Obama Unmasked & Gamed (MyDD)
The pattern is so widespread that one has to wonder what is going on?On a personal note, Democratic caucus goers here in Nevada have told me of Republicans literally leaving their caucuses (that began at 9am) and heading over to ours that began at 11am. We know of at least one Obama supporter distributing "Be a Democrat for a Day" flyers in Reno, specifically targeting the Hillary-haters that lived in his precinct.
Obama, via his now obvious campaign strategy outlined above, would have us believe that his cross party appeal is bringing in tons of new voters. Men and women, he asserts, who are abandoning their party to vote for him. And some Democratic Party officials and activists are supporting Obama based on this assertion. Who doesn't want a candidate who can bring in masses of new voters? Nancy Pelosi it has been rumored, impressed by this vote-getting ability, is considering endorsing Obama.
But what if Obama is not actually bringing in tons of new voters? What if Republicans have organized to cross party lines or vote independent with one goal in mind: to defeat Senator Clinton. And what if this strategy was developed by top level Republican party functionaries-- including Karl Rove-- who believe Clinton will be the more formidable opponent in the general election?
Anecdotal evidence in support of a Republican manipulation is everywhere. Remember the recent Obama win in Maryland? Nicole Price, the Maryland political director of Obama's campaign told the Washington Times that when she arrived in the state to ramp up the campaign. She found "a home-grown campaign already thriving." Republicans backing Obama had put more yard signs in Maryland than in South Carolina and they had paid for the signs "themselves." The Times also noted that in Louisiana, where he won by a wide margin, exit polls showed that Republicans who voted in the Democratic primary favored Mr. Obama 3-1 over Clinton. About 5 percent of the voters in the Democratic primary said they were Republicans.
According to the Washington Times story, Daniel B., Chance, a retired oil man, voted for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Maryland Republican primary in the morning. He then spent the afternoon making calls from the phone bank at the Obama campaign's Baltimore County Headquarters in Towson.
The critical point here is this: what is a loyal Huckabee supporter doing making calls for Obama?
Moreover, the Huckabee supporter joined a large mix of either Republicans like himself or Democrat for-a-day Republican converts who were also making calls on behalf of Obama.
Besides this anecdotal evidence, are there any hard facts which support a widespread Republican manipulation of the Democratic primaries? Time magazine reports,"Rank and file Republicans in red states have switched their party registrations to vote in Democratic primaries."In Nebraska, the mayor of Omaha publicly rallied Republicans to caucus for Obama on February 9th. And according to CNN in Iowa 44 percent of those voting for Obama were Republican.
Joe Conason in Salon in late December wrote,"In the weeks since Karl Rove offered his unsolicited advice on how to defeat Hillary Clinton in the pages of the Financial Times, right wing expressions of support for Obama have become increasingly conspicuous and voluble."These include opinion makers like the Weekly Standard, William Kristol who endorsed Obama in a NY Times editorial and George Will. Three major fundraisers for the President have now given money to Obama. The Weekly Standard ran a cover story in early December that according to Conason "literally swooned" over Obama. This story was written by Stephen Hays, Dick Cheney's admiring biographer and according to Conason "the last journalist on earth who still believes that Saddam Hussein was allied with al_Qaida."
The Obama campaign tried to wave this off as an over-enthusiastic volunteer, but the evidence is starting to mount that that the Obama campaign may be encouraging these "Democrats for a Day" strategies. And the GOP is happily playing along.
That's why "Democrat for a Day" was launched this spring by ObamaFlorida2008. Using the official forms provided by all Supervisors of Elections offices, you may re-register as a Democrat for that one day -- when the primary is likely to be held -- on February 5, 2008. You must do so before the end of 2007, to make sure it is done 30 days before the primary.We are being gamed and there are enough people in my party who so want Obama to win that they are willingly deluding themselves that these "new" Democrats will be standing with us in November.
But this is not about some "hard sell" to recruit voters to become permanent Democrats. Not at all. After the primary, you may re-register back to the
Republican or Libertarian parties, or revert to your previous status as an Independent! There will be plenty of time before the general election in November 2008.
More to the point, shouldn't Democrats be determining their Democratic nominee? This is one of the few topics where I and the Lyon County Republican Party chair see eye to eye. Political parties are about partisanship, and there's nothing wrong with that. Democrats and Republicans have unique world views and beliefs in the best use of government, its responsibilities to the people it serves, the best use of our military, our resources, regulation, etc, and we need to be able to draw upon those distinctions when selecting our party's nominees.
We need to be able to sell our unique points of view to the voters, not mush it up into some non-palatable bipartisan mush. Yes, there are places where we can work together, but there are places where we have to draw our lines in the sand and make our case. As Anglachel puts it, there are "Fights worth having."
These are the battles that are fought when it seems we are just doing some policy wonkishness. The details matter. The concessions matter. There are points on which there cannot be compromise, where unity is not just undesireable but a mark of failure.This is why I am supporting Hillary Clinton. She's not unwilling to work across the aisle, and in fact, has effectively done so. She just isn't willing to give away the store.
Other Disturbing News.
I am stunned. Talk about race baiting and extortion. I think I am going to be sick.
I would NEVER tell a woman that she should support Hillary just because she's a woman, but here we have the national co-chair of Obama's campaign doing just that with Black super delegates.
One black supporter of Clinton, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, said he remains committed to her. "There's nothing going on right now that would cause me to" change, he said.
He said any suggestion that elected leaders should follow their voters "raises the age old political question. Are we elected to monitor where our constituents are ... or are we to use our best judgment to do what's in the best interests of our constituents."
In an interview, Cleaver offered a glimpse of private conversations.
He said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois had recently asked him "if it comes down to the last day and you're the only superdelegate. ... Do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House?
"I told him I'd think about it," Cleaver concluded.
Jackson, an Obama supporter, confirmed the conversation, and said the dilemma may pose a career risk for some black politicians. "Many of these guys have offered their support to Mrs. Clinton, but Obama has won their districts. So you wake up without the carpet under your feet. You might find some young primary challenger placing you in a difficult position" in the future, he added.
Black Superdelegates Threatened, Pressured (No Quarter)
Black Commenter, Criticizing Obama, Causes Firestorm (WaPo)
Tavis Smiley, the bestselling author of the "Covenant With Black America," is in a world turned upside down. He said he's being "hammered," "barbecued," and is "catching hell" from black Americans for suggesting that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) made a major mistake by declining to speak at the State of the Black Union event that Smiley plans to host next week in New Orleans.
"There's all this talk of hater, sellout and traitor," Smiley said to me in a telephone interview. Smiley even mentioned getting death threats, but wouldn't elaborate. He said his office has been flooded with angry e-mails. "I have family in Indianapolis. They are harassing my momma, harassing my brother. It's getting to be crazy," Smiley said.
On another note: Is Obama the Messiah?