Super duper big up to Booman Tribune

Also check this Atlantic piece on Hillary’s religion.

Clipped from Booman:

But Barack Obama has not made Clinton’s kooky right-wing church into an issue on the campaign trail because he understands that a person’s faith is an intensely personal and (hopefully) non-political affair.

Clinton’s decision to question Obama’s choice of church is a bigger problem than her personal tastelessness. Her decision is an arrow aimed directly at the heart of the black community. It is one of the worst acts of public betrayal I have ever seen committed by a Democratic politician in my lifetime, and the most shortsighted and toxic decision I can recall.

White Americans may be surprised by their introduction to the style of black sermonizing in the figure of Rev. Wright, but the black community sees nothing particularly out of place in his rhetoric. This may or may not be a political vulnerability in the general election, but a far greater vulnerability is opened up by telling the black church-going community that Rev. Wright is the equivalent of Don Imus and his ‘nappy-headed hos’. The suggestion that Rev. Wright was engaged in ‘hate speech’ of a kind so loathsome as to require leaving his church is deeply offensive. The black community is feeling besieged by the national spotlight on Rev. Wright and the ensuing white backlash. They are looking around for allies, and find Hillary Clinton piling on and throwing them under the bus.

Clinton is not only presumptuous, she is vicious and divisive and hurtful. She should be defending Barack Obama against unfair attacks, and defending and contextualizing the tradition of black sermonizing. In his speech, Barack Obama sought to educate and bring reconciliation. Clinton’s response is to throw it all back in his face and suggest that there is something wrong with him for attending his church.

If Clinton succeeds in pushing this racial polarization to the point that white people will not vote for Obama, the black community will never, ever, forgive her. This is especially true because she can only win on the backs of the superdelegates.

At this point it is absolutely imperative that the party leaders step in and stop the Clinton campaign from inflicting lasting damage to the relationship between the party and the African-American community. She cannot be allowed to even try to win the nomination this way, let alone actually win it.

This is poison of the worst possible kind. It will destroy the party’s electoral viability more swiftly and more surely than anything I can think of.

I call on Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Dean, and the other leaders of the party top step in right now and call this contest.

The Clintons absolutely must not be permitted to do this. It must be stopped.

It’s great to see this story finally spreading beyond the afrosphere.

Ok, next steps…

Speaker Pelosi’s contact information.

In your messages to her and her staff, be sure to thank her for standing strong during this campaign. It can’t be fun getting threats from Clinton supporters. And recall a few weeks ago when Pelosi dismissed the so-called “dream ticket” by saying Clinton nixed that possibility by promoting McCain.

Harry Reid’s contact information.
Howard Dean’s contact information.

Courtesy of MoveOn. Donna Edwards is one of the judges. Entries due April 1.

Paul Krugman, February 11, 2008:

I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. >I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality. We’ve already had that from the Bush administration — remember Operation Flight Suit? We really don’t want to go there again.

Gallup Poll, March 26, 2008:

PRINCETON, NJ — A sizable proportion of Democrats would vote for John McCain next November if he is matched against the candidate they do not support for the Democratic nomination. This is particularly true for Hillary Clinton supporters, more than a quarter of whom currently say they would vote for McCain if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee.

That is all.

From DailyKos:

Clinton big dollar donors threaten Pelosi and the DCCC
by kos
Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 02:52:01 PM PDT

Certain people still think they can bully politicians by waving their checkbooks in their faces.

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the US House of Representatives

Office of the Speaker
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Madame Speaker,

As Democrats, we have been heartened by the overwhelming response that our fellow Democrats have shown for our party’s candidates during this primary season. Each caucus and each primary has seen a record turnout of voters. But this dynamic primary season is not at an end. Several states and millions of Democratic voters have not yet had a chance to cast their votes.

We respect those voters and believe that they, like the voters in the states that have already participated, have a right to be heard. None of us should make declarative statements that diminish the importance of their voices and their votes. We are writing to say we believe your remarks on ABC News This Week on March 16th did just that.

During your appearance, you suggested super-delegates have an obligation to support the candidate who leads in the pledged delegate count as of June 3rd , whether that lead be by 500 delegates or 2. This is an untenable position that runs counter to the party’s intent in establishing super-delegates in 1984 as well as your own comments recorded in The Hill ten days earlier:

“I believe super-delegates have to use their own judgment and there will be many equities that they have to weigh when they make the decision. Their own belief and who they think will be the best president, who they think can win, how their own region voted, and their own responsibility.’”

