Monday, June 30, 2008

Another status quo enforcer speaks

Apparently, those of us who refuse to follow the Democratic party leader aka The Anointed One are not only hysterical old bats, but we are dumb sweeties pumped up by a Republican swiftboat conspiracy:

Pandagon writer Amanda Marcotte reaches the heights of silliness in her attempt to "prove" the John McCain holds PUMA's leash. Even though the movement started on the Confluence with Riverdaughter and other former Kossack writers, and even though many a well-known prog-in-exile (including yours truly) has pushed the thing along, Marcotte pretends that the entire thing was started by one Darragh C. Murphy, who appears to have given John McCain $500 in the year 2000.

That, says Marcotte, proves it's all a big fat Republican plot!

Actually , Marcotte's post proves that we are dealing with a big fat Obama plot -- since she lightly re-writes an Obot "talking point" previously sent to this blog, and to other blogs. The term for this sort of practice is, I believe, Astroturf. In other words, Marcotte simply re-typed a message handed to her by Obama Central.

The PUMA blogs, by contrast, do what they do on their own. We have no Comintern, no Central Commitee, no leaders, no home office, no money. Hillary has told Dems to support the Lightbringer, and we have told her no can do.

I have not received any communication from John McCain's people. Nobody pays me a dollar.

Me neither and as I have repeatedly asserted, I am not voting for McCain. Or Obama.

Who's questioning the motivations of A-Hole listers who rake in the Obama cha-ching? Oh, their loyalties couldn't be influenced by nothing but their own true-blue natures, eh?

Is Marcotte aware that Markos used to be a Republican? Does that mean the Orange Sippy Cup™ is a GOP ratfucking operation?

Funny how us dumb sweeties can't organize a resistance all by ourselves without men like John McCain. A bit of unconscious internalized sexism in play?

It's inconceivable to Marcotte and her ilk that PUMAs come from all quarters of the political spectrum including yours truly, a left-of-center liberal lesbian with a list of reasons for my opposition, "fed up and revolting against corruption, sexism, exploitation of racial tensions, homophobia, and the plutocracy of both parties."

Status quo enforcers don't think outside of the box nor do they see "status quo packaged as change."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Survived with Pride

M'yow! I would have loved to have partied with the crowd in this video. Diana Ross and Ru Paul perform, I Will Survive, an LGBTQ classic. Filmed in West Hollywood, CA in January 1996. I can't tell how many times I've seen drag queens perform this song.

Some day I'll tell the story of how my hometown underground of gay guys and a St. Louis transvestite saved me as a teen lesbian from small-town despair, isolation, and the closet. Discovering the community set me free and I survived.

Especially poignant lyric in political terms: "... now I'm saving all my loving for someone who's loving me..." About time, doncha think?

Via. The Gloria Gaynor version.

Gay Pride celebrating marriage

Photo source

Time to celebrate! Gay Pride events this weekend will commemorate the march toward equality perhaps most remarkably in San Francisco:

Given San Francisco's sizable role in initiating the lawsuits that led California's highest court to strike down the state's bans on same-sex marriage, the city's 38th annual gay pride festival and parade is likely to draw huge crowds this weekend, tourism officials say.

"It's really going to be a Pride like none other," said Joe D'Alessandro, president of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau. "I have never seen so many rainbow flags in this city, along Market Street, on shops, on homes. It's really a situation where the people are celebrating and the city is in a very festive mood."

With 259 marriage license appointments and 284 reservations for wedding ceremonies scheduled at the San Francisco county clerk's office, Friday was on pace to be the city's busiest day for weddings since gay marriage became legal earlier this month. There were 202 license appointments and 115 weddings performed on June 17, the first full day that gay and lesbian couples could get married in California.

Although City Hall will be closed over the weekend, organizers of the weekend's official pride festivities are putting up a wedding pavilion across the street where couples can get information about tying the knot or celebrate newly sanctioned unions.

Gay rights advocates also plan to use the occasion to build support for their campaign to defeat a ballot initiative that would overturn the state Supreme Court's decision by amending the California Constitution to again ban same-sex marriage.

The theme for Sunday's pride parade — "United by Pride, Bound for Equality" — was selected before the state's high court handed down its ruling on May 15....

The SFO Chronicle reported on Thursday:

Already, the same-sex pairs have come from all corners of the United States, including liberal places like Seattle and New York City and conservative bastions such as South Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas.

They've come from other countries, too: England, France, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong. And instead of running off to Vegas to tie the knot, one couple from there came to San Francisco to do just that....

...It's up to individual states to determine whether they will recognize the California marriage licenses. New York Gov. David Paterson recently directed all state agencies to recognize same-sex weddings performed elsewhere, but the California licenses will mean nothing in the vast majority of states....

...David Whatley, 31, and Michael Potts, 34, live in Atlanta and know Georgia won't recognize their marriage anytime soon. But when they saw the California weddings on the news June 17, they bought their plane tickets immediately. They purchased wedding rings two days later, arrived at SFO last Friday morning and were married within hours - with a stranger serving as their witness.

"We figured we couldn't wait for Georgia to get onboard. We had to come across the country to do it instead," Whatley said. "We're tired of intolerance. San Francisco's a very forward-looking city, and we're glad to be a part of it."

Tolerance also brings a financial windfall. SFO's "controller's office estimated this week the weddings will add $19.8 million to the city economy by the end of July 2010" and "researchers at UCLA's Williams Institute, reported that residents, non-California couples and their wedding guests could spend a combined $684 million in the state over the next three years."

Gay Pride parades began in 1970 as a homage to the weekend of June 27-29 in 1969, a turning point in LGBTQ history when the Stonewall riots ignited (no pun intended) the liberation movement. Archival footage of the first 1970 march with "commentary by lesbian and gay elders" and other history-makers through 2008 are available at Out at the Center. Description of the film:

Hosted by Laverne Cox, The Center's half-hour show debuts never before seen personal archival footage of the first Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day March up Sixth Avenue to the Sheep Meadow with commentary by lesbian and gay elders who were on the scene; the alumni of Gay and Lesbian Youth of New York talk about their experiences organizing as youth in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and giving back to the youth of today; former Center board president David Nimmons and artist Gary Speziale recall the installation of The Center Show in 1989; writers Amy Hoffman and Stefanie Grant read from their work; Gay City News reporter Sam Oglesby talks to journalist Michael Luongo about his travels as a gay man in the Muslim world and volunteers from Team Center highlight the AIDS Walk of 2008.

Sexocrites strike a blow for irony

A pair of wingnut weasels:

Two United States Senators implicated in extramarital sexual activity have named themselves as co-sponsors of S. J. RES. 43, dubbed the Marriage Protection Amendment. If ratified, the bill would amend the United States Constitution to state that marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), who was arrested June 11, 2007 on charges of lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport terminal, is co-sponsoring the amendment along with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA).

Craig, who entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, was detained and charged for attempting to engage in sexual activity with a male undercover police officer. His arrest and plea became public two months later. At that time, Craig attempted to withdraw his plea and enter a new plea of not guilty. To date, his efforts have been denied by the courts.

In July of 2007, Vitter was identified as a client of a prostitution firm owned by the late Deborah Jeane Palfrey, commonly known as The DC Madam.

With a Democratic controlled Congress it is unlikely the bill will be brought up for a vote in either the Senate or House of Representatives.

Craig and Vitter mocked their marriages so natch these compulsive sexocrites need a scapegoat. Attacking same-sex marriage--attempting to ban it by codifying discrimination into the Constitution--is such a tired, very tired, old flim-flam and quite telling about who is undermining the sanctity of marriage. It's as if rabid homophobes wear signs around their necks that beg, "Investigate me! I've got a secret sex scandal."

What's outrageous is that these two bozos named the bill the Marriage Protection Amendment. If I didn't know better, I would swear the story hailed from The Onion.

Hat tip to egalia who wrote of the "lusty senators"...

