When something beautiful dies it is up to loved ones to preserve the memory and the glories of living days. Usually photographs are displayed and old memories of better days are relived. Glory days are recounted and the dead briefly return to the quick.
Yesterday, the Democratic Party of the FDR coalition committed suicide.
True Democrats will remember and regret the suicide of the Democratic Party. Hillary supporters must not only cherish the memory of the FDR coalition Democratic Party but fight to breathe life anew and restore that coalition for justice.
For Hillary supporters at Big Pink, and everywhere else, the duty is to remember and fight. Like patriots in occupied France, patriots in the 13 colonies when Royalists commanded at the point of gun American cities, real Democrats will not only preserve the memory of the great Democratic Party of FDR, but gather in resistance. We will organize and fight to galvanize the Democratic Party from death and to great purpose.
For us no Greek temples. Hillary supporters have many more fights left to fight. Hillary supporters at Big Pink and elsewhere also have much to be proud of.
If not for Hillary supporters the voters of Michigan and Florida would not have been counted nor heard.
If not for Hillary supporters the voters of every state after Iowa would not have voted. If not for Hillary supporters the voters of Pennsylvania and Indiana and North Carolina and Nebraska and West Virginia and Kentucky and Oregon and Montana and South Dakota, in particular would not have voted.
It was Hillary and Hillary supporters, true Democrats, who fought for the right to vote and to have the vote counted as the votes were cast.
Big Pink will not allow the voter disenfranchisements of 2008 to be forgotten. Like Banquo’s ghost we will not go away. Like King Hamlet’s ghost we will shout “Remember”. We will not allow the glories of the Democratic Party of FDR to be forgotten nor buried. We will fight to restore the party of FDR to life and glory.
Here at Big Pink we continue the fight against the sexism and misogyny of Obama/Dean/Brazile/Pelosi. Here at Big Pink we continue to remind every day, by our very existence, by our very name, the travesties and treacheries committed by Obama/Dean/Brazile/Pelosi and Big Media.
The corpse that labels itself as the Obama Democratic Party must be defeated in NOvember. The Obama Democratic Party must not be rewarded for sexisim, misogyny, and voter disenfranchisemen with electoral successt. The Obama Democratic Party must be punished with devastating, wakeful, DEFEAT.
We will not go away into the good night. We fight on.
We live to continue the struggles for justice but the Democratic Party is dead.
For Hillary supporters, for those of us here at Big Pink issues do matter and are worth fighting for. For us Obama must be defeated in NOvember. We have written before and we repeat today our reasoning to oppose Obama in NOvember: Better to fight McCain and the Republicans with Democratic majorities forced to fight than to bow to Obama’s betrayals of core Democratic principles and appeasements to Republicans. Obama cannot be trusted by neither friend nor foe. We want Democratic elected officials to fight for core Democratic principles. Obama would betray Democratic principles, appease the worse of Republican demands and anyone who opposed Obama as in the past would be called a “racist”. We say NObama, NOvember.
The Democratic Party is dead. Rigor Mortis is setting in.
* * *
Already the Obama campaign is in full treachery and full retreat. Remember that 50 state strategy that became the 48 state strategy when they disenfranchised Florida and Michigan that became the 46 state strategy when they snubbed Kentucky and West Virginia? It’s now down to an 18 state strategy.
We tried to get Plouffe to react to a spate of national polls showing a tightening race.
“All we care about is these 18 states,” he said. He repeated, with emphasis, that the campaign does not care about national polling. Instead, the campaign’s own identification, registration and canvassing efforts provide the data he uses to determine where to invest money and resources.
* * *
Americans know Obama is not qualified to be president.
Obama is selling but white working class voters are not buying:
DENVER — Barack Obama hasn’t won over working-class swing voters because he hasn’t moved beyond his soaring rhetoric to provide sufficient detail on economic proposals, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said Wednesday.
Obama’s Democratic presidential campaign has put too much emphasis on his abstract message of hope and change, and not enough on explaining how his specific policies would help voters struggling to make ends meet, Bredesen, a Democrat, told Politico. [snip]
Bredesen’s remarks to Politico were similar to those expressed by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) in a news conference during the Democratic National Convention, according to the New York Post.
