The past few days have reminded us of an old Nut & Honey commercial.
First the nuts. There was a gathering of Nutroot Notions (they now call themselves Netroots Nation, formerly YearlyKooks of DailyKooks) in Austin, Texas which had as its chief aim the protection and non-criticism of FISA Pelosi and Barack Obama. It was a sad spectacle.
Barack Obama did not want to be seen anywhere near the Nutroot Notions seance so Obama escaped to Iraq. The escape was necessary not only to avoid Nutroot Notions but Obama is desperately seeking gravitas. Obama needs to find gravitas somewhere. The callow, unqualified Obama figured he might find gravitas in the sands of the Middle East because he has not found gravitas in the United States.
Meanwhile FISA Pelosi (formerly Nancy Pelosi) continued her charm offensive to woo Hillary Clinton supporters:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged disaffected backers of Hillary Clinton to support Barack Obama’s choice for vice president, even if he picks a female candidate not named Clinton.
“I don’t think we should be making an issue after the primary is over about who should be vice president.” [snip] “The only one thing important right now is party unity.” [snip]
Speaking shortly after Al Gore addressed a surprised crowd at Netroots Nation, Pelosi used the appearance of the former vice president to highlight the broad importance of the general election. “I think about [what could have been] all the time,” she said. “I like to say this first seven and a half or eight years of this century are ones we just might have to have a fresh start from. Let’s start the century over.”
FISA Pelosi, even as she pushes her choice (Chet Edwards) for Vice President seems to forget that Vice Presidential choices are matters fit for discussion. Think Lyndon Johnson or even John Edwards – Only when Hillary Clinton is the subject does FISA Pelosi and her ilk denounce the very concept of discussion. For the record, many Hillary supporters do not want Hillary Clinton to have anything at all to do with Barack Obama.
But the nut contest of the past few days was clearly won by Don Flowler and Alice Germond. They wrote a letter.
Dear Democratic Friends:
2008 is a Democratic year-at all levels in all the states. The opportunity is ours. We just have to seize it. [snip]
It is time for all Democrats, supporters of Senator Clinton and all other contenders for the nomination, to stand with him to secure his election and the election of Democrats at all levels of competition.
I must confess a bit of fatigue and irritation with people who continue to carp, complain, and criticize the results of the primary and lay down conditions for their support. The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t establish conditions to recognize the Boston Celtics as NBA Champions; Roger Federer did not demand concessions before recognizing that Rafael Nadal defeated him at Wimbledon.
It is time to act in a mature and resourceful fashion. It’s time to put the primaries behind us. It’s time to support Barack Obama without conditions or demands.
It’s time to WIN for Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, America, and our future. We have an unparalleled opportunity. I hope we will all do everything we can to seize the moment.
We note how Fowler/Germond end the letter – Barack first, America last. Shouldn’t the order be (first) America, (then) the Democratic Party, (ending with) pompous Barack?
There is a lot to disagree with in the letter. The insulting tone and demand that Hillary supporters “act in a mature and resourceful fashion” is only a small matter.
What escapes Fowler/Germond is that many very mature, very resourceful, very intelligent Real Democrats will contine to carp, complain and criticize” the results of the 2000 stolen election. And we sure as blazes will continue to carp, complain and criticize” what has happened this election cycle.
The ones that continue to “carp, complain and criticize” are people like Fowler/Germond who are insistent that Real Democrats do as they are told. It’s not going to happen so Fowler/Germond should refrain from the carping, complaining and criticizing.
Why the carping and complaining and criticizing from the Obama/Dean/Brazile/Pelosi/FISA Democratic? Party? Here is the Honey answer:
When comparing Obama’s full FEC filing for June with a list of 311 “Hillraisers” — or supporters who bundled more than $100,000 in contributions for Sen. Clinton — the Huffington Post found only eight names in common between the two lists. Not all of those donors maxed out, either, making for a relatively paltry figure of $19,250 in direct, hard-money contributions from Hillraisers for the month. [snip]
But still, the fact that fewer than three percent of Clinton’s donors have donated any money directly to Obama in his first month as presumptive nominee is likely to raise the eyebrows of some leaders in the Democratic Party who are hoping to see signs of unity. Clinton suspended her campaign in early June, and officially endorsed Barack Obama in a speech on June 7.
In addition, only a scattered few Hillraisers donated to the Democratic National Committee or its Victory Fund in June — perhaps a more worrying development for the party as it tries to keep pace with its Republican counterpart. (Such checks to the party, however, can go as high as $28,500.) [snip]
And, it must be noted, the ultimate usefulness of some of these figures is not how much they donate personally, but whether they perform the hard work of organizing others to open their wallets. Still, individual contributions can be a sign of intent or enthusiasm.