Suffice it to say, the Marriage Protection Amendment does not read: Thou shalt not publicly humiliate your wife by coveting another man in a bathroom stall. Nor does it read: Thou shalt not publicly humiliate your wife by fooling around with prostitutes....

...Apparently, the senate bad boyz want to return to the days when they were the laughingstock of the nation.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Unity schmunity

I own my vote and signed the pledge earlier this week.

The Democratic party can... Dream On.

Health care nightmare

I've been away again, this time due to a hospital visit... mine.

I'm sure you can appreciate that I don't wish to publicly disclose a lot on the World Wide Web.

But my hospital experience reinforced the criticism that America's health care system is not only broken, but the quality of treatment, well... it's not the best by a long shot.

A few examples: Five hours passed before a doctor examined me. Two more hours before a tech from phlebology drew blood. Eight vials of my blood sat for a couple of hours on a table next to my gurney before a nurse with an attitude gathered them for the lab. At midnight, another tech came back to withdraw more blood because the previously drawn blood had clotted, was too old, and not usable for testing. Yippeee! Another long wait.

The entire ordeal lasted 16 hours and we still don't know what's wrong with me health-wise.

What a fricking nightmare!

However, my experience doesn't compare to my partner's episode, who writhed in pain for four hours in the ER before a doctor examined her and sent her to surgery for appendicitis. Why so long? Her urine specimen sat for almost two hours before going to the lab. Another hour ticked by. When the test results returned, her white blood cell count was sky high, which prompted a doctor to finally examine her abdomen and immediately send her to the OR.

After three hours in the OR, the surgeon emerged to tell me that an abscess on my partner's appendix had ruptured and a second abscess had formed and burst at the time they began laparoscopy surgery. Her abdomen had been bathed with infection. The surgical team suctioned up the mess as best they could but her recovery would take time. Lots of time and treatment. Further complications might develop. And they did. Twenty-one days later, she finally came home from the hospital with tubes and drainage bags.

I know of more people with nightmarish health care stories and hospitalizations than I do of people who have had successful experiences.

Has American health care gone to hell?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Out with status quo enforcers

Enforcers of the status quo have been spinning yarns. From Violet:

Salon is pulling out all the stops to explain that the silly PUMAs are just venting when we say we won’t vote for Opossum. Walter Shapiro is up first with a piece that is breathtaking in its derision. . . Predictably, Shapiro displays zero understanding of what’s actually at stake, and of why women are uniting to exert their leverage over the Democrats. In his estimation it’s all just “ruffled feelings.” ...

...Next comes Rebecca Traister with a piece that is, I believe, intended to be slightly more sympathetic, but is ultimately just as bad. First she explains that, just as we learned in Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, angry ladies simply need to “vent.” Our words don’t really mean anything; we just need someone to pay attention to our hurt fee-fees. With that setup, she goes on to enumerate some of the things women are pissed about, but assures her readers that none of it actually matters....

...Traister’s piece is a study in Third Wave feminism, and the reason she has no comprehension of what’s happening is because PUMAs are moved by the spirit of Second Wave. We’re the women who know that sexism doesn’t go away if you lie back and play nice; we know we have to fight and we’re ready for it. Third Wave, on the other hand, is all about accommodation: accommodating patriarchy, primarily — reassuring men that women might fuss a little bit but they won’t actually rock the boat. Maybe a few frowns under the lip gloss, in between the boyfriend’s porn tapes and episodes of Keith Olbermann, but that’s about it. Just a few little glossy frowns.

Somebody’s got a surprise coming.

Oh, yes indeed-y.

Rebecca Traister of Salon referred to "grumpy old women" leaving out some people whom Joseph recognized:

Point 1: It's the gent, not the genitalia. Traister defines the phenomenon purely in terms of "ladies who love Hillary too much." Sisterhood is powerful: Hence, the PUMAs. It's a menopause thing, or so sayeth Traister.

Bullshit, sayeth I. Larry Johnson owns testicles, as does your humble narrator, as do a lot of other folk in PUMA-land. This is not a girls-only club. This is not about estrogen solidarity. In the end, this is not even about Hillary Clinton....

...It's about Obama. He's just not the right guy. He's just not the acceptable guy. The case against him resists easy summary, but one image may suffice: He moved Democratic Party HQ to Chicago.

For many years, Chicago corruption was the one aspect of Demo life that every party loyalist outside Illinois preferred not to think about. Whenever conservatives would spit "If you're so pure, what about the Daley machine?" -- we would whistle and sputter and tap our feet and try to change the subject.

And now: Barack Obama has moved the Democratic Party to Chicago.

Joseph also noticed Traister's "bare mention" of "the daily spew from Kos, TPM and Democratic Underground throughout the months of February, March, April and May."

2008 may be the last election in which pundits can pretend that the traditional media matter more than the online media. After this cycle, let's all stop kidding ourselves. Stop acting as if the overpaid blowhards on the teevee deserve more respect than do the unpaid blowhards in blogland or the paid-off blowhards who run the best-known political websites. The Daily Cheeto, god help us, gets more hits than FOX or MSNBC get viewers, and is therefore just as deserving of our antipathy.

It's the blogs, stupid.

And boy -- were the blogs stupid. And ugly. And vicious. And vile. And just plain loathsome.

The PUMA meme, like the term itself, was born online. Anti-Obama sentiment would never have congealed into a movement if his followers had not behaved in such a repulsive fashion, if they had not cried "Racism!" at every perceived heresy.

For months, they disparaged the legacy of the best Democratic president since FDR. The so-called "left" regurgitated every right-wing hate-meme and wacko anti-Clinton conspiracy theory of the 1990s....

Riverdaughter apprised the assault on PUMA:

Holy Hemiola! We got some serious attention today, didn’t we? First, Salon’s tagged teamed Rebecca Traister and Walter Shapiro against us. Shapiro was especially offensive with his bad boyfriend, “Where else are you going to go?” Downright creepy. Then HuffingtonPost got into the act with Will Bower (By the way, Will, our PUMA posts are time stamped. Just sayin’) Even Big Tent Democrat got into the act. But what was amazing was the sheer number of people who were fed up with the way this primary season has been going and thought it was time to take action against the DNC. If the comments I read today were any indication, the PUMA message of “It’s my vote, you’ve got to earn it” has a lot of followers.

If you read Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler, whom I consider our most reliable witness, remember this: pundits make stuff up. M'yeah, they bloviate without much evidence if any. If they have proof, they twist it to fit their "novels."

The press corps and the pundit class don't investigate and report. They peddle influence with an agenda: enforce the status quo, which is the death knell of a free press and an anathema to democracy. We saw this dynamic in the march to war.

Now the busy bees of the fauxgressive brigade have concocted imagined stories about what PUMAs oppose.

I can't speak for others but my opposition is:

  • about protesting a party that's sexist, corrupt, and out of touch

  • about throwing out party leadership by abstaining from their Anointed One

  • about a nomination process that used undemocratic means, i.e., caucuses, that made the Democratic party's name a joke

  • about the injustice of punishing MI and FL but giving NH, IA, and SC waivers when those states also violated the Rulz

  • about the dismissal of women and the working class by claiming we have no other political option other than voting Democratic

  • about the DNC rigging the nomination to wrangle their cash cow

  • about nominating the least qualified candidate of the field

  • about Obama's complicity in a dirty-tricks campaign of false racial smears, sexism, and okey doke politics

  • about manipulating the press propaganda machine to favor The One

  • about embracing homophobes and playing the LGBT community for suckers

  • about voting for "the lesser of two evils" that insidiously enables evil, hypocrisy, and complacency

  • about rejecting the extortion of my vote through intimidation and fear-mongering

  • about protesting the abandonment of constitutional principles for political capital.

I'm probably forgetting other important motives, but in short, I am fed up and revolting against corruption, sexism, exploitation of racial tensions, homophobia, and the plutocracy of both parties.

