You Don’t Matter (Sorry)

US Politics is owned by the monied class.  The political spectrum only matters for superficial issues.  For anything deep both parties are full on corporate cheerleaders:

Yes, one of the two parties will win and one will be even more subservient to business than the other. But both parties are completely under the thumbs of the wealthy, they know it, and most of them don’t have a problem with it.

What we’ve got to look forward to in 2012 is feeling increasingly like a sham.  A joke election to be decided between tea partiers cracked out on racism vs liberals who aren’t pissed off at Obama yet.  Where does that leave the rest of us?  Aside from staying home to watch reruns of Arrested Development.

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Why Aren’t We Honest With China?

China has no respect for the rights of its citizens.  Why do we have a shred of diplomatic respect for this country?  I don’t advocate isolating China by any means, but in our dealings with them we have a moral responsibility to make clear we view their human rights abuses with earned contempt.

PUMA Reaches Ron Paul Popularity

According to riverdaughter, the effort to override the voters (Obama won both delegates and the popular vote) and install Hillary Clinton as Presidential candidate is now a movement (emphasis mine):

There are MILLIONS of us.  This is no exaggeration.

The first day that Darragh Murphy opened her doors on PUMAPac, she got 35,000 hits.  That’s ONLINE hits.  There are many, many more people who aren’t internet addicts who we are contacting every day. This movement was sparked by the RBC meeting and took off like wildfire. It was always our intention to use the internet and the media to get our word out.

You just can’t pack more humor into your unintentional statements folks.  PUMAPac is getting ONLINE hits.  In the thousands!  Entitlement Action Clinton fans can rejoice, she now is seeing a wave of online popularity that vaguely approaches Ron Paul before the word got out.  She’s practically the next big thing.

There will be a roll call vote (great, now Hillary will get to see who her percieved enemies are) at the convention.  Hillary Clinton is not going to win, despite her efforts.  If she unseated the elected nominee, there would be enough chaos to give someone as utterly unqualified as possible to become President the boost he needs.  No, what will happen is a close vote in which Obama is declared the nominee.  Meanwhile Hillary’s crass effort to count votes in states where her opponents didn’t campaign or weren’t on the ballot and PUMA’s complaints about the losing the Democratic process will fall flat.  The only thing they will garner is plenty of “serious, hard hitting” articles examining whether or not the Democratic party is falling apart.

It isn’t.  There is simply a tug of war still going on between the two establishment candidates, the one who won, and the one who lost.  And in the fall Obama will win on a hard-won landslide procurred by supporters desperate to avoid the further suffering, violence, and economic downturn that would intensify under a McCain Presidency.

Accountability and Politics: Bedfellows at Last!

But only if we’re aggressive.

My friend Marco sent me a link to an incredibly important article.  Glenn Greenwald has effectively reframed American politics as a struggle between voters and the political class:

The August 8 Money Bomb is intended to be used to fuel a long-term campaign and an enduring organization devoted to changing the behavior of the political class with regard to these issues. We intend to begin now actively recruiting and promoting credible primary challengers against the likes of Steny Hoyer and other key culprits; to target for defeat those members of Congress who continue to support policies of this sort, Democrat or Republican; and to find ways to affect the public discourse on these issues, which are jointly distorted and ignored by both the so-called “liberal Beltway establishment” and the crux of the Republican Party.

In 2006, we played by party rules.  True, we played hardball, and played more skillfully and effectively than ever before.  But we still played the party game.  And as Glenn notes, that left us in the lurch.  We had Democrats who were complicit, and Republicans who were voracious, and only a few from either party have consistently stood up and fought.

So what is being proposed is the creation of a long term Political Action Committee to aggressively take down incumbents who trespass on the constitution and our civil liberties:

Strangebedfellows is a unique and diverse left–right coalition which has come together to put a stop to the eradication of civil liberties in America. Modeled on a similar group in Britain, the initial Strangebedfellows group encompasses Ron Paul supporters (BreakTheMatrix.com, Rick Williams and Trevor Lyman), leading bloggers from the left (Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, Jane Hamsher of firedoglake.com) and many more who share the view that warrantless surveillance, telecom immunity and other such outrages of the lawless surveillance state MUST END—AND END NOW. Our group of Strangebedfellows is organizing a moneybomb on behalf of AccountabilityNowPAC, and we’re reaching out to friends and colleagues from across the political spectrum who believe in the Bill of Rights and freedom in America. So join us– become a Strangebedfellow! Add your name and group to our list of backers, and enter your pledge today to donate to AccountabilityNowPAC. Let’s reverse these police state sellouts by our political leaders—FOREVER.

