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Ok, Time to Stop Walking on Egg Shells

old-lady_drivingFor some incomprehensible reason, there is a left blogosphere that thinks that Hillary is going to blow this election. In fact, here is a Vox post on the subject by Alex Pareen called “Don’t Blow This”. It’s a mansplainy post in the style of “Ok, I’ll let you drive the car but I know how careless you are so don’t screw up”.

Alex, do you have any idea what an arrogant, stupid dick you sound like?

Dear Lefty Blogosphere who can’t get over Clinton Derangement Syndrome,

Did you forget that Hillary Clinton won two senate races by wide margins?

Do the 18,000,000 people who voted for Hillary in 2008 mean nothing to you? I realize this is a rhetorical question because you seem to think that all you need to do is insist dramatically and throw personal insults at her and her voters will once again step aside for you like indulgent grannies.

Seriously, just how old and stupid do you think we are?

You are getting all emo about the superdelegates who stubbornly refuse to flip to your candidate even though he might not have the pledged delegates he needs before the end of the primaries as if you are The Only Ones Who Matter. Did it ever occur to you that we might be extremely upset with such a scenario?

We must pay attention to you, you, you. And you don’t even have a reason to be angry with the primaries at this point. No one is halving your earned delegates in Colorado or Indiana. There aren’t a bunch of wild and aggressive Clintonistas shutting you down at the caucuses, locking you out of the venues or grabbing the sign in sheets. The party isn’t actively undermining every victory you have. It’s all been on the level.

But what the hell, guys? Seriously. If you don’t have a legitimate reason to protest the way the party has conducted the primaries this year, what makes you think we are just going to say, “Gosh, they are really insistent. Well, I guess my vote for Hillary is meaningless. Let’s let Bernie have all the superdelegates.”

Is that why we’re getting this crap from Alex Pareen? We’re unreasonably holding on to the idea that our candidate is probably going to win so you guys who got your way last time have to be all begrudging about it.

I don’t think we should be so deferential to you guys anymore. Go ahead and vote for whoever you like but it’s probably time we stopped giving you WATB so much attention.

We LIKE our candidate. We’re not ashamed of her. She’s as squeaky clean and honest as you’re going to get in a candidate. Your brain knows this. She doesn’t run bad campaigns or so many millions and millions (and millions) more people wouldn’t persist in voting for her. If you find her inability to transcend being human as cringeworthy, that’s YOUR problem. We are not going to apologize for the fact that you find women your mom’s age occasionally embarrassing.

You need to get over it.

Bernie’s a good guy and I really like him. But if he loses the primaries, Hillary Clinton is going to have to fight Trump, the media and you. She’s probably going to win. Don’t make it closer than it has to be by getting all “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!” every time she does something that isn’t perfect.

Sincerely,

RD

As for the rest of us, party on, people! It’s time we celebrated our candidate and tell the world how excited we are for the election to come. Not just the election but giving Hillary the reins and seeing what she does with them. That, my friends, will be real change.

Cocktail Party Here Every Friday Until The Election.

Anyone interested? Should we google hangout it? Podcast it? Raise some money?

I’m open to suggestions.

Let’s get the party started!

 

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Rachel Maddow Destroys the 2008 Narrative

Bernie says he’s going to contest the convention.

I like Bernie. But I think he is beginning to listen too much to the same damn people we had to put up with in 2008. This is what they think:

Hillary is evil. She has The Ring. Her voters are unimportant. She must step aside. 

I would go even further and speculate that many of Bernie’s middle aged male Democratic supporters are suffering from what I call The More Deserving Man Syndrome. That is, no matter what over accomplished woman is competing for what has been an exclusively male position before, there will always be that one more deserving man out there that only other men can see. But I digress.

Getting back to the title.

Rachel Maddow destroyed Bernie’s argument (post from BlueNationReview) for why there should be a contested convention by taking away one of the pillars of the “Obama ran a great campaign!” argument. She pointed out just how close the convention was in 2008. Actually, I think her estimate of a 4% pledged delegate difference is too high. It depends on how she is counting the Florida and Michigan delegations. If she is counting them as only half strength and Obama getting all of Michigan’s uncommitted delegates from a primary in which he wasn’t even on the ballot, then it was much, much closer than 4%. It was statistically insignificant.

