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Sunday: It ain’t over until the balloons drop

Electoral caviar?

The New York Times reports that Obama is starting to make his first campaign sweeps through the country, focusing on swing states and states he carried in 2008:

Fifteen months from Election Day, Mr. Obama is gearing up his re-election effort with unemployment stuck above 9 percent, economic growth faltering, financial markets gyrating and faith in Washington depressed by the partisandebt limit fight. Now the creditworthiness of government bonds has been downgraded for the first time ever by one of the ratings agencies — a development with symbolic meaning as well as potential practical impact.

Mr. Obama’s approval ratings are below 50 percent in electoral battlegrounds like Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to recent polls there. His party’s political infrastructure has been weakened in crucial states where Republicans won statehouses last year, though the White House sees potential benefit in a reaction to the unpopular policies of new Republican governors in states like Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Despite an intensive effort by the White House since last November to recapture the political center, Mr. Obama continues to struggle to win back the support of moderate and independent voters, polls show. Having won with their help in 2008 in states where Democrats for years had not seriously competed — Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia and some mountain states — Mr. Obama will now have to struggle not just to duplicate that feat but also to prevail in traditional swing states like Pennsylvania.

And just like he ran against Sarah Palin in 2008 instead of his actual Republican challenger, he’s planning to run against a Republican House in 2012:

“He has to show independents, conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans — all of those votes are still up for grabs — that he’s still a strong leader,” former Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania said in an interview.

At the same time, Mr. Obama is expected to begin a nationwide effort to warn the country of what Republican leadership, in his view, looks like, Democratic advisers say. That means the president will single out Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin — three states where Republican governors clashed with civil servants, for instance — as a warning of what could happen if a Republican takes the White House. (“Get those nurses and firefighters who lost their job on television,” one Democratic adviser said.)

In those three states and others, like Pennsylvania, where a disproportionate number of voters are older, Mr. Obama will hold his Republican rival responsible for proposals to replace Medicare with a smaller voucher system and to make Medicaid a limited block grant to the states.

But even with the advantages of incumbency — including the ability to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for his campaign, employ the trappings of the presidency and call on a network of allies to attack Republicans and amplify his message — he still faces a daunting environment as long as the economy remains the nation’s main preoccupation.

“Obama’s an incumbent below 50,” said Mark Penn, chief strategist for President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign and for Hillary Rodham Clinton when she opposed Mr. Obama for the 2008 Democratic nomination. “Don’t confuse the Republican Congressional ratings with the presidential ratings. The Republicans in Congress won’t be running against Obama.”

In other words, Obama’s campaign strategy is going to be based on fear.  The Republicans will be soooooo much worse.  Hokay, how about we get rid of Obama and vote in some left of center Democrats to the House and Senate?

We already know what to vote against.  What is it about Obama that we are supposed to be voting *for*?  And why is he spending so much time courting independents, who make up their minds based on who whispered in their ears just before they go to the voting booth, and conservative Democrats, who socially are indistinguishable from Republicans?

Stuart Zechman went off on the musings of a Senior White House official the other day.  According to the unnamed official (Plouffe?), Americans have ALWAYS distrusted government.  The New Deal was an aberration.  Obama’s not in the White House to reinforce the New Deal.  He’s there to provide you with opportunities.  What the f%&* does that mean?  It’s much easier to become an entrepreneur when you know that you won’t be on the street as an elderly homeless beggar if your big idea fails.  And what about Germany?  They have a nice solid safety net, they protect their industrial and research infrastructure.  That doesn’t seem to have harmed their opportunities.

