Sunday, July 27, 2008

Still Under the Bus with Senator Clinton

Original Link:

By Rosemary Regello

Try telling a disgruntled Clinton activist it's futile to wage a campaign without a candidate, and she'll ask you if it's easier to let a numskull run the country. It's to this level of discourse that the Democratic Party has sunk, following the decision by its basketcase leaders to declare an instant winner in the presidential primaries. The presumptuous (or is it presumptive) nominee now has to answer for all the abuse and piling on against Senator Hillary Clinton, which is not likely to be forgotten anytime soon. Meanwhile, the New York senator finds herself in pretty much the same straits as the Headless Horseman, the infamous Washington Irving character whose harassed ghost is forced to commit murder by the person who acquires his skull.

And doesn't that sound familiar. In spite of her loyal cadre of an estimated 100,000 volunteers, each of them fired up and ready to take back the country, Clinton is bound her a blackmail agreement with the Democratic National Committee not to lead them. In this case, both head and heart appear to have been detached from the main frame, although she's not quite as dead as some news commentators would have us believe. Clinton's rank-and-file supporters, on the other hand, are driven by an old-fashioned patriotic indignation, one baptized in the anguish of a raw deal. Unfortunately, that potentially explosive asset has been surprisingly anti-climactic to date. Like the preyed-upon villagers of Irving's Sleepy Hollow, the forces of resistance appear to be outflanked by forces beyond their control.

Not everyone would agree with the analogy - including probably most of the groups listed below. But the various efforts to get Clinton back into her saddle, head and all, don't look promising. The burning question is why do all these organizations accept Obama's nominee declaration as a done deal? It's not. When you consider the DNC's Alice in Wonderland approach to conducting an election, what you end up with is not a united party, but grounds for a criminal conspiracy. Even a sixth-grade civics student knows there's something fishy going on here, because neither the delegate math nor the hair-brain explanations offered for Obama's top dog status pass the straight-face test.

To the contrary, plenty of evidence indicates the primaries and caucuses held between January and June were deliberately rigged. (See P. Cronin's analysis of the numbers.) One might go so far as to suggest that all those high-ranking officials involved should be charged with treason. For the first time in American history, Democrats are about to crown a man who's not only unfit to serve, but whose ties to foreign bad boys like Aiham Alsammarae, Nadhmi Auchi and Antoin Rezko make him a candidate for the no-fly list, not the presidency. For more on this, see Obama's October Surprise.

There's also the matter of the superdelegates. This elite cast of elected leaders and party officials can't vote until the convention, yet the DNC went ahead and declared Obama the winner based on their input. Even on the official website the Chosen One was being heralded as "the Democratic nominee" within hours of the last contest. In criminal justice parlance, this is what's called perpetrating a fraud. Further bolstering a possible case for prosecutors, after announcing June 3rd that her campaign was forging ahead, Clinton suddenly reversed course the next day and bowed out. Why? The much publicized rendezvous of her and Obama after the fact did nothing to throw the posse off the trail. It simply added accomplices to the crime.

That's why the so-called PUMA movement and other pro-Clinton factions are in a strong position to wrest this nomination back from those who absconded with it on June 4th. By correcting the disproportional allocation of delegates to red states, investigating the thousands of complaints filed by caucus goers, and putting those superdelegate genies back in their bottle, Barack Obama's much anticipated "I Have a Dream for Myself" speech at Mile-High Stadium appears anything but a lock. Why no group has grabbed that golden stake yet and started pounding is a mystery to ponder deep into the night. No one is organizing a daily tea dump outside DNC headquarters to prevent business as usual. You don't see ads in the Washington Post exposing the tyranny of what transpired behind closed doors on June 4th. No sit-ins at Clinton senate offices, either, or any atempt whatsoever by her donors to demand that she stop playing doormat and start living up to her campaign promises.

Of course, that's not to say anyone's sitting on their hands. In addition to their blogs churning out hit pieces on Obama and his rogue's gallery of associates, activists are planning a Denver march and rally, setting up podcasts, holding conference calls, signing petitions in cyberspace, selling merchandise and having barbecues. More ominously for Democrats, a growing number of them are singing the praises of John McCain or organizing to defeat Obama-endorsing congressional representatives up for re-election.