“There has been some criticism of Barack Obama that I think has been deserved,” Weiner said. “Sometimes he does not make specific enough his vision.”
American voters do not want or need a messiah in this land of the common man:
There is little about him that feels spontaneous or unpolished, and even after two books, thousands of campaign events and countless hours on television, many Americans say they do not feel they know him. The charges of elusiveness puzzle those closest to the candidate. Far more than most politicians, they say, he is the same in public as he is in private. [snip]
…first Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and now Senator John McCain, that he has not spent enough time earning and learning, that his main project in life has been his own ascent. [snip]
The McCain campaign has seized on this pattern, mocking their opponent as a self-consumed star, even suggesting that he has a messianic complex.
Obama has heard the charges before. Long before the presidential race, some around him seemed to resent his ability to galvanize a following. “Bluebooking is not important for celebrities,” fellow students joked about him in the law review parody, referring to the tedious process of checking citations.
As for the messiah charge, Michael Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and a Democrat, once publicly called Obama the same thing.
Obama is selling, but Americans are not buying an unqualified Chicago flip-flop-flim-flam man:
The anxiety comes in several forms, but particularly common is the pained look, followed by the quick glance away and the lengthy pause, in the face of a simple question: How is Barack Obama doing?
“Ahhh . . .,” said Barry Bogarde, political director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Pennsylvania, a battleground state that the senator from Illinois needs to win. “Better,” he finally said. “He’s doing better.”
Asked how things are going for Democrats in New Hampshire, another swing state that the party carried in 2004, the state party chairman, Ray Buckley, did not even mention Obama’s race against Sen. John McCain. He talked instead about efforts to win a Senate race and hold two congressional seats.
Jim Beasley, the commissioner of Ohio’s Department of Transportation, did not have high hopes for Obama in his area of southern Ohio. “Ahhh, well. Rural Ohio will be difficult,” he said. “Rural areas are difficult for him.”
As the Democrats kicked off a convention designed to unite support behind Obama, interviews with several dozen delegates pointed to an undercurrent of anxiety among many from key swing states who will be charged with leading the push in their communities. They expressed doubts bordering on bewilderment: Why, in a year that had been shaping up as a watershed for Democrats, amid an economic downturn and an unpopular Republican presidency, is the race so tight?
Sexism and misogyny will not be forgotten:
Some have also shown signs of still being focused on the Democratic primaries and not being fully invested in the general-election effort. On Sunday night, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland echoed recent comments by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell that media coverage during the primaries had been biased in Obama’s favor. And several top Clinton advisers will not be staying in Denver to see Obama accept the nomination, according to sources familiar with their schedules.
A CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll of registered voters released Sunday found that roughly two-thirds of self-identified Clinton supporters are now backing Obama, while 27 percent said they will vote for McCain. Other polls have shown Obama receiving less support from Clinton backers.
The hidden “I told you so.”
Bogarde’s superior, AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee, was more blunt. “It shouldn’t be as close as it is now. It just seems to me it shouldn’t be that close. It should be a no-brainer,” he said.
The union spent heavily on Clinton’s campaign before lining up behind Obama, but McEntee insisted that his concern about the closeness of the race is not meant as an “I told you so.”
* * *
Obama’s most ardent admirers, who include much of the political press and practically all of the liberal intelligentsia, will almost certainly report and analyze the event as a mammoth historical occasion, and quite possibly praise the speech as one of the greatest political orations ever. [snip]
Since the end of World War II, every Democrat who has sought the presidency has attempted to update the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. From Harry Truman to Bill Clinton, those elected president have refreshed the liberal tradition by promising to put their own stamp upon it, and then doing so. After 40 years of mostly Republican control of the White House, it should be clear that mistakes and overreaching have hampered liberalism’s evolution. But by renewing the idea that government has an important role to play in expanding the opportunities and well-being of ordinary Americans, the basic Democratic tradition has survived through thick and thin.
