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A condition of harmony? Or enforced allegiance?

I found a note (in my handwriting) on the passenger seat of my car a this afternoon: “HD’s Soviet-Style Convention” it said. And I would LOVE to write something about that. My eighth grade teacher was OBSESSED by the Soviet Union and she spent an entire eight weeks covering it’s history and The Communist Manifesto. So you’d think I’d have some background on the issue. But I don’t. That was the first class I ever flunked — and the story of why I wasn’t held-back a grade in punishment is part of the family mythology to this day.

Still, I remember one thing: they didn’t go for public disagreements in the Soviet Union. They liked a show of unity. Where the “show” was more important than the “unity”.

Sound familiar?

Hillary’s role at the convention is being “negotiated” but according to Mark Halpern, Obama assures us:

she’s campaigning for me in Nevada and Florida and she’s very enthusiastic about the need for a unified party and I think we’re going to have a terrific convention

Hillary’s in a tough position. Last winter Michelle Obama’s anti-unity comments barely made a ripple in the public consciousness:

Asked if she could see herself working to support Clinton should she be the nominee, Michelle Obama replied, “I’d have to think about that.”

“I’d have to think about that, her policies, her approach, her tone,” she said.

While Hillary’s been made to swear homage to Obama’s Presidency at every public event since February. And yes, I’m aware that’s a wild exaggeration. Still how many of us took a secret delight that her editorial in the Wall Street Journal didn’t contain a single mention of Barack Obama? It was a wonderful piece made glorious by the total lack of harmony.

Of course, we know how enthusiastic Hillary has been for a unified party. In her Web Chat this afternoon she mentioned Senator Obama in almost every answer. I could almost picture her typing those supportive words . . .

(Shake it off, katie)

Defying all tradition, the Democratic Party led by Barack Obama and Howard Dean have tried to imply that there is something controversial about Hillary’s supporters wanting her name entered in nomination at the convention. Dean has deliberately spread misleading, if not outright lies, about the process for allowing her delegates a real vote in Denver.

Now, I’ve proven that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer (if only by flunking that class on the history of the Soviet Union) so maybe I’m making too much out of this. But what is there to GAIN by shutting her out of the convention ballot? Are we really to pretend – in a year when we have the closest primary season ever – that giving Barack Obama the nomination by acclamation represents the will of rank and file Democrats?

This is the weirdest year. A couple of months ago I had a vision of the convention: Chris Matthews was there (in my dream) looking around the hall, “We’re at the 2008 Democratic Convention — an historic convention with two powerful and well matched competitors. For the first time a Woman and an African American man are going head to head in a roll call vote. It’s so sad that also for the first time we’re missing two state delegations. Because they defied the DNC rules, those delegates were rejected at the door of the convention early this morning.”

But that’s not how it’s happening at all.

Do they think we won’t notice that something is missing?

I’m picturing her being kept in virtual house arrest with an Internet connection and a telephone. Most of the time she’s repeating the words they tell her to say. (Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party) Of course they can’t make her speak those words with her usual passion. And since this isn’t actually the Soviet Union, they can’t even keep her in the house:

76 Responses

  1. Because only idiots (sorry, Paul) will consent to come on.

  2. Sen. Obama and his handlers need to make up their minds. UIf Se. Clinton is around, she is upstaging him. If she’s not around, then where is she? Why isn’t she helping him? Pick one, already.

  3. Charles, I think anyone telling that story should be fired. Clown doesn’t begin to describe people who do that.

    People are noticing her this week, though. Aren’t they?

  4. KB: Great post.

    People miss Hillary. Her gaffes were nothing like this. And she at least sounds like she knows what the hell she’s talking about. That is easy to miss.

  5. Thanks regency!

    You know, I was wondering as I pasted in that Obama quote if he really said it like that. Or if he dropped most of his g’s

  6. Chuck Schumer was on Jon Stewart last night…Unity Unity Unity…I think Stewart asks tougher questions than anyone on the cable news channels!

  7. There’s a rumor that Bill Clinton is speaking at the convention and speculation that Hill might be VP. That may be why her staff was spouting Obama love
    today.

  8. KB: With Obama it depends largely on his audience. I bet he used all his g’s for this one.

    My God, Hillary’s expression is freaking me out a little bit. I don’t know if she’s trying to exude sincerity and failing or if she’s blinking in morse code. One thing for sure she is reading cue cards.