Political initiatives in the pipeline:
New kid on the soapbox - Like a good neighbor, The Denver Group is there. Three weeks ago, this outfit hit the ground crawling, evidently tasked with putting a pretty face on a bad situation. If the group's name makes you think of a life insurance company, consider that the policy holder here is likely the Democratic Party itself. Far from challenging the institution on its election rigging and misogynist ways, TDG's demands are as lame as a three-legged Chihuahua. They think Clinton should be allowed to give a major address at the convention, as if the event planners had somehow misplaced this agenda item. TDG also wants a roll call vote of the nominee, rather than the simple voice acclimation that Chairman Howard Dean has proposed. Finally, the group asks for the preservation (and restoration) of all Clinton's delegates.

The big caviat TDG neglects to mention in its fundraising appeal is that the candidate has endorsed Obama. Were she to un-endorse him and re-instate her campaign, the convention woud be another ballgame entirely. So as long as that coerced act of surrender is allowed to stand, the DNC has an excuse to turn the balloting into a meaningless exercise that only demeans Clinton further. Her massive haul of delegates, popular vote victory, the Florida and Michigan debacle, and the fact that she won states like Texas and Nevada while he got more of their delegates - all of that and more can be swept under the rug because of her endorsement. On the TV stations broadcasting the event, you won't see Geraldine Ferraro setting the record straight on how the nomination was gamed by operators like Axelrod and Brazile. You'll see Sen. Patrick Leahy grinning with an ice cream cone in his hand as he quips, "Well, we're just doing this boring roll call to be polite to the little lady and her emotional supporters."

Now, if this is the kind of cause Americans should go to the mat for, then the planet may be doomed after all. As long as Clinton advocates fail to confront their candidate with some tough love, it's hard to see how there's any going forward. TDG seems determined to ignore the hate crime committed against her and instead patch up her bloodied and headless body so they can throw it back out onto the world stage. And the villains who caused this tragedy - Pelosi, Reid, Brazile, Dean, Rangel, Clyburn, Feinstein, etc. - all get a walk.

Curiously, the first press release sent out by The Denver Group doubles as a promotional pitch for its founder, advertising executive Marc Rudin. And nothing personal to Heidi Li Feldman, the Georgetown law professor who lent her seal of approval to the effort, but like Clinton, she isn't living up to her word these days. In a blog last month she said "Anything worth fighting for usually involves some fighting." Yes, it does.

PUMA/RiseHillaryRise Denver Protest - What would a convention be without a protest outside? Clinton supporters who belong to the renegade PUMA movement - Party Unity My Ass! - turn out to be creatures of habit like everyone else. They're hoping to turn out thousands for an outdoor rally and march, knowing full well that much of the anger simmering around the country today will have dissipated. The public's short memory will also factor into the equation, along with the other protests going on - from Free Tibet advocacy to Pro-Life fantatics - thereby diminishing the impact of their presence there. One other little caviat: Denver is not Chicago, and finding overnight accommodations is going to be a real headache for PUMA PAC and Rise Hillary Rise, two of the groups organizing the action. (Even the official Michigan delegation had to book their beds 80 miles away.)

So why not target those DNC headquarters in Washington and do it today? Between now and the convention, the Obama campaign will consolidate its control over the party organization, and once the Trojan horse gets inside Troy, well, that's that. It's no secret, many of the nominee's handlers are Bush Republicans, and these folks will simply relish a four-day-long strife-ridden spectacle playing out before an international audience.

By the end of August, it will also be too late for Clinton to run as an Independent. Canvassing for a sufficient number of signatures to qualify in 50 states is a major undertaking, and the lack of gumption on this front (other than online petitions) may speak to the level of infiltration into the ranks by conservative activists. Their job is to steer Clinton voters into the G.O.P. column next fall, and the strategy has been a rather stunning success to date.

Other PUMA Activities - Some members of the loose knit PUMA coalition are circulating a "Declaration of Objections", a high-minded discourse that basically makes the argument that the DNC cheated. After listing the irregularities that took place during the primaries, the opus concludes "Now, in view of the dismissal of one-half the Democratic voters of this primary season, their social degradation, in view of the unjust actions above mentioned, and in view of the disenfranchisement of the voters in two states, and because we do feel ourselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of a free and fair primary election, we insist that the Democratic Party address our objections, or risk the loss of our votes come November."

