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More from RBC meeting

Iphie's picture

1920 Rep. Convention

Photo taken at the 1920 Republican Convention (the woman on the right is Alice Paul). The full quote reads: "No self respecting woman would wish or work for the success of a party that ignores her self." - Susan B. Anthony, 1872

I found this photo a few weeks ago and printed copies of it on postcard paper with the intention of sending it to members of the RBC. I had a difficult time finding all of their addresses, so that didn't happen -- now I plan to send it to SDs and Democratic "leaders" such as Pelosi and Reid with the message "See you in Denver!" on the back.

Anyway, I took a bunch of the postcards with me in case I met anyone who might appreciate a copy. I should have brought a lot more. (Instead I came home with a list of email addresses to send people electronic copies.) I did manage, however, to give a copy to both Lanny Davis and Howard Wolfson.

Realizing how many Obama supporters were there, I tried to identify someone who was either a Clinton supporter or neutral to sit next to -- it was going to be a long day and I thought I might be a little more comfortable with that arrangement. It was almost an hour before the meeting was scheduled to start and I ended up holding court in the ladies room and sussing out my cohorts there. It wasn't that difficult -- I just struck up conversations with women who weren't covered in Obama paraphernalia.

After the meeting began I was sitting in a small cluster of Clinton supporters with the OFB on three sides and the press on the fourth. As I said in my earlier post, things started out politely enough. Supporters for each side were clearly expressing greater approval for the statements they agreed with, but for the most part were not being openly hostile or antagonistic to the other side.

The four witnesses who spoke about the FL case were Jon Ausman -- a FL Dem. Party official, Senator Bill Nelson, State Senator Arthenia Joyner (for Clinton) and Congressman Robert Wexler (for Obama). Ausman was requesting that the committee agree to seat 50% of the delegation. He didn't even try to argue for a 100% solution. His position is obviously not the preferred solution for Clinton, but the room remained calm -- there was no booing or any other outward expression of disagreement from the crowd.

Senator Nelson spoke next and responded to a question from the committee about the voters who stayed home on election day, those who were not politically "savvy" enough to ignore the voices telling them that the election wouldn't matter and thus didn't vote. This is clearly an argument the Obama campaign thinks is a winner because it was echoed not only by Brazile, but by lots of the supporters in the room. This is an astonishing argument to me not because I don't understand the seriousness of voter suppression, but because the solution to this problem isn't usually to completely disregard those who did manage to vote. A logical solution, if possible, would be a re-vote, but we know how Obama feels about those. Senator Nelson clearly wasn't buying the argument either, his response was "I would buy this argument if turnout had been poor."

Next up was Senator Joyner, she was great -- I wrote about her a little on the previous post -- not only was her initial statement very good, but her responses during questioning were spot-on. She's funny, she's direct and she's very positive -- it would have been very difficult for the Obamatrons to boo or jeer at her, so they didn't; many of them simply ignored her and carried on conversations amongst themselves while she was speaking. There were three men sitting behind me carrying on a conversation so loudly that at times it was difficult to hear the amplified proceedings. They were denigrating Hillary, talking about what a joke she was and how this whole meeting was a desperate attempt by her to have some sort of relevance. I ignored them. I was not going to be baited.

As I maintained focus on the conversation in front of me, I realized that the three behind me could very well have been taking their cues from Donna Brazile. Her body language was fascinating to behold. With the exception of the moment when DB asked Senator Joyner a direct question, she ignored the Senator the entire time that Joyner was speaking. All of the members of the RBC had large binders on the desk in front of them. When Sen. Joyner was speaking DB was flipping through hers the whole time -- completely impassive to the rousing speech that was being given. Not only was she not paying attention, she seemed bent on demonstrating her disinterest in Joyner's words. At first I thought that perhaps she was just bored with the entire thing, that she was disinterested in following any of it (which, obviously would be a problem all on its own), but no, when Rep. Wexler got up to speak next, she was actively engaged with what he was saying. This was the pattern that followed for most of the day. She simply ignored those arguments she wasn't interested in entertaining.

More about Sen. Joyner. When arguing that the Dems chances in November would be hurt by ignoring the votes already cast, she quoted Howard Dean and his 50 state strategy: "You don't win a state if you don't show up." Heh.

When asked what exactly it was that she wanted from the committee, she replied to huge applause "I want it all." She elaborated "I was taught in life that you don't get what you don't ask for."

Next up was Wexler -- as I noted before, this is when the mood in the room changed. I was interviewed at one point by a reporter from Congressional Quarterly. She asked me about the booing that she heard from Clinton supporters. I explained to her that the first time booing was heard in the room was in response to Wexler's antagonistic and combative statements that included direct shots at Senator Clinton. I pointed out that his performance came directly after Sen. Joyner's, who not once said anything even remotely negative about Obama or his campaign's efforts to disregard the will of the voters in her state. I said that Joyner's entire argument was based on the historical struggles for the franchise and the meaning of democracy. Wexler on the other hand didn't even bother to address such issues, but instead was immediately on the attack.