  9. If they know what’s good for them, they won’t let Bill anywhere near a mic with a room filled with Democrats who cut he and his wife down with sharp knives.

    Hillary won’t be VP. She still outshines him even when she’s pissing people off. Besides, even Bill’s said it ain’t a go. He’s saying too much to say he thinks she either is in the running, or actually wants.

  10. she’s blinking in morse code</blockquote

    lol!

  11. I read some rumor about Hill as VP also….makes me ill. I will not vote for O for Pres, but many Clinton supporters will. Don’t they get it?

  12. oops,

    she’s blinking in morse code

    LOL, regencyc!

  13. Angry artist: Then they get what they vote for: 4 years of Jimmy Carter with a tan and another 20 years of Republican rule. And pointedly, no Hillary Clinton for President.

  14. CB: where did you hear that rumor?

  15. So who wrote the DNC for removal of Donna Brazile nuts super D status its my special sunday project! I cannot wait to be respectful and sy if you want almighty Fuzzy to drink the Koolaid then you have to do this….I wont mean it of course!

    fuzzybeargville

  16. All Bill Clinton has to do is stand there and look at backtrack barack and backtrack is diminished.
    The New democratic party has sunk so low it would take more equiptment then the used on raising the titanic.

    COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS, BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  17. OT but here is my tim guun post from project runway-

    Tim Gunn-“Designers- you have a bannana prrl an cocktail napkin aMasrtha Stewart organza lemon sented sashey- you have 8 minutes- make an entire winter wardrobe for Paris Hilton-Make it work!”

    fuzzybeargville

  18. Hillary as VP is BS, IMHO. Michelle hates her and besides which, Patti Solis Doyle.

  19. fuzzybear – LOL!

    That is so true. 🙂

  20. *cuddles Tim Gunn* He is marvelous, dahhlings. Gay as the day is long, unless I’m wrong, but I know I’m not.

  21. Regencyc, I thought the same about Hillary – that she didn’t seem herself at all. Something about her eyes – but maybe I’m projecting my own sadness….its like they are paradfing her through the streets naked, sneering as she passes. I caught a minute of Fox today and 3 @$$hats were saying in an agreesive tone what Hillary ‘had to do’ to not be devisive. It made my blood boil.

  22. Charles: I already can’t stand the woman, I’m trying–read that, trying–to reserve my hate for terrorists, but it’s becoming more clear everyday that one doesn’t have to have bombs to cause terror. Pitting one minority against another in a cagematch to the death is bad enough.

    Like I always say, “Thanks, Barky.”

  23. I can’t get the first video to do anything. ( I just see Hillary with an expression that looks like she just bit into a very bitter piece of food but is trying maintain a polite expression to the hostess. ) I have a Mac. How can I get to see it?

  24. The only Divide Hillary causes is between those who want to win the White House and those too stupid to know how to win the White House.

  25. My house had a “power failure” from a storm, right in the middle of the Web-chat. Does’nt seem like I missed much! I did catch some & I wondered “why” she did it? Then I thought…she had us ALL write in our true feelings for her / SD’s / Dean & whoever to see.
    I HOPE THIS DOES’NT MEAN VP!
    And if she does’nt accept her name in nomination then “we” did all this for “WHAT”!!

  26. When I was in high school we had a history teacher who said ” I am going to teach you about communism because you can’t fight what you don’t know”.
    This was in the 1950’s so it was a brave thing to do.
    What I got out of it was the communism did not take in to account human nature.
    People think differently, work differently, enjoy life differently.
    Americans are not the type to fall in line quickly and quietly.
    We are descended from dissenters and those who come here value freedom.
    The New democratic party forgot its roots and will pay for that mistake.

    COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  27. (blinking rapidly) Oh, Charles . . . Thank you so much. You’re way, way too kind.

    And I still miss Molly Ivins.

    (sniff)

  28. The Democrats party is a complete failure, when SUPER DELEGATES have nominate the canidate.

    When SUPER DELEGATE have to nominate it also meansTHE PARTY IS SPLIT.

    How many votes will the convention allow, before they call in the SUPER DELEGATES to decide.

    They have already rent a stadium.

  29. tpt/ny: for me it IS about Hillary but it is also about sending the DNC a message, ‘trying’ to save my Party and making sure Obama does not win in November.

