Sunday, August 10, 2008

Why Obama Must Lose: One Progressive’s Opinion

Original Link:

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.

1 comment:

Alessandro Machi said...

Hillary Clinton actually won the 2008 democratic nomination based on the voting results that actually happened.

The election was stolen by David Axlerod and company.

The caucus contest results are unacceptable and fraudulent as they currently stand. I have written about the caucus fraud on my

media sexism and bias at

and about the democratic's party betrayal of the concept of fair reflection.

You can get protest postcards at