Suggestions for Reestablishing Solidarity

As we enter the final phase of this contentious primary, the question of unifying the party behind a nominee is becoming more immediately pertinent.  As someone who teaches rhetoric and composition at the University of Michigan (yes, that Michigan), I'd like to offer a few suggestions for how to continue to engage each other at this critical juncture.  These are guidelines that seem, in my experience, to help a great deal both in persuading others and in getting one's point across to a committed and passionate opponent.  Recent diaries and comments express a great deal of frustration and disagreement over what constitutes an attack, or what is a valid argument.  I hope some of you find the following helpful.  I apologize in advance if they read as overly prescriptive or pedantic.  I am merely attempting to alleviate frustration and offer avenues to improve understanding between us.  I think everyone here agrees that we need each other for the coming struggle.  

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MyDD Exclusive: Obama's latest hate speech.

At a recent Pennsylvania rally, Obama was quoted as saying:

If there is one thing......I can't.....stand for..,.. it' ....rab....bits.

He's clearly pandering to cat owning elitists (that probably drink Chai Tea and shop at Trader Joes) here.  Snubbing good dog and bunny loving Americans is not a very American way to win an American election.

Hatred for God's most loving creatures is definitely going to hurt him in the GE, because you can't win an American election on cat owners votes alone, and beyond that, isn't an American president supposed to serve ALL pets, not just elitist pets.

I am currently an Obama supporter, but thinking of switching to Hillary because I can not abide his hatred for all things innocent and small.  Actually, I just switched in the space between sentences.  


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A real strategy for change

Barack Obama has promised "change we can believe in" and to "turn the page" in American politics.  His critics accuse him of tempting voters with inspirational rhetoric and the vagaries of hope without a strategy for turning words into real and meaningful change.  Naturally, all campaigns can be criticized for this failure - the best that can be said of political campaigns is that they set the stage for change by shifting the balance and dynamics of politics.  Few candidates actually deliver all of the change they promise because, in the end, few campaigns change the dynamics of politics. Most don't deliver change at all.

Yet, what distinguishes the Obama campaign is that it actually is changing political dynamics and that it actually has a strategy for change.  It is the Clinton campaign that actually lacks a genuine strategy for change any deeper than the candidate's pledges to "fight harder".  Obama's special gift is that he is able to reframe issues in ways that make intuitive sense to the best parts of most Americans.  The result has been that he's consistently found ways to use the values that unite the country - fairness, decency, justice, freedom, creativity, compassion, high aspirations, and (yes) hope - as frames for policies to which he's committed and for building new and more inclusive political unity.  As a result his campaign has activated and mobilized vast numbers of people across age, gender, race, class, and, to some extent, ideological lines.  They attend rallies, volunteer, contribute, caucus and vote.  Instead of PACs and lobbyists establishing their dominance within the campaign, more than a million individual contributors, most quite modest, have financed its operations.  

This values-based mass mobilization is a fundamental paradigm shift in Democratic politics, and it is what is changing the political dynamics of this election. It is a strategy for change.  If the mobilization can be sustained beyond the election, it will change the political dynamics that determine the country's future.  It is a new and powerful catalyst that will fundamentally shift the balance of power and the conventional dynamics of politics.  

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Why picking and choosing is not helpful.

I was sent the following by a friend, straight from kos, which supposedly highlighted why in his words Obama's campaign was about "us", whereas Clinton's campaign, from her perspective was about herself. /20/201332/807/36/458633

See the analysis in my response (read critique) in the extended diary. Warning, numbers may show something you do not wish to see.

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Help me out with this observation

I admit i am a devoted Clinton supporter and I may not be the most impartial observer of obama. But I have seen something that has really bothered me. Can anyone help me out.

a). Where is he normally looking when he gives speech? I know his venues are normally filled with people but when I look at his eyes, I just do not see him making direct eye contact with anybody. Is it not a rule for you to make contact with people when you give speeches?

b). In debate after debate, I see Obama mumbling and stumbling. I see him stuttering a lot. Is he not supposed to be a Harvard graduate with unlimited eloquence? don't we expect him to be more polished than this? Or maybe he is just not very familiar with the materials or is not used to be challenged?

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