Does Obama really think he can lie to independents and conservative Democrats and tell them that a Republican government is going to take away their New Deal programs at the same time he is talking to his “creative class” about all of the unique opportunities they will have when all that New Deal stuff is gone?  That sounds like generational warfare to me.  And what about the rest of us well educated New Deal Democrats in Exile who have seen our quality of living decline in the last three years and who now fit into the lower middle class?  We’re going to be relying on those social safety net programs even more now.  That’s what happens when you focus on everything but unemployment.  I don’t want more opportunities to lose my shirt.  I want a job where I can work my butt off doing the things I love to do.  It isn’t my goal in life to become filthy rich and not everyone should be focussing all of their attention on that goal.  If it happens through hard work and dedication, great.  If it doesn’t and I manage to contribute something to society anyway, that’s fine too.  Besides, I have seen what the money driven persons are capable of and I don’t want any part of that back stabbing, underhanded, unethical, selfish lifestyle.  Really.  We don’t all aspire to be cutthroat businessmen.  Some of us just want to work in a lab and do the best work we can.

But anyway, it’s still early.  The convention is 15 months away.  Oh, sure, the DNC can say they’re sticking with Obama now, but that doesn’t mean that the political environment won’t be very different in 2012.  And those of you who keep telling yourselves and us that there will be no primary challenger should ask yourselves:

  • Does Obama represent the best that the Democrats can put forward as president?
  • Is the party suggesting that their bench is so shallow that there is no other politician who could do a better job and represent the principles of the party better than Obama?
  • Or is the leadership saying that they have tailored their preferences so narrowly that only Obama is capable of fulfilling them?
  • And if that is true, what makes the party think that overriding the preferences of millions of Democrats with the selection of a handful of white male Ivy League graduates with majors in philosophy or other soft liberal art is going to resonate with the electorate a second time?
  •  Is it right for the small group in the Democratic leadership to discount the legitimate economic concerns of the “old coalition”?  Seriously, isn’t that what it comes down to?  If you’re a middle aged woman, or only have a high school diploma or are working class or elderly, should you be disenfranchised because some male coterie of the Democratic party doesn’t consider you fuckable anymore?

Just asking.  I mean, this is your party.  If you’re telling the electorate that you don’t really like the guy but you feel helpless to change the ticket, well, that’s hardly a winning and empowering campaign message, is it?  “Rah-Rah-Rah!  We don’t like him either but vote for him anyway!”  Don’t think that someone from Fox isn’t going to pick up on that.

Because whether or not the party considers them at all, those voters still vote.  And this year and the next, they will be paying very close attention.  The Democrats can’t afford to ignore any of their traditional voting blocs, especially college educated women who they blew off in 2008.  We vote.  You may not think we are significant now but wait until the election gets closer and the party has done nothing to court us.  Fear isn’t going to work.  We already know what we’re going to get with Obama and it’s no more reassuring than it is with Republicans.  If the Democrats don’t want us to sit it out or join the Greens or write someone in, they’d better start paying attention.  Obama is polling under 50 now but unless the economy gets a lot better and the country regains its economic reputation, running against the Republican House will be the least of his problems.  He’ll be running against his own party.

Can we really afford 4 more years of Obama?  Think about that.  If the Republicans take the Senate and are only slightly edged out by Democrats in the House, what kind of four years would we be looking at?  What kind of coattails does Obama have?  Judging by Coakley and Corzine and the Republicans taking back the House in 2010, they’re pretty short.  If I were the Democrats, I’d be looking around for a replacement.  And forget about precedence and history.  We are in a critical period of time.  Anything can happen.  In 1968, Lyndon Johnson, the guy who gave us medicare and signed the civil rights act, bowed out after he lost a couple early primary states.  You never know.  And the biggest entitlement we need to end is the one that says that the incumbent is entitled to a second term, no matter how much of an incompetent, craven, banker’s ass kissing, ideologically-opposed-to-his-own-party’s-values he is.

It ain’t over until the balloons drop at the convention.

Addendum:  Paul Krugman tells the Obots that they were willfully blind in 2008 in his new post, Stuck in the Muddle.

The one thing I might say is that we shouldn’t really wonder what happened to Obama — he is who he always was. If you paid attention to what he actually said during the primary and the election, he was always a very conventional centrist. Progressives who flocked to his campaign basically deluded themselves, mistaking style for substance. I got huge flack for saying that at the time, but it was true, and events have borne it out.

