It isn't news any longer that Barack Obama has apparently won enough electoral votes to be nominated as this nation's democratic candidate for the presidency. However, what is news is the fact that a fair percentage of Hillary's supporters are, by their own assertions, a bunch of whiney, bigoted pigs because they claim they will either vote for Rethuglican John McCain instead of fellow Democrat, Barack Obama, or they will refuse to vote at all. So, while a lot of people are overjoyed by this historic moment where a black man finds himself vying for the highest public office in America, I find myself sitting here, shaking my head in disgust and outrage at the astonishingly bad behavior being shown by quite a few people in this nation, particularly by older white women voters. While a lot of people are "proud to be Americans" today, I see the other side of this issue and am ashamed to be American.
How do these so-called Democrats excuse their appallingly horrible behavior? They whine that;
- Barack Obama is "too liberal" to win the presidency
- Barack Obama is muslim and therefore he is somehow religiously predisposed to selling this country out to the likes of kneejerk religious wackjobs and haters like Osama bin Laden (a brown guy) and Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols (a couple of white guys)
- Barack Obama has an Arab middle name (Hussein)
- Barack Obama is black and therefore he can't possibly be the most qualified candidate, even if, after 16 months of intense public scrutiny, he is chosen by several million people as being the most qualified candidate
So, let's examine these four excuses for the inexplicably pigheaded behavior on the part of so-called Democrats;
1. Barack Obama is "too liberal" to win the presidency .. The Truth: Obama and Clinton have nearly identical views politically speaking, on the issues, so if Obama is "too liberal", then Clinton is likewise "too liberal." The only clear voting difference between them that I've been able to find is this one vote;
- A mandate forcing automakers to achieve 40 mile-per-gallon average fuel economy by the year 2017 (Obama: YES, Clinton: NO. The senate rejected it by a vote of 67 to 28)
Otherwise, there is no statistically significant differences between Obama and Clinton, politically speaking, and it shows;
- On the Congressional Quarterly's report for how often senators support Bush's positions on issues coming before the Senate, Clinton earned a 31 out of 100 rating while Obama scored a 33 in 2005 (100 is complete agreement with Bush) -- so the difference between them is so minor as to be laughable.
- On the National Journal scale of liberal to conservative positions based on roll call votes taken in 2005, Obama was more liberal than 82.5 percent of the Senate while Clinton was more liberal than 79.8 of the Senate -- again, they rate nearly identical scores that are not statistically significant!
2. Barack Obama is muslim .. The Truth: Oh please, how can you be so ridiculously stupid? Black supremecist, Jaramiah Wright, preacher for Obama's church, Trinity United Church of Christ, is actually a christian hate-monger (and gawd knows there are plenty of those types in this country) so he is in no way, muslim. So, if Obama is muslim, then why has he been attending a christian church every Sunday with his family for much of his life? In view of the fact that his preacher is a christian hate monger, you'd think that Obama would actually score extra "smug points" among the electorate because of his demonstrated lifelong lack of muslim-ness. Or perhaps these bigots are operating under the assumption that religion is genetic, with white people automatically being christians while black people are muslim?
3. Barack Obama has an Arab middle name (Hussein) .. The Truth: And his first name, Barack, is Hebrew! Oh, and John Mccain's first name is Hebrew, too! And George Bush's first name is Greek! Yeesh, it is common knowledge that nearly none of us chose any of our names, and further, I can assure you that nearly everyone I know hates their middle names and would prefer to have a different one. Soooo .. Barack's middle name is supposed to mean something important .. exactly how??
4. Barack Obama is black ... ... The Truth: Well, I hate to be a party-pooper, but Barack has a white mother and an African father (horrors!), so technically speaking, he's a half-breed, like Star Trek's beloved Mr. Spock. But instead of being a green man, Barack's a brown man. Clearly, having brown pigment in your skin is wrong, unless you came by that pigment by laying in the sun like a hotdog on a grill. But now that we know the truth, we can name your lack of support for Obama with one ugly word: bigotry. Honestly, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Democrats should be above such behavior. Oh, and by the way, don't forget that Condoleezza Rice is black, too! And so is Colin Powell! And Shirley Chisholm! And so was Nobel Prize winner, James Watson's great grandmother (and that didn't prevent him from being a racist sexist pig)! And so is the governor of New York State! And so are the chiefs of police for four of America's six biggest cities! And so is the motorman of your subway train! And, and .. oh my gawd, what's the world coming to, I see pigmented people everywhere!
