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If Experience Doesn’t Matter, What Does?

Are money and power connections the only things that get one an appointed seat in the Senate? This is why it’s important to see if Governor David Paterson will consider someone with as little experience as Caroline Kennedy. What about Carolyn Maloney or Kirsten Gillebrand, who both have the experience that doesn’t seem to matter? That is why I am pushing for the Governor of New York to meet with Harriet Christian. I have nothing personally against Caroline Kennedy. I am against aristocracy in a democracy.  Why not Harriet?

Here is a chart that outlines the differences between Caroline and Harriet:

Harriet Christian

Caroline Kennedy

Supported Hillary Clinton

Supported Barack Obama

Works as a waitress

Dines in restaurants

Voted in 95% of NY Elections and Primaries

Surprised and Dismayed over her lack of voting record

No Political Experience

No Political Experience

Wealth – None

Wealth – Astronomical

Family Connections – None

Family Connections – Camelot

Street Smarts – Oh Yeah

Street Smarts – Lacking

Common Sense – Plentiful

Common Sense – Scarce

Protested Viet Nam War


Active in the ERA Movement


Lives in an Apartment in NYC

Lives Posh NYC Lifestyle

Background – Commoner

Background – Privileged

Works as a Waitress

Doesn’t have a job

Will ask for NY’s vote in 2010

Won’t run if not appointed first

Unconventional Choice – YES

Unconventional Choice – Sadly, no

Didn’t vote for the Iraq War

Didn’t vote for the Iraq War

Has not met with Gov. Paterson

Has met with Gov. Paterson multiple times

Lives Amongst the Commoners

Has Photo-ops with commoners

Kennedy Spirit – No

Kennedy Spirit – Yes

Entitlement – No

Entitlement – Yes

Afraid of the Media – No

Afraid of the Media – Yes

to learn more visit http://www.harrietchristian.net

Why not an every-day working woman for Senate if experience matters the least?

Obama And The Bloggers: A Play in One Historic Act.

A Glimpse of the Future?

A Glimpse of the Future?

THE SCENE: It is 2108. The world is clean, lawful, peaceful, prosperous and well-informed. The struggles of the 21st Century are far behind us.

We find ourselves looking in on the Museum of United States History, in the “Hall of Presidents Past.” A group of students is being led by a tour guide, and they are stopped in front of a holographic display entitled, “The Blogosphere and The Election of President Barack Obama.” Showing on the transparent wall are three life-sized representations of bloggers. There is a man in his late 30’s, white, with dark hair, wearing a button-down shirt and khakis; the label under him reads “Male Obama Blogger.” There is a woman, in her late 30’s, dressed in black and wearing chic glasses; the label under her reads “Female Obama Blogger.” Finally, there is a woman in her 40’s, dressed in business attire; the label under her reads “PUMA Blogger.”

TOUR GUIDE: And now, here is our exhibit on our first – but not the last – African-American President, Barack Hussein Obama. He was President from 2008 – 2012.

Here at the Museum of United States History, we assume that you already know the most basic facts about every President. Our goal is to focus on little-known but important aspects of each President’s history. That is why we have chosen to represent the way so many in the so-called “progressive” blogosphere helped elect President Obama.

STUDENT #1 (raising hand): The “blogosphere”? What’s that?

STUDENT #2 (to #1): Don’t you remember? There used to be something called the Internet where people would talk about politics and other topics of interest.

STUDENT #1 (with dawning comprehension): Ohhhh! That was the baby version of the Worldwide Peoples’ Network!

TOUR GUIDE: Exactly right – the Internet became the WPN. (smiling) Now, if I may continue?

STUDENT #1 (embarrassed): Sorry, ma’am.

TOUR GUIDE: Thank you. Now, many people are not aware that President Obama’s campaign was fiercely championed by the “progressives” in the blogosphere.

STUDENT #2 (raising her hand): Uh, ma’am? Sorry, but what’s a progressive?

TOUR GUIDE: At one point, people who considered themselves on the liberal side of politics adopted the label of “progressive.” This label, for some time, hid the fact that they hated women and the Presidency of Bill Clinton, and allowed them to take over the blogosphere from people who really were liberals.

STUDENT #1: Wow! Progressives sound like complete idiots!

TOUR GUIDE (smiling): You have no idea! Where was I? Oh yes. Progressives’ advocacy for President Obama was so inflexible that many on the left broke away and formed their own blogosphere. These bloggers called themselves “PUMAs,” representing either “Party Unity My Ass” or “People United Means Action.” Later in the 21st Century, these PUMAs formed their own UnParty, with which you are all familiar by now.

(THE STUDENTS NOD AND SMILE. STUDENT #3 holds up a pawprint badge that had been magnetically stuck to his jumpsuit.)


TOUR GUIDE (holding up her own badge): PUMA POWER! (resuming the tour) Well, now we’re coming to the interactive part of the display. You’re going to love it, I promise! I need a volunteer to read a short sentence out loud.

(ALL THE STUDENTS raise their hands. The TOUR GUIDE picks STUDENT #3 out of the group.)

TOUR GUIDE: All right, John. Come to the display and read the sentence shown on the wall. Then, watch the reactions of all three bloggers to what you say.

JOHN (reading): “Today, Senator Barack Obama voted to give telecommunications companies immunity from prosecution for their illegal wiretapping activities performed at the behest of the Bush Administration.”

(ALL the holograms come to life.)