Just to forestall the usual (or to try, anyway): no, we don’t know that Hillary would have been any better. And John Edwards turned out to be a worse person than one could have imagined. So I’m not trying to rerun the primary. I’m just pointing out that a lot of people were remarkably blind to the warning signs.

I had hoped that Obama would rise to the occasion, but he keeps not doing it. And no, I have no idea what progressives do in the near term.

Ahem, here is my reaction to the presidential candidate’s forum at YearlyKos in 2007:  Edwards was the reincarnation of PT Barnum, all emotion, buzzwords and as phony as a $3 bill (and mind you, I wen’t into that ballroom as an Edwards supporter.)  Barack Obama looked enervated and bored, sitting onstage like he was hanging out at some sidewalk Paris bistro.  He didn’t impress me as much of anything presidential or un.  He was simply taking up space and had mass.  Hillary Clinton was alert, a litte tentative and extremely well prepared.  She got over her nerves after a few weeks.

Do I think Hillary Clinton would have made a better president?  Well, I nailed the other two, didn’t I?

Thursday: overslept

You may have to jump

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Just sayin’.  You can discover more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer at this Speaking of Faith podcast.

Right to Lifer gunman kills two at Boston abortion clinics.  Time to take matters into your own hands, ladies and get government out of your uterus.  Go underground.

Tennessee Guerilla Women posted this movie trailer the other day about what women face in this country.  Funny how you tend to get used to this crap.

500 years, eh?  Well. *that* sucks.  What we need is a woman starting her OWN network, delivering the news in a gender neutral fashion, you know someone like Oprah.

Oh wait, she was the one who gave us Obama.  Nevermind.

The New York Times reports that the nomination of the next Republican candidate for president may be out of the party’s hands.  Yeah, and I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn.  Are you kidding me?  Republicans are the ultimate control freaks.  I take that back.  The 2008 DEMOCRATS were the ultimate control freaks.  If Hillary had been running in the Republican primaries in 2008, she would have had the whole thing sewn up on superdupertuesday and Obama would have spent the next four years in the Senatorial obscurity he was showing such a talent for.

Tom Watson has a review of the book “You Are Not a Gadget” by Jaron Lanier.  Watson argues that Lanier’s point is that social networking technology has the capacity to dehumanize us and makes us vulnerable to those who seek power.  I would argue that that has already happened (see quote at top of page).  Here’s the money quote from Watson’s review:

Lanier’s point is that by reducing personality and the wide sweep of human thought into chunks that can fit easily into databases and digested through clever widely-popular front end designs, the possibility for horrific “crowd-sourced” activity is that much greater. To put it simply, the good guys don’t always win. Throughout history, they’ve often been shouted down by crowds. While it’s impossible to argue with the sunny opening lines of the introduction to Yochai Benkler’s seminal Internet text The Wealth of Networks – “Information, knowledge and culture are central to human freedom and human development” – and to sympathize with a point of view that argues that great access to those qualities improves the lot of mankind, Lanier’s warnings also seem in tune with the times.

It’s not crazy to worry that, with millions of people connected through a medium that sometimes brings out their worst tendencies, massive, fascist-style mobs could rise up suddenly. I worry about the next generation of young people around the world growing up with internet-based technology that emphasizes crowd aggregation, as is the current fad. Will they be more likely to succumb to pack dynamics when they come of age?

That kind of thinking flies in the face of a more utopian view of free information, embodied in hacker philosopher Richard Stallman’s famous ’90s proclamation that when “information is generally useful, redistributing it makes humanity wealthier no matter who is distributing and no matter who is receiving.” I’d naturally ask “what does generally useful mean?” and Lanier goes a step further, noting that the free flow of information also brings large-scale vitriol to arguments between semi-anonymous actors on the Net. “What’s to prevent the acrimony from scaling up? Unfortunately, history tells us that collectivist ideas can mushroom into large-scale social disasters.”

