A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

2008 Elections: Who ARE These People, Anyway?

As the Democratic nomination contest drags on endlessly, we find several troubling events on the horizon. For example, a group named Women's Voices Women Vote has been engaging in dubious shenanigans that apparently seem designed to disenfranchise Black American voters in the southern states. The group claims that the misleading robocalls they made were part of an effort to register women voters. Read for yourself and see what you think.

Meanwhile, another "women's" group, the WomenCount PAC recently ran a large, expensive ad in USA Toady titled Not So Fast. See for yourself:

Click to embiggen

Pretty cheeky, eh? We understand about the revolting levels of sexism that have surfaced thanks to Senator Clinton's campaign. Every sexist pig that ever lived, breathed, or crawled felt obliged to comment on the Senator's clothes, hair, laugh, tits, totally irrelevant shit.

But, guess what? Hillary Clinton does NOT speak for all of us. She probably doesn't even speak for half of us. All the women we know support Barack Obama. Now, you may say, "Well, PCat, that's obviously a self-selecting group, after all, as an Obama supporter, clearly you choose to hang out with other Obama supporters." To which we say, "Balderdash." We continued to support Clinton long after our friends, male and female, independent, Democratic, and Republican, had come out for Obama.

It caused a few strained relationships, initially. But as more and more of our friends &mdash even the staunch Republican "never voted for a Democrat in my life, and never will" types switched to the Obama camp, we were finally forced to read the guy's books and Web site and reconsider our support for Clinton.

We inched into that camp toenail by toenail, until La Clinton gave us a huge kick in the tush with her comments about educated "elitists," "working, hardworking white Americans," and the like.

Now we find all kinds of people popping up telling us that Clinton is the only voice that speaks for all women. We thought the whole idea behind the feminist movement was, women have their own fucking voices. They don't need anyone to speak for them. And they don't need to favour someone based only on their gender.

La Casa de Los Gatos declares unequivocally that La Clinton does not speak for us. Barack Obama speaks for us. Nothing could be further from our political positions and our personal preferences than La Clinton, with the exception, of course, of John McInsane.

Thanks to diarist RemarkablyChanel at DailyKos, we find that the WomenCount PAC is funded by Hillary Clinton's best bud, Suzie Tompkins Buell of San Francisco, former CEO of Esprit. Wikipedia includes this little tidbit about Tompkins Buell:
Esprit de Corp. was found by the National Labor Relations Board to have illegally interrogated and intimidated $2-an-hour Chinese workers, and then to have shut down a factory to keep them from unionizing.[9] The Department of Labor found that an Esprit contractor doctored payroll records and refused to pay overtime.[10]
Why would Hillary want to be best friends with such an exploiter of poor working women? How feminist is that?

We took great exception to the ad, and to Ms. Buell's new pet project for her friend Hillary. Should you care to tell these people just what you think of them, you can reach them at

The ad signs off with "We want Hillary to stay in this race until every vote is cast, every vote is counted, and we know that our voices are heard." Well, given how incompetently Hillary has run her campaign, y'all better be prepared to fork out more money to her if you want her to stay in. She's already over $20 million in debt. But more importantly, what is this "every vote is counted" business? It seems to imply that every vote in Michigan and Florida, the two states that have been punished for pushing their primaries up before the dates established by the Democratic Party, must be allocated to Hillary. Well, that just won't do, ladies.

When Hillary was winning, she said those states didn't count. She signed a pledge that the delegates from those states would not be seated. Apparently, her signature was only valid until she discovered she was losing.

We do not want a proven liar and promise breaker representing us. We've had one of those for nearly eight years, and look at the mess he created. Once you lie to us, once you break one promise you made, you've lost our trust. If you can tell one lie, you can tell 935. The last 935 lies told by Gee Dumbya and his cronies mired us in a civil war, killed 4,000 of our country's citizens (and more, and counting), and plunged our wealthy nation into a severe recession.

Do we really need more of that?

Any promises that Senator Clinton makes on the campaign trail cannot be trusted. If she breaks one promise, she can break another. She promised that Michigan and Florida would be punished by being stripped of 100% of their delegates if they moved their primary dates before a date set by the Democratic Party. They moved those dates, and the Party moved to punish them. At the time she said nothing.

Today because she's losing the contest, she wants those votes to count? What kind of rubbish is that?

