Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Obama: Unscripted and Unprepared

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/13/obama-unscripted-and-unprepared/

By Ani

Every day, Barack Obama reminds me a little more of George Bush. I can’t help it. The similarities are too striking to ignore: His love for vacations at the worst possible time. And he, like King George, purports to be a ‘Uniter.’ Well, let’s test this claim.

How would you characterize a man who:

has played the race card to great effect repeatedly and with impunity throughout his campaign, and gotten the mainstream press and the Democratic elite to gamely play along;

has insulted or ignored anyone who didn’t vote for him;

is too politically shortsighted to realize that by nixing a roll call for Hillary and not placing her name in nomination, he is probably costing himself the election, further alienating her voters.

Forgive me, but he doesn’t sound very unifying.

More telling are Senator Obama’s unscripted moments – very Bush-like. I know Senator Obama reads a teleprompter well, and perhaps imitates the cadence of Rev. Martin Luther King. But the message underneath rings hollow.

In moments of crisis, and the leader of the free world will encounter many, there may not be time for 20 scriptwriters to pull him together if he himself cannot exhibit the proper leadership to guide this nation. He will not have a long weekend as he did in creating his “scintillating speech on race” to distract from the debacle that was Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Jonah Goldberg’s op-ed in the LA Times yesterday, Obama Without His Script, was a welcome surprise, considering the source – a newspaper that, with rare exception, has given the newbie Illinois Senator glowing coverage. The subtitle…

Judging by his reaction to the Georgia-Russia crisis, Obama’s make-believe presidency isn’t ready for prime time…

…makes it look as though, at least for this columnist, the bloom is off the rose. Mr. Goldberg’s recent columns hit both Obama and McCain pretty evenly, but for the LA Times even to print this, wow! Senator Obama must have made a boo boo:

The Obama campaign has for months pursued the odd strategy of having the junior senator from Illinois act as if he were already kinda-sorta president of the United States. In June, it tried sticking a quasi-presidential seal on his lectern. Then in July, he conducted what seemed like official state visits with foreign leaders and delivered something like a “prenaugural” address in Berlin, inviting comparisons to JFK and Reagan.

If the would-be president can seem plausibly presidential, voting for him might not seem like such a crapshoot. It all makes sense, even if it fosters an air of presumptuousness.

The invasion of Georgia elicited a wan written communique instead of the sort of exciting rhetoric we’ve come to expect from his make-believe presidency. But he did make it in front of the cameras the next day for a rally celebrating his vacation in Hawaii. He promised “to go body surfing at some undisclosed location.”

During Obama’s make-believe presidency, we’ve heard about bold action, about the courage to talk to dictators. When faced with a real “3 a.m. moment,” Obama – who boasts about 200 foreign policy advisors, broken into 10 subgroups – proclaims, “I’m going to get some shave ice.”

Indeed, President Bush’s jaunt to the Olympics as a “sports fan” should also have been cut short the moment tanks started rolling over a country he’d proclaimed a “beacon of liberty” during his visit there in 2005. By Monday, both Bush and Obama were playing catch-up to Sen. John McCain, who seemed to have grasped the gravity from the get-go…

Putting Bush and Obama in the same sandbox and well behind McCain’s much touted handling of the 3 A.M. moment is not the kind of press Obama wants at this point.

But, for once, in the press, the assessment is honest. This country doesn’t need any more versions of someone caught flatfooted reading “My Pet Goat” instead of standing up and taking appropriate action to get on top of the situation.

Referring to Obama’s statement on the crisis, Steve Huntley, in yesterday’s Chicago Sun Times made the point:

It took first-term Sen. Barack Obama three tries to get it right. Headed for a vacation in Hawaii, the presumed Democratic candidate for commander in chief issued an even-handed statement, urging restraint by both sides. Later Friday, he again called for mutual restraint but blamed Russia for the fighting. The next day his language finally caught up with toughness of McCain’s.

Making matters worse, Obama’s staff focused on a McCain aide who had served as a lobbyist for Georgia, charging it showed McCain was “ensconced in a lobbyist culture.” Obama’s campaign came off as injecting petty partisan politics into an international crisis. This was not a serious response on behalf [of] a man who aspires to be the leader of the Free World. After all, what’s so bad about representing a small former Soviet republic struggling to remake itself as a Western-style democracy?

The comparison between the two candidates served to emphasize the strength McCain’s experience would bring to the White House in a dangerous world.

Obama’s favored approach to international issues, diplomatic talks, failed to stop Russia’s invasion. Vladimir Putin, a KGB bull in the former Soviet Union, wants to restore Russia as the supreme power of Eurasia…

However the world’s newest war ends, America’s leadership must recognize and respond to the underlying dynamic of Russia’s resurgent aggressive instincts — the power bestowed on Moscow by its oil and gas riches.

I am not endorsing Senator McCain. I think by now, everyone knows who my candidate is. Hillary exhibited great foresight about this crisis. But Senator Obama is making newbie mistakes all over the place. These are schoolyard games – harping about lobbyists at a time like this? There are far larger issues at stake here.

Mr. Goldberg of the Times further observes:

[Obama] has been playacting at being presidential in order to convince voters that we live in a “new moment” with “new challenges” – and that he is the president we need for this new era.

This moment calls for more than playacting, yet Obama looks lost without a presidential script. Events in the Caucasus – and, for that matter, in Beijing – suggest that the times aren’t so new after all. Two powerful antidemocratic foes are once again flexing their muscles at a moment when America seems weak and distracted.

That is not a new challenge but a very old one. Perhaps this is not a time for a novice spouting grand rhetoric about a new page in history, but for someone who’s actually read the pages of some old, but still relevant, books. Perhaps this is not the time for playacting.

Perhaps it is not the time for body surfing?

Obama presents grave cause for worry. He may actually be na├»ve enough to think that he can just “delegate” the yucky stuff and someone else is going to do the actual clean up.

I have witnessed many of his supporters recite a similar mantra – “He’ll surround himself with great people. Congress does everything anyway. He has really good judgment.” This is the President they want? A figurehead to make a “speech” and leave the rest of the work to the grown ups? This Democratic Congress isn’t doing very well – and after the behavior I have witnessed these past seven months, these are not the people I want ‘running the show.’

Aside from choosing David Axelrod (better known as Axel-Rove) as his slash and burn campaign manager, what were his good decisions exactly? I reference here my earlier assessment of why I cannot support him and his prior ‘boneheaded’ actions. This is another way he reminds me of Bush. Every time I think I have looked into the nadir, Obama does something else to earn my mistrust. I have actually started to get numb and lose track.

His shocking reversal on FISA, for example, from a supposedly dearly held belief in the sanctity of the fourth amendment betrays an arrogant “well, too bad, where else are you gonna go” attitude, taking advantage of and even diminishing the value of his most fervent supporters. Tiresome as it may be, I will remind people once again that Senator Clinton voted correctly on FISA. What happened to the filibuster Senator Obama promised us?

No off-shore oil drilling, anyone? Another one of his campaign promises. To quote Senator Obama, “Words, just words.”

But Senator Obama would be gratified to know a number of those original supporters are still making excuses for him. I would imagine it is getting both exhausting and frustrating for them.

Further, his plan to ‘accept’ the nomination at Invesco Field before an audience of 75,000 smacks simultaneously of hubris and bullying – just squash the competition, the detractors, the protesters with a wall of noise and size.

This is reminiscent of George Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” declaration where, to quote General Wes Clark, Bush “pranced around on the deck of that aircraft carrier.”

I was a lifelong Democrat until two months ago. I certainly hoped we’d have a better choice at this point than to be force fed a man so arrogant and inexperienced; someone who is more interested in image management than rolling up his sleeves to do the work required to deal with the world that is – not the world he wishes could be. Perhaps he really believes that he alone can ‘heal our planet.’ Unfortunately, this is grandiose to the point of being delusional.

Leaders in other countries will not be so easily hypnotized just because our American press has been. Putin, for example, may not get a ‘tingle up his leg’ as Chris Matthews has.

Surely it has occurred to the Party elite that if Democrats cannot win the election in this ‘no-lose year,’ with the Republican brand damaged as it is, the Democratic Party will be over. Not that that would be a bad thing in its current state.

More and more, I remember Hillary’s claim to be ‘ready on day one.’ I believe she is. And we’re going to need somebody who is.

Delusions are not required. Solutions are.

Hillary's Growing Shadow

Original Link: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/08/hillarys_growing_shadow.html

By Victor Davis Hanson

Barack Obama and John McCain are running neck and neck.

Impossible?

It would seem so. Republican President Bush still has less than a 30 percent approval rating. Headlines blare that unemployment and inflation are up -- even if we aren't, technically, in a recession. Gas is around $4 a gallon. Housing prices have nosedived. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has been indicted -- another in a line of congressional Republicans caught in financial or sexual scandal.

Meanwhile, the GOP's presumptive candidate, John McCain, is 71 years old. The Republican base thinks he's lackluster and too liberal.

So, everyone is puzzled why the Democratic candidate isn't at least 10 points ahead. It seems the more Americans get used to Barack Obama, the less they want him as president -- and the more Democrats will soon regret not nominating Hillary Clinton.

First, Obama was billed as a post-racial healer. His half-African ancestry, exotic background and soothing rhetoric were supposed to have been novel and to have reassured the public he was no race-monger like Al Sharpton. On the other hand, his 20-year career in the cauldron of Chicago racial politics also guaranteed to his liberal base that he wasn't just a moderate Colin Powell, either.

Yet within weeks of the first primary, the outraged Clintons were accusing Obama of playing "the race card" -- and vice-versa. Blacks soon were voting heavily against Hillary Clinton. In turn, Hillary, the elite Ivy League progressive, turned into a blue-denim working gal -- and won nearly all the final big-state Democratic primaries on the strength of working-class whites.

