Moving On

As some of you may know, I came to MyDD in March, 2008 as a Hillary Clinton supporter, after having decided that Daily Kos had become too much of an echo chamber, in which every rec'd diary was identical to the one above or below it, and where those who did not uncritically support Barack Obama were treated like crap by those who did, regardless of whether they were otherwise good Democrats.  From constantly tarring people with the insulting term "concern troll", to hijacking diaries and being treated like a hero by other members for doing so, to ganging up on members who did not uncritically support the favorite candidate and abusing the ratings system against them.  The site simply became not only repetitive and boring as it devolved into an Obama cheerleading site, but also hostile to those who did not uncritically support Senator Obama.  

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Greenwald: Uncritical Obama Devotion Is Destructive

I have been bothered by the claim of some on MyDD since Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination, that it is inappropriate to discuss anything negative about either the Democratic nomination process, or our Democratic nominee.  Many members have proclaimed that he is now our nominee, and as a result, we must support him wholeheartedly, and refrain from any criticism, or we are not true Democrats.

Many of us know Glenn Greenwald as the author of the column, Unclaimed Territory, at Salon.com.  Mr. Greenwald has consistently and strongly supported Barack Obama in his column.  However, he is a former constitutional law and civil rights litigator, who is deeply involved in the warrantless wiretapping debate.

Well, today, Mr. Greenwald took Obama to task, warned against blindly supporting him, and asked all of us to take Obama to task, as well.

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Obama camp re-names DNC "Animal Farm"

Preface:  This diary is in response to all those who call people who used to support Hillary Clinton, and are now going to vote for Barack Obama, "deadenders", simply because we refuse to rewrite history, we remember how this race unfolded, and we're not happy about it.

A few weeks ago, I took my son to the library, and while my wife was watching him, I looked for a couple books that might draw my interest this summer.  I ended up picking out George Orwell's Animal, among others.  Don't get me wrong, I had read Animal Farm before.  However, I believe that was in high school when I read Animal Farm, and I'm now in my mid-to-late 30's.  So, I figured I'd revisit a classic.

Well, after reading it again, and participating on MyDD since Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Obama, I've noticed certain similarities between what happened in the book, and what has happened to the Democratic party.  

Orwell's Animal Farm is described as follows:

Old Major, a prize-winning boar, gathers the animals of the Manor Farm for a meeting in the big barn. He tells them of a dream he has had in which all animals live together with no human beings to oppress or control them. He tells the animals that they must work toward such a paradise and teaches them a song called "Beasts of England," in which his dream vision is lyrically described. The animals greet Major's vision with great enthusiasm. When he dies only three nights after the meeting, three younger pigs--Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer--formulate his main principles into a philosophy called Animalism.

Late one night, the animals manage to defeat the farmer Mr. Jones in a battle, running him off the land. They rename the property Animal Farm and dedicate themselves to achieving Major's dream. The cart-horse Boxer devotes himself to the cause with particular zeal, committing his great strength to the prosperity of the farm and adopting as a personal maxim the affirmation "I will work harder."

At first, Animal Farm prospers....  When Mr. Jones reappears to take back his farm, the animals defeat him again, in what comes to be known as the Battle of the Cowshed, and take the farmer's abandoned gun as a token of their victory. As time passes, however, Napoleon and Snowball increasingly quibble over the future of the farm, and they begin to struggle with each other for power and influence among the other animals. Snowball concocts a scheme to build an electricity-generating windmill, but Napoleon solidly opposes the plan. At the meeting to vote on whether to take up the project, Snowball gives a passionate speech. Although Napoleon gives only a brief retort, he then makes a strange noise, and nine attack dogs--the puppies that Napoleon had confiscated in order to "educate"--burst into the barn and chase Snowball from the farm. Napoleon assumes leadership of Animal Farm and declares that there will be no more meetings. From that point on, he asserts, the pigs alone will make all of the decisions--for the good of every animal.

Napoleon now quickly changes his mind about the windmill, and the animals, especially Boxer, devote their efforts to completing it. One day, after a storm, the animals find the windmill toppled. The human farmers in the area declare smugly that the animals made the walls too thin, but Napoleon claims that Snowball returned to the farm to sabotage the windmill.