Senator Obama’s efforts to reinterpret the Democratic legacy have thus far amounted chiefly to promising a dramatic break with the status quo. His rhetoric of “hope” and “change” has thrilled millions of Democrats and helped secure the party’s nomination. Yet millions of other Democrats still find his appeals wispy and unconvincing, and the persistent coolness within the ranks worries some party veterans. Democratic governors have already urged him to be more explicit about how he intends to adjust the party’s principles to meet today’s challenges.
Sean Wilentz retraces the rivers of history flowing from FDR’s New Deal and Truman’s Fair Deal liberalism. Kennedy’s New Frontier which “explicity invoked the New Deal and Fair Deal as ‘bold measures for their generations,’ but also laid out the basic framework for his own New Frontier as a set of specific challenges, international and domestic”, Johnson’s triumphs and fiascoes are noted.
Wilentz notes that Kennedy and Johnson by their embrace of civil rights “fundamentally changed the Democratic Party by causing the political implosion of the formerly solid Democratic South, while making the Democrats the new political legatees of Abraham Lincoln.” and “LBJ’s Great Society represented the full flowering of New-Deal-style liberalism before it was stalled by the financial and political costs of Vietnam and urban racial unrest.”
Then came one-term Jimmy Carter with “his different brand of politics”. Wilentz warns that Democrats ignore Carter’s brand of politics
“and its fate, at their peril. Carter ran against “Washington” on the slogan “A Leader, for a Change,” and on his brains and personal authenticity: “Why Not the Best?” After he only narrowly defeated Gerald Ford, he came to office with the advantage of enormous Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate (where he had a filibuster-proof 62 Democratic seats). In the wake of the Vietnam debacle and the Watergate scandal, Carter—an outsider and a decidedly non-imperial anti-politician—stressed the virtues of truthfulness, efficiency and technical expertise above either partisanship or new federal programs. In foreign policy, recoiling from Vietnam, he focused on the use of diplomacy to advance the ideal of human rights around the globe.
Yet little seemed to go right for the earnest president. The economy, hit by repeated oil shortages and hikes in oil prices, remained trapped in a combination of high unemployment and runaway inflation. Impatient with and at times heedless of the political prerogatives jealously guarded on Capitol Hill, Carter quickly found his relations with his own congressional majority deteriorating.
Although he won notable victories in foreign affairs, including the Panama Canal Treaty and the Camp David accords, Carter’s “soft power” approach was overwhelmed by the capture of American hostages in Iran and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In an extraordinary speech in mid-1979, Carter blamed the troubles on a “crisis of confidence” of the American people themselves. His gloomy diagnosis of the nation’s malaise set the stage for the entrance of the beaming conservative champion, Ronald Reagan.
Bill Clinton was the first president to take office after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and he began his presidency committed chiefly to reducing the federal deficit and the economic inequities created during the administrations of Reagan and George H.W. Bush with a Democratic liberalism updated for the 1990s. By the end of his second term, he could boast that he had helped turn crippling deficits into the largest federal surpluses in American history. He also could point to a prolonged economic boom that benefited Americans across the lines of class, race, region and ethnicity. Following calamities in Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti, and after the Western nations’ catastrophic inaction in Rwanda, Clinton had shifted course and both revived and revised America’s forceful sense of purpose in world affairs, from the Balkans to Northern Ireland.
Wilentz notes the glories and the problems of the Clinton presidency:
Clinton suffered through major domestic blunders as well, above all the political debacle concerning his ambitious health-care proposals. Some of Clinton’s initiatives—signing the North American Free Trade Agreement, a welfare-reform bill and balancing the budget—infuriated the left of his own party. Meanwhile, right-wing Republican efforts to demolish him bore bitter fruit with his impeachment. Yet amid the peace and prosperity of his final year, with his public popularity soaring, Clinton appeared to have created successfully a new, post-New Deal liberalism that was moving the country beyond Reaganite conservatism—reversing regressive fiscal policies that had virtually bankrupted the federal government; spreading economic growth more broadly; finding a new balance of American force and diplomacy in foreign affairs, and countering racial polarization and right-wing antigovernment fervor with appointments, policies and speeches that promoted what Clinton called the ideal of “One America.”