My question is how do we alert the general public to let the Tweeter beware?

Mecca is becoming the Las Vegas of Saudi Arabia.  High on tacky kitsch, low on fun?  There won’t be any commercials with the tag line, “What happens on Hajj, stays in Mecca”.

E. J. Dionne is running down the corridor as he tries to rehabilitate Obama in Rekindling Hope in Liberalism.  He uses the standard whiny reason:

For the president’s loyalists, of course, this indictment is profoundly unfair. He inherited a mess at home and abroad. The economic downturn began on Bush’s watch, but its bitter fruits were harvested after Obama took office. By contrast, Franklin Roosevelt took power after Herbert Hoover had presided over three of the most miserable years in American economic history. Blame was firmly fixed on Hoover by the time FDR showed up with his jaunty smile and contagious optimism.

And, yes, there is the small issue of Obama’s real achievements, the health care law above all. If insuring 32 million more Americans is not an enormous social reform, then nothing can be said to count as change. The now well-rehearsed list of additional accomplishments — from Wall Street and student loan reform to the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” to the simple fact that the economy’s catastrophic slide was halted and reversed — would, in the abstract, do any administration proud.

I would have written that first line of the second paragraph as “And, yes, there is the real issue of Obama’s small achievements…” E. J. is still clinging to the idea that no one could have known how bad it was going to be so it was perfectly reasonable to nominate the candidate with the least practical experience in our lifetimes to become president.  I simply can’t take this reasoning seriously when the poor performance was avoidable.  But the E.J. goes one better and has the nerve to lecture *us*:

And both the liberals and Obama need to escape the bubbles of legislative and narrowly ideological politics and re-engage the country on what can only be called a spiritual level. Modern American liberalism is not some abstract and alien creed. At its best, it marries a practical, get-things-done approach to government with a devotion to fairness, justice and compassion. These sentiments are grounded in the nation’s religious traditions and also in our commitment to community-building that Alexis de Tocqueville so appreciated.

Stop laughing.  Yes, he really said this.  E.J. needs to get out of his own bubble.  The “achievements” aren’t.  By practical standards, the health care reform bill was a bomb.  The mandate was an outrage in the absence of competition.  If you have stagnant wages and fear that you’re going to lose your job, the last thing you need is yet another expense you can’t afford that doesn’t result in something better than you already had.  The TARP bills rescued the banks and left everyone else hold the bag.  The stimulus bill was too small.  HAMP is almost criminal.

I don’t know who the hell E.J. has been talking to but from a practical, non-abstract, working class POV, this president has been an abject failure.  You don’t have to be a liberal to realize that but liberals have every reason to have expected better than this.  I don’t believe in the self-esteem movement where everyone gets a gold star for trying.  I believe you have no right to think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread until you’ve proven yourself. Republicans aren’t becoming suddenly sexy again because regular Americans are crazy about conservatism .  There are two reasons why Republicans are winning: 1.) Americans don’t buy the boosterism of the current administration.  No one believes in Recovery Summer or Recovery Fall or Recovery Winter or whatever nonsense they’re spouting this week.  They’re believing their lying eyes. and 2.) When your base stays home in disgust, that leaves the  Fox News viewers who have been emotionalized by Glenn Beck and abortion as the motivated voters who actually go to the polls.

You can’t reason the Democrats’ failures away by blaming the voters’ perceptions, E.J.  What the Democrats need to do if they want to recapture the public is to start acting more like Democrats.  Ooops!  Too late, they’ve lost the House and they’re preemptively capitulating before the Republicans even officially take over.  Don’t think the public doesn’t notice.

What the public *might* notice is Ed Rendell. Yeah, I think the idea of football being played in a blizzard is sort of stupid too.  But this is Philadelphia.  It’s not a city of wusses.  And Ed Rendell may be the rough and tough, unibrowed Democrat the party needs to man up.  BTW, that’s just a figure of speech.  Apparently, Ed Rendell plucks his brows.  And this is not an endorsement.  It’s just an idle speculation.