He stages a great purge, during which various animals who have allegedly participated in Snowball's great conspiracy--meaning any animal who opposes Napoleon's uncontested leadership--meet instant death at the teeth of the attack dogs. With his leadership unquestioned (Boxer has taken up a second maxim, "Napoleon is always right"), Napoleon begins expanding his powers, rewriting history to make Snowball a villain.

Napoleon also begins to act more and more like a human being--sleeping in a bed, drinking whisky, and engaging in trade with neighboring farmers. The original Animalist principles strictly forbade such activities, but Squealer, Napoleon's propagandist, justifies every action to the other animals, convincing them that Napoleon is a great leader and is making things better for everyone--despite the fact that the common animals are cold, hungry, and overworked....

Years pass on Animal Farm, and the pigs become more and more like human beings--walking upright, carrying whips, and wearing clothes. Eventually, the seven principles of Animalism, known as the Seven Commandments and inscribed on the side of the barn, become reduced to a single principle reading "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." Napoleon entertains a human farmer named Mr. Pilkington at a dinner and declares his intent to ally himself with the human farmers against the laboring classes of both the human and animal communities. He also changes the name of Animal Farm back to the Manor Farm, claiming that this title is the "correct" one. Looking in at the party of elites through the farmhouse window, the common animals can no longer tell which are the pigs and which are the human beings.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm /summary.html

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Poll: Majority of Dems want Hillary as VP

According to a new poll cited by CNN, a majority of Democrats believe that Barack Obama should select Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

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Updatedx2: Bill Clinton/Gina Gershon affair claim debunked

As most of you are aware, the husband of former Clinton White House Press Secretary, Dee Dee Myers, who was fired by Bill Clinton and harbors resentment about it, authored an article in Vanity Fair magazine, suggesting that Bill Clinton is having multiple affairs, including but not limited to with actress, Gina Gershon.  

Well, it appears that Ms. Gershon is none to pleased to have her name included in a propaganda smear article.

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MSNBC Obama Propaganda Exposed

Caveat:  This diary will be mostly a cut and paste job.  I am acknowledging that fact up front, so please do not feel the need to reference this fact in the comment section.

Caveat No. 2:  This diary quotes extensively from an article in The New Republic.  Hopefully however, regardless of your feelings towards the publication, you will read the article with an open mind.

Dangerous Liaison
by Isaac Chotiner
The pro-Obama case against MSNBC's pro-Obama political coverage.

Two weeks ago, on the night of Barack Obama's big win and narrow loss in the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, respectively, I turned my television set to MSNBC, as I normally do on election nights. It was early in the evening, and Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann were discussing the first exit polls that were trickling in. Considering that the exit polls in these contests have been--to say the least--a bit unreliable, I assumed that they weren't going to put much stock in the numbers. Just two weeks earlier, I had watched MSNBC's coverage of the Pennsylvania primary, where an excited Matthews practically gave the state to Obama, only to acknowledge later that Clinton had easily won. Surely, Matthews and company were not going to make the same mistake again.

They didn't--but only because the exit polls, predicting a good night for Obama, happened to be right; the coverage itself was exactly the same. And this was only the latest example of the network's undeniable Obama favoritism. David Shuster's comment about the Clintons' "pimping out" their daughter, Chelsea, was clearly boneheaded, but, as Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson pointed out, it caused such a stir among Clintonites because it highlighted the rest of the network's anti-Hillary coverage. Now, that's not to say that their slant has been bad for business; to the contrary. And it has certainly made for some enjoyable television--Matthews is often supremely engaging (who, after all, does not enjoy watching someone exclaim that seeing Obama speak gives him a "thrill going up my leg"), and however withering he can be, Olbermann is frequently hilarious. But the network's coverage has helped create a bubble around Obama supporters that in the end is neither healthy nor desirable.

