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Epiphanies: My Dawning Realizations about Barack Obama

Dawning realization

Epiphany: a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b : a revealing scene or moment

Yesterday, Riverdaughter suggested that we make this “Epiphany Weekend” at TC. The idea is to look back over the past couple of years and recall the epiphanies that we had early on that made us so highly skeptical about Barack Obama as a candidate for President.

For me, the very first wake-up call I had about Obama was this diary at Dailykos way back in September 2005. In the diary, then Senator Obama lectured the Kos community about “tone, truth, and the Democratic Party,” which defending Democratic Senators who had voted to confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Court. In the diary Obama strongly criticized people at Dailykos and other liberal blogs who wanted Congressional Democrats to stand up for Democratic principles and stop rolling over for Bush on every issue. (I have used bold type to highlight a couple of sections.)

According to the storyline that drives many advocacy groups and Democratic activists – a storyline often reflected in comments on this blog – we are up against a sharply partisan, radically conservative, take-no-prisoners Republican party. They have beaten us twice by energizing their base with red meat rhetoric and single-minded devotion and discipline to their agenda. In order to beat them, it is necessary for Democrats to get some backbone, give as good as they get, brook no compromise, drive out Democrats who are interested in “appeasing” the right wing, and enforce a more clearly progressive agenda….

I think this perspective misreads the American people. From traveling throughout Illinois and more recently around the country, I can tell you that Americans are suspicious of labels and suspicious of jargon. They don’t think George Bush is mean-spirited or prejudiced, but have become aware that his administration is irresponsible and often incompetent. They don’t think that corporations are inherently evil (a lot of them work in corporations), but they recognize that big business, unchecked, can fix the game to the detriment of working people and small entrepreneurs. They don’t think America is an imperialist brute, but are angry that the case to invade Iraq was exaggerated, are worried that we have unnecessarily alienated existing and potential allies around the world, and are ashamed by events like those at Abu Ghraib which violate our ideals as a country.

It’s this non-ideological lens through which much of the country viewed Judge Roberts’ confirmation hearings. A majority of folks, including a number of Democrats and Independents, don’t think that John Roberts is an ideologue bent on overturning every vestige of civil rights and civil liberties protections in our possession. Instead, they have good reason to believe he is a conservative judge who is (like it or not) within the mainstream of American jurisprudence…

In the rest of the diary, Obama attempted to make a case for the kind of “consensus-building” we have been watching since he moved into the White House–the kind where the Democrats compromise their values ahead of time and continue to compromise them in the face of Republican (and Blue Dog) objections.

Let me be clear: I am not arguing that the Democrats should trim their sails and be more “centrist”…. Too often, the “centrist” label seems to mean compromise for compromise sake, whereas on issues like health care, energy, education and tackling poverty, I don’t think Democrats have been bold enough. But I do think that being bold involves more than just putting more money into existing programs and will instead require us to admit that some existing programs and policies don’t work very well. And further, it will require us to innovate and experiment with whatever ideas hold promise (including market- or faith-based ideas that originate from Republicans).

Our goal should be to stick to our guns on those core values that make this country great, show a spirit of flexibility and sustained attention that can achieve those goals, and try to create the sort of serious, adult, consensus around our problems that can admit Democrats, Republicans and Independents of good will. This is more than just a matter of “framing,” although clarity of language, thought, and heart are required. It’s a matter of actually having faith in the American people’s ability to hear a real and authentic debate about the issues that matter.

Of course Obama never made clear what “core values” he would be willing to stand up for.

Reading this diary was my first wake-up call–it gave me my first real clues to who Obama really was. Before that, my only impressions of him were based on the speech he had given at the 2004 Democratic. He had come across to me as really smooth and slick, but nothing he said in the speech was really earth-shaking and none of it was memorable enough to stick with me. Still, I think I my overall impression was positive. But after reading Obama’s Kos diary, I my impression of him started to turn more negative.

Throughout much of 2007, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the discussions of presidential candidates on the blogs. I thought it was too early, and that there wasn’t much point in getting involved until it became clear who the top candidates would be. And then came my second real epiphany, the Donnie McClurkin episode, which took place in October 2007. As the NYT Caucus blog reported, Obama’s choice of McClurkin to headline a series of campaign events caused an uproar in the liberal blogosphere:

Mr. McClurkin, a black preacher who sang at the Republican National Convention in 2004, has gained notoriety for his view that homosexuality is a choice and can be “cured” through prayer, a view ridiculed by gay people.

Critics on the Internet say Mr. Obama is trying to appeal to conservative blacks at the expense of gay people. Surveys have found that blacks are less supportive than whites are of legalizing gay relationships.

Obama’s response the the criticism was pretty much “just words.”

Mr. Obama said through a spokesman that he “strongly disagrees” with Mr. McClurkin’s views. He did not indicate he would cancel Mr. McClurkin’s appearance, but said, “I have consistently spoken directly to African-American religious leaders about the need to overcome the homophobia that persists in some parts of our community so that we can confront issues like H.I.V./AIDS and broaden the reach of equal rights in this country.”

The article points out that at the time the concert was scheduled, Clinton was strongly challenging Obama in the polls in South Carolina. It was essential that Obama get a plurality of the black votes in the state in order to win the primary.

Here is what Huffington Post blogger Earl Ofari Hutchinson wrote at the time:

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama ripped a page straight from the Bush campaign playbook with his announced upcoming three date barnstorm tour through South Carolina with notorious gay basher, gospel singer Donnie McClurkin. The Grammy winning black gospel singer’s last effort on the political scene was his song and shill for Bush’s reelection at the Republican National Convention in 2004. Obama has hitched his string to McClurkin’s high flying gay bash kite in part out of religious belief (he purports to be somewhat of an evangelical), in bigger part because he’s falling further and further behind Hillary Clinton with the black vote in South Carolina and everywhere else, and in the biggest part of all because he hopes that what worked for Bush’s reelection will work for him.

Enter McClurkin. He’s black, he’s popular, and gospel plays big with blacks in South Carolina, especially black evangelicals, and many of them openly and even more of them quietly loathe gays.

Gee…even back then, some people were noting the similarities between Obama and George W. Bush.

In October 2007, when this controversy was going on, some gay liberal bloggers were very upset about Obama using McClurkin to attract the votes of black evangelicals. For example, here is Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend on October 21, 2007: Why is Obama touring with ‘ex-gay’ homophobe Donnie McClurkin? John Aravosis of Americablog was particularly scathing in his criticism of Obama’s choice to use McClurkin to headline a campaign event. From October 20, 2007:

Yes, sucking up to anti-gay bigots and joining them on stage – no, giving them a stage – is certainly defying conventional wisdom as to how a Democrat becomes president. Oh, and McClurkin also believes that gays can, and need to, be “cured.”

On October 22, Aravosis wrote in response to Obama’s statement on the controversy, quoted in the NYT story linked above:

That’s nice, Senator. You strongly disagree with the bigot who thinks I need to be cured, and who has declared “war” on me and my people, but you’re going to put the guy on stage with you anyway in order to make a few bucks. Nice. I wonder what Obama would say if Hillary invited David Duke to speak at an event but then said, not to worry, she really loves black people – kisses!

If you’re afraid to lead, Senator, then maybe you’re not the leader we thought you were.

Huge mistake.

More to come. Much more. All week.

PS You know Obama’s campaign was fully aware of just who this bigot was – this wasn’t a mistake. The bigot has been in the news, a lot, for his virulent homophobia. Obama simply didn’t care. And he doesn’t care now.

Aravosis did continue to criticize Obama about McClurkin for a time, but large segments of the Obama supporting blogosphere then began to attack Aravosis. As we all know, Aravosis eventually became a strong Obama supporter–was his support based on fear of expulsion from the in-crowd or real conviction? I think we all have a pretty good idea at this point–and as we also know, Aravosis was certainly not alone in supporting Obama because of peer pressure.

For me, the McClurkin episode was the point where I first knew I would not be able to vote for Barack Obama. For me civil liberties and civil rights are my number one issue. I could never vote for someone who would make the kind of cynical choice that Obama did in allowing McClurkin to headline a campaign event. This episode cemented the earlier impressions I had gotten earlier from reading Obama’s 2005 diary at Dkos.

At this point I began to do some real research into Obama’s past history, and I found quite a few more things I didn’t care for. Most of all, I began to realize that Obama didn’t really have an ideology. He had no core values or beliefs that guided his choices. There were no issues–at least no liberal ones–on which he would draw a line in the sand and fight for what was right.

When and how did you experience an epiphany (or epiphanies) about Barack Obama as presidential candidate?

196 Responses

  1. Wow! Those are good ones. Is that post from DK the same one where he implies that good people have a faith or something or did I read that somewhere else?

    • I don’t think so. The one thing I couldn’t find was the interview where Obama said that gays were out of touch with people of faith. That was really bad.

      • I was kind of surprised to see that the event that first led me to say I could never vote for Obama happened way back in Oct., 2007.

        • How could the A-listers miss all of this stuff? Or were they making enough money so they could safely ignore it or rationalize it away?

          • Isn’t it called cognitive dissonance?

            You don’t like what you see, so you go with the fantasy/ belief?

          • I’d have to say it was all about the money Rd. That and a whole lot of CDS sprinkled in for flavor.

