Category Archives: election

2 words

I’ve been considering blogging about John McCain’s chosen running mate, Sarah Palin. But why rehash what has been clearly expressed and explained elsewhere?

My thoughts return again and again to the same two words, which will suffice as my opinion on the subject:

Offended.

Appalled.

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if Clinton’s campaign goes with the “nuclear option,” I won’t vote for her

Tuesday I’ll be voting in the Indiana Democratic primary, and I’m thoroughly excited that my vote will actually count for something this time around. For a little while, the race was running neck and neck, but for the last few days Real Clear Politics has Clinton’s lead increasing; today she’s in front by an average of almost 6%. At the same time, Obama’s lead in North Carolina keeps shrinking: today it’s averaging 7%.

I assume that these shifts are due in large part to the knee-capping operation undertaken last week by the Rev. Jeremiah “Throw Barack Under the Bus” Wright. They make me nervous, because they seem to herald a continuation of the race for the nomination. I’d been among those fervently hoping that a strong show in Indiana and a blow-out in North Carolina would seal things up for Obama.

And then this morning, I saw this on the Huffington Post:

http://cnycircus.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/hillary-clinton.jpgHillary Clinton’s campaign has a secret weapon to build its delegate count, but her top strategists say privately that any attempt to deploy it would require a sharp (and by no means inevitable) shift in the political climate within Democratic circles by the end of this month.

With at least 50 percent of the Democratic Party’s 30-member Rules and Bylaws Committee committed to Clinton, her backers could — when the committee meets at the end of this month — try to ram through a decision to seat the disputed 210-member Florida and 156-member Michigan delegations. Such a decision would give Clinton an estimated 55 or more delegates than Obama, according to Clinton campaign operatives.

Sure, there’s that fact that making such an attempt “would require a sharp (and by no means inevitable) shift in the political climate.” But when my husband and I were on a walk during this beautiful spring evening, I realized that I have no doubt at all that if such a shift occurred, perhaps following unexpectedly strong Clinton showings in the next several primaries, Hillary and Co. would absolutely undertake their “nuclear option” to force through a convention decision on her behalf. I think they’d do whatever it took to get her the candidacy.

And here’s the next thought that came to me, very unexpectedly, on my walk: if Clinton and her people pull this kind of stunt, I won’t vote for her in the general election.

My husband’s immediate response to my saying so was, “But any Democrat is better than McCain.” I agree with him. But if she does this, then she’ll demonstrate something I’ve thought all along, and which has influenced my decision to vote for Obama: when it comes right down to it, I believe that Clinton’s campaign is 100% All About Her. If she shows that she’s willing to do anything and everything to get the nomination, including stomp all over the process and ignore the wishes of Democratic voters, then she’ll show me that she’s no better a person than the worst Republican. I won’t vote for someone like that.

It’s the first glimmer I’ve had into understanding why people vote for Ralph Nader; they see such fundamental flaws in the candidates of the two major parties that they refuse to vote for either of them. I hope that Clinton won’t cause me — and, potentially, a lot of other people — to leave the President box empty on my ballot in November.

Update

This morning, the Huffington Post says the Clinton campaign is absolutely planning to push for seating of the Florida and Michigan delegates at the May 31 meeting of the Rules and Bylaws committee. One response:

Political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia said: “Wow. The nuclear option will yield nuclear winter for the Democratic Party.”

Unbelievable. Clinton apparently has no concern for what this action will do to her party and the country.

primary goodies

I was the 76th person to vote in my precinct a little while ago. Indiana holds local elections and primaries today, and I had only a few choices to make on my ballot: which candidate to support for the Democratic nomination for mayor, and nominees for seats on the city council. Given the seemingly less-than-urgent nature of this election, I expect turnout to be maybe 10% if we’re lucky.

As always, I don’t understand why people don’t vote. It took maybe 15 minutes out of my day. It’s exciting, in a wonky sort of way. It’s one of the best benefits of living in the great democracy that is the United States. (It’s also a good way to distract yourself if your big, stupid golden retriever has just killed one of the baby robins that was born in a nest above your deck; and that you’ve been watching eat and grow for a couple of weeks; and that you were thrilled to actually see fledge, hurling itself bravely from the nest with the warbled encouragement of its mother, only to land on the ground and be immediately mauled by the big, stupid dog who would not come away or stop no matter how loudly you yelled.)

The most interesting part of voting today was the assortment of goodies I was handed by volunteers outside my polling place. I don’t think they’re allowed to say anything in support of their candidate, because as I walked to the door they approached me, mute and smiling, one at a time, holding out their tokens of electoral regard. Here’s the count:

  • https://i0.wp.com/farm1.static.flickr.com/212/490079492_627f6cb9be_m.jpg1 bag (useful for holding everything) containing a comb.
  • 1 pencil (always useful).
  • 1 emery board from a former mayor who’s trying to get reelected.
  • 5 emery boards from the current mayor who’s also trying to get reelected (this seems like overkill to me, or compensation, or something).
  • 1 business card (booooring; this candidate needs to learn from the others).
  • The winner: a bag of Hershey’s kisses from a man running for city council, who owns a jewelry store and thus knows a lot about small metallic objects. The note with the candy reads “A Kiss for Your Vote.” The bag contains 9 kisses, so it’s possible that he’s encouraging vote fraud; but I’m choosing not to worry about it.

