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DFA conscripted to work for Obama- Update

This is just wrong.

Two days ago, I got a call from Democracy for America (DFA) for a pledge of support. They wanted $120.00. When I joined DFA two years ago, it was in the service of helping Democrats take back congress and I worked for Linda Stender. Back then, DFA wasn’t in anyone’s pocket. We were all on the same side- againt the Republicans.

But this appeal to sign a petition to influence the Superdelegates is an outrage. First of all, the reason superdelegates exist is so that wildfire movements don’t end up nominating someone who supported by a bunch of overzealous maniacs in caucus states but not the faithful Democrats in the big states. You’d think that the Big D states should have a big influence but if they don’t, through some quirk of dumb planning or a party leader putting his thumb on the scales with all of his might, then the superdelegates step in to moderate the situation. That’s why they should be left alone. It’s one thing for a candidate to petition them for support but to insist that they give up their moderating power because the wildfire movement doesn’t like the role they play, that’s just wrong. If they vote in favor of the biggest most populated states, they have served their purpose.

Second, DFA is supposed to be a group dedicated to getting out the vote and this petition clearly shows that they are trying to GOTV for Obama. I expect them to be neutral and just a resource center for anyone who wants to work for any candidate. For Jim Dean to put the organization in the service of one candidate at the expense of another is an embarrassment and an outrage. Is it DFA who is behind all of the recent caucus stuff? Are they the ones getting the Obamaphiles to turn out and intimidate the regular Democratic voters?

It looks like the Dean brothers are putting all of their efforts to overturning the will of the Biggest D states in NY, NJ, CA, FL, MI, AZ and it has to stop. There’s People Powered Politics and then there’s Mob Rule. When the Unholy Alliance between the GOTV arm of the DNC is put into service to overturn the will of the people in our most densely populated states and they do by riding the relentlessly misogynistic bleatings of the media, they have become the Establishment that they purport to hate. There is nothing about Hillary Clinton that would make her a bad Democratic president. There is no reason to want to squash her candidacy except that the Deans and their friends want to be the kingmakers, over the dead bodies, if necessary. of the Democrats who have supported the party for years.

There are a couple things we can do about this. One, send letters to your state party chairman protesting the tipping of the scales. Two, register at DFA and shore up the Clinton GOTV efforts (if they exist) or create some in OH, WI and TX. Three, spread the word in every blog you can that the Deans are out of control. And finally, DON’T COBTRIBUTE TO DFA UNTIL THEY REMOVE THE SUPERDELEGATE PETITION. And by this, I don’t mean whenever the petition period ends. I mean, they have to take it down and retract the whole damn thing.

Update: We’ve had a comment from Ilya Sheyman of DFA. Oooo, that was quick. We must have struck a nerve. I’ll repeat what I told her in the comments. When DFA has a similar petition asking that the Florida delegation be seated, NOW, and that Michigan have a do-ever mail in primary instead of a caucus. we’ll call it even. Until then, DFA is using its GOTV power on behalf of Obama in order to stifle the superdelegates and they are misrepresenting the role of the superdelegates hoping no one will notice. I advise anyone who is a Hillary supporter to think carefully before they respond to a DFA fundraising drive since these funds appear to be directed to assisting Obama’s campaign at Hillary’s expense.

Very sad. I used to identify with these people but they’re not my peeps anymore if they are jumping on this bandwagon and expect all the rest of us in the reality based community to join them without question. That shit’s gotta stop.

36 Responses

  1. Hey River Daughter,

    Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will both make great Democratic Presidents. It is our clear belief at DFA that the nominee should be determined by Democratic Party voters and not party insiders. If Sen. Clinton comes to the convention with more popularly pledged delegates, we expect super delegates to ratify that selection. And, conversely, if Sen. Obama comes to the convention with more popularly pledged delegates, we expect super delegates to affirm that choice.

    This is not about Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton. It’s about who determines the nominee – a group of party insiders – or primary and caucus voters.


    Ilya Sheyman
    Field Director
    Democracy for America

  2. yeah right Ilya.

  3. Thanks Riverdaughter for posting the info on this. It’s very disappointing.

    I guess the kool aid recipe is making it’s way around the netroots organizations. Who’s framing the Obama talking points and why do these organizations think its in their best interest to adopt them? That’s some pretty powerful evangelism and a bit scary. And to think I laughed at the book title “Liberal Fascism”…. I am completely appalled!

    DFA is going down the same path that MoveOn did… and it sucks. I think they both should have stayed organizations which support progressive issues not candidates (unless its Dem over Repug).