Super-delegates, like all delegates, have an obligation to make an informed, individual decision about whom to support and who would be the party’s strongest nominee. Both campaigns agree that at the end of the primary contests neither will have enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination. In that situation, super-delegates must look to not one criterion but to the full panoply of factors that will help them assess who will be the party’s strongest nominee in the general election.

We have been strong supporters of the DCCC. We therefore urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the National Convention in August. We appreciate your activities in support of the Democratic Party and your leadership role in the Party and hope you will be responsive to some of your major enthusiastic supporters.


Marc Aronchick
Clarence Avant
Susie Tompkins Buell
Sim Farar
Robert L. Johnson
Chris Korge
Marc and Cathy Lasry
Hassan Nemazee
Alan and Susan Patricof
JB Pritzker
Amy Rao
Lynn de Rothschild
Haim Saban
Bernard Schwartz
Stanley S. Shuman
Jay Snyder
Maureen White and Steven Rattner

The Obama campaign responds:

“This letter is inappropriate and we hope the Clinton campaign will reject the insinuation contained in it. Regardless of the outcome of the nomination fight, Senator Obama will continue to urge his supporters to assist Speaker Pelosi in her efforts to maintain and build a working majority in the House of Representatives,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

One side is looking to build a consensus and win on the strength of voters, the other side is looking to divide and harm the party. It’s easy to see which is which.

When people say that Dems can kiss and make up, I don’t know about that.

Because, at the heart of this battle is what you want the Democratic Party to look like.

What you believe it should be.

I believe Hillary ” Tonya Harding” Clinton, her donors, and the DLC are parasites that have been sucking the life of what Democrats should stand for. They are TOP DOWN.

Barack Obama is of the vision of BOTTOM-UP. Barack Obama is the one who believes in the 50 State Strategy. That all Democrats are worth fighting for, even in the red states. That you plant seeds in order for them to grow in subsequent elections.

What do you believe in?

50% +1


50 State

That’s what this battle has become, and I’m glad that they’re being obvious about it. THE EXTORTION of it all.

If you’d like to drop a line to Nancy Pelosi:

Office of the Speaker
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-0100

About Jeremiah Wright, Hillary ” Tonya Harding” Clinton had this to say:

“He would not have been my pastor,” Clinton said. “You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.”



This is what our fellow blogger, Field Negro had to say:

Today again the “Ice Queen” took a shot at the “O” man and suggested that he should have left his church. “We don’t have a choice when it comes to our relatives, we have a choice when it comes to our Pastor.” Maybe you can “Ice Queen”, but black folks just don’t go switching their church. Maybe that’s how you white folks do shit, but religion is personal to black people. As a black man I take that shit personally when you attack the black church to make a political point. And when you do it for political expediency to deflect the news from your own little problems. “Oh stop it field, you don’t even go to church”. Yes but I understand that importance of the church in our community, and, unlike moi, most black folks do go to church and believe in the institution it represents. So the longer this shit goes on with the “O” man’s pastor, the more upset I get. If Hillary had a clue she would have left that shit alone. Her husband is supposed to be the “first black president”, they should know that there are certain things that we hold sacred and just should not be fucked with.


And here is my reply. A reply that goes to heart of why the attacks on Jeremiah Wright are offensive and personal to Black people.

Thank you, FN.

I have been making the rounds of ‘ MSM’ Blogs to make this point.

There was a Rasmussen Poll done on Wright.

Poll on Wright

Here’s the money section for me:

Overall, voters are evenly divided as to whether Obama should resign his membership in the Church—42% say that he should while 40% disagree. White voters, by a 46% to 33% margin, say that Obama should leave the Church. African-American voters, by a 68% to 16% margin, say he should not. Wright retired last month as Pastor of the Church.

While there was a 13 point difference FOR among Whites, look at the gap among Blacks – 52%.



Church isn’t some simple place where you go on Sunday to listen to the pastor for 30 minutes.

Church, in the Black Community, is all about COMMUNITY.

It’s why, it’s literally an all-day affair.

Black people do not change churches like they do purses. I am in my 30′s, and outside of school, I’ve had exactly 2 church homes in my life. It took nearly 2 years to find the second one, but I found it. Commitment to a church isn’t something that’s done fly-by-night. It’s not some fleeting commitment. It is a given that you will find something that you don’t like about any church you attend; which is why it is the general COMMUNITY that will ultimately make that decision.

The Black Church is the ONLY institution, in the history of The United States of America, which, from its conception,

Validated, Supported, Incubated, and Treasured.