If I got all this stuff on the day of some piddly local races, imagine what they’ll be handing out next year during the presidential primary. Heck, I’m figuring Hillary Clinton should be good for at least 50 bucks.

interesting, edgy new anti-war video

This just in from Brave New Foundation, an offshoot of Brave New Films, which brought us Outfoxed, Iraq for Sale, and more:

It’s almost May 1st. Who can forget the so-called “Mission Accomplished” from four years ago? Who can forget the pomp and circumstance, the primping and posturing in a staged photo-op built on the backs of those destroyed by the war. The mission has not been accomplished.

1. Watch the film
2. Sign the petition
3. Enter the contest

In honor of all those who have been killed, whose lives have been destroyed in this terrible war of choice, we have been working hard on a short film that will not let that horrific day go unnoticed.

Watch the film and spread it far and wide: http://tellusthemission.org/

We’ve also got a contest looking for what SHOULD have been on the “mission accomplished” banner. Submit your banner and the winning one will be on car bumpers all over the country! (You’ll get some cool stuff too) For more details, and to enter:

http://tellusthemission.org/home/win

The spoken word performance in the video was done by a wonderfully talented young man, Steven Connell, who’s been in feature films on HBO, Showtime and MTV. He is a strong, creative, and articulate voice in reaching a young and diverse audience. We are grateful for his time and effort, and to Norman Lear who first found and called Steven to the attention of a wider audience.

Just days before video and webset were to go online, an American soldier serving in Afghanistan wrote an op-ed which has since stirred up a national debate. The soldier questioned why we do not lower the flag to half-staff when a soldier dies at war. We at Brave New Foundation were so inspired by his question that we decided to begin a petition to amend the US Flag Code.

Sign the petition to have flags lowered for a day each time an American service member dies at war:

http://tellusthemission.org/

Please forward this on far and wide — to your friends, schools, churches, to any local television or radio. We must not let this day go unnoticed. We must make our voices and passions heard.

MoveOn panel to question Democratic contenders

Biden. Clinton. Edwards. Kucinich. Obama. Richardson. https://i1.wp.com/pol.moveon.org/iraqtownhall/welcomepagelogos.jpg

Next Tuesday—April 10th—at 7:15pm Eastern, MoveOn is using the Internet to connect presidential candidates directly to the people.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, and Joe Biden will answer questions from MoveOn.org’s 3.2 million members in the first of three virtual town hall meetings. The topic: Iraq.

MoveOn members have submitted tough questions about their Iraq plans, and we’re gathering from coast to coast to hear the answers directly. Right after the virtual town hall meeting, MoveOn will survey members to see which candidate we believe will do the best job of leading us out of the war in Iraq.

You can search here for a house party near you, or sign up to host your own. We’re hosting one and looking forward to hearing from so many candidates. It should be an interesting, informative, and (I hope) enlightening evening.

stickerama

https://i0.wp.com/www.bushslastday.com/images/bumpersticker_th2.jpg

My mother was recently in Key West and picked me up two new pieces of political bling for my car (otherwise known as the Democratmobile).

One is a sticker that celebrates W’s last day inhttps://i0.wp.com/www.blueq.com/modules/ecs/images/125837942_m.png office; it’s available from BushsLastDay.com, along with keychains, buttons, and lots of other date-imprinted miscellany.

The other is a magnet that makes my political affiliation abundently clear — as if it wasn’t already. You can find it at Blue Q. And by the way: I like the idea of the bumper magnet, which is easily removable. I do worry that a scandal-crazed Republican will pull it off my car and shred it to pieces with his or her teeth in a frenzy of longing for the good old days of the Grand Old Party; but hey, someone stole my Darwin fish once, and I just ordered another one.

I was pleased (and a little surprised) that on vacation in the land of Jeb Bush, no one made any obscene gestures at us while we were driving. On the contrary: An airport limo driver honked his horn and gave us a thumbs-up, and another guy pulled up beside us in traffic and told us that he and his wife had been greatly enjoying our display of messages as we inched our way through Ft. Myers. But maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised — after all, as a friend pointed out, half of Florida voted for Kerry. Politically speaking, we were probably more at home there than we are here in the bright red state of Indiana, where I tend to think of myself as one of the few; the proud; the Democrats. At least, until Nov. 4, 2008; maybe by then my state’s Republicans will have had enough of what they wrought…

the man who should have been President

It was heart-wrenching to watch Al Gore on the Oscars last night. He was all the things I wish he’d been during his campaign: relaxed, funny, articulate, cool.

As he left the stage, I said aloud, “Damnit, he should have been president!” And my husband replied, “The world would be an incredibly different place.”

Indeed.