Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The backlash continues

Lynette Long has a new Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun entitled Painful Lessons

Women voters are not factored into the decision making of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC is concerned that black voters will protest and stay home if Senator Clinton gets the nomination, even though she is the stronger and more electable candidate. But the DNC doesn't worry that white women, three times larger than the combined black vote, will stay away from the polls if Mrs. Clinton does not get the nomination. They expect the white women of the party to fall in step and vote for Mr. Obama in the general election.

The rules for women candidates are not the same as the rules for male candidates. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy adamantly supports Mr. Obama, even though Mrs. Clinton won his home state, Massachusetts, by 14 points. Mr. Kennedy has repeatedly called for Mrs. Clinton to pull out of the race, yet when he was running for president in 1980 he took his bid for the Democratic nomination to the convention floor, trying to change the rules to unseat Jimmy Carter, who already had enough delegates to clinch the nomination. And let's not forget that this year Mike Huckabee stayed in the contest for the Republican nomination when he had no chance of winning. He was committed to stay in the race until Sen. John McCain reached the number of delegates needed to win. At the end of the contest he had a total of 267 delegates, more than 900 behind Mr. McCain. No media barrage pushed Mr. Huckabee to withdraw. Barack Obama has not reached the needed number of delegates to win the nomination, yet Mrs. Clinton - who is fewer than 200 delegates behind Obama - is being pressured by commentators and the DNC to withdraw.

People, including some of my friends who are Obama supporters are having a hard time understanding why there are so many of us who won't vote for Obama. (Me, I've never voted party line, in fact I have not been a registered Dem since I registered in NY in 2000 and registered as a Green and I still don't vote exclusively Green in that case anyway though in WA we do not register by party. I signed a paper at the caucus saying that I would not caucus for any other party and I did not, I had a friend who refused to caucus because he thought it meant he would have to vote party line and found that unacceptable.) This is a backlash against the Democratic Party as much as it is a vote of nonconfidence in their selected candidate (if he does indeed get the nomination). I, and I think others like me, feel that the DNC and party leadership made clear who they wanted and since then have tried to push our candidate out of the race unfairly. No other candidate in history has been pushed to step down, to whit:
• In 1988, Jesse Jackson took his hopeless campaign against winner Michael Dukakis all the way to the convention, often to great media praise.

• In 1980, Ted Kennedy carried his run against Jimmy Carter all the way to the convention, even though it was clear he had been routed.

• In 1976, Ronald Reagan contested the “inevitability” of Gerald Ford all the way to the convention. Few, then or since, have ever thought to criticize Reagan’s failure to step aside and let Ford assume the mantle.

• Also in 1976, three candidates — Mo Udall, Jerry Brown, and Frank Church — ran against Jimmy Carter all the way through the final primaries, even though Carter seemed more than likely to be the eventual nominee.

• Even in 1960, Lyndon Johnson and Adlai Stevenson fought the “certain” nomination of John F. Kennedy all the way to the convention floor.

Hillary's closer to Obama then any of them were and no one was screaming at them to step down "for the good of the party." Why? I have my theory. She's not in the penis club, and I think that many other people feel the exact same way about this as I do. If we hold our nose, again, and vote for someone we don't really like just because he's better then the other guy, again, it's worse this time. This time we have been knocked about by the media, the party, everyone. We have seen just what they think of women. They have told us what they think about the working class and the Reagan or lunch bucket democrats. But the backlash is coming strongest from the women. The democrats tell us they are the party that will stand up for us, for our rights. The Dems have not fought for abortion, for womens' rights, for anything that would actually help women, in a long, long time. Abortion's pretty much already illegal. The Dems in Congress rolled over on Alito and Roberts and now my right to choose is being held over my head. If the Dems I elected (though my Senators stood up and said no) can't grow a fucking spine and stand up for my rights why the hell should I keep voting for them? And why should I reward them by voting for someone I don't even trust?

And now they lie there, complicit as we are insulted daily, hourly. Insults flung at Hillary that are flung at her because she is a woman are flung at all of us. And we've had enough. We're saying no more. To roll over yet again and reward a party that has done nothing but pay lip service to women's issues for years (finally people get this) means that we are telling the Democratic Party that they never have to take us into account again, and that, my friends, is unacceptable.

EDIT: A Commenter at The Confluence said it best:
Jeralyn said tonite that “It’s about putting a Democrat in the WH” or words to that effect. Not true: it is about putting someone who shares your values in the WH. Some may argue that requires a Democrat, but I would rather suffer 4 more years of Republican presidency than give up my ideals of what the Democratic party stands for (like, f’rinstance, ANYTHING) forever for some short term gain.

NOTE: If you are an Obamaphile who cannot be arsed to READ THE POST (especially the part about people taking things to the convention) then you will most assuredly not get published. If I can mark it off on my Bingo Card just keep it to yourself. Now excuse me I need to go wash my dentures, polish my walker, and hump my cousin.


Adorable Girlfriend said...

I'm here from Red Queen's blog and want to thank you for pointing this piece out to me.

I hope America will do the right thing this November.

Anonymous said...

Well said, and I heartily concur, eventhough I have a penis. I'm about to send my Deoocracy Bond back to Howie with a little love letter. I hope he enjoys it!

Anonymous said...

AMEN. You know, if Obama had shown any signs of ever thinking any of this was wrong, I wouldn't have such a strong negative reaction to him now. But he's been happy to use it at every opportunity, and so I do.

Anonymous said...

hey yeah, she can continue to run, but it's getting harder and harder for her to fund her campaign. I guess she doesn't care. she's so wealthy she can 'loan' her campaign money forever.

as always,

lost clown said...

Except she took in $22 million last month without any loans. So she seems to be doing pretty well fundraising (and getting votes) for a loser.

lost clown said...

2nd biggest haul all campaign, btw. You need to get your facts straight before posting about stuff like that.

Anonymous said...

Here's another one for your perusal:

Arbitrista said...

Uh, actually Kennedy and Jackson both came under a great deal of scorn for taking the race all the way to the convention. And the Democrats badly lost both of those races. It's one of the big reasons that people don't like bitter conventions - the party that has them tends to lose.

In addition, the conventions this year are MUCH closer to the general election than they have been historically, which means a divided convention would come with even greater consequences in the general.

So I really don't think it's about Clinton being a woman - it's about people being concerned that it would make John McCain President.

And by the way, OBAMA and his people have not been pressuring Clinton to get out. It's other folks. It's important not to conflate a candidate's supporters with the candidate. That would be like me claiming that Clinton is a racist because some of her supporters in the primaries opposed Obama because he's black.

lost clown said...

When HALF the party wants each candidate now more then ever do we need it to go all the way to the convention. It is most decidedly not clear cut.

Anonymous said...


I've heard a few commentators say Hillary should get out precisely because she is too strong a candidate. In other words, the other candidate examples, Huckabee and Jackson, polled such weak numbers their respective opponents never felt a threat.

Hillary strength is a real threat, to both Obama and the party insiders who back him.


Greenconsciousness said...

How did the Equal Pay Act fail?? How did Bush push through his Supreme nominees who found the EPA had a 180 days statute of limitation?

Now they all come crying Roe v Wade telling us we have to vote for BO. Maybe some of these young so called feminists who do nothing more "feminist" than criticize the second wave need a real life lesson.

Maybe those women who went back and forth and finally with great agony (this is how they talk about it although in truth they always choose the male position) voted for BO, need to learn what happens when you spit into the wind.

Ask the Hill to organize a 3rd party for Center Democrats, environmentalists, the working class and feminists. Say goodbye to the sexist male supremacist left democrats.