Friday, March 14

Clinton Campaign Gets PWNED!

From the NPR News Blog:

Wednesday morning, the Clinton campaign sent reporters and bloggers covering the campaign a statement that consisted of questions and comments under the title of "Keystone Test: Obama Losing Ground."

The Obama campaign's communications department decided to annotate those questions and comments with some comments of their own... and boy, they held nothing back.

Below you'll find the annotated e-mail that has been making the rounds of the media. The Obama campaign's comments are in bold.

To: Interested Parties
From: Clinton Campaign
Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Re: Keystone Test: Obama Losing Ground
[Get ready for a good one.]


The path to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue goes through Pennsylvania so if Barack Obama can't win there, how will he win the general election?

[Answer: I suppose by holding obviously Democratic states like California and New York, and beating McCain in swing states like Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin where Clinton lost to Obama by mostly crushing margins. But good question.]

After setbacks in Ohio and Texas, Barack Obama needs to demonstrate that he can win the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is the last state with more than 15 electoral votes on the primary calendar and Barack Obama has lost six of the seven other largest states so far -- every state except his home state of Illinois.

[If you define "setback" as netting enough delegates out of our 20-plus-point wins in Mississippi and Wyoming to completely erase any delegate advantage the Clinton campaign earned out of March 4th, then yeah, we feel pretty setback.]

Pennsylvania is of particular importance, along with Ohio, Florida and Michigan, because it is dominated by the swing voters who are critical to a Democratic victory in November. No Democrat has won the presidency without winning Pennsylvania since 1948. And no candidate has won the Democratic nomination without winning Pennsylvania since 1972.

[What the Clinton campaign secretly means: PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT WE'VE LOST 14 OF THE LAST 17 CONTESTS AND SAID THAT MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA WOULDN'T COUNT FOR ANYTHING. Also, we're still trying to wrap our minds around the amazing coincidence that the only "important" states in the nominating process are the ones that Clinton won.]

But the Obama campaign has just announced that it is turning its attention away from Pennsylvania.

[Huh?]

This is not a strategy that can beat John McCain in November.

[I don't think Clinton's strategy of losing in state after state after promising more of the same politics is working all that well either.]

In the last two weeks, Barack Obama has lost ground among men, women, Democrats, independents and Republicans -- all of which point to a candidacy past its prime.

["A candidacy past its prime." These guys kill me.]

For example, just a few weeks ago, Barack Obama won 68% of men in Virginia, 67% in Wisconsin and 62% in Maryland. He won 60% of Virginia women and 55% of Maryland women. He won 62% of independents in Maryland, 64% in Wisconsin and 69% in Virginia. Obama won 59% of Democrats in Maryland, 53% in Wisconsin and 62% in Virginia. And among Republicans, Obama won 72% in both Virginia and Wisconsin.

But now Obama's support has dropped among all these groups.

[That's true, if you don't count all the winning we've been up to. As it turns out, it's difficult to maintain 40-point demographic advantages, even over Clinton]

In Mississippi, he won only 25% of Republicans and barely half of independents. In Ohio, he won only 48% of men, 41% of women and 42% of Democrats. In Texas, he won only 49% of independents and 46% of Democrats. And in Rhode Island, Obama won just 33% of women and 37% of Democrats.

[I'm sympathetic to their attempt to parse crushing defeats. And I'm sure Rush Limbaugh's full-throated endorsement of Clinton didn't make any difference. Right]

Why are so many voters turning away from Barack Obama in state after state?

[You mean besides the fact that we're ahead in votes, states won and delegates?]

In the last few weeks, questions have arisen about Obama's readiness to be president. In Virginia, 56% of Democratic primary voters said Obama was most qualified to be commander-in-chief. That number fell to 37% in Ohio, 35% in Rhode Island and 39% in Texas.

[Only the Clinton campaign could cherry pick states like this. But in contrast to their logic, in the most recent contest of Mississippi, voters said that Obama was more qualified to be commander in chief than Clinton by a margin of 55-42.]

So the late deciders -- those making up their minds in the last days before the election -- have been shifting to Hillary Clinton. Among those who made their decision in the last three days, Obama won 55% in Virginia and 53% in Wisconsin, but only 43% in Mississippi, 40% in Ohio, 39% in Texas and 37% in Rhode Island.

[If only there were enough late deciders for the Clinton campaign to actually be ahead, they would really be on to something.]

If Barack Obama cannot reverse his downward spiral with a big win in Pennsylvania, he cannot possibly be competitive against John McCain in November.