Don’t think I’m correct, then name me another institution which has done so.

The attack on Trinity is seen as an attack on the Black Church, and thus, by extension, an attack on the Black Community as a whole.

During times of slavery and Jim Crow, the Black Church was what reinforced Community.

Post Civil Rights and Integration, the Black Church is now what brings Community together, considering that the Black Community, like the rest of America, is becoming more stratified along the lines of class. The Black Church is really the only place in Black America where you will consistently find the doctor and welfare mother in the same building, with the same purpose. It’s the place to break down those walls of class that are building up.

To disown Wright and Trinity would be to disown the Black Community itself, which is why Obama said in his speech he couldn’t. He understood that fundamentally about the Black Community, and he understood that political expediency would mean the doubting of the existence of his soul by the Black community. Obama would never be trusted again by Black folk if he had disowned Wright & Trinity. Even Black folk that don’t go to church understand that you don’t mess with the Black Church – it’s just not done.

And the Handkerchief Head Mammy that Clinton has running her campaign KNOWS THIS.

hat tip daily kos which linked to this Time piece.

from DHinMI on kos:

This could be a really devastating line of attack against Clinton. First, it undermines her claims of experience, which is supposed to be why she’s “ready to lead on day one.” If you can wipe out the main argument for her candidacy, she’s destroyed.

Furthermore, these criticisms raise serious questions about her electability. This is the question she’s trying to raise about Obama, but for anyone who was sentient in 2000, these exaggerations and fabrications should evoke memories of Al Gore fending off the “flip flop” charges and looking silly as he was accused of plenty of silly comments he never made, like claiming to have discovered Love Canal or having invented the internet. Of course, the press exaggerated Gore’s supposed exaggerations. Also, there was no YouTube in 2000 to demonstrate and disseminate an accurate depiction of what Gore said in these instances.

Unlike Gore, who in a few individual instances made ill-advised comments that then got blown out of proportion, Clinton has made the questionable claims numerous times, and has even put some of them on her website, like saying she was involved in the creation or passage of key domestic accomplishments such as SCHIP and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Nice to see O on offense. Many of us have been calling b.s. on her “35 years” of experience for months. It’s time to bring her down for good. She’s full of it, and she started this crapfest. Time to reap what you’ve sown, Hillary.

From The

Pastor Of Clinton’s Former Church: Don’t Use Wright To Polarize


The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is an outstanding church leader
whom I have heard speak a number of times. He has served for
decades as a profound voice for justice and inclusion in our society.
He has been a vocal critic of the racism, sexism and homophobia
which still tarnish the American dream. To evaluate his dynamic
ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites does a grave
injustice to Dr. Wright, the members of his congregation, and the
African-American church which has been the spiritual refuge of a
people that has suffered from discrimination, disadvantage, and
violence. Dr. Wright, a member of an integrated denomination, has
been an agent of racial reconciliation while proclaiming perceptions
and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear. Those of us
who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr.
Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize. This is a
critical time in America’s history as we seek to repent of our racism.
No matter which candidates prevail, let us use this time to listen again
to one another and not to distort one another’s truth.

Dean J. Snyder, Senior Minister
Foundry United Methodist Church
March 19, 2008

Well, at least he has principle.

The Tonya Harding Reference is to this report from a Democratic Superdelegate:

The question is — what will Clinton have to do in order to achieve it?

What will she have to do to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, in order to eke out her improbable victory?

She will have to “break his back,” the official said. She will have to destroy Obama, make Obama completely unacceptable.

“Her securing the nomination is certainly possible – but it will require exercising the ‘Tonya Harding option.’” the official said. “Is that really what we Democrats want?”

I owe Hillary Clinton an apology. We all do. Thank God for the Internet and bloggers like tbone, without which stories like these would never be told. Hillary is truly an American hero.

An excerpt from The War Journals Of Hillary Clinton:

As bullets clawed the air around us and screams echoed down the rubble-strewn tarmac, I felt almost peaceful.

It was a simple mission, they had told me – get in, shake a few hands and mouth a few platitudes, get out. Simple. Yeah.

Things had started going wrong while we were still in the air and only gotten worse from there. So here we were, pinned down, choking on the acrid tang of cordite and the heady scent of human blood. The mission was even simpler now: survive. Whatever the cost, survive.

There was a grunt and a clatter of equipment as Sinbad threw himself down at my side. Sweat glistened on his bare arms, and I could see tendons contracting and relaxing as he squeezed off bursts from his M14. The motion was hypnotic, like a snake about to strike. Perhaps, when all this was over-

No. Concentrate. Focus on the mission. Survive.