    After Obama won the MoveOn vote, I unsubscribed and when they asked for a reason I wrote that I thought it was their job to fight for issues not get involved in endorsing one Dem over another in a Presidential race. I also told them they would get no more money from me.

    And what does MoveOn get from Obama for their support of him? Nothing as far as I can tell. I went to Obama’s website to look for signs of the MoveOn endorsement but couldn’t find it. And Obama didn’t even stand by them in the senate vote. So why are they so into him? I just don’t get it.

    The next time I get a DFA email I’ll make sure to let them know what I think they’ve made a bad move and will get no more funds from me. Although I have not donated to them since 2006 as I ended up not being very impressed with them as a group.

    The other shoe has to drop on Obama eventually and some truths get revealed…. I am reminded here of the Wizard of Oz… “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”… LOL…

  4. OK Ilya, it’s hard to take you seriously when you use the Obama campaign talking points. And I have just been at your website and the front page post is all about Obama.

    Here’s the line that really got me “Clinton has some good ideas, but her ‘experience’ has just led her to compromise away those ideals she once held so dear. ” So the fact the Obama has not voted against the war or its funding since he’s been in the senate is perfectly fine with you. However it looks like he too has made political compromises. That is what all politicans do… sometimes they compromise and sometimes they fight. Except I’ve never seen Obama fight for anything I care about.

  5. ilya, You are misrepresenting the role that the superdelegates play in the election. If Obama goes to the convention having won the small states and caucuses but having been beaten soundly in CA, NJ, NY, MA, MI and FL. their role will be more important because these states count.
    The superdelegates are not ursurping the votes of the electorate. They are there to make sure that a candidate benefitting from a media frenzy and a lot of zealous caucusers don’t drown out the voices of the millions and millions of people in the biggest states whose voices have been decisive for the other guy. If more of the superdelegates vote for Hillary, they are not nullifying Obama votes. They are weighing those votes against what the voters as a whole are telling them.
    Now, if you want to be truly fair and balanced, why don’t you have a petition asking for at least the Florida delegation to be seated? Over one million people in Florida told the party exactly how they feel and the margin of victory for Hillary was in line with the other big states. Tell Howard and his droogs to seat Florida and have a mail in primary, NOT CAUCUS, for Michigan and we’ll call it even. Until then, please stop with the misinformation campaign.

  6. Oh… and one more thing Ilya. The people of Massachusetts shose Hillary over Barack, yet both Senators from my state have endorsed Barack. They are not basing their votes on the popular vote. So how fair is that?

  7. dragoneyes – good one!

  8. This is really bad news, on top of MoveOn deciding to proclaim they know best. So far, we have the media, the pundits and the pollsters deciding way out in front of the voting individuals that are supposed to have the power to choose whom we would like to have as President. I have heard that in France they have passed a law that the polls may not be published until the people have voted; it is past time that we did that here. Since most people use cell phones and usually cannot be contacted and, since the questions and the way they are posed (skewed) are not published along with the results, I wish they would just be discontinued.

    I remember, way back when, in Indiana, when my parents voted, there were groups that got out the vote just for the sake of our country; they were not allowed even to ask to which party the people belonged, that were being assisted to get to the polls. What a strange idea! Now we cannot even keep the Democratic primary free of bias. Kucinich is not on the Texas ballot, because he would not sign that he would support the Democratic nominee and he even took it to court, but they would not invalidate that pledge. I mean, they are running as Democrats.

    Which brings me to another question, why do all the congress critters in Washington seem to dislike the Clintons so much. It seems as though they never have been accepted and are still considered as outsiders. Surely, the Kennedy’s cannot throw any morality stones at Clinton and why should the Clintons be shunned, when the Kennedy’s are not? It does not seem to be over policy issues, so what is the explanation?

    I still wish John Edwards was in the race, but, since he is not, I have finally decided for Hillary and intend to vote for her here in Texas March 4th. I was going to vote for JRE and let him decide with the delegates; however, reading so much of the hate from his peeps (especially at DailyKos, no longer my first read blog), seeing Michele stammer around voting for the nominee whomever it might be and hearing Obama guide his peeps in that direction by saying quite frequently that he could not assure that they (his followers) would not switch to McCain if he were not the Chosen One, I decided to look at him further. When I read that he had been associated with Excelon, the nuclear power company, as has Axelrod, and that he had not taken nuclear off the table in spite that we have billions of tons of waste that no one knows how to dispose of, I felt it was not his time, no not now. We cannot begin a new energy program around that source and start directing money into developing more of that potentially devastating source of energy.