The disenfranchising, undemocratic status quo doesn't deserve our votes. The Democratic party must get our votes by earning them.

Obama as party leader indignantly expects that people who didn't vote for him should recruit people who didn't vote for him! Can you believe it?! He hasn't earned their votes yet he feels entitled to their support. Why? Party loyalty. Not an oath to the Constitution, as the FISA compromise clearly illustrates, but fealty to the party line. FTS!

Obama is the status quo packaged as change.

PUMAs crave change that we believe in and that we will exert.

To the barricades!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Obama and same-sex marriage

I wanted to get this posted on Sunday but life intervened with my blogging. The nerve!

Sapphocrat at Lavender Newswire announced in her headline that "Obama still thinks he’s more equal than I am. Only now he’s saying it out loud." She quoted a June 20 Advocate article by Kerry Eleveld that stated:

Sen. Obama reminded us this week that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, something LGBT people might have easily forgotten over the course of the primary. …

...More precisely, Sen. Obama said, “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” shortly after being asked if he opposed same-sex marriage, to which he responded, “Yes.” This positioning is not new for Sen. Obama. He has uttered those words plenty — during a debate with Alan Keyes in 2004, on the Senate floor in 2006, even in his 2007 Human Rights Campaign candidate questionnaire.

But if LGBT people across the country bristled at the one-man, one-woman construction, they can be forgiven. After scouring the web, drawing upon memory and scanning my notes, this reporter cannot remember the senator using those words during the entire primary season from January right through until Sen. Hillary Clinton conceded the race to Obama on June 7. In fact, I don’t believe he has used them in any one of the 20-some Democratic debates.

Why now? Welcome to the general election say the pundits. One Democratic strategist and TV pundit who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity said the language is intended to send a signal to swing state voters that Sen. Obama isn’t the crazy liberal they’ve been told he is. … [Emphasis added.]

I don't know if the anonymous Democratic teevee pundit (Is that you, Donna Brazile?) is correct in her/his explanation but Sapphocrat pointed out that there are already married same-sex couples in Massachusetts and California. "Sen. Obama, marriage is no longer simply between a man and a woman. At least, ours isn’t.” Does Obama oppose these marriages? Does he consider them inferior to hetero marriages? WTF is his position?

In April, The Advocate asked Obama:

Do you think it’s possible to get full repeal of DOMA? As you know, Senator Clinton is only looking at repealing the plank of DOMA that prohibits the federal government from recognizing state-sanctioned unions.

To which Obama replied:

I don’t know. But my commitment is to try to make sure that we are moving in the direction of full equality, and I think the federal government historically has led on civil rights -- I’d like to see us lead here too.

DOMA, if you have forgotten, defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman and prohibits the federal government from treating same-sex unions as marriages even if a state codifies them as such. DOMA also permits states or U.S. political subdivisions (D.C., Indian reservations, territories, etc.) to disregard same-sex marriages from other states. And for people flirting with the idea of voting for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr for president, he introduced DOMA in the House when he was a Georgia congressman.

I'm also aware of Hillary's position on same-sex marriage but she hasn't pandered to homophobes like Obama has, a deal-breaker for me, and she "openly declared her support for LBGT equal rights including a repeal of sections two and three of DOMA" among other actions. As Sapphocrat and my friend Rev. Irene Monroe have reiterated, former presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has without hesitation consistently championed full equality for LGBTs including marriage.

When choices dwindled to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, I supported Hillary, who has personally marched in Gay Pride parades and wasn't afraid to openly court our votes in Texas or a swing state like Pennsylvania. I had other reasons to support Clinton over Obama. However, my partner of 13+ years and I consider LGBT equality including marriage extremely important. Obama's waffling on our rights as equal citizens heightens our reasons among many to abstain from voting for him in November.

The Washington Blade reported June 13:

Obama, in his letter, says he hopes he and his supporters can work inclusively to secure equal rights for gay Americans.

“I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans,” he said in the letter. “But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced. That is the work we must do to move forward together. It is difficult. It is challenging. And it is necessary.”

Obama affirms that he continues to “support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act,” which allows states to ignore same-sex marriages performed beyond their borders and prevents the federal government from recognizing such unions. [Emphasis added.]

Now he affirms he opposes same-sex marriage. Who is Obama playing as chumps? Gays and lesbians? Swing state voters? Who?

M'yeah, I know. Politicians say the darnedest things to get elected but trusting Obama to keep his promises? Don't make me laugh. He "will never compromise" his "commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans" but he's going to listen to opponents of our equality. I understand from a political vantage point about examining the opposition's arguments to develop counter measures to defeat advocates of discrimination and bigotry. What will Obama decide? What will the constitutional scholar do? Will he capitulate to their positions? His rhetoric and actions have already demonstrated that his new kind of politics is a sham. Look at his dishonest campaign tactics in his okey doke on NAFTA. And Obama's support for the FISA "compromise."

So what's next after Obama's unequivocal opposition to same-sex marriage? Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate speculated:

Surely, the LGBT folks associated with the campaign are working feverishly behind the scenes to find a work-around for that phrase — one with the added benefit of being accurate. Only time will tell whether they prevail. …

To which Sapphocrat replied:

AFAIC, there’s nothing worse than selling out your own rights. Well, I’ll leave that to the LGBTs collecting a paycheck from Obama to work against their own self-interest — and mine. My conscience is clear.

One good thing about this article: At least The Advocate finally seems to be coming out of its Obama-induced stupor.

Obama himself, however, remains comatose on the issue of equality.

M'yeah. Persona non grata.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Obama's faux presidential seal

Bwahahahaha! Violet cracks me up! In response to Obama's newly-minted political stagecraft--his faux presidential seal--she titled her post, Truly, we are all possums.

Weeee-ooooo-iiiiii-ha-ha-ha-ha! What a delightfully wicked sense of humor.

Violet's comic riff was derived from the Latin phrase written between the eagle's wings on Obama's rising sun trademark included in the subliminal symbolism--Vote for me. I am The One!--of his new-fangled advertising gimmick. Vero Possumus translates, "Truly we're able," or in Obama campaign-speak, "Yes, we can." But I like Violet's translation better.

Obama's theatrical shtick smacks of an "Emperor has no clothes" moment in a sequel, The Audacity of Buffoonery. Is he for real? What's next? Cue music, "Hail to the Chief," at Obama rallies? Anyone can get the anthem as a ringtone so WTF.

Sure would like to know the candid opinions of the Democratic governors to whom Obama was speaking from behind his imitation presidential seal at Friday's Chicago meeting. Janet Napolitano will no doubt think it's fan-tas-tic. Ed Rendell and Ted Strickland... who knows?

The Swamp at the Chicago Tribune offers a larger image of the seal for inquiring minds and Frank James said of the Latin inscription, "It made me think of opossum. I don't think the campaign wants people thinking of opossum when they look at Obama."

Violet wrote:

Given how things have gone so far, this could totally work. The more people see Obama standing in front of 17 US flags and with a big pseudo-Presidential seal on the lectern in front of him, the more they’ll feel like it’s only natural for him to be President. They walk into that voting booth in November and their eyes will glaze over and Angela Lansbury will turn over the red queen and then they’ll pull the lever for Obama, just pull that lever because it’s what has to happen, see? They won’t be able to help themselves.

Personally I hope Obama will start printing his own money. I’m playing around here on the computer with some graphical ideas, kind of a mash-up of the eye/pyramid thing and the Obama sunrise. Think I’ll send them off to the campaign. Couldn’t hurt.

Priceless! I'm gonna get the giggles again... but first:

Dear Violet,

If I ever have the honor of meeting you, dinner is on me. What a wonderful mind!

Yours truly.

The art of hypocrisy

Puma PAC asks, "Want to see this ad on TV this summer?" Given what I've read of Obama's corporate donors and lobbyist network, the clip offers a poignant, highly creative approach to expose Obama's hypocrisy.