So, Democrats, all I can say is grow up and stop being such Republicans: Do the right thing by voting your politics instead of your pigheadedness.
Huh? You left one reason off your list. Barack supporters calling Hillary supporters things like, a bunch of whiney, bigoted pigs. I know it's hard to believe, but just maybe Barack Obama and his followers might have one or two minor faults of their own.
At least consider the possibility.
It's a problem on both sides, there are a ton of Obama supporters who said they would never vote for Hillary if she won the nomination, but that's not an issue now is it. Both sides need to realise we've got bigger fish to fry because McCain's plan to privatise health care will ruin the last semi-not-awful thing we have in America. The constant whining from the Hillary-haters did nothing to endear them to the party so if the message is Unity, then let's act like it shall we.
i am going to take great pleasure bursting your little bubble because I COULDN'T CHOOSE BETWEEN THEM! I SUPPORT THEM BOTH!! and i dislike them both -- for the same reasons!! because they are peas in a pod! in fact, i have been very vocal about my inability to choose between them.
so i am not a whiney obama supporter any more than i am a whiney clinton supporter. i am a progressive who thinks BOTH obama and clinton are too conservative! but i can suck up my politics enough to recognize that either one of them is light years better than the alternative; that hatefilled george bush wannabe, john mccain (barf-o-rama)!
The whiners are followers, if you'll excuse a tautology. When their leader (HRC) chooses, she is more than capable of turning this tide of disappointment and drama. Give 'em time, though: it's been a long run and they have emotional 'momentum' to dissipate.
'Course, if their leader doesn't get out in front pretty soon....
There is ONE domestic issue that trumps all other. SCOTUS. Period. Do you want three to four decades of an unshakable Scaliwagito majority? Do You? Is your little bruised ego that your candidate was not selected worth it? Is it?
I think there are a lot of hard feelings right now because the race was very close and exposed some very ugly streams of racism and sexism in the process. With time some of the hard feelings should die down.
Is your little bruised ego that your candidate was not selected worth it?
Of course, reconciliation will happen faster if Obama's internet supporters tone down their rhetoric a bit.
GrrlScientist, people usually do not enjoy being called bigoted pigs and being provided a list primarily made up of irrational and racist ideas you claim they hold. You're not likely to win over converts to your way of thinking using this kind of argument.
It would be nice to think the Democrats can heal this rift, but as long as this type of argument is being made, it will never happen. Besides, if we Hillary supporters are a bunch of whiney, bigoted pigs, as you claim. Why would you even want us in your party? I know I wouldn't want to associate with a bunch of whiney bigoted pigs.
Personally, I don't know what I'm going to do. It is clear the Democrats don't want me, I don't like the Republican platform. I'll figure out something.
actually, i am not claiming that hillary's supporters hold these ideas at all, i am sitting here in front of a TV in my coffee shop, listening to hillary's supporters SAY these things themselves. the reason i posted this on my blog was because i didn't want to state my disgust to the TV in a public place (thereby embarrassing myself) and also because the intended target of my responses wouldn't hear me anyway.
seriously .. they are so disappointed/angry that they stand there in front of the TV cameras, saying that they would rather vote for mccain! i almost choked on my coffee!
and i agree with joel that obama's supporters have displayed some extraordinarily bad behavior throughout this race, too. both hillary's and barack's comments have made me cringe at times, and comments made by their supporters have also. there have been times when i wished neither was running because both candidates were acting like spoiled, entitled brats at various times.
i am not sure why you think that the dems don't want you, joel, or if you think that my comments are indicative of that. but if you think that, think again: i am not a democrat nor a rethuglican, although if i have to choose, we all know which side i'd pick. but basically, i identify myself as a liberal progressive, and there isn't a party for that in this country.
Scrolling back a few pages before we hit pigheadedness, it seems remarkably condescending to insist people vote for their party rather than for their presidential candidate of choice.