Again, following their leaders, Wexler's position and tone gave the Obamabots in the room license to vent their hostility.

It's one thing to see the vile, bullying behavior of the OFB in print or on TV. It is another thing altogether to experience it in person directed at you by another human being less than a foot away.

After the FL case was presented and before MI began, I took the opportunity to leave the room and take a break. I had already gotten into a little bit of a back and forth with the three guys sitting behind me, and I did not want to allow myself to be drawn any further down that road, so I left the room to cool off for a moment. On my way out of the room, I ran into Lanny Davis. I was really angry, and only managed to sputter "I know you hear this all the time, but you have to tell her she cannot quit. She must keep fighting." He looked a little bit shaken up as well and probably reacting to the look on my face, and my general demeanor said "Well, you saw my face in there. I couldn't believe it." As we were walking out of the room, he was pulled away by a reporter, and I went to the ladies room and commiserated with a few Clinton supporters. They were becoming easier to identify -- they were the ones not only not covered in Obama gear, but now they were visibly irate.

It was on my way back into the meeting room that I ran into the reporter from CQ. There was press everywhere and I spotted Greta Van Susteren who is a tiny person. Just tiny!

Back in the meeting room, the MI arguments are following a similar pattern in terms of the reactions of the crowd, although there was no one who presented an argument anywhere near as inflammatory as Congressman Wexler's.

At a number of points, members of the committee would say that they didn't have a question, but would like to make a statement or point of clarification. Each time, co-chair Jim Roosevelt would either cut them off or tell them no, the reason being that this portion of the day was reserved for questioning and that there would be plenty of time for statements and clarifications during deliberations taking place after the lunch break this afternoon. Well, he cut off committee members making statements with the exception of Donna Brazile, who never asked for permission, but rather just launched into her statements. At one point responding to a speaker who talked about the lessons his mother taught him about fairness, Donna interjected something to the effect of "Well, you just talked about your mama, so now I get to tell you what my mama taught me." (Really, that's how this system works? Anytime anyone else talks about their mama, you have the right to respond with a story about yours?) "My mama taught me about following the rules." Big response from the rules-loving OFB.

Shortly before 3:00, they wrapped up the MI arguments and we broke for lunch. Alexis Hermann (the other co-chair) told us to be back in the room by 4:15 when the meeting would resume with deliberations and votes on competing resolutions.

Back in my seat at 4:15 on the dot, we waited and waited for the committee members to take their seats. We waited for over two hours. During this time it became clear that deliberations were already underway, only we weren't going to be allowed to witness them. The committee members didn't return until after 6:15, giving them a break from the public meeting of almost 3 1/2 hours. Sometime around 5:30 or so, some Obama supporters began receiving messages on their phones about a compromise resolution having been decided. They huddled together to discuss the news while the rest of us continued to wonder and wait.

Finally, the committee began to file in. Alexis Hermann informed us that it was time for the introduction of resolutions with 10 minutes being allocated for discussion of each followed by a vote.

Remember the deliberations that Jim Roosevelt promised us would be the time when we would hear the RBC members objections and clarifications about the cases presented in the morning? They never mentioned them again and no explanation was given about why we weren't hearing them or for the two hour delay.

So they began the sham of introducing resolutions and voting on them. The first resolution to be introduced was one to fully seat the entire FL delegation. The votes were taken by a show of hands, and when the members who voted for the resolution raised theirs I stood up to applaud and cheer them along with just about every other Hillary supporter in the room.

I noticed that someone mentioned on another thread how much louder the OFB was on TV. There were certainly more of them at the meeting in general, but that became even more pronounced in the afternoon as a number of Hillary supporters who had come by the busload from other places had to leave at a predetermined departure time. A large percentage of the OFB was from the DC area -- this was the result of one of the ways they gamed the ticket registration process; they showed up at the DNC headquarters directly, knowing you could register in person. The possibility of registering in person was about as well known amongst Clinton supporters as the ability to register by fax was.

Next came the show of hands of those who opposed the resolution to seat 100% of the FL delegation. At this point, we were standing so we could actually look at the people who were voting no. We were booing. The OFB tried to drown us out by cheering and applauding louder than we were. Before the chants of "Denver! Denver! began, there were shouts of "Shame! Shame!" that may not have been loud enough to hear on TV. That one was started by Yours Truly. It was at this point that some of the Obamabots around me tried to physically intimidate me into silence. No joke, the woman sitting next to me stood up, moved closer to me and started shouting into my ear that I was despicable. A woman who was sitting in the row in front of me stood up, pushed her chair back and tried to step in front of me and block me. These movements toward me were made in a very small space -- we're talking about rows of chairs and the space in between them that is enough for a person to walk through.

