Fear-mongering and soul-searching

Thursday evening, after word came that Barack Obama's passport confidentiality had been violated by the Bushies, my Mom called us from the Charlotte nursing home where she lives.
She was disturbed, maybe even perturbed. If a 79-year-old woman can be agitated, she might even have been that. I could literally hear her voice shaking, quivering, with both anger and trepidation.
Mom's become, slowly, an Obama supporter, captivated over the past few months by his clarion calls for a return from the often hyper-partisan political nastiness of the past decade to the more graceful and, yes, humanely decent, discourse of the past.
And then...this, this evidence that no matter how much she wants to believe that we can turn back the clock, the nastiness simply isn't going to go away.
Another, probably bigger, reason for her agitation was that she'd been confronted, that same night in the nursing home, by a man distributing the hateful, racist and false anti-Obama diatribes that have proliferated on the 'net. You know the stuff: "He's a radical Muslim," "He's related to Saddam Hussein," "He secretly hates white people and will put people like Farrakan in his cabinet."
It sounded to me like Mom was wondering if, given all this, it might still be impossible for an African-American, or perhaps for anyone who purports to break the political mold in which we find ourselves, to win.
I found myself wondering about that, too. Although I haven't made up my mind on my Obama-Clinton primary vote - I love Hillary for the clarity of her policy proposals and Obama for the same reasons as Mom, plus for his own policies - I caught myself wondering if, given the still prevalent putridness of much of our politics, a vote for Obama would be potentially pointless.
After all, I wondered, even if he wins our Democratic nomination, can he and we withstand salvo after salvo of this horrid stuff from the Republicans in the general election campaign? Is it true, as the Clintons and Clintonistas have all but said, that Obama simply can't win the big prize? Does racism still hold such sway?
I'd certainly like to believe that's not the case, and there's surely at least some evidence it's not. My 14-year-old daughter has far more friends who are African-American or of mixed race that any generation I've seen, certainly including my own generation that came of age in the peace-and-love giddiness of the early 1970s.
In essence, the openmindedness of my daughter and her friends - not just on race but also on matters of sexual orientation - is probably proof that not only are we open-minded folks out there in good numbers, but that to a large degree, we have succeeded, have been the parents we wanted to be. My daughter tells me that Obama won a poll in her class, which normally tells you something about the parents.
I'm proud of my daughter and her friends - white, African-American, Hispanic alike - who have embraced the lyrical call of Bob Marley - one of my and my wife and daughter's all-time favorite musicians - for the color of skin to be "of no more significance" than the color of eyes. I want to believe they are evidence that America has changed, not just its teenagers.
As I've reflected on all this on this Friday morning, I've concluded that these questions shouldn't affect who I vote for in the primary, that if I ultimately vote for Obama, I shouldn't worry about whether he's "electable" but instead should worry more about getting him elected.
I know my Mom isn't going to let the fear-mongering purveyors of hate change her mind.
I can't either, once I finally make up my mind.

Comments

Listen to your mother

A vote for Clinton .... may as well vote for McCain. She is one and the same. This from an indie. Did her Iran vote not scare you to death? Did her remarks about McCain (and Bill's latest) not make you think? So she's a policy wonk .... what's good about her policies? Force you to buy med insurance and maybe put you in jail(???) if you don't. Don't think it can't happen .... happens if you don't have auto insurance. Actually, I don't even think McCain would do that one. Oh, remember how good it was under Bill C. Three strikes and you're out, Nafta, more police. Remember Vince Foster, Rose Law Firm, commodities trading, etc. And, please, why can't Chelsea speak in public? Honestly, she scares me as much as McCain.

Mother knows best?

bradford
Thanks marylilly...good points. I was irate over the Iran vote. I did hate triangulation, tantamount to surrender. And the McCain comments sucked, and were as wrong for the party as anything I've heard in years. Foster and the Rose Law firm didn't bother me. But NAFTA did, as did three strikes. I'm leaning...I'm leaning...I might fall soon. I gotta admit, I hope I do. I'm tired of this indecision...Want to vote for hope. Want to commit. Want to go with my heart. Probably will...Hearts usually win.

bradford

Voting present?

The thing about the Iran vote with Sen. Obama is that he wasn't even there to vote. I think it's difficult to throw stones when you didn't actually put yourself out there. I suppose there's an analogy for the use of force vote as well.

Also, the only presidential candidate I remember even TALKING about the Iran vote when it actually occurred was Sen. Biden.

And nice "scare" tactics re: Sen. Clinton. I don't even know what "remember Vince Foster" means...so did Hillary kill him herself or hire someone else to do it? ...ridiculous.