Americans also learned to their regret how exactly a Hawaiian-born Barack Obama -- raised, in part, by his white grandparents and without African-American heritage -- had managed to win credibility in what would become his legislative district in Chicago. That discovery of racial chauvinism wasn't hard once his former associate, his pastor for over 20 years, the racist Rev. Jeremiah Wright, spewed his venom.

Obama himself didn't help things as he taught the nation that his dutiful grandmother was at times a small-minded bigot -- no different from a "typical white person." And in an impromptu riff, Obama ridiculed small-town working-class Pennsylvanians' supposed racial insularity.

The primary season ended with a narrow Obama victory -- and a wounded, but supposedly wiser, Democratic candidate.

Not quite. Without evidence, he unwisely has claimed his opponents ("they") will play the race card against poor him. In contrast, on the hot-button issue of racial reparations, he recently played to cheering minority audiences by cryptically suggesting that the government must "not just . . . offer words, but offer deeds." He later clarified that he didn't mean cash grants, but his initial words were awfully vague.

Second, many are beginning to notice how a Saint Obama talks down to them. We American yokels can't speak French or Spanish. We eat too much. Our cars are too big, our houses either overheated or overcooled. And we don't even put enough air in our car tires. In contrast, a lean, hip Obama promises to still the rising seas and cool down the planet, assuring adoring Germans that he is a citizen of the world.

Third, Obama knows that all doctrinaire liberals must tack rightward in the general election. But due to his inexperience, he's doing it in far clumsier fashion than any triangulating candidate in memory. Do we know -- does Obama even know? -- what he really feels about drilling off our coasts, tapping the strategic petroleum reserve, NAFTA, faith-based initiatives, campaign financing, the FISA surveillance laws, town-hall debates with McCain, Iran, the surge, timetables for Iraq pullouts, gun control or capital punishment?

Fourth, Obama is proving as inept an extemporaneous speaker as he is gifted with the Teleprompter. Like most rookie senators, in news conferences and interviews, he stumbles and then makes serial gaffes -- from the insignificant, like getting the number of states wrong, to the downright worrisome, such as calling for a shadow civilian aid bureaucracy to be funded like the Pentagon (which would mean $500 billion per annum).

If the polls are right, a public tired of Republicans is beginning to think an increasingly bothersome Obama would be no better -- and maybe a lot worse. It is one thing to suggest to voters that they should shed their prejudices, eat less and be more cosmopolitan. But it is quite another when the sermonizer himself too easily evokes race, weekly changes his mind and often sounds like he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

In a tough year like this, Democrats could probably have defeated Republican John McCain with a flawed, but seasoned candidate like Hillary Clinton. But long-suffering liberals convinced their party to go with a messiah rather than a dependable nominee -- and thereby they probably will get neither.

Bought and Paid For! By Nancy Pelosi

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/13/bought-and-paid-for-by-nancy-pelosi/

By Dr. Lynette Long

As Americans sat glued to their television sets watching the most hotly contested presidential primary in American history, pundits counted pledged delegates won in caucuses and primaries and discussed the highly prized superdelegates’ endorsements. Eventually it would be these superdelegates, Democratic officials, governors, and members of congress, who would determine the nominee, since neither contestant won enough pledged delegates in the 52 primary contests.

What the pundits forgot to tell the American public was that these superdelegates were doing some counting of their own. They weren’t counting how many of their constituents had voted for Senator Clinton or Senator Obama, but rather how much money was being put into their war chests by the Obama campaign and the Democratic hierarchy. This money, moved from one candidate to another via PAC’s, would determine their endorsements and ultimately the nomination.

Since 1987, Nancy Pelosi has represented California’s eighth district– including most of San Francisco. An Italian American, Pelosi was raised on politics. Her father was a Congressman from Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore. Pelosi was elected as Democratic Speaker of the House 2002. Pelosi shattered the glass ceiling in the House of Representatives when she was elected the first female speaker in 2007. A shrewd politician, Madame Speaker exercises a lot of influence over the members of congress. She determines Committee assignments and in conjunction with the DNC and Howard Dean decides how much money and support the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee gives to each member of congress in their bid for re-election.

In addition, Pelosi also contributes money directly to the congressional campaigns of certain candidates through her Political Action Committee “PAC to the FUTURE.” Her PAC receives money from other PAC’s such as Service Employees International Union $10,000, American Bankers Assn $10,000, Sheet Metal Workers Union $10,000, International Association of Fire Fighters, $10,000, and Goldman Sachs 10,000. It also receives money from individuals.

In the 2008 election cycle, the Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org) reports that Nancy Pelosi’s PAC received 585,400 and contributed more than $445,000 of this to 59 congressional candidates. PAC to the FUTURE gave money to 38 incumbents and 21 challengers.

Of the 435 members in the house, Pelosi gave money to 8.5% of them. Of the members who received money from Pelosi, 71% were men; only 29% were women. Only eleven percent of the female members of congress received support from Pelosi’s PAC. It’s disappointing that a female speaker did not symbolically make some contribution to all Democratic women in the house.

But even more important than the gender implications of Pelosi’s behavior was her impact on the Presidential election.

Publicly Madame Speaker did not endorse either Obama or Clinton in the Democratic Primary, but was she was anything but neutral.

Pelosi gave money to the campaigns of thirty-eight members of congress, twenty-eight of these endorsed Obama; ten endorsed Clinton. Pelosi contributed to the campaigns of Obama endorsers almost three to one. Pelosi not only gave to a greater number of Obama supporters, she collectively gave them more money.

Pelosi gave $250,000 to the campaigns of superdelegates that endorsed Obama and only $80,000 to the campaigns of superdelegates that endorsed Clinton. Money talks, and Pelosi and her PAC spoke volumes….in shorthand. She may not have publicly endorsed a candidate, but the members of the House of Representatives knew she supported Obama.

Of the thirty-eight Members of Congress Pelosi gave money to, sixteen went against the grain for Obama. This means, their state voted for Hillary, their district voted for Hillary, yet they endorsed Obama. Why? Follow the money.


By endorsing Obama, all of these Members of Congress went against the will of their constituents, twice, at the state level and at the district level. Only two members who received money from Pelosi’s PAC went against the grain and endorsed Hillary.

Is sixteen against the grain for Hillary and two against the grain for Obama a coincidence?

Pelosi’s contributions to the campaigns of state representatives followed a similar pattern. Sixty-three percent of the state representatives to whom Pelosi gave money, endorsed Obama in a state won by Clinton.

Ten thousand dollars, PAC to the FUTURE’s typical contribution, doesn’t seem like a lot of money but besides getting money from PAC TO THE FUTURE, most of these members got contributions from other PACs.

These contributions were most likely orchestrated by Pelosi and company since the overlap is too startling. Congressman James Clyburn from South Carolina has BRIDGE PAC. BRIDGE PAC gave money to all but two of these same members of congress. Steny Hoyer from Maryland has AMERIPAC. AMERIPAC gave money to almost every single one of these same members of congress. Typical donations from both of these PAC’S were $10,000.

And then there is the NATIONAL LEADERSHIP PAC and the NEW DEMOCRAT COALITION, and of course there is the HOPE FUND owned by Barack Obama. All of these PACs donated an average of $10,000 to most of their campaigns. These young representatives got a lot of pressure to endorse Obama no matter which way their district or state voted. The voices of their constituents were irrelevant.

It seems Obama was just posing as a Washington outsider. But in reality—all the real Washington insiders Pelosi, Dean, Kennedy, Clyburn, Hoyer, and Kerry were on his team all along. Pelosi’s Pac might be named PAC to the Future, but it took direct action to purposely undermine the first significant female candidate for the presidency in history. In so doing, she pushed women back decades.

ACTION: Call Pelosi’s office at 415-556-4862 and let her know how you feel. Let’s not just call her biased against women; let’s call her finished.

FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY, BEFORE IT DISAPPEARS.

Monsoon Season in Colorado: Stormy Weather Ahead

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/13/monsoon-season-in-colorado-stormy-weather-ahead/

By medusa

What’s going to happen in Denver during the Democratic Convention? Well, lots of out-of-towners are going to suffer from altitude sickness. And while it’s likely to hit 100 degrees with an average humidity of 12%, it’s also monsoon season, so the Pray for Rain brigade may luck out:

Thunderstorms are common in summer afternoons, specifically during the late summer monsoon season.

Recreate 68 has announced its lineup. It appears to be a training ground for protesters/ rock concert. The lineup is an alphabet soup of the marginalized, those mad-at-everybody, the unwashed dread lock-wearing, drum-circling, white, upper-class boys. Picture the crowd outside the gates of a Dead concert, alongside some with loud political agendas. While Ward Churchill will speak, Cynthia McKinney and the Green Party report that are listed by mistake:

Cynthia McKinney, Green Party candidate for President, and Rosa Clemente, Green Party candidate for Vice President are NOT participating in any Recreate ‘68 activities.

And inside the Pepsi Center you’ll find a convention designed as a “Town Hall” meeting with a series of themes. Clearly this allows the party to control for content and against spontaneity. ABC is sending Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer to Denver but oddly enough, al-Jazeera English will be located in Golden, CO, the home of Coors Brewery. If you’re anything like me, you don’t give a rat’s patooti about the presumptuous nominee’s pick for VP. In fact, the only thing I’m interested in is what impact Hillary and her supporters will have on the convention and the nomination process. According to CNN, delegates, super and otherwise, can vote for whomever they want:

Clinton can still win votes from delegates at the Democratic National Convention even if her name is not placed in nomination. Delegates are free to vote for anyone they want to at the convention.

Knowing how popular Hillary remains, and how devoted and disgruntled her supporters are, it’s not surprising that the Atlantic and other Obama-media outlets are once again dissing her, her campaign and of course, her supporters. The sexists insults continue (women are infamous for being indecisive, so why not say that Hillary couldn’t make decisions.) While Josh Green trots out emails and memos that demonstrate the “catty” behavior in Clinton’s campaign, Dowd uses the opposite end of the spectrum in her sexists putdowns: Hillary is “orchestrating” the events of the convention. In fact, if you read Dowd’s Op-Ed while ignoring her uncontrollable nastiness and jealousy toward all things Clinton, her portrayal of Hillary (and Bill) contradict all the Hillary-blaming in Green’s CDS Opus. For example, Dowd writes:

While Obama was spending three hours watching “The Dark Knight” five time zones away, and going to a fund-raiser featuring “Aloha attire” and Hawaiian pupus, Hillary was busy planning her convention.

