January 27, 2008

Reality Check

For those of you out there who are operating under the delusion that an Obama candidacy / presidency will bring the kind of "change" to Washington that he promises, let me direct you to this statement by RNC chair, Robert Duncan.

“Voters in South Carolina have soundly rejected the Democrats’ liberal rhetoric during every presidential contest for over 30 years, and if Barack Obama makes it to the general election, 2008 will be no different. Most South Carolina voters want a different kind of ‘change’ than Barack Obama is advocating with his proposals to choke off funding for our troops and eliminate tax relief that he claims hard-working families ‘didn’t need.’ Under his high-flying rhetoric and his thin record of experience, it’s clear Barack Obama isn’t ready to be America’s Commander-in-Chief.”
The fact of the matter is Barack Obama has never had to fight a tough race against the Republican slime machine. He coasted into the U.S. Senate running against late-entry / carpetbagger / right-wing whack job Alan Keyes. If you don't thing the long knives of the Republican noise machine will come out against Barack Obama in the general election, I've got some land in Florida to sell you.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has taken the hits (from the right, the left and the MSM) and just keeps on getting up and soldiering on. Furthermore, she is gracious in defeat, always congratulating Obama on his victories, unlike his skulking out of Nevada last Saturday with nary a word to her OR his supporters, and disingenuously insisting that he had won the national delegate count in Nevada when, in fact, no national delegates were awarded and won't be until the state convention in a couple of months.

Any criticism of Barack is decried as racism, but no lie is too outrageous to believe about Hillary and Bill. Their words are twisted, as are their supporters' words. Hell, if one of her supporters pays a compliment to Barack it's called racist. What a shell game that is! In the MSM Hillary's every word is gone over with a fine tooth comb, mined for its hidden underlying venom, while Barack is purity defined and "above it all."

She doesn't whine, she just keeps on fighting. And I trust that she will continue to do so, for me, for my family, for my community and for my country.

So, if you like, you can choose the dreamer who will be rudely awakened from his dreaming by the roar of the right-wing noise machine.

I'll take the fighter.

On Edit: All bets are off if these rules posted by Big Tent Democrat are followed in the General Election.

Here are some of the rules that Obama and progressives should look to enforce through to the General Election:

1. Rezko is a nonissue and bringing it up is a slimy personal attack on Obama. This one has the virtue of being true. Let's get that enforceable against John McCain and the other Republicans.

2. Discussions of experience and youth are, at the least, vaguely racist, and a personal attack. When a candidate touts experience or points to Obama's lack of it, they are expressly arguing for a return to the past as opposed to looking to the future. It means they are opposed to change. Indeed, it expressly means for Republicans that they want to continue the policies of the Bush Administration. For Republicans, this also has the virtue of largely being true. The GOP field is indeed basically arguing for a continuation of Bush policies in most areas - tax cuts permanent, continuatio of the Iraq Debacle, less government regulation, etc.

3. What Obama Meant. Any review of Obama statements or past votes is subject to an explanation by Obama of what he REALLY meant. Any criticism of Obama's statements which do not take into account Obama's clarifications and explanations of what he REALLY meant are unfair personal attacks and the attacker is a "liar" who will say and do anything to get elected.

4. Obama's attacks are always fair and merited. Any suggestion otherwise is, at the least, vaguely racist.

Can we get these rules enforced in the Media in a General Election? Let's hope so if Obama is the nominee.


Mike said...

from http://robertreich.blogspot.com/
Bill Clinton's Old Politics

I write this more out of sadness than anger. Bill Clinton's ill-tempered and ill-founded attacks on Barack Obama are doing no credit to the former President, his legacy, or his wife's campaign. Nor are they helping the Democratic party. While it may be that all is fair in love, war, and politics, it's not fair - indeed, it's demeaning - for a former President to say things that are patently untrue (such as Obama's anti-war position is a "fairy tale") or to insinuate that Obama is injecting race into the race when the former President is himself doing it. Meanwhile, the attack ads being run in South Carolina by the Clinton camp which quote Obama as saying Republicans had all the ideas under Reagan, is disingenuous. For years, Bill Clinton and many other leading Democrats have made precisely the same point - that starting in the Reagan administration, Republicans put forth a range of new ideas while the Democrats sat on their hands. Many of these ideas were wrong-headed and dangerous, such as supply-side economics. But for too long Democrats failed counter with new ideas of their own; they wrongly assumed that the old Democratic positions and visions would be enough. Clinton's 1992 campaign - indeed, the entire "New Democratic" message of the 1990s - was premised on the importance of taking back the initiative from the Republicans and offering Americans a new set of ideas and principles. Now, sadly, we're witnessing a smear campaign against Obama that employs some of the worst aspects of the old politics.

posted by Robert Reich | 8:07 AM

Mike said...

I think we need to extend thanks
to the Clintons for preparing Obama for the general election!

carissa said...

Have you seen Craig Crawford's comments on the lack of factual evidence of race-baiting on the part of the Clintons? You do realize that Robert Reich is an Obama supporter, right?

Mike said...

