Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Clinton Calls It Quits, Joins McCain Ticket for ‘08

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

In a surprise move, campaign officials for democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton are to announce April 1 that the New York Senator is withdrawing from the Democratic presidential primaries and is joining Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s ticket as his running mate. Political insiders and beltway pundits alike were surprised at the timing of the announcement, but not altogether shocked by this latest development. Clinton has been running second place to Democratic rival Barack Obama for months now, her campaign war chest is running low on funds, contributors to her campaign are tapped out, and many long time political allies have been leaving the campaign in droves. 

CAMPAIGN OFFICIAL CONFIRMS RUMORS

According to an anonymous Clinton campaign official, Mrs. Clinton feels she has a better chance of realizing her lifelong dream to become president of the United States by switching parties now. Once the pre-ordained Democratic nominee, a string of primary losses to Obama have put the Clinton campaign into a downward spiral. 

“She sees the writing on the wall. Clearly, this isn’t her husband’s Democratic Party anymore,” said the campaign official. “If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that sometimes experienced politicians have to do courageous things in order to continue to help America. Joe Lieberman did it in 2006. Hillary is doing it now.”

SUPPORTERS STAND FIRM, OPPONENTS INDIFFERENT

Some Clinton supporters think the move is brilliant, and will continue to support Hillary no matter what ticket she’s on.  

“I think it’s brilliant, “ said Nancy Bigbee of Westchester, Vermont. “McCain’s like, what, 75 years old or something? She’ll probably be president in no time this way.”

And that nugget may well hold some gold in it. McCain’s health hasn’t been much of an issue in this campaign, but he is 70 years old, and would be the oldest president ever sworn in to a first term if elected. A bitter Democratic primary season has battered Mrs. Clinton among her former party, making it a long shot for her to get the nomination at this point. This is likely her best shot now at getting back into the White House. Obama supporters have mixed feelings about the announcement, being somewhat happy that the bitter in-fighting will finally end, but mostly being indifferent, having stopped listening to Clinton months ago.  

WEEKS IN THE MAKING

Rumors of a possible Clinton party switch have been circling Washington recently following Sen. Clinton’s media appearances with Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and Richard Mellon Scaife, a vociferously staunch opponent of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, for years. Even Ann Coulter loves her. Democrats have been not so quietly rumbling about what they saw as her attempts to cozy up to the “vast right wing conspiracy” she once railed against. Senator Clinton’s own recent comments also seem to have been quietly laying the groundwork for just such a tactic. Earlier last month she repeated on several talk shows that both she and Senator McCain had the lifetime of dedicated experience needed to run this country, something her former Democratic opponent Barack Obama didn’t have. In fact, up until today’s announcement, Senator Clinton had been Senator McCain’s best campaigner, with her repeated attempts to derail the Obama campaign.  

“All of the dirty tricks of the last few weeks, from the NAFTA frame-up against Obama in Ohio to the subtly drawn out race issues and Reverend Wright associations to the sublimation of the primary rules in Florida and Michigan- all these things and more have been part of the Clinton campaign’s efforts to divide the Democratic party and bring some votes over to a McCain-Clinton ticket,” said the unnamed Clinton campaign official.

When asked about the timing of the announcement, coming on the heels of Senator Clinton’s steadfast refusal to leave the Democratic race before the end of the primary season, this same official noted that, “April is clearly the time to strike. We know what we’re doing here. We’re not a bunch of fools.” 

WIN-WIN FOR GOP?

But what does a McCain-Clinton ticket hold for Republicans?  For starters, Hillary Clinton began her political life as a Barry Goldwater disciple, the former Arizona Republican and presidential candidate in 1964. Long embraced by the more conservative Republicans, Hillary’s early associations with Goldwater’s brand of politics probably runs deep in her own political psyche, proving her to be a Republican at heart. It’s not just coincidence that McCain also hails from Arizona.