A shout from my left drew my head around. Sheryl Crow, guitar still strapped to her back, had taken cover behind a haphazard pile of decaying corpses. Her hair, once lustrous, now lank and greasy, was held back from her eyes by a dirty red headband. Her slim nostrils flared in the dirt-smeared oval of her face, seeking air free of the funeral taint shrouding the airfield. Still, I saw a fierce exultation in her expression that I knew mirrored my own.

Her lithe, nimble fingers stroked the top of an M67 frag grenade, strumming a chord of impending doom. With one quick, economical movement, she plucked the pin free and sent the deadly payload sailing toward the ridge concealing our enemies. My eyes traced the arc, willing it to fly true, to rain death on-

“There!” Sinbad shouted. “The convoy!”

I wrenched my gaze in the direction he was pointing. The boom of the grenade registered only faintly, suddenly unimportant. Thirty yards dead ahead was the real target: the armored convoy, offering safety, shelter, survival. If we could reach it.

“Follow me!” Sinbad roared, levering himself to his feet. As I prepared to follow, a high-pitched whine arrowed across my eardrums and warm, sticky rain splashed my face.

I forced myself to look, already knowing what I would see. The big man lay there, crumpled, the left side of his head a nightmare maze of blood, brains and tight curls of yellowish-orange hair.

Time to mourn later. Survive.

Continue reading the rest of this harrowing tale of Hillary, war hero, ready to lead on Day One.

Just saw this from the Gallup poll people.

Warning: pollsters are notorious peddlers of drama and have probably done as much to distort the election as the media. I urge you to react with that in mind, and let’s have a calm interpretation of this data.

From Gallup

Clinton supporters appear to be somewhat more reactive than Obama supporters. Twenty-eight percent of the former indicate that if Clinton is not the nominee — and Obama is — they would support McCain. That compares to 19% of Obama supporters who would support McCain if Obama is not the nominee — and Clinton is.

It is unknown how many Democrats would actually carry through and vote for a Republican next fall if their preferred candidate does not become the Democratic nominee. The Democratic campaign is in the heat of battle at the moment, but by November, there will have been several months of attempts to build party unity around the eventual nominee — and a focus on reasons why the Republican nominee needs to be defeated.

Additionally, some threat of deserting the party always takes place as party nomination battles are waged, and this threat can dissipate. For example, in answer to a recent Gallup question, 11% of Republicans said they would vote for the Democratic candidate or a third-party candidate next fall if McCain does not choose a vice president who is considerably more conservative than he is. (And another 9% said they just wouldn’t vote.) These results suggest that it may be normal for some voters to claim early on in the process — perhaps out of frustration — that they will desert their party if certain things do not happen to their liking. And it may be equally likely that they fall back into line by the time of the general election. It is worth noting that in Gallup’s historical final pre-election polls from 1992 to 2004, 10% or less of Republicans and Democrats typically vote for the other party’s presidential candidate.

Still, when almost 3 out of 10 Clinton supporters say they would vote for McCain over Obama, it suggests that divisions are running deep within the Democratic Party. If the fight for the party’s nomination were to continue until the Denver convention in late August, the Democratic Party could suffer some damage as it tries to regroup for the November general election.

I purposefully quoted from the tail end of the Gallup article where they try to reasonably interpret the results. You’re going to see the headlines. I want to dive into the substance.

First, this shocked me. I’ve been overly exposed to black people (and all people of conscience who are disgusted with the campaign tactics of the Clinton campaign). Based on this exposure, I am well aware of folks who won’t support Hillary if she is the nominee. As I mentioned yesterday, that position is understandable and even sound and it’s one I share. The logic:

  • The Clinton campaign has consistently chosen to divide the Democratic coalition (with race-baiting and appeals to women’s fears) in order to get ahead
  • The Clinton campaign has sought to severely undermine Obama’s qualifications to be president by challenging his patriotism and fitness to be commander in chief
  • The Clinton campaign has seriously insulted every Democratic voter in states she hasn’t carried by essentially saying they don’t matter
  • The Clinton campaign has performed the most flagrant about-face on Michigan and Florida in attempting to claim those delegates from illegitimate votes
  • Hillary’s only chance of winning the nomination is to heavily manipulate the process via superdelegates (or even switching pledged delegates) despite Obama’s lead in almost any mathematical arrangement

The vast majority of Obama supporters would support Clinton in the general (6 weeks ago), but are increasingly uncomfortable with what she’s doing to grab the nomination.