Wow, if this is true, rock-on Hillary! The corrupt forces of Pelosi, Brazile, Dean et al, stole the election from Democracy, disenfranchising Michigan, Florida and 18 million voters, and Obama’s supporters want Hillary (and Bill) to:

“get in the box” or get lost if they can’t show more loyalty, rather than giving them back-to-back, prime-time speaking gigs at the convention on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Not only is Hillary not getting in the box (whatever that means), according to Dowd:

Hillary’s orchestrating a play within the play in Denver. Just as Hamlet used the device to show that his stepfather murdered his father, Hillary will try to show the Democrats they chose the wrong savior.

Yes, Dowd wrote “savior.” Wonder why that word came to mind? And while Dowd spins this as negatively as her one-track rhetorical skills allows her to, for many of us, what Hillary is doing is creating a moment of Real Democracy. The voices, desires, concerns, fears and objections, etc, of Dems who don’t want Obama will be heard. Dowd continues her sexism by calling Hillary’s female followers “gals” but even with Dowd’s green-eyed prose, this makes me proud:

{Hillary} said she thought it would be good for party unity if her gals felt “that their voices are heard.” But that’s disingenuous. Hillary was the one who raised the roll-call idea at the end of May with Democrats, who were urging her to face the math. She said she wanted it for Chelsea, oblivious to how such a vote would dim Obama’s star turn. Ever since she stepped aside in June, she’s been telling people privately that there might have to be “a catharsis” at the convention, signaling she wants a Clinton crescendo.

Clearly Dowd thinks the convention is just a pro forma performance to crown His Majesty; the paternalism in this statement is stunning:

Obama also allowed Hillary supporters to insert an absurd statement into the platform suggesting that media sexism spurred her loss and that “demeaning portrayals of women … dampen the dreams of our daughters.”

Of course, the Democratic Party has created this myth that Obama is the choice of the party. Sacha Millstone, who did valuable volunteer work for Hillary’s campaign and is a delegate for Hillary, is being brow-beaten by Party Officials:

The Colorado Democratic Party would like Boulder delegate Sacha Millstone, who is devoted to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, to give up her spot as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Apparently, the CDP wants strict party loyalty to extend to speech:

Party officials said Monday that they won’t insist Millstone resign. But in an e-mail last week, Billy Compton, state political director of the Colorado Democratic Party, ordered Millstone into his office to explain disparaging comments she made about Barack Obama.

Sounding frighteningly undemocratic, Millstone receive this message:

“You are hereby directed to come in to the party Headquarters and explain your comments and why you should remain a national delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in light of these comments,” the letter said.

A lesser person may have caved after receiving a letter like this, but Millstone hired a lawyer. She writes:

“Isn’t there a right to free speech? Isn’t this right in line with our time-honored tradition with the Dems?” she said. “These intimidation tactics have a chilling effect on people feeling comfortable speaking up.”

What’s happening in Denver? Much more than a convention paying homage to The One selected by a corrupted Democratic Party. What’s going on here affects you and I much more than we know.

State Democratic Party chair Pat Waak, who said it would be nice to have a united delegation when 50,000 conventioneers arrive in Colorado, called the Millstone matter “moot.” “We’re getting too near the convention, and she’s refused to come in,” Waak said. Any effort to intimidate Clinton supporters won’t work, at least not on at-large Clinton delegate Sonya Jaquez Lewis, who lives in unincorporated Boulder County. “It makes me angry,” Jaquez Lewis said. “It makes me want to now really be even louder about issues and concerns that before I was willing to look the other way.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Obama on Georgia — Simply Lost

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/12/obama-on-georgia-%e2%80%94-simply-lost/

By Charles Lemos

Let’s see if I got this right, Obama is calling for:

1) United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Russia. Problem: Russia is a Permanent Member of the United Nations with Security Council and thus has veto power over any resolution. Sure you can have a debate at the Security Council, actually there already have been, but it isn’t going to go anywhere. Obama does not seem to understand how international politics is played. While Obama talks, Russian tanks have severed Georgia in two. Gori has fallen and Russia seems to have set its sights on the capital, Tbilisi.

2) Replacing Russian peace-keeping troops in South Ossetia with a multi-national force. Problem: Russia is a Permanent Member of the United Nations with Security Council and thus has veto power over any UN peace-keeping force. And does Senator Obama really think that Russia is going to allow a United Nations peace-keeping force made up of foreign troops, albiet under UN command, on its southern flank? Proposing non-starters is a waste of time. Try being realistic.

3) Condemning Russian actions in the court of world public opinion. Problem: Does Russia care what the world thinks at this point? Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with US President Bush in Beijing the day the crisis erupted. President Bush issued stern warnings to both sides. Putin then flew off to North Ossetia to direct the Russian campaign. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is off to Moscow tomorrow. The Russians have already stated that the French peace proposals are DOA (dead on arrival).

4) Sending an objective and neutral International Mediator to the region. Problem: There’s nothing to mediate at this point. I wrote earlier that Russia will accept a cease-fire when Russia achieved its war aims. I was mistaken to believe those war aims were limited to ousting Georgian forces from South Ossetia but it is now increasingly clear that Russia aims to take control of Georgia. Georgia is an imperfect democracy but it is a democracy. It won’t be one much longer. A puppet government is on its way and I expect right now that President Mikhail Saakashvili will form a government in exile. What is there to mediate? And between whom? Russia will redraw the borders in the Caucusus because it can. We are powerless. I wrote earlier that we lost this round, let’s not lose the next. The next one is the Ukraine and Moldova.

Obama’s assertion that Russia has escalated this war beyond South Ossetia, while factual, misses the whole point. This war is not about South Ossetia. South Ossetia may have been the casus belli but this splendid little war for Russia is a message to the United States, to Europe and to NATO that Russia is a player. Call it a greeting card from a resurgent Russia.

The West made many mistakes. We pushed for Kosovar independence and recognized a state that has no business being a state. When Brazil and India note that they would only recognize Kosovo when Serbia did, that was the right path to take. Furthermore, the Bush Administration pushed for missile defence systems in the Czech Republic and Poland to protect Europe from an Iranian attack. I am not sure how putting such a shield in Poland protects Europe from Iran. No matter the intent, the Russians clearly felt that these were directed at them. With the prospects of Georgia and the Ukraine becoming NATO members, Russia was clearly unhappy at that. Georgia is paying the price of Western mistakes plus its own miscalculations. Much is yet unclear how this war was orchestrated but it does seem that Russia goaded Georgia into an armed intrusion into South Ossetia. It was a trap. The West now faces tough choices.

Obama’s calls seem more of his kumbaya oh lord kumbaya rhetoric that simply shows how out of touch the very junior Senator from Illinois is. The joke is that when Obama found out that Georgia had been attacked, he asked if Atlanta was okay. The corollary is that when McCain found out, he promised to send to General Sherman.

Georgia is lost. Let’s not lose the Ukraine. Putin has run circles around Bush, can you imagine Obama? At least with McCain, he has been sounding the alarm for a decade. Experience does count. So does realism and Obama on Georgia shows a fatal flaw. He is divorced from reality.

Hillary Still Trumps Obama on Leadership

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/12/hillary-still-trumps-obama-on-leadership/

By Ani

As we have been hearing frightening reports of Russia’s actions against South Ossenia and beyond in Georgia, you might be interested to read this statement issued by Senator Hillary Clinton on Georgia and Ukraine on April 18, 2008:

I am deeply disturbed by the latest Russian actions regarding Georgia, and Russia’s broader policies towards its neighbors.

Several weeks ago I called on NATO to extend a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia and Ukraine at the Bucharest Summit. I emphasized that this move would be a litmus test for the success of President Bush’s leadership of the trans-Atlantic community. My support for MAP was based on the need to send a positive signal to Tbilisi and Kyiv to encourage them to stay on track with their positive reforms as well as to send a signal of our concern to Moscow about the future security of these countries.

I deeply regret President Bush’s inability to convince our NATO allies to take this action. This is the first time in memory a U.S. President has traveled to a NATO summit and failed to achieve his publicly proclaimed goals.

Now the Russian government has taken advantage of the lack of unity coming out of the Bucharest Summit to further ratchet up the pressure on young democracies on its borders. Moscow’s actions this week to strengthen ties with the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia undermine the territorial integrity of the state of Georgia and are clearly designed to destabilize the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Georgia is a small democratic state in a turbulent region. It must not be allowed to be undermined. Two weeks ago President Bush sat with President Putin in Sochi just a few kilometers away from the Georgian border. He prided himself on his close working relationship with Vladimir Putin. President Bush should call on the Russian leadership to immediately rescind these steps.

I also call on President Bush to immediately send a senior representative to Tbilisi to show our support for the government of Georgia. The United States should raise this matter in the United Nations Security Council, in a special 26+1 session of NATO’s North Atlantic Council (NAC), and in the NATO-Russia Council. Russia needs to hear a unified message from the United States and our European partners about our shared commitment to Georgia’s security and territorial integrity.

These are not the only Russian moves that I have found troubling. Senior Russian officials have engaged in a pressure campaign to prevent Ukraine from seeking deeper ties with NATO. President Putin even raised the prospect of retargeting nuclear missiles against Ukraine.

I am not advocating, nor do I envisage, a return to a new Cold War with Russia, which I believe ought to remain in the G-8, where the United States and its allies can together address our growing list of concerns with Moscow. But the current Administration’ s mishandling of Russian relations has contributed to Moscow’s belief that it can do as it pleases. America and its allies can and must do better.