There are reasons to argue for/against both Democratic candidates, but most of the above don't even belong in the debate.

I think that's sad.

You're a fervent Clinton supporter and you don't know who Vince Foster is. Perhaps you're too young to remember the controversy. At least study up on your own candidate, capt.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Now Linda.....Be nice ...

Like you are to everybody.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

You're right, Marshall.

I apologize, Capt.

You didn't deserve that. I am so sick of the Democratic Presidential campaigns sniping at each other, and I bought right into it.

I'll be glad when it's over and we can all unite behind a nominee.

Sorry Capt.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

It's a weird season...

Apology accepted!

I know...I just don't know what to make of the vitriol that this campaign brings out (from both sides). I try to always be positive about my candidate (no matter which campaign hat I'm wearing), but I have to stop myself from mass e-mailing to my people articles showing critiques of Sen. Obama. When I feel that way I do two things:

1) I go to Sen. Clinton's website, watch her videos, and remember why I'm POSITIVE for her
2) Remember that my best political friend is an Obama supporter, and I like her!

This just scares me. Especially when I hear the "if X doesn't win, I'm not voting/voting for McCain." For one thing, I don't want to be in Iraq for the next 1,000 years (and I mean "I", not the general pronoun. I could do one or two more short tours, but anything other than that...). For another, we know that our judges are hanging by a thread (Justice Ginsburg does NOT sound healthy, and I don't mean to be light about it). And we know that you are voting for an Administration, not just an individual. Whether it's cabinet posts, ambassadors, or other individuals who will be rule-makers, whether the EPA or Veterans Administration. Who is elected the next President of the United States can be as much about party as it is individual. The repercussions are too much.

So, all I can say is (and for me too) take a deep breath, check out your candidate's materials and remember why you are POSITIVE for THEM, remember the other good Democrats out there on the other side, and continue to campaign for your candidate!

And Happy Easter!

One thing I know for sure -

I won't be voting for McCain. I will be voting for Obama, or Clinton. Whoever winds up at the top of our ticket will have my vote. And whoever winds up at the top of our state ticket will have my vote, and so forth, because I am a Democrat, and until someone can convince me otherwise, there is no other party that better voices my values, and no other people with whom I'd rather celebrate on election night. :-D

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

How about the "All Night" Party?

Meh. Me neither. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

Maybe the, "Party that is guaranteed to be over by 9 p.m. and is not likely to include: unruly children, unidentifiable food or games with overly complex rules which the host explains in detail every time some new person decides to play."

dang.

that made me tired just reading, sc.

I'll stick with this party for politics, and partying. :) We have more fun than the Republicans anyhow.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Um...I thought it seemed clear...

I'm afraid I'm all to familiar with him, as my reference to the many bizarre theories surrounding his death suggests. It seemed the original poster was trying to resurrect those conspiracy myths...

Yikes, Linda

You're one of the last people I could imagine using Republican talking points...goes to show just how wrong I can be.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

A political science professor...

bradford
...e-mail buddy of mine recently theorized that the very divisions that are so apparent even on BlueNC will eventually force the winner and loser of ths epic battle onto the ticket together. I know Obama has rejected that, at least on the surface, but what's this group's opinion on whether the two of 'em have left enough wiggle room to make it happen, regardless of which one would occupy the top spot, and on whether they have real personal animosity at this point or just political animosity. And are the egos too big? Personally, I'd love to see it...a doubly historic ticket. Could the supers encourage that to happen by conditioning their support for the leader going into the convention - Obama, no doubt - on adding Hillary to the ticket? Or at least adding someone from Hillary's list of bigtime backers? Just wondering what ya'll think...Happy Easter and GO DAVIDSON!!!! It's much cooler here at the beach today, so it'll not be tempting to hit the strand and skip hoops...

bradford

Give me a fucking break, Betsy.

I already apologized to the Captain. I said I wouldn't be voting for McCain - I would be voting for whoever our nominee is. Where is the (R) talking point in that? Just fucking show it to me instead of being snide.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Invoking the name

Vince Foster. The only people I ever hear invoking the name are also hinting that it was some murder conspiracy masterminded by the Clintons and they are Republicans. I realize Marylily dropped the name initially in the thread, but you picked up on it and I guess I hold you to a higher standard.

Picking on Capt and dropping Vince Foster into the conversation are two separate issues. You apologized to Capt which is admirable, but the insertion of Vince Foster still stands and the dead man isn't here to absolve the Clintons of the implied guilt that accompanies his name. If you trace my comment you will notice it is linked to the one that starts "I think that's sad" not to a comment about McCain.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Betsy, I apologized to Capt for dropping Foster on him.