            The warning signs were there for all to see. They just chose to ignore them because of 1.) Their hatred for all things Clinton and 2.) The cash sure did help.

            After what these A-Lister’s did to our Party and the country as a whole, Nothing and I do mean NOTHING they write or say “Today” will ever erase that bad taste they left in my mouth.

            We were right. The Confluence was right!

          • When you’re being actively courted by what could be power, your knees go pretty weak and you’re flattered into believing a lot. Plus, I still think there’s this idea out that a black man couldn’t be that much of a corporate elite. I think people just felt that automatically gave him an outsider status and they didn’t look deeper than that. Living in a “chocolate city” for 15 years like me, as it were, you see that the dynamics are much more about socioeconomic status/income levels any more. We’ve got massive corruption down here among the power classes trying to get rich off their political positions and they’ve worked on New Orleans which captured a lot of black elites and now they’re after the Jefferson Parish corruption and its catching white folks. Power corrupts and its race blind. Looking at that one woman Mayor that just got caught, it probably, once we get in enough positions of power, will be sex blind too. Chicago is one of those places that just oozes corruption and corruption tempts all.

      • I remember some speech where he implied that you had to have some kind of faith to be adult? moral? Can’t remember. Then I thought, so what does that make Brook? Permanently immature? She *can’t* believe in a god. It’s not in her DNA. I’m more of a pantheist/deist myself. I don’t have a religion. What does that make me? Or Dakinikat, who’s a Buddhist. I mean, who is Barack Obama that he can decide who is mature and needs to be listened to and who is not? And what about the cynical bastards who only pretend to have faith so they can reach positions of power, like Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson? What about Abraham Lincoln, who Obama claims to be modeling? Lincoln made reference to god but did not have a formal religion. In fact, Lincoln didn’t like fundamentalists and didn’t mix religion with politics. Did Lincoln have an office of faith based initiatives during the Civil War, because if there was ever a time to create one, it would have been then.
        So, Obama twitched my tin foil antenna shortly after he went to the US Senate. I wasn’t ready to write him off until New Hampshire 2008. That’s when he was just offensive as all get out. Then, when I saw what the game was after supertuesday, I was completely disgusted by him.

        • I took great offense at Michelle telling us that Obama would straighten us out, tell us how to live. I thought, “Who are these people to tell me how to live?! “

        • I come from a real long line of atheists (including the ones that signed the declaration of indepedence) and we all seem to come by it naturally. The oldest walked out of a methodist sunday school room at about 7 years old and said this is BS and I don’t want anything to do with it. I think I was about 10 when I read about buddhism and decided it was made more sense then anything the Presbyterians were teaching me. My father refused to go near a church and my mother only went when I was doing something with music which was the only reason I belonged to a church growing up.

          There seem to be people that need a god and that’s just fine. But why do they insist on dragging that every where and inflicting it on every one else?

          What really got me down on Obama were the first two democratic debates when it was obvious he knew nothing and was just piggybacking on every one else’s answers. I believe even John Edwards told hiim he had to step up his game. Problem is, it became more and more evident from his razor thin resume the only thing he appeared to excel at was talking about himself. He didn’t even have a cursory understanding of anything else. I recognize the student who gets by with personality and friends to do their homework. Only his personality really creeps me out. He reminds me of all those rich kids that just come into a room with a sense of entitlement. He oozes prep school.

          • “I recognize the student who gets by with personality and friends to do their homework. Only his personality really creeps me out. He reminds me of all those rich kids that just come into a room with a sense of entitlement. He oozes prep school.”

            I recognized that also, from being in school with people like that and from teaching kids like that. No intellectual curiosity. I was not impressed with his Ivy League background since I know how that works.

          • Exactly Dakinikat–that was my first impression too (which spammy ate for some reason). He was faking his way through the debates, and it was obvious. And worse, he did it with arrogance. The irony is, the critics were slamming Hillary for her sense of “entitlement,” and this guy just reeks of prep school/Ivy League entitlement (I went to both, and can verify the attitude, it’s repellent and some people just revel in it). I have never understood, and still do not understand the claim, that even though people do “not agree with his policies/actions, they still really like him.” I was immediately turned off by his personality.

      • Obama said that gays were out of touch with people of faith

        Typical arrogance. He clearly believes that ONLY people who believe what he believes are people of faith.

        There is a particular sect of religions who are so afraid of themselves, they judge harshly everyone who represents the fears they have of themselves.

  2. I was never for Obama because he lacked experience. But, I thought I would vote for whoever the Democrat candidate was. During the Primary I was for Hillary. I realized that I could not support Obama when the votes were stolen from Hillary. The thing that really burned me, besides that, was him calling the voters in Pennsylvania bitter, old, racist gun toting, Bible thumping, etc…… right before our Primary.

    • To be fair, there are some reactionary elements in the central PA area. But the voters I called on the phone during the primary campaign were for Hillary for one reason and one reason only- experience.
      They made a point over and over again of telling me that Obama’s race had nothing to do with it. They were really hurt by accusations of racism and angry to be called bitter bible thumpers. Isn’t that sad? When you *have* to answer the phone canvasser’s call because you want to reassure him/her that you’re not a member of the KKK?
      I honestly can’t believe that a Democrat could do that to another Democrat with a clean conscience. It sickens me to think that these people’s emotions were manipulated so nastily.

      • I realize there are some very ‘conservative’ areas of PA. But the implication was that if you did not support him, you fit that profile.

        The population in PA is older than most states and older people tend to value experience. Hillary connected with the people without insulting anyone.

        She also campaigned everywhere, even in Philadelphia, which he did not. As usual, he thought he could just fly in, bowl a game and eat some waffles and fool those hicks.

      • That was the pivotal moment for me–his use of race for his own political advantage in the name of being “post-racial.” Disgusting and unforgivable.

    • I live in South Central PA and I have noticed some of this among some people, except for the “bitter” part. I don’t see bitter. I do see some people who would benefit from getting out of town, state, country in order to widen their perspective. There are so many hills (consequently, not great roads) here and it’s so pretty that people just stay put. Of course, the lack of jobs could make more people mobile.

      Obama said at the Sunday fund-raiser, “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

      Clinton’s response:

      My opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who faced hard times are bitter. Well, that’s not my experience,” Clinton told a crowd in Philadelphia. “As I travel around Pennsylvania, I meet people who are resilient, who are optimistic, who are positive, who are rolling up their sleeves … Pennsylvanians don’t need a president who looks down on them, they need a president who stands up for them.


    • That was when I started to support Hillary. Before that, I liked Edwards, but that debate really turned me around.

  3. Wondering what kind of SOB would let his public housing constituents go without heat in January and February closed the book for me. When asked about it all he said was, “There might have been some calls.”
    Did I mention the raw sewage in their kitchen sinks?

    • Yep. And what kind of SOB wouldn’t know what his constitutents were going through? Either way, not attractive.

      • Yea, he said he was “unaware” of it–in his own district. Yet, we were supposed to trust him to run the country? Constant lies, and his buddies Rezko and Pritzker were just people he kinda, sorta knew.

    • I had never paid attention to backtrack until the primaries.
      When I read about the people in Chicago that were living in substandard housing while he was taking contributions from the owner that told me all I needed to know about him. If he did not help the people he was supposed to represent what made anyone think he would give a damn about the people of this country.
      Look at how a man treats his family and you will know the man.
      His treatment of his grandmothers and brothers says all .
      He constantly showed contempt for the American people but many wanted color over country due to a false sense of guilt and would not see it.




    • Yeah, that was it for me: the freezing tenants in the Rezko buildings, and his nice house, which Rezko helped him buy. And praising Reagan and saying Republicans had some good ideas, like deregulation. And saying we had to fix Social Security. And his appearance on Charlie Rose: snake-oil salesman.

      And he was from Chicago.

      It got worse from there.

  4. But wait, there’s more! What about the photo of his teleprompter set up in a corral to speak to 14 ranchers?

  5. Two years later, a Democratic chair finally catches up with us – resigns and leaves party

  6. His 2004 convention speech really upset me. My impression was that he was lecturing the black man. Forget about real-life experience in the ghetto: terrible schools, lack of opportunity, lack of decent jobs with decent pay, etc. It was all the lazy black man’s fault for not supporting his family. It was the parents’ fault that black kids did poorly in school because the parents didn’t read to them at night – not the fact that the schools sucked or were falling apart or that the kids were hungry or that the neighborhood was dangerous. And this lecturing from a man who never lived in a ghetto. I was deeply offended. He was patronizing to the black community and saying words racists love to hear. It still makes me sick. If a white person had said those things, that person would have been labeled a racist.

    • He bought into that “lack of effort” swill keeps people poor. I don’t think he ever fought for economic or social justice.

    • I remember seeing a clip of Obama talking to black voters in the south and he was speaking with a southern accent and using a cadence similar to MLK.

      Then he started using lines from Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Malcolm X

      “They’re trying to hoodwink, bamboozle you!”

      Obama never talks like that unless he has an African American audience. But it’s all fake – he wasn’t raised in the AA community and his father was African, not AA.. Obama never spent time in the AA community until he got a job working in one. Since the left his community organizing job to go to law school, his only non-professional contact with the AA community has been Trinity UCC.

      Genetically Obama is bi-racial, but culturally he’s 100% white.