Nevertheless, almost all of the superdelegates switched from Hillary to Obama. I say there was money involved, filtered to down ticket races from Obama’s Wall Street donors. But whatever.

Here’s the bottom line: Obama “won” the nomination from:

1.) Winning mostly caucus states. He lost most of the big Democratic prizes like CA, PA, NY, NJ, MA, FL, OH, TX, MI, NJ, just go look at the primary map

2.) Gifts of uncommitted delegates in MI plus a halving of FL and MI delegates by the fiat of the Rules Committee in May 2008.

3.) Superdelegates

That’s it. There was nothing magical about Obama’s campaign. He wasn’t that successful. If it weren’t for the media helping him but constructing a false narrative about *his* inevitability, he could have been subjected to a legitimate floor flight from a opponent who had far more reason to contest his appointment. In short, he would be where Bernie is now.

Do you hear what I’m saying Emily Bazelon, David Plotz and John Dickerson??  Obama did not win in a landslide. It wasn’t even close to a landslide. He won because you guys helped him and gave his crazy ass supporters a lot more legitimacy than they deserved. Now, it is coming back again full circle because those same crazy ass guys think they can do it again.

And the reason we know just how ridiculously close the 2008 delegate count was is because Hillary was pressured to concede the nomination before the first ballot roll call ended and before California had to commit its delegates, by law, to Clinton. Pelosi et al wanted to hurry the whole thing along and flip the states without the legal requirement of a first ballot commitment before anyone caught on.

I can never listen to Love Train again without wanting to throw up.

You would think that the first female candidate to get that close to winning the nomination would be accorded the honor of a full first ballot roll call vote. How does that make you feel, Rachel Maddow? Her pledged delegates were bullied and harassed in some cases, and many states didn’t get an opportunity to vote for her during the first ballot. We’re not talking about the second ballot where they could switch. We’re saying that some states were forced to switch during the first ballot. And the vast majority of the media was totally onboard with robbing the first female candidate of a first round roll call vote that she was going to lose anyway by less than 100 votes if we count all the delegate reassignment.

The first female candidate with legitimate claim to the nomination was ordered by her party to step aside.

Does that sound cool to you now eight years later? Because it wasn’t to us.

But if the party had gone ahead with a regular roll call vote, just like every male candidate would have demanded, the vote would have looked way too close and might have roused the attention and enthusiasm of the voters who were not enamored with Obama and thought he didn’t have the experience to take on what the Bushies and the financial industry were going to leave him. And they would have been right.

But Hillary graciously stepped aside. Just like Al Gore graciously stepped aside. Just like John Kerry graciously stepped aside.

Three points. Hmmmm, there’s a trend there…  It’s almost as if someone wants a relatively weak and easy to control Democrat in the White House or a right wing Republican…

But Bernie wants to contest the convention. His supporters would like for Hillary to graciously step aside — again.

Really?  I’m talking to all you issues oriented Bernie supporters out there. Do you really want Bernie to push aside this female candidate who is winning in a legitimate, clean primary season without any hinky rules crap? Is this really what you want?

She’s winning fair and square. It’s not up to you to substitute your judgment for the judgment of other voters no matter how stupid, mislead or uninformed you may think they are. If you were able to tolerate the least prepared Democratic president, you can tolerate the most prepared. Yes, there will be people who will make her look like Satan incarnate. It’s going to be hard for her. But if she couldn’t challenge in a year when she had every right to do it, then Bernie should accept the will of the voters after everyone has had a vote, and concede graciously.

Nobody gets exactly what they want in an election year. There is no perfect candidate who will say all the right things and is certified and guaranteed to do exactly what you want once they get into office. Do you want that anyway? What if something really important comes up and that president has to do something they thought they’d never do? All you can do is look at their records, look at their accomplishments, see if they are learning as the campaign proceeds and vote accordingly.

That’s what Clinton’s voters have done and they will not step aside this year.

Wednesday: Obama’s loss is a matter of trust

Heidi Li Feldman has an excellent series of articles about progressive populism and the direction of the Democratic party after the election.  But we also need to do a retrospective analysis of what went wrong with the this incarnation of the Democratic party.  In Surely the DNCC Jests, Heidi shows how the roll call vote was subverted to award rather than elect Barack Obama.  Six state were crucial to securing his win: NY, NJ, MI, OH, FL and PA.  The final count can be found at the DNCC page.