[If they are defining downward spiral as a series of events in which the Clinton campaign has lost more votes, lost more contests and lost more delegates to us ... I guess we will have to suffer this horribly painful slide all the way to the nomination and then on to the White House.]

[Thanks for the laughs guys. This was great.]

Thursday, March 13

Ferraro's Racial/Gender Flip-Flop Exposed

In the midst of this latest racial dustup brought to us in prime-time yet again by the Clinton Campaign and their Scorched Earth Strategy, today Randy Rhodes pointed out that just over one year ago - Geraldine Ferraro was saying the exact opposite to what she said the other day.

From the New York Times Dec 2006

"All evidence is that a white female has an advantage over a black male — for reasons of our cultural heritage," said the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, the civil rights leader who ran for president in 1984 and 1988. Still, he said, for African-American and female candidates, "It’s easier — emphatically so."

Ms. Ferraro offered a similar sentiment. "I think it’s more realistic for a woman than it is for an African-American," said Ms. Ferraro. "There is a certain amount of racism that exists in the United States — whether it’s conscious or not it’s true."

"Women are 51 percent of the population," she added.

Oh, no she Di'in't? Oh yes, my friends, she did.

Not that I find the game of Quien es mas Victim particularly seemly , this is the game that Clinton and her various surrogates (Rendell, Johnson, Wolfson) have forced us to play. Then play it we shall - to Win.

This week Ferraro says:

If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.

A year ago it was a very different story. Might that change have something to with the how the preference for the Democratic Nominee has also shifted over time?

Here's another excerpt from the NYT article:

By contrast, for all the excitement stirred by Mr. Obama, it is much less certain that an African-American could win a presidential election. Not as many blacks have been elected to prominent positions as women. Some high-profile black candidates — Harold Ford Jr., a Democrat running for the Senate in Tennessee, and Michael Steele, a Republican Senate candidate in Maryland — lost in November. And demographics might be an obstacle as well: black Americans are concentrated in about 25 states — typically blue ones, like New York and California. While black candidates cannot assume automatic support from black voters, they would at least provide a base. In states without big black populations, the candidate’s crossover appeal must be huge.

Yeah that explains Obama's victories in all those really "Black" States like Iowa. And Alaska. And Connecticut. And Idaho. And Maine. And Kansas. And Nebraska. And Utah.

Many analysts suggested that changing voter attitudes can best be measured in choices for governors, since they, like presidents, are judged as chief executives, rather than legislators. There will be one black governor next year — Deval L. Patrick in Massachusetts, the second in the nation since Reconstruction.

On Monday - David Paterson will make that two whole Black Governors, and still only the Third since Reconstruction. Wow, we've come a long way Baby. Out of curiosity, how many women Governors do we have?

By contrast, women will be governors of nine states, including Washington, Arizona and Michigan, all potential battleground states in 2008, a fact that is no doubt viewed favorably by advisers to Mrs. Clinton.

If it's so easy for Black people to make great political strides then Shirley Chisholm should have been our first Female President back in the 70's.

Clearly Ed Rendell seems to think differently:

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Ed Rendell, one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s most visible supporters, said some white Pennsylvanians are likely to vote against her rival Barack Obama because he is black.

"You’ve got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate," Rendell told the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in remarks that appeared in Tuesday’s paper.

Maybe Geralding and Ed need to have a little private chat since their talking points seem to be working at cross purposes.

It's not like Barack Obama hasn't had to face incessent attacks on his patriotism and smears that he is a stealth muslim. Attacks which were filtered through the Clinton Campaign by her Iowa County Chair.

I've obtained a copy of the email sent to Jones County, Iowa Democratic Chairman Gary Hart, by a Clinton volunteer.

It's one of a couple Obama-Muslim-smear emails circulating widely, and one of the ones Jonathan Martin and I wrote about in October. It's probably the most vicious of them: It states the underlying hint -- that Obama is some sort of Muslim Manchurian candidate -- explicitly.

The email was sent by someone identified only as "Judy" whose email address begins jcheroke. The Clinton campaign has said they are now asking a volunteer county coordinator to leave the campaign when the email came to light.

It's not like he hasn't been accused of being a drug user/dealer (even though all the evidence indicates that most drug user are white)

According to the federal Household Survey, "most current illicit drug users are white. There were an estimated 9.9 million whites (72 percent of all users), 2.0 million blacks (15 percent), and 1.4 million Hispanics (10 percent) who were current illicit drug users in 1998." And yet, blacks constitute 36.8% of those arrested for drug violations, over 42% of those in federal prisons for drug violations. African-Americans comprise almost 58% of those in state prisons for drug felonies; Hispanics account for 20.7%.

This fact didn't stop Robert Johnson from putting forth his cheap allegations, did it?

