flames before August, it would be very difficult to reverse locked in pledges and nominate Hillary instead. Nice try guys but we’re not stupid.
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz is giving the Big Boyz fits in Florida because she apparently isn’t lifting a finger to help Democratic challengers to 3 Republican congressional districts. Yep, she’s on some kind of Red to Blue leadership team but she’s like, not leading. And it looks like the Democrats could lose some pick-up opportunities in Florida. In FLORIDA! Hmmm, Florida, Florida, where have I heard that word before? Oh yeah! That’s the state whose 1.7 MILLION voters were dissed by Howard Dean and Barack Obama. Those 1.7 MILLION voters votes will not count at DNC convention unless they don’t put Hillary ahead. Who could have predicted that Debbie Wasserman Schultz would be capable of some passive-aggressive Hardball? That is not allowed from a Hillary supporter. Only Obama supporters are allowed to do that. Still, it’s entertaining to see the Big Boyz get their knickers in a twist of rage because Debbie isn’t doing their bidding and saving the Congress for the Democrats. The NERVE of some women. Can’t she see there is a higher purpose at stake here??? (You guys really have *no* idea why Debbie Wasserman-Schultz from FLORIDA is behaving irrationally? It makes no sense whatsoever? Holy smokes!, Even Matt Stoller and KOS have taken note. How unusual it is for them to even acknowledge Floridians. Well, I guess she got your attention, didn’t she?
    Mission accomplished.)
  • Jeralyn at TalkLeft had some interesting things to say about Rush Limbaugh getting Republicans in PA to switch parties to vote for Hillary Clinton in the PA primary. Look, I don’t know what Rush is up to. All I know is that there are a lot of people in PA who are fed up with the Republican party and don’t want to vote for McCain. Many of them don’t need a whole lot of pushing to switch parties. And there’s nothing that says that a person can’t change their party affiliation if they get a virtual dope slap after eight years of an idiot in the White House, endless war, higher prices for everything, the country on the verge of an economic collapse and a missing or absent social safety net which they once railed against but suddenly discovered they needed after all. Rush is encouraging voters to switch, Obama is encouraging voters to register as Democrats, *Hillary* is encouraging voters to register as Democrats. Let’s give Pennsylvanians the benefit of a doubt here. They are willing to travel outside of their comfort zones for a variety of reasons. In a few weeks, they will stand before that panel and see two names there and will vote for the candidate of their choice for the same reasons that lifelong Democrats have for years. They want a better candidate, a better president. And if that person just happens to belong to the screwed up party who can’t get its $@#% together, then it’s GOT to be bad on the Republican side.
  • Following up on the race-baiting chase, Sean Wilentz has a second article in The New Republic on how the Obama campaign is screaming “racist!” at every chance they get. It’s a couple weeks old, this article, but lucky for us, Ronkseattle is putting together a compilation (beta release) of Obama’s greatest racist! accusations. Dayum!, Ron, you’ve been busy. You’ve chronicled 88 instances? Well, what do you expect from a “typical white person”? Er, you are white, aren’t you Ron? It’s so hard to tell these days. Everyone looks like little black pixels to me anymore.
  • One more thing: My site cafeteria had a stack something called Edible New Jersey that it was giving away for free. So, I picked it up and was pleasantly surprised. It’s a quarterly magazine that features the food grown locally by season and recipes to go with them. It’s well written and timely and goes together well with Michael Chiarello’s Seasons in the Wine Country cookbook. But, wait! There’s more. There is a whole Edible Community with similar periodicals for different regions and even Canada. So you too can find locally grown foods and boost your local economy while cutting back on energy costs. (If you feel so inclined. I notice they are no fans of Hillary Clinton but that’s OK. The idea is a very good one and we can’t afford to be purists this year.)

Have at it, guys!

Bill Bradley disenfranchises MI and FL. AND CA, NJ, NY, MA, AZ, OH…

Bill Bradley and Nita Lowey were on Meet the Press this morning and Tim Russert (aka Pumpkinhead) and Bradley had the following exchange:

TR: What should happen to Michigan and Florida?