MALE OBAMA BLOGGER: Well, I know Senator Obama promised to filibuster this immunity, but that doesn’t matter. He’s just doing what he needs to do to get elected.

FEMALE OBAMA BLOGGER: Yeah! What you said!

PUMA BLOGGER: This sucks! And Obama broke his promise to vote against immunity, but Hillary didn’t. Why aren’t you supporting her instead?

(ALL holograms stop speaking.)

TOUR GUIDE: Did you see what happened there, John?

JOHN: I think so. Barack Obama broke a very important promise, and the PUMA blogger was the only one who said anything.

STUDENT #1: You mean – President Obama essentially gave the telecom companies permission to spy on Americans without repercussions?

TOUR GUIDE: Yes, Virginia. Bet you didn’t know that about him!

Continue reading

You’re not even likable enough, Frank Rich

[A slightly different version of the post appears at Heidi Li’s Potpourri]

Frank Rich, an entrenched New York Times columnist, finally decided to publish a wee bit of criticism directed a President Elect Obama just today, December 28. Just a tad of critique because, according to Rich, “for the first time a faint tinge of Bush crept into my Obama reveries this month.” As one  who has not been laboring under Obama reveries and who began trying to figure out whether he reminded me more of Richard Nixon or George W. Bush as far back as the fall of 2007, the this late faint awakening from a journalist of many years’ experience seems peculiar, to say the least. I know that coming out of a pleasant reverie must be difficult, but Rich is barely awake and certainly not likable enough given the narrow basis for his creeping concerns about Mr. Obama. Rich’s main beef is that Mr. Obama has displayed “his own brand of hubris and arrogance” by expending an amount of “political capital” that Rich considers “small change” because, according to Rich, most Americans who know about  Rick Warren like him.

Indeed, Rich himself kind of likes Rick Warren because: “His good deeds are plentiful on issues like human suffering in Africa, poverty and climate change.” Sure, Warren “is opposed to same-sex marriage, but so is almost every top-tier national politician, including Obama.” (Note to Mr Rich: there is some scary circularity in the logic here.  It is no sign of acceptability of any kind that “almost every top-tier national politician” and Rich Warren are on the same side of any given issue.) With regard to Warren’s hatred of gays, Rich cannot even be bothered by anything other than Warren’s “defamation” of gays. So he apparently is not bothered by Warren’s comparison of women who exercise their right to abortion to Nazis or his assertion of the propriety of wifely submission. What is it with these men who comment on Warren? They object to his treatment of group that includes men (gays) but they cannot even note Warren’s misogynistic worldview, one in which all wives are second-class to all husbands and women exercising their constitutional rights to bodily self-determination are put on the same moral plane as Nazis.

Rich confidently writes of Obama “he’s not about to rescind the invitation.” I assume that Rich is confident of that because he does note Obama’s
“cockiness” – which Rich ultimately excuses, writing “By the historical standards of presidential hubris, Obama’s disingenuous defense of his tone-deaf invitation to Warren is nonetheless a relatively tiny infraction. It’s no Bay of Pigs. But it does add an asterisk to the joyous inaugural of our first black president. It’s bizarre that Obama, of all people, would allow himself to be on the wrong side of this history.”

I wholeheartedly agree that the decision to have Rick Warren bless his inauguration is no Bay of Pigs. But Frank Rich just can’t quite pull himself out of his reverie if he calls the Warren invitation and Warren’s role in the event an “asterisk to the joyous inaugural of our first black President.” Having a bigoted, homophophic, misogynistic cleric headline your inaugural is likely to render the event anything but joyous for millions of Americans. What Rich regards as an asterisk, they recognize as the sharp elbow to the ribs.

Why doesn’t Mr. Obama simply rescind the invitation? It was a bad idea to extend it and the incoming President of the United States does not have to stick with bad ideas, just like he does not have to retain staff members who engage in boorish bigoted conduct (vide Jon Favreau). Mr Rich urges “humility and equanimity everywhere in America, starting at the top.” Mr. Obama has a wonderful opportunity to display both qualities immediately. Instead of hiding from the press in Hawaii, he could set up a microphone and say:

“I made a poor decision when I invited Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation.  It is difficult to withdraw the invitation now without embarrassing Mr. Warren, but I must take full responsibility for my own mistake in extending the invitation in the first place. I apologize wholeheartedly for having created this awkward situation which does, I realize embarrass Mr. Warren. But Mr. Warren’s pride is not most important thing at stake here. My own insensitivity to the concerns of gays and women led me to make a poor decision, one that is ruining the inauguration for many people who voted for me in the first place. I want to be the first to show that I can, calmly and with equanimity, change my mind when I know I have made a poor choice.”

In the alternative, if Mr. Obama cannot bear to embarrass Rick Warren by disinviting him, he can have invite a second cleric or other leader with rather different views than Mr. Warren’s regarding gays and women to stand right beside Mr. Warren and give a co-invocation.

Precisely because this is no Bay of Pigs, Mr. Obama can do something about the situation before he goes through with a bad choice. The inauguration has not happened yet. Nobody’s life depends on Mr. Obama sticking with a plan that once made might be risky to change. But a lot of people’s opinion of Mr. Obama rides on what he does about the current situation; could be that much more than “small change” is at stake. Finally, setting aside political calculus, it might be nice to have the incoming President distinguish himself from the outgoing one by demonstrating that he has the guts to recognize his own mistakes and to ameliorate or correct them for himself when he has the opportunity.