It didn't stop Hillary herself from accusing Barack of being affiliated with - "A Slum-Lord."

Just how "Black" can Barack Obama be after he's been actually accussed of "Acting White" by Jesse Jackson...

As serious as the controversy in Jena, La., is, there’s no reason for a veteran civil rights leader to accuse an African-American presidential candidate of "acting white" simply because he hasn’t emphasized the issue to the leader’s liking. And yet, that’s exactly what’s happened with Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama.

His "whiteness" is a sentiment that has been repeated by Conservatives such as Glen Beck.

BECK: Yeah, I — you know, I was driving in today, and I was seeing — because I saw this piece with him on 60 Minutes — and I thought to myself, he [Obama] is — he’s very white in many ways.

GIORDANO: Uh-huh.

BECK: And I thought to myself: Gee, can I even say that? Can I even say that without somebody else starting a campaign saying, "What does he mean, ‘He’s very white?’ " He is. He’s very white.

Yeah, you can say it Glen - you just sound like a freaking asshat, if you do.

Geraldine Ferraro's comments are the same as Beck's, and the same as Rush Limbaugh's horrifically unfunny "Barack the Magic Negro" song - but the sad part is that Ferraro and Johnson and all these others aren't doing it because their racists, they're doing it because they think that's the only thing they can do to win.

They might as well go completely for broke and start talking about how Barack Hussein Obama is the Anti-Christ, except that Glen Beck has already beaten them to that particular low road.

I'm sure the Clinton Camp is sorry they didn't think of that one first.

I was more than willing to defend Bill Clinton from unfair and premature accusations of racism simply for invoking the name of MLK and pointing out the strategic volume shift that Barack employed to modulate his opposition to the Iraq War when it became political inconvenient - particularly when Barack had invoked MLK first - but this is far past the silly point, it's become frankly - fucking disgusting.

How many ridiculous more cheap stereotypes can the people pile on with?

This is not an accident. This is their Strategy. This is a clear and obvious pattern and only seeks to underscore what Samantha Power said just before she was ushered out of the Obama Campain on a Rail:

Hillary is a Monster.

If this is the way she wants to run her campaign, if this is the way she plans to run the country - Yes, this is Monstrous - and Yes, she is a Monster.

And that's sad and tragic, because not are these tactics as slimey and disgusting - they also aren't going to work.

In the end the only persons who've truly been hurt by this are Ferraro, Rendell, Johnson and Hillary Clinton herself.

Barack will go on. Hillary won't.

Vyan

Playing the Affirmative Action Card - and Still Losing

We've all heard or read the comments by now. The comments which have quite literally taken the Hillary Campaign far over the edge of common sense.

If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept

We all realize this is just more of the Clinton Kitchen Sink Scorched Earth Policy of doing everything she can to destroy the Democratic Party if she can't be the Nominee.

But....

It should be noted that Geraldine Ferraro also said that she herself wouldn't have been the 1984 Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee if she had not been a woman, despite her being fully qualified for the job, and we all know what this is code for.

She is saying that Barack Hussein Obama is the "Affirmative Action" Candidate.

The funny thing about it is - (as I say this in all seriousness as a black man myself) - she may actually have a point, but not in the way she apparently believes.

First off, I want to remind anyone who is just reading my comments in this regard that not that long ago I pointed out how I felt that Barack Obama was not the "Black" Candidate.

What I pointed out then, and still maintain, is that being a Black American has to do with far more than just your skintone. It's about having experience with and a connection to Black Culture, a culture of suffering and struggle of striving against insurmountable odds (Jesse Owens, The Tuskeegee Airmen, Jackie Robinson, Mohammad Ali, Benjamin Carver, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Sidney Poitier, Tiger Woods) with incredible talent and perserverance to not only Win - but to set a completely new standard.

Being Black (as opposed to African) is a matter of who you are in response to Americas 400 year long mistreatment of us, not what you look like.

It can be very difficult to live up to these achievements. Sometimes Black Folk spend a lot of their energy actually trying to live them down because the burden can be sometimes too much to bare. Also there are many white people, from the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Burden and the Animals, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn and many thousands of others who have felt and shown a clear link to black culture through black music - so you don't even have to have black skin to deeply feel what I'm describing here.

However for Barack, as a bi-racial son of an immigrant who grew up in Hawii - I really didn't really see how much his background connected him to any of that (for one thing - he really really can't dance), but I never precluded the possibility that like Clapton and Vaughn - he could still hear the music.

However with Ferraro's recent attacks - I think Barack has clearly had more than his fair share of the "Black Experience".