When they finally managed to regain order in the room and we were again seated, I took a moment to notice how angry and upset I was -- I was visibly shaking. I noticed that the man on my left who is also a Clinton supporter was also shaking. It wasn't just the process unfolding before us, but the implied threat of physical violence that was displayed by the people around me.

Meanwhile the woman to my right who had just been telling me how despicable I was (and who had also called me a bitch at another point) is now having a loud conversation about how rude Clinton supporters are and how little respect for the Democratic process we have. I wanted to vomit. I still do.

I stayed until the first vote on MI had begun and then I left. It was just about 7:00 and I was hoping to make it to Union Station in time for the 7:20 train back to New York. And I couldn't stay in that room any longer.

I talked to a pretty amazing array of people there. Many of them say that they won't vote for Obama and with every event like this or the RFK ridiculousness, their resolve hardens. I spent a lot of the day with a woman who plans on making bumper stickers, pins and t-shirts that say "McCain or Abstain." She wasn't exactly your typical McCain swing-voter. She was a young, urbane Puerto Rican lawyer and she, like me, is tired of being abused by the OFB and taken for granted by the DNC. I meet a number of people who honestly believe that Obama will be worse than McCain because at least McCain will face congressional opposition and clearly Obama will not. I completely agree that he will be a disaster if given unfettered power, which is exactly what he will have with a congress comprised of people who are used to being lead around by the nose by him. One person yesterday called him a "false-progressive," which I like as it sounds like false prophet and carries with it the religious undertones that are so apt given his deification by the Obamanation. I will not vote for him.

No votes yet


myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

On the nearest and most obnoxious obot.

“Rules are not necessarily sacred,
principles are.”
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

thanks for this--Wexler was an ass, and Brazile clearly had no respect for anyone or for anything not in her guy's favor.

The way-too-long break was insane as well--doing the real deals behind closed doors amde the televised part a farce.


I still cannot believe they just handed all MI uncommitted votes to him and some of Hillary's too--simply shocking.

TonyRz's picture
Submitted by TonyRz on

A shame you didn't have one of those oranges handy for the blood-sugar drop after you were confronted by the Obama Army.

I bet running around to find lunch and get back in 65 minutes to sit there for 2 hours was no joy, either. What sadism this year from these people.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I've been looking for something short and pithy to put on requests from money from various Dem organizations. Now I'm just going to attach a copy of this photo along with my blank pledge card.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

for a we'll-write-in-clinton movement

in ALL the SWING states.

you could never imagine or devise

a stronger, more resonant political statement than this poster makes.

use it

or lose the opportunity.

Submitted by lambert on

Seems that the online OFB behavior is indeed a proxy for the RL OFB behavior. I keep picturing these clowns coming to my house with clipboards to "register" me. I don't think so.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

If the reports from Open Left and elsewhere are right, they are going to use social networking software and voter registration information so that they can sic (sp?) your neighbors on you by linking you up with OFB who live nearby. There will be no escape. Assimilate or else.

It's like a cross between the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Borg.

Yet another reason to register unaffiliated.

Submitted by lambert on

Exactly my fear.

Voting for a Presidential candidate is one thing. But voting for this movement is quite another.

I've always thought I could retreat to the local level, but these assholes are going to follow me there.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

OxyCon's picture
Submitted by OxyCon on

It reads like you stepped into the Twilight Zone, like you were sucked into the computer and ended up inside the DailyKos or HuffPo webpage, surrounded by the belligerent Obamaton crazies.

Just remember, if Obama doesn't win in November, it's all your fault!

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

is that a lot of this "movement" doesn't seem particularly interested in doing anything other than beating Hillary and/or elevating Obama. Once November is over, win or lose, I'm not sure the movement will have a lot of steam because I suspect a lot of the members will go back to their lives. I'm not sure they will care about the 2010 election or enough to stay as involved as they are. That's the danger in "new" and "independent" voters - there's usually a reason why they weren't politically active or partisan before. Sure, some of the young 'uns will stay involved but they will graduate from college and have less time like the rest of us.

I'm going unaffiliated, wait for the fever to pass, and then try to get back involved and hope others do the same so we can make a move when the Obama movement has lost its newness. What's that saying, revenge is a dish best served cold? Not that I'm, of course, petty enough to be after revenge. Justice, on the other hand...

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

This is a "movement" based on the glorification of Obama, not on any political beliefs or long-term goals.