If you are a regular Joe Bagodonuts and you are only following the nightly news, you might look at these numbers and think Clinton lost fair and square.  Obama’s delegate count puts him ahead by 3:1.  What the DNCC won’t tell you is that the pledged delegate count prior to the roll call vote put her well within striking distance of winning the election.  So, why didn’t she win it, given that she was the most electable candidate?

The answer lies in the Superdelegates.  It was the superdelegates that decided this election.  The pledged delegate count seems almost engineered to cover up for this fact.  Of course, it took a lot of arm twisting and threats to make sure the pledged delegates caved.  Ricki Lieberman sent another compilation of first hand delegate accounts describing how the delegates were hounded. Here are a couple that give us some insight as to how the process was highjacked:

CONNECTICUT: “For 17-18 months I have been working on and for HRC I could not figure out what was wrong with the politicians in Ct something was wrong I just couldn’t put my finger on it.  Then many months ago I revc’d a call from a women who is very active in the Dem party in Ct.  She had told me at that time that the politicians in Ct were getting threatened by Dodd with their political careers if they did not support/vote for BO.  Of course I tried to verify this info but could not, though people did admit to hearing that.  Then at a fundraiser I held in Ct for HRC I was told this again to my face by an elected Dem town chair person and elected HRC delegate.  Prior to the convention two elected HRC delegates switched and announced their support and vote for BO, one a mayor the other state representative.”

KENTUCKY:A campaign volunteer: “I was there in Denver and witnessed Ky delegates being berated and strong armed.  Lots of people in the Kentucky delegation witnessed an Obama delegate screaming at a Clinton delegate and saying she was a racist because she wouldn’t change her vote. For the first time in my adult life, I am ashamed of being a Democrat.”

MAINE: “I was approached by a member of the Maine delegates on Tuesday night and was told that if I didn’t vote for BO I would regret it. I then said to
them that I came here representing a lot of Hillary supporters and would vote for her every time I could.  I then said I have nothing else to talk to you about so please leave me alone.”

For the roll call “We where sitting right behind ARKANSAS. When it was their turn for the roll call the women that was talking was the widow of the head of the democratic party talking.  She was reading what was written to be said.  She stopped because she couldn’t believe what the note said. A man stepped in and said the Arkansas votes where all for BO.  Cell phones started to ring in front of me.

There is a cause and effect relationship for what happened during the primary season and the disaster that the Democrats find themselves in now.  We can see how the primary season was corrupted in the Democratic Convention, which in a way is just a giant caucus.  Two forces seem to have been at the heart of what went terribly wrong.  The first is the superdelegate system itself.  I think it is too facile to say that their flipping has everything to do with money.  The total amount of money given to these superdelegates was substantial but on an individual basis, it’s hard to see how Frank Lautenberg benefits from the $10,000 dollars or so that he got from Obama.  It takes millions of dollars to run a senate campaign in NJ and Frank is pretty old.  Who knows if he’ll even run another term?  What is even less plausible is the rational for voting for Obama based on the fact that the DNC was going to withhold funds to downticket Dems in certain states, like NJ, CT and NH.  I’m not denying that they threat wasn’t made.  I am questioning the logic.  How would an Obama presidency get anything done if it had lost Congress due to some pre-election pique?  Or was the Obama campaign saying that it would have let Congressional candidates lose if Clinton had been the nominee?

No, the problem with the superdelegates is that a vast majority are middle aged white guys who have no experience with the rank and file not falling in line.  We all got behind Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry.  They weren’t particularly exciting candidates but they were ours so we sucked it up and voted for them.  Middle aged white guys don’t have the experience of having women directing things.  Their life experience is one of women in subordinate positions.  Women in power are few and far between.  Mostly, we submit.

Then there are the zealous Obama supporters who were born or raised during the Reagan era.  Their parents were Baby Boomers.  These children are suffering from Affluenza.  They’ve been given everything.  Oh, sure, student loans are expensive but for the most part, boomer parents had the money and means to raise their children without want.  They sacrificed a lot for their kids and so it should come as no surprise that the kids still expect sacrifice.  These golden children think rather highly of themselves.  It never crosses their minds that we will not instantly comply with their demands.  So, they got a little red in the face when they demanded that delegates switched.  So what?

