Tag Archives: Clinton

On the DNC and religious pandering

The darling man and I have been glued to the television via the eyeballs the past few nights watching the DNC. We try to be responsible political junkies; we restrain ourselves to the privacy of our own home and comment to each other on the speechifying and punditry. Considering we live in Texas, it’s probably safest that way.

One of the most glaringly obvious tactics used this election cycle has been the attempt of the Dems to woo centrist religious voters. Listening on the way home from the office yesterday, then watching on MSNBC last night, we were both disheartened by the number of “moments of silence” and “God bless…” whatever they wanted blessed. The US, Barack Obama, the US citizenry, Joe Biden’s mom…. it seemed unending.

While I realize that, to a certain extent, it just plain makes sense to reach out to the nation’s religious voters, I have to express a certain amount of dismay and feeling of betrayal by my party. In recent decades, the Democratic party has embraced the role of champion of civil rights. That includes the right to NOT have religion forced down our throats; especially by those in political office. After the plundering of our Constitution and our rights over the last eight years, it seems one of the few that I’ve felt I could count on. But watching all those heads bow….at a governmental function… I was outraged. Not only over the breach of the First Amendment (although that was first and foremost in my mind), but over the response when someone had the fortitude to point it out.

Tiernan says he couldn’t stand it any more. “I stood up and said, ‘I’m a democrat but I’m not a person of faith.’ I said, ‘This looks like a church service to me and I never thought I would see the Democrats doing something like this.” At that point, the police came and escorted Tiernan from the hall. They told him he could leave or stay and see what the Democrats wanted to do with him, so he stayed but nobody did anything so he left.

“The thing is,” says Tiernan with a chuckle, “I’m not a career protester. I just don’t like religion mixed with politics. It’s wrong and it’s dangerous.”

And he’s right. But it seems the Dems aren’t really lstening. With so much at stake this election season, they have taken on an old Clinton tactic: win at any price. Even if it means pandering to a group they have very little chance of actually reaching.

“How,” you may be asking yourself (as was I) “does one group get so much pull politically? Especially since, politically, no religious group should be able to affect change to their advantage?” It’s easy. Become a majority, then whine about how your rights are being infringed. Regardless of whether they actually are or not. It isn’t about honesty; it’s about pushing the agenda, in politically correct terms. In more blunt terms: it’s about extortion. “We have a lot of votes. If you don’t do things exactly the way we want them, you don’t get any votes at all.” Never mind whoever else’s rights get trampled in the process. To the loudmouths go the spoils.  

Why Obama must not choose Hillary Clinton…no matter what Tim Russert says.

Barack Obama has been looking to the general election for some weeks now. The nomination secured last night…he will now be considering a running mate (I tend to take articles like this with a grain of salt. Of course they’re saying he isn’t thinking about it yet. But I doubt that’s true. If he isn’t then he’s nuts. Thinking at least five moves ahead is imperative).

A recent post to my blog asked why I feel it would be so incomprehensible for Hillary to be Obama’s running mate. So…without further ado…here’s why:

  1. Republicans hate her. No. I mean, they really, REALLY hate her. They would turn out in droves to see her defeated, even if their nominee is a turnip. They’ll do anything to keep her away from the White House, even as second banana. Not to mention, plenty of independents dislike her as well. She’s too partisan, too rigid, and just plain rubs people the wrong way.
  2. If he takes on Sen. Clinton, he takes on her baggage. That includes Bill. I love the man. I do. But dammit, he will torpedo the campaign just as he helped torpedo his wife’s. There was just an article last week speculating whether or not he slept with Gina Gershon. My response? “Who cares?” The rest of the US? Not so much. Yes, yes, we can act all enlightened and self righteous and say it doesn’t matter. But to lots of people it does. Go figure.
  3. There was plenty of talk when she was First Lady that she was the one running things behind the scenes. That pissed a lot of people off, even if I do disagree. Any world leader is still a human being. Do they listen to their spouses? Sometimes. Sometimes not so much. But the implication was still there. Think people won’t remember that? Think again. An ex-President and a VP with that history? How will he be able to convince any undecided voters that it will be his presidency and not theirs?
  4. Politics is perception. If Obama is perceived to be knuckling under to pressure  from others to put her on the ticket instead of making his own decisions as to who his running mate and cabinet will be, he will lose respect. Hence the whole “We haven’t really thought about it yet…” article.

Obama’s run an almost dirt free campaign. Everything that can be dug up about him of note already has been. By the Clinton campaign. Frankly, I think she did him a favor in that; it pulled the Republican smear machine’s teeth. But it would be suicide to choose her as a running mate.

Sure sounds like a concession to me….

In a call today with other New York legislators, Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would be open to accepting the running mate spot were Obama to offer it.

She went on to say she fully understood the delegate count simply wasn’t there to overtake Sen. Obama, but “deserved some time to get this right,” and has said most emphatically she would not concede in her speech tonight.

The question now remains: If she is aware the delegates are not behind her….if she is aware Sen. Obama has effectively taken the nomination with the votes currently in from S. Dakota and Montana….how can she possibly refuse to concede and expect the good will of the party? It looks like nothing so much as a temper tantrum from a spoiled child.

It has been rumored that Sen. Obama would offer Sen. Clinton an important seat on the cabinet; that of HHS secretary to continue with her work toward universal health care. The question of running mate has been up in the air for some time, but it would seem almost incomprehensible to choose Clinton.

Enough of the whining!

Yesterday, the DNC met and came to a decision as to how to split the delegate votes for Michigan and Florida. The decision? The delegates will be seated at the convention in Denver come August. The compromise? Each vote will only count for half.

Obama supporters can protest and state that neither state should count, but the fact remains; those voters are important, and you don’t win elections by snubbing large groups of people who may very well vote for you come November. Clinton supporters can protest and state that she should carry both states on her own, but the fact of the matter remains; were the forementioned “don’t make where you eat” rule not in effect, those delegates wouldn’t be seated at all.

Florida and Michigan broke the rules by having their primaries early. I don’t disparage the reasoning; being from California (the most populous state in the nation and higher in contributions than just about every other state), I get bored with our primary votes being nothing more than a blip on the radar. But when you put aside emotion it still comes down to this: they didn’t submit their changes on time and the primaries should not count. Were this election not viewed as so crucial and so close…they probably wouldn’t. Half a vote is better than none. Your vote will count…completely…in November.

It is time to stop whining and move on. There is an election coming up, and this is just the ramp up. If the Dems cannot come together and fall behind one candidate, we will once again suffer a defeat in the general. Conditions being what they are, I cannot believe we would squander our best chance in 8 years to gain the presidency because we get so caught up in petty squabbling. Put it aside. We have bigger fish to fry.