Its simple.  By joining in this coalition, we are taking aim at any politician of any party who attacks civil liberties and constitutional rights.  And we are putting our time, money, energy where our mouth is.  There is no party loyalty.  There is simply strategy and loyalty to civil rights.

Become a StrangeBedfellow!

On August 8th there is a fundraising drive (from Greenwald’s article, emphasis mine):

In the past few months, we’ve raised almost $350,000 with our old FISA-specific fund — the vast bulk of that amount being raised in the last several weeks. And in just the last week alone, more than 2,000 people have already pledged to donate to the Strange Bedfellows’ August 8 Money Bomb. And that’s before most of the efforts on behalf of the Money Bomb campaign have begun. It is virtually certain that the August 8 Money Bomb will generate at least as much as the amount raised already for the prior fund, and it’s very likely that it will produce far more than that amount. Thus, this Constitution-defending, civil-liberties campaign will be one of the most successful short-term political fund-raising campaigns on the Internet, demonstrating that there is a very real, intense, active and substantial constituency for these civil liberties, Constitutional rights and rule of law issues.

This is a show of power.  It is a roar that should crack the marble in Washington and send political and media elites scurrying.  And we will only get that powerful an effect if enough of us join in at the top of our lungs.

There’s a number of ways to join.  Become a SponsorHelp spread the wordPledge to donate on August 8th.

This effort will determine the nature of our government and the extent of our liberty.  Its the most promising front in the defining battle of our generation.

It’s clobberin time.

Hillary’s Supporters and Florida’s Primary Flop

Something is wrong.  These are our allies, and the level of mistrust and hatred is palpable.  But so is the level of denial (The Confluence):

Doesn’t look too good for him though. I love the stories from fellow conflucians about how they are responding to requests for donations from the DNC. I think Paul’s (plukasiak) was my favorite:

off topic, but…
Just got mail from the Obama campaign. So I wrote a check for $100, tore it in half, and am sending it along with this message…

Dear Senator Obama
On behalf of my friends in Florida, please find half a check for $100. Since your campaign saiid their votes should only count as half votes, I figure you’ll know what to do with half a check.
But, in case you need a hint – the RBC corruptly ensured your nomination while violating the DNC charter “sunshine” povisiions for meetings. In that spirit, you can take my half-check, and put it ‘where the sun don’t shine’.

Hillary Clinton ran in Florida against zero opponents.  If the Florida vote were to be in any way representative, it would have had to be a revote.  But at the same time, it is important Obama supporters recognize why the Florida situation is bullshit.  Its bullshit because the primary system we have let’s some states have an inordinate say in the process.  Florida tried to skip ahead in line, and got stuck arguing about whether or not it was caught doing anything wrong with the DNC.  Instead of acting like a sneaky kid in class, Floridians ought to join the rest of the country and demand that we do away with delegates, single-state primaries and conventions.  How about one national primary, popular vote only?  Hell, why not have that for the general?

This is the kind of thing we need to talk about, that we need to focus on.  Otherwise we can turn this quarrel about Florida into a debate over what caused us to lose to McCain.

Hillary Clinton Must Go

She shouldn’t be given a leadership position as a “consolation prize”.  She shouldn’t be bailed out by Obama or the party.  It has gotten to the point where Hillary and her supporters have showed their true colors, and the resulting picture is a nasty one.

Hillary Clinton’s threatening civil war within the party if she isn’t offered something.  In return for what?  There’s certainly value in ensuring Hillary’s supporters are listened to, especially in such a close race.  But the candidate herself is doing everything to make this a painful and damaging process for everyone.  That should not be rewarded, it should be condemned.