      • Oh, and don’t forget the references to hip-hop that made him so “street.” Uck.

      • BHO: Bamboozle-Hoodwink-Okiedoke

      • Well,here’s what harry Reid thinks:

        The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate apologized on Saturday for comments he made about Barack Obama’s race during the 2008 presidential bid.

        Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada described then-Sen. Barack Obama as “light skinned” and “with no Negro dialect.” Obama is the nation’s first African-American president.

        “I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African-Americans for my improper comments,” Reid said in a statement released after the excerpts were reported on the Web site of The Atlantic.

  7. I thought Obama’s 2004 convention speech was underwhelming and the media hype was odd. I attributed the oddness to the media at that point though, and not as something to hold against Obama himself. When I heard he was running in 2007 , I was excited about having such an embarrassment of diversity riches on the left to choose from this time (and also vaguely scared that the Democrats would screw it up) –I was looking forward to learn more about him and his policy positions. But, when I tuned into the debates, again I was underwhelmed by his performance. By the time he started going straight to the RW playbook to call Hillary “disingenuous,” I was already starting to wonder about his own character. Nothing that I was finding about him seemed to add up to the campaign pitch about him being an apolitical angel, which was too nicey-nicey to be true and which I took as a red flag in and of itself. Once I found out about what he did to his mentor Alice Palmer, I really lost whatever excitement I had about getting to know him, but ever the loyal Democrat, it never actually crossed my mind to not vote for the Democrat. It wasn’t until the dirty race baiting in South Carolina that I started to seriously doubt whether I could vote for him.

    • oh and the media’s messianic reaction to his win in Iowa was creepy, esp. next to their pileup on the Clintons and the writing up of their political obituaries as if they were going out like Nixon.

    • Gonna bold her name

      his mentor Alice Palmer

    • I find his oration underwhelming also. Imagine my surprise to find Garrison Keillor still “waiting and hoping” during a BBC interview I heard last night. The reasons he indicated that draw him to Obama are his oratorical skills and his ability to communicate with the American people. That’s laughable. But I prefer Keillor’s other humor.

    • One of the things that really bothered me about the whole “diversity” meme during the primaries was that it was really ALL about Obama. There were occasional half-assed nods towards Hillary, but NOBODY gave a damn about Bill Richardson. They were all “OMG a POC running for President” but then they ignored the fact that Richardson was Also a POC. That bugged me.

  8. “Of course Obama never made clear what “core values” he would be willing to stand up for.”

    Great post BB. I have grown to hate one of his favorite phrases: “Let me be clear,” because he rarely is. It’s always foggy double-speak.

    The first thing that struck me about him was his glaring inexperience and arrogance. He reminded me of a cocky kid in school, bluffing his way through a test. To my dismay, people didn’t care about this–for the most difficult job on the planet. Editorials surfaced “explaining” why experience was not important. I watched every debate, and he was clearly the least well-informed person on the stage. The only reason he improved toward the end was because he was tutored by the best (HRC).

    This first negative impression was cemented when I started to piece together his effortless ability to lie. The hypocrisy of his statements vs. his actions/record was repellent, especially because he self-righteously attacked others for the very same thing he did. He chanted his “negative politics” mantra, while his campaign smeared opponents with the worst attacks. Accusing the Clintons of rac*sm was the deal killer for me. Using race, for his own advantage and to manipulate the hearts of good people, was as low as a “liberal” could go. I could go on and on, but for me, the hypocrisy has been the most compelling aspect of my revulsion toward him. He is a hollow (as you so eloquently point out), self-serving, phony chameleon. I never thought I could dislike a leader more than Bush, but Obama now owns that title because he is doing it in the name of the Democratic Party.

  9. BB: spammy ate my last screed about the Liar in Chief–please rescue.

  10. I paid some attention after all the publicity he got in 2004. The first speech I remember listening to – was in the Senate – about – interestingly enough – the war. It was saying that we don’t need to point fingers, trying to blame whoever started it, but rather look in the future – as to how we proceed from now on. I chucked him down as another Edwards from that point (a lot of people still don’t know Edwards co-sponsored IWR – never retracted THAT one)

  11. There are so many memorable hits, but to add to the McLurkin theme, I will never forget this one at the forum with Warren re: gay marriage:

    “With a man and a woman, God is in the mix.”

    That was one of the most offensive things I have ever heard from a “liberal.”

    & the lies, lies, lies, lies. How many times did he disown people when they became politically inconvenient: “I hardly knew x, y, z (who had funded, served and supported him for 20+ years). “

    • But he will fight for tax cheat Timmy.

      • But no…Timmy was “not involved” in the AIG situation (even though he was head of the New York Fed):

        Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner “was not involved” in decisions by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York when it told American International Group Inc. to withhold details from the public about the bailed-out insurer’s payments to banks in 2008, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

        Geithner, who was head of the New York Fed at the time, “wasn’t party to the decision,” Gibbs said at a White House briefing. Asked if President Barack Obama continues to have confidence in Geithner, Gibbs said, “Of course.”

        Republicans and Democrats have called for Geithner to testify about the New York Fed’s effort to limit disclosures by AIG during the height of the financial crisis. Geithner was recused from working on issues involving specific companies at the time because he had been named by Obama as his choice for Treasury secretary, a spokeswoman said yesterday.


  12. My first epiphany was those creepy Obama rallies with the fainting Obots. They reminded me of the Southern Baptist revivals I attended as a child. The McClurkin appearance made me think I was going to have a very hard time voting for Obama if he got the nomination. I knew I could never vote for him when he and his surrogates slimed the best president and first lady of my lifetime as racists. (BTW, I’ve lurked here since February 08. Thanks for providing a place where real Democratic values rule.)

  13. My epiphanies about Obama didn’t come all at once. You make some really good points about Obama showing his true colors long before the 2008 election.

    I think I’m a pretty good judge of character so when I watched the 2004 convention in a room filled with 20-something, predominantly white college kids, I didn’t understand what all the excitement was about. I also did not see anything that was memorable about the speech but I remember the college kids already comparing him to JFK. I’m thinking the DNC, Kerry, Kennedy, etc. definitely saw the potential of using a youngish black guy with no real record to tarnish him to get the college kids out to vote in 2008. The 2004 convention and the positive reviews from Obama’s speech probably cemented their decision to get the DNC behind Obama as a presidential candidate.

    In 2007, I started seeing college guys wear Obama tshirts and I was laughing in my head that some of these guys who didn’t typically care or were very knowledgeable about politics and current affairs were already campaigning for Obama. The cult of personality and the “anyone but Hillary” meme was already beginning on the college campuses by then. Hillary at the time probably presumed that she was going to be the nominee. The Hillary camp could have never predicted that the Obama campaign would become such a cult of personality and race-baiting and misogyny rolled up into one neat package. But I wish the Hillary camp had paid attention sooner both to the movement that was beginning on college campuses and to the caucus fraud that was being planned to pay and send those college kids to harass old people at the caucuses and on the blogosphere.

    By the end of 2007 I was starting to read more about the candidates in the newspaper and on a few blogs. I wasn’t yet firmly committed to Hillary Clinton but she was at the top of my list of candidates because I had admired her chutzpah and hard-work both as first lady and as a Senator of New York. I really had no clue who Obama was but I definitely picked up on his arrogance and lack of a record before 2008. What I was already reading about his connections in Chicago and his lack of work for his African-American constituents did not impress me at all and in fact made me worried because so many people I knew were already ignoring the facts. I also read about McClurkin and that definitely sent out warning signs in my head. I thought, if he was already working with homophobes early on in his campaign, is it possible that he would do anything and work with anyone to win? I had also seen the video of Michelle Obama taking a shot at Hillary Clinton when talking about family values, one of the first acts of sexism I had seen come out of the Obama campaign. I had no idea that things would only get worse in 2008:

    By December 2007 I came across Taylor Marsh and Hillary is 44, the only sites that I could find on the web that had a Hillary slant. From Hillary is 44, I found Anglachel’s Journal and I only wish more people had read what Anglachel had written about Obama since November 2007. Anglachel was one of the few people on the blogosphere who had seen Obama for what he truly was by December of 2007. Here is one post she had written dated December 28, 2007 called Barry and the Problem of Sovereignty: http://anglachelg.blogspot.com/2007/12/barry-and-problem-of-sovereignty.html

    By January 2008 I was reading Anglachel on a daily basis and what I had read at her site provided me with more information about the candidates than anywhere else on the liberal blogosphere. I think I found The Confluence around that time as well, either in January or February, and by then I had decided that Barry was a snake oil salesman. For me, it was so easy to see through his lies and lack of experience on the issues in each and every debate. When I saw a win for Hillary the media saw a loss. She was such a wonk during the debates. I remember having a negative opinion of her for a short time during the 90s but in 2008 I realized that was probably because of the lies that the media embedded into my brain. The more I saw Hillary talk, the more I liked her. I felt the exact opposite with Obama. By the time of his famous race speech, I couldn’t stand listening to his voice because I knew everything that came out of his mouth were “just words”, plagiarized words, and lies. I tuned him out the same way I did with George W. Bush whose words were also “just words” that had no real meaning other than to cover up more lies.

    • Love it–you could have taken those words right out of my head. Why was it so clear to us?

    • This comment by DV should be a post by itself!