But I do take issue with some of this articles’ points.  For example, Ed probably did say  “that his state was full of “conservative whites” who were “probably not ready to vote for an African- American candidate.”  This is true.  There are a lot of areas in the middle of the state that fly confederate flags on their porches.  HOWEVER, those porches belong to Republicans.  How do I know that?  I talked to the canvassers who visited those areas.  They had the party affiliation sheets with the addresses.  The Democrats that I spoke to while phone banking in Harrisburg were of the opinion that they wanted an experienced person in the White House.  They were hurt that people were calling them bigots and they said they were willing to vote for Obama some time down the road.  So, Ed really needs to be clear about who his constituents are and what they are thinking.

Things to keep your eye on:  Senator Bernie Sanders, of filibernie fame, will be on Thom Hartmann’s show today to discuss the year in review.  The schedule thingy looks a little chaotic to me so check back periodically for the stream.

Kiss my ass, Ed!

From Politico:

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell says discouraged liberals need to “get over it” and support the Democratic Party, before they regret it.

“This isn’t about President [Barack] Obama,” Rendell said on MSNBC’s “Last Word” Monday night. “It’s about whether the Democratic Party, not perfect, but certainly bent on trying to preserve theories in government and progressive practices, is going to be in charge of the Congress or the Republican Party. And it’s not the Republican Party of old. This is a scary Republican Party.”

Of conflicts the left has had with Obama, Rendell said, “We ought to get over it.”

“If we’ve got some issues with President Obama, save them for another day,” he said.

Exactly what day would that be, Ed? In 2012 you’ll be telling us the same exact bullshit, and doofuses like BTD will be promising to hold Obama’s feet to the fire after the election.

But if Obama wins (please God, no!) he’ll just spend another four years punching hippies while his toes get frostbite.

I say fuck that and fuck you Mr. Rendell.

BTW – we still haven’t forgotten when you formed HOUND:

We have formed HOUND (Hillary-Obama-United-Not-Divided) in response to the creation of PUMA (party unity, my ass — or its cleaned up moniker, People United Means Action).

Get over this:
— — — — — — — — — — ‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› — — — — — — — — — —

The Lions Share Returns

And the Lions are not sleeping tonight.  We’ll be discussing Obama reneging on his oil company windfall profits tax idea (I know you are all shocked by that), Ed Rendell apologizing for a sexist remark, and Bill Richardson’s lack of a beard.  Can lack of facial hair improve the looks of a back stabbing, weasling traitor?

Join us tonight at 8PM EST on the Lions Share on PUMA United Radio (PURrrr)

First Data Point

Alegre posted this very recently:  Ed Rendell is throwing his support behind Hillary and will vote for her for nomination.  Politickerpa has more details.  Rendell says:

Gov. Ed Rendell, in an interview with PolitickerPA.com today, lauded the resolution reached last week that will allow Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination, before U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) ultimately accepts the party’s presidential nomination.
… I think it’s good not because it will display any disunity, but because  it honors the hard work of so many people who supported Sen. Clinton,” said Rendell, who was one of Clinton’s most visible and vociferous campaigners during the run-up to the state’s April primary. “Many of the Pennsylvania delegates worked their heart out for Sen. Clinton, and they’re excited to cast a vote for her. From my vantage point, that will be closure for them.

“I think it will have the cathartic effect that both Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama are hoping to have,” he added.

Hmmm, cathartic or emetic?  I guess it depends on which camp you’re in.  If you’re in the Greek tragedy camp, you’re looking for the tragic hero to undergo some self-reflection of his hubris and come to a state of sophrosyne.  The catharsis is the effect of purging dramatic tension in the audience.  I’ll go for that.

But if you’re an Obamaphile right now, you’re probably feeling queasy.