BB:Well, I think the rules are the rules. MI and FL both knew that they wouldn’t be seated if they moved their primaries up. They decided to do that anyway. I mean if we want to make sure that MI and Fl are seated, well, then, don’t let that determine the outcome. They get a 50/50 division and go into the convention, everybody will be there.

TR: Are you disenfranchising the voters of MI and Fl with that position?

BB: Well, I think this is not the voters, per se, but the parties of those states made that decision and there are consequences for that decision.

Continue reading

Sunday: Solidarity

Welcome new readers of The Confluence. We are a merry band of bloggers, exiles by our own choice or our own words, standing on the brink of a new progressive blogosphere. Make yourself at home and join us in solidarity.

  • If you haven’t read ronkseattle’s summary of the DailyKos writer’s strike so far, please do. At the heart of this strike is the idea that free speech really should be free. It should not be held hostage to the proprietors of large web sites. As dissenting voices are chased from the marketplace, so are the ideas that go with them. We do not know what the future holds for the political blogosphere but there are hundreds of voices that go unrecognized because their sites do not reach the threshhold level of size. Stay with us as we brainstorm on how to change this model.
  • Tom Watson puts his finger on the problem in his post on The Left Splits: Writer’s Flee DailyKos over Clinton Bashing. Here’s the money quote:

    The resentment among non-Obama backers is growing rapidly – you can see it in the comments here, and I can see it in my emails. There’s a real split among party activists, and it’s getting wider. Some of it is motivated by the media’s love affair with one candidate – and hatred for the other; Keith Olbermann’s embarassment drove many over the edge. But much of it comes from boorish, Stalinist behavior online – the kind of “you’re either with us or against us” attitude we saw so much of when the Bush crowd was flying high. It’s disturbing, particularly because so many of the targets are women. This is not the Democratic Party many of us have worked for; this is not the progressive blogosphere we’ve supported. Without blaming the worthy candidacy of Senator Obama in any way, this is not a progressive movement – it’s a harsh, echo-filled politburo bathed in faux post-racial hosannas and the gauzy camera lens of “hope.”

    This is also the time to note the lack of leadership in the party.

  • A funny thing happened on the way out of Macy’s yesterday. I was on the way to my car when I passed two retail assistants talking to one another while on a smoking break. One turned to the other and said, “Yeah, but what about Michigan and Florida?” *ping!* Did I hear that right? Just two average NJ Joe’s standing on the sidewalk in front of Macy’s, dragging on their Camels and talking about delegate counts? Yes, my droogs, they knew the frickin’ delegate counts and they knew which states were important and they knew what was going on. So, as I passed them, I updated them that Michigan was headed for tha do-over but I didn’t think that Florida needed one. One of them burst into howls of laughter while the other just smiled and nodded his head. The laughing one stopped and asked, “So, didn’t Hillary win Florida?” and I told him, “Yes, 1.75 people can’t be wrong. They certainly voted like they knew what they were doing.” He started laughing again and he and his friend went on talking as I went to my car. Now, I don’t know about you, but it is my humble opinion that when the average cashier at Macy’s knows what the score is and who is ahead, it is going to be very difficult to spin the Florida controversy as a win for Obama. This experience is not atypical for what is going on all around me in NJ. When people spot my Hillary button in Starbucks, they start to talk politics like it is second nature. My asian colleagues hash it out with me at lunch. My *sister* who is not a politico, sucks up information like a sponge on this stuff. People are tuned in and are following this like a real horserace. And I think they know what is going on, who is pulling the strings and just how much they can trust the media. Thank you SNL. So, if I may make a recommendation: wear your Hillary button (or Obama button, if you must *sigh*) on your jacket or your backpack or your sleeve when you’re out in public. And don’t be afraid to engage people in political talk. You know what’s going on and can fill in the missing pieces. Listen to what people are saying. Hold back the emotional aspect and just listen. The public is waking up and using its mind. And that is a powerful thing that we need to encourage.
  • Oh, give me a BREAK, Josh! How the hell do *you* know Hillary unleashed the Jeremiah Wright stories in the news? Do you have proof? Have you seen the secret drop site somewhere in the DC metropolitan area where an operative from Hillary’s campaign stands, slouched up against a park bench with a package full of already publicly available videos of Wright going off on a tangent? Oo, Oo, maybe there is a balcony somewhere where a geranium is changing position on a daily basis. Will you get real? Anyone could have dragged that stuff out. The Republicans have picked their candidate. The primary season is over for them. They can spend all of the rest of the year picking off our candidates. And it’s not like Obama didn’t share some culpability for his situation. After all, Hillary didn’t force him to associate with Wright for 20 years or include him on his spiritual advisory panel. But so what if Hillary’s campaign *did* whip up this frenzy? Politics is not a tea party. Are you going to come to Obama’s defense every time something negative comes out about him? Can’t he fight his own battles? This is just silly and unworthy of a Polk Award winner. It’s just another example of the Clinton Rules/Obama Rules. Put up or shut up, Josh.