      • You were one of the earliest ones here, DV. When I got here, it was you, katiebird, mablue, upstateNY, ghost2, and a few others. That was probably in Jan, ’08.

    • I don’t know which is worse – Michelle or Barack. Another one for me was the Wal Mart hypocrisy ….. her earning all the money in stocks and board of directors for company that sells to WalMart then bashing Hillary for her stint with WalMart before she was First Lady. They are BOTH hypocrits all the way around – they are only in it for themselves.

      • Michelle gave that ‘Don’t go into corporate America, don’t go into corporate law or hedge fudge management, go into a helping industry, be a nurse’ speech too.’

        • Michelle is a much better speaker than Obama though. IMO.

          • She’s clearly so much smarter. I would love to get her alone and ask her honestly, what is it like to be married to Chance the Gardiner and watch him inexorably rise? It’s got to be really disturbing on many levels. She and Laura Bush and Betty Ford should form a club.

        • She failed to mention that she worked for a corporate law firm and later made $300k/year in a position designed especially for her on the corporate board of the UChicago Hospitals that helped pay off her $1.65 million Chicago mansion.

  14. I know exactly when I decided against Barack Obama. In the summer of 2007 the Democratic candidates and Mike Huckabee addressed the National Education Association annual conference. I didn’t attend the conference but I watched all of the speeches on the NEA website. When I watched Barack he started talking about “merit pay” for teachers. I’m an art teacher so I have no merit, according to the government. That has always been a key word “Republicans” use so I figured Barack was really a closet Republican. You have to understand that for me “merit pay” is union busting talk. Every other union has taken their hits now the teachers unions are going to take their hits. I knew I could never vote for him just on that one issue. He started changing the merit word to something else as the campaign got moving on but I always remembered what he said. The NEA foolishly endorsed him. Now many teachers are really worried about his “Race to the Top”. They want the teachers to sign on to a program that is not totally written. There’s a little blank page in there that they want to write after our state, Michigan, is signed on. Now many teachers are wondering what happened to Barack Obama as it has merit pay and Charter schools highly figured into the “Race to the Top”. I always knew what he was. I just saw so much during the primary with his dishonesty that there was no way I could support him. Transparency isn’t signing on to a blank page so the government can come in and turn everything upside down. They’ve done enough damage to creativity in the classroom with this constant testing. It’s all about the core subjects and no imagination. The test makers are making loads of money and the students aren’t necessarily going to be any more productive as adults than the last bunch. They just might not be able to be creative enough to think through a problem to a solution because the answers aren’t always a,b,c or d.

  15. There were so many little things that would take me the entire weekend to look up but definitely the media love fest (the same media love fest that worked in Bush’s favor) and the comments made by both Michelle and Barack Obama put me on notice about them both for their character and their lack of judgment.

    The accusations of racism at the Clinton camp both from the media and the Obama campaign was the final straw. The disenfranchisement in MI and FL made me furious but watching the Obots try to justify disenfranchising voters so their candidate could “win” the delegate count was disgusting. I knew then that these people did not stand for democracy and democratic principles. I had been right all along, Obama would do anything to win but not just hang out with homophobes but actually outright STEAL votes. It was unprecedented. I had never seen anything like it from a Democratic candidate.

  16. I became an intensely pro-Hillary supporter in late 2007 (I was already rooting for her, but keeping an open mind about Edwards) when I read an article somewhere in the ‘Net where a researcher talked about how, in the course of trying to find out how much racism there was in the coverage of the Democratic primary, instead found an incredible amount of misogyny in mainstream media and the blogs. That was when I began to really pay close attention not just to the usual news sources but the blogs as well. By the time the New Hampshire debate came, the “angry feminist” in me had fully risen. To this day, I hit back at feminist and leftist friends who thought Obama was the real deal.

  17. This guy is from the right camp I think, but his initial point is relevant:

    Internet Exposes Obama Chicanery

    Maybe, for President Barack Obama, the Internet is a two-edged sword, for it helped him raise money and solidify supporters during the campaign, but is right now revealing him as a political deceiver who preaches idealism and practices a kind of fraud.

    It’s an amazing instrument, this Internet, and is still unfolding awesome powers of communication, such as offering up videos showing such inspiring moments as Obama’s promises as a presidential candidate. Why, there he is in one of them saying on no fewer than eight occasions that any negotiations on health-care legislation in his administration would be nationally televised on C-Span.

    That’s the heart of this guy, isn’t it? He wants democracy in something more than name only. He wants to let everyone see everything that’s going on so corruption won’t raise its ugly head. But wait, because there is another video the public can watch on the Internet, and look, it’s Robert Gibbs, Obama’s press secretary, and he is evading questions about the secrecy of negotiations on health-care legislation, and even being contemptuous about it, practically nasty.


  18. Hello all,

    Still reading. Haven’t commented in a long whle. This is still the best site with the most intelligent and thoughtful writers. I feel I’m the quiet guest at a dinner party with extraordinary conversationalists.

    Great topic! I was forever for Hillary, but friends were excited about Obama. I looked, listened, and read….and became simply appalled by his lack of knowledge, experience, and inability to articulate his policies. The more I saw, the more “frightened” I became. The South Carolina allegations toward the Clintons did it for me along with the blatant and outrageous sexism toward Hillary. From the looking down his nose to his snide comments, he disgusted me. I couldn’t believe that more people didn’t see what I saw. It turned into a Perfect Storm of collusion and deceit from which I wonder if we will recover.

    • I couldn’t believe that more people didn’t see what I saw.

      Isn’t it a bizarre disconnect? I will never understand it.

    • Hey Lakota, Great to see you!

      • BB, I still eagerly read your posts and this site everyday. Just have been busy with work, my Mom, etc. Plus, just a general malaise about this administration and the decisions they do or don’t make. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I’d admire all who write here for your perseverence.

    • Yes. Those were really important to me too. Then I started doing research on him and looking at his “present” votes in the Illinois Senate and how he allowed a convicted criminal to “help” him buy his house in Chicago; Michelle suddenly having her salary doubled when he became a senator; HOW he became an Illinois Senator and other information regularly reported in the Chicago newspapers and by other investigative reporters indicating that Obama was not an exception to the rule of corrupt Chicago pols.

      Besides the accusations of racism against the Clintons which were so obviously trumped up and ridiculous, there was the giving her the finger while playing “99 Problems and a Bitch Ain’t One” at one his rallies, the cheating of Hillary out of the nomination, the Harry and Louise ads against Hillary’s health care plan and his incredibly thin-skin when she showed him in debate after debate.

      There was hardly one thing. It was cumulative. Yet my warnings to my friends met with skepticism and rolling of eyes at best and hostility and accusations of racism at worst. I lost a good friend over this.

      The worst part was finding myself, for the first time in my life, not being able to work for the Democratic Party and having no pleasure in the election of this man, when everyone I knew was ecstatic.

      This site was a life-saver for me, after I got kicked off of Daily kos and Talk Left for speaking up.

  19. never forget never forgive..never!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Another charming O attribute: when he does have to face actual accountability and criticism, he gets irritable and peevish. Yahoo, surprisingly, nails Obama for his “wa, wa, wa” attitude:

    Analysis: Obama’s buck-stopping goes only so far

    WASHINGTON – He says “the buck stops with me,” but nearly a year into office, President Barack Obama is still blaming a lot of the nation’s troubles — the economy, terrorism, health care — on George W. Bush.

    Over and over, Obama keeps reminding Americans of the mess he inherited and all he’s doing to fix it. A sharper, give-me-some-credit tone has emerged in his language as he bemoans people’s fleeting memory about what life was like way back in 2008, particularly on the economy.


    • How about “Can’t I just eat my waffle” and his “Sweetie” comments?

      Obama is like one of those celebrities that is nice and sweet for the camera but is an asshat in real life.

      • I don’t actually see him as being nice and sweet for the camera, either.

        The only time he shows any human happiness is when he’s with his insider crowd and making fun of others. That grin he gave while he scratched his cheek at Hillary the day after his final debate was the real Obama.

        No more debates after that, either. He supporters didn’t see the fraud even then.

    • I think the people behind Associated Press are seeing the writing on the wall. They have been writing a lot of critical pieces about “The One.” As Obama’s stature continue to falter, watch the press rediscover their “fiscalizing” role in style, and watch the Obots become even more vicious in their attempt to smear the Clintons.

  21. After Kerry lost in 2004, I had a friend mention to me that Hillary ought to run in 2008. I was horrified. Totally anti-Hillary. Not because I necessarily disliked her, but because I thought she’d be the worst candidate we could run due to the hate out there against her.

    I was at Kos at the time, and still undecided, hoping Wes Clark would run. I said repeatedly that I was undecided, and had no big issues with Obama, other than thinking he was a bit inexperienced. Then the Hillary bashing began. And I found myself researching her further, to find out what the heck this woman had done that was so awful. I found….. that she was actually a very good candidate. She blew me away in the debates. She knew her stuff, and would perk up with obvious zeal for the topic, and launch into her wonky replies, whereas Obama gave carefully canned answers that were so scripted it made me want to retch. About this time, I started noticing how she won people over – the more they knew about her and saw her in action, the more they liked her. Obama’s appeal was the opposite: you only fell in love with him if you were very very deliberately careful not to look too closely.