But more than just her conservative underpinnings, Clinton brings to the GOP ticket that tough, but feminine touch that’s been missing all these years- like Margaret Thatcher did for Britain’s Conservative party in the 1980’s. Conventional wisdom holds that Republicans, especially women, wouldn’t vote for Clinton come hell or high water, but that truth probably won’t hold at the ballot box. During her husband’s Oval Office infidelities, Mrs. Clinton stood by her man to the end. While derided at the time for by many women’s groups, then First-Lady Clinton unknowingly started a trend that has been seen all too often these last seven years during GOP prominence. For every Congressman convicted of taking bribes there’s been a wife by their side. For every GOP sex scandal (from cruising for page boys to soliciting in the airport bathroom) there’s been a tightly smiling GOP wife by her man. These women credit Hillary for their strength almost as much as they do their faith. Clearly Clinton can hold her own with this demographic at the polls. And that’s one area McCain clearly needs help with. Hillary also shows promise that she is willing to carry on with some of the more popular Bush policies like the War in Iraq, by giving life to the falsehood that she had to dodge sniper fire on a trip to Bosnia while serving as First Lady.  Such inspired untruth telling shows she’s not only ready, but also willing to say anything to get her point across. This is the kind of trait Republicans love in there politicians-the power to change reality to fit the situation at hand.  Both Clinton and McCain bill themselves as Bi-Partisan leaders and they’ve proven this much. Both reached across the aisle to support the Iraq War. Both supported the Illegal Alien Amnesty bill brought forth by Senator McCain and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) before they opposed it. Both supported Bush’s No Child Left Behind program too, and still support it generally despite its high costs to states, narrowed curriculum geared towards testing, and less than stellar results. In these and many other issues, Hillary Clinton and John McCain seem to make the perfect political couplet in generations. 

LAST, BEST SHOT AT WHITE HOUSE

But the bottom line is that Hillary Clinton has had her sights set on the presidency for decades. It is her life long dream and from her point of view, this year was supposed to be “her” year. She’d hoped to take the prize under the Democrats banner, if only to tie the double-shot secured by the Bush clan. But with Barack Obama clearly the popular choice among registered Democratic voters, and among many Independents too, Mrs. Clinton is realist enough to know that her only ride back to Pennsylvania Avenue is in the back seat of John McCain’s limo- and faced with the prospect of losing it all, a short stint as VP looks pretty good to her now.

The announcement, scheduled for release on April 1, 2008, also noted that both Senators McCain and Clinton would be unreachable for comment for most of the day, as they will be coordinating their campaign strategies for the next phase of the campaign.

 

(Cross posted at Common Sense)

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Cause and Effect.

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

I tried to write this in a polite way, but screw that - aint happening. I’m pissed. I’m angry. I’m downright ready to go kick a Clinton in the crotch (either one - it doesn’t matter). Who the fuck do they think they are? When did it become OK for a candidate (or her horribly disappointing ex-president husband) to question the patriotism of a rival? Who the hell are they to start launching swift-boat attacks against Barack Obama?

Not sure what I mean? Oh well then allow me to enlighten you on how scummy that family is. Only a week or so after Hillary suggests that REPUBLICAN candidate John McCain would make a better Commander in Chief than Senator Obama (way to go Judas!) her husband, her slimy, philandering, piece of crap ex-president of a husband stood in front of a crowd in North Carolina and discussed a General Election night match up between John McCain and his wife (and yes his wife only!) said:

“I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country,” he said in Charlotte, N.C. “And people could actually ask themselves who is right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics.”

So what are you saying Bill - that if the Democratic front-runner were to face off against John McCain we wouldn’t have two candidates who love this country? Wait that is EXACTLY what you are saying (and no you Hillary apologists out there, you can’t spin it. There is no other way to read that.). You’re saying that because you are know that right now you can play off white America’s sudden fear of Jeremiah Wrights sermons. You know that right now you can reinforce the suddenly shocking idea that Barack Obama is a black man.

You disgust me.

You disgust me because no matter how I read the content of your words, I cannot find a context in which it is not character assassination and race-baiting. It is Roveian in its brilliance. Question a man’s love for his country. Cast doubt on his patriotism. It worked to put a draft-dodging coke-head in the White House over a war hero, so certainly it will work to put a white woman there over a scary black man. Someone call Atticus Finch quick because I think Barack just got Tom Robinsoned.