Clinton ended the endless Republican “welfare queen” campaigns with welfare reform and Clinton prosperity helped all Americans especially the poor. Clinton fought Republican power at its height and broke the right-wing fever that threatened a long term realignment of American politics.
Then disaster came from the eggheads of the left and Tipper Gore’s personal desires to avoid the Clintons:
But the election of 2000 stopped the Clintonian experiment short, for reasons ranging from the destructive left-wing campaign of Ralph Nader, to Al Gore’s strategic error of distancing himself from a successful record, to the dubious, one-vote majority decision in Bush v. Gore. George W. Bush’s administration, despite its thin mandate, moved federal policy sharply right—a heavily politicized shift that accelerated under the cover of Bush’s War on Terror following the atrocities of September 11, 2001.
After the 2008 voter disenfranchisement of Florida and Michigan by the Obama/Dean/Brazile/Pelosi Democratic Party, those Democrats can no longer complain about Bush v. Gore. Wilentz notes the long list of Bush failures. Wilentz notes the Obama treachery and that Obama=Carteresque failure:
Against this backdrop, how has the presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, proposed to revivify Democratic liberalism? There is a quotation that ought to give Democrats, and not just Democrats, pause: “This year will not be a year of politics as usual. It can be a year of inspiration and hope, and it will be a year of concern, of quiet and sober reassessment of our nation’s character and purpose. It has already been a year when voters have confounded the experts. And I guarantee you that it will be the year when we give the government of this country back to the people of this country. There is a new mood in America. We have been shaken by a tragic war abroad and by scandals and broken promises at home. Our people are searching for new voices and new ideas and new leaders.”
Delivered in Obama’s exhortatory cadences, the words are uplifting. The trouble is, though they seem to fit, the passage is from Carter’s acceptance speech at the Democratic convention in 1976.
The convergence is revealing. As Republican strategists have begun to notice with delight, Obama’s liberal alternative to the post-Bush GOP to date has much in common with Carter’s post-Watergate liberalism. Rejecting “politics as usual,” attacking “Washington” as the problem, promising to heal the breaches and hurts caused by partisan political polarization, pledging to break the grip that lobbyists and special interests hold over the national government, wearing his Christian faith on his sleeve as a key to his mind, heart and soul—in all of these ways, Obama resembles Jimmy Carter more than he does any other Democratic president in living memory.
In other ways, Obama’s liberal vision appears clouded, uncertain and even contradictory. During his four years in Washington, he has compiled one of the most predictably liberal voting records in the Senate—yet he presents himself as an advocate of bipartisanship and ideological flexibility. He has offered himself as the tribune of sweeping change—yet he also proclaims national unity, as if transformation can come without struggle. He has emerged as the champion of a new, post-racial politics, even though he has only grudgingly separated himself from his pastor of 20 years, who every week preached a gospel of “black liberation theology” that has everything to do with racial politics.
Race is Obama’s wedge issue and race-baiting his tool to steal success:
The most obvious change to liberal politics Obama has to offer is the color of his skin. Some of his supporters have, whether wittingly or not, been candid enough to say, as Sen. John Kerry did last March, that Obama’s blackness is the rationale for making him president. But it is difficult to square such claims with Obama’s appeal to a liberalism that transcends race. And when Obama himself subtly and not so subtly draws attention to his color, and charges that the John McCain Republicans will try to scare voters by saying he “doesn’t look like all those presidents on the dollar bills,” he turns voting for him into an intrinsically virtuous act, proof that one has resisted base appeals to racism (which, in fact, the McCain campaign has not made).
Much of Obama’s appeal to the left stems from what might be called the romance of the community organizer. Although his organizing career on Chicago’s South Side was brief and, by his own admission, unremarkable, it distinguishes him as another first of his kind in presidential politics, a candidate who looks at politics from the bottom up. For the left, community organizing trumps party politics and experience in government. Some even imagine that Obama is a secret radical, and they see his emergence as an unparalleled opportunity for advancing their frustrated agendas about issues ranging from the redistribution of wealth to curtailing U.S. power abroad.