    Meanwhile, Obama and his supporters went from bad to worse. The SC primary was the tipping point for me. Sorry, but anyone who could call Bill and Hillary Clinton raycists with a straight face was just a smearer, a hateful person, and a stone-cold liar. I have family and friends still in SC, and the way his campaign behaved there was shameful. Blatant race-baiting and stirring up of hate.

    It was after that that I began researching his record in Illinois (since the media and the blogs never bothered to do so), and found…. a superficially charming man up to his neck in the Chicago machine, with very powerful backers, whose entire career seemed to be predicated on making sure no one knew precisely where he stood on anything at all. It became very clear that he had no center, no principles other than his own advancement.

    All the things others have mentioned: the FISA vote, the gay-bashing tour, the lies. All those things were nails in the coffin. But for me, it was primarily the epiphany that this guy had zero honest opinions (not even those I might disagree with). Obama was about Obama, period, end of story. The most calculating pure amoral politician I’ve ever seen. That he cloaked that in “new politics” and virginal purity was just galling.

    He’d sell out anyone and anything if it’s to his advantage to do so.

    • When he played the race card on Bill and Hillary that was the dirtiest move I’d ever seen a Democrat make, and he was doing it to another Democrat.

      AFAIC that disqualified him from winning the nomination.

    • That was great. You expressed what I felt better than I did.

    • There was a frightening difference between the pro-Hillary and pro-Obama supporters. Easy to understand parts of it:

      1. Hillary was qualified, Obama was not.

      2. Hillary had years of verifiable, relevant experience. Obama did not.

      3. Hillary had the maturity and determination to correct the horrible things that were happening in the country. Obama did not.

      4. Hillary was clear and articulate in her ability to recognize the problems and put forth policy solutions she would enact. Obama was not.

      and, on and on. Her supporters used words that were intended to explain to his followers why it was in their best interest to pay closer attention to why he might not be ready just yet for the top of the ticket. His supporters were frightening and using violent accusations and threats.

      I sure wasn’t going to give that guy my vote and feed into that.

      • Also, Hillary was always very careful during the primaries not to promise the moon when she knew she couldn’t deliver. It was really clear that Obama was saying what people wanted to hear, and Hillary was talking about what she actually intended to do. I remember over and over in the debates they tried to get her to promise that she’d have the troops home in 90 days, or that she’d do whatever else pie-in-the-sky liberal project the moderator wanted. Obama promised every damn time, and Hillary always said that while she agreed in principle, it wasn’t as simple as that. You’ve gotta appreciate someone who understands the depth and complexity of issues.

  22. I think the A-Listers completely missed the real Obama because of rampant misogyny and because they were duped by the corporate controlled media. Brand Obama was ficticious from the start. All you needed to know in order to know Obama was that he received the most money from Wall Street–more than Clinton and more than McCain. So, why was Wall Street giving him so much money? Because they thought he would enact single payer health insurance? Not. Because they thought he would let big banks fail or reverse Bush’s lucrative war policies? Not. They gave him money because they knew he would do their bidding. And, he has done a spectacular job for them! The A-Listers were duped because they either lacked the intellectual and political acumen to look behind the trivial, the stupidly hateful and the incongruent, or they were too comfortable in their misogynistic “creative class” to really care to look.

  23. And all that black preacher cadence in his speeches and that “okey doke, bamboolizing” crap to predominately black audiences during the campaign , I’ll add.

  24. The Jeremiah Wright sermons still irritate me. Why would he not leave Trinity because of them? He admitted later that with young children that he and Michelle were not often in church Sunday AM.
    Picking Trinity was a political choice, it’s always seemed to me.

    • Wright and churches like Trinity didn’t surprise me. These type of churches are common in inner cities and in rural areas. One targets blacks, the other targets whites but both play to the fears of these two groups in order to pocket their money and allow pastors to preach hate, homophobia, and sexism and call it religion. Obama never seemed like a religious person to me so I assumed Obama had joined the church for political reasons early on in his career. Since moving to the White House I think the Obamas have attended church only a few times. What was most revealing about the Jeremiah Wright controversy was how Obama reacted and how he ended a 20 year friendship with Wright when it became politically expedient. While people focused on Wright’s sermons and the church I thought the situation was important in that it revealed part of Obama’s character.

      • The only time I EVER saw Obama show any backbone was when he refused to throw Wright under the bus. I respected that. For the five minutes that it lasted.

    • They still don’t attend church. IIRC, I recently read they had only attended church about 3 times this year.

      Man of faith.

  25. O, I see, while thinking about my objections to BO that I have repeated others’ comments. Sorry for the repetition.

    • We don’t mind a little repetition.

    • That’s to be expected….we all follow a common road on this. He was/is not qualified for the job. He was/is not telling the people the truth about anything. We did/do see that serious character flaw.

  26. Let’s see, what do you suppose the relationship between so many folks have epiphanies as of late is to this?


    More than half of Nevadans are unhappy with Sen. Harry Reid, according to a new poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It’s the worst “unfavorable” rating he’s received in the newspaper’s surveys for this year’s election, and it comes amid quiet speculation — or perhaps wishful thinking by his opponents — that it’s time for the Nevada Democrat to retire rather than lose re-election.

    In response, Reid told the Review-Journal Friday he wouldn’t consider stepping aside as did Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, whose announcement this week prompted rumors that the Senate majority leader might think about ending his political career now that he’s the most vulnerable incumbent.

    • Reid has over $25 million in his campaign accounts. He will try to buy the election with ads or whatever. He might even succeed but I hope not. He needs to be voted out now.

  27. Okay, I have to share this:

  28. Excellent post, BB. I had no Obama epiphany as such. Open minded at the beginning of debate season, I kept waiting for Obama to put some substance into his speeches and debate answers. For Obama it was more of a decline into repulsion.

    For Hillary it was all incline as I discovered how substantive, vital, prepared, confident, able and caring Hillary is. I had respected her for a long time, but I hadn’t listened closely. I’m still impressed as she blooms where she is planted.

  29. Backtrack has shown a history of saying one thing and doing another. Remember the maytag workers and the Crown family money. Remember the watering down of the bill on dangerous pollution in a Chicago neighborhood.
    Everytime he was given a chance to vote for the good of the people he was supposed to represent he either voted present or weakened the bill or voted against it..
    When he made the comment about the primary being like the Battaan Death March, my first thought was the title of the movie about that was ” They were Expendable”. His whole life he has shown that to him people are expendable. Good enough to use until he got what he wanted , then he was through with them.



    • That Bataan Death March comment was really too obvious. Obama takes on the form and persona of whomever he is currently in alliance with. In the case of that comment, the annual “March” was about to take place in New Mexico, and he was in the company of Bill Richardson. My guess is that prior to that day, Obama had never heard of the Bataan Death March.

  30. Did anyone mention his cocky gestures: brushing off his shoulders as if he could so easily throw off any negatives said about him, giving the finger, and choosing “I have 99 problems and a bitch aint one” as his rally theme music?

  31. Not so much an epiphany for me, I had maybe a simpler journey. Started noticing and respecting Hillary during the 80s when she was still in Arkansas – her intelligence, her convictions, her strength. Over the decades, I followed her as she made mistakes, as the media and the opposition targeted her, as she grew in her beliefs and never wavered in her willingness to fight. I thought she’d make a strong President someday even from her time as First Lady. During the W years and the lead up to 2008, she continued to mature and her convictions became clearer than ever about a fair society, women and children and minority rights, her grasp of economics and the law, her love for country, her sense of responsibility about 9/11 as NY Senator – not so much the opportunistic reaction of Giuliani or W, but a quiet firm resolve to protect her people. I remember she would give these talks as Senator in small settings not many people saw that were remarkable lessons in humanity, purpose and discipline.

    Once the campaign rolled around, Obama to me was an impressive politician who like Hillary might grow someday to be a candidate for President. But he was young still, that was clear. His campaign seemed like a practice run at first. Then his team saw an opportunity. Everything was about Bush hatred, the same anti war hatred that had defined 2006 (not so much the economy yet). Hillary was the hawk, Obama was the peacenik, and the netroots drove that meme hard with the media. Edwards then jumped on the same attack. The two of them drove the anti war pitch hard – Hillary was the same as Bush. Then by early 2008 the DNC and MSM had fully committed to Obama. For the DNC, it may have been in part about the impending doom in the economy. Obama would be easier to control by the establishment. For the MSM, Obamania was a ratings bonanza at a time when they were sinking financially. Obama appealed to the right demographic and the mania drove up viewerhship and circulation. After February, the fix was in and nothing made sense afterwards.

    Obama became the accidental President, or at least a premature one. Obots saw themselves as the anti war hippies of another generation, and the nation decided it wanted to elect Robert Kennedy. And they rejected the strongest most qualified candidate in the field by far who happened to be a woman. For every reason in the book, she was the right President for our times, in my opinion.

    • Yep, I was much more pro-Hillary than anti-Obama until the race baiting got going. I remember watching her when she was first lady and thinking what a great president she would have been.

      Nothing has happened to change my mind, she would be the best in my lifetime. Damn it, I still want it!

      • Amen!

      • Yes the race baiting of course. One day I’d like to research how important an issue race relations and racial justice in America was to Markos and his progressives during the 2006 midterms. As a minority I don’t remember much

    • “For every reason in the book, she was the right President for our times, in my opinion.”