Obama took full advantage of this.  He could have let the roll call proceed and honored both Clinton and her voters.  In fact, given the closeness of the delegate count, his pretension of being the presumptive nominee is one for the history books.  With Florida and Michigan restored to full votes, he was not entitled to call himself presumptive nominee.  But that didn’t stop him and his crew from strong arming and scripting the convention down to the last detail.  It didn’t stop him from engineering a humiliating loss for her on the convention floor as her delegates were flipped and Nancy Pelosi rammed the whole procedure through.

And now, the DNC and the Obama campaign are surprised that women are abandoning them and that Obama can’t raise enough money for the general.  I’m surprised that they are surprised.  What we have witnessed is an abuse of our caucus system, fradulent primaries and superdelegates substituting their will for the will of the voters.  And all of this was done with Obama’s approval because it was more important that he win than whether the party survived his candidacy.  He was even willing to let Congressional candidates lose if he couldn’t be at the top of the ticket.

Those of us who are holding out aren’t doing it because we’re racists.  It’s not because we are wedded to Hillary.  She’s right about never looking back to what might have been.  We have to move forward.  But we will never support a man who has so utterly destroyed our trust in him and the party apparatus that put him in power.  Not only have they failed to exercise leadership and control but they have put victories for downticket Democrats in question as well.  They have subverted the process to the point that we may lose the slim margins we hold in Congress while we end up with a Republican running the White House.

How can we EVER trust Barack Obama for this catastrophe?  There is no way at this point in time for him to earn that trust back.   Nothing but emergency measures with major corrections will fix this election cycle.  And such measures will only underscore the precarious position the Democrats have put themselves into.

When trust is gone, it takes a long time to get it back and it isn’t going to happen before November.

Sunday: It was your name, DNC

I am very disappointed that some of our best and brightest bloggers do not understand the source of our resistance.  They seem to think this is all about Hillary.  On the contrary, we made it clear to Hillary’s campaign back in June before her suspension speech that the resistance to Obama had spiralled far beyond her ability to call it back.

The Obamacans and trolls and newly converted think it is all about gender and identity politics.  No, if you want to see an example of identity politics, you need look no further than the 90% of African-Americans who voted for Obama in the primary.  We don’t blame them.  It’s a natural response.  We *do* have an issue with the RBC committee members and other Dolores Umbrage types who can’t seem to see past Obama’s African-American heritage.

We find it very irritating when the Obamacans, trolls and newly converted scream at us like we don’t understand English that we are too stupid to realize that John McCain is using a woman, a conservative woman at that, to fool us into voting for him.  That kind of attitude is beyond condescending and offensive.  I would like to clear a few things up to the permanently addled on Obama: 1.) Not all of us are voting for McCain.  Loyal Democrats such as myself have a very hard time crossing that ideological divide.  and 2.) We are quite aware of what John McCain is up to and the people he is playing for fools are the Obamaphiles and DNC who thought they could wrest away the Evangelical base from the Republican party.  That he picks up some disaffected Hillary voters is icing on the cake for him.

No, the primary source of our disaffection and resistance to the DNC, Obama and even Hillary herself is that the party has lost its moral authority.  In its zeal to select Obama as its nominee, it compromised all that it claimed it believed.  It set up a system that favored one outcome, allowed states to pay for sham primaries, duped voters into thinking their votes counted, reapportioned delegates to suit its needs, intimidated and harassed delegates.  And all in the name of UNITY, which it most certainly did not get.

But the biggest shame falls on the delegates and superdelegates who succumbed to pressure during a vicious witch hunt.  They completely missed the point of Hillary’s brilliant speech which was not to cave but to keep going.  Yes, she stood up for Barack Obama but she was exhorting the delegates to stand up for themselves and their voters.  But they caved.  We know that Obama whips followed them down the hallways of the hotels like dogs at their heels, screaming at them to sign onto Obama or their political careers would be finished.  We know how they trapped delegates in hotel rooms and used strong armed tactics to get them to switch.  But none of them had to do it.  And if they had hung together and resisted, then the machine that looked so powerful would have been stripped of its formidable image.  It is nothing if there are no people supporting it.

There was an opportunity last Wednesday for all of the delegates to find the core within that would guide them.  That core would have told them what it means to be a loyal Democrat.  That core would have said to count every vote, honor every voter, resist fear, put the common good first, keep their eyes on the future.  Some did.  Most did not.