Is it so bizarre to think that some people out there might have non-racist non-sexist reasons not to vote for Obama? After all, there's plenty of republicans who hadn't considered either of them, are they are they all by definition racist and sexist?
If Obama and Clinton were so similar, there wouldn't have been such a divide in the first place.
The real amusing part? Clinton had people that weren't devoted to the democratic party. If there was sexism going on, it would have in her case, worked in the democrats' favor. Insulting them to take democratic allegiance when they don't have it is silly.
I'm trying to follow this whole line of reasoning, and perhaps it isn't fair to judge you, Joel.
Say, I'm a Timberwolves fan (Kucinich.) It's obvious they aren't going to make the NBA playoffs. So, I get behind the Spurs (Edwards.) The Spurs don't make it to the finals. It's clear that the Western Conference doesn't want me. I don't want the Lakers (Obama) to win, because they aren't the Spurs and some of their fans yelled at some of the Spurs' fans during the Western Finals. Called them names, in fact.
Well, I bet at the beginning of the season that a Western Conference (Democrat) would win. I kind of bet the makeup of the Supreme Court on it. But since the Western Conference clearly doesn't want me, I don't really care what happens to the makeup of the Supreme Court.
I'll figure out what to do.
I wouldn't take it so personally that more Democrats chose Obama than chose Clinton. It's not about you.
My guy was out of it in February. Does that mean that Obama's supporters hate me? Does that mean that the Democratic Party doesn't want me? I really don't think so.
Neither Clinton nor Obama was my first choice, but now Obama is the remaining choice, and I am not ashamed nor afraid to support and vote for him.
justakim, i am completely confused as to why a so-called democrat would have non-sexist and non-racist reasons to NOT vote for obama when i have just cited two different studies that rely on two different measures demonstrating OBAMA AND CLINTON ARE NEARLY IDENTICAL POLITICALLY. and i could only find ONE SENATE VOTE where they differed from each other.
since you weren't on TV telling me why you dislike obama so much, enlighten me here and now, why do you dislike obama so much that you would either choose to vote for mccain than obama or choose not to vote at all??
Barack Obama has trampled over what I consider to be the very foundation of progressive thought, ie: a rejection of belief-based (un)reasoning. He went after the fundamentalist vote, he admonished Democrats for not being kinder to religion, he speaks like a preacher, he appeals to emotion, offers little by way of substance, ignores nuance, and attempts to stifle legitimate questions of his ability by branding people cynics. He won this nomination (and just barely) by appealing to deeply troubling, regressive patterns of thought. His nomination sets a dangerous precedent - or rather continues, underscores, emboldens the precedent set by Bush in 2000. It's not a precedent I'm comfortable supporting. Is this horrible behavior?
indeed not, and these in fact have been complaints i've often made about obama myself. however, politically speaking (you know, based on results) there is no difference between obama and clinton, whereas there is a world of difference between obama and john "100 more years in iraq" mccain (or should i instead refer to mccain as "bush 3")?
people who loudly proclaim that they would rather vote for mccain than obama are so blinded by hate or rage that they obviously cannot function in a rational way that promotes their own political beliefs -- beliefs that they claim will be of the most benefit to the country.
would i be remiss by pointing out that JFK barely won the presidency? not only that, but obama actually did win this party's candidacy, fair and square. and there is absolutely nothing preventing hillary from running for the presidency as an independent candidate.
Where are Obama's results? Why should I have any "faith" in his skills to enact any kind of change? Bush had to betray his own party's tenets in order to enact his idea of sweeping change.
The "...he's better than McCain" route isn't convincing, either. I wish that it were. What happens when an Obama administration can't do what it says it wants to do (even owing to no fault or inadequacy of its own)? What happens when there's some half-assed Obama-esque universal health care plan put forth and then the Republicans get to jump all over it: "LOOK! Look what a bad idea socialized medicine is! Told you so." I understand we face acute and urgent problems, but in fixing them half-way, or selling out the very model that has been responsible for progress to this point, I'm afraid we're just giving fundamentalism of every variety time to incubate, and an opportunity to come back stronger.