To get this ad (and there's another but it didn't strike me as effective) on local TV and in print markets of swing states this summer, go to Puma PAC to support their fundraising drive.

Get over it, Obama!

Obama continues to show his unity talk is cheap:

A Thursday afternoon meeting between Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus grew tense and emotional for a moment -- perhaps illustrating that weeks after Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., suspended her presidential campaign, some nerves remain frayed....

...Sources at the meeting said that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, a Clinton supporter, expressed the desire that Obama and his campaign would reach out the millions of women still aggrieved about what happened in the campaign and still disappointed that Clinton lost.

Obama agreed that a lot of work needs to be done to heal the Democratic Party, and that he hoped the Clinton supporters in the room would help as much as possible.

According to Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Obama then said, "However, I need to make a decision in the next few months as to how I manage that since I'm running against John McCain, which takes a lot of time. If women take a moment to realize that on every issue important to women, John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it."

Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., a longtime Clinton supporter, did not like those last three words -- "Get over it." She found them dismissive, off-putting.

"Don't use that terminology," Watson told Obama.

Clarke did not react the same way.

"I, personally, as a Hillary supporter, did not take that as something distasteful," Clarke said. "Nothing like that."

But, Clarke said, Watson "latched on to those three words."

In Clarke's view, Watson thought Obama had just told her to "get over it." She didn't appreciate that, and she told him so and emphasized that it was a heated campaign and lot of healing remains to be done.

"I agree," Obama said. "There's healing on both sides."

Both sides? Who is he effing kidding?

Joseph at Cannonfire dived into the dynamics of the Black Caucus meeting and included a history of intimidation aimed at others including himself for not having fallen into lockstep for Obama so go read.

He topped his post with a video from former Clinton supporter Paula Abeles who related that she has been receiving threats and racist smears for switching to John McCain. Her kids have also been attacked.

Additinally, Joseph's commentary addressed Obama's accusation from two unknown sources at the meeting that Hillary Clinton and "her allies had suggested he was a Muslim," which is bollocks.

Just imagine an Obama presidency. Speak out against The One and uh-oh. You, too, could be a target of attacks, some that may threaten violence, and unsubstantiated racial smears. We've had enough of this type of intimidation during Bush II. Chock up another reason to oppose Obama in November.

And what is it that women need help getting over? Obama didn't say. Is it holding our noses to vote once again for a crappy Democratic candidate, the lesser of two evils, Obama vs. McCain? That's why I'm not voting for Obama or McCain. If women keep voting for crappy candidates, women will keep getting crappy candidates.

In the words of the excellent essay by Dr. Violet Socks of The Reclusive Leftist, "No more."

She also weighed in on Obama's get over it remark and the "Muslim thing. . .one of the most thoroughly debunked smears spread by the Obama campaign, and here he is still peddling it — and still pretending he’s the injured party..."

Get the @#$%&* over it, Obama.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Obama's okey doke on NAFTA

Click images for full-size view


LORAIN, Ohio, Feb. 24, 2008:

Said Obama, "One million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio. And yet, 10 years after NAFTA passed, Sen. Clinton said it was good for America. Well, I don't think NAFTA has been good for America -- and I never have."

Saturday, Clinton took issue with an Obama mailer being distributed in the Buckeye State that included a quote implying that Clinton had described NAFTA as "a boon" to the economy.

The quote actually was from New York Newsday, which had characterized Clinton's views as considering NAFTA a boon though Clinton herself had never made such a remark. [Emphasis added.]

CNN, Feb. 23, 2008, Hillary Clinton from Ohio:

Obama "is continuing to send false and discredited mailings with information that is not true to the voters of Ohio," Clinton said.

One mailing says her health care proposal would force everyone to buy health insurance, regardless of ability to pay, a charge Clinton vehemently denied.

Sen. Obama knows it is not true that my plan forces people to buy insurance even if they can't afford it," she said.

The NAFTA mailer says Clinton was a "champion" for NAFTA while first lady, but now opposes it. NAFTA was negotiated by the first President Bush and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

"I am fighting to change NAFTA," Hillary Clinton said Saturday.

"Enough with the speeches and the big rallies and then using tactics right out of Karl Rove's playbook. This is wrong, and every Democrat should be outraged," she said. . .Obama denied Clinton's assertions that the literature was false.

"There's nothing in that mailing that is inaccurate," he said, adding that he was puzzled by the sudden scrutiny since the mailers had been around for days, if not weeks. [Emphasis added.]'s Lori Peterson, Mar. 4, 2008, at Newsweek:

Barack Obama's campaign is distributing a mailer in Ohio that plays upon anti-NAFTA feelings in the Buckeye State. But the flyer is misleading:

  • Obama is quoted as saying that "one million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio." But those figures are highly questionable and from an anti-NAFTA source. Other economic studies have concluded the trade deal resulted in much smaller job losses or even a small net gain.

  • The mailer quotes Hillary Clinton as saying "NAFTA has been good for New York and America." That quote, however, is taken out of context. She also said in that same news conference that NAFTA was flawed and old trade deals needed to be revisited.

Opposition to NAFTA plays well among Democratic, blue collar voters in Ohio. But the latest salvo from Barack Obama's campaign, a glossy, four-page mailer, uses dubious statistics and an out-of-context quote from Hillary Clinton to appeal to the electorate. [Emphasis added.]

More debunking from of Obama's NAFTA mailer include how "[First Lady Hillary Clinton had] been described by a biographer as privately opposing NAFTA in the White House," that she "was really prepared to try and kill NAFTA," and "not very much in favor of free trade." In an update, a statement was added that Hillary "was calling for tougher trade rules soon after she and her husband left the White House."

Salon, Feb. 25, 2008:

The Clinton campaign, in response, is trumpeting a passage from the Decatur Herald and Review published in September 2004, in which the paper reported that "Obama said the United States benefits enormously from exports under the WTO and NAFTA." [Emphasis added.]

The Democratic Daily, Feb. 26, 2008:

Obama went on record that he was supporting NAFTA expansion months ago. In fact, as David Sirota reported at the time [at Huff'n'Puff Post], Obama was “the first presidential candidate to officially declare his/her support for the NAFTA expansion moving through the Congress.” Sirota wrote:

His announcement is not necessarily surprising, considering he was the keynote speaker at the launch of the Hamilton Projecta Wall Street front group working to drive a wedge between Democrats and organized labor on globalization issues. His announcement comes just days after a Wall Street Journal poll found strong bipartisan opposition to lobbyist-written NAFTA-style trade policies. [Emphasis added.]

Note the headline in the last page of Obama's NAFTA mailer above: Only Barack Obama consistently opposed NAFTA. I guess those words depend on what "consistently opposed" means in the Obama lexicon. Can we find them as a synonym of okey doke?


Toronto Star, Jun. 20, 2008:

The presumptive Democratic nominee says in the upcoming edition of Fortune magazine that campaign rhetoric can sometimes get "overheated and amplified," and he denies he would move to unilaterally reopen the trilateral trade deal.

Obama's comments surfaced on the eve of a Canadian appearance by his rival, presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, who is expected to use an Ottawa speech today to highlight the Democrat's threat to reopen the deal.

Obama dialled back his anti-NAFTA stance in an interview with Fortune the same day he said he received a congratulatory phone call from Prime Minister Stephen Harper on winning enough convention delegates to get the Democratic presidential nomination.

"I'm not a big believer in doing things unilaterally," Obama said in the Fortune interview. "I'm a big believer in opening up a dialogue and figuring out how we can make this work for all people.''

His campaign denied he said anything in the interview that changed his core position on trade, pointing to earlier statements in which he promised to talk to Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon about improving NAFTA's labour and environmental standards.

At a debate in Cleveland in the final days of the Ohio primary campaign in March, Obama agreed with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton when she said the six-month opt-out clause should be invoked on NAFTA to force changes.

"I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labour and environmental standards that are enforced," he said.