If any of you are wondering why the Superdelegates don't move at once to end this ludicrous, long-drawn out campaign, it's because Mrs. Clinton indulges in these types of behaviours. She promises the moon to the supers, and many of these people have personal friendships with her and want to believe her, or are afraid to act against her because of her known predilection for retaliation.

Then she breaks her word, breaks her promise, brings in some of her personal friends like Suzie Tompkins Buell and Haim Saban, who are big money donors to the Democratic Party, and uses them against the party. She gets Ms. Buell to take out ads like this which will inflame the already troubled Clinton supporters who (rightly) believe that their candidate has been subjected to unacceptable levels of sexism. Instead of accepting that the battle is over and moving to force the Old Boys' Network to change its sexist ways, thus benefitting all women in the party, Clinton is working to ensure that she delegitimizes the current front-runner. She convinces her big-money pals to put the squeeze on Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

We hold no brief for Pelosi, with whom we have our own slew of problems. But attempting to pressure party leaders by threatening them with money to force them to line up behind you is so unethical as to border on the illegal.

Sending out your wealthy friends to buy superdelegate votes for you is unethical. Senator Clinton, the voice of the people is the deciding factor in the nomination. Not the money your rich friends can throw around.

You really have no respect for the "little people," do you, Senator?

Today, Barack Obama's number of pledged delegates will reach over the 50 per cent point. That makes it mathematically impossible for you to win this contest. We know you won't listen to the voices asking you to step down now, so we won't waste our breath. But at this point, you're nearly 200 delegates (pledged and Super) behind, and there are fewer than 200 Superdelegates left to be allocated.

You won't win this. You won't even catch up. You're like a child who has eaten too much chocolate before bedtime, screaming and fighting and throwing tantrums. These are all excellent qualities in a litigator, Mrs. Clinton. They are not Presidential qualities. Here's hoping that 2012 is an even bigger bust for you than 2008 has been.

Instead of working on the fears of the women who support you, how about ensuring that women's voices really are heard? How about starting a foundation for women to ensure that more of them are elected to positions of power in the party? How about mentoring some of the wonderful young women who are working in the ranks of the Democratic Party, helping to shape their political careers?

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Stumble It!


At 6:41 PM, Blogger Ms. Manitoba said...

You are brilliant! And a clear and impassioned writer. You once wrote that you were proud to know me ... well, ditto, capteena ... I am so proud to be considered your amiga.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Thank you, thank you. Capteena, is it.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Sungold said...

This really says it - but then, I'm one of your female friends who was glad when you shifted your support to Obama. (And yes, I'm an over-40 feminist, so oughtta be part of her core constituency.)

I'm just afraid Clinton's going to take this to the convention and blow the party to smithereens. Already we're hearing that if she does bow out, she'll expect Obama to erase her debt. Excuse me, is that why we're donating money to Obama - to repay her personal loans to herself instead of helping him gird for the general election campaign?

At 9:47 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Relax, Sungold. It's not legal for him to use funds donated to his campaign to pay off her debt (as you probably already know). He has hinted that if need be, he is willing to hold joint fundraisers with her for the sole purpose of retiring her debt. However, given that she's still going at him hammer and tongs, she might have to eat the $16 million that she loaned her own campaign.

At 11:37 AM, Blogger catm31 said...

To ThePoliticalCat:

It's people like you who continue to vilify Mrs. Clinton that cause her supporters like me to become even more entrenched in our view that we will not vote for Obama under any circumstances. There is real support out there for Mrs. Clinton & even though the full page ad may have been taken out by a Friend of Hill, it doesn't weaken it's message. The votes of Hillary's female supporters speak from themselves. Her support is real & it wasn't paid for by millions of dollars in advertising. So you can continue to bash her, but I would like to see her take it all the way to a floor fight at the convention. Hillary isn't weakening the party. The party is weakening the party by forcing a candidate on us that half of Democrats won't vote for. I am a Black woman who was flabergasted at the cries of racism from Black voters against the Clintons. There is very little difference between the positions of the issues between Obama & Mrs. Clinton. So I would respect Obama's Black supporters if they were just up front & say they're voting for one of their own. I can respect that. But the contrived grievances against the Clintons are reprehensible.