Hi Carissa, Like Barack, I don't think there was necessarily race baiting.....just outright "distortion" on several things (including the RGJ interview comments on the nature of the Reagan, Nixon and Clinton presidencies).

Yes, Robert Reich....longtime and close Clinton friend (and beneficiary of loving treatment, chicken soup and all, by a very young Clinton) is supporting Obama.
?????? A very curious endorsement!

Maybe will know by the end of March? When do you think we will have a clear idea of who the nominee will be? This whole thing isn't turning out the way I thought it would! (I thought it would be over right after Feb. 5...now, that's clearly not so.)

Not Your Mama said...

I was on the fence about Clinton and in fact had a great deal of respect for both her and for Bill Clinton but yes, their recent comments and behavior offended me deeply.

I'm sorry and that has nothing to do with how the media went into a frenzy over it. I was watching when the Johnson/MLK comments came out of her mouth and my husband and I both had the same "omfg, she did NOT just say that" reaction.

I'm not going to go on a Clinton bashing frenzy any more than I'm going on an Edwards bashing one but reality is that both Clintons have deeply and permanently offended a lot of people.

I'm not even going to go into what her campaign people put us through down here but let's just say that alone put us off quite a bit before we even made our final decision.

What many of Clinton's supporters are not getting is: a lot of America is tired of the shrillness and bashing each other over the head.

Just My Thoughts said...

I read this post with some interest. While it may or may not be one's opinion as a Democrat that Mr. Obama is qualified to serve as president I don't think that quoting the RNC chair is quite the way to go with this.
I have my own reservations about Mrs. Clinton as president as well. While she may have more experience than Mr. Obama it seems in some circles she is seen as divisive.
To sum up while I see problems for both Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards in the continuing campaign I find it rather disturbing that one would refer to Mr. Duncan as a resource to determine who might be the Democratic candidate for President.

carissa said...

Just My Thoughts - you miss the point of my post. Right now Barack is getting a pass. I'd like a little more vetting from the media, but that does not appear to be happening. Read what the RNC chair says and understand that this will be their strategy for defeating Obama should he be our nominee.

NYM - While Hillary's statement regarding LBJ may have been clumsy, the truth is that activism without corrective legislation is really futile, don't you think? See this guest post by Michael Fauntroy regarding MLK and LBJ:

My interest in King is more than academic. I’m blessed to a nephew of Rev. Walter Fauntroy, one of Dr. King’s chief lieutenants (he’s the one to standing between King and Rep. Peter Rodino at the Voting Rights Act of 1965 signing ceremony). He has long told me of his work during this period and how the man (King) and the movement coalesced and unified the country, which became outraged by what they saw on the evening news night after night. He also told me something that I tell my students: ideas and movements mean nothing if they don’t change public policy. Mass movements and demonstrations are designed to prick the conscience of the country on a given issue. At that point the legislative process takes over. That process must go through the president. A supportive president can accelerate change. An obstinate president (see Bush, G.W. – Iraq) can thwart a movement, even though it might have a majority of support in Congress.

My uncle has told me a thousand times about how important Lyndon Johnson was to making the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 a reality. He sacrificed his own favor with southern conservatives to do the right thing. I see a particular irony that some southern Black elected officials, some of whom owe their seats in Congress to the changes effectuated by the Voting Rights Act, now criticizing Clinton for remembering her civil rights history. Noting Johnson’s role is not disrespectful to King’s legacy. It’s simply a historical fact. And Clinton’s memory seems to be on target.

Mike said...

Yes, Carissa is right. Vetting is important.

In the end, the Clintons will have performed a useful service for Obama. He sure is demonstrating a fierce toughness! Has been for weeks.

Obama will be ready, imo, if he's the nominee. Thankyou Hillary and Bill!

carissa said...

Mike, the Clintons may be testing him, but the MSM is NOT, and that is my point. Instead, every time the Clinton campaign or one of their surrogates offers a critique of Obama it is dismissed as an "attack" by the Clintons and no effort is made by the MSM to determine the veracity of the criticism. They do Obama no favors, nor the electorate. Because if there is anybody the MSM loves more than Obama right now, it's John McCain, and if HE is the Republican nominee, Obama can count on his free ride coming to a rude halt.

ClassyChic said...

Here are several sites where you can find like minded Hillary supporters to share your frustration.

http://www.hillaryis44.org - People post there constantly so it's a great forum where you can discuss issues with Hillary supporters throughout the day/night.

http://anglachelg.blogspot.com - This is my new favorite blog. This woman's insight is wonderful and I felt much better about moving forward after the SC win when I read her blog. I recommend reading everything she's written this month. It's great.

Not Your Mama said...

Carissa: I understand what you're saying. I'm even willing to go so far as to say I *think* Ms. Clinton meant her statement differently than it came out but here is the way it played to me and to millions of others: it completely dismissed the fact that MLK could not do what Johnson did because at that time in our history America would not allow him that opportunity.

She essentially highlighted that fact, rubbed our noses in it and asked us to continue the status quo. Huge, huge mistake.