But every time Obama alters his statements on NAFTA, he lends credence to a Feb. 8 memo describing a meeting between his economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, and George Rioux, Ottawa's consul-general in Chicago.

The Canadian memo, which was leaked to The Associated Press, said Goolsbee told Rioux that Obama's campaign remarks about NAFTA should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy.

In a more complete Fortune transcript, obtained by the online Huffington Post, Obama says: "My core position has never changed.

"I've always been a proponent of free trade and I've always been a believer that we have to have strong environmental provisions and strong labour provisions in our trade agreements." [Emphasis added.]

Barack Obama's website states as of this posting:

Amend the North American Free Trade Agreement: Obama believes that NAFTA and its potential were oversold to the American people. Obama will work with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to fix NAFTA so that it works for American workers.

Gee, that's nice. No specifics. No substantive policy plans on how the Anointed One will change NAFTA. Just bland words.

At Cannonfire, Joseph posted a "well done video" that summarizes "much of the case against Obama" including his reversal on public campaign financing. And Joseph is...

...particularly angered by the section on NAFTA. In the video, you will see two clips of Obama denying that Goolsbee met the Canadians, even though he provably did. (People now forget that Goolsbee originally tried to pretend that he had no connection to Obama.)

Obama apologists -- I will not link to the relevant Huffington Post story; use Google if you must -- now try to pretend that Obama's current NAFTA position matches the one he has always held. Oh yeah? Then why did so many Obots on Kos, DU, TPM and HP shout fantasies about Obama doing away with NAFTA? Why did they (falsely) claim that Hillary, not Obama, was the one giving secret assurances to the Canadians?

Obama transformed himself into a Rorschach blot, onto which progressives projected all of their silly fantasies. As Virginia Postrel says in The Atlantic:

His call for “a broad majority of Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents of goodwill -- who are re-engaged in the project of national renewal” is not a statement of principles. It’s an invitation to the audience to entertain their own fantasies of what national renewal would look like.

As the NAFTA flap demonstrates, his supporters can’t even decide what the candidate really thinks about free trade. His glamour makes it easy to imagine that a President Obama would dissolve differences, abolish hard choices, and achieve political consensus—or that he’s a stealth candidate who will translate his vague platform into a mandate for whatever policies you the voter happen to support.

Obama supporters have imagined an unrealistic imago of their Precious in a fit of their own wishful thinking of who the U.S. senator from Chicago is. At this point, I'm torn. I secretly harbor a wish albeit weak that Obama win the presidency so he can demonstrate what a fraud he is, but at the same time, I hope an Obama loss in November will banish the current DNC leadership from power, a big incentive and opportunity to change a party I no longer recognize. Either way, from my perspective, a McCain or Obama presidency is bad news.

If President Obama makes a bloody mess as I suspect he would, the chances for a 2010-2012 setback for Democrats will be greatly increased and a hard lesson earned. And for what? All because Hillary hatred filled fauxgressives' hearts and clouded their minds with promises of change and hope upon which Obama exploited, a political coup giving him control of the Democratic party in a Faustian bargain for money when TPTB "cast their lot fully with the Obamacans to root out the Clintons and to gain access to the cash cow." The takeover was fully realized by the machinations of the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee on May 31 that clearly favored Obama. For further details, read Paul Lukasiak's, Documentary Proof of RBC's "Stop Hillary" corruption in which the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee "violated its own rules for political reasons – to stop Hillary Clinton." Also read the responses in the comment thread.

The One has played his supporters stupid. "Certain" Blog Boyz still assume "Hillary Clinton ran a racist campaign" despite contrary evidence that defies their logic.

Obama spread misleading disinformation about Hillary's positions on NAFTA. He instigated race-baiting to destroy Clinton's reputation and "manipulated the press to fuel the fire against Hillary's benign RFK remark," a dirty trick undeniably linked to his campaign. He advanced specious rhetoric to denigrate Hillary's sex and motives with a shameful crying game including a sexist dog whistle to capitalize on the media's gender-bashing demonization that began years ago against "that buck-tooth witch Satan, Hillary Clinton." If he didn't connive the latter ploy intentionally, then he telegraphed his lack of feminist awareness, a flaw I usually ascribe to right-wing galoots. Obama's recent endorsement for the upcoming Georgia primary of Bush enabler and DINO Rep. John Barrow over challenger Regina Thomas, "a well-known African-American state senator" in a district where "black voters have cast nearly 70 percent of the ballots," should give Obama followers reason to ponder: what manner of candidate have they embraced?

The assertions in Obama's NAFTA mailer to undermine Hillary Clinton were false yet he said, "There's nothing in that mailing that is inaccurate." What makes people think they are exempt from Obama misleading them? What makes women deny he won't think of them as sweeties?

I have previously written, "I guess it was the Democrats' turn to swoon for their faux version of 'a uniter, not a divider.' "

Fait accompli.

UPDATE: Joseph offered some similar yet different points (falsely accusing Hillary Clinton for concocting a dirty trick over the Goolsbee-Canadian flap) in The triumph of double-think about Obama, his fanatical acolytes, and NAFTA. Worth the click!

DOCUMENTS & SOURCES: Images from Obama Mailer Slams Clinton on NAFTA from Ohio Daily Blog by Jeff Coryell. PDF of Obama's NAFTA mailer attacking Hillary Clinton from The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Anglachel of Anglachel's Journal coined the term, The Precious. Melissa McEwan of Shakesville is the source of "fauxgressive" as far as I know.


I have been busy with a family emergency that will continue for a bit of time and a start-up project that will require my attention in the coming months. I haven't blogged much in dealing with both.

Just letting you know and wishing I had posted something sooner.

I hope to blog in between dealing with these matters when I can.... maybe today.

Thanks for your patience.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Howard Dean thinks we're dumb sweeties

How stupid does Howard Dean think we are? This stupid:

SEELYE: Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic Party, who says he was slow to pick up on charges of sexism because he is not a regular viewer of cable television, is taking up the cause after hearing an outcry from what he described as a cross-section of women, from individual voters to powerful politicians and chief executives.

“The media took a very sexist approach to Senator Clinton’s campaign,” Mr. Dean said in a recent interview.

“It’s pretty appalling,” he said, adding that the issue resonates because Mrs. Clinton “got treated the way a lot of women got treated their whole lives.”

Mr. Dean and others are now calling for a “national discussion” of sexism.

Truly, that’s pathetic. For the past sixteen years, journalists could say any damn thing they pleased about major Democrats—especially Clinton, Gore and Clinton—safe in the knowledge that Dem Party figures would never care enough to complain. Now we learn why this long roll-over occurred: Party leaders like Howard Dean weren’t regular viewers of cable! How were they supposed to know about the vile things being said? None of us are geniuses out here, but that “explanation” is even insulting to us. Dean would have been much better off if he’d simply said nothing.

He’s calling for a discussion now! Just in time for it not to matter!

Convenient timing. After Hillary suspended her campaign, after years of abuse. Thanks for insulting the intelligence of millions of Clinton Democrats, women, and men who love women with a blockheaded, cockapootie, lame to the 10th power, contemptuous excuse. Between the Democratic party and the GOP, voters have a choice between stealthy corruption and in-your-face corruption. What a world!

Just when we need the Democratic party to act like adults, they morph into vindictive teenyboppers spieling CDS fibs and a lust for kewl, cold cha-ching.

And it gets worse. Organizations like NOW that should have been on the front line when the sexist puke first started to hurl at Sen. Hillary Clinton have finally decided to act on the issue. NOW (irony alert!) and Emily's List will launch email campaigns aimed at "cable channels when they see sexism." Plus, NOW, says its president Kim Gandy, will create a "Media Hall of Shame" on the Internet to raise awareness of "sexist language" in the news.

NOW is starting a campaign! Just in time! Seventeen months later! And by the way, could Gandy possibly have less of a clue? Almost surely, Michelle Obama will not “be the recipient of the same kind of attacks that Hillary was”—at least, not from the media players named in this article. (Good!) The fact that Gandy doesn’t understand this fact means that she’s been snoring soundly for the past many years.