    My main objection to Hillary is her stance on Lobbyists; However, when JRE asked both candidates if they would take his pledge to not put any lobbyists on his staff in the WH, neither would take the pledge. Since Axelrod, who is prominent in his campaign staff was a lobbyist for Excelon, I believe that problem is just as apparent for Obama. It is hard to know when to believe your lying eyes in politics.

    Just one more thing, cannot stand Chris Matthews. See what turning into a closet Republican does to you?

  9. I think dragoneyes has a good point. Obama keeps saying that the super delegates should all support the overall winner of pledged delegates. That is important. Many of the small Republican states that Obama won do not have state super delegates. There are few Democratic governors, congressmembers, and senators in those states. He does not favor having the super delegates vote to ratify their own states results, because that would mean that Clinton would get the super delegates from California, NY , Mass , etc. She would still outperform him. He is just playing the numbers and being very disingenuous about the reason. Let the super delegates do what they were intended to do, let them vote their conscience .

  10. txindy: I’m like you, it’s complete mystery why the Clinton’s are so hated. But it’s not everyone in Congress. She still has plenty of support there including from at least one of my senators, Bob Menendez. Both Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are backers as well. There are numerous others who don’t make a splash the way Kennedy did but then, what good did the Kennedy endorsement do Obama?
    I hesitate to tell people how to vote. It really has to be one of conscience and what is most important to you. But if you liked John Edwards because of his positions on labor and universal healthcare, you will probably prefer Hillary’s positions to Obamas. The Iraq War is a wash to me. She voted for it and I’m still pissed about it. He said he wouldn’t have voted for it but given his habit of avoiding politically tricky votes, there is no way of knowing what he would have actually done had he been presented with the opportunity.
    Yes, regard the media with suspicion. I think there is going to be a backlash against the Obamaphiles. The swirl around him seems unreal. And the pundits are starting to lose it too because they just can’t seem to kill off Clinton and their livelihoods depend on having the power to dispatch people with their poison pens. If they fail with Clinton, they’re endangered. They will have lost their mojo. if nothing else comes out of this primary season, that would be the thing most devoutly to be wished for.

  11. Goldberry, please read here:

    I don’t agree with your stand on Michigan. Look, Obama campaign has played this brilliantly and it p***s me off. He orchestrated the action by himself, Edwards, Richardson, and others to take their names off the ballot in Michigan.

    It worked. Michigan was denied any media exposure, and Hillary was denied MOMENTUM when she needed it most. Beauty contest or not. You know who was in the rule and by-laws committee denying Florida of all its delegates? DONNA BRAZILE.

    This is an outrage. If Obama has left his name on the ballot, he would have probably been OUT OF the fight by now. Can you imagine what three in a row win would have done for Hillary??

    If Donna Brazille and her cohorts in the committee stuck to the rules and stripped Michigan and Florida of HALF their delegates, this FIGHT would have been over by now.

    Hillary got NO MOMENTUM from two wins in two most populated and important states!!! And now, they want to have their cake one more time and do a re-do??

    It’s only FAIR that Michigan delegates be SEATED. Please, Goldberry, this is important.

    Don’t fall for stupid political shenigans. If you have to do it, the original Michigan should at least count for HALF of the delegates.

    But I am against any re-do for the reasons I have outlined.

    I came across this link and my jaw dropped.

    You know what DNC offered Florida in the SUMMER OF 2007??
    Some time later the DNC offered to put up $866,000 help fund a caucus with 120,000 ballots and 150 voting sites.

    After the Rules and by-laws committee came up with the harsh punishment, the site quotes:

    “We’re going to follow the rules,” said RBC member Donna Brazile.

    Guess who should be fired for total incompetance and a public relations nightmare on this??

  12. Yes, in the summer of 2007, the DNC offered FLORIDA help to hold a caucus with 150 voting sites!! In the fri**n state of FLORIDA.

    I think Donna was working her magic for Obama even then.

  13. ghost2: I understand your point about MI and there is a certain risk that geographically, the state could come out favoring Obama. But I still think that the primary should be held again and let every candidate appear on the ballot. Let Clinton win the state free and clear without a cloud hanging over it. If Ohio is going strongly for Clinton, there’s a good chance MI will as well.

    yes, Brazile is not an honest broker. She should just come right out and declare her support for Obama. I don’t think there is any question now that she is pulling strings on his behalf.

    As for Florida, they just got the shaft, no doubt about it. It’s pretty outrageous and if ANY state has a right to complain about how unfair the primary season has been, it would have to be Floridians. There is absolutely no reason why their delegates shouldn’t be seated except that Howard and Donna don’t seem to want that.

