A Memo From a Disillusioned Progressive

I want to preface my memo with some information about myself, which I hope will inoculate me from the visceral attacks from crazed Obama supporters.  I am a 46 year old who has been a progressive Democrat since before I was able to vote.  I subscribe to "The Nation", "The Progressive", "Mother Jones", "E" (environmental magazine), and "Washington Monthly".  I contribute to "Emily's List", Sierra Club, NRDC, and the DNC.  I receive email alerts from progressive blogs such as Buzzflash, and Truthout, and get regular emails from John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, and Move-On.  I read (or read) Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Democratic Underground and My Due Diligence.  I have read and own hundreds of books by Democratic and Progressive authors including but not limited to Thom Hartmann, Greg Palast, Molly Ivans, Al Franken, and David Sirota. I own dozens of DVDs regarding 911 truth, the Iraq War, election frauds, and all of Michael Moore's movies to name a few.  I listen to and record many progressive talk radio programs and when the stations airing them canceled them in my area; I participated in and coordinated with a radio group in an attempt to persuade the station owners to change their mind. When that was unsuccessful, I bought a lifetime subscription to Sirius so I could listen to what I considered the only rational voices on radio or television for that matter.  I have written letters to the editor of my newspaper and to my local and state officials regarding progressive matters as well as engage in thoughtful conversations and emails with friends and family.  I wrote a letter to Al Gore urging him to run in '08 and when that did not happen, I supported John Edwards.  That is a summary of my background that I want to convey before I begin with my "disillusionment".

After John Edwards dropped out of the race, I, like everyone else was left to take a closer look at the remaining two candidates.  After a great deal of consideration, I decided that Hillary was the most experienced to lead us out of the catastrophe that George Bush has left us with. Apparently, most voters agree with me on her experience and capability to be a strong commander in chief, but they are buying into the "hope" and "change" rhetoric.  Although I unlike many Democrats, never bought into the Iraq debacle to begin with, I do not blame Hillary for her vote.  I don't remember Democrats holding that against John Kerry either.  Barack Obama was not in the Senate and therefore did not see the same intelligence as the other Senators did.  It was easy to be against the war from the perch he was sitting on.  I do believe he has great oratory skills and perhaps is inspiring to many; I don't believe that is crucial for us at this time in history. We are wrapping up eight years of inexperience.  To me the choice is obvious.

My disillusionment comes from the Democrats or rather the progressive wing of the party.  The progressive bloggers, most notably Huffington Post and Daily Kos, have joined the MSM that they decried for their bias.  They, particularly Huffington, are sexist in their very unflattering photos of Hillary on proud display as well as their misleading anti-Clinton headlines.  The talkers, with the exception of Thom Hartmann who refuses to participate in the circular firing squad, are blatantly pro-Obama even as they attempt to argue that they are not.  Ed Schultz, the host of "The Ed Schultz Show - where America comes to talk", disparagingly refers to listeners who call him on his biases, as "Clintonistas".  I am not certain when they decided that Barack Obama was a progressive Democrat, because, he has always been considered by the progressives to be a centrist like Hillary; I believe both candidates were influenced by the presence of Edwards to move to the left.  The wing of the Democratic party that currently has the microphone and controls the blogs have become what they have accused the Republicans of being and doing to Bill Clinton.  They have exploited the media bias instead of denouncing it. Obama's campaign and its followers have made me a more ardent supporter of Hillary and more critical of the kind of divisive campaign that he and his supporters are not only allowing but are actively exploiting. He allowed the MSM to fuel the fire of racism and knowingly misrepresent the Clintons as racists.  He and his wife have made numerous sexist comments and have therefore exploited sexism as well as racism to their advantage. Although Hillary has demonstrated her ability to work across party lines with many of her worst adversaries, Barack has repeated the right wing mime and creation that Hillary is divisive and polarizing, while simultaneously running an extremely divisive campaign. I have un-subscribed to those "progressive" newsletters, Move-On..org, Democracy for America, and senators updates and no longer read or will subscribe to those magazines or listen to the biased talkers. Whether you agree with everything that Bill Clinton did as president, or Hillary in her various capacities, they have dedicated their entire lives to public service and humanitarian efforts.  When did the Democratic Party join the radical Republicans and decide to take out one of their own?  They have corroborated the Republican "Hunting of the President", and have added their own sequel, "The Hunting of the President's Wife".  To quote Hillary, "Shame on You, Barack Obama!"  To that I add, shame on you progressive Democrats!  I have relinquished my identity.

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Barack Obama's Unfair Advantage in America

Last night, my mind was racing so fast that I couldn't fall asleep. I was thinking about Hillary's incredible résumé, her 35 years of experience saving children's lives and helping families work their way out of the economic trenches, her partnership with Bill and how wonderful it would be to have him back in the White House, and her unquestionable ability to lead on day one. Why on earth would any rational voter choose some inexperienced, naive state senator over everything that Hillary has to offer?

Then it dawned on me: Racism guilt.

Think about it. White men and women are still faced every day with remnants of the racism that existed in our country for centuries. Racism in the pre-Civil Rights era used to be taboo, but it is becoming more and more of a conscious topic of discussion among whites now that higher education is becoming more prevalent. And the fact that February is Black History Month - complete with its bombardment of TV ads featuring the plights of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and George Washington Carver - has only strengthened whites' feelings of guilt over the sins of their ancestors. What better way for them to make peace with themselves than to blindly throw their support behind a black candidate?

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Does Obama Disrespect Women?

Last night's debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had another subtle but significant moment showing Obama's lack of respect for Hillary. As the audience cheered her and rose to its feet, he looked off to the side and seemed to say "Are we done?" A moment later, he repeated this.

During the debate before this one, as Hillary was speaking, he kept raising his hand in the air, like a schoolboy who wants to make sure that the teacher notices him too. He could not let Hillary just finish her thought without inserting himself in the moment.

And of course, we have "You're likeable enough, Hillary" and other slights that lead me to wonder if Obama would be doing this if his opponent were a man. Is Obama's famous "healthy ego" also a sexist ego hiding in Oprah clothes?

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Blazing a trail? Or Blazed by the trial?

I've been reading some of the comments on a recently recommended diary at Daily Kos and I've been left feeling more frustrated than ever about Hillary Clinton's run for presidency.  The diary was a lovely entry about how much the person respected and admired Hillary Clinton, and was inspired by her.  I'm happy for the diarist, and for any young woman who has been inspired by Clinton, but I don't think, like many of the comments I read, that she's been able to 'blaze a trail' at all....

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Imagine If This Were Your Daughter:

From "Chelsea Clinton Talks Policy in Obama Territory,"New York Times, February 16, 2008:

Ms. Clinton has been confronted with signs bearing messages like "America deserves better than aristocracy" and "Got Pimp?" a reference to a recent remark by a now-suspended MSNBC host who claimed that Mrs. Clinton was exploiting her daughter.

To those of us who dare oppose Barack Obama, it's not a surprise, sadly.  The incredibly nasty, immature attacks against us are a daily occurrence, all day every day.  But this is despicable behavior towards a very bright young, highly knowledgeable woman who is campaigning her heart out for her mother.

For more background on the source of the PIMP remarks -- which emanated from the nasty mouth of David Schuster on MSNBC, who was suspended for two weeks (he deserves more punishment) -- see these articles at NoQuarter blog:

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