Will Bower, self-declared PUMA chieftain and purveyor of the site, says he's busy getting 175 superdelegates to switch from Obama to Clinton. Not to belabor the point, but Clinton has endorsed Obama and suspended her campaign. Bower recently claimed eight supes had already switched but didn't offer any names. During an interview on Fox News Channel June 10th, he also mad the extraordinary claim that PUMA groups had raised $10 million to retire Clinton's debt. He added that the rest of the $12 million balance would be generated in the next few days. We're still waiting for some independent corroboration, but don't hold your breath.

I Own My Vote - Offering a variation on the TDG theme of not dwelling on the past, this website asks Clinton supporters to sign a "pledge" that asks relatively little from the Democratic Party. "On Saturday, June 7, 2008, Hillary Clinton suspended her historic campaign for President," the pledge begins - with a knife twist. "To her 18 million voters, it may have seemed like an end, but I pledge to make it a beginning… a beginning of a movement to achieve the democratic and just country that Hillary has envisioned for America."

One would have thought the "democratic country" alluded to here began 230 years ago - say, around 1776 - but in the present Orwellian spin zone, it seems recorded history doesn't count for much. The pledge is pretty much downhill from there, making the same "demands" as the other groups: primetime address, debate on platform issues like universal healthcare, symbolic roll call vote, etc. I Own My Vote also collects email addresses, a valuable commodity for campaign fundraisers. It would be interesting to know which presidential campaign is behind this operation.

A variation of the pledge (of allegiance) was launched just in the last week, this one called Together4us. (Do you get the feeling Howard Dean has been out recruiting at Tupperware parties recently?) Claiming to represent those 18 million voters who want Clinton for president, these critters have even managed to score airtime on NBC. That's probably because they stipulate from the outset that they will vote for Obama come November. They just want Clinton given her due - the prime time speech, roll call vote, etc. etc. One begins to have the impression that this entire controversy over Clinton's role at the convention may have been fabricated in the first place to change the conversation. Better to discuss the convention instead of all the crooked shenanigans that preceded it.

WomenCountPAC - Up until the concession speech, this feminist undertaking was raising money for full-page newspaper ads to further Clinton's candidacy. The group's principle advocate, Allida Black, is this nation's foremost scholar on Eleanor Roosevelt. You wouldn't know it, however, by the lackluster post-primary ad that followed the DNC knocking their champion out of contention. It simply asks for future reforms in the way the Democratic Party conducts primaries and for better treatment of women candidates. As in the case of I Own My Vote, where's the outrage? This ad is about as incendiary as a cup of mint tea.

Other women's groups - Women for Fair Politics, and a popular blog called The Confluence/Riverdaughter are primarily focused on raising money to pay off Clinton's $20 million plus debt. They also support the Denver protest and efforts to get a roll call vote at the convention.

You would at least have expected the traditional women's rights organizations to come out strong against the Democrats throwing Clinton under the bus. None of them have. The executive director of the National Abortion Rights Action Leauge, Nancy Keenan, ignited a furor among her state affiliates when she announced NARAL's endorsement of Obama right after his 41-point rout in West Virginia on May 13th. If you visit the National Organization of Women PAC website for Clinton, you'll find a link to the candidate's concession speech, but no condemnation of the thugs who extorted it out of her. And Eleanor Smeal's Feminist Majority just sent out an email complaining about the Obama New Yorker cover.

Boy, we sure have come a long way, babies, haven't we? Smeal's gang also runs Ms. Magazine, which somehow managed not to run a single story about Hillary Clinton during the primaries. Did the editors forget we were having an election this year? The nice write-up of Donna Brazile in the summer issue discounted that possibility - but raised lots of other questions about who's been doing what to whom in that community of late.

Speaking of Brazile, Riverdaughter recently poked fun at a Wall Street Journal interview of the DNC's most controversial political fixer since Hearst's little fiat back in 1932. Discussing Clinton's possible role at the convention, “'There’s nothing symbolically wrong to putting her name in,' followed by a scripted withdrawal.' Brazile said. But the spectacle of a rapturous welcome for Sen. Clinton would be irresistible to television and could embarrass Sen. Obama."

