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      (With the Bolivian coup overthrown, back to the top.  I’ve noticed this is the article of mine front-line activists refer to most.  Originally published May 16, 2016.) So, we have had a right-wing coup in Brazil. In Venezuela, the left still controls the Presidency, but has lost control of parliament. In Argentina, the right has […]
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Two more thoughts on RFK/1968

1. Those of us for whom the 1968 Presidential Primary is memory rather than hearsay will recall the doggedly self-righteous bitterness followers of the poet Gene McCarthy (who yearned passionately to end the war) held against the politician Robert F. Kennedy (who truly had the capacity to end it).

2. In this case, as in so many others, the lifeblood of BO08 is counterfeit history, which in turn relies on widespread ignorance of history — from MLK’s partnership with and dependence on LBJ, to the Clinton years’ record of working class progress and unparalleled levels of world peace.

Beyond the intrinsic merit of the piss they’re selling, beer commercials are aimed at younger audiences for cold, calculating reasons. Same for the New Kinda Politics.

Where was Ariana in 1968?

Hillary was in college. The war in Vietnam was eating up our young men. My Dad was on a ship somewhere near Southeast Asia. My brother was less than a month old. The nation was combustible. And then, the worst thing possible happened. No one who was living in America at the time will forget it. It became a fulcrum around which many of our lives would turn. That was the year I started paying attention to politics. When I look at this video, it still brings tears to my eyes. I see the kids running after the train and I flashback to my own childhood. It doesn’t take much to call these images up. It could be just a simple question during an interview, “Why are they trying to get you to drop out?”

Ariana, do you want to answer that?

ghostlegpress has this fitting comment that expresses the anger and disappointment we feel over the media, the Obamasphere and the Obama campaign’s reaction to this faux outrage:

Bobby Kennedy was my hero. In 1968 I was 17 years old and I believed absolutely that he would end the war in Vietnam and begin to end the racial injustice that was an open, festering sore on this country. I thought he’d be the greatest president the USA ever had.

At the same time, Eugene McCarthy’s supporters could only say that Gene was purer – better – braver on the war than Bobby. I remember a McCarthy supporter challenging Kennedy because McCarthy risked …whatever – nothing really – by challenging LBJ in New Hampshire and RFK didn’t. “Where were you when we were in New Hampshire?” the McCarthy supporter heckled. Ceasar Chavez, who was on the platform with RFK, answered, “He was with me in Delano!”

That answer meant nothing to the college kid, but it explained the whole world to me.

In a phrase that has some resonance today, I remember a magazine article which discussed student involvement in the campaigns explaining that Gene had the “A” students and Bobby only had the “C” students.

All that seemed to matter to some was that Gene McCarthy was laconic, ironic, and way too high brow for the average voter. Bobby had the masses. And we had Bobby.

I went to sleep on June 4, 1968 believing RFK had won the California primary and would win the presidency. I woke on June 5 to learn he’d been shot. I woke on June 6 to learn he’d died. I stood all day on June 8 waiting for his funeral cortege to pass.

1968 was a terrible time, but it was also a time of great hope. Those of us who came of age politically in that time will never forget that the primary season began in February and ran thrrough June.

Anyone who believes Hillary doesn’t have that time emblazoned on her memory just doesn’t know American history. They can twist her comments as much as they want – but for anyone over 50, a primary that extends into June isn’t an anomaly. A primary in June will always evoke RFK for me. Not because of the horror of its end – but because that was the last time I had real hope fo this country.

The current outrage disgusts me more than I can express. It’s not Hillary who sullies the process. Lying spinmeisters who’d use the assassination of one of this century’s greatest men to score cheap points are the ones who should be ashamed.

I haven’t really ever forgotten what an elitist bastard McCarthy was – and it will be a cold day in hell before I forgive Obama.

Stop. Now.

RFK and the 1968 primary

1968 was a turbulent year. There were riots and protests and then ,one right after the other, Martin Luther King was gunned down and Robert F. Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan in California. I was just a little girl and I remember his funeral train. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out that he was shot right after he won the California primary in June. I thought it was just that he was giving a campaign speech. The primary part never registered with me. Here is Clinton’s history lesson from today’s interview with a South Dakota newspaper:

Personally, I don’t think this history lesson is the end of the world. She was thinking of examples for why we shouldn’t panic just because the nominee isn’t chosen by now and she reached back to the two examples that stood out in her mind: her husband’s primary and RFK’s. It is unfortunate that the one that most readily comes to the minds of people Clinton’s age was marred by the tragedy of RFK’s assassination.

It will be played up to monumental proportions and people will be screaming for her to leave. But let us recognize their reaction for what it is. It’s not genuine offense over the death of an admirable man. It is their excuse to finally get rid of her.

If that is the case, I can’t decide who is demonstrating the most lack of taste.

Update: The reaction of the Obamasphere and the media is totally indefensible. The HuffingtonPost is taking a very matter-of-fact discussion of primary history and twisting it into a vile insinuation that Hillary can’t wait until someone takes Obama out. It is time they stopped behaving like the Orwellians during a two minutes hate.

The Confluence would like to encourage Clinton to hang in there. Make it clear that you aren’t going before the primaries end, Florida and Michigan are seated with restored influence for the convention and every voter has spoken. We are losing patience with the media’s and oppositions efforts to force Clinton out of the race by creating scandalous and false accusations. The shame barrier has been crossed in a major way today and it is hardening our resolve.

No MI Delegates for you, Barack

Hmmm, It sounds like Obama is sensitive to the suggestion that maybe he and Edwards gamed the system in Michigan by taking their names off the ballot in order to make the primary look invalid. But according to Sam Stein at HuffingtonPost, there’s an untold story about How Obama Ended Up On (and Off) the Michigan Ballot. I don’t think that Stein has done him any favors in this piece. Obama’s excuse sounds as flimsy as the Grinch’s lie to Susy Loo Whoo. According to Stein:

Weeks after his [Obama’s] name was submitted without his consent or objection, Obama personally signed an affidavit removing him from the primary slate. According to Ballenger, the senator could not have done the same thing in Florida — the other state whose primary was unofficial — as there was no state law there that allowed a candidate to remove his or her name.

As the *new* story goes, Obama never asked to be put on the Michigan ballot in the first place. No, it was the Michigan Democratic Party following their guidelines that put all of the declared presidential candidates on the ballot without even a “By Your Leave”. They never asked permission from Obama and when he found out that they had brazenly signed him up for the primary, he had them take his name off, toot sweet. I can just see him fuming, “They’re not going to put MY name on their ballot for president in their illegal primary, by Golly. Not if *I* have anything to say about it. The unmitigated gall!”

So, he never wanted to particpate in the Michigan primary in the first place so all of you losers who are accusing him of a dirty trick to put the kabashes on the Michigan voters better take it back.

Fine with me. if he never wanted to participate in the first place, then there’s no reason to give him any delegates. It goes without saying that he can’t have any of Clinton’s earned delegates but there doesn’t seem to be any reason to give him uncommitted delegates either. That doesn’t mean it will stop him from screaming, “Gimme! Gimme!”

The unmitigated gall.

Hillary, From Sea to Shining Sea

Americans love Hillary from one end of the country to the other. Take a look, this map looks like a great big smiling face:

What I like about this map is that it fills in Florida, Michigan and Texas as hers. It’s amazing the number of sites that put those states into some strange holding zone. One site put Texas in stripes (giving undue validity to Obama’s caucus win) . . . .

Well, there’s not much we can do about Texas (until time to rewrite the rules for next time) but, we CAN take action on the Florida and Michigan situation. Continue reading