Since Hillary is no longer ‘in the race,’ not wishing to upstage Senator Obama, I believe, she did not issue any further statement over the weekend, although clearly she has a deep understanding of this crisis and our role here. As reported previously, Senator McCain was also touted as a having a 3 A.M. moment on this issue.

In stark contrast, here was the ‘Statement from Senator Obama, on the Grave Situation in Georgia’ on his way to his Hawaiian vacation on August 8th:

“I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war. Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected. All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”

I will point out that upon checking Senator Obama’s website just now, he has issued two subsequent statements after the one above, one that came on August 9th and one on the 11th — each of which, respectively, was longer and more detailed than the last and perhaps, more reflective of copying Senator McCain’s homework on the subject.

Hey, take a mulligan, Senator Obama – keep floating those statements till one clicks with the appropriate gravitas.

As you can see, Hillary required no such tutoring, but exhibited a very clear, detailed grasp of the crisis, well before it reached the boiling point, when she urged President Bush to act.

Here is the opening phrase of yesterday’s missive from Senator Obama:

The situation in Georgia continues to deteriorate because of the escalation of Russia’s use of military force. I have spoken to President Saakashvili, and conveyed my deep regret over the loss of life, and the suffering of the people of Georgia.

Why Obama would be calling President Saakashvili, I have no idea. Who is he? He is not yet the official Democratic nominee, never mind that he is not the President. A mere technicality, I suppose.

Between Senators Clinton and Obama, it is eminently clear who has a far stronger grasp of foreign policy issues and certainly on the economy, she is hands and feet above a man who does not even understand what a capital gains tax is – nor could he explain it when he was questioned by Charles Gibson during the ABC debate before the Pennsylvania primary.

Who is the DNC planning on coronating, er, nominating, again?

The San Francisco Chronicle’s top story, that Clinton Supporters are pushing to get her name into nomination, reports how diligently the Obama camp is working to block such a thing from happening:

“It’s a simple thing to do, and it’s the biggest sign of party unity,” said Laura Spanjian, a San Francisco-based Clinton delegate, who also supports the move.”

Clay Dougherty, another San Francisco delegate for Clinton, says that “if the situation were reversed, the Obama people would feel the same.”

Let’s imagine if the situation were reversed. Since Obama has asked that the FL and MI delegates be seated in full now, the magic number has reverted to the correct 2210. He does not possess that number. If Hillary did not have enough pledged delegates to seal the nomination — or super delegates for that matter, imagine if Hillary tried to prevent a roll call that would honor Barack’s historic candidacy. There would be hell to pay. And she would be paying it daily. Such behavior on her part would not be tolerated.

“For the first time in a generation, it’s been a close election … and this was such a unique situation,” he said, in which both the first major African American presidential candidate competed with the first major female presidential candidate. “We need to honor both candidates,” he said.

And many Democrats suggest that the move to accommodate her supporters may be politically smart…

[Texas Delegate Garry] Mauro insisted that since it was such a closely contested election, he is mystified as to why the Obama campaign is resisting and even balking at a roll call vote, according to some reports.

“Are these folks so new to politics, are they so arrogant that they think he’s different from every other nominee we’ve ever had?” he asks.

I guess I don’t need to answer Garry’s question.

Serrano Sewell even stated, in an attempt to assuage any worry on the part of the Obama camp, there is no connection between Hillary’s delegates and PUMA:

“We’re not trying to drag Obama down,” he said. “We’re Democrats. We’re precinct captains. We’re fundraisers. We’re the kind of Democrats Obama will need to win in November.”

Similar to Senator Obama’s lack of detailed understanding of foreign policy, so, too, his arrogance and political shortsightedness is clearly in evidence in preventing a roll call vote for Senator Clinton. Or shall I say, his fear is showing.

Again, this is not indicative of good leadership, of putting the country or the Party’s interests before his own.

A true leader would not wish to treat 18,000,000 voters and 1918 delegates disrespectfully. If, as Michelle Obama says, he is going to ‘heal our broken souls,’ how does he intend to do that by throwing millions under the bus in another show of pettiness, bullying and arrogance?

Regarding the current acts of Russian aggression, a true leader, as he claims to be, looking to demonstrate his readiness for the toughest job in the world, might stop to do his homework before realizing that the first “essay” he handed in was rather flimsy.

I know I am not wrong in wanting the truly qualified candidate to be our nominee. The one who needs no tutoring. Certainly, Hillary Clinton would know better than to do what Senator Obama did yesterday: indicate he would be announcing his pick for Vice President via text message. Some traditions do need to be adhered to. The world is watching.

Senator Obama’s action do not indicate respect – either for his V.P. choice, or for us.

That is not healing.

That does not indicate political knowledge, maturity or gravitas.

Lastly, that is certainly not good leadership.

Crotchety Jack Cafferty Calls The Denver Group “Humorless”?

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/12/jack-cafferty-calls-denver-group-humorless/

By SusanUnPC

Cough. Jack, you old grouch. During the primaries, you might as well have had “I overlook no opportunity to undermine Hillary” stamped on your forehead. Here’s the crabby curmudgeon’s latest attack:

Some Hillary Clinton supporters want to make sure that the upcoming Democratic Convention doesn’t turn into a “coronation” of Barack Obama.

A humorless organization called “The Denver Group” ran an ad in a Capitol Hill newspaper demanding that Hillary’s name be placed in nomination at the convention and demanding that speeches be allowed in support of her nomination. They’re just full of demands. [HOW UNAMERICAN OF THE DENVER GROUP! Why, THEY’RE NO BETTER THAN THOSE GEORGIANS WITH ALL THEIR DEMANDS! FOR DEMOCRACY, NO LESS! HOW UNREASONABLE IS THAT?!?!?!? DEMANDING DEMOCRACY! SUCH RENEGADES!]

And if they don’t get their way they are threatening a revolt. The ad says, “Will Howard Dean and the DNC turn the Democratic Party into the Boston Tea Party?” More demands. They demand a roll call vote on her nomination… presumably after those speeches they are demanding. This despite the fact that she lost and dropped out of the race months ago. …

PHOTO CAPTION: Bitter old women complaining about undemocratic behavior. Ludmila Bigayeva-Kinkadze, an ethnic Ossetian woman married to a Georgian man, condemns the Russian-Georgian conflict at a rally near Vladikavkaz, the main city of North Ossetia, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008. The rally was a response to threats received by ethnic Georgians in the ethnically mixed village of Verkhnyaya Balta outside Vladikavkaz. (Via Yahoo News — AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Check out The Denver Group’s latest ad, run in Roll Call.

Special thanks to Just Say No Deal for alerting us to this story.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Obama’s Coattails Just Got a Little Shorter

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/11/obama%e2%80%99s-coattails-just-got-a-little-shorter/

By Ani

According to The Washington Times’ article Centrist Voters Tilt from Obama:

Sen. Barack Obama is doing what Republicans once thought only a presidential candidacy by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton could do – united the right and center.

State Republican Party leaders interviewed by The Washington Times said fear of a far-left Obama presidency is warming once-skeptical voters to Sen. John McCain, fueling growing enthusiasm among Republicans that Mr. McCain’s more aggressive campaigning can lead to victory.

“It appears that the more that Obama speaks, the more afraid folks in South Carolina get,” said Spartanburg County Republican Party Chairman Rick Beltram. “We are seeing ‘die-hard’ Democrats tell us that Obama is not their man.

“We are expecting the white Democrats to be fleeing the Democratic ship when November 4 comes around – plus, the Democratic candidate [Bob Conley] that is running against Senator [Lindsey] Graham is also running away from the Democrats, and you can quote me on that,” Mr. Beltram said.

Holy Cow, Batman! This is one of the states Howard Dean said he could turn blue in the fall!!

Look, this is an article quoting some state party leaders and the conventions have not happened yet; all too true. But one of the DNC’s main reasons for pushing Obama was their confidence in picking up seats for down ticket Dems. That Democratic candidate for Senator Bob Conley is “running away from the Democrats” does not bode well. And we know he is not only one to have done so these last couple of months.

In union-dominated Michigan, a state targeted by both major parties, state Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis said he is seeing signs that independents and Reagan Democrats are moving toward Mr. McCain.

“People who may have been apprehensive about McCain now see this race as potentially winnable,” Mr. Anuzis said.

What accounts for this development?

Republicans credit Mr. McCain’s gains in recent weeks partly to the campaign’s new feisty, hard-hitting ads painting Mr. Obama as a self-absorbed celebrity who ducks meetings with wounded American troops and wants to raise taxes.

Couple that with the fact that foreign policy issues are coming to the fore once again with Russia attacking Georgia – McCain was widely touted as having his 3 A.M. moment this weekend and having been prescient on his warning about the dangers of Putin.

If Senator Clinton were still in the race, McCain would not be able to take advantage of this right now. Hillary would be way out in front with a specific call to action and policy recommendation – unlike Obama, making some vague, generalized statement about this new conflict, on his way to yet another vacation.

“People are getting more enthusiastic about McCain because he is getting more aggressive toward Obama, which makes Republicans and conservatives believe McCain actually can win,” said Jeffrey M. Frederick, the newly elected Republican Party chairman in Virginia.

“…the more people hear about Obama, the more enthusiastic they get about McCain,” Mr. Frederick said.

Uh. Isn’t it supposed to be the opposite? The more you hear about Obama, the more you like? Apparently as more people get to know the real Senator Obama, his poll numbers are sinking. Even his hugely touted foreign tour didn’t give him a bump.

People used to think they ‘hated’ Hillary – certainly reflecting the after-effects of 15 years of incessant media brainwashing by the Republican machine that did not want this lady to succeed – either with universal health care or any progressive agenda. She was labeled in the worst possible terms. Over the years, without knowing why, people started to think they agreed with those unfair assessments.