I can't really go unaffiliated though -- I live in NYC and the real contests here happen at the primary level, especially for state and local races. I was considering changing my affiliation temporarily and then just changing it back next year before the mayoral race begins.

Submitted by lambert on

Anglachel again:

Reallocating votes based on the outcome you want to have, not what the certified vote count actually was, eviscerates democracy as such.

Think about this. Really think about this. A committee of people, behind closed doors and under pressure from a specific candidate to shore up his crumbling support, has functionally declared Michigan's votes null and void and has reallocated the delegates to suit themselves. The will of the people was considered advisory, not definitive, and the will of the committee was substituted. As for the argument that "the state wanted this outcome," it doesn't hold water. This outcome was not on the ballot. Obama did not put himself up for a vote at the time of the initial primary, nor would he agree to doing so when there was time to organize a second primary. His solution was simply hand him half the delegation and fuck the voters of Michigan. It is no consolation that he didn't get all of the delegates he wanted to steal, just most of them.

Again, the RBC handed out delegates to a candidate who removed himself from the ballot and who will not accept the penalties of his campaign choice. They have removed delegates earned by one candidate and handed those delegates to the other person because they want him to be the winner. They did this to prevent the popular vote winner from earning her fair share of delegates and to force her out of the race.

If the DNC is claiming the authority to reallocate delegates based on what they believe voters would have wanted had things been different, then what is the point of the delegations? Why not, as Hartina Flournoy someone (Ickes, I think) scathingly said in the meeting, just decide the votes for 2012 while you're at it?* Why bother with primaries at all if certified votes are merely advisory and you can decide what the people really want?

How is this any different than the Supreme Court declaring that Florida went for Bush no matter if a ballot recount showed it going for Gore?

And after all the yammering from the OFB about Teh Rulez, too.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Hope's picture
Submitted by Hope on

happened in Zimbabwe, it would rightly be slammed.

I think you are beginning to get the feel of an Obama presidency.

He wins by gaming the system. Not by winning the votes.

In Illinois, in the caucuses, now in the RBC. He has never actually won an election on votes.

His "movement" seems very similar to European trot organisations. The good news is that they tend to self destruct; once they've purged political opponents, they start purging each other for non ideological purity.

murphy's picture
Submitted by murphy on

I'd participate in a collective withdrawal from the Dem party if it were organized to send a message to the DNC, but other than that, I'm staying in the party. It's mine and ours -- it belongs to the good guys and I wont let them take it away from me.

Riverdaughter and SM over at the Confluence have a good idea for a new designation -- P.U.M.A. democrats (party united, my ass!)

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

"And the superdelegates are the too permissive parents who are giving in to them because they can’t handle the screaming and guilt trips that will follow if they don’t." -- from that link

that's perfect -- and i think some of the anger is that many know they can't win without more actual votes in November, and are really not happy about that inconvenient truth which keeps popping up over and over and over. We don't have a Supreme Court (daddy, authority figure, etc) to appeal to to fix things for us if they don't work out in the general election.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

anglachel said:

"Think about this. Really think about this. A committee of people, behind closed doors and under pressure from a specific candidate to shore up his crumbling support, has functionally declared Michigan’s votes null and void and has reallocated the delegates to suit themselves."

anglachel's statement is a summary of what has been happening in the democratic party this campaign season - and every campaign season.

the rbc decisions were typical political decisions.

politicians are not accountants.(no snide remarks about accountants doing this just because there happened to be an enron)

politicians FORCE the rows and columns to add up.

they make things come out the way they want them to come out - always.

they can bend laws and customs. they can misrepresent and misdirect.

and they do; it's their job, their talent.

this is the lesson in spades of the cheney presidency.

it was clear at least from late march - and probably earlier than that to people who really knew what was going on (not me) - that senator obama was going to be the candidate for the dems.

why clear?

arguments against his candidacy were ignored, completely ignored,

electibility arguments like paul lukasiak's were ignored.

electoral college voting arguments were ignored,

racial prejudice was ignored, except to scold about it's presence,

obama's inexperience was ignored,

clinton's experience and years in the party were ignored.

clinton's very strong showing in all the big population states except illinois was ignored

one could say the fix was in, but that would be banal. the fix is always in in politics.

what the rules and bylaws committee meeting demonstrated was just this - politicians bend rules to make happen what they want to happen.

to clinton supporters,

the real revelation of the rbc decisions should be that

the same favoritism shown obama, the same bending of rules to help him in every way,

COULD HAVE BEEN APPLIED IN SENATOR CLINTON'S FAVOR by democratic leaders at the state and national levels

had there been the will to do so.

there was no such will.

that lack of political will was the relentless current that clinton had to navigate against this primary season.

the more clinton won,

the stronger she got as a campaigner,

the more impressive her victories,

the LESS support she received for the democratic leadership at state and national levels.

had she overwhelmed the party with delegate votes, sthey would have ben compelled to award her the nomination, though reluctantly.

when she did not do that,

that created the opportunity for the very strong anti-clinton current in the party to push obama's bark over the finish line.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

he'd be the DC Establishment candidate someday because of the keynote spot at the convention, which is how Clinton and others became real national contenders.