    I say we fire Howard’s ass at the first opportunity.

  14. Hi, I won’t make such a loooong comment this time. As I understand it, the donor lists of Kennedy and Kerry are what makes their endorsements so important. Granted, it did not help in Ma. or Ca., but Obama seems to have lots of bucks . Something is really supplementing the netroots money generated by the blogs, because he seems to be doing much, much better than previous candidates have, even added together. At least from what I pulled up on google out of curiosity. Sorry, I did not make note of the sites, or I would reference them.

  15. txindy: I have had similar suspicions. There was a awful lot of seed money given to his campaign. He makes it seem like it’s all small donations but until I see proof otherwise, I’m going to assume that a lot of high powered donors threw the legal limit at him.

  16. Exactly, say he is good at convincing big donors. But these guys are not idiots. You don’t start running in 2006 and immediately raise 30M bucks.

    I really think he had lots and lots of anti-Hillary backers behind the curtains. People like Kerry who can pull strings. A good word from few of these big shots could go a LONG way with bundlers.

    These guys are not IDIOTS. They are all about ‘show me the money!” Even if they thought the guy is a great politician and orator, they need a few movers and shakers to feel comfortable.

  17. I unsubscribed from DFA, and they will never get a dime of my money again.

    Ilya, your reasoning is total bullshit. Mount a petition to seat Michigan and Florida, and for all of Obama’s superdelegates in NY, MA, NJ, CA, etc to move to Hillary, then we will talk. What, you are silent on the 2 million voters being disenfranchised by the DNC? What hypocrites!

    You people are pathetically transparent. You do not care one whit about “the voice of the people”, you just want your guy to win at any cost. You want the rules changed to fit the voters on the superdelegate issue, but turn around and whine “Too bad, them’s the rules” about MI and FL. HYPOCRITES! You make me sick, and I regret every donation I made to you previously.

    This is being circulated, and you will find that the BASE of the Democratic party, the loyal donors year after year, are deserting you in droves. You will be left with the Green Party and the Indies and the Libertarians, with NO INTEREST in supporting your over-arching goals, only in Obama.

    You will be left high and dry once the primary is over. DEMOCRATS want Hillary. You are pissing of your own base to cater to those with no political compass or ideology beyond infatuation with a personality. See how far that will get you long-term, you idiots. They will desert you once you have served THEIR purpose.

  18. Wow, them’s strong words. Many of them true. Let’s just say that DFA is not being completely honest in this effort and they’re not admitting that they are working for Obama by default and leave it at that.
    Too bad, really, they’d be great to associate with after the primaries are over but right now, they are just an arm of the Obama campaign.

  19. WMCB
    strong words indeed. and no funny lines in them.

    riverdaughter, I did used to love Howard, but he is really wrong on this.

    txindy and ghost 2, I just know that the whole Obama thing is a set up. There is no way someone so unkown could get so far without a lot of strings being pulled. Karl Roves DNA is all over this.

  20. Karl Rove created Obama? is that what was just suggested?

  21. Dragoneyes: You’re right about Jonah Goldberg’s shitty book. He published it a couple of months too soon. Obamismo is, as I’ve enjoyed saying on DK (hey, where did my TU status go again?), fascism for Unitarians. Apologies to any Unitarians out there.

  22. Based on this recent discussion, I have a book recommendation for you all…

    Reality Isn’t What It Used to Be: Theatrical Politics, Ready-to-Wear Religion, Global Myths, Primitive Chic, and Other Wonders of the Postmodern World, by Walter Truett Anderson

    Even though it was first published in 1990 it’s still very relevant today, as Walter is a political scientist and futurist. You can get it used cheap at Amazon.

    Here’s the relevant excerpt:

    “The metaconflict about beliefs has become the central theme in American politics, and it also echoes around the globe: we can see it in the travails of the Catholic Church as it struggles to hold the line against radically new ways of looking at revealed truth, in the reluctant and explosive deflation of Marxist [and communist] nations, in the worldwide proliferation of spiritual and psychological cults that offer new certainties to people who have abandoned – or been abandoned by – the old ones.

    We can also see an increasing theatricality in politics, in which events are scripted and stage-managed for mass consumption, and in which individuals and groups struggle for starring roles (or at least bit parts) in the dramas of life. This theatricality is a natural – and inevitable – feature of our time. It is what happens when a lot of people begin to understand that reality is a social construction.

    The more enterprising among us see that there is much to be gained by constructing – and selling to the public – a certain reality, and so reality making becomes a new art and business. And a very big business if you consider how much money is spent (and made) in fields such as advertising and public relations and political campaigning.”

