The Democratic Party is in the first stages of a Civil War.
It is a war that must be fought.
The Democratic Chairman, Howard Dean, is a tragically blind figure whose legacy will not be the “50 state strategy” he promised to implement. Instead Howard Dean will be remembered as the chairman of the 48 (47? 46?) state strategy.
The Howard Dean folly of the 48 state strategy is compounded by a twisted definition of “unity” propounded by Democratic? establishment figures who have sought for months to shut down the primary elections. This past April:
An increasingly firm Howard Dean told CNN again Thursday that he needs superdelegates to say who they’re for – and “I need them to say who they’re for starting now.”
“We cannot give up two or three months of active campaigning and healing time,” the Democratic National Committee Chairman told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “We’ve got to know who our nominee is.”
It might be news to Chairman Dean, but we know who our nominee is — Hillary Clinton.
It apparently is also news to Chairman Dean/Obama/Brazille/Pelosi but now is not the time for healing – now is the time for fighting. And we will fight. We are joined by millions of women, latinos, white working class, and rural voters, and a small but tough, smart, and tenaciously loyal under withering attacks, group of African-Americans.
“Healing” will not take place by the audacity of hope and band-aids. The “unity” Dean/Obama/Brazille/Pelosi want is the “shut-up” kind. We are not shutting up.
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E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post has been writing obtuse columns about Hillary and the presidential nomination race. In one particularly silly piece Dionne premised that Hillary will have to abandon efforts to block Obama’s nomination. She can keep fighting, or she can become a powerful figure in the Democratic Party. She cannot do both. Dionne forgets the Ted Kennedy example. Kennedy fought all the way to the convention in 1980 against a sitting Democratic president, lost, and returned to the Senate more powerful than ever. Of course, Kennedy was a man.
Today, Dionne writes another silly article. Dionne starts off on the right foot. The premise is that women are angry about how Hillary Clinton has been treated during this campaign. However, Dionne spends the entire article only talking to “leading female politicians”. Dionne’s narrative seeks to diminish Hillary as a “politician” and limit the anger to other “female politicians”. News flash for Dionne: women, women from all strata are angry.
How much anger is there among women about how Hillary Clinton has been treated during this campaign? Some of the nation’s leading female politicians will tell you: quite a lot.
“From the beginning, she’s been treated very badly,” says Therese Murray, president of the Massachusetts Senate. “No woman would have run with Obama’s résumé. She wouldn’t have been considered.” But Clinton has been “demonized by the press and the talking heads. How do you get away with that?”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) says she is regularly approached “by women of all races, of all ages, of all faiths. They stop me, grab my hand and say, ‘Look what they’ve done to her, we were so close.’ They wanted this for their daughters and granddaughters. . . . It’s so heartbreaking.”
For Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.), the evidence that “sexism reigns supreme” lay in the wide availability of offensive anti-Hillary paraphernalia in stores and on the Internet. For Barbara Johnson, president of the Minneapolis City Council, Clinton may have been the victim of “ageism” as much as sexism. The message, she said, was: “Your time is past, it’s time for somebody new to take your place.”
Many women, said Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), “knew we had made many strides. They asked, ‘Aren’t we past this? What’s going on?’ They’re not happy with what they see as sexism, permitted by the media and in some cases encouraged by the media.”
The silliest part of Dionne’s article is in painting Obama as an innocent in the sexist campaign:
If there is good news for Barack Obama in any of this, it is that the rage felt by Clinton’s female supporters is directed in large part toward the media. “The anger is aimed much more at you all,” said Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts of Rhode Island. Added Murray: “Obama wouldn’t have gotten to where he got today if it weren’t for the bias of the male media — no offense.”
It’s true that campaigns and political movements use anger as a bargaining chip. The message is: Appease us or we will cause trouble. The Clinton campaign is hoping that such rage will strengthen its hand in the battle to seat pro-Clinton Michigan and Florida delegations at the party’s national convention, even though those states held early primaries in violation of party rules.
But the conversations I had this week with prominent female politicians from around the country who support Clinton suggest that the fury and disappointment is more than short-term maneuvering. In many cases, it is rooted in the empathy of women who themselves broke gender barriers at various levels of politics.
Instead of “no offense” Murray should have said ‘offense intended E.J.’. Dionne does not examine himself nor his sexist Big Media buddies. Instead Dionne tries his best to paint the anger of women, or rather the “female politicians” he interviewed as whiny, “dream deferred” weepers. That’s not the case buddy.