It could be a sign that the ice is cracking or maybe Rendell is just an outlier.  Still, Charlie Rangell was thrown under the bus last week as was Wes Clark.  So, who knows?  We will have to wait for a second data point to see if there is a trend.  A third would point to a correlation.

Of course, the flood gates would open if negative news came to light about Obama.  Steady, Obamabots, we’ll get the barf bucket.

Saturday: Ed, you’re making this too easy

Bostonboomer forwarded the following announcement to me:

By Governor Edward G. Rendell

Click here to join Hound

We have formed HOUND (Hillary-Obama-United-Not-Divided) in response to the creation of PUMA (party unity, my ass — or its cleaned up moniker, People United Means Action).

PUMA advocated that Hillary Clinton supporters do not vote for Barack Obama just for the sake of party unity. Even though we in HOUND are loyal Democrats, we agree that no one should cast a vote for President because of a desire to achieve party unity. We believe Sen. Clinton supporters should vote for Sen. Obama because, as Hillary herself said so forcefully and poignantly in her great speech a few Saturdays ago, the best way to achieve the changes she has fought so hard to bring to America, and on which she based her campaign, is to support Sen. Obama, whose policies are almost identical to hers.

The Clinton-Obama plans on health care, the economy, energy, education and on ending the war in Iraq represent the core values that made us all Democrats – values and positions that are light years apart from the conservative policies enunciated by Sen. McCain (e.g., voting against S-CHIP, voting against raising CAF standards, voting against equal pay for women, voting for increased tax credits for big oil and against extending the credit for the production of renewable energy, expanding an increase in the Bush tax cuts, promoting a war without end in Iraq, etc.) If you care about these things, and we believe PUMA members do, then you must support Sen. Obama.

No one worked harder than I did for Hillary and I believe no one could admire her and what she represents more that I do. But we must get over our disappointment and, as Hillary said, not waste time looking back and thinking about what might have been. Our country’s challenges must be addressed immediately, not four years from now. Our beloved country simply cannot afford four more years of Republican do-nothing-for-people government. PUMA members risk just that – it could be a Ralph Nader 2000 redux. Don’t let that happen. Close your eyes and think about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton standing together united at a ceremony for the bill signing of legislation that guarantees every American affordable, effective healthcare.

One last point – HOUND is not anti-PUMA. We agree with many of your grievances. For example, we, too, believe that the Democratic Party’s nominating process is unfair and undemocratic. We must change the policy where some votes are more important than others and some areas receive more delegates than their number of voters would justify – it violates the spirit of “one person, one vote.” We must eliminate caucuses that are inherently undemocratic and disenfranchise seniors (no absentee voting for those who can’t go to the polls), shift workers and our military. Forcing people to declare their preference in public also violates another cherished principle that undermines our democracy.

So, we are asking all PUMA members to curb your disappointment, mute your anger and frustration and join HOUND to help change America. While the PUMA may be more swift and athletic, the HOUND is smarter and more perceptive.

Nice try, Ed, but HOUND sounds an awful lot like Yellow Dog Democrats and that’s exactly what we are not. To be fair, you make a lot of good points. The caucuses *are* un-democratic. And I will admit that you were loyal to Hillary to the very end. Even now, we understand the nature of your loyalty. Hillary’s and your identities are inextricably wed to the Democratic party until death do you part. There is a lot to admire in that and the allusion to you not being “high class” is just part of the song and not to be taken seriously. No one has shown more class than Hillary and the stalwarts who stood by her.

But here is what you seem to not understand from the voters’ point of view. First, many of us are *not* planning to vote for John McCain. But if John McCain happens to win by default, we will not have a guilt trip laid on *US* for all the floods, famines and earthquakes that follow. The delegates, superdelegates and party leaders had a choice.