Arguments to make the vote “count” in Florida and Michigan are beyond cynical.  As Greg Saunders points out, her position utterly disregards the will of the voters, the integrity of the process, and the impact of her divisive actions (emphasis mine):

It’s stunning to me that Hillary Clinton supporters would have the audacity to claim that the popular vote is a metric that we should be using to determine who should get the Democratic nomination while at the same time insisting that Obama shouldn’t receive a single vote for Michigan. I’m ambivalent about whether or how the MI and FL delegates should be seated, but if you’re going to hold yourself up as a champion of voting rights and insist that the popular vote is a more legitimate way to gauge voter intent, then it’s pretty craven to chase a strategy whose only purpose is to cut into Obama’s lead with the implicit conclusion that not a single person in Michigan supports Barack OBama.

But, you might argue, Obama chose to take his name off the ballot and therefore his lack of support is just the result of his own choices. Well, if we’re going to follow the rules to the letter and punish candidates for their choices, then it bears repeating that the rules state that Michigan and Florida don’t count and that the Clinton campaign made the choice to agree to the DNC sanctions against these states. If you’re only going to recognize the rules that help Hillary Clinton win, just drop the self-righteous bullshit about your sterling commitment to democracy and be honest enough to admit that you’re only interested in Florida and Michigan because you think Clinton is a better candidate.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and all of the other Democratic candidates competed under the same rules and Clinton lost. Now she’s trying to work the refs and is trying to change any rules that might keep her from winning. That’s understandable, but when you wrap your attempts to move the goalposts in a veneer of moral superiority and question the values of your opponents (specifically, questioning whether or not Obama supporters believe in voting rights), don’t be surprised if you piss a lot of people off.

I’m willing to give Mrs. Clinton the benefit of the doubt on her RFK gaffe.  But she’s literally tearing the party apart when we desperately need to pull together to undo years of structural damage to the foundations of our government and way of life.  And all to satisfy this intense sense of entitlement that smells more like Lieberman’s independent run than the underlying commitment to our nation’s deepest issues she showed during the NH primary.  Its a huge waste of talent.  This primary should not have been a “last shot” to the NY Senator.  But with the way she’s bungled things and the misplaced priorities she’s shown, it looks like it is.  The more she gnashes her teeth and lashes out at Democrats, the more I am ok with that.

We Shouldn’t Bail Out Hillary Clinton

Why? Because from the start her campaign was one afforded momentum mostly by her own sense of entitlement (and to a lesser degree by the novelty of being a female candidate). Because she’s staying in when the fight is clearly over. Because she’s hurt our chances in November by initially suggesting McCain would be a better president than Obama, just to further her chances in the primary.

Finally, there this piece of pure outrage (Pandagon). Hiam Saban bribed and threatened young super delegates to vote for Hillary:

But this isn’t just bribery. It was backed up, it seems, with an implicit threat. Basically, gangster negotiations.

Members of the Young Democrats agonized about the potential fallout of Saban’s call; his financial offer represented one-third of the group’s 2008 budget. Democratic officials and fundraisers were consulted about how to respond, and at times the discussions were “emotional,” one participant said. “It is scary for them, Haim is very powerful, he has great influence over donors who give to them.”

Another source said that Hardt and others were acutely aware of Saban’s status within Democratic circles and were concerned that their organization would suffer long-term harm if they declined his offer or if news of the proposal became public.

“I said I thought that the appropriate response was to call Haim back and say thank you but we are not interested,” said the source. “I also said that it was surely the case that this story would get out because it is too interesting not to and they should think about how to deal with it. It was a day or two [before they responded]. They felt afraid. They were like, ‘Holy shit, this is Haim Saban.’”

They were afraid. I’m so angry right now I’m spitting. This is how we treat young people who are interested in electing Democrats now?

I can’t emphasize how much my decision to go with an Obama endorsement over a Clinton endorsement has to do with remaking the campaign strategies of the Democrats. All other issues are pretty much moot if we can’t win. And part of what’s going to move us towards more winning is getting the millennial generation to consider themselves loyal Democrats. There’s a ton of them , and Obama’s campaign has done a bang-up job of getting young people on board. If he wins with this strategy, then people who want to employ it will have a lot more leverage in the future.

Hillary couldn’t raise funds and used her personal wealth to force her sense of entitlement on the Democratic party. We shouldn’t expect the party or its leaders to waste resources being responsible for her hubris when we could use those same funds to win vital elections.