Tag: Convention

Do We Feel Safer Now?

A chilling report from Glen Greenwald today (Sunday 8/31/08) documents his visit to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.  He reports that as a part of the security apparatus, the local police with the help of the FBI have raided various headquarters, private homes, and meeting places of activist groups with plans to protest at the Convention.  The raids were carried out using warrants to search for “fire and code violations.”  Never mind that the Fire Marshall was never notified, the fact that ONLY the protest groups that were legally planning to demonstrations were raided highlights the real intent.  A description of one of the raids with more commentary and details below the fold:

DNC Blogging: Congrats to LiA & Other Great Progressive Blogs!

 For all my (myriad) frustrations with the Democratic Party, sometimes they get it right correct:  my home state’s premier progressive blog, Left in Alabama, will be live blogging from this year’s Democratic National Convention in Denver.  

Here’s “mooncat’s” announcement (hot off the presses) of getting word of LiA’s being credentialed to live blog from Denver.

Well, Left in Alabama and about 120 other blogs from around the country.  Things got a bit sticky a few weeks ago.  I don’t know, and frankly don’t care to know, all the inside story on this (several stories here and orange covered that, I think) when some very worthy blogs were frozen-out passed-over  (through inadvertent neglect, I think, not through intentional sinisterness – thus my point about “frozen out” not being the correct term for what happened),  but that’s all been fixed and word’s just come down from on high that LiA and many other great, state-based blogs are now credentialed and going to Denver.

Thanks are in order to many state party leaders, both here in Alabama and around the country — who listened to, and worked with, the people “in the trenches”