I started to get a whiff of Clinton supporters against Obama by reading some comments on Daily Kos and Talk Left (i think). Their case consisted of:

  • Obama is a con artist and cult figure with no experience
  • Obama played the race card
  • Obama hates white people, including his own grandmother and hates America because he wouldn’t leave his church
  • Obama is a foreign Muslim who will give all America’s money to black people and Africa

I’m leaving out the policy differences (some HRC folks are really big on her health care over him, but I’ve seen no evidence that the holdouts on either side are basing that on policies).

I’m definitely biased, and I’m sure this presentation is a bit biased, but I’m trying to explain what I’ve seen. The Obama supporters who refuse to support Clinton have stated so based on principles of Democratic unity and political integrity. The strongest, most impassioned cases have been made by folks like our own rikyrah who point out that supporting Clinton in light of her race-laiden tactics provides an ugly playbook to be used against any other black politician in the future.

Even if you disagree with this, it seems clear to me that there are actual arguments based on fact at play. Clinton will have to essentially steal the nomination from him given the math.

From the Clinton supporters, it’s a lot of conspiracy theory and mythology and refusal to want to understand Obama. Many of their points are easily dismissed with information. The experience argument is bogus and can be countered by educating them on his experience, shedding light on hers (ahem, Bosnia etc) and pointing out that experience as they define it is never all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a red herring.

The stuff about him being a muslim and terrorist and bankrupting America. Well, that’s urban legend stuff. It’s hard to fight that. People cling to their ignorance like a comfortable blanket. I doubt folks actually believe it. If they did, they would be susceptible to contrary evidence. No, they use it as an excuse to explain their foregone conclusions that he would be a bad president. Their real reasoning could be racist or simply dislike for the man or extreme loyalty to Hillary.

They’ve settled in their minds that he’s a bad man. I understand this perspective because I share it about President Bush. He can do no good in my mind. I recognize the folly of oversimplifying even him, whom I so dislike, but I recognized it in myself and am willing to discuss it. I doubt the subset of Clinton supporters who see Obama as a cult figure unworthy to even run for president would ever be so honest with themselves.

The one about Obama playing the race card really gets to me, because I was there from the start, watching and documenting the ugliness emanating from the Clinton campaign along with the rest of the Afrosphere (before South Carolina). There are times when Obama’s campaign has responded to the dirt coming out of the Clinton camp, but by and large, he and his campaign have not responded in kind. You don’t hear him talking about how her New Hampshire victory was understandable because of the female vote. You don’t hear him or his people explaining Ohio and Texas don’t count. There are no references to how she’s like Geraldine Ferraro.

The big point of stubbornness among Clinton people who I’ve heard say they won’t vote for Obama is based on her womanhood. A friend of mine called them “Vagina Voters” and they see nothing else. They don’t even understand what policy differences exist. For them it doesn’t matter that Hillary refused to ban landmines or won’t release her earmarks or has engaged in such divisive politicking. It’s a woman’s turn. Period. And if she can’t have it, no one can.

I just don’t see that on the Obama side, and among the black voters who believe this, well, there’s only so many black people in America, but there are plenty more women.

Finally, to come back to the actual poll, I think a lot of those people are full of bullshit. Remember in 2004, when all those people said, “if Bush wins, I’m moving to Cananda?” And guess how many did it. None.

People like to think they’re tougher than they are, but mostly we suck it up and follow. Of the people on both sides who say they will vote for McCain, a significant number are just sounding tough.

I am certain, however, that the longer this campaign goes, the more real those numbers become. It’s another reason to end this thing and soon.

hat tip to Francis Holland for pointing this out.

Sometimes I really love Donna Brazile. The Clintons, so big on demanding loyalty, rarely demonstrate it. Pastor Wright stood by Bill’s lying ass when he was at his lowest in his life! Hillary, though, goes out of her way to dis. Memories of Lani Guinier and Joycelyn Elders are dancing in my head.

————— the rest is copied from Francis ———–

According to the LA Times, via Black Politics on the Web,

DNC super-delegate Donna Brazile has warned Hillary Clinton to lay off Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s ex-pastor. Considering that Pastor Wright visited the Clintons in the White House, Brazile reminds Hillary that Wright did not abandon the Clintons [when Bill was being impeached over Monica's blue dress,] so Hillary ought not abandon Pastor Wright now.