(snip)

And even if you think (as I do) that the Clintons have made too big of a deal out of the "sexist" and "unfair" portrayal their candidate has received in the press, if you watch enough MSNBC, you realize that their claim isn't without truth. How could you believe otherwise when Olbermann, with his trademark hauteur, told Hillary that "voluntarily or inadvertently, you are still awash in this filth [of the campaign]," or when Matthews took such self-evident glee in trouncing Clinton in between the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary? Similarly now, by mocking Clinton's decision to stay in the race, Olbermann has only bolstered her argument that "the boys" are trying to push her out. And finally, on a number of primary nights, but most notably in Pennsylvania and Ohio/Texas, MSNBC has become so excited by early exit polls that it has raised expectations that Obama ultimately could not live up to.

(snip)

I increasingly started watching the channel last year because of its political focus, and for the novelty of seeing outspoken liberals on television. How often does one hear a news anchor rant against the corruption of Bush's Washington, after all? As the campaign progressed, however, it became clear that neither Matthews nor Olbermann could stand Hillary Clinton. This, I must admit, I found appealing, too--especially because I agreed with the hosts that some of the Clinton campaign's tactics have been either ridiculous or dirty or both.

Still, a downside quickly surfaced. Shuster's "pimping" remark and Matthews's crude (even if somewhat accurate) comment about the Monica Lewinsky scandal being a boon for Hillary's political career were notable precisely because they had nothing to do with policy or ideology. It wasn't as if Shuster and Matthews and Olbermann were siding with Obama on the issue of individual mandates. Rather, by giving "the personal" precedence over "the political," the network was using Hillary Hatred to fuel its coverage in a similar fashion to how Fox News uses Democrat Hatred to excite its viewers. But there is a distinction here that makes MSNBC's agenda almost more disquieting than Fox's. With Fox, I have to believe that most people know they're watching something that approximates GOP talking points (seeing an analyst like Paul Begala spin for Hillary on CNN doesn't really stick, either; everyone knows he's an apparatchik). With MSNBC, however, the bias is much harder to pin down. Does it stem from a personal vendetta? Sexism? Corporate diktat? Who knows? (snip) Conservatives have ably chipped away at the press's credibility these past few years, with disturbing results; now--consciously or not--with their aggressive, intra-Democrat side-taking, MSNBC is doing the same thing.

Dangerously, too, MSNBC's coverage can lead to a perverse sort of cognitive dissonance in viewers like, well, me. Throughout the primary process, I often found myself much more bullish on the Illinois Senator's chances after watching MSNBC than I had any reason to be. After Obama's Iowa victory, for instance, I remember hearing Matthews' description of a giant "wave" of Obamamania sweeping across the nation; surely, the race was over. Likewise, during the month of February, when Obama won eleven straight primaries, I recall watching the network and occasionally convincing myself that Clinton was certain to drop out before Texas and Ohio because her chances had become so diminished. The problem here is that when supposedly "straight" news anchors phrase questions in leading ways, and report one campaign's spin as if it were fact, it distorts what is actually going on in the campaign--even for those of us who make a living obsessing over and writing about politics. And when anchormen themselves shill for Obama, the distinction between his talking points and the truth grows even blurrier still. So, as much as I find MSNBC entertaining, their creation of a parallel, pro-Obama universe is the type of thing I'd expect of Fox. That's when I know it's time to change the channel.

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Did Obama Accuse Clinton Of Plotting His Assasination?

Hey, folks.  

Remember when Hillary basically called Obama a muslim scumbag, by taking him at his word?

No?  Well then, its a good thing stuff floats around the internets for a while.  This is just a random sampling from Daily Kos:

Hillary: "I take him at his word," Obama Not a Muslim [video]
by turneresq
Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 04:32:08 PM PDT
This is probably gonna get some blowback. The issues of Obama being a Muslim (not that there is anything wrong with that) has repeatedly been roundly debunked. But it is something that is still circulating and is a source of frustration for the Obama Campaign.

There are still whisper campaigns out there (some from the Clinton Campaign.) To be fair, those staffers were let go. But tonight's 60 Minutes will probably generate some chatter.

Tonight on 60 minutes Steve Kroft talks to Hillary and Obama as well as voters. This quote from Clinton is frankly bizarre, and will probably generate negative news for her. Thanks to Hope08 for the link to the transcript.