But a surprising thing happened out on the campaign trail – particularly in the last three months of the primary. Voters got to know her and hear her on the stump, and many were converted. In fact, some voters were left scratching their heads as to where this initial reputation came from. She also won a grudging respect from many on the Republican side who had previously been her detractors. I personally know many Republicans who had every intention of voting for her in November, confident of her preparedness, smarts on the economy as well as feeling safe with her centrist foreign policy.

In Indiana for example, despite being massively outspent, despite the negative drumbeat in the media and the dirty snarks of Pelosi et al, and no matter what voting shenanigans happened in the state, Hillary pulled out a win. Obama was supposed to take Indiana comfortably. It is, after all, his neighboring state. And now…:

“It’s the polls - it’s definitely happening,” said [Indiana] state Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Elkhart. “But it’s not that these hard-core conservatives I talked with at the county fair here are softening their attitudes toward McCain. They’re sliding toward him out of fear of a liberal Obama presidency, and they think McCain can win.”

In Michigan, Mr. Anuzis said, “the idea that McCain all of a sudden could win is generating a degree of excitement and involvement among people, many of whom may not have been very excited or motivated by McCain at the time he locked up the nomination.”

Jay Kenworthy, communications director for the Indiana Republican Party, said his state’s voters are getting to know Mr. Obama and not liking what they see. “We hear people saying, ‘McCain may not have been my guy, but we can’t afford Obama,’” he said.

But where are all those ‘Obamicans’ we kept hearing about back in February? It just might turn out they were just being “Democrats for a day” after all.

Mr. Kenworthy said a tax raiser who is weak on national defense - the image Republicans are trying to create for Mr. Obama - is “not a good combination in the Hoosier state.”

These are battleground states: South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Michigan. Wow.

How about Nevada?

“McCain is attracting independents and Hillary Democrats. The more time he spends in Nevada, the more people like him. It’s a small state and easy to reach out to voters,” [Nevada Republican Party Chairman Sue Lowden] said.

Uh oh.

Down ticket Democrats may have some reason to worry. Senator Obama’s fundraising may not be the continuing cornucopia his campaign bragged about. In the past week, I have received six fundraising letters from him. Just me. Obviously, I’m not sending him a dime. Why are they pushing so hard if they’re rolling in it? Even if he has plenty of dough, since Senator Obama decided to forego public financing, those running in state races have expressed unhappiness because his need to fundraise for his own election bid is cutting into contributions they might otherwise receive. Further, his policies, to the extent that he can stick to them, don’t seem to be registering very well out in the heartland.

It looks like the DNC was brainwashed, too, when it bought into the Clinton Derangement Syndrome that labeled Hillary as “divisive and polarizing” – turns out, she may not be after all. In fact, she would have been – and still is – the stronger choice. Just as she always predicted.

Divisive and polarizing?

It looks like Senator Obama may wind up being the man stuck with that moniker.

Obama’s Bin Laden Whopper

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/11/obamas-bin-laden-whopper/

By Larry Johnson

How did Barack Obama turn a fabricated story into a well-played race card during the primaries?

Obama has been playing race card politics in this campaign for a long time, principally against Hillary Clinton. To be precise, he plays race baiting card politics, accusing others falsely of playing the race card against him.

Back in January, when Obama was posing as the victim of present and past acts of racial attacks he happened to mention a dramatic incident from his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign. Here’s the CNN report:

CNN/AP: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Obama: It’s not all in the name

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Barack Obama doesn’t think name recognition is necessarily a plus as he seeks the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2008.

“When your name is Barack Obama, you’re always an underdog in political races,” the Illinois Democrat said Wednesday.

Appearing on CNN, Obama said that when he was running for the Senate, “there was an image of me superimposed over a picture of (al Qaeda leader Osama) bin Laden. I think people like to play with my name.”

Pretty awful, Obama’s face morphed into Osama bin Laden’s. Unfortunately, there’s a problem with Obama’s account. It never happened. At least it didn’t happen to him. It did happen to then Senator Max Cleland, Democrat of Georgia, Vietnam War hero, in a vicious TV commercial put on the air by his Republican opponent.

This particular smear was pioneered earlier in 2004 in the Democratic presidential primary campaign against Howard Dean. He was the first person to watch his face morphed into Bin Laden’s. Who would engage in such a nasty, underhanded dirty trick? Karl Rove? Nope. Guess again. The perpetrator of this smear tactic was none other than Robert Gibbs, who just happens to be Obama’s communications director. Read the Chicago Tribune report:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-o…

“Obama’s communications director and one of his closest advisers was once employed by a group that ran a television ad shortly before the 2004 Iowa caucuses that used a picture of bin Laden to criticize Dean’s foreign policy credentials at a point when Dean was the Democratic front-runner.”

Here is that hateful video:



“At the time, Robert Gibbs was working with a shadowy group called Americans for Jobs, Health Care & Progressive Values. The so-called 527 political group paid for the ad but refused to disclose in a timely manner who was financing the effort because federal law did not require it to do so.”

Let’s get this straight: Obama told Democratic voters he had been smeared in 2004 in a way that never happened to him. But the one who invented the smear was someone he decided was so clever he hired him as his communications director. Then, through innuendo, Obama subtly suggested by inference that Hillary might use that tactic against him in the primaries, or smear him in similar ways. That in itself was a smear.

You’ve got to hand it to Obama. He got away smearing Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton as racists while playing the race card and the victim card himself. And nobody has yet to catch up to all the lies.

CNN - STOP the Media Bias against Senator Hillary Clinton

Original Link: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/cnn-stop-bias-against-senator-hillary-clinton.html

by Lauren Francesca Hammond

This is a petition to end the constant Media Bias projected at the democratic nominee Senator Hillary Clinton, by the news network CNN.

Such bias that has consistently gone against Senator Clinton in favor of Senator Obama, has been explicit, untrustworthy and destroyed the credibility and faith that supporters of Senator Clinton have in CNN in bringing them an an objective and factual account of the primary process.

The news slant has been incredibly unfair and has ultimately hurt the Clinton Campaign beyond recognition - voters have been denied the ability to evaluate both candidates in a fair light, on their merits, abilities and achievements.

Not merely have CNN painting Senator Obama in a more favorable light, they have failed to cover in - depth the events that threaten to tarnish his credibility as a candidate; moreover the consistent and unrelenting criticism targeted at Senator Clinton has created the impression that she is the less experienced, less accountable and less colorable candidate.

It has consequentially created the illusion that Senator Obama is more honorable and deserving of positive coverage. This does nothing to aid voters in their efforts to understand or assess who they would choose to elect.

CNN as a commanding news network should know better and it has not merely been distasteful, but ultimately outrageous to watch such behavior being sanctioned - both in the analysis and reporting of the process.

We would urge CNN to examine its approach for the forthcoming primaries, and to strive towards a more balanced and veritable approach that allows voters and viewers to make the right decision, based on the right information.
Petition:
Please sign this petition against the distasteful and unfavorable treatment that CNN has displayed toward the democratic nominee Senator Hilary Clinton.

It is highly unfair and discriminatory to present a candidate in the light in which she has been consistently shown, and it is time for CNN to re-examine their approach in the way in which they choose to report the forthcoming primaries both on the air and on their website.

The favorable treatment of Senator Obama over Senator Clinton will not be tolerated and it is our responsibility as viewers to ensure that CNN is made aware of our objections and that a fair, more balanced approach much be taken in the future.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How John Edwards Helped Destroy Hillary

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/10/how-obama-treats-labor/

By Larry Johnson

If the story were known last December of John Edwards’ “egocentric and narcissistic” sexual “liaison,” as he calls it, with a woman he says he wasn’t in love, at a time when he says his wife was in remission from cancer (strangest rationalization for an affair ever recorded in human history), there can be little doubt that today the strongest, best qualified candidate, Hillary Clinton, would be the Democratic nominee.

Instead Edwards stayed in the race, harboring his secret life, knowing that it was likely to be exposed and that if he were somehow to emerge from the primary pack he would be humiliated and obliterated, just as he is now.

In the meantime, knowing full well that he was damaged goods, Edwards engaged in a ferocious negative campaign against Hillary–not Obama.

In effect, he was acting as Obama’s running mate. And Obama benefited enormously from having Edwards do some dirty work against Hillary.

Here’s Edwards’ record of negative attacks against Hillary below. For this, more than for his human failings, he deserves scorn. EDWARDS:12/04/07 Edwards said Hillary puts ‘the profits of Wall Street over the interests of Main Street.’ 
[Source: Edwards Statement]

11/29/07 HEADLINE: Edwards Hammers Clinton by Taking Aim at Lobbyists 
[Source: Wall Street Journal]

11/21/07 HEADLINE: Edwards gambles on attacking Clinton 
[Source: Raleigh News & Observer]

11/18/07 HEADLINE: Edwards goes atomic on Hil for dodging nuclear energy question 
[Source: Daily News]

11/18/07 HEADLINE: Edwards Criticizes Clinton over Iraq 
[Source: AP]

11/18/07 Edwards: ‘Senator Clinton was not for universal health care at the beginning of this year, at the beginning of the campaign.’ 
[Source: CNN Late Edition]

11/18/07 Edwards said Hillary wants to ‘protect politicians instead of talking about what we can do together.’
[Source: CNN Late Edition]

11/18/07 Edwards said Hillary was ‘walking away from [her] leadership role as a presidential candidate.
[Source: CNN Late Edition]

11/15/07 Edwards said Hillary ‘continues to defend a system that does not work, that is broken, that is rigged and is corrupt.’ 
[Source: Democratic Debate, CNN]

11/14/07 HEADLINE: Edwards criticizes Clinton at Dubuque labor event 
[Source: AP]

11/12/07 HEADLINE: Edwards criticizes Clinton for ‘double talk’ 
[Source: AP]

11/12/07 Edwards chief advisor Joe Trippi: ‘Let’s kick her ass.’ 
[Source: Politico.com]

11/10/07 Edwards said ‘Sen. Clinton in many ways represents the status quo.’ 
[Source: Politico.com]

11/06/07 Edwards accused Hillary of ‘double talk and evasions.’ 
[Source: CNN]