Looks like Hillary is married to Bob Ewell. And if you don’t get any of those references go read a book. Honestly, if more people did maybe they wouldn’t fall for this shit.

And fall for it they will. The same way they fell for the 29 second clip of Jeremiah Wright screaming about Nagasaki, about Hiroshima and used it to condemn both him and Senator Obama. It doesn’t matter that the clip was classic content without context. It doesn’t matter that the whole clip is an interesting discussion that weaves the bible, Malcolm X and Edward Peck (former U.S. Chief of Mission in Iraq, former deputy director of the White House Task Force on Terrorism under the Reagan Administration and former U.S. Ambassador to a number of countries oh yeah and lily white.) together to remind people that ACTIONS have CONSEQUENCES. Nope that doesn’t matter at all. All that matters is a black man said something BAD about America.

Go grab the rope, it’s time to lynch us a candidate boys.

Personally, I think that any candidate that doesn’t get the idea that our actions have consequences isn’t fit to serve. I think any candidate who doesn’t understand that eventually all chickens come home to roost is too stupid to be president. That isn’t anti-American, it Pro-Common Sense. We’ve had 7+ years of an asshole who doesn’t get Cause and Effect, why are we not embracing a candidate who does?

Oh wait, because a man in a funny outfit and dark skin DARED to question American foreign policy while preaching a sermon. Not the candidate, his pastor, but hey this is America and that’s enough. Especially if your a black man living in the United States. And we wonder WHY Pastor Wright is so indignant about racial injustice?

I’m not accusing the Clinton campaign of releasing the bullshit, sliced and diced video. I’m not saying they are behind the racially motivated character assassination of Senator Obama, but they sure seem to be using it to their advantage. Anything to win seems to be there motto. Anything. No matter how false, despicable or disgusting it is.

Well Hillary, actions do have consequences. Cause does have effect. This just cost you my vote. Democrats better pray she doesn’t win the primary.

Stand Up To Telecom Lobby, Get Swiftboated

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

It had to happen. When Boozo the Clown doesn’t get his way, tantrums will follow. He wants retroactive immunity for telecom executives and he wants it now. He said NOW!! He’s gonna thrust out his lower lip, stamp his foot and hold his breath until Congress bends over for him. Or until a group of rightwing millionaires steps in to purchase the democratic process (I thought they already did).

A group of his fellow wingtards calling themselves Defense of Democracies has sprung to the rescue. They’ve raised $2 million (so far) for the defeat of fifteen Democrats who had this wacky idea about telecom VIPs being subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

Here is a YouTube video of one of their ads. It’s hilarious. If it was a skit on Saturday Night Live or the Daily Show, it would have you in stitches. But it becomes less funny when you realize: there are millions of cerebrally-challenged knuckledraggers out there who actually believe this shit.

Here is some more information about this illustrious group, including their membership. If you’re at all familiar with the Project For A New American Century (PNAC), the personnel from Defense of Democracies will be “déjà vu all over again.”

Pay no attention to the same fifteen wingnuts behind every curtain.

Obama’s address today, in it’s entirety.

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Towards A More “Perfect” America

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Race. Like it or not, race is still an issue in America. Generations after the civil rights marches, and more than a century since the Civil War, race is still an issue in America. And no matter how far we push the conflicts of race to the corners of our minds and to the fringes of our society, race is still an issue in America. You may not think this is true. In every coffee shop and in every mall and in every schoolhouse you will find whites and blacks and Asians and Hispanics. People of all color hold positions of prominence and authority just as they all occupy the lower rungs of our society. It is true that in many areas of our lives, the matter of ones racial identity has become almost moot. But this is only the surface, the part that we expose in public or polite company. Yet the racial inequality that lies at the heart of the American experience can’t be swept away so easily, for it lies buried in the generational experiences of our elders, it perpetuates itself in familial memories, and it is always an underlying scapegoat for each races misfortunes. Humanity is always cruelest to its own members.