You would have us vote for Obama because Hillary asked us to. But, Ed, we are (or were) Democrats. We are not Republicans. If is not in our nature to fall into line when our consciences are on the line. We did it for Dukakis, Mondale, Kerry (we actually *liked* Gore) but we can’t do it for Obama. And you unintentionally allude to all the reasons why Obama is an exception in your letter. We have good reason to suspect that he is not for S-CHIP, CAF standards, equal pay for women, reproductive rights, universal healthcare, the Green Economy or ending the war in Iraq. For the last item, as well as preventing our country from falling into an economic disaster caused by financial “instruments” and the high cost of oil, we do not think he is ready or capable of assuming the office of president of the United States. Nothing in his debate appearances or comedic and disrespectful monologues at rally events (Brush the dirt off your shoulder much, Ed? I know YOU would never do it, so why should our nominee?) give us confidence in his abilities. He has deliberately kept his policies as vague as possible as a campaign strategy in order to lure the independent, libertarian and disaffected moderate Republican voters while at the same time slamming working class, Appalachians and the small town voters in your own state.

And let me tell you about those voters, Ed, the ones I spoke with on the phone, hundreds and hundreds of them. They were stung by the accusations of racism that were hurled at them because they didn’t think Obama was ready. That hurt them to the core of their beings. It attacked their character. No Democratic candidate in my lifetime has ever treated the voters so disgracefully.

You may have noticed I haven’t brought up the subject of sexism yet. The media and others have mischaracterized the PUMA movement as a reaction to it from the post-meonpausal set. But our protest is based on the fact that our party (or former party) did not choose the best *person* for the job. Many of us were early on very intrigued by Senator Obama. But once we got beyond the fact that he is very smart, we saw that there was no wisdom that went along with it. At the same time, we saw that his campaign operatives took a slash and burn attitude to the Democratic party that was in existence. His hooligans chased off or forced off women from the bigger more influential online outlets, yours truly included. I was thrown off DailyKos in January. That’s why I’m here. That’s why a lot of us have found ourselves on the outside of the party looking in at an ever shrinking voter constituency. Systematically, Senator Obama’s hooligans have made women, working class, Appalachians, latinos, gays, native Americans, Asians, Muslim Americans and the elderly personas non grata. Obama sought to recreate the party in a different image, one that didn’t include the poor, the dependent, the entitled to social security, the unpopular.

Is this new Democratic party the one you want me and the other PUMAs to rally around? No, Ed. No. The biggest mistake Clinton made during the primary season was not that she didn’t win the caucuses. The biggest mistake was that she was too nice to Obama and failed to pin him down. She failed to make him solidify out of all of the ethereal smoke he consisted of. He kept himself and his policies nebulous and indistinct so that his young, pretentious and more conservative voters could project whatever politician they wanted on to him. Forcing him to take a stand on something, *anything* would have broken off a chunk of those deluded voters. But one thing the PUMAs can say for sure is that he doesn’t resemble any Democrat we’ve ever seen nor does he adhere to any of our most cherished core Democratic principles. If he had, he couldn’t have attracted so many people not of our party in a year when the vast majority of voters didn’t want a Republican lite candidate anyway. Obama has actually squandered an opportunity. The voters were more than ready to accept a strong Democrat and we are giving them, what, exactly?

Either we all go forward together or the party deserves to lose in November. Either Senator Obama connects with the base or he loses them in November. Either the party power elite listens to the voters or it deserves to lose in November. We would be stupid if we demanded any less. We do not subscribe to the old saying, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” but apparenly Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and Senator Obama do.

Here’s what we want: We want a fair, open and transparent convention in Denver. We want Florida and Michigan’s delegates to be restored to full strength. We want Obama to give up his Michigan delegates. After all, he keeps insisting that he never wanted his name on the ballot in the first place. So, we should honor his wishes: no ballot position, no delegates. After all, if Hillary can’t make the same argument about all of the voters who couldn’t get to the caucuses in spite of their intent to vote for her, Obama shouldn’t get freebies from Michigan by having the RBC honoring the imaginary voters who failed to turn up during a record breaking turnout for the Michigan primary in January.