  30. And if she does’nt accept her name in nomination then “we” did all this for “WHAT”!!

    Because it was the right thing to do. We don’t know what she’s going to do but if you’re gonna let yourself get knocked out what she might do, then you’re not gonna make it all the way. We gave her this choice; it’s one she didn’t have before, but now she’s got it. That’s a big deal.

  31. thank you regency…you do it because it is right. the outcome is irrelevant

  32. Excellent post, Katiebird! Charles is right, you are like Molly Ivins–down to earth, matter of fact, and funny too. I just wish I knew what they are doing to Hillary. Has anyone seen Chelsea lately? Maybe the DNC is holding her hostage?

  33. Cate,

    Supposedly Keith somebody (is that Olberman) passed on the rumor. Just rumor,
    but with Obama tanking and Hillary acting robotic, maybe something is
    in the air. I hope it is Hillary’s nomination.

  34. SOD: You’re assuming he offers. I’m not yet convinced he will. If he has to unearth Harry Reid or Tim Daschle, he will not ask Hillary. If he has to tap Al Gore or John Kerry, or George frakking Washington, he won’t pick her. It’s not arrogance, it’s nerves. He knows the second she’s on the ticket it’s gonna start tipping over from being so bottom-heavy.

  35. tpt/ny
    because te party is trying to pull the rug from under out feet -!!!!!

  36. BB: Chelsea’s still hanging with papa.

  37. Can anyone please tell me what “PUMA HAKA” means?

  38. Anybody wanna direct Fiona to the post on “Haka” and the like? I don’t remember where it is.

  39. Fiona, Riverdaughter explained it in this post.

  40. All I can say is:

    NOBAMA.

    That’s it.

    Gotta go do the dishes now…have a great night, lovely Conflucians!

    (forgot to say, great post, KB! Yay!)

  41. SOD: I still hold that anyone dumb enough to let Bill have a mic in front of that many people who have pissed him off is a moron.

  42. Bill? I love Bill. I adore Bill. Bill is my husband in my next life. Hillary is my best friend in my next life. Bill has a crazy fun temper and I look forward to him exhibiting a great deal of it in the future. *cuddles Bill* Man could use some affection.

  43. Talk Left reporting the Bill is speaking Wednesday night at the convention.

  44. This primary season, with all its unreasonable hatred toward a woman who ran for POTUS, is an absolute stain on the history of our country. There is no rational explanation for the misogynogy we’ve endured. None. When historians, political scientists, and journalists truly begin studying it, the last few months will be seen for what it is: a national disgrace and a Democratic disgrace.

    Only when the media, the DNC, Democratic politicians, the netroots, feminists, and elements of the progressive movemnet stop, analyze, and apologize will this nation start to heal. There has been little or no accountability toward the Bush administration, and it is the root of the problem.

    This primary is simply a continuation of Bush/Cheney and until I see real recognitions of the problem and real remorse, there will be no peace here and no progress.

  45. For immediate release to all of Oceania-

    The department of Corrections from the Ministry of Truth an official Newspeak doublethink requirement :

    From now on you will refer to Bigh Brother Barak Obama as:

    Presumptive President-Elect Obama!

    or more correctly for the purest believers in INSOC-

    President Presumptive Elect Barack Obama

    Any other terms is a doubleplus tthoughtcrime!

    fuzzybeargville

  46. Bill speaking Wednesday, the day after Hillary.

    It’s mega unity time.

    Turn out the lights, the damn DNC will survive.

  47. The Denver conventions purpose is to nominate a canidate.

    Obama and Clinton …both…don’t have enough delegates to be declared the nominee.

    Obama and Clinton …both…should be put on the ballot.

    The delegates will vote. How many times they will be allowed to vote, before they bring in the SUPER DELEGATES………..THAT IS THE QUESTION.

  48. Hello! Can someone please tell me how I can view the first video in the post? If not, would you please tell me what she is talking about in it?

  49. Charles- I just watched the Dean deposition and I am shocked. I am a ‘typical white (heterosexual) woman’
    and can’t believe that my party has become what it has become. AAs do not have anything to fear from the GLT community ,as long as what they seek is democracy. Why do I get the feeling that Donna’s goal was to ‘protect’ the AA preeminence, rather than to achieve true equality among people? I hate the DNC and Dean and Brazile more and more the more I learn.