  32. Sorry everyone.

  33. While I was researching Obama early 2008, I became more and more suspicious at the lack of information: no interviews, on record, with childhood friends and teachers; later no interviews with college and law school friends and professors; and, especially, nothing written by Obama, not even while on the the Harvard Review. Of course, there are his carefully written books.

    • That bothered me, too, peregrine. Most politicians have lifelong friends, people they have worked with, old school chums, even family, etc. who will be interviewed, talk about them when they were young, reminisce.

      It seemed that anyone from Obama’s entire life was either strangely silent or MIA. Why? It was just weird. It was like he sprang full-blown from nothing – the current image was all, and no one dared ask where it, or he, came from. No one around who worked on community problems with him in Illinois, no one from college, etc. We only had his books, full of fictitious “compiled” characters, but almost zero info about the man himself. That alone was creepy enough, but the absolute refusal of the media to even take note of that, and indeed their careful tiptoeing around it, was even creepier.

  34. “Harvard Law Review”

    • But apparently he was he only Harvard Law Review editor who never wrote anything of his own.

  35. I love the quote from the diary. Thanks, Barack for encapsulating everything that’s wrong with the Democratic Party. If we ignore reality and indulge in some fantasy of what the American people want, need, and expect, we can climb on the gravy train, do nothing, and we’ll all be fine. Let’s not lead, let’s pander. Cluelessly. Hey if most Americans don’t think Roberts will erode our rights, we could make the case that he will, or we could be all warm and fuzzy and post partisan and non-ideological and join a seminar about the power of positive thinking to help our mental state as we watch our rights being eroded. Does Kevin Trudeau have a pill to help here–and if he does, can we get a cut of the profits? And thank you, Establishment Dems, who knew what this guy was about all along, but didn’t care, somehow.

  36. For me, the epiphany came from watching the early debates and the MSM reactions – I sensed a disconnect, but I couldn’t figure out why they wanted BO so bad or why they were so anti-HRC.

    I did a little research to find out what was so compelling about BO. I found the cheating, corruption, weird raises for his wife, rich lifestyle, the weird property deal with Rezco, and that he was paid to sit on his butt and write a book (?). Oh, and then there were the “interesting” personal associations…

    I kept waiting for this crap to cost him the nomination. I was amazed it was never discussed except in appologist mode. Truly strange particularly when anything HRC would say was parsed and analyzed just to twist the comment into something horrible.

    The bright spot was finding the Confluence. I still lurk regularly and occaisionally comment but most of the time SOD says exactly what I would say.

    • 🙂 🙂 🙂 — maybe we were separated at birth?

    • Yes. I felt the same and the most important part of this was the growing realization that no one, not the Democratic Party, not the media, not the leftist blogs — was going to explore these issues. And why not? Who has the power to completely control the MSM? Who is controlling the Democratic Party these days? I used to think there was a difference between Fox and CNN. Is there? I used to think there was a difference between Republicans and Democrats. Is there? Do we really have a democracy? Do the people have ANY power?

      The culpability of the Left in this election was even more horrifying to me. I don’t believe that the Nation is being run by corporations, but they fell in line with the hopey dope mantra and ignored all signs that they were being bamboozled and used. Their persecution of those who didn’t agree with them was astounding. I can remember when suddenly dailykos became a hostile environment, where you would be hounded and ridiculed and posts would be commandeered by what seemed like vicious thugs.

      The whole thing is very disturbing -not just for what happened but for what it means for our country.

      • I meant The Nation magazine, as an example of influential leaders of the Left.

      • I notice your comment upthread that was pretty much the same as mine.

        But, yes, I felt like I was living in an alternate reality for most of the primary and general election season. I do hope the AP is catching on, but it seems like the news reports are telling us things are great and getting better when people I know are getting laid off.

        • My kids are working but they’re still barely making it. I compare this to my youth when we could work in the summer to pay our college tuition and I could get married and have a car and a baby and not work while my husband went to graduate school. True, we lived in Married Student Housing, but still.

          My theory is that the reason the 60s could occur was that young people could get a couple of roommates and a part time job and have time to to organize and protest. We can’t do that now. Everyone is too busy working to death just to try to get by or not even getting by.

  37. Holy shit, this is just a fucking tragic political story.

    Saint Elizabeth and the Ego Monster

    A candidate whose aides were prepared to block him from becoming president. A wife whose virtuous image was a mirage. A mistress with a video camera. In an excerpt from the new book Game Change—their sweeping account of the 2008 campaign—the authors reveal that, inside the Edwards triangle, nothing was too crazy to be true.

    The Edwards should have had an epiphany!

    • From the same story, the emergence of Barack…

      The Democratic Establishment agreed that there would be—and certainly should be—a viable challenger to Clinton. The party’s pooh-bahs on Capitol Hill were privately terrified about the prospect of Hillary rolling to the nomination. They feared that she was too polarizing to win, that she would drag down House and Senate candidates in red and purple states; and they worried, too, about Bill’s putative affairs. But while the Clintons themselves regarded Edwards as Hillary’s most formidable rival, there existed a deep wariness about the North Carolinian among his fellow Democrats. In the Senate, in particular, Edwards was regarded almost universally by his former colleagues as a callow, shallow phony. Quietly, the Establishment began a quest to find a different alternative, eventually settling on the unlikely horse that was Obama—with Harry Reid personally, and secretly, urging the Illinois senator to run against Clinton.

      • I was just about ready to put that excerpt here too …

        Fugging Harry Reid …

        • The Clintons were stabbed in the back by quite a few of their Democratic poo-bah supporters, I believe. I’d love to know all whys and whats someday.

          • the Dem establishment couldn’t bear the thought of Presidents Hillary and Bill Clinton and their corporate strings couldn’t either.

          • I think a lot of it goes back to Teddy K, frankly. I’m not sure if he wanted something outside of the Presidency or being the Lion of the Senate,but he was never in the white house circle during the Clinton years and I’m sure he and others wanted some one more manipulable and obama fit the bill; or so they thought. I think the felt they’d be outside the zone of control with a Hillary Presidency. I also think they didn’t want her to continue in the senate either because she has a lot of political clout given her popularity with voters.

            My guess is that Teddy felt entitled to whatever position he wanted and the Clintons never played ball with him.

        • That’s another thing that blew my mind about the stupidity of the Obots. It was VERY obvious just a few months in that Obama was the hand-picked “establishment” candidate, and that this whole farce had been carefully prepped and planned by old-time party insiders. But they persisted in calling Hillary establishment, and Obama some new wave of independent liberal populism.

          The disconnect, and refusal to see what was plain as day, is astounding.

        • And now Harry Reid will lose his Senate seat to a Republican. Just one more in the list of Karmic paybacks.

      • And the truth slowly emerges.

      • Concern about House and Senate candidates? Lol Reid loses to irony, then. Good. Maybe they should have cared about having a competent President and watched how, amazingly, everything else flowed from that. Because I’m quite sure I remember even the He-Men women haters’ club regarding O as a callow, shallow dilettante. What was his saving grace, he never showed up so no one knew him well enough to judge him harshly?

      • The duplicitous creep in March 2008:

        RENO, Nev. — Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are “basically the same” on every issue, so any political wounds inflicted by their competitive presidential contest should heal well before the Democrats’ national convention, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday.

        With either Democrat in the White House, Reid said the first 100 days of the next Congress would bring a new energy policy, put the U.S. military well on a path out of Iraq and begin steps toward providing health care for uninsured Americans.

        “Every issue, even though they talk, they are basically the same on every issue,” Reid told The Associated Press in dismissing concerns about party infighting stemming from the candidates’ criticism of each other.

        “I think this has been a great campaign. The Democratic problem will be over before the convention, and I think it will all work out well for America,” he said during an interview in his Reno office. Reid did not amplify on how the race would be resolved before the convention.

        Reid is a superdelegate to the national convention Aug. 25-28 in Denver but has remained neutral so far in the Democratic contest.

        “Now we’re down to two — two of the smartest people, not just in the Senate, but in the country,” he said. “These are brilliant, academically talented people, … hardworking and honest.”

        Under either Obama or Clinton, Reid said he would anticipate a new U.S. energy policy that would include long-term tax credits for alternative, renewable energy.

        • Yep, he was so brilliant and academically hardworking that they had to close his academic records, so readers wouldn’t be blinded…

      • thx for the link, I just read it, it reads like a hollywood script! What a mess!

        • I like how they had to take any number of gratuitous potshots at Mrs. Edwards. Hey, why not?

          • During the 2004 race, Elizabeth badgered and berated John’s advisers around the clock. She called Nick Baldick, his campaign manager, an idiot. She accused David Axelrod, his (and later Obama’s) media consultant, of lying to her and insisted that he be stripped of the responsibility for making the campaign’s TV ads.

            In the wake of the Hunter flare-up and the recurrence of Elizabeth’s cancer, the dynamic between husband and wife shifted in the context of the campaign. He was even more deferential to her; she was even more assertive, pushing John hard on policy, always to the left. In 2004, Edwards’s campaign had been sunny, centrist, and thematic. Elizabeth prodded him toward being hotter, more populist, more sharply ideological and anti-Establishment.