It happened again last week, when a photo of Obama in ceremonial African tribal dress during a visit to Kenya was featured prominently on the Internet and attributed to people in the Clinton campaign.

Senator Clinton disavowed any knowledge of it.

"You don't believe that Senator Obama's a Muslim?" Kroft asked Sen. Clinton.

"Of course not. I mean, that, you know, there is no basis for that. I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that," she replied.

"You said you'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's not...a Muslim. You don't believe that he's...," Kroft said.

"No. No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know," she said.

Absolutely bizarre to me. This sounds like she has some lingering doubts, but will give Obama the benefit of the doubt as far as these claims. I'm sure we'll have video later, but I think she has some 'splaning to do, especially on the heels of the criticism she took for the campaign's (non?) role in the "Obama in Somail Garb" flap which generated this tacky defense from Stephanie Tubbs Jones:

Check out 60 Minutes tonight.

Update: Video is here.

Tags: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, 2008 Election, Muslim Smear, Recommended (all tags) :: Previous Tag Versions

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Daily Kos Help

Tips (329+ / 0-)

I don't know what she was thinking.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/3/2/1 9235/02786/275/467539

You will note that there are 329 recommends on this particular diary.  There were also hundreds of comments, most of which claimed that Hillary is an ambitious bitch who is destroying the party because she took Obama at his word.

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Obama Trolls: Please Stop It.

This will be a short diary.

The administrators need to check out this diary:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/5/5/10841 /60478#10

and start banning Obama supporters who have hijacked this thread to nitpick each and every word, and personally insult the diarist, without making ANY attempt to discuss the issues contained in the diaries.

Because of the lynch mob mentality at Daily Kos, and the coordinated efforts of Daily Kos members to gang up together and run over to take control of other liberal blogs, people can't even engage in civilized discourse around here anymore.

Admins, please check out that diary, especially the first people to respond to it, and start banning the thread-hijackers who are ruining this site.

Again, if you need help finding it, its here:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/5/5/10841 /60478#10

Thanks,

PJ Jefferson

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Response to Color of Change Obama Propaganda

Many of you know Color of Change as a grassroots organization.  Instead of telling you what they do, I'll let them set the stage:

ColorOfChange.org exists to strengthen Black America's political voice. Our goal is to empower our members--Black Americans and our allies--to make government more responsive to the concerns of Black Americans and to bring about positive political and social change for everyone.

And how they do it:

Using the Internet, we will enable our members to speak in unison, with an amplified political voice. We will keep them informed about the most pressing issues for Black people in America and give them ways to act. We will lobby elected representatives using email, the telephone, and face-to-face meetings. We'll bring attention to the needs and concerns of Black folks by holding coordinated events in different parts of the country, running TV and print advertisements, and demanding that the news media cover our issues. We will also work with other groups--online efforts and other organizations that are doing related work--to magnify our impact.

So how did I - - - a caucasian - - - get involved with Color of Change, you ask?  Simple, during the Jena Six scandal, I received an email from Color of Change, and signed petitions in favor of the release of African American kids from jail as a result of bogus convictions from a racially charged incident.  

Today, I received a very different kind of email from Color of Change.  

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What Happens When Bob Johnson Tells The Truth? UPDATED

Back in March, Geraldine Ferraro said the following:

If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman 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," she said.

Since everyone else around here has fun using the bold command to make a point, I figured I'd do the same.  You see, she wasn't saying that being black in America is generally a good thing, or that Barack Obama could not possibly be smart enough to be President.  What she said was that the reasons he is getting so many votes is that black people will vote for him in droves because he is black and they want one of their own to be POTUS for a change, while white people will vote for him in droves because they think that by doing so, they are erasing negative American history towards African Americans, showing that they are not racist, and showing the world what a wonderful country America is.  I used to be one of those people, and was going to vote for Obama over Clinton, before I came to my senses and realized that you don't elect a particular individual to a specific office based on such generalities, and that it is best to elect the most qualified for the job.  After watching the debates, it became clear to me that Hillary is more qualified at this particular point in time than Barack.

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