Or that she’s playing it dumb.

La-dee-dah! As a lapsed member of NOW--I didn't see the benefit of, you know, actual results--I have to wonder what's in the water that has made women's orgs so complacent, so out of touch with women?

I can appreciate a woman's right to choose as important turf to protect. But you know what grinds women down to dust every working day of the week? Unfair, stagnant wages and loss of benefits, discrimination, and underground sexism in the workplace. Get a clue, people. Get out of your offices and go talk to women on the street, in grocery stores, at doctor offices if they are lucky to have insurance.


If Obama losing in November means Howard Dean and the new--we don't need no steenking working class--coalition pushers will exit the DNC, the incentive to reject the party's Anointed One just multiplied.

Hat tip to Bob Somerby.

POSTSCRIPT: Thanks, Joseph! My eyes were opened wide during this campaign season.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Media and misogyny

I happened upon this May 26 YouTube video of CNN's Howard Kurtz asking a panel of three women in media what they thought of Hillary Clinton's "sexist treatment by the press." They didn't hold back from citing the media, Internet sites, politicians, Obama supporters, and women who had attacked Hillary.

A transcribed quote from Marie Cocco, syndicated columnist for the WashPo:

But if you ever saw the language, the vulgarity, the vitriol that is hurled at Hillary Clinton by liberal Democrats, by the liberal blogs, largely by frankly Obama supporters, um, you'd be appalled. I mean you would punish your children for this.

What do you think about what the women said?

Apologies due to Hillary plus

Via Taylor Marsh, at U.S. News & World Report, Bonnie Erbe wrote that Hillary and her supporters deserve an apology from Obama, the DNC, and party leaders for their sexism.

The Democratic National Committee either doesn't get it or refuses to admit it. Nothing short of a lengthy, detailed mea culpa by the DNC and by Obama himself, directed to Clinton supporters for the sexist name-calling and personal, nasty characterizations Clinton was alone forced to endure, will do. Even that may not persuade these voters to consider supporting the party this fall. The DNC, Democratic Party leaders in Congress, and Obama should have been at her side, calling her treatment by the media (and even by some Obama supporters) unacceptable.

According to most polls, something in the range of 20 to 25 percent of her 18 million supporters say they'll vote for Senator McCain in November. That's 4.5 million votes—too many to take for granted. Yet taking them for granted is just what the party and Obama are doing. When CNN's Candy Crowley asked Obama how he would appeal to disaffected Clinton voters, he missed the mark entirely, giving a standard set of policy proposals.

I appeared on one of the cable news networks over the weekend, paired with a political reporter from a major newspaper. We were asked whether her supporters would kiss and make up with the Obama camp and end up throwing their support to the Illinois senator in the general election. He said, dismissively, "yes." I responded that with all due respect I thought he was quite wrong. But his laissez-faire attitude typifies that of the bulk of the MSM, the Democratic Party, and the Obama campaign.

M'yeah. The "highest, hardest glass ceiling" appears to have constructed a brick wall in front of it. Just try talking to it.

Meanwhile, Sapphocrat reported on how the denizens of DU expect Hillary Clinton to “self-immolate on the steps of the Capitol.”

With anti-Hillary attitudes still in force, pardon-moi if I don't participate in the June 21 Unity Day. It's a joke, n'est-ce pas?

My answer: PUMA!

Bizarros still trashing Hillary

Click on the graphic for a larger image.

Someone make the Bizarro World journalists and pundits stop! Bob Somerby:

For example, Sally Quinn’s current post about Hillary Clinton is almost dumb-founding in its inanity. A person would surely think that what follows was offered as some sort of parody. No. It’s comes to us straight from the soul of the Post—indeed, from the paper’s “On Faith” section:

QUINN (6/10/08): Now would be the perfect time for her to find herself, to decide what she really wants. Give up the roar of the crowds, the banners and the balloons, the marching bands, the begging for autographs. Give up the naked ambition, the lust for power. Is it possible that she wants those things because she thinks she should?

The only way for her to gather this kind of insight would be for her to go away for awhile. Be alone. Be silent. Be with yourself. There is a wonderful retreat called Bhavana Society in West Virginia that would be the perfect place. Its founder, Bhante Gunaratana, talks in his book “Mindfulness” about the power of concentration or tranquility when one’s mind is brought to rest and “a deep calm pervades the body”. “The meditator focuses his or her mind on a certain item, such as a prayer, a chant, a candle flame, or a religious image, and excludes all other thoughts and perceptions from his or her consciousness.” Self awareness is the goal. Hillary talks quite openly about her faith and how it comforts her. This would be a perfect time for her to explore her faith, to delve more deeply into it.

Self awareness is the goal! Having stated this lofty ambition, Quinn gives Clinton the advice her cohort has always given: Please “go away for awhile” [sic]!

We’ll only suggest that you read the whole post. Once again, we’ll state the obvious: If you didn’t know this post was real, you’d assume that it had to be parody—perhaps the script for Candy 2.

But then, the mental styles of the insider press corps are constantly put on unsettling display. Quinn has been at the soul of this clan for a very long time now. By was of contrast, Matt Yglesias is very young; he’s still on his way to their tables. But here he is, reacting to Todd Purdum’s piece in Vanity Fair. This isn’t parody either:

YGLESIAS (6/2/08): It's hard for me to tell how much of the sleazy behavior that Purdum hints at here is actually true. Based on the record, it wouldn't at all be unlike Clinton for some of it to be true.

Some of it could be true, the lad judged. Though it was hard for him to “tell how much” of what Purdum “hints at” is “actually true.” (Translation: None of it may be true. More on Purdum’s work next week.)

How much more do you need from Yglesias? A question sometimes comes to mind when we sift the work of lads like this: How do they get this way so early in life? Likely answer: They’ve worked very hard at the task. But there again, you see the mental styles of your “press elite” on display.

And yes, there’s always more. You already live on The Planet of Chimps, and chimps have always loved to put their skills on vivid display. During Campaign 2000, Michael Crowley was flummoxed by 2 plus 5 (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/9/00); at the start of Campaign 04, he ran to be the first to complain that John Kerry liked wind-surfing—and even played show tunes on his guitar! (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/10/02.) Sorry—no one ever gets that stupid without putting in a good deal of hard work. And sure enough! Yesterday, the baby-faced boy who put Bush where he is showcased his mental stylings again. His headline: “The Clintons’ Enemies List.” These were his thoughtful ruminations:

CROWLEY (6/11/08): The Clintons aren't exactly refuting charges of Nixonian tactics here [linked to Leibovich piece].

The threats of retribution against traitors is also the kind of thing you say when you've won and are amassing power. It's a bit odd to bluster this way when your influence is at a nadir.

The Clintons “weren't exactly refuting charges of Nixonian tactics there?” The Clintons weren’t quoted in the piece. In fact, here’s what Leibovich said about Hillary Clinton, based on things he says he was told by unnamed campaign officials: “Mrs. Clinton has a short list of people who disappointed her.” Wow! Her evil ways just never stop! But in the mind of a butt-kissing climber like Crowley, that sentence let him put “Enemies List” into a headline—a headline which said that Hillary Clinton had such a list—and it let him tut-tut-tut about what she “wasn’t exactly doing.” But then, many boot-licking boys like Crowley run to show that they will accept whatever narrative their clan may lay out for them. (Why on earth did Candidate Gore cite seven years as a journalist?) Yesterday, the term “Enemies List” had reached the top headline at The Huffington Post by noon. By the way: If you want to peruse the work of people who really can’t read a newspaper story, just scan the inaccurate, cosmically gullible statements by so many of Crowley’s commenters. Remember when we liberals used to claim that we were smarter than those dumb-*ss conservatives?