11/05/07 HEADLINE: Edwards Accuses Clinton of Two-Faced Foreign Policy 
[Source: Fox News]

11/04/07 Edwards said that Hillary ‘operates within a corrupt system and defends it.’ 
[Source: ABC News]

11/02/07 Edwards accuses Hillary of ’spin, smoke and mirrors — the same kind of double talk.’ 
[Source: CNN.com]

10/31/07 Edwards said Hillary ‘is trying to have it both ways.’ 
[Source: AP]

10/30/07 Edwards: ‘If people want the status quo, Senator Clinton’s your candidate’: 
[Source: MSNBC Debate]

10/30/07 Edwards compares believing Hillary will be ‘the person who brings change’ to believing in ‘Santa Claus’ and ‘The Tooth Fairy.’ 
[Source: MSNBC Debate]

10/29/07 Edwards says Hillary was not in ‘tell the truth mode.’ 
[Source: Foster’s]

10/28/07 HEADLINE: Edwards accuses Clinton of failing to connect with voters 
[Source: AP]

10/25/07 HEADLINE: Edwards blasts Clinton, Romney on Iran 
[Source: AP]

10/23/07 Edwards advisor said that Hillary would have ‘toxic coattails.’ 
[Source: LA Times]

10/21/07 HEADLINE: Edwards attacks Clinton fundraiser 
[Source: United Press International]

10/19/07 HEADLINE: Edwards campaign slams Clinton push for rural vote 
[Source: Boston Globe]

10/19/07 Edwards Campaign manager says Hillary ’should explain why she does not mean what she says.’ 
[Source: Bonior Statement]

10/08/07 Edwards spokeswoman says Hillary is ‘defending a rigged system in Washington.’ 
[Source: Washington Post]

09/18/07 HEADLINE: Edwards hammers Clinton on health care 
[Source: Chicago Tribune]

09/18/07 HEADLINE: Edwards slams Clinton fundraising lunch 
[Source: AP]

09/08/07 HEADLINE: Edwards slams Clinton on health care
[Source: AP]

09/08/07 HEADLINE: Edwards Takes On Special Interests, Hits Clinton 
[Source: AP]

08/27/07 Edwards advisor says Edwards ‘has a better chance of being elected pope’ than Hillary elected president.
[Source: Washington Post]

08/24/07 HEADLINE: Edwards takes shots at Clinton ‘nostalgia’ 
[Source: Chicago Tribune]

08/23/07 HEADLINE: Edwards slams Clinton, ‘establishment elites’ 
[Source: CNN.com]

08/07/07 Edwards said I am not “the candidate that big corporate America is betting on.”
[Source: AFL-CIO Forum]

07/24/07 Edwards said ‘we will not have big change through compromise or triangulation.’
[Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution]

06/07/07 Headline: ‘Edwards Assails Clinton’s Terror Remarks’
[Source: AP]

05/04/07 Edwards called Hillary’s proposal to deauthorize the Iraq war ‘just noise.’
[Source: Edwards statement]

02/05/07 Headline: ‘Edwards Steps Up Hill War’
[Source: New York Post]

How Obama Treats Labor

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/10/how-obama-treats-labor/

By SusanUnPC

This is from LaborPains.org, a pro-labor, pro-union blog. The title tells the story:

Stood Up and Hung Up

Then blogger J. Justin Wilson tells the story:

I just got off the AFL-CIO’s kick-off conference call with Obama. What a tragedy of errors.

First of all, Sen. Obama was about 40 minutes late to the show. You can image how fantastic 40 minutes of Muzak went over. Finally, John Sweeney introduced Obama.

Next …

After rattling off nearly the exact same speech he delivered a few months ago to the AFL-CIO (see above), Obama proceeded to hang up. Click. Just like that.

Someone at the AFL-CIO muttered something like “is that it?” and then we went back to hold music.

A lady came back on and made an excuse, saying Obama’s line was cut off and that he would come back on the call. Minutes pass, and then she came back on and said that Obama had left the building. …

Go to “Stood Up and Hung Up” to view a video and to listen to the actual phone call.

Oh well. I completely understand.

It is such an annoyance to have to talk to those “typical” little people.

Barack Obama has a media problem

Original Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/jon-friedmans-media-web-obamas/story.aspx?guid=%7BB9117539%2DF95B%2D4518%2D9F05%2DE3101B7695BF%7D&dist=hplatest

By Jon Friedman, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- I'm starting to worry about Barack Obama.

From a journalistic perspective, he seemed like such a refreshing departure from the oft-paranoid media relations practiced by Bill and Hillary Clinton and the two George Bushes.

Now I'm not so sure.

Too often, Obama and his handlers have overreacted to what we've come to accept as frivolous, basically harmless "coverage" by the celebrity-obsessed mainstream media.

Two examples of him getting his back up: Obama made a federal case of the appearance by his daughters on "Access Hollywood" and he was snippy with reporters when he was pressed about his unexpected email friendship with actress Scarlett Johansson.

Sure, these are minor events. But if he is going to be anal about the small stuff, it may get ugly if he loses his composure about something important.

Obama has staked his claim by offering American voters a fresh voice and a strong sense of optimism about the future. When he was on the way up, he was the favorite son of the media, who heaped almost unprecedented praise on him. Now that he has all but secured the Democratic nomination, Obama has shown little patience for standard media practices, which can range from silly to stupid.

The Obama team may still think the "old" rules apply. By old, I'm referring to the kid-gloves treatment the media gave him when he was an up and comer and Hillary Clinton was heavily favored to secure the Democratic nomination.

Even before Obama stunned Clinton by winning the Iowa caucus, the first high-profile showdown between the rivals last fall, the media had all but decreed that Obama would be their darling, the one who could do no wrong.

If Obama was designated "hero," the media had to find a "villain" to complete the convenient story line and, of course, Hillary Clinton was consigned to wear the black hat.

That was then. Now, Obama and his staff must accept the reality that the game has changed as he prepares to battle John McCain. As PBS anchor Jim Lehrer told me a few weeks ago, it wasn't so long ago that McCain was the media's darling. See related column.

The story line the media love best is to hail the candidate who was down, but not out, and somehow rallied to achieve a stirring victory. This is McCain's saga over the past year.

Obama has to realize that he will be subject to increasing scrutiny as the campaign really heats up. What we've seen so far is the orchestra tuning up. The real show begins after Labor Day, as the Obama-McCain debate season begins to take shape.

The mainstream media, as well as bloggers who have a point of view, will seek to exploit any situation as way to create news. Don't forget that all hell broke loose when the New Yorker, which you'd think was solidly behind Obama in his fight against McCain, published (I thought) a biting and witty look at the stereotypical way many Americans view Barack and Michelle Obama. See related column.

Still, some accused the magazine of exploiting Obama and his wife. Others said it was a racially insensitive cover. These critics completely missed the point that the New Yorker was mocking bigots in the strongest fashion. Or, perhaps, they wanted to miss the point as a way to advance their arguments.

Members of Barack Obama's campaign thought he got a raw deal from the media during his battle with Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination. Perhaps they were just trying to stir an argument because any fair-minded observer could see that Clinton was the one should have felt mistreated by the press.

Obama had better toughen up -- fast. The media spotlight -- or is it a glare? -- will only get brighter in the months leading up to Election Day. Expect the incessant charges that Obama is too inexperienced and unprepared to be president and a Pollyanna cockeyed optimist to get more shrill, too.

Obama has resented the media for treating him like a presidential candidate -- someone with a personal life, a family and a past. He had better get used to it. The pace is sure to quicken between now and Election Day.

And you win, Mr. President-Elect, look out. Things can only get worse.

Obama shifts affirmative action rhetoric

Original Link: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12421.html

By DAVID PAUL KUHN

No Democratic candidate for president has ever come so close to calling for an end to the era of identity-based affirmative action as has Barack Obama.

Since 2004, the first black major party nominee from either party has been offering comments suggesting that economic status should match or even trump race and gender as a criteria for who should benefit from the program — though he has yet to propose a specific policy, let alone one that matches his rhetoric.

After four decades of affirmative action, Obama’s historic candidacy itself is seen by some as proof that such programs are no longer needed.

“A lot of non-black people will say that the election of Barack Obama is now proof we don’t need affirmative action,” said Democratic House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who is concerned by the notion. Clyburn added that in an Obama administration he’d like to head up an affirmative action task force that would consider class to some degree but maintain the current emphasis on race and gender.

It’s not clear if a President Obama would be interested in such a task force — or, for that matter, if or how he’d change affirmative action, since at different times he’s offered seemingly contradictory opinions on the subject, as has John McCain.

In recent weeks, affirmative action, a hot issue in previous elections, has returned to the presidential political debate, owing to comments by Obama and McCain and ballot initiatives proposing to end racial, ethnic and gender preferences in all taxpayer-funded programs — from university admissions to government contracts — in Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska.

On the one hand, Obama opposes the current state ballot measures (McCain supports them), thus offering at least de facto support for the current policy that gives preference to minorities and women and is rooted in the programs begun by President Kennedy and later significantly expanded by President Nixon.

On the other hand, Obama’s said that his two daughters should not be given preferential treatment, owing to their relatively privileged upbringing, and has called for government to “craft” a policy “in such a way where some of our children who are advantaged aren't getting more favorable treatment than a poor white kid who has struggled more.”

Such hints of a possible new policy focus are a relatively recent development from Obama, who once said that he had “undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action” in his own academic career, though he didn’t specify at what institution he had so benefited. Friends have since recalled him saying that he did not list his race on his Harvard Law School application, though the candidate has said only that "I have no way of knowing whether I was a beneficiary of affirmative action either in my admission to Harvard or my initial election to the Review. If I was, then I certainly am not ashamed of the fact, for I would argue that affirmative action is important precisely because those who benefit typically rise to the challenge when given an opportunity.”