You inserted your judgment into a conversation and didn't understand what was happening. I was rude to him by invoking Foster, and I apologized for that.

As for having a higher standard - bullshit. Don't hold me to higher standards of which I am unaware. You are not my mother. This is, as I've been reminded, a blog, and I'm as free as anyone else here to express myself.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I am also free to express myself, Linda

While your comment was addressed to Capt. it is available for the rest of us to read since this is a blog. I commented because I didn't like what you said. If you had wanted your conversation to remain private so that others wouldn't read it, be offended and respond, maybe you should have chosen a different forum. However, you chose to have that conversation publicly and I responded. You don't have to like it, but I am not out of line in reading it, trying to interpret your meaning(inserting my judgment) and responding to it. This is a blog and that's what we do.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Yup.

That's what we do, Betsy. I never said you were out of line by reading it. I said you were out of line holding me to some higher standard that I knew nothing about, and then acting disappointed when I didn't meet that standard. That's passive-aggressive dysfunction. I have enough of that at work. I divorced someone because of it. I know it when I see it, and I don't like it.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

No, it's respect

I respect your intelligence. I've "known" you longer than Marylily. I've come to expect intelligent discourse from you. That was not intelligent. It isn't unusual to hold someone you "know" to a higher standard than someone who is new to you....at least in my experience. There's nothing passive-aggressive about it. I accept that I will be held to a higher or different standard by people who know, care, respect and/or love me. Honestly, I thought that was common. I promise not to hold you to a higher standard in the future and apologize for doing so this time.

Your words:

You inserted your judgment into a conversation and didn't understand what was happening.

It looks to me like you didn't like the fact that I read and responded to a comment I didn't like.(inserting judgment) Again, this is a blog and that's what we do here. I'm not exactly sure what could have been happening with that comment that I didn't understand, but I would love it if you would enlighten me so that I'm not out in the dark here.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

If not now, then in the general

If she gets the nod, someway, somehow, all of the old issues of her 35 years will be raised. You can hear it coming on Limbaugh, Fox, etc. For me, beyond the baggage, it boils down to a simple vote ... for the military use of force against Iraq. A simple use of Google would have told you that was all BS. The Iran vote backs up her position. And recently, when she felt the heat, who was standing on the stage behind her but M. Albright (the "Yes, it's worth it" ...in reference to 500,000 dead Iraqi children due to the sanctions ... former Sec of State). Now if that isn't scary, I don't know what it is. Sure, she may vote like you expect a Dem to vote on most domestic issues, but in matter of foreign affairs, she's a neocon hawk, just like McCain.

I think Gandhi said it best:

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

Good Lord.

In a diary criticizing fear-mongering, we get this:

Force you to buy med insurance and maybe put you in jail(???) if you don't. Don't think it can't happen .... happens if you don't have auto insurance.

That's raising the level of discourse (not).

Too much of a stretch for you?

From :
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/04/us/politics/04checkpoint.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

"Mrs. Clinton, who did not answer Senator Barack Obama’s question on the topic in a debate last Thursday, was pressed repeatedly to do so Sunday by George Stephanopoulos on the ABC program “This Week.” When Mr. Stephanopoulos asked a third time whether she would garnish people’s wages, Mrs. Clinton responded, “George, we will have an enforcement mechanism, whether it’s that or it’s some other mechanism through the tax system or automatic enrollments.”"

Wage garnishment, IRS, I was just going to the next step with a maybe and ???. I have concerns with government mandated payments to a for-profit industry.

From the same article:
"Massachusetts, the only state with an insurance mandate, has thus far failed to enroll nearly half of its uninsured despite imposing a modest first-year tax penalty of $219 (the fine increases significantly this year)."

I think this is insanity. Since when is 219 a modest fine on your taxes? And where will it stop?
Sorry you think it's fear-mongering or lowering the discourse. I'll keep my stretches to myself.

Yes, it is.

Stretches like that are designed to invoke fear, and are no different than postulating that terrorists will come over here (maybe to your town) if we pull out of Iraq.

Feeding and capitalizing on our fears has allowed this administration to wage war abroad and erode our civil liberties here at home, and this type of reasoning has no place within the Democratic debate, unless we really don't want real change.

I'm issuing a challenge right now to all Democrats reading this: abstain from attempting to invoke fear while promoting your candidate, and do not sit idly by while someone else does this, even if you believe it might be helping your candidate. If you want change, you have to be a part of that change, not just a spectator.

Watched a movie last night

"The Great Debaters". I bring it up just in case you need a reminder of just how far we have come in this country. And why you never quit.
Yet, we still have a much to improve upon.

The box was opened long ago.
Must we retreat and hide
And Hope forego?
Hell NO!!!!

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?