My main problem with her comments isn't with the first portion, because her implication that some for of Affirmative Action has benefitted Barack in my opinion isn't a bad thing.

Just a reminder: There's NOTHING WRONG WITH AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

The point of AA is - doing something positive to help improve a problematic situation. Those who have opposed it, particularly during the 90's have all argued from a perspective of jealousy, that you can't possibly do something positive for one person or group without also doing something negative to someone else.

Most of those argueing against AA ignored the 1978 Bakke Decision which banned all forms of "Quota Systems" which might produce the type of negative reaction that so many decried as an unacceptable price to pay for 400 years of abuse, disenfranchisement, broken promises and oppression.

In the admissions system devised by U.C Davis, minority studies received a "Plus" rating in order to help the school achieve diversity goals. This isn't to say they were less qualified, only that they received bonus points for being members of a minority group. The SCOTUS deemed this a Quota System and struck it down.

We (the Court) have never approved a classification that aids persons perceived as members of relatively victimized groups at the expense of other innocent individuals in the absence of judicial, legislative, or administrative findings of constitutional or statutory violations.

So that accusation that six years later in 1984 that Ferraro herself was receiving "Plus Points" for being a woman is itself rather problematic that very thing had been ruled Unconstitutional.

Since Bakke federal attempts at Affirmative Action have been increasing limited in making adjustments to admissions standards, but have instead had to look at widening the recruitment pool through outreach. Instead of simply looking in your own backyard for qualified candidates - AA programs administered by the EEOC and OFCCP (both of which appear to now be defunct under Bush) have had attempted to help make more minority applicants better qualified to compete.

The Bottom Line is: Real Affirmative Action means - making everyone more competitive, not giving special breaks to those who don't need it.

Has Barack Obama been "Lucky?"

Hell, Yes he has, but he's also eminently qualified just as Ferraro herself claims she was back in 1984.

So where does that leave us? With this little gem.

Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up," Ferraro said. "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

No, people are not attacking you because you're white - Geraldine. They're attacking you because the assertion is patently false. Was Jesse Jackson "Lucky" when he ran against you in 1984 - yet unlike Barack, never achieved front runner status? Was Al Sharpton Lucky? How about Alan Keyes whom Barack defeated in order to enter the Senate, something you failed at three times?

Barack was only the third Black person to enter the U.S. Senate - EVER. I have two women Senators representing my state (California) right this second. Not to mention Olympia Snowe, Claire McCaskil, Kay Bailey Hutchinsen, etc...

And on this "women have suffered more than black men thing..." Although it's fair to say that the 15th Amendment gave Blacks the right to vote long before Women achieved it - the fact is that the right wasn't protected until 1968 when the Voting Rights Act was passed tends to mitigate the "advantage" that Blacks supposedly enjoyed.

One game we shouldn't be playing is "Whose victimhood is greater" - because there are no winners on that playing field. None.

The idea of helping those who clearly need it to help themselves is a core Democratic Principle. It's a sad day when the unbridled ambition and unchecked ego of one candidate has grown so far out of proportion that they would actually throw such a core principle not only under the bus, but to stop and back-up over it several times is somewhat shocking, but also in some ways sobering and healthy.

Repubs have long accused Dems and Liberals of being a hateful, spiteful, vindictive angry mob. We can now see that for Hillary and her supporters - that appears to be true.

But not all of us are with Hillary.

Not all of us think the world is "Zero Sum", we don't all agree with Terry McCauliff that we all need is to "Toughen Up", that the only way to win is to go lower than your opponent would ever expect.

Sometimes you can actually win with the better ideas, and simply focus on those ideas while pointing out that your opponent is throwing mud only because that's the only idea they have.

If the way that Hillary has run this compaign is any reflection on how she would run the WhiteHouse, she absolutely HAS. TO. LOSE. I wouldn't even accept her as Veep. Not a chance.

This can not be the way we conduct foreign policy. This can not be the way we deal with Congress. This can not be the way that America addresses it's own people.

We have to stand firm, and fight The Good Fight. Fairly. Honestly. Against insurmoutable odds with talent and fortitude.

We have to do what Black and many other oppressed People have been doing for Centuries.

WIN!

Lastly does Barack Obama's experience as "Black" man give him a unique perspective into how he would relate to America, and how he would relate to much of the rest of the world - particularly Africa?

I damn sure hope it does, considering what piss-poor job every other President has done with "Black Issues" over the last 40 years. Yeah, his being Black is a "Plus" in my column. I ain't to proud to say it.

Yeah, He's Black and I'm Proud.

It's past time we all openly embraced our inner (and outer) blackness.

Vyan