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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.

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…

Kosmic Justice: Markos screws Obama in Michigan

This is too funny and will fill you with delicious schadenfreude for Obama. The Michigan revote primary proposal is in part being held up by a protest by the Obama campaign because it would disallow people who registered to vote as Republicans in the January primary from voting in the do-over Democratic one. And the reason why Obama wants the primary to be open to Republicans is because Markos urged a lot of Michigan Kossacks to register as Republicans so they would vote for Romney. Now, those voters will have already had their say and wouldn’t be allowed to cross back over:

According to exit polls, 7 percent of GOP primary voters said they were Democrats and 25 percent said they were independents or something else. That means nearly 61,000 people who voted in the GOP primary were Democrats, while more than 217,000 were independents…

(Michigan Democratic Party Chair) Brewer said he regrets that some Democrats won’t be able to vote in the second Democratic primary if one’s held, but says there’s nothing he can do about it.

“I regret that that might be the case, but it’s a national party rule and we have no choice but to follow it,” he said.*

Even if more than 278,000 Democrats and independents would be barred from voting in a do-over primary, Brewer estimated that a June 3 election could still pull in at least 1 million and possibly 1.5 million people.

*(note the application of a new and different set of RULZ by Brewer)

Oh what a tangled web we weave…

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.

Friday- Follies

Chew on some of this for breakfast:

  • Keith Olbermann is a lousy lay, so reports the New York Post. A woman claiming to be a one-night stand of Keith’s, says he is inept and didn’t want to stick around afterwards. He didn’t call either. Hmmm, let’s just say I have my doubts about this gossip. Oh, not about whether Olbermann is lousy in bed. No, it’s the source I question. From what I recall, Keith Olbermann hooks up with rich, young chicky babies and has no reason to start up email relationships with what might be loopy groupies. But, hey, after what Eliot Sptizer did, what do I know? Anyway, I took KO off my oogle list after I found out he was hanging out with women who just graduated from the jailbait list.
  • Barack Obama’s extraordinary mother, Stanley Ann, Dunham, gets a nice piece in the New York Times. Ann Dunham had a PhD in anthropology and wrote her dissertation on the lives of Indonesian blacksmiths. She was an iconoclast, a liberal and probably an atheist. I think I would have liked her very much. I wonder what she would say about how Obama is handling his campaign right now?
  • Speaking of women, commenter Jawbone pointed me towards this defense of Hillary’s work on Northern Ireland by Nuala O’Faolin.  There are many sides of peace negotiations.  And the people who get it done don’t put all of their faith in just the paperwork.  There is a personal aspect to it, a need to understand what is going on at a human level and the knowledge that comes with that can be invaluable to the people hammering out the details.  This is the role that Hillary played.
  • Paul Krugman writes an ominous column about the uncertainty of the financial market and how economists are entering unknown territory. Last night on the way home, NPR discussed the declining dollar and how the worst case scenario probably won’t happen but if it did, there would be a sudden, extreme and precipitous decline in the dollar that would send shockwaves around the world. Yesterday, my friends and I discussed the rising cost of milk and other good and how it must be affecting people who are living on the margins. This is the oil crunch hitting close to home. It made me think that now might be a good time to make a donation to a food pantry. Brook always makes me buy a coupon for the food bank at the supermarket cashier as we are checking out. (I like that about her) America’s Second Harvest might be a good place to start if you feel like donating a percent of your tax return. In fact, NJ often gives taxpayers an opportunity to donate a portion of their tax returns to worthy causes like breast cancer research and wetlands protection. Every little act of good strengthens us against the destructive effects of selfishness. It doesn’t take much.
  • I see you guys have been busy, sending out very well thought out and polite (for the most part) emails to Mr. McNamara. I’m sure he appreciates all of the fan mail. If you need further encouragement, you might want to check out this piece on NPR this morning about how Obama sees Michigan and Florida redo’s as being unrealistic. I love this quote:

    “We were told that these contests would not count,” he tells Steve Inskeep.”Sen. Clinton agreed. Our name was taken off the ballot in Michigan, and in Florida we did no campaigning. Now, if people think that that is a normal democratic way of running an election, then that’s not the America that I know.”

    Does the America that Obama knows include the voters of Florida and Michigan, ‘cos the last time I checked, it did. Hmmm, are the redos as unrealistic as hoping the Floridians and Wolverines will turn out for you in the fall in spite of the fact that you dissed them and millions of others in NY, NJ, CA, AZ, MA and OH? You mean *that* unrealistic? Hokay.

  • One last thing: Today, we are nearly two months old at The Confluence. I’d like to thank all of you for making this blog such a success. We have had over 70,000 hits and many of them have come in the last two weeks. I couldn’t do it without all of your contributions and comments and good wishes. You guys are the best. ;-) I’m getting all verklempt. Talk among yourselves.
  • One MORE thing: I was perusing the NPR website and found this piece on one of my favorite electronic music artists, Cheb i Sabbah. I have his CD Shri Durga and absolutely LOVE listening to it while I work. It is a rich combination of ragas, ambient sounds, Muslim calls to prayer and electronica. Sublime and almost synesthetic. I swear I see colors when I listen to it and feel sparkling water from cooling fountains. Highly recommended.

I call it “raw”

Here is a post from TIME on the FL and MI proposal currently under discussion:

–Michigan’s 156 delegates would be split 50-50 between Clinton and Obama.

–Florida’s existing delegates would be seated at the Denver convention—but with half a vote each. That would give Clinton a net gain of about 19 elected delegates.

– The two states’ superdelegates would then be able to vote in Denver, likely netting Clinton a few more delegates.

The betting: Florida and Michigan delegates, the DNC, and the Clinton campaign would all — some reluctantly– accept this deal.

Then it would be over to you, Barack Obama.

To *me*, it looks like asking for a complete capitulation from Hillary. Does anyone see something different?

Bumped up from the comments from Tucsonlynn:

From an email I just got. I suggest using it. to express your outrage.

“Word is filtering out from the campaign that we should contact people we know at the DNC ASAP. The FL and MI decision will be going down soon. The person we should really pressure is Phil McNamara. Phil will not be making decisions but he is the staffer who runs all affairs for the Rules and Bylaws Committee. Also if he receives a flood of messages it will get back to Dean.

Obama is pushing for a 50-50 split of the delegates. That doesn’t refelct the will of the people. It reflects the wishful thinking of the Obama campaign.”

Phil McNamara
mcnamara@dnc.org

Now’s your chance, guys. Make your voice heard, especially if you are in a state that went decisively for Clinton. Without FL and MI, our votes are meaningless as well. Let them know that there are millions of us out here who know what’s going on and the jig is up. Make it polite, of course. But if you must, tell them, “Don’t make me come to Denver and cause a scene.”

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