While as a presidential candidate he tends to draw attention to the diversity of the people he met as a community organizer after graduating from Harvard, in his 1995 memoir “Dreams From My Father: A story of race and inheritance,” Obama stresses that he settled in Chicago with the idea of "organizing black folks at the grass roots for change."

As a state senator representing the 13 district on the South Side of Chicago, he deemed traditional, race-oriented affirmative action “absolutely necessary,” and pushed hard for programs that mandated race and gender-based hiring preferences.

In the 2004 Democratic Convention keynote speech that catapulted him onto the national stage, he began publicly offering a broader view on race, famously saying, "There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there's the United States of America."
In his 2006 tome, “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream” — the difference in tone is nicely captured in the subtitle’s repurposing of the word “dream” — he wrote, “An emphasis on universal, as opposed to race-specific, programs isn’t just good policy: It’s also good politics.”

If Obama does propose a new preferences program based on class, not race, poll numbers suggest it would indeed be “good politics.” A Rasmussen poll published last week found that 58 percent of Americans opposed government programs that offered “special treatment to women and minorities,” compared to 26 percent who support such a policy.

Though hardly a top issue for most voters, a majority of Americans believe a candidate’s “position on affirmative action programs is important in determining how they will vote,” according to Rasmussen.

An analysis of surveys by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press shows that a majority of whites are of two minds about affirmative action, with most supporting the idea of government programs that make “special efforts” to “make up for past discrimination” and yet most opposing programs that directly favor minorities and women.

When race and gender are removed from the equation, support increases dramatically: A 2005 Pew poll found that nearly nine out of ten whites reported support for a policy that would help Americans from “low income brackets” to “get ahead.”

While a new, class-based affirmative action would still largely aid those minorities, including blacks, that are overrepresented amongst the poor and working class — in fact, officials in California have attempted to use income as a proxy for race-based preferences after voters disallowed their use in a referenda — Obama has yet to offer any specific plan of his own.

“Obama is missing an enormous opportunity because a lot of those who are skeptical [of him] could close escrow on him if he could give some very visible explanation of his non-raciality,” said Ward Connerly, the former University of California regent who is funding the three anti-affirmative action measures on state ballots this year, and who has previously pursued such measures successfully in California, Washington and Michigan.

Connerly believes such a stance would lose Obama only a small part of his black support while allowing him to “make far larger gains” among whites.

Obama, though, has kept his policy views close to his vest while maintaining his opposition to Connerly, who has fared far better at the ballot box than in the legislative hall.

Obama told a convention of minority journalists in Chicago last month that “I am disappointed that John McCain flipped and changed his position. I think in the past he had been opposed to these kinds of Ward Connerly referenda or initiatives as divisive. And I think he’s right.”

In 1998 McCain did characterize a similar proposed anti-affirmative action measure in Arizona as “divisive,” though that proposal never made it on to the ballot. Over the years however, McCain has generally opposed affirmative action programs, and called for a new, economic-based system to replace the current race and gender-based one.

While ballot initiatives appear to have increased turnout in non-presidential years, “there is precious little evidence that these ballot initiatives drive up turnout in the presidential election,” notes Kenneth Bickers, who directs the political science department at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

For this reason Bickers doesn’t expect the ballot initiatives there to directly impact who wins Colorado, which many expect to be a key swing state this fall.

"I don’t think he is missing an opportunity on affirmative action," said Clyburn. “Affirmative action ought never to be used on simply color," he continued. Rather, it is needed " when the color of one’s skin puts one in a position of being treated unequally."

Bickers, though, believes race-based affirmative action works against Obama: “It racializes the campaign in a sense that Obama has been trying to avoid.”

Even after Obama’s call for a “national conversation on race” following the emergence of inflammatory comments by his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he’s engaged the topic of race very selectively, even declining to speak to The New York Times for an article on that very conversation.

Obama, Bickers went on, “needs a very large black turnout in several key states. And if he takes a position that suppresses the enthusiasm of potential voters who are [supporters of] affirmative action, then he’d be in trouble,” he said.

Polls have consistently shown Obama’s support among blacks at over 90 percent, and given the popularity of class-based affirmative action among whites, embracing that view could earn him considerably more new white votes than the black votes he might lose.

Obama, said Bickers, “could use it if he wanted to have his own Sister Souljah moment about affirmative action to redefine it in economic terms and that would play in to a post-racial candidacy."

Why I Turned PUMA

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/09/why-i-turned-puma/

By LisaB

I’ve given a lot of thought to why I turned PUMA. On paper, I should be a loyal Democrat excited about this year’s “break-through” candidate.

But I’m not. I will not vote for Obama under any circumstances I can think of (well, OK, if Cheney became the Republican nominee, I’d go for Obama).

Given my history of voting for AA and Democratic candidates, this really doesn’t make sense, does it?

Hillary was never the perfect candidate. Luckily, I didn’t expect her to be. I expected she would sometimes disappoint me and take a position I disagreed with. Such is life, quite frankly. I was initially intrigued by Obama - a fresh face and a promise of change. But as the season wore on, I settled on Hillary. Why?

Read the rest ->

Hillary has a history of giving a damn. That’s rare enough in today’s Washington. More rare is someone who gives a damn and has been giving a damn for years. Any read of Hillary’s resume shows deep experience and any talk with her will show you this lady knows her stuff.

And.

As a woman, Hillary has long experience watching men in power. She knows the fault lines of that power and how it often misses the concerns of more than half the population - women and children. She “got it.” Even if I disagreed with her on an issue, I knew it wouldn’t be because Hillary didn’t understand what it is like to be a working woman, mother or someone condescended to on a regular basis.

That meant a lot. Policy might or might not change much under Hillary, but I had a sense that it would certainly be more nuanced to include everyone. What could be more revolutionary today? Really? It’s often the subtle change that has the biggest impact.

But the DNC selected inexperience with an attitude. Even worse, a candidate whose very reason to run was as a “break-through” candidate shows absolutely no “break-through” policies or attitudes. We got race-baiting and a stunning disregard for people of good will who might disagree. We got misogyny freely and subtly applied and applied with a trowel. We got the newbie / juvenile “face scratch” and campaign music with “message lyrics.”

We also got an example of a race-fueled scorched-earth policy and execution of the same. How else do you explain the utter destruction of the Clinton history of working for the AA community? Disagreement from time to time? Sure. But the label of racist? Uncalled for. That’s truly wanton destruction, without regard for truth, history or people. Completely amoral and without any justification.

The willingness to “nuke” the Clintons in this manner means no one is safe. No matter your intentions, history or work, the “safety” is off and you, too, can be forever labeled a racist or just dropped forever like former “friends” and “mentors.”

Nothing and no one matters - not even if you vote for this man or support him, not even if you are the grandmother who raised him.

My vote for Hillary was a vote for experience, a woman’s perspective, a “stick-to-it” philosophy of working the problem and sheer intelligence. Competence, a willingness to work hard and an attitude of “never give up” completed the package for me. After 8 years of Bush, what could possibly be more different?

But none of that matters now. All of my reasons to vote for someone got shoved under the label of racism at one time or another during this campaign. Experience was turned into “working for the man,” a woman’s perspective got turned into “she periodically lashes out,” “stick-to-it philosophy” got turned into “take her into a back room until only one comes out.” Competence got turned into “likable enough” and “bitch” in campaign music, a willingness to work hard and a “never give up” attitude got turned into ungraciousness and unwillingness to, for-god’s-sake step-the-hell-aside.

That’s not just an attack against a rival, that’s an attack against the very things I’m looking for in a candidate. The Democratic party isn’t even offering me “half a loaf.” Their scorched earth policy has crisped me up, and the completely naked power grab by the party and its number one man has been breathtaking to watch. McCain is by no means perfect, but he didn’t shoved me under the bus. I’m there, courtesy of the “democratic” party.

And half a loaf is still better than nothing.

Obama’s Impending Pearl Harbor

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/09/obamas-impending-pearl-harbor/

By Larry Johnson

After a very productive time (working, not playing) in Hawaii, I believe that the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor is an apt metaphor for what awaits Barack Obama if he becomes the Democrat’s official nominee. Michelle’s “whitey” tape and the controversy over his birth certificate are the least of his concerns. Opponents of Obama and some proponents of McCain have acquired information that will rapidly erase any memory of the audacity and perfidy of John Edwards.

The “surprise” attack by the Japanese should not have caught the US fleet at Pearl Harbor unawares. There were advanced warnings that people in key positions ignored or shrugged off as unimportant. Well, guess what boys and girls? Similar warnings are now in the hands of the Democratic leadership and they are choosing to ignore the flashing red lights that signal danger ahead.

Just today, courtesy of the Rocky Mountain News, we confirmed that Barack aka Barry Soetoro Obama was a citizen of Kenya since 1963. Barack has yet to stipulate when he renounced or relinquished that citizenship. That will be a distracting issue in the upcoming campaign. Americans don’t want to elect a Kenyan as President. It is that simple.

But then there is the Indonesian problem and his Hawaiian birth certificate.

I confirmed today that several teams/individuals visited Jakarta during the last six months to gather up critical documents regarding Barack. It is amazing what money can buy. The information includes details of how Barack made his way to Pakistan. Oh! Did I mention there have been similar efforts underway in Pakistan. There are several lessons and warnings in the John Edwards affair for Obama. First and foremost, you cannot hide your past.

Did I also mention how small Hawaii is? Republican operatives, with help from their own island backers, have unearthed critical information on Obama and are just biding their time until after the convention to drop it on him. Such as? Having a birth certificate that lists you as Barry Soetoro.

Barack aka Barry Soetoro might have escaped scrutiny back in 1960 when there was no internet. Controlling information back then was so much easier. Not today. It is there for the taking and the Democrats foolishly chose to trust this clown just as they trusted John Edwards.