Donna Brazile — an uncommitted superdelegate of the Democratic National Convention and one of television’s few black, female political pundits — interjected an intriguing observation this afternoon into a discussion on CNN about Hillary Clinton‘s stiff-arming of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

In short, Brazile provided a pointed reminder that some voters (African Americans, in particular, we would think) might recall that Wright did not turn on Clinton’s husband during an hour of need for him.

( . . .)

Clinton could have contented herself with decrying Wright’s messages without saying, in essence, that no way would she tolerate an association with the likes of him.

That’s what Brazile picked up on, making a reference to Wright’s willingness to join dozens of other religious figures in attending an annual White House prayer breakfast just as the Starr report on Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky — in all its lurid detail — was about to come out. No doubt … LA TIMES

Let’s all call or write super-delegate Donna Brazile and thank her for speaking up for us in the face of Clinton’s attacks on Black people and the Black Church. Let’s ask her to take a more active and public role:

Angela, a frequent commenter here, suggested that we take more action. In other words, be the change we want to see. I, for one, am tired of just getting upset and writing. Throughout this campaign, I’ve sought to put my energy where my mouth is by phonebanking, fundraising, canvassing and communicating actively with friends and family.

Here’s a canvassing toolkit I put together, available for free download and reuse by Obama supporters to help them make the case.

But in some ways, we are beyond that. This race must end, and it will be resolved by superdelegates. Signing that petition earlier today was a good start, but let’s expand the focus to the real targets. Let’s focus on the superdelegates.

They have the power to prevent this party from self-destructing. They are super for a reason. Use your super powers to save your party!

I present the Super Delegate Transparency Project, a joint effort of Congresspedia and several blogs/media outlets including Open Left and Huffington Post.

There are at least four things you can focus on to make a difference.

  1. Simply read the site. check it out and learn what the project is about. it’s full of good information you will never get from those so-called journalists on TV
  2. Help the project. They have an entire section on how citizens can improve it. If you have just a few minutes, chip in.
  3. Write to the uncommitted superdelegates. I recommend clicking on your state or a state you have a connection to (from the main page, scroll down to Delegate Information By State). You can also get a full list of uncommitted ones here
  4. Finally I suggest writing to super delegates committed to Hillary despite the fact that Obama won their district.

An example: Yvette Clarke is a superdelegate for New York’s 11th congressional district. This is Brooklyn. Obama won 56 percent of the vote in this district, yet Yvette has pledged for Hillary. I suggest a respectful letter to her asking her to reconsider her support.

Be careful using this logic, however. There are plenty of superdelegates pledged to Obama despite the fact that their districts voted for Hillary. The case to be made is not simply that they should vote in lockstep with their constituents. That’s too simple. It has to be a broader case about which candidate is best for the party and how the party is being damaged by the continued ugliness of the campaign. And how all this helps the GOP.

Sample Letters:

My advice in these letters:
Try to stay positive and definitely stay respectful. Threats do not help.

Some possible arguments:

  • Don’t just say Obama leads in pledged delegates. The superdelegate system was created as a check on majority rule, much like the electoral college. If you’re going with “Obama leads in X” make sure to include popular vote, contests won, pledged delegates, money raised and number of donors.
  • Appeal to their sense of Democratic party well-being. Obama is more capable of unifying and expanding the party
  • November competitiveness. Obama is preferred by Dems in many red states because they know Hillary will mobilize the GOP to vote against her and down-ticket Dems in states where Dems have a chance to pick up state legislative seats
  • Hillary’s scorched earth campaign in which her campaign challenges not just Obama as a presidential choice, but challenges his patriotism and fitness to be commander in chief. Her dismissal of his supporters and of nearly every contest she has lost as inconsequential
  • Your own story

Now, let’s go forth and change the world.

There’s been a lot of review of Reverend Wright’s sermons on the net recently, but I’m not sure that anyone has actually put the reasons why some of his more incorrect assertions were accepted in context. The reason why some of the statements people find so offensive from Wright aren’t considered crazy is because there is a measure of precedent for each of them.

Wright’s contention that AIDS was invented by white people to afflict blacks is wrong, but it’s not exactly crazy. It was, after all, only thirty years ago that the U.S. Government was revealed to have spent 40 years experimenting with black men and syphilis by deliberately leaving them untreated.