That they put him up this cycle--so fast, instead of 2012 or later--and continue to fully prop him up so much even now that he's just been weakening more and more--even as more and more of the actual Democratic base outright rebels against the whole thing--is what's so messed up.

The DC pick always becomes the candidate in the end--we all know that--this pick tho, just isn't acceptable to so very many. Kerry, Dukakis, Mondale, etc--all were known and were solid Democrats w/good resumes and actual experience who cared about Dem principles and issues and policies--if not fighting or truly liberal or charismatic candidates. Holding our noses for them wasn't as hard.

murphy's picture
Submitted by murphy on

Hope wrote: "He wins by gaming the system. Not by winning the votes."

you are exactly right. this is simple, but very powerful. to me at least.

Gidget Commando's picture
Submitted by Gidget Commando on

the danger in “new” and “independent” voters - there’s usually a reason why they weren’t politically active or partisan before. Sure, some of the young ’uns will stay involved but they will graduate from college and have less time like the rest of us.

Word. They don't bother to stick around for the real work like us veterans.

Then again, I'm getting emails from several pals about a million-woman-march on Denver for the convention. Seems that the Obots have raised the ire of a few thousand or so women who don't like being Oborged or backroomed out of their say.

BTW, if Obama's such a reformer, why has every Hillary supporter who's witnessed primary days here and there said that they do the Daly-machine-type stuff better than anybody? Not like I think it's wrong to play hardball, but if your entire brand is that you're the shiny new political messiah whose shit doesn't stink, well, then, doesn't engaging in that behavior make you kind of a, well, liar?

ice's picture
Submitted by ice on

This site used to be better than name-calling.

Any progressive who votes for McCain over Obama is cutting off their nose to spite their face.

It's great to get an account of the events from someone who was there, but the post would be much better without the biased language. You're a Clinton supporter - everyone understands that. You hate Obama - we get that too.

It is a shame that the Florida and Michigan primaries went down the way they did. The Democratic party made a huge mistake by not making sure this was resolved long before anyone would have gone to the polls.

I voted for Edwards. Three months ago I was on the fence as far as Hillary vs. Obama. I now prefer Obama, but if Hillary ends up the nominee I'll vote for her in an instant. If Obama chooses her as his VP, I'll vote for the ticket in an instant. I'm voting for the Democrat no matter what, without reservations*.

Obama and Hillary have very similar platforms compared to the McCain plan. It's been an extremely close race, and it looks like Obama will win. The primary process is incredibly flawed - everyone knows that - but also everyone knew that coming in to the race. The rules did not change in the middle. Every part of it - including how to handle the MI and FL situations - has been handled pretty much by the book, although in this case it's the part of the book that says what do you do when things don't go by the first part of the book.

The issues of 2000 inspired a lot of people to care a lot more about voter suppression, and work on ways to keep it from happening again. What would be nice is to see the issues of 2008 inspire people to reform the Democratic primary process. If anyone reading this thinks they really know the best way to do it, _please_ take it to the highest level of the Democratic Party you hang out with and share it. It's not a trivial problem, mostly because there's reasons to stretch it out that act somewhat opposite a reason to simply hold a one-day election. Plus the "who can vote in a primary" issue is always sticky.

After the nominee is determined, if it ends up being Obama, I really hope the commenters here who have suggested that they won't vote for Barack take a deep breath and compare the platforms of McCain and Obama. If after doing so they decide that Obama's is not preferable, well, then we agree to disagree. If it's resentment over the primary that threatens their vote, however, I think it's time to look at a larger picture. To start with, anyone who claims to supports women has a hard time convincing me that they want McCain filling any potential SCOTUS openings rather than Obama.

My sympathies to those who feel they've been cheated. It's always hard to lose the close ones. Me, personally - I think that Hillary eventually endorses Obama, gets a spot she wants in his administration if she wins. That's how these political things generally resolve, and both Obama and Clinton are definitely politicians. If you're really a Hillary supporter and she endorses Obama, than you ought to vote for him, because it's certain there's something in it for her down the line. And I still wouldn't count her out as VP.

Peace out.

* OK. If Lieberman was the VP, I'd hold my nose.

Submitted by lambert on

I try to be careful in distinguishing between Obama supporters and the OFB. That's classification, not namecalling. And anybody who thinks that there's no such thing as the OFB is either tendentious or hasn't been paying attention.