For our money, though, we may have been most struck by Nancy Giles, on last night’s Verdict with Dan Abrams. In fairness, Giles is barely a part of the pundit corps—and she clearly seemed to be sincere when she made the statement which follows. But should people of this type be on network TV? If your “press corps” weren’t so baldly dysfunctional, would this sort of thing seem acceptable? The exchange began with Abrams posing a hypothetical: Should Obama make Clinton his VP if it seems that she is needed to win the November election?

ABRAMS (6/11/08): Well, let me ask you this. Nancy, if the numbers show—if it’s close by the time he has to make the decision, and the numbers show in the polls that Hillary could make the difference, would that make the difference to you?


ABRAMS: You’d still say it’s worth losing over?

GILES: No, it’s not worth losing over because I don’t think he’ll lose...I think it would be a real liability. But his whole campaign is new—change, not old politics. And Hillary—look, if he gets Hillary as his VP, he’s got to hire somebody to be the official presidential taster because you don’t know what`s going to be in your food. You don’t know what could happen. I literally feel that way.

Of course, many pundits have joked the Standard Joke about Obama needing a food-taster. But Giles showed no sign of joking when she recited the tired old script. She said she “literally” felt that way, and she clearly seemed to mean it. We were thus returned to the remarkable days when pundits sat on network TV and talked about Hillary Clinton, murderer....

Our morally-challenged press elites pull out the reruns: Hillary is a murderer, Bill is a philanderer, and The Clintons are making a Nixonian "Enemies List." Oh, they are soooo evil.

Where do news orgs--I use the term loosely--get these people? Rejects from soap operas or TV dramas? Failed screenplay writers? Comic books? Fact-checking has been outsourced to Bizarro World. When people want facts, they deliver fiction. To summarize the silly state of media and our darthling Blog Boyz like Matt...

The Bizarro code: "Us do opposite of all earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World."

CREDITS: Image from The Comic Treadmill.

A campaign legacy of shame

I've been busy offline and finally caught up with a backlog of reading. The following piqued my interest.

Criticism of the deeply-entrenched sexism in America came from across the pond in Andrew Stephen's article, Hating Hillary, for the British New Statesman (via Judith Warner). Stephens opened with a candid assessment, one that I have pondered from a historical vantage. His essay of May 22 offers more to explore than the grafs I'm excerpting (with emphasis):

History, I suspect, will look back on the past six months as an example of America going through one of its collectively deranged episodes - rather like Prohibition from 1920-33, or McCarthyism some 30 years later. This time it is gloating, unshackled sexism of the ugliest kind. It has been shamelessly peddled by the US media, which - sooner rather than later, I fear - will have to account for their sins. The chief victim has been Senator Hillary Clinton, but the ramifications could be hugely harmful for America and the world.

I am no particular fan of Clinton. Nor, I think, would friends and colleagues accuse me of being racist. But it is quite inconceivable that any leading male presidential candidate would be treated with such hatred and scorn as Clinton has been...

...I will come to the reasons why I fear such unabashed misogyny in the US media could lead, ironically, to dreadful racial unrest. "All men are created equal," Thomas Jefferson famously proclaimed in 1776. That equality, though, was not extended to women, who did not even get the vote until 1920, two years after (some) British women. The US still has less gender equality in politics than Britain, too. Just 16 of America's 100 US senators are women and the ratio in the House (71 out of 435) is much the same. It is nonetheless pointless to argue whether sexism or racism is the greater evil: America has a peculiarly wicked record of racist subjugation, which has resulted in its racism being driven deep underground. It festers there, ready to explode again in some unpredictable way.

To compensate meantime, I suspect, sexism has been allowed to take its place as a form of discrimination that is now openly acceptable. "How do we beat the bitch?" a woman asked Senator John McCain, this year's Republican presidential nominee, at a Republican rally last November. To his shame, McCain did not rebuke the questioner but joined in the laughter. Had his supporter asked "How do we beat the nigger?" and McCain reacted in the same way, however, his presidential hopes would deservedly have gone up in smoke. "Iron my shirt," is considered amusing heckling of Clinton. "Shine my shoes," rightly, would be hideously unacceptable if yelled at Obama.

Evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, American men like to delude themselves that they are the most macho in the world. It is simply unthinkable, therefore, for most of them to face the prospect of having a woman as their leader.

I argued the last point in 2006 (Sophia aka Wisdom men take no offense as this is not directed at you):

What all the Hillary bashing boils down to is patriarchal resentment of powerful women. Primate brains just can't handle the presence of a modern woman treading upon the same sacred ground upon which the founding fathers once stood. The ingrained pattern to objectify the master's previously-held chattel manages to frog-leap DNA memory strands generation after generation despite women's liberation in the 20th century.

The exhibition of primate brain vs. modern woman closed with chest-thumping, triumphal grunts from the press corps and its allies in the 'sphere. Stephens:

The massed ranks of male pundits gleefully pronounced that Clinton had lost the battle with Obama immediately after the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, despite past precedents that strong second-place candidates (like Ronald Reagan in his first, ultimately unsuccessful campaign in 1976; like Ted Kennedy, Gary Hart, Jesse Jackson and Jerry Brown) continue their campaigns until the end of the primary season and, in most cases, all the way to the party convention.

None of these male candidates had a premature political obituary written in the way that Hillary Clinton's has been, or was subjected to such righteous outrage over refusing to quiesce and withdraw obediently from what, in this case, has always been a knife-edge race. Nor was any of them anything like as close to his rivals as Clinton now is to Obama.

The media, of course, are just reflecting America's would-be macho culture. I cannot think of any television network or major newspaper that is not guilty of blatant sexism - the British media, naturally, reflexively follow their American counterparts - but probably the worst offender is the NBC/MSNBC network, which has what one prominent Clinton activist describes as "its nightly horror shows". Tim Russert, the network's chief political sage, was dancing on Clinton's political grave before the votes in North Carolina and Indiana had even been fully counted - let alone those of the six contests to come, the undeclared super-delegates, or the disputed states of Florida and Michigan. . .The unashamed sexism of this giant network alone is stupendous...

...But never before have the US media taken it upon themselves to proclaim the victor before the primary contests [were] over or the choice of all the super-delegates [were] known, and the result was that the media's tidal wave of sexism became self-fulfilling: Americans like to back winners, and polls immediately showed dramatic surges of support for Obama.

The press corps persists in their stubborn, indignant denial of their sexist, misogynistic treatment of Hillary Clinton and women in general. See the WMC video for irrefutable evidence of the media's "sins." If media have been projecting American machismo attitudes toward women to which the Obamasphere marched in lockstep, then we have a lot of work to add more than 18 million cracks "to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling."

Stephens quoted studies of the bias against females in which "women are seen as ambitious and capable, or likeable - but rarely both."

Gender stereotypes trump race stereotypes in every social science test," says Alice Eagley, a psychology professor at Northwestern University. A distinguished academic undertaking a major study of coverage of the 2008 election, Professor Marion Just of Wellesley College - one of the "seven sisters" colleges founded because women were barred from the Ivy Leagues and which, coincidentally, Hillary Clinton herself attended - tells me that what is most striking to her is that the most repeated description of Senator Clinton is "cool and calculating".

This, she says, would never be said of a male candidate - because any politician making a serious bid for the White House has, by definition, to be cool and calculating.

Just as Stephens withheld no punches in identifying rampant sexism, he didn't hesitate to clarify the political instigator who introduced sexism and the race card:

Obama himself prepared the ground by making the first gratuitous personal attack of the campaign during the televised Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate in South Carolina on 21 January, although virtually every follower of the media coverage now assumes that it was Clinton who started the negative attacks. Following routine political sniping from her about supposedly admiring comments Obama had made about Ronald Reagan, Obama suddenly turned on Clinton and stared intimidatingly at her. "While I was working in the streets," he scolded her, ". . . you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-Mart." Then, cleverly linking her inextricably in the public consciousness with her husband, he added: "I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes."