In those moments on Wednesday, the delegates signed away the name of the Democratic party.  It will not have another in my life.

That is the source of our resistance.

Dear NJ delegates, *I* didn’t release you

There will be no love train.  I’m not onboard.  I will never be onboard.

You didn’t listen to us during the primaries.

You didn’t listen to us during the convention.

You are going to hear from us in November.

Barack Obama will NEVER get my vote.  I don’t owe the party anything.

And if you want to find someone to blame, look no further than the superdelegates.

Backlash is comin’.  We will make the powers that be the powers that were.

Let the DNC and your State Attorney General know how you feel about having your vote stolen by faithless delegates and a party who asks for your taxdollars to run a primary and then does what the hell it wants.

Blame the Superdelegates for the impending disaster

If I hear one more person try to guilt me into voting for this lightweight in order to save the nation, I’m going to dope slap him/her.

There are people who are responsible for the impending disaster.  They are the Superdelegates.  They have a choice.  They can go with the competent, dedicated, brilliant, knowledgeable DEMOCRAT, or they can choose the post partisan, unscrupulous, unethical, schmoozer whose party loyalty is in doubt.

To US, the choice is simple.  It’s not our fault that we refuse to swallow the poison.

When Obama loses in November, and he will, look to the people who had the obligation to rescue the country from three consecutive terms of Republican rule.  The Superdelegates.

Wednesday: America, call your Superdelegates

Delegate Ann Price Mills sums it all up:

And she still managed to get the same dim witted questions from the press. “Are you still going to vote for Obama in the general election?”

We at the Den get these types of questions all day long from the media. It seems like they are on automatic. We throw a wrench into their mechanism whenever they ask whether Hillary is standing in Obama’s way. Here’s the answer: NO, *Obama* is standing in HILLARY’S way.

We have no idea why the Superdelegates and the DNC are promoting Obama over the most talented woman politician of our lifetime.  Our country is suffering from 8 years of criminal Republican rule.  The Bush administration never believed in government and it set out to dismantle it, discredit it, destroy it.  When the new occupant of the White House arrives next January, we do not know what we will find.  The task ahead is going to be formidable.  So, why are we putting a novice in charge?  Why is it that in a year when everyone is calling for Change! we are given a choice between another Republican or a completely inexperienced establishment candidate with middle aged white guy establishment VP?  Why are we passing up the best person in the room to be our champion?

It is unfathomable to believe that this is all about gender and yet I can arrive at no other conclusion.  Hillary Clinton *earned* the title of Democratic Nominee.  Beginning last fall, we saw her become a political force of nature.  She is brilliant, knowledgeable, energetic, courageous and committed.  She has even earned the grudging respect of Republican voters around the country.  With Hillary as the nominee and Obama as her VP, we could unite the two factions of the party and  have an unbeatable ticket this fall.

The pledged delegate count between Obama and Clinton is so close that the Obama campaign and the DNC have felt it necessary to bully and intimidate delegates to make sure that Obama gets the number he needs.  The DNC has awarded Obama unearned delegates from Michigan.  It has give Obama delegates that the voters gave to Clinton in Michigan, Texas, Nevada and elsewhere.  There was widespread intimidation of voters in caucus states by operatives of the Obama campaign.  We have the testimonials of many, many people who witnessed it.  The DNC and the Obama campaign have behaved disgracefully and all to deprive voters of their right to be heard.  They have played with every rule and pulled out every stop in order to give Obama every advantage and he is still only barely getting enough pledged delegates to “win”.  This is the truth that the DNC has been trying to obscure fot the past several months:  Neither candidate has sufficient pledged delegates to win the nomination.  The superdelegates will have to decide.  At this point in time, the Democrats do not have a nominee, presumptive or otherwise.  Obama was not entitled to call himself presumptive nominee. Media, do you hear us now?  That’s why it is Obama stepping on Hillary’s toes, not the other way around.

And so, dear readers, the task is now appointed to you.  You must find a way to reach out to the superdelegates who will decide this election to make the right decision.  Call your senators and congressmen, your governors and state party chairmen, the DNC, Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi.  Tell them you have had enough of Republican rule.  Tell them you do not want 4 years of John McCain.  Tell them you want a ticket you can be proud to support.  Tell them to put Hillary Clinton at the top of that ticket.

What is not impossible is possible.

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