Sorry you feel that the quality's off. You are, of course, free to go elsewhere; our many new readers, so far, have more than compensated.

"Peace out," eh? Memories....

UPDATE Of course, I'm a racist, so what would I know?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

joc's picture
Submitted by joc on

If you’re really a Hillary supporter and she endorses Obama, than you ought to vote for him, because it’s certain there’s something in it for her down the line.

I can't speak for others, but this shows a failure to understand why I want Hillary to be the Democratic nominee for President. It isn't that I like Hillary. It isn't that I want good things for her. It isn't anything like that. I support Hillary's candidacy because I agree her policies and I see her as the best candidate to get those policies enacted.

My first choice was for Chris Dodd. I was all set to campaign for him in New Hampshire. When he dropped out, since I had non-refundable tickets, I campaigned for Hillary. What I saw in Dodd was (and what I see in Hillary is) a core belief in Democratic principles and the willingness to fight for them, joined with the experience to get them passed.

I won't vote for John McCain because his policies are abhorrent to me. But I hold out very little hope that Obama will be able to get anything he wants done. He has already backed off of pulling troops out of Iraq. He has reversed his position on universal health care. He has shown that if it's a choice between sticking up for his friends and running away, he'll run (e.g. his recent bolting from TUCC). And that doesn't even get into all the Republican talking points he and his campaign used against Hillary.

The only thing going for him, should he become President, is that he has raised a lot of money. If he can use that money to get the Democrats in Congress to do what he wants, he might have a chance. The thing is, I'm not sure he has that kind of money, since it will be very expensive to get them to hold the line. Because the Republicans are going to do what Republicans do. They are going to stonewall at every opportunity. They are going to try to gum up the works of any agenda he sets. And they are going to pretend to be bipartisan for the media as they fight the Democrats tooth and nail. Because Republicans fight. And when you fight against someone who isn't a good fighter, or worse, doesn't fight back, you win. Obama has not shown he is ready to fight. Not even for the cause he put forth as the primary reason for his candidacy.

My vote is my vote. It is not a vote for Hillary, just as it was not a vote for Chris Dodd. It is a vote to be had by whoever can convince me they can get the policies I want, enacted. Period.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

To start with, anyone who claims to supports women has a hard time convincing me that they want McCain filling any potential SCOTUS openings rather than Obama.

Is that the same Sen Obama who was barely restrained from voting for confirmation of fellow Harvard-ie Chief Justice Roberts (a pro-lifer) only because one of his advisors told him it would look bad if he ran for president?

Protecting Roe v. Wade? Not so much.

Submitted by lambert on

Attilla the Hun or Pope Benedict could be President and it doesn't have to make any difference.

All that really needs to happen is that the SJC Dems grow a spine.

"Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Federalist Society?" That's the stuff to give the troops....

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Incitatus's picture
Submitted by Incitatus on

maybe, in time, they will learn to stop worrying and love Obamerica.

Or maybe Hillary will take her lead from Poppaedius Silo, raise an army of plebs, and march on Denver. Which would actually be kinda sexy. I might jump on the team for that one.

What ever happens, the door is shut on an empty stable, I fear, and the Unity Pony is out there somewhere, dead in a ditch, while its bloated carcass continues to be flogged with the whip of hubris.

But everything will be okay, because no matter who's in charge next year, there will no doubt be another season of Lost to drown our collective sorrows in.

ice's picture
Submitted by ice on


If you don't want me to comment, let me know and I'll abide. I'm not sure where I'm being offensive.


There is no doubt in my mind that political calculation is included in all of Obama's public decisions; I also believe that Hillary does the exact same.

Obama is publicly pro-choice, and voted Nay on both Alito and Roberts. John McCain is publicly anti-choice, and voted to confirm both Alito and Roberts. So yeah, I think Obama is a much better bet to appoint choice-friendly justices.

ice's picture
Submitted by ice on

Because she'll negotiate a position that helps her promulgate those policies of hers that you like. Obvious possibilities are VP, head of the DSCC, a place on the Supreme Court. Or, he'll back her up for whatever committees she wants, or something like that.

If you are a purist about your vote it's hard for me to take issue - I felt the same way in my 20s. Now I'm in my late 30s (I have no idea how old you are, and I don't mean to suggest anything like "you'll learn" - just chronicling my own shift) and have a couple kids, and my perspective is different. I will vote for a Democrat that I don't really like, because until our base political system is changed (not likely in my lifetime) I will not be voting for the best possible candidate, but instead the best candidate possible. Which in this case is the Democrat opposing McCain.

joc's picture
Submitted by joc on

I used to think that voting for any Democrat that wasn't crazy was the best plan (all the way down the ticket). But that was when I was still in my 30s, and I was young and foolish (just kidding). Now, I when I hear people say things like, 'You have to vote for Barack Obama or McCain will appoint judges that will overturn Roe v. Wade,' I cringe. Why? Well, for this example, it's because the Democrats in the Senate should be stopping any unacceptable nominations to the Supreme Court (they have the majority, and can do it if they stand firm). They are telling me that they are unable to fight for even the most fundamental Democratic values. Looking for the reason why these Democrats are unable to fight, I can only look at my former self. I was willing to give them my vote without demanding that they provide me something I needed in return. What I need, and I feel all Americans need Democrats who are willing and able to fight for their principles. I don't feel that Obama will do that.