Saturday Morning in March

Seriously, guys, I have to break out the vacuum and the Clorox cleanup today and start pitching stuff out. But before I get to that, and I suspect I will procrastinate quite a bit, here are some interesting things for your perusal and reflection:

  • Let’s start with Mawm, the comedic genius I found at Taylor Marsh’s site in the comments. First, let me back up to a passage in Obama’s letter on the Huffington Post where he throws his pastor and member of his campaign’s spiritual advisory board under a bus:

    The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign.

    We’ll get back to Obama’s declaration in a sec. But for now, here’s Mawm’s suggestion for a skit:

    I’d love to see a skit where Obama is watching a Wright sermon that is nothing but love and peace talk. He has to get up to go to the bathroom. As soon as he leaves, Wright launches into one of his tirades. When Obama comes back Wright starts talking nice again. This could go on for 20 years in the skit. Have you noticed Obama is never around when he might have to take a stand?

    Why, yes, Mawm, I *have* noticed that. And as I have said before, I don’t want to dwell too much on a few examples of Wright’s psychogenic fugues that have been taken out of context and blown up to monumental proportions. Yeah, it’s not pretty but we all occasionally reveal a darker side to our natures. However, I do find it interesting that Obama states that he knew about the Reverend’s offensive language at the time he began his presidential campaign, which would make that over a year ago. What does it say about his judgment that he let the thing fester to this point? The thing that jumps out at me over the past couple of weeks during the Samantha Power kerfuffle, the piling on of Geraldine Ferraro (and how much Obama’s campaign enjoyed it) and this latest turmoil over Wright is how Obama and his camp seem to think their feet don’t get dirty in all of this. They’re still floating above it all, at least in their own minds. It’s annoying to them that the rest of us don’t see them as simply too young, beautiful and creative to be dragged into the mud. No doubt they are sighing with exasperation and impatiently glancing at their watches, wondering when it will all be over so they can get back to disenfranchising those pesky voters in Florida who are standing in their way. Little do they know that this is just the beginning. But I wonder who has been giving them assurances that this too shall pass, it’s all in the bag?

  • Florida might need to rethink its mail-in primary. Actually, it was my impression that they had studied it for more than a year. In any case, an expert from Washington state says he doesn’t think that fraud or coercion will be big problems but that logistics for the state of Florida will make it very challenging to distribute ballots to everyone who needs one. Let’s hope the Florida Democratic Party has mindmapped and Gant charted this adventure. Of course, probably the best solution would be for Obama to wave the rules and have the delegates seated as is. It would save him the humiliation of losing a second time.
  • Congratulations American Federation of Concerned Bloggers! You have been cited on many blogs as of this morning including MyDD, Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic, and Taylor Marsh. I seem to recall there were others. When I find more, I’ll update. People are taking notice. Good work!
  • Jamison Foser at Media Matters highlights journalistic inconsistency between reporting on Democrats vs Republicans. (Well, that ought to be an easy job) Specifically, he is referring to the issue of the Villager’s harping on Hillary’s tax returns but *not* harping on John McCain’s, who also hasn’t handed it over for us to examine in minute detail. If the Clintons have planned this well, there will be a big lead up to the PA primary in April, then they will release the returns and the media will discover… nothing.
  • Geordie reminded me of this scene from The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Yes, we are sanctuary.
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