  50. The DNC will not survive.

  51. “or more correctly for the purest believers in INSOC-
    President Presumptive Elect Barack Obama”

    Pee-pee e-bo!

  52. I’m NOT STOPPING & THERE’S NO WAY I CAN VOTE
    FOR OBAMA; but with Hillary as VP it will be PAINFUL!!
    The democratic party under Obama is not worth being part of.
    What I find upsetting also is things are MOVING as “we” hoped.
    *the polls are DROPPING
    *SD’s are getting scared
    *Down ticket races are’nt looking good ( I heard the Senator from LA is distancing herslf from an Obama fundraiser)
    The MSM is being exposed
    *The real Obama’s being exposed( the MSM has avoided the “Obamanation Book”; but it’s #1)
    *The republican’s are scared too.. that Hillary might get back in. I heard someome on Mark Levin tonight
    then they quickly cut him off!
    **FINALLY PUMA’s ARE MAKING ALOT OF NOISE!!

  53. Karo: That’s just the video inviting people to the chat from the morning. It’s not important.

  54. Thank you Regency.

  55. Donna brazile is a selfish B*tch only interested in self preservation of her power base-she would throw the entire african american community into bonfires if it was necessary for her continued intake of oxygen and expulsion of carbon dioxide….

    Its all about her baby she could give 2 $hits about real AA community coincerns. As a lesbian womyn her treatment of the LGBT community should strike fear in the AA’s she perports to represent.

    Now that latinos-hispanic community out numbers the AA community she may start claiming to speak for them for we know she is soooo hispanic-“si se puede” ! watch out I saw a spanish dictionary on her desk!

    SM Charles next Donna will be speaking out as a openly Hispanic woman- I will share my vomit bucket with both of you!

    fuzzybeargville

  56. PEE PEE E BO-Karolina never even thought of that-ROLF

  57. Great post Katie!

    You are right on the mark with your assessment. You might have failed the class, but you definitely got the main point down. Democratic party is undergoing a Soviet-style type of Unity.

    I grew up in Soviet Union, and that is exactly how I remember it. Interestingly enough, the only time that I had flash backs to the old Soviet style of politics, was when I lived in Chicago for a few years and during this presidential election.

    My entire yellow dog democrat family is voting against Obama this year, because us a very long time to escape the Soviet regime and none of us feel like living in it again.

  58. Why do I get the feeling that Donna’s goal was to ‘protect’ the AA preeminence, rather than to achieve true equality among people?’

    I absolutely got this kind of feeling from her. It makes me so angry that someone could talk about Unity and other’s “racism” was fundamentally divisive and racist.

  59. THe Pelosi Dean Alexrod Brazille Pet funeral Home would like to announce their newest venture:

    Obama Haven-Pet cemetary….where the notable democrat pets find final repose-

    already interned for eternity in this lovely plot of ground next to a constantly babbling brook(wink wink):

    Ol’ yaller dawg democrat
    and
    Bluedawg Democrat

    space reserved for;

    the unity pony…

    dont wait we are filling up fast and you surely want your democratic pet resting here for all eternity!

    remember our motto “you pet um we plant um!”

    fuzzybeargville

  60. Donna Brazille on ABC Nightly News with a terrible cold… poor, poor Donna…

  61. Oh, tartu — thank you.

  62. SOD: And Rangel, Wexler, Edwards, Dodd…

  63. Does this mean you’ll include me in tonight’s prayer, Fuzzy? I could use it right now.

  64. fiona – PUMA HAKA 👿

    Haka – war dance!

  65. Michael/Fuzzy, Donna threw us under the bus a looong time ago – don’t know why she’d bother with us now.

    OH wait, they have Hillary to do Brack’s job in our community. Riiight.

  66. Defying all tradition, the Democratic Party led by Barack Obama and Howard Dean have tried to imply that there is something controversial about Hillary’s supporters wanting her name entered in nomination at the convention. Dean has deliberately spread misleading, if not outright lies, about the process for allowing her delegates a real vote in Denver.

    Once again, Hillary is being cast as the spoiler, making a selfish, power-hungry move. No one mentions that this is the process the damn party set up , and has been followed since 1884! ESPECIALLY for such a close race. I don’t know why I even expect any semblance of truth from reporters or party leaders anymore.