AS for being a liar, does anyone really believe that Obama didn't now the view of Reverend Wright? That's laughable. I no more want to have Obama in living room for the next 4 yrs than you want to have Hillary. I've already reached the point where I turn the channel when he's on my t.v. So amny conciliatory messages that he might give will not be heard by me & I suspect lots of Hillary's other supporters. Obama supporters are drunk from the Kool Aid. But Hillary's supporters will soberly enjoy the sight of Obama conceding to McCain & the knowledge that his name will be written in history next to John Kerry, Al Gore, George McGovern & Ted Kennedy, as the latest to lose the White House for the Democrats. Joanie in Brooklyn

At 11:38 AM, Blogger catm31 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:25 PM, OpenID virgotex said...

catm31, explain how the party is forcing Obama on you.

If there's very little difference between Obama and Clinton, why would you, a Black woman and democrat, vote for John McCain, or worse yet, not vote at all: wasting the enfranchisement your Black ancestors and your female foremothers struggled so long for, even died for?

on one hand you state you and your ilk will never vote for Obama and o n the other, you pre-emptively blame Obama "kool aid drinkers" for losing the election. You're cutting your own argument off at the knees.

I'm a middle aged white feminist and most of my friends (of various ethnicities and sexes) are voting for Obama. Like PCat, we didn't all start out that way. I don't know anyone of those people that vilifies Mrs. Clinton. I do not vilify her and I don't think PCat vilified her with this post. I grew up hoping I could see a female president in my lifetime, waiting for the chance to vote for one, and in many ways, still do admire Mrs. Cinton. But she lost me when she voted for the war in Iraq, and she's lost even more of my support by the way she's run this campaign.

Any one single President can't fix this country single-jhanded. We, the people, are going to have to do that. I support the candidate that has run a campaign that inspires and uplifts people, all kinds of people.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Hi, catm31,

I am not vilifying Senator Clinton. I'm merely stating that she does NOT speak for me, or for many women.

I am concerned that she takes money from Chris Albrecht, CEO of HBO, who was arrested for beating his girlfriend in public. I am concerned that her "best friend" Suzie Buell is taking out ads claiming all women support Clinton. I am concerned that Clinton's "best friend" Buell ran a company that actively oppressed women workers. I am horrified that Clinton has shown such poor management skills in running her campaign. I am concerned that there is proof that she lies about trivial things and breaks her word. I am concerned that she uses the financial muscle of her backers to threaten and intimidate her fellow Democrats. I am concerned that her surrogates try to buy superdelegate votes for her.

I don't know if Obama knew the opinions of Rev. Wright. However, I do know that many good Christians and Catholics have found, after attending their churches for decades, that their priest or pastor is a sexual abuser. You might think that, given the high incidence of sexual abuse among the men of the cloth, they ought to have known. But the fact remains that they didn't.

Rev. Wright has not abused anyone. His views are not unacceptable to many people who sat in his church for decades and listened to him preach. And, as Clinton has often said, they're "just words." Consider that Rev. Wright's church feeds the hungry, helps the poor, ministers to the sick, and actually does a great deal to help the poor and downtrodden. As far as I am concerned, people must be judged by their actions, not just their words. Clinton's pastor belongs to a shadowy group that encourages the accumulation of wealth but does little to help the downtrodden. I'll take Rev. Wright over Clinton's pastor any day.

As for Obama possibly losing this election &mdash are you saying that I should vote for someone who has demonstrated their lack of principle just to win? I would rather lose and keep my principles intact than settle for someone who will win by lying, cheating, and breaking their promises. If we all vote for the Democratic nominee, McCain will lose. But if you do not vote, or vote for McCain, then the whole country loses.

Kiss your military-age children and relatives, friends and neighbours goodbye if you plan to vote for McCain or sit out the vote. Because McCain will start another war. You will lose your job, your home, and possibly your life, or the lives of your family, if another war starts. We are already in debt to many other countries, and they no longer want to keep supporting our expensive lifestyle.

If you want a hope of rescuing your country from the pit in which it's landed, you will vote for Obama. My move to the Obama camp did not result from Kool-Aid drinking, by the way. It's based on his books, his position papers, and his willingness to take a job at $11K pa working for the community. He never sat on the board of an organization that discriminated against women and exploited its workers.

Finally, I don't believe you are a Black woman. Because if you are, and don't find Clinton's "working, hardworking, white Americans" comment offensive, I don't know what to think of you.

Thank you for your comment.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger zoe said...

Another home run
I always look forward to coming here, not only for the recipies.

I believe the passions will slowly die down(in Both HRC and BO's camps) once there is a Democratic candidate to rally around. McInsane is not a choice.


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