White Americans descend from persecuted pilgrims or poor immigrants. Their roots began in flight from religious oppression or corrupted Old World governments. But in their determination to improve their own lot and secure their own freedoms, they exerted the same negative aspects on other races they encountered. Native Americans were slaughtered and impoverished. Blacks were held in slavery and beaten down. Even white women were burdened under the yolk of white male supremecy. As years passed on, the idea of America, and it’s quest for perfect individual freedom and respect has helped liberate these groups and others from racially motivated discrimination. But the memories remain, and the policies of the past still touch and color the lives of the historically oppressed.

Race issues are still among us. They made us who we are today. They have historically divided us and made many America’s where there should be but one.

That race has become an issue in this presidential election is no surprise given the history of America and the fact that the leading Democratic candidate is a half black-half white American. That it is being used to denigrate that candidate by his opponent, a white woman, is a little more than unfortunate. In trying to paint Barack Obama as a covert racist (or as someone who would deingrate the potential of White America in favor of righting the historical wrongs done to Black America), Hillary Clinton proves the dictum laid earlier: Humanity is always cruelest to its own members. The quest for the presidency takes all sorts. Hillary Clinton has proven to me at least that her quest for the presidency is not to make America a markedly better and different place, but rather is an effort to make her own personal history complete, at least as she sees it to be. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has shown me time and again that his quest is not for personal destiny or pride but for a better America for us all-white, black, yellow, green, or purple.

Today in Philadelphia, Obama gave a speech to address the race issue. Comments made by his former church pastor have been foisted into the media spotlight by Clinton campaign supporters, comments that exude the angst and historical anger blacks have towards the policies of white America. The media bandwagon had whipped this pastor’s comments into a front page issue, and for those who only follow politics tangentially, the idea could be drawn that Obama not only agrees with the divisive comments of his former minister, but that if elected he would somehow work to reverse all the historical wrongs in one fell swoop.

In his speech today, titles “A More Perfect Union,” Barack Obama not only dispelled those fears and false claims, but he showed himself to be an honorable man and a “more perfect presidential candidate” than anyone else in the field. With eloquence and humility, Obama explained why he can vigorously disagree with his former pastor’s comments without throwing the man under the proverbial bus.

Some excerpts may help for those who didn’t get to hear the speech:

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely - just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America…

Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

We all of us hear coments from people we respect or trust or love that rub us the wrong way. But we do not disown these people or banish them from our own lives. Why should Obama do any different? Instead, his is a position of realism-he knows there are racial divides that lie under the surface and sometimes rear their ugly heads at inopportune or embarrassing times. People are imperfect, even as they strive not to be.

Yet I am confounded. Why is it okay for the GOP to be ensconced with religiously motivated hatred towards homosexuality and this not be cause for general alarm or cries of discrimination? Why can a GOP candidate receive the blessing of a Bob Jones University and not be held in disdain? The easy answer is because America still is not equal for everyone. The harder answer is that America still subtly condons discrimination against other Americans, that humanity is still trapped by her historical racial and religious divides. Barack Obama won’t be able to change these facts overnight if elected, but he certainly recognizes them, understands their roots, and realizes that the path ahead comes not from pretending these problems are solved, but in admitting that these problems of the past have brought us ALL to where we are today. While our differences may have divided us in the past to brought us to our problems today, only by working together can we solve the immense problems that affect us all right now.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This speech today, perhaps more than any other he has given, shows that Barack Obama is the right leader for America today. It was the kind of speech that filled my heart with hope and my mind with pride. “This is my candidate speaking,” I thought as I drove through traffic listening on the radio. “This is why I support Obama.”

There is much more in the body of the speech that you need to read if you didn’t get a chance to hear it live. Indeed, it is a speech that every voting American should take the time to read. You should read it because of what it says about America’s racial history. You should read it because of what it says about Barack Obama and his own views on race in America. You should read it because of what it says about who we are, where we are going if we don’t change course, and where we can be if we do.

The economy, health care, the environment, and the future of our children and our neighbors children demand that we change how we live, work, and play in this coming century. Different solutions to todays problems must be found. Our way of life may well have to change dramatically if we are to push forward towards more freedom and equality for all. We cannot do this with politicians who exploit of divisions to gain self importance or power. We can only move forward if we move forward together. Who better to guide us along this path right now than Barack Obama?

(cross posted at Common Sense)


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