            If these were potshots….they didn’t really work.

          • Lol That’s funny, those two jumped out at me too. Ooh, she accused David Axlerod of lying and tried to move Hapless Idiot Dude to the left–that $&@$@!

          • It seems like the article is trying to blame Elizabeth for firing douchebag Axelrod and pushing her husband to act like a real Democrat instead of “sunny, centrist, and thematic” similar to Obama ’08. Whatever wins, right?

          • Love Lips was deferential to his smart, cancer-stricken wife. Horrors!

          • And they keep acting as if she’s erratic or something, like the part where she supposedly ripped off her shirt. Um, she’s sick and married to a slimeball, who wouldn’t be upset? But it’s almost like we’re supposed to feel sorry for him (he jumps out of the car, saying he can’t ride with her anymore), because his wife’s portrayed as a shrew. Or, maybe not.

        • I have to say, that’s one book about Campaign ’08 I won’t be buying.

    • I read the whole article and I find it interesting that once again a “hit” piece is being put out on John Edwards and now Elizabeth. He must still be a threat or they need this stuff to muddy the waters while they do something else. You know we get all worked up by this stuff while some real NEWS is happening. I was an Edwards supporter way back then and eventually became a Hillary supporter but all of us should be questioning why Edwards? A lot of politicians have had affairs and even children from those affairs. We don’t find out about these things unless SOMEONE WANTS US TO. I think the Democrats backing Obama wanted this out to help Obama. Also, at one time the Chamber of Commerce said they would do everything they could to make sure John Edwards would not become president. Haven’t you all noticed that just when everything seems really quiet another story comes out with pretty much the same old stuff about Edwards? I know he’s been off in Central America somewhere working on poverty issues building homes and such. Why are we still hearing about him?
      I also noticed this in the article: When Obama heard about the suggested quid pro quo, he was incredulous. That’s crazy, he told Axelrod. If I were willing to make a deal like that, I shouldn’t be president!

      Read more: An Excerpt From John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s ‘Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime’ — New York Magazine http://nymag.com/news/politics/63045/index8.html#ixzz0cAU7Rwa6

      I don’t know if the excerpt copied right but essentially it makes Obama look like he wouldn’t make a deal with Edwards because he wouldn’t be fit to be president if he did. That I believe is a bold face lie. The Dems were propelling Obama up from the get go including imho the whole work up of the primaries in Florida and Michigan. They just didn’t want Clinton or Edwards for that matter. The question is why? Even though Edwards was a part of the shenanigans going on in Michigan, I think he thought he was “one of the guys”. You know one of the “in crowd” that didn’t want Hillary. He probably didn’t know that Obama’s team of old Dems were the ones doing the dirt on him. The current party is so much like the Repubs you can’t tell them a part. What I keep asking myself is why is Hillary working with all that slime around her? You know if you roll in the dirt with the pigs you just might end up just like them! It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

  38. I posted this on SoD’s piece but might as well post it here, cuz wordpress wouldn’t accept it.

    I’m a long time fan of Hillary Clinton. I respected her for a whole number of things, I’d listened to her “Living History”.

    When the primaries came along I would have been happier with Hill, but Obama as the first AA Pres
    would have been cool too.

    It was the media that first put me off.

    According to them he grew up with a single mother on food stamps, Michelle was the product of Chicago tenements. (Of course they both were Ivy League graduates). His mother met his father at the Uni of Hawaii in 1960, he then went on to Ivy league graduate school and returned to a well paid government job in Kenya. (But, of course, he was the son of a goatherd…). His mother then married an Indonesian student, who worked in Oil.

    I remember 1960, I was too young to be at college, but my elder sister had a lot of college type friends. Foreign Students then, all had money connections at home. Flights and fees were extremely expensive.

    I remember reading a NYT fluff piece on Obama’s wonderful post racial ability to smooth over racial divisions. It went on and on. At the end of an almost 2 page article, I looked up and thought-this guy’s not worked a day in his life.

    Furthermore I looked around and saw every single Clinton supporter being actively smeared with racism. And the Clintons being called liars at every turn.

    Then I went on the tubz and saw Michelle’s red dress number on Hillary.

    Everywhere I looked was plain fluff and lies.

    Then I started looking at the money, and the broken promises, and the rigged primaries. I was heartbroken for Hill.

  39. OT
    A step in the right direction for women worldwide.
    European court upgrade sex traffic law




  40. Found in my old journal in B0botland – the PR echo of that diary: the shills were celebrating – during the primaries that

    What is being learned tonight: Obama Is Not Seen As A Democrat
    He’s also not viewed as a Republican. He’s seen as an AMERICAN. Sure, he’s running on the Democratic ticket and his ideology is mostly liberal.But….

    My comment to it at the time was

    Rejoice! The era of the parties is over!
    Well, at least we dismantled ours – and we’re confident our fellow republicans will do the same. And why not? They have Obama now!

  41. Oh, and on the Survey entry: in spite of what the second comment says, the graphs are visible – on both my browsers.

  42. My epiphany came when I saw this:


  43. Being Illinois born and bred, I was very proud of Obama at first. Of course I left Illinois over 40 years ago and hadn’t kept up with the politics, except for reading or hearing somewhere that Richard M. was a much cleaner pol than his old man… something like that, anyway. (Oy!)

    Also Wes Clark had endorsed Obama for senate in 2004, and Wes was and still is da man as far as I’m concerned.

    So when Wes endorsed Hillary in 2007 I was flabbergasted–as were most of my fellow Clarkies, IIRC–but it made me sit up and start paying attention. I was mostly on the DU back then, but lurking DK as well, and when the hysteria got to fever pitch and the purges started, I followed that Goldberry person over here.

    It was about that time too that I started reading the Chicago papers online and found out about Rezko & the shady house deal, as well as the freezing tenants in (what had been) Obama’s state senate district. I knew anybody that dirty had to be a Republican Trojan Horse.

    Also, it didn’t hurt that one of my best friends had loathed Obama pretty much from the get-go. She’s never lived in Illinois, but is related to two of its most prominent families (she’s Adlai’s cousin and Pierre Menard’s gggggrandaughter) and has probably forgotten more about Illinois politics than I ever knew. She didn’t say much until I’d finally seen the light about the Lightbringer, but when I had, I asked her had what tipped her off. She said all she had to know about him was that he was a Chicago pol; that was enough.

  44. I didn’t really have an epiphany so much as a number of little clues. Donnie McClurkin, his ineptness in the debates (and the way that the moderators were clearly hostile to Hillary and generous to Obama), the “party of ideas” thing and the Reagan praise, the “likable enough” moment, all of the race-baiting bullshit through his surrogates, refusing to pose with Gavin Newsom, his refusal to talk to the gay press, etc.

    The cumulative effect was that I went from preferring Hillary to out and out loathing Obama.

  45. In addition to the items other have mentioned, there are two things that annoyed me. First, the fact that 0 posted one year’s tax return and started calling for HRC to release hers. Second, calling for the release of BC’s presidential records that were still under NARA review.

  46. My epiphany came when he said he wanted to give health insurance companies “a seat at the table”. I know a corporate dog whistle when I hear one. I was never much of a Kos reader, so I didn’t catch his ’05 post. That would’ve done it for me, too.

    I’m a Harvard faculty brat, so I definitely wasn’t impressed by the degree.

  47. I had decided in 2007 that Hillary was my candidate. I didn’t watch the debates before it came down to the two of them. I disliked Edwards as a candidate because he couldn’t even carry his own state for the ticket when he was running with Kerry. (I always thought Kerry would have won if he had run with Clark.)

    There was a short time there when I was happy the Dems had a woman and an AA both running.

    My blood pressure hit the ceiling when I read my Newsweek, after Iowa and right before New Hampshire, and found Jonathan Alter saying that “it’s time for the baby boomers to step aside.” Not the ones his and Obama’s age, but the ones Clinton’s age. I was furious. Then Hillary won the New Hampshire Primary, and Newsweek put Obama on the cover. I canceled my subscription.

    A large site I belong to having nothing to do with politics, has a political discussion section, so I went to it; and that’s where I encountered the Obot punks. Three of us were arguing for Hillary, and one directed me to the blogs. The first one I read was Tom Watson’s “The Sexist Media Lynching of Hillary Clinton.” I’ve been reading the Hillary blogs ever since, and forwarding articles.

    • ***There was a short time there when I was happy the Dems had a woman and an AA both running.***

      The minute I saw that I knew it was a disaster, probably for the woman, not the AA. And it had the feel of a set-up too.

      I don’t remember exactly when my epiphany came. It seemed to have come gradually. In 2004 when Obama did the keynote speech at the convention I thought he was someone to keep an eye on who might possibly go places after a few terms in the Senate. I was amazed when this newcomer, not even all the way through his first senate term, whom I had never even heard of before 2004, was suddenly running for the top office in the land. Then as I listened more to Hillary and heard her in the debates I began to see how competent, caring and qualified she was and grew more and more enthusiastic about her. Meanwhile, the reverse was happening as I was listening to Obama, learning about Rezko, the McClurkin business, his admiring Reagan, and many of the other things explicated in others’ comments on this thread. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was the misogyny and the smearing of the Clintons and Clinton supporters as racist, old, bitter and – shudder, how disgusting – female. Eventually, I was just about in love with Hillary and felt like she was the right choice and all but loathed Obama.