Judging by the latest figures, there isn’t much of either among Hillraisers at the moment.
The bitter, foot stomping demands that Real Democrats cling to the Democratic Party leaders and their selection of unqualified Obama is due to a growing nervousness, among these leaders, that Obama is a loser.
Barack Obama should be ahead right now. Way ahead. Not even close is how it should look, even though I wouldn’t for a minute tell you that if it were that would seal the deal. But the fact that my old candidate Mike Dukakis was running better 20 years ago against George Bush than Obama is today against John McCain makes me nervous. It should be a sign to some of the whiners on my side, still worried about whether Obama is liberal enough or whether he’s doing enough to help Hillary, that it’s time to stop whining and start working. Otherwise, it will be hello President McCain.
It’s not that McCain is doing so well. He isn’t. [snip]
So why worry?
First, because the experience of the primaries, not to mention that of other African-American candidates, suggests that polls tend to overstate, not understate, support for black candidates. With the exception of Indiana, every pre-primary poll in a major state showed the race between Obama and Clinton to be closer than it turned out to be. [snip]
Second, because this should be a Democratic year. A landslide Democratic year. The best Democratic year imaginable. Twenty years ago, when Michael Dukakis was leading around now, the incumbent Republican, Ronald Reagan, was actually popular. A majority of Americans thought the country was on the right track. Gas cost $1.08 a gallon. Jihadists were “freedom fighters.” The Republicans were the party of peace and prosperity; their “brand,” as marketers call it, was worth something.
To say Republicans have fallen on hard times doesn’t begin to describe it. George Bush’s approval ratings are down to the immediate family; even die-hard Republicans are wringing their hands. Party identification has plummeted. The wrong-trackers outnumber the right-trackers by more than two -to-one. The generic Democrat beats the generic Republican in the generic House contest (if only such things existed) by fifteen points. Even in the real (not generic) world, where the Congress that is controlled by actual Democrats is almost as unpopular as the White House that is controlled by actual Republicans, the numbers crunchers on both sides expect Democrats to increase their majorities in both Houses. Significantly. In the special elections to date, the Democrats are up 3-0, winning seats in places Democrats don’t win.
Third, John McCain is hardly the dream candidate for a tough Republican year. He’s old. He’s had cancer twice. He has a temper. His sense of humor on occasion takes him to the edge, or over it. The circumstances surrounding the break-up of his first marriage were such that the Ronald Reagans basically dropped him from their list (and hired his ex-wife). The circumstances surrounding his second marriage have led to published gossip about his relationship with a blonde lobbyist. He’s a Washington insider at a time when Washington insiders are much reviled.
To say that he is not a favorite of the conservative base of his own party is an understatement of major proportion, and while Republicans may understand the need to be “good soldiers” in political battles better than some of my liberal friends do, the fact that McCain has to spend considerable time and energy appealing to and reassuring his conservative base gets in the way of his efforts to assure swing voters who tend to decide elections that he really is the independent maverick who lost to George Bush in 2000 and not his twin separated at birth.
And then there’s the matter of his campaign, which has not exactly been the model of a well-oiled machine. Senator McCain has had months to put together a general election effort and to fine tune his message, while we Democrats were still playing out the Hillary v. Obama saga. But until last week, when Mike Murphy announced that he would be spending the campaign on MSNBC’s payroll and not McCain’s, the wires were burning about whether McCain would turn to his old friend Murphy for help and advice (he was calling), and whether Murphy would take the job (only if he was the sole chief and not the co-captain) and whether McCain would throw current chief strategist (and former mega-lobbyist) Charlie Black overboard to get Murphy on board.
Not to mention the tepid McCain campaign advertisements which are not helping him draw a contrast with unqualified Obama.
Democratic leaders are nervous about their selected candidate:
So how can Newsweek have the race at a dead heat? How come, even in the polls where Obama is leading, his lead is in single digits? Is it that people still don’t know enough about him? No candidate in my lifetime has ever gotten better press coverage, more adoration from the media. Being attacked by Jesse Jackson is a gift of major proportions. Maybe it just hasn’t showed up yet in the numbers. Maybe race is a bigger factor than people want to admit. Maybe people just need to be convinced on the experience front. But whatever it is, Democrats should take note. It should be a Democratic year, but that is no guarantee that it will be one.
What can Democratic leaders do to sell unqualified Obama? Nuttin’ honey.