Who would have thought that John Edwards and his wife would be so arrogant and so disconnected with reality that they would embark on a presidential campaign even though they knew about his affair and the crazy nature of his paramour. Well, that kind of audacity and bamboozlement is not limited to the Edwards family. Meet the Obamas. You don’t know them? Don’t worry, Republican operatives are loaded for bear and you are going to meet a Barack Obama that was hidden and disguised during the Democratic primary. And when the introduction is over the Obama supporters will wish the only thing they had to worry about was a video with Michelle saying disparaging things about caucasians.

Dems. You’ve been warned. Don’t be surprised when the attacks come.

Oh, Hillary…

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/10/oh-hillary/

By Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy

It just pains me that you have to go out campaigning for Obama while he and his family dig around in Hawaii and try to find a birth certificate that dosn’t look forged - um - I mean, get some much deserved rest (I know - I could barely type that out without cracking up myself. It’s HARD to be the Messiah, you know?!?)?

After all the DNC and Obama have done to you, it just makes me ill. I know you’re between a rock and a hard place - one the DNC and Barry put you between. I know it, I see it, but holy cow, he should be stumping for YOU! But there you go with your most awesome self, talking to the people, showing them how wonderful you are, how brilliant, how thoughtful and possible your policies are, especially now, with Georgia and Russia fighting, with tensions mounting in the Middle East, with that 3:00 a.m. call coming for real…

Wait a second. Now, just hold on - this is freakin’ BRILLIANT!!!!!! Yes, by all means, Obama, you just go away for a respite, and let HILLARY go around the country talking to the people - BEFORE THE CONVENTION HAS HAPPENED!!!

Abso-freakin’-lutely, you just run along, and let the GROWN UP do the talking.

People will be reminded of what a far superior candidate SHE is, and what a slouch YOU are, especially in the answering questions department, or talking department, or policy department…By all means - take all the time you want! Aloha!!

Come to think of it, as Diamond Tiger wrote in an awesome post yesterday, if Obama now wants to have all of the delegates restored, that would make the difference between the two only 59 delegates (nod to Marc Rubin for writing about that! FIFTY-NINE!!! That is statistically insignificant. It is statically MEANINGLESS. So, if the delegates are restored, as they SHOULD be anyway in a DEMOCRATIC manner (both small and Big “D” way), Obama should not be the presumed candidate. It’s basically a TIE, people.

And by “People”, I mean YOU, Super Delegates! Stop this foolishness already. Stop pushing this guy who is more secretive than DUBYA!! A guy who refuses to even present his REAL birth certificate! Who will not allow ANY of his records, college or grad school, to be released! The guy who has the same attitude problems toward the media that Bush has? Who cannot come up with his own policies?? Are you KIDDING me?? When Hillary Clinton goes out on the road soon, LISTEN. WATCH. THAT is a real leader. And a real leader is just what we need in these times. So stop messing around, forget about who gave you more money - pay attention. And cast your SD vote for the BEST candidate, not the hand-picked candidate. Do it for your country.

Here’s another action for you, again, courtesy of the amazing GeekLove on Donna Brazile, Obama’s puppeteer:

Why Obama Must Lose: One Progressive’s Opinion

Original Link: http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/08/10/why-obama-must-lose-one-progressives-opinion/

By Bud White

The Just Say No Deal/PUMA movement is evidence of a deep rift in the Democratic Party, one I believe the polls are not reflecting. Contrary to what the neo-liberals may say, the movement is not comprised of bitter old women — although many are bitter, many are women, and some are perhaps old. Instead, this deepening divide is the classic split of any political organization during a power struggle. The Daley Machine gave way to McGovern; and Goldwater conservatism rebuked Rockefeller’s liberalism.

But this movement has a twist: Obama lacks legitimacy. The continuation of this rift is not about Hillary “losing.” Clintonistas, like myself, know that losing elections and having your heart broken is the inevitable risk of politics. Anglachel writes:

With John Edwards in the news these days, I have been reflecting on the theme of “Two Americas” and have applied a twist that more accurately reflects the two Americas within the Democratic Party - those whose bigotry and biases are excused because they are of the right class and those whose flaws are inexcusable, even when the flaws do not exist.

This “class” split in the Democratic Party is much more than an economic split. As Anglachel suggests, it is evidence of a values divide. These values are not the black-and-white split of abortion. Instead, this divide is a matter of emphasis. Obama talks about access to health care, but he doesn’t offer a universal plan. Obama criticized Hillary for her Iraq War vote, but he wasn’t in the senate to vote. Obama lectures Americans to learn Spanish–an irony not missed by many– a language he doesn’t speak.

But the differences of emphasis were not themselves the deal-breaker. The deal-breaker, I believe, was about Obama’s tactics in the campaign and the Democratic Party’s complete bias and vote-rigging for their chosen candidate. Donna Brazile’s embarrassing performance at the RBC was so transparent in its bias that she became the most visible Obama shill massaging rules for her candidate, all the while lecturing us on rules. Do they really think we’re that stupid?

Clintonistas, and now PUMAs, are revolted by four major issues. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but includes the followings:

(1) The Democratic Nomination was Stolen

garyinchapelhill writes about Obama’s lack of legitimacy resulting from a stolen nomination:

Obama’s decision to return full voting status to delegates from Michigan and Florida does not make up for the fact that the RBC stole delegates from the uncommitted voters, as well as all write in votes, AND 4 of Hillary’s delegates. Until that travesty is corrected the votes of those delegates can not be considered legitimate.

And Marc Rubin of The Denver Group considers Obama’s current flip flop on Florida and Michigan as a ploy to entice disgusted Democrats into the fold:

Florida and Michigan were one of the earliest examples of how dishonest, two faced underhanded and fraudulent Obama can be, when he claimed in speeches that he stood for “voices being heard” and “every vote must count”, and then clamped his hand over the mouths of almost 3 million voters in Florida and Michigan because he didn’t like what those voices were saying, which was a loud “go home”. And in all likelihood are still saying “go home and will continue to say it. Clinton beat him by landslide numbers in both states and this little act of political self preservation isn’t going to fool anyone. Anyone, even an Obama supporter can see it’s nothing more than another cynical political ploy to try and win back voters who were disgusted with him a long time ago because he needs them now.

(2) Obama Race-Baited the Clintons

Obama’s race speech was compared to Lincoln by his sycophants in the media. It was closer to Nixon’s infamous “Checkers” speech, a disingenuous, hateful piece of sophistry created to dove-tail with white liberal guilt. The conflation of Jeremiah Wright’s homicidal racism with Geraldine Ferraro’s simple observation was only the most glaring evidence of Obama’s tactics. Anglachel points out that Obama’s demonizing of low income whites was a basic political calculation:

working class voters are not the socio-economic slice of the “white” vote that votes Republican. They are the least likely portion of white voters to do so, which is part of what made the constant slamming of this group so infuriating during the primaries. This was the slice of the white demographic most likely to vote for Hillary, and that was the reason they were being singled out for shaming and insults.

And Alegre puts her finger on why PUMAs find Obama unacceptable:

I think I can speak for millions of Hillary’s 18 millions supporters when I say that Camp Obama stepped over a serious line when they tarred the Clintons as racists in the lead-up to the SC primary (and since). Those attacks were simply unforgivable and may be a big reason (among many!) why many of us won’t get on that unity pony of Howie’s.

(3) Obama Attacked Hillary from the Right

Attacking Hillary from the Right was not by itself a deal-breaker. But the fact that Obama went after Hillary on health care — after everything she had fought for in the 1990s — was a disgraceful appropriation of Right Wing tactics and talking points. As SusanUnPC writes:

The sad reality, of course, is that Obama has no fealty to commitments over issues. Issues are merely fodder to be used to grab what he seeks above all else: Victory…Now, every politician has to be focused on winning. But most politicians have some issues about which they genuinely care and are knowledgeable about. Obama doesn’t seem to hold any issues dear.

(4) The Democrat Party Rejects Racism, Embraces Sexism

Democratic Party leaders and Obama supporters stayed silent while egregious misogyny was leveled against Mrs. Clinton. As feminist blogger Violet Socks said to me, the silence from our “brothers” on the Left regarding this sexism has been one of the most disappointing political events in the annals of progressivism. So we must have an accounting, and a defeat. There are worse things than losing elections, and I believe we have just witnessed them during the primaries. Obama’s use of sexist stereotypes against Hillary gave cultural permission for the venom against Hillary. It was outside the realm of acceptable behavior for a Democratic politician, and must be vehemently rejected. Voting for Obama is condoning tactics which are anathema to why we are Democrats in the first place.

Lynette Long writes:

I am not Lolita. I will not crawl back into bed with a party that raped me. I will not stay in an abusive relationship because I have nowhere else to go. I will not be placated by a pat on the head or a worthless trinket. I will not spend the rest of my life waiting for tomorrow or listening to people tell me that today is better than yesterday.

Defeat is Good

Just as Barry Goldwater’s defeat by Johnson in 1964 was considered the end of the conservative movement, Obama’s victory is seen by the neo-liberals as a rejection of third-way progressivism. However, the PUMA movement is not an end but a beginning. It’s not the continuation of Bill Clinton’s moderate policies, but a movement of dedicated progressives who embraced Mrs. Clinton’s far more bold agenda, an agenda more analogues to FDR than Bill Clinton, and one which is much more progressive than Obama’s. Our nascent movement parallels the rise of the conservative movement:

All the pundits saw the size of Goldwater’s defeat. Almost none grasped the implications of the fact that the Goldwater campaign had twice as many volunteers as Johnson’s — or that while 66,000 people donated to the Kennedy and Nixon campaigns of 1960, over a million gave to Barry Goldwater in 1964. Among other things [it is an] account of how a rebellious and at first marginal political faction moved toward power reminds us of the dynamic character of politics and the dangers of static analysis

I am a Democrat because I believe in universal health care, because I despise racism, race-baiting, and sexism, and because I believe in the democratic process. On all these counts, our Party has failed us. We must rid our Party of race-baiting, sexism, and vote stealing, and return our Party to its glorious heritage of patriotism, equal opportunity, and care for the most vulnerable.

Thanks to Medusa for her help with this essay.