      Oh, by the way, I am Branjor, but when I am signed into WordPress my user name appears as Thursday’s Child.

  48. Well, let’s see – I’ve been a huge HIll fan since the ’90s but thought how great that we have an AA and a woman running for the presidency – but then I started to notice that there was nothing in his background, he wasn’t releasing any information about himself, Meeechelle said quite a few things that just flew in my face that (to my way of thinking) were not American sounding and he had this arogant air about him.

    I was disappointed, because I thought here was an opportunity for an AA to become a front runner but he seemed to keep stumbling. And she just kept on keepin’ on!

    By midway in the primaries he totally lost me – he never said a word about the mysynogistic statements coming from his camp. And he’d grown more arrogant – I was fuious at the superdelegates and still believe what they did bordered on illegal behavior.

    Then I found the Confluence I started to learn what the MSM had been leaving out – you all filled the gaps for me. And I am so grateful.

    Hillary was and still is head and shoulders above the rest of the candidates. I do believe we should re-elect Hillary again in 2012 and this time she gets to keep her votes!

  49. Before the primaries even began, the New Yorker ran an Obama puff piece (well, they had a series on all the major candidates of both parties). Up until then I considered myself an Obama voter by default. Democrat, don’t like dynasties, this guy fits the bill, etc. But the funny thing about the article was that, even though the author was clearly sympathetic toward Obama, there was not a single reason in there for me to like him. No indication of conviction, strength of character, call to public service, anything. Even McCain had things I liked about him: his support of Clinton in opening relations with Vietnam (GOP hated him for that), opposition to torture (this would come later), McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform, stuff like that. But this pro-Obama piece did not contain even a single reference to a similar act of political courage, an demonstration of political conviction in defense of principles I myself support. He simply came across as a power-hungry opportunist, someone with no political convictions, no principles except the desire to work the angles for personal political advancement. And that’s where he lost me.

  50. I was already disenchanted with Obama as my senator–over Roberts, and especially Alito, the Jena Six, you name it.

    My opinion of him has only gone downhill from there.

    Carolyn Kay

  51. I wouldn’t say I had an epiphany, it was more of a gut reaction to Obama’s passive-aggressive tactics and cult persona during the early phase of the primaries. Hillary also flat-out dominated the debates, and the ensuing dnc/media love affair with him / kicking her to the curb inspired me to get involved as a volunteer and activist on her behalf.

  52. what turned me off to BO initially was his use of every little trick in the book in his speech at the 04 convention… here was someone with no real public history, he came out of the blue, absent any context, and the white peoples crying in the audience disturbed me more than anything, as it seemed surreal, I felt I was watching a religious tent revival…

    Something was rotten as ***k in Denmark…

    and then what really alarmed me was the insane amount of money he had left over after his senate race. At that point I realized, the Oligarchy had annointed him, and the tools of the Oligarchy were instructed to make it so, as this will be the next President.

    It seemed like, someone told Jesse and Al, “you are no longer the historical black figures of note, Barack Obama has made you obsolete, and, btw, you workin’ for him now…”

    I do not consider it intuition, but a form of emotional/political/communications intelligence that made me distrust him from the start. He struck me as a phony.

  53. Re Obama
    I had a remarkable Epiphany of a very different kind: it was a Grisham book that explained everything to me.

    I read John Grisham’s “The Appeal” in spring 08 and half way thru the book the light went on in a big way … I am reading about Obama!

    Grisham’s story about the election of a young fairly naif judge, was just like Obama’s campaign story (to me). The book anwered all my questions re Obama’s sudden popularity and success. I always wondered: “Why was someone like Obama picked by the Dems at all and Hillary Clinton so strongly rejected. Why was the media Obamas sycophantic supporters and ridiculed HC nonstop. Remember Matthews, Olbermann and that ilk on MSNBC? Donna Brazille etc.? I never understood all that. All of a suden it all became clear to me.

    No matter how inexperienced this political newcomer was (like Grisham’s lawyer who was also picked to win the next election), it didn’t seem to bother anybody in the Dem party.
    In Grisham’s story the young judge was picked by his “operators ” so they could “create their own man.” Sounds familiar?

    I don’t wan’t to discuss the book any further and spoil the suspense for anybody. There is a lot more to it. A lot. I highly recommend it. It is quite the thriller and v. entertaining. And I bet you will be just as amazed as I was when I read it. For me it is all about Obama. A true Epiphany!!!!

    btw. John Grisham did support Hillary Clinton during the pres. campaign. Did he have Obama in mind when he wrote “The Appeal?” I don’t know. But He did a fabulous job with this book. Thanks Mr. Grisham.

    • Felis, I also read The Appeal, (but after the presidential campaign) because I read that it was based on a state supreme court race in West Virginia, in which a liberal, populist, but also well-known state supreme court judge was defeated by an unknown in the way it occurred in the book. I lived in WV at the time, and had for 30 years.

      But, you’re right about Obama. Someone’s behind him; and I believe there is an off-shore bank account for the Obamas waiting for them when this is over.

      • Yes, the people behind Obama were described by Evelyn Pringle as the Illinois Combine, which includes two Democratic machines and Republicans.

        I tried to tell people that if Obama was nominated and elected, it would be a case of the Texas Mafia moving out, and the Illinois Combine moving in.

        Was I wrong?

        Carolyn Kay

        • thanks ,Carolyn,
          for the Evelyn Pringle link and the Illinois Combine info. I will read it shortly, but need a cup of Earl Grey first for strength 🙂

      • Hi Peg,
        I didn’t know the book was based on a state supreme court race in West Virginia. How interesting. Did you read a lot about it in the papers? Please let me know the names of the judges involved. I would like to search for some race info on the web.

        Yes, Obama was Wall Street’s guy and his campaign purse was always full. And that was no secret although liberal blogs, media and Obamafollowers ignored it in a big way.

        Instead it was Hillary Clinton who was maligned by the Obamafans as the big money-grabber and sell-out, owned by the corporations. And it was the job of the third man, decoy John Edwards, to bring that up during every debate or interview. He did his v. best to make Obama look good, Hillary look bad, and himself like a Saint.

        I wish HC would have defended herself in a much stronger fashion early on, a la Bill Clinton in 92. She certainly had the info on both candidates, Obama and Edwards. Why she didn’t do it I don’t know. Did she fear the media who supported her rivals and wanted her gone? Possibly.

  54. Peg, are you my sister from WVA?

  55. I guess my “epiphany” about Obaam came when he came to Colorado and lectured us on not being religious enough. We should be more like that bunch in the Springs (Focus on the Family). I really cannot remember when it was. But it pissed me off.

    It was insulting. How does he know whenther or not Democrats are religious? And who is he to judge whether or not we should be religious or what that means anyway? We are not batshit crazy dog beaters. I’ll sure admit that.

    I found it offensive for this man to tell Democrats that we needed to emulate the religious right. It was all so phony. It was obvous he was working to get his religious cred with the conservatives. I never listened to another word the man said. I still get pretty damned tired of Obama lecturing us all the time. He is not old enough or wise enough to tell me how to behave.

  56. n 2004, as a member of DFA I was working to get Obama elected to the senate. His name appeared on the DLC membership list. He staged some phony outrage and demanded that he be taken off and said his name was there by mistake. Yeah right. I knew he was lying. I am sure that he went to them behind the scenes and said “hey, I am still your guy, but I can’t get elected without the left.”
    I have a really strong BS meter and it went off at that point.

    Then the first really offensive thing I remember him saying what that democrats should talk more about religion but only if they could clap in time to the gospel Choir. Of course you know that Jesus was notorious for not welcoming people with no musical ability to the feast.

    BTW, here is my response to that diary of his at dkos:

    The American people will believe (4.00 / 3)
    whatever someone convinces them to believe. The republicans have been making their case for 30 years that all democrats are liberals and all liberals are socialists, decadent, drug using rejects from the sixties, tax and spend God haters. The reason people don’t understand what is wrong with right wing policy is because Democrats are afraid to tell them what is wrong with right wing policy. Democrats think that whatever someone thinks now, they have to find a way to appeal to that thinking. No one here (except a small group of people who want the democratic party to die so they can replace it with the revolutionary international socialist party) thinks democrats should be screaming in the public square. But we do want democrats to know what is important. Roberts is a right wing idealoque. Democrats could have let the country know that by refusing to vote for him and saying why forcefully. Yup, and some people might have to throw themselves on the sword, take a chance and speak up with the truth even if it means risking losing an election. Paul Wellstone was authentic. He did not go try to find out where his people were headed so that he could jump out in front and pretend to lead them. He also was not owned by corporate sponsors like so many democrats. If no democrat EVER took another penny from the Insurance and Banking industries it would be a step in the right direction.

    Unseen Gore Video

    by TeresaInPa on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 09:59:20 AM PST

  57. I live in Chicago, on the South Side.not eight miles from Obama’s Hyde Park home. He is a product of the Democratic Machine here. But he has a twist. Instead of being a mere politician, he has a messianic complex. He believes in his own PR. Like the one party system here, whose motto is “People Be Damned”, so goes Obama. Left or Right or inbetween you are not likely to be happy with him. If you are a Marxist, maybe you might find some joy in somebody trying that dismal experiment again.

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