    The book includes a nice history of modern techniques of political propaganda. It’s a fun book, written with perception and wit, very educational and easy to understand..

    Back to Rove…. there is starting to be a growing recognition that is very suspicious that certain key Republicans of the neocon persuasion have been touting Obama’s virtues recently. People like Bill Kristol and Karl Rove… who are smirking way too much in their praise of Obama. These guys are all experts at propaganda and disinformation games.

    Geez… now I need a drink!

  23. Here is a great article on of the conservative political philosopher Leo Strauss, You might find it of interest that Irving Kristol, the father of neo-conservatism (father of Bill Kristol) is a Strauss disciple. Guess that makes Strauss the “grandfather”… or is that “godfather.”

    The article is basically an interview with Shadia Drury, a professor of political science and major critic of Strauss’s thought, which is extremely anti-liberal in worldview and beliefs. It is a bit academic but not too bod… she explains the basic beliefs and concepts well.

    Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neo-cons, and Iraq

    Some of the topics covered:
    -A natural order of inequality
    -The necessity of lies (ah yes, the “noble lie”)
    -The dialectic of fear and tyranny
    -The intoxication of perpetual war

    Then keeping in mind that Bill Kristol is the neocon heir, and now works at the New Tork Times, you have to wonder what his agenda is when he praises Obama.

    Neocons + Propaganda = very creepy shit!

  24. Dragoneyes: are you sure you wouldn’t like to post that yourself? 😉

  25. Riverdaughter, are you asking me to combine those two comments into a more coherent storyline? That could be a good challenge for me.

    I’ve gotten quite caught up in playing political detective the past couple of years… trying to figure out what’s going on “behind the curtain”. But have only commented on blogs and never written a post or diary. If you will help with some editing I would be willing to give it a shot.

  26. dragoneyes,

    I hope you do so.

  27. dragoneyes: I absolutely *suck* at editing. I’m a scientist, Jim, not an English major!
    If you trust yourself to make the right connections, I trust you to edit on the fly after you post.
    You will do fine. Stand by for invitation (if I haven’t already sent one.)

  28. wll I hope you all post.

    my book recommendation is Susan Jacoby’s:

    Pretty to clear to me this is rather an insider sport – I tried to sign up to post at Taylor Marsh’s but twice had rather simple posts withheld by the “moderator”. i think people must be just afraid of outsiders, which is truly sad to me. Cant just talk to each other.

    Best to all of you.

  29. Frankly, riverdaughter, what I was concerned about was writing something too long winded :). There ‘s just so much information – yikes! But I have been getting better at synthesizing it all and reducing it down to a managable narrative. I’ll work on it tomorrow.

  30. Dragoneyes: I hear ya’. My rule of thumb is that if it takes more than 20 minutes to write, it’s not worth the effort. But you do it any way that suits you. I am looking forward to it.

  31. Riverdaughter, please let me know how to contact you as I cannot find an email addy for you anywhere on this site. You mentioned sending an invitation, which I thought meant to my email, but haven’t received anything from you yet.

    It can take me up to 20 minutes just to write a comment! And now I’m going to try and share some of my research in short form which will probably take me a day or two to put together.

  32. dragoneyes: any comments you write get sent directly to my email address. So I can see your email address. If the email address you typed is in error, I can’t send you a proper invite. I *did* send one but I will sendo one again when I get home and can access my email again. In the meantime, you can send a note to me at redkimba AT embarqmail DOT com.

  33. Judith, interesting that you mention the book THE AGE OF AMERICAN UNREASON. I just read the review at NYTimes and it looks great …. I’m ordering it today. Noticed it was just published on 2/12… you must be a fast reader or do you know the author?

  34. I just unsubscribed from the DFA after receiving the email today. Here is the funny part:

    Even some super-delegates are listening. Here’s what Hillary Clinton supporter and super-delegate Donna Brazille said on CNN:

    “Our role is to help build the party not to decide elections… as a super delegate, I believe (my) vote belongs to the American people. Therefore I will withhold committing to either candidate until the voters decide.”

    When the hell did Donna Brazille become a Hillary Clinton supporter?

  35. Disenfranchetc: OMG! You’re serious? And they say *Hillary* will do anything to win. That’s just amazing because any one who’s been paying attention to Donna Brazile knows she’s got it bad for Obama. It’s stupid to pretend anything else.
    What is it the DFA is planning to do with that money?

  36. I’m so happy I stumbled onto this site. I thought I was the only person who told DFA and MoveOn to take me off their list, and I didn’t bother to write about it because my Obama-loving readers are wailing so loud every time I write about Clinton.

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