After eight years of obvious ineptitude owing to belief and old-style political posturing, the time was right to employ a new, progressive, anti-fundamentalist strategy. Instead, Obama embraced the old. It seems to me we lost a huge opportunity in nominating him.
Also - what's the relevance of JFK's squeaker of a win? I'm not being combative - I want to see every single strength of your argument. Really, I do. It doesn't feel great to be a progressive, and to feel betrayed by her political party. If you can help me see why Obama's win is a good thing - or at least not such a bad thing, I'm all for reading a million words. Almost a full day of surfing, and all I've come across is Obama cultishness and crude dismissals of my intelligence.
people who loudly proclaim that they would rather vote for mccain than obama are so blinded by hate or rage that they obviously cannot function in a rational way that promotes their own political beliefs
The tone of this campaign has gotten way out of hand, let's not discuss who's more to blame, some pretty outrageous things said, people identify with their candidates and take these things very personally. I don't know if I would call that hate or rage. Anger and resentment? Seems less irrational.
It has begun
CHICAGO - A corruption scandal involving a fundraiser who bankrolled the campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich is guaranteed to take on fresh life as the nation heads into a hard-fought presidential election.
Chicago businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, 52, was convicted Wednesday of fraud, money laundering and aiding and abetting bribery in a plot to squeeze illegal payoffs out of firms hoping to do business with the state.
Republican spin doctors are already capitalizing on Rezko's ties to Obama -- the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
This is why I sit on the side lines during the primaries. People get so invested in their candidate that they become the political version of "bridezillas."
The PERFECT candidate does not exist. Breathe deeply. Take a long walk. And then get to work helping to get some liberal/progressives elected. (And I would be saying this even if the race had gone the other way.)
"i am completely confused as to why a so-called democrat would have non-sexist and non-racist reasons to NOT vote for obama when i have just cited two different studies that rely on two different measures demonstrating OBAMA AND CLINTON ARE NEARLY IDENTICAL POLITICALLY."
Obama is from Chicago.
Obama wants change of a non-disclosed nature.
Obama is 'above' the Chicago taint.
Obama wants change but doesn't change Chicago.
Obama will change the nation?
I have no doubt that some people made sexist or racist decisions, for and against each candidate. I don't really know who'd be ahead if you removed all of those votes, or if you'd have many on either side at all. But democrats don't "have" to vote for Obama, and non-democrats that supported Hilary sure won't.
McCain may seem incompetent in various things, but he appears to me as a decent guy, attempting to be sincere. Obama looks good, sounds good, smells good, but isn't saying anything change-worthy. His non-message of change offends me intellectually, as if I don't deserve to know what he intends to do that's so good for me. I don't like people who act like they know better than me.
You know what McCain would do in office.
You know what Hilary would do in office (again).
You know what Obama would do... if you don't delude yourself and fill in the blanks for him.
Why not be whiny and bigoted? Aesop called it the dog in the manger. If you can't get what you want, ruin it for everyone else. Heck - these 50-year-old women know that "1000 years" McCain isn't going to draft their asses to Iraq.
It's Obama's job to win over Hillary's supporters. It's his job to make up for all of the missteps and mistakes and flat-out rude comments, the mushy non-support of women's rights and pandering he's shown to religious nutbags. If he can't win over people in his own party, how does he have a hope of convincing the majority of the country that he's fit to be president? The party has been alienating its own people right and left, people who are tired of being told to sit down, shut up, and vote right because their concerns will be addressed...well, eventually, no, really, we'll get to it. We swept in Democrats to Congress a couple of years ago, and they haven't been doing much. What else do disenfranchised Democrats have as leverage but to threaten to vote for someone else? Obviously the party isn't listening to them when they do toe the line. I understand people who are so upset that they refuse to keep supporting a party that keeps throwing them under the bus. I'm voting for Obama in November, but by then I'd like to think that he's earned it or I'll be doing so with a very bitter taste in my mouth. He's got a lot of work to do.
A lot of this is ephemera.
The country hasn't experienced a really hard fought primary in a while, but it's pretty standard for there to be hard feelings for a while after a race like this.
BUT as we get to know McCain a little better, and see the yawning ideological gap between him and Obama, we'll see a lot of folks start to come around.