Jeez, Ed, and you guys call *us* stupid. Logic has been completely missing from this campaign season. By February 5, 2008, Hillary had won MI, FL, NV, NH, CA, NY, NJ, MA, AZ, TN, AR and a handlful of other little states. In any other year, Obama would have thrown in the towel and gone home. In 1980, Ted Kennedy won a big slice of these very same states and with a 600 delegate deficit, he *still* created havoc at the convention. But this year, we couldn’t even honor the states that moved up their primaries so that they could make a difference? Like my state, NJ? We are going to a convention where the candidate who has won the biggest Democratic prizes and swing states has been almost completely shut out and you are asking us to accept this, get over our disappointment, anger and frustration? Fine. We’re over it. But we still insist, no demand, that our votes count for something. I want the millions that my state spent on a primary in lieu of spending even one dime on gifted and talented education to be honored. The party owes us that much.

And if it goes against their beautiful theories and plans for party unity (shmoonity), if it ends up with a win for a person who they apparently loathe, along with all of that honorable candidate’s 18 million voters, well, too bad. They will not get party unity until they honor the voters, Ed.

Pumas are watchful and patient. And when the time is right, they strike. There is still time to achieve unity. There are two months before the convention. But if the voters aren’t honored by then, we strike.

For different perspectives, check out myiq2xu’s version at Klownhaus and Reclusive Leftist’s most excellent post on Leverage.

And what has got to be one of the funniest comments I have read since MABlue declared that Donna Brazile had provoked in him negative feelings towards the South American country, Karolina NYC presents this comparison of the day in the life of a Dog vs a Cat.

Howard Dean Is Angry

Did anyone besides me catch him this morning on This Week with George Stephanopolous?  He started out congenially alright.  It was all “two extraordinary candidates” and “unity ponies for everyone”.  Then George started to ask him about the popular vote and MI and FL and it became clear pretty quickly that he was one phoneme short of a scream.

What I learned from Howard is that Hillary’s claim to legitimacy through the popular vote pisses him off and that he still plans to sabotage the election this fall by seating FL and MI in a way that will make their delegates not count.  And the main beneficiary of the stifling of MI and FL is Barack Obama because as Howard insists, the only legitimate nominee is the one with the most delegates.  So, everyone else who voted for Clinton should STfU because the superdelegates will find out in June who the delegate leader will be and it will be over.  And Hillary can complain all the way to the convention because that is her right but it won’t make a damn bit of difference because the RULZ were violated, so THERE!

But, by Golly, we sure do have two swell candidates this year don’t we?  And we’re all going to kiss and have make up sex when this is all over and all the ladies in the auxilliary and the stupid Archie Bunker working peoplee will fetch coffee and make phone calls for Senator Obama in the fall.

Howard, you ain’t seen anger yet.

Fortunately for us, Ed Rendell on MTP gets it.  This won’t be over and we are NOT making phone calls unless all fifty states get a voice and have impact.  Deal with it, Howard.

NJ’s Corzine makes Obama an offer he can’t refuse

My governor, Jon Corzine, is going to make sure that my vote counts. The delegates of the state of NJ will count for nothing without the critical mass of the Florida delegation and if we add Michigan as well, the more the merrier. I think that is what makes me incensed about this whole disenfranchisement debacle. By enforcing the RULZ, Dean, Brazile and Obama are screwing CA, NJ, NY, MA, AZ, TX,OH , FL and MI and a bunch of other states. Our votes are being held hostage to Idaho and Utah. It’s outrageous. The total delegate count won’t change much but, by golly, without FL and MI, Obama looks like he’s got more delegates when he doesn’t.

So, what about it, Barry? Do you want to waive the rules or have a do-over and lose again? This time you can campaign and we’ll see just how much Florida loves you for throwing out their original votes. And let’s face it, no matter who funds this do-over, you will have just wasted their hard-earned money from January when they bought the *first* primary.

Thanks to Governors Corzine and Rendell, who are looking out for their constituents’ interests.  We stand in Solidarity with Florida and Michigan.