One thing that might help would be for him to put a fighter (with good policies) like Hillary on the ticket. However, I won't promise my vote to him in hopes that he'll do these things. He first needs to show that he is going to do these things.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

What I mean is, I can't be scared into voting for Obama because McCain is the big bad monster who will appoint evil supreme court justices. I have little faith that Obama will stand up for anything that costs him anything, and that includes picking justices that republicans don't like.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

I have no faith that the following leadership will pursue "change that I can believe in".


So, that means for me to support Obama, I need that leadership changed.

Anybody else

This, while not ideal, would be acceptable and I think, more importantly, will allow other Clinton supporters to believe that the policies she champioins will have a champion.

What, BTW has Reid done for anybody lately?


Good night and good riddance!

ice's picture
Submitted by ice on

If you'd regret voting for Obama, don't do it. Nothing is worth that.

I'm suggesting that there have been times in the past when my mind has changed about an issue after initial emotions have died down a bit, and perhaps other people have had the same experience. And if so, perhaps it will happen here.

Do you honestly think Obama would pick an anti-choice justice to fill the Supreme Court? If so, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

It's very possible a spot won't open up (though Stevens is 88 years old). It could be completely moot. It's simply one of many reasons to consider where Obama would be far more progressive than John McCain.

McCain votes with the Republican bloc almost every time. Obama votes with the Democrats, usually the more progressive wing of the Democrats. They have very different voting records. They have very different stated platforms.

If you hate him too much to vote for him, that's how it is. That's different from claims I see that he wouldn't be much different from McCain if elected. He'd be vastly different.

I didn't like Bill Clinton. First thing he did in office that I really remember was renege on his gays in the military promise, changing it to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". He wanted way too much in the budget for the military, and part of TANF gutted what I thought were important components of AFDC. I don't like all his support for Israel. I thought various foreign policies were bad, including the air space embargo and the human damage it caused.

But, he was a billion times better than Bush I would have been in a second term. I voted for Clinton, complained about him, but I was really glad he won. I was really glad that Ross Perot jumped in the race, because I think that it would have been about 50-50 had it been heads-up.

There's no comparison for me in the upcoming election. If Hillary gets the nod, my opinion will be that she cheated the Michigan agreement and that she's a less desirable president than Obama. So what - Obama won't be a choice anymore, so I'll vote for Hillary in a flash because she's so, so, so much better than McCain.

That's my take. Yours is different. Respect.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Do you honestly think Obama would pick an anti-choice justice to fill the Supreme Court?

Yes. It's one of those issues, where he can demonstrate to everyone his "bipartisanship". He's already admitted he thinks Republican ideas on corporate regulation(something else SCOTUS rules on), I find it very easy to believe he'd sell us out in a heartbeat.

You say McCain is so much worse. I think a 4 yr ineffective Obama presidency, followed by 16-20 years of Republican presidents is much worse. I'll suffer through McCain now, not to suffer through Santorum, Bush J, then Rice, later.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Bill Clinton did not reneg on his promise. He tried to make good on it. Don't Ask Don't Tell wasn't what he tried to do, it was what he was forced to do by Sam Nunn who unified with the GOP and Pentagon brass to kill Bill Clinton's attempt to let gays serve in the military. Now, did Clinton cave to Nunn and the GOP (including McCain) and the Pentagon brass? Yes, he did. I understand why people hold Clinton accountable for that.

But it was Sam Nunn who killed gays in the military and insisted on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which started out as a six-month deal during which there was supposed to be a study done to help the transition. As part of that "study", Sam Nunn, Chair of the Armed Services Committee, helpfully held hearings, not in Washington, but at the Naval Base in Norfolk where he took the media on a tour of those very tight heads and bunks in a ship. He also controlled the panel of witnesses on the hearing. Then, having unified with the Pentagon brass (like Colin Powell) and Republicans (like John McCain) to kill Clinton's bid to let gays in the military, he compromised by agreeing to extend DADT, which I think most at the time thought would lead to fewer gays being booted from the military, but of course that has not been the result.

