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Entitlements and Smoke Filled Rooms

I recently received an email from someone I worked on a campaign with a couple of years ago.  I’ll call her Daisy.  Daisy is one of the most talented campaign volunteers you wlll ever want to meet.  I hope someone pays her big someday.

Anyway, Daisy and I had an email exchange that eventually boiled down to “I didn’t support Hillary because she had a sense of entitlement.”  (not her words exactly but that’s what stuck with me)

Now, I’ve always wondered why this meme more than all of the others managed to stick so well with so many Democratic activists who ended up supporting someone else.  It could be that the Democratic party used to pride itself on the idea of merit and equality of opportunity and perhaps Hillary’s personal connections gave her an unfair advantage.  But we saw how Hillary started off strong at the beginning of the primaries and then just got stronger right up until the end when she was still winning primaries on the last day even after the rest of the party had cut a deal with Obama in the smoke filled rooms. She earned her support the old fashioned way and not as Chris Matthews once opined, that everyone felt sorry for her.

And then it hit me.  Weren’t the voters the ones who should have had a sense of entitlement?  That point continually gets lost in the argument that Hillary had a sense of entitlement.  The entitlement goes to the people who vote.  It is their prerogative to give their votes to whomever they choose and not have their choices overturned by party operatives cutting a deal because they don’t like the way the election is going.

I was stunned by the hyperaggressive attitudes of the Obot coalition last year who thought it was just political hardball to steamroll over the voters on their quest to install Obama.  They seemed to think it was OK to characterize Hillary voters as racists and stupid, old ugly hags because that made it easier to justify depriving them of their entitlement to their own votes.  Right, guys?  Admit it.  That’s how you felt.  If we were going to be dumb old hicks who were bitter guntoting politically incorrect racists, then we didn’t deserve our votes.

I know a lot of you keep wondering why I come back to the primaries.  Why doesn’t she just let it go, you wonder.  Dwelling on it doesn’t change anything.  Well, I keep bringing it up because last year, our democracy was subverted in such an egregious way by the Democratic party that it could have been concocted by someone with direct access to Karl Rove’s wet dreams.  Who would have thought that te Democratic party could be taken over by a bunch of authoritarian nutcases who would usurp the entitlement of the voters and make back room deals to cut out their voices?  And they did it because *they* knew better than *us*.  They were going to be our social conscience and our Big Daddies who would take care of things on our behalf.

This is what happened to the party. It put itself, and our votes, in the hands of the back room power brokers and completely ignored the voices of the voters.  And we said that if Obama and his friends weren’t going to listen to the voters before the election, he had no obligation to listen to them afterwards.

Now, take a look at Dan Froomkin’s first post for The Huffington Post.  It’s about health care and the deals that the Obama administration is cutting behind closed doors, without the input of the voters.  In fact, going out of his way to cut out a significant number of voices that want Medicare for All.  Froomkin writes:

Despite an abundance of public remarks, Obama’s actual strategy to achieve health-care reform still remains largely cloaked in secrecy. While the media’s focus has been on the unseemly public wrangling in Congress, the White House has been doing two things: 1) Trying to influence legislators behind closed doors and 2) Making deals with industry leaders behind closed doors.

And disturbingly, the crucial endgame will apparently be played behind closed doors, as well. In a conference call with bloggers last month, Obama anticipated that the bills that eventually emerge from the House and Senate will, even then, still leave the most controversial issues basically undecided.

To recap: primaries were pretty much evenly split.  But party operatives got together behind closed doors and gave the whole show to Obama, cutting out a little more than half of the Democratic voters.

The financial crisis is killing the middle class and generating a lot of outrage towards bankers and Wall Street over their outrageous bonuses and cavalier attitudes towards our financial security.  But the Obama administration got together with those same bankers behind closed doors to cut deals.

Health care reform shows that there is strong support for a public option or Medicare for All or single payer.  But the party operatives got together behind closed doors to cut deals with the insurance industry.

See the pattern?

If you voted for Obama and thought it was OK for the party to stomp all over the Clinton voters because you were giddy with powerlust, *this* is what you voted for.

THAT’S why I keep bringing it up.

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