To which the blogger responds, "Oh, please. Nothing could be more embarrassing for Senator Obama than to have his buddies on the Rules and Bylaws committee rig the vote for him so he could slither that last centimeter over the finish line. How could it be more humiliating than to find that the first African-American to be nominated has to have the caucuses stacked in his favor, the critical mass of two major states withheld from the tally of his opponent and the entire US News media out for blood for Hillary in order to just barely squeak by?"

Back to the article; "Under party rules, Sen. Clinton’s huge delegate count gives her the right to put her name into nomination. 'But do you do it?' asked Ms. Brazile. 'Politically, does it heighten tensions?'"

Riverdaughter: "LOLOLOLOL! {Catching breath, wiping eyes, clearing throat}"

Starting a rumble with Latinos - Right after their primary, Puerto Rican supporters of Clinton were so jazzed about their huge victory, they wanted to keep organizing on her behalf. The territory can't vote in November, but that hasn't proven any detriment to their momentum.

Now, if Puerto Rico sounds like a fly-over speck on the political map, let's not forget that the Democratic Party slighted the island, along with Florida and Nevada, in the spring. Latinos put Clinton over the top in Nevada, yet Obama was awarded more delegates. Latinos put Clinton over the top in Florida, and we all know what happened there. (See below.) In Puerto Rico, the electorate went two-to-one for Clinton on June 1st, yet Chairman Dean trampled over this victory in his rush to get out the superdelegate "vote" for Obama. (You know, Howard, they call these people "delegates" for a reason.)

Of course, the DNC rules committee would argue that it was looking out for Latinos when it scheduled that early caucus in Nevada. However, Brazile and company fully expected the service employees union SEIU, which represents the casino workforce, to deliver for Obama on Election Day. Fortunately, that plan backfired woefully. (SEIU, incidentally, boasts what is probably a majority membership of Latino and Asian members, yet spent tens of millions of dollars in PAC funds on Obama during the primaries.)

Clearly there's a pattern of race-based discrimination here. Why no one in the pro-Clinton movement has lodged any objection is frankly a little troubling, especially since the Spanish language press would undoubtedly devote hours and reams of coverage to the subject. So far, that hasn't happened. And those organizers in Puerto Rico are still sitting by the phone, waiting for their marching orders.

Florida and Michigan groups - And just when you think things couldn't get any worse... Count the Votes Cast, Florida Demands Representation and other groups in this category are largely M.I.A. Discouraged by the May 31st DNC decision, these diligent organizers saw countless hours or organizing dribble down the drain. Brazile and her gang of plumbers ran the tables that day, demoting Florida and Michigan voters to the rank of hobbits, entitled to only half a vote. The novel formula used to award Obama nearly as many Michigan delegates as Clinton also pricked the ire of the several thousand protesters who bussed into Washington for the meeting. Some were filmed by news crews crying in the hotel lobby afterward. Yet nearly all these folks dutifully packed up and went home, and there hasn't been a peep out of them since.

One group in Michigan, DNC Reform, is pressuring elected officials in swing states who have endorsed Obama, claiming they ignored the will of their constituents who voted for Clinton. The group hopes a public education campaign will deprive the culprits of votes in their upcoming elections.

For a directory of organizations active in promoting Sen. Clinton's campaign, visit (It includes some pro-McCain and other Republican groups.) For more info about various activities and initiatives, check out


- Rosemary Regello

1 comment:

Alessandro Machi said...

It's difficult to try and educate everyone about the importance of Protest postcards but it was the postcard that got Barack Obama untracked in Iowa back in October of 07.

If you manage to meet a delegate or superdelegate, should do you really think your anger is enough? These are lawyers, give them something on paper, that is their world.

For those of you who protest, confront, and confound, don't you want factual evidence to go along with your passion? Isn't it possible that your passion is actually borne out of the factual evidence that lies dormant?

I've designed a postcard that explodes the fraud of this years election. But I can't make you order it. I can only make it available and hope for the best. (check out postcard number 2, click on it to see the bigger version).

To learn more or to ask questions, please visit