Obama doesn't have a long track record so he's going to have to work hard to let people know what "change" is and where we're going starting in 2009.
Don't let the negativity get to you--it's natural and by September or so, it'll be mostly over.
We swept in Democrats to Congress a couple of years ago, and they haven't been doing much.
Did you vote in a veto-proof majority? Did you vote in a liberal democratic majority? The answer to both of these questions is "no" in very large capital letters. So of course not much has gotten done in Congress.
I think maybe what "disenfranchised" Democrats really need is a civics class.
Oh please, this whole "Mccain looks like a nice guy" is *exactly* the type of shit people said about bush back in 2000. And that went so well, didn't it? "He appears incompetent, but"? What "but" is there? How can somebody look over demonstrated incompetence in a candidate after these last 8 years we've had of incompetent stupidity run amok? Really justakim, I hope your post is a parody.
I guess the country is still not quite enough in the shitter for us to stop voting for candidates based on "likability" or whether he/she drinks beer, or whether they'll "be a fighter" or some emotional BS like that. Maybe we need to invade Iran too? In a sick way it would be nice if Mccain really won - at that point this useless democratic party will hopefully disband and liberals might get a real party for a change. And probably the country would get sufficiently messed up that people would vote on something other then "he/she is like me" for a change.
If women who call themselves feminists seriously vote for a man who will try to overturn roe vs. wade (on top of all the other shit he'll do), that would be really hilarious.
Lastly Terez, you are of course right that Obama has made emotional appeals. So has every other candidate - I'm sorry but I don't find any more concrete evidence of anything other then intentions in "I'm a fighter I'll fight for you", than I do in "I'll change Washington". It is a matter of trust at this point - do we trust Obama to do what he says, or Clinton? Neither one has been perfect on that score, but at least they have an intention to do good. Mccain on the flip side has proudly stated that he wants us to basically go on as we have. No healthcare, tax cuts for the rich, and keep fighting in Iraq - what exactly is the difference from Bush for the most important issues here?
And of course nobody can get elected to anything in this country as an atheist - and we ought to be fighting that. However, we don't exactly have a non-religious candidate.
okay, i am not buying all this rhetoric. i want to keep an open mind, but i am not going to empty my mind completely in the process. i am disappointed in the democratic outcome too (i supported kucinich), but that's the way it is! do you honestly think that hillary's near-loss is more disappointing to you than kucinich's was for his supporters? especially since there are REAL, IDENTIFIABLE POLITICAL DIFFERENCES between kucinich and obama/clinton?
i am appalled that anyone who supported hillary clinton could possibly consider voting for mccain. what an insult to hillary! mccain has a long history of behaving like a cruel and mean-spirited man, which makes him a cruel and mean-spirited man in my book. or have all of you staunch never-say-die clinton supporters forgotten that it was MCCAIN who, at a public fund-raiser, asked "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?", when the poor kid was .. what? all of ten, eleven years old? and have you staunch hillary supporters forgotten the non-so-subtle gist of that comment?
or maybe you really are so blinded by your emotional state that you prefer mccain because you don't like obama's personal communication style (or his hairdo or his shoe size). if that's the case, maybe you should listen to mccain's colleagues, who know him FAR BETTER than you or i ever will, and who can tell you about HIS personal communication style. let's look at what fellow rethuglican, former Rep. John LeBoutillier from NY, has to say about mccain;
"He is a vicious person," LeBoutillier said. "Nearly all the Republican senators endorsed Bush because they knew McCain from serving with him in the Senate. They so disliked him that they wouldn't support him. They have been on the hard end of his behavior."
additionally, other political powerhouses, like mccain's rethuglican senatorial colleagues, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, and Pete Dominici, have all encountered mccain's outrageous unprofessional and illogical outbursts -- all of which are generously laced with profanity, yet all of these boys (being good little party thugs) refuse to talk about it. hrm, i wonder why mccain's own political colleagues refuse to discuss the man, and why they don't like him as a man, as a person?
so tell me again why you would rather vote for mccain, or why you are seriously entertaining the notion that you would vote for mccain when he clearly is so .. er .. "distasteful" as a person and as a politician? when mccain proudly asserts that "patriotic americans" should continue to offer up their sons and daughters upon the altar of oil and the gawdalmighty dollar so this country can remain firmly quagmired in iraq for the next century? when in fact there are NO IDENTIFIABLE POLITICAL DIFFERENCES between obama and clinton? or does the average hillary supporter prefer that their country's ideals to be represented by a mean old man who, at the age when most people retire, derives his personal and professional jollies from attacking the pre-teen aged children of his political opponents?
give me a break.