  67. Katiebird – thanks falways for the great posts – please – no more writer’s block!!

  68. Maybe Hillary wants to be the VP because she realizes that he will be automatically disqualified after the convention because of his birth certificate etc and then she will become the nominee 🙂
    Ok I realize I am an optimist lol…..

  69. Charles, that’s a misogynist meme that’s been circulating for a while. A variation is “Hillary is the psycho ex-girlfriend of the Democratic Party.” I saw that at Democratic Underground. Unbelievably woman-hating and offensive.

  70. Soooo, I was a Russian Studies major in college, with a particular emphasis on Soviet era politics and history.

    I just want to set the record straight a bit, and that is that the Obama campaign is not even as democratic as the Communist Party under Lenin.

    The early Soviets practiced what they called democratic centralism. That is, when the Party was in session, anyone could say anything and argue anything, whether it agreed with the leaders’ take or not. Until there was a vote (notice — noun — vote — voting — maybe some Obama fans have heard of voting? No? ok, I’ll go on). Once there was a vote then everyone got on board to support the winning side, no exceptions and no ‘disunity’.

    I have my own feelings about the second part, but my point, again, is that Obama and our corporate overlords (DNC) are not even as democratic as Vladimir Lenin. Because they want the centralism (uniformity) part without the democratic (voting) part.

  71. Is it me? Does anything stand out in this article?

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/aug/06/things-you-might-not-know-about-barack-obama/?partner=yahoo_headlines

    This should be forwarded to No Quarter, even though i’m sure either the author will say he misreported or it will simply get scrubbed re: dual US/Kenya citizenship.

    (I could have sworn it said US/Indonesia citizenship this a.m.)

  72. One thing that we should point out when we call for her name in nomination, what if the situation was reversed?

    What if Hillary was the presumptive nominee and Obama was having to “negotiate” to have his name put in nomination? The screams of outrage from the AA community would be deafening and rightly so.

  73. thats very true, great research, great post, great blog
    pacer521
    http://culturedecoded.wordpress.com/

  74. […] A condition of harmony? Or enforced allegiance? (by katiebird at The Confluence) [T]hey didn’t go for public disagreements in the Soviet Union. They liked a show of unity. Where the “show” was more important than the “unity”. Sound familiar?… Defying all tradition, the Democratic Party led by Barack Obama and Howard Dean have tried to imply that there is something controversial about Hillary’s supporters wanting her name entered in nomination at the convention. Dean has deliberately spread misleading, if not outright lies, about the process for allowing her delegates a real vote in Denver… [W]hat is there to GAIN by shutting her out of the convention ballot? Are we really to pretend – in a year when we have the closest primary season ever – that giving Barack Obama the nomination by acclamation represents the will of rank and file Democrats?… Do they think we won’t notice that something is missing? […]

  75. I always like your posts KB.
    The way they talk about her role at the convention being “negotiated”, tells us what kind of people they are.
    What will happen if they come into power?
    Will they “negotiate” away all the Checks and Balances not already eroded by Bush?
    Worst of all will they institute a National Security Force answerable to BO alone?
    Obama lost a lot of trust when he went against FISA. As an unknown he needed trust in order to win in November. Blaming the Clintons or strongarming them into support for Unity will get him nowhere.

  76. I’m getting to this post late, but a few things:

    KB I can’t believe you remember – today! – how long your 8th grade teacher spent on that unit and still failed the course! I can’t remember what year I last refinanced my house!

    Nobody here or at any of the JSND/PUMA blogs is admitting this, but IF the Party disintegrates – and all the blogs have folks predicting a possibility like that, we do have the ingredients of a new party right here.

    Don’t get me wrong. I want to see the Dem Party healed and fixed. But if the thugs (and these Soviet parallels here are very sobering) do not allow things to roll according to the rules, well, maybe this party goes they way of the Whigs. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    Whatever, anything bad that happens they’re going to try to blame on Hillary, but they won’t succeed because their plans will be in shambles and everyone will know how they engineered this travesty.

    I think Hillary looked tired in the video – because she keeps working – this Leavitt bill she’s talking about – and , uh, campaigning for uh, Obama while he’s uh on VACATION!!

    He has no shame. AT LONG LAST, SIR, HAVE YOU NO SHAME????

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