A better job is done by David Paul Kuhn at Politico. Kuhn did not restrict his interviews to “female politicians”. Kuhn relied on empirical data instead of force feeding his opinions via selected quotes from “female politicians”.
Barack Obama’s favorability ratings among white women have declined significantly in recent months, particularly among Democrats and independents, presenting an immediate obstacle for the likely Democratic nominee as he moves to shore up his party’s base.
According to a new report by The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, half of white women now have a negative perception of Obama.
Forty-nine percent of white women view Obama unfavorably, while only 43 percent hold a favorable opinion. In February, 36 percent of these women viewed Obama unfavorably, while 56 percent had a positive perception of the likely Democratic nominee.
Over the same period, Democratic white women’s negative view of Obama increased from 21 percent to 35 percent, while their positive view decreased from 72 percent to 60 percent — roughly the same rate as white women overall.
Kuhn, utilizing empirical data, raises the question which Howard Dean/Obama/Brazille/Pelosi do not want asked. Dean/Obama/Braille/Pelosi want the “healing” and “unity” narrative to be accepted as fact. The question remains: whether white women’s support for Clinton would translate into problems for Obama in the general election.
Pew also found that among self-described Clinton supporters, the negative shift against Obama is more severe among women than among men.
The Pew findings come as Obama’s campaign struggles to close up the primary race while also attempting to avoid the perception of pushing Hillary Rodham Clinton out, for fear of offending her most loyal supporters — the largest bloc of which are white women.
Still unknown is whether white women’s support for Clinton would translate into problems for Obama in the general election.
Kuhn aptly takes note that usually, after most primary fights, there is Party unity. But, Kuhn also notes that this time it is different – Hillary supporters are not going to fall into the “healing” or “unity” trap.
Intraparty divisions that arise during the primary season are typically mended over the course of the general election. Bill Clinton struggled with college-educated Democrats in the 1992 primary, as John F. Kerry did with young Democratic voters in the early stages of the 2004 race. Both candidates won back these blocs in the general election.
But the Democratic primary race of 2008 is without modern precedent, insofar as black support for Obama and white female support for Clinton are tied up in the symbolism of each candidate’s historic presidential bid.
“There is some sense of the visceral investment with Clinton,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic strategist. Lake believes once the general election is under way, these same white women will gradually move away from McCain over issues, with the expectation that Clinton will campaign on Obama’s behalf if he is the nominee.
“In the long run, women will watch Hillary Clinton’s reaction, how she’s treated by Barack Obama,” Lake added.
This is not about injured feelings. This is not about whiny women. This is about a Big Media tool Chicago thug who has used sexism, race-baiting, and gay-bashing to trash Hillary and her supporters in order to implement a vision of the Democratic Party which we find repugnant.
It is about issues Hillary supporters care about. It is about trust in the experience and wisdom of Hillary Clinton and distrust and disbelief in the cult of Obama.
White women as a whole now prefer John McCain over Obama, by 49 percent to 41 percent. Last month, Obama was ahead of McCain among white women, 49 percent to 46 percent. The head-to-head matchup between McCain and Obama has not significantly shifted among white men.
“There is no question that white women were — especially older women, not young women — Hillary’s Clinton’s base in the primary, and there is going to be some repair work that has to be done,” Democratic analyst Anna Greenberg said. “There is no reason to believe that these Democratic white women are not pursuable.
“The priority is going to be to bring back these voters,” Greenberg added.
Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who has worked with Lake on surveys of women, said that “the steady shift of white women away from Barack Obama” could prove “enduring heading into November.”
“These women have two issues at the top of their agenda that require experience and reasonableness—war and economy,” Conway said. “For many of these women, when they hear Barack Obama talk about change they hear revolution, not incrementalism.
Obama is not only unqualified to be president, Obama is also unelectable. Obama cannot win sufficient women, latinos nor white working class and rural voters to come close to winning.
Democrats have come closest to capturing the White House by winning minorities by large margins and nearly splitting white women, as they did in 2000. Republicans have generally relied on their dominance with white men to put them in the White House, while winning at least half the vote among white women.
Obama, and the new monstrous Democratic? Party (weathy white educated eggheads, students and African-Americans; no to latinos, white working class, women) he wants to inflict on us, is unelectable.
Obama, his allies, and his ugly vision for the Democratic Party must be fought and defeated – only then will there be an opportunity for “healing” – however long it takes – however many election cycles are required.
Women will lead the way to a return to the Party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Women will give birth to the new Democratic Party.