Have you considered the possibility that some of the people who claim to be Clinton supporters who say they will vote for McCain over Obama might actually be Republicans masquerading as Democrats, operating on a divide and conquer strategy?
actually, i am not claiming that hillary's supporters hold these ideas at all, i am sitting here in front of a TV in my coffee shop, listening to hillary's supporters SAY these things themselves
So in effect, you're endorsing the TV's claim that Hillary's supporters are threatening to boycott Obama... Bzzzt!. (Was this in fact ABC, by any chance?)
The TV networks are not even close to impartial reporters -- I'm quite sure they carefully picked out the angriest, most frustrated people on the scene, and methodically excluded anyone who so much as mentioned Democratic unity.
Yes, there's a hell of a lot of frustration out there -- even over on Making Light, we've got a normally well-behaved regular dumping fury and frustration, at impressive length. Of course, Hillary isn't helping either. But I have enough faith in my fellow citizens to hope that by November, most of Hillary's folks will calm down enough to realize that if McCain wins, America is F.U.C.K.E.D. for the foreseeable future. And if they don't... well, they do say a country gets the government it deserves.
GrrlScientist, whoa. In the first place, Mr. Kucinich - whom I admire - has never been a viable candidate for president. He and others are there to affect the tone of the conversation. They play important roles, but their supporters never had to watch the nomination fall just out of reach. That is a different kind of disappointment.
The argument that Obama and Clinton are politically (or ideologically) the same is disingenuous and almost irrelevant. There is a political system to work within, and short of changing the demographic of the Democratic party by employing regressive tactics to win the votes of regressive thinkers in politically neglected, and perhaps reactionary, disgruntled areas of the country (also all the "more educated" people, another misleading tidbit the media likes to use in the spirit of objective reporting), Barack Obama has not exhibited the political skill necessary to win the confidence of many voters. Short of adopting the Democratic party's set of conclusions as his own (of course he's going to cast party-line votes if he's looking to run for president two years after joining The Senate!) he's done a poor job of walking the walk of a progressive. He has betrayed the foundation of progressive thought for this first of his by-a-hair political victories. How much damage will he have to inflict upon progressive thought in order to squeak out policy wins? How strong will those policy wins be, and will they hold up to an inevitable right-wing fundamentalist backlash? How much will progressives have to pay in the long-run for embracing a candidate who says it's OK to think like a fundamentalist?
McCain might just be better simply because he's NOT Barack Obama. Those who voted for Hillary Clinton precisely because he's not Barack Obama are going to have a hard time understanding the urgency to support him, especially when there's a Congressional Democratic majority.
To be clear - I am not considering voting for John McCain. But I also feel betrayed by the Democratic party. Obama is a reaction to the Bush presidency, and in nominating him, we've acquiesced to the tone set by the "rethuglicans". In this way, they'll still be in control, even when they're not.
All right, I'm done - I fear I'm flirting with the high crime of Insipidity.
This is a test.
Obama is an interesting person and I'm sure that Hillary is still considering him as her VP :o)
He is well educated, has travelled widely and in this Obama quote "I am a big believer in the separation of church and state".
I can only think that Hillary's faithful are a little upset just now and will return to the fold.
I fully expect Hillary to lead them back, otherwise the party she says she supports may disown her; there's always 2010 assuming Obama is as awful as she appears to have said.
Saying that, none of my business seeing as I don't have a US vote.
Silly mistake, no idea why I wrote 2010.
When is the next US presidential election after this upcoming one?
A good many interesting points are made here, on both sides of the fence. But what I find ironic is how fundamentalist some (a bunch) of these posts sound; not Christian but progressive. To wit, there is only one way (my received wisdom is greater than yours), and if you do not see that, you are doomed (damned?).It seems to me that the fundamentalist gene is not limited the republicans, too bad.