One of his female staff then distributed a confidential memo [contained in this post] to carefully selected journalists which alleged that a vaguely clumsy comment Hillary Clinton had made about Martin Luther King ("Dr King's dream began to be realised when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964") and a reference her husband had made in passing to Nelson Mandela ("I've been blessed in my life to know some of the greatest figures of the last hundred years . . . but if I had to pick one person whom I know would never blink, who would never turn back, who would make great decisions . . . I would pick Hillary") were deliberate racial taunts.

Another female staffer, Candice Tolliver - whose job it is to promote Obama to African Americans - then weighed in publicly, claiming that "a cross-section of voters are alarmed at the tenor of some of these statements" and saying: "Folks are beginning to wonder: Is this an isolated situation, or is there something bigger behind all of this?" That was game, set and match: the Clintons were racists, an impression sealed when Bill Clinton later compared Obama's victory in South Carolina to those of Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988 (even though Jackson himself, an Obama supporter, subsequently declared Clinton's remarks to be entirely inoffensive).

African-American congresswomen Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) as Clinton supporters both disputed Tolliver's spin as did Obama supporter Jesse Jackson:

"I don't read anything negative into Clinton's observation," Mr. Jackson said in a phone conversation late Sunday night from India...

...In his conversation with Mr. Obama on Saturday, Mr. Jackson said, "He told me what Bill had said. And I said to Barack, as a tactical matter, resist any temptation to come down to that level. There may be temptations, especially when the media keeps saying 'Barack is black,' and they never said 'Dukakis is white' or 'Hillary is white,'' he said, referring to Michael Dukakis, who won the Democratic nomination in 1988.

But, Mr. Jackson said, "Bill has done so much for race relations and inclusion, I would tend not to read a negative scenario into his comments." He said his chief concern was that Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton not "bloody themselves" so much that they can't unite against the Republicans in November.

So much for Jackson's counsel. Obama--replying to ABC News This Week George Stephanopoulos' question about Bill's comment--spurred the anti-Clinton momentum ever so subtly by stating, "I think people want change. I think they want to get beyond some of the racial politics that has been so dominant in the past." He didn't address directly Jesse Jackson's assessment, leaving unanswered the inference that Bill Clinton had utilized the decades-old tactic of racial politics. "Well, you know, I think that that's his frame of reference was the Jesse Jackson races. That's when, you know, he was active and involved and watching what was going to take place in South Carolina. I think that a lot of South Carolinians looked at it through a different lens," he said.

The candidate true to a promise of change and unity would have countered that, with all due respect to Jackson's presidential runs, he, unlike Jesse, had won Iowa, a watershed moment, and that he, like Jesse, didn't perceive malicious intention behind Bill Clinton's remarks. That would have been the high road, proof that his unity slogan isn't mere hype. But he left the question dangling, open to doubt, fostering mistrust of the Clinton campaign when he summed up, "No, I don't think they were trying to demonize me, but I do think that there is a certain brand of politics that we've become accustomed to, and that the Republican Party had perfected and was often directed against the Clintons, but that all of us had become complicit in, where we basically think anything is fair game." [transcript here]. This from a candidate who played good guy on camera and on stage while his staff circulated memos of the Clinton campaign's alleged "deliberate racial taunts" and later hawked Rupert Murdoch's trashy tabloid, the NYPost, with its article and Olbermann's diatribe imbuing Hillary's RFK assassination remark with diabolical meaning. Obama demonstrated "anything is fair game."

Unreliable witnesses in the press corps and the Obamasphere whipped themselves into a frenzy to label the Clintons as racists, a blatant lie, and "no more real than Al Gore’s claim that he invented the Internet." They unleashed a barrage of false accusations against Hillary Clinton, her hemming and hawing about whether Obama was a Muslim to exacerbate resentment toward her, conjuring a Nixonian specter of "Clinton Dirty Tricks."

Stephens described the resulting fallout of a dirty trick smearing Hillary and a sexist ploy joining the Mrs. to her Mr. in the "amorphous creature called 'the Clintons', an aphorism that stands for amorality and sleaze." When I spy a reference to the Clintons, I earmark the writer, blogger, or speaker as potentially one who might as comfortably misname the Democrat Party, a political epithet. Shame on fauxgressives who carried water for the Republican talking point bureau against the Clintons by imitating Andrew Sullivan's dubious Clinton shtick.

Those of us who weren't willingly deluded and/or avid readers of The Daily Howler knew who sent the dogs out of which Stephens surmised were Obama-Axelrod objectives:

The pincer movement, in fact, could have come straight from a textbook on how to wreck a woman's presidential election campaign: smear her whole persona first, and then link her with her angry, red-faced husband. The public Obama, characteristically, pronounced himself "unhappy" with the vilification carried out so methodically by his staff, but it worked like magic: Hillary Clinton's approval ratings among African Americans plummeted from above 80 per cent to barely 7 per cent in a matter of days, and have hovered there since.

I suspect that, as a result, she will never be able entirely to shake off the "racist" tag. "African-American super-delegates [who were supporting Clinton were] being targeted, harassed and threatened," says one of them, Representative Emanuel Cleaver. "This is the politics of the 1950s." Obama and Axelrod have achieved their objectives: to belittle Hillary Clinton and to manoeuvre the ever-pliant media into depicting every political criticism she makes against Obama as racist in intent.

Have I mentioned that I consider Obama's campaign the most underhanded, lowdown political operation on the Democratic side that I have ever had the misfortune of witnessing? Yup. He is a Democratic presidential nominee? Wow! Why isn't the party ashamed of itself for blessing this conniving, macho-pandering, two-faced, sexist, calloused, race-baiting, snake-oil selling politician? I would add other adjectives but I'm attempting to keep it clean. And millions have fallen for Obama's manipulative BS. Well, I guess it was the Democrats' turn to swoon for their faux version of "a uniter, not a divider."

I wonder how much time will pass before the SCLB realizes its error. Did I just make a funny? They will compulsively preoccupy themselves with attacking John McCain and then defending Barack against the evil Republicans and the noise machine and they will proceed ignoring their failure to document the atrocities. Kevin Drum responded to my Hillary's unreliable witnesses post in comments for criticizing bloggers like him who jumped on the right-wing Drudge bandwagon to "wrongly [finger] the Clinton camp for the photo of Obama in a turban and Somali garb." To my thinking, Drum's excuses didn't absolve his "lapse in judgment." He should have known better from the start. Matt Drudge! GIGO.

I highly doubt the Blog Boyz will admit their mistake of backing the wrong candidate if Obama loses or when his presidency reveals that he's mostly an orator of spiel, not an executive. Stephens:

The danger is that, in their headlong rush to stop the first major female candidate (aka "Hildebeast" and "Hitlery") from becoming president, the punditocracy may have landed the Democrats with perhaps the least qualified presidential nominee ever. But that creeping realisation has probably come too late, and many of the Democratic super-delegates now fear there would be widespread outrage and increased racial tension if they thwart the first biracial presidential hopeful in US history.

But will Obama live up to the hype? That, I fear, may not happen: he is a deeply flawed candidate. Rampant sexism may have triumphed only to make way for racism to rear its gruesome head in America yet again. By election day on 4 November, I suspect, the US media and their would-be-macho commentators may have a lot of soul-searching to do.

I'm not as hopeful as Stephens about media's "soul-searching" examination. They savaged Bill and Hillary in the 1990s only to return unrepentantly to lambaste the Clinton's campaign by using misogyny, sexism, and the faux race card as political weapons.

I have the same sinking feeling in my gut as I did in the spring of 2000. Bad times ahead whether McCain or Obama wins in November, a tragedy of the missed opportunity of President Hillary Clinton lost by a campaign legacy of shameful sexism and race-baiting.

CREDITS: Time and New York Post covers from Mark Pasetsky's Cover Awards, The New Republic cover from Voices in their heads, and Chris Matthews Hardball graphic from The aria of Tweety.