Furthermore, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for black women age 25-34, and African-Americans comprise half of the people who have contracted HIV in the U.S. Given the stunning indifference of public officials to these facts, that the government has disallowed treatment for “experimentation” purposes in the past, it is a paranoid but not entirely unfounded leap to suggest that the government might be responsible. While the U.S. Government did not “invent” AIDS, it certainly has ignored the magnitude of the problem in the black community, and Wright reads complicity into that indifference. (To believe that the U.S. government invented AIDS is to believe that they thought the best way to infect the black population was to infect gay men and heterosexual intravenous drug users first, which makes no $#@#! sense, sorry Kanye.)

Wrong, yes. Crazy, no.

Likewise, Wright’s assertion that the U.S. Government “gives” black men drugs is a paranoid reading of history, but once again there’s precedent. Reagan’s Iran/Contra scam knowingly provided drug dealers in Central and South America with means to move their product to the United States, sponsored drug dealer Manuel Noriega in various anti-Sandanista military activities, and protecting political allies involved in the drug trade, all in the name of fighting communism. While the Reagan administration was facilitating the drug trade in the United States, black neighborhoods were being devastated by crack cocaine and associated violence.

Did the government “give” black men drugs? No. It just made them readily available, and did little to nothing as drugs became the most affordable, high-yield, short term financial investment in an economy that was losing the kinds of jobs that provided benefits and a living wage. Once again, the issue is indifference: the government may not be directly responsible, but it certainly has done nothing to solve the problem once the gravity of the situation became clear.

At the heart of both of these claims is the perception that white people simply don’t care what happens to us, as long as it doesn’t affect them. At the heart of Obama’s pitch is solving this problem by making “black problems,” American problems, so that they can’t be approached with the same level of cold indifference that drives so much of Wright’s rage in the first place.

I get the impression that many white people have little to no knowledge about how messed up this country’s racial history is beyond slavery or Jim Crow. So stuff like the Tuskegee experiments, or what Reagan’s reckless exploitation of the drug trade in the fight against communism and what it did to urban communities, the kinds of things old heads teach youngbloods in casual conversation, are completely absent from their education (exaggeration is sometimes included in this form of pedagogy, as in most oral traditions. So that partially explains how horrifying but plausible stuff becomes indefensible conspiracy).

So it sounds crazy to most people when they hear Wright say things like “AIDS is genocide against black people” because they don’t know that the government has, in the past, denied sick people treatment because they were black as part of “medical research”. It sounds crazy to say the government “gives black people drugs” until you think of Reagan’s sponsorship of Columbian cartels.

Wright is wrong, but he’s not crazy. And there’s a big difference.

*some of the claims in a previous version of this post regarding syphilis were wrong, and they have been corrected.

cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics

I almost have to apologize for posting this. There is little constructive here, but in light of people losing their minds over Jeremiah Wright, folks need to see the realness. James David Manning, PhD (!$@!$%) is sick and wrong and stupid. I could only watch the first two minutes. It’s that “Atlah” ministries wacko, and he’s what a real crazy ass black pastor sounds like.

Update @ 1:10am March 26
I know some of you wanted this post to be deleted, but I have a philosophical problem with doing that. Deleting posts kills the comments and inbound links and a chance to discuss what’s going down. We aint the Bush admin and don’t need to go disappearing disagreeable ideas.

We don’t make a habit of posting low-value insanity around here, but it’s sometimes called for whether for entertainment value or to showcase the levels of ignorance running rampant in a society that offers unprecedented access to information.

The Atlah ministries is crazy. I did some digging though, and will continue to do so. Here’s an interesting article from the NY Times Feb 2008 on crazy pastor Manning’s insane plan to “save Harlem” from gentrification

Dr. Manning, the pastor of the ATLAH World Missionary church in Harlem for the past 27 years, says the only way to free the neighborhood from its present grip of gentrification is for its residents to boycott its shops, restaurants, doctors, banks and churches (excepting his own, of course).

That action, combined with a general rent strike, would force all property owners out of Harlem, he said, leaving the neighborhood to its rightful inheritors: black people.

Black property owners would not be spared, either. “Just because you’re a black business, you think you’re going to get a pass?” he asked at a community meeting on Thursday night in his church. “Just because somebody has a black face doesn’t mean they have a good heart.”

There are those who think that Dr. Manning is engaging in a bit of high-spirited satire, along the lines of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” in which Swift advocated reducing poverty in Ireland by selling poor children to rich people as food. But he says he is quite serious.

Haven’t found any evidence linking Clinton to the man. The above article links to a letter Manning wrote saying he doesn’t support Clinton, for whatever that is worth.

Apologies to those who had your comments deleted along with the original post. We won’t make a habit of doing that.