Wilentz has written a powerful analysis of the Obama flim-flam and the dangers Obama represents – to Democrats and Democratic core values.
No Experience and Judgement:
Obama still has a long way to go to describe the kind of liberalism he stands for, how it meets the enormous challenges of the present—and how it will meet as-yet-unanticipated challenges after the election. Nowhere is this more crucial than in the harsh and volatile realm of foreign policy. Last winter, when his candidacy gained traction, Obama’s foreign-policy credentials consisted almost entirely of a speech he gave before a left-wing rally in Chicago in 2002, denouncing the impending invasion of Iraq as “a dumb war.” That speech, made by a state senator representing a liberal district that included the University of Chicago, and that went unreported in the Chicago Tribune’s lengthy article on the rally, was enough to convince many of his supporters that he is blessed with superior acumen and good instincts about foreign affairs. Later comments, such as his promise, later softened, to meet directly and “without preconditions” with the leaders of Iran and other supporters of terrorism, pleased left-wing Democrats and young antiwar voters as a sign of boldness—even as they left experienced diplomats in wonder at such half-baked formulations.
Then, suddenly this summer, Russia attacked Georgia—and Obama’s immediate reaction was to call for reasonableness and good intentions and urge both sides to show restraint and enter into direct talks. Unfortunately his appeal sounded almost like a caricature of liberal wishful thinking. It was left to his opponent, John McCain—whose own past judgments on foreign policy demand scrutiny—to declare right away the sort of thing that might have come naturally to previous generations of liberal Democrats (let alone to a conservative Republican): that “Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory.” Beyond the matter of experience, beyond how thoroughly the two candidates had thought through the situation, the difference highlighted how Obama still lacks a comprehensive vision of international politics.
Wilentz echoes Big Pink arguments:
That Obama’s record and statements have created any other impression cannot be ascribed only to his campaign’s political skills and the news media’s favor. Liberal intellectuals have largely abdicated their responsibility to provide unblinking and rigorous analysis instead of paeans to Obama’s image. Hardly any prominent liberal thinkers stepped forward to question Obama’s rationalizations about his relationship with his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. Instead, they hailed his ever-changing self-justifications and sometimes tawdry logic—equating his own white grandmother’s discomfort in the presence of a menacing stranger with Wright’s hateful sermons—as worthy of the monumental addresses of Lincoln. Liberal intellectuals actually could have aided their candidate, while also doing their professional duty, by pressing him on his patently evasive accounts about various matters, such as his connections with the convicted wheeler-dealer Tony Rezko, or his more-than-informal ties to the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, including their years of association overseeing an expensive, high-profile, but fruitless public-school reform effort in Chicago. Instead, the intellectuals have failed Obama as well as their readers by branding such questioning as irrelevant, malicious or heretical.
Obama is a loser. We must revive the Democratic Party as the Party of FDR and Clinton.
Can Obama, who lost the large industrial states in the primaries, deal with a troubled economy and become the standard bearer for the working and middle classes—the historic core of the Democratic Party that the last two Democratic candidates lost? Can the inexperienced candidate persuasively outline a new foreign policy that addresses the quagmires left by the Bush administration and faces the challenges of terrorism and a resurgent Russia? Can the less-than-one-term senator become the master of the Congress and enact goals such as universal health care that have eluded Democratic presidents since Truman? On these fundamental questions may hang the fate of Obama’s candidacy. In the absence of a compelling record, set speeches, even with the most stirring words, will not resolve these matters. And until he resolves them, Obama will remain the most unformed candidate in the modern history of presidential politics.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal coalition is alive and well. FDR’s coalition is the only coalition for Democratic victory. Hillary Clinton as an advocate of the FDR coalition is alive and well. Bill Clinton is alive and well. Hillary Clinton supporters are alive and well.
It is the Obama/Dean/Brazile/Pelosi Democratic Party that is dead. Already Rigor Mortis has set in. We will bury the corpse of the Obama/Dean/Brazile/Pelosi Democratic Party in NOvember.