And Sam Nunn did all of this almost immediately after Bill Clinton was sworn in. Read the excerpts of the dueling press conferences he and Clinton held on January 31, 1993 - here. And here is a letter to the editor of the NYT complaining about its coverage of the Nunn hearings and what it left out about Nunn's obvious stacking of the deck.

And this was not the only issue on which Congressional Democrats were less than helpful. Remember how Bill Clinton screwed over Lani Guinier? Well, he did that, but he had plenty of help from Congressional Democrats who went out of their way to distance themselves from her and warn the President about her (oddly, much of which leaked to newspapers). Now, Clinton could've defended her faster and better, but more experienced Congressmen could have given him a little help. Like, say Ted Kennedy. From the 2002 American Prospect article on her:

Had opposition to Guinier been limited to conservative Republicans, Clinton surely would have stood by her. But the opposition included the centrist-liberal New York Times, New Democrats like Al From of the Democratic Leadership Council, and neanderthal liberals such as A.M. Rosenthal. Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was openly skeptical, and even Edward Kennedy, one of the Senate's most stalwart liberals, distanced himself. Thus in addition to predictable Republican opposition, Guinier faced opposition from important sectors of the Democratic Party.

This is why I have no sympathy for the Democratic losses in 1994, especially when combined with their corruption scandals, or how conveniently other Dems now blame them on Bill Clinton (and how depressing is it that this lack of accountability by Congressional Democrats has been embraced now by so much of the blogosphere that had worked so hard to try to hold Congressional Dems accountable). A lot of Clinton's caving to the right was because he was being stabbed in the back by his fellow Democrats. Perhaps Clinton would've had a higher approval rating if Democrats hadn't been so quick to join Republicans in criticizing him and his policies. The Whitewater hearings began while the Democrats still contolled Congress and in the summer of 1994. Terrific political instincts, those Democrats!

None of which is to say that Clinton didn't make his own mistakes and plenty of them. Or that he was some liberal paragon. He wasn't and he made plenty of mistakes. But they might not have been so costly if his party had helped him instead of looking for ways to score points at his expense or unify with the opposition.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

Lambert is right, this is about classification. I know people who voted for Obama, and I can't imagine any of them involved with the sort of hatred and vitriol that the OFB spew. I don't agree with their support of Obama (though at least one of them is coming around to my way of thinking the more he gets to know Obama), but that hasn't stopped us from regularly discussing the race or politics in general. I can't imagine any of them calling me a bitch because I support Hillary. Or telling me that the only reason I support her is because I don't know any better -- I'm uneducated and stupid -- "low-information."

I didn't call anybody a name based on the candidate they support, but because of the behavior they exhibited; there is a difference. And I also didn't single out any individual, I was referring to a bullying mob -- which is again, very different than the person who turned directly to me, looked me in the eye and called me a bitch.

I'm not sure what was the final straw* that convinced me that I couldn't vote for Obama, but since you brought up reproductive rights and the Supreme Court let's start there.

Do you remember when Obama said that he believed that women should have "some" control over their own bodies? Do you remember when he admitted that he voted against Roberts, not because he was concerned that Roberts would be another vote against Roe v. Wade, but because he was worried about the political fallout should he vote to confirm, his initial inclination?

Given that both Alito and Roberts did get confirmed, I am now immune from politicians or organizations who use the specter of a world without Roe v. Wade to scare money and votes out of me. Those organizations and those politicians? The fell down on the job. They failed. They could have stopped Alito and Roberts but they didn't. They were too worried about what the Republicans might do to them if they blocked the confirmations, so they caved.

The president is not the only person responsible for putting someone on the Supreme Court -- the Senate plays a role as well, and if McCain is elected and nominates someone who is unacceptable, well then, our Democratic majority are going to have to step in and do their job. I am not at all convinced that with Obama's concession that I should have "some" control of my own body that protecting my reproductive rights is at the top of his agenda. He was willing to vote to confirm a man who was known to hold anti-choice views -- he didn't vote no out of concern for my rights (or those of his daughters, for that matter), he voted no because of political expediency.

I'm sorry if my use of the terms OFB or Obamabots offended your sensibility, but I have now experienced in person their response to my rejection of their candidate, and I'm not sure what else to call them. These are people who go way beyond mere support of their candidate -- they are fans.

*Or perhaps is was the first, or maybe the second "Sweetie." Or, no -- I think maybe it was the kiss he offered a woman in exchange for her vote.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

matters far more than the WH--they can stop or allow everything--they need to step up and actually do their jobs, no matter who is the President.

Republicans know this, and obstruct and kill every single thing they don't like--whether they have a GOP President or not, and whether they control Congress or not.

chrisvee's picture
Submitted by chrisvee on

Any progressive who votes for McCain over Obama is cutting off their nose to spite their face.

Noses are overrated.