I love this game politicians play. Hillary is in the midst of one right now.

Her repeated assertions that she had to avoid sniper fire and was on the front lines in Bosnia has been called for the bullshit it is. Her response?



“Misspoke” means you spoke and missed the truth. That’s a lie.

Now shut up and sit down.

cross-posted to Daily Kos and goodCRIMETHINK

Today, I announce Jack & Jill Politics’s participation in the Day of Blogging for Voter Justice and join other members of the Afrosphere in asking Senator Hillary Clinton to concede the Democratic presidential nominating contest. I ask you to join me by signing this petition.

Many will find such a request presumptuous, insulting and even arrogant, but the only result I can see from her continued campaign is long term damage to the likely nominee, Barack Obama, and to the coalition that is the Democratic Party, endangering not only our chances in the presidential election this November, but also in Congressional, state and local elections across the country. There may have been a time when Senator Clinton’s attacks on Senator Obama were valuable and even necessary — to prove he had the skill to withstand them — but that time has since passed.

As the GOP becomes increasingly unified around Senator McCain, I fear that with each passing week of harsh campaigning, an election that should handily go the Democrat’s way in November, looks less and less likely.

Senator Obama has won more of the popular vote, more pledged delegates and more contests than Senator Clinton. He has generated more money from more contributors than any other presidential campaign. He has tapped into a pool of new voters and helped drive participation in the political process from unlikely quarters. Not only that, he has the support of Democrats in red states who may not go blue on the presidential race, but whose state legislatures just might. In so doing, he has bested one of the best political teams and families in recent American history, despite the advantages of time, money and connections afforded his opponent.

Senator Obama has already won, and while it is Senator Clinton’s right to continue campaigning until the convention, she (and the party she seeks to represent) would do so at great peril.

Senator Clinton’s lauded tenacity, a virtue to be sure, has morphed into a vice of self destruction.

A partial listing

  • Her campaign injected issues of race early on and has tried desperately to undo Senator Obama’s multi-ethnic appeal by, for example, diminishing his candidacy as some form of affirmative action or amplifying tensions between blacks and latinos.
  • She has played on the sympathies and fears of women voters in methods not available to Senator Obama or any other candidate for that matter.
  • She has questioned Senator Obama’s fitness to be commander in chief, and her husband, a former president, has questioned his patriotism
  • She has painted as inconsequential or delusional the millions of voters who have chosen, in numbers greater than her own, to support Senator Obama
  • She has pushed the arrogant and preposterous notion that somehow she would find Senator Obama an acceptable vice president in her administration, despite his lead and despite the simultaneously contradictory belief in his unfitness to be commander in chief.

If Senator Clinton becomes the nominee, and the odds of this are quite low, she will have done so by unacceptably manipulative means. The tactics necessary to accomplish this will turn off many constituencies within the Democratic coalition, to say nothing of the independent or Republican voters who will vote in the general election for McCain or not vote at all.

Because of the reasons just laid out above, many of us have said we could not support Senator Clinton in the general election (or would have to think carefully at least). This is a distasteful prospect that makes few people in this situation proud, but the position is based on an unwillingness to support a candidate who has repeatedly sewn seeds of division and mistrust among her own party’s base. It is also based on the reality that for her to prevail, Senator Clinton would have to resort to machinations of an extreme nature to overpower the expressed will of voters.

On the other hand, I’m beginning to see increasing numbers of Senator Clinton’s supporters who say they will not support Senator Obama. This position has few, if any, legitimate arguments and is generally borne out of the very distrust and divisiveness planted and exploited by Senator Clinton’s campaign.

These Clinton supporters generally refuse to support Obama, not because he has engaged in gendered attacks against her, not because he has sought to diminish their votes, not because he has insulted the legitimacy of her campaign, not because he has questioned her readiness or patriotism. They refuse to support him, if any reason is given, because he is “not qualified” and “lacks experience,” both ridiculous arguments constantly put forward by the Clinton campaign. A less vocal set among this group are those who see Senator Obama’s success exclusively as a result of his blackness.

We will destroy this party and do lasting damage to this nation if the Democratic campaign continues along its present course. Feelings are hardening on both sides; relationships are being strained, and if this goes to Denver there will not be enough time to heal the widening rift.

So it is, with neither pride nor excitement, I ask Senator Clinton to step down, help unify the party and unify the country.

Update @12:18pm Eastern.
It’s worth checking out this David Brooks column from the NY Times on what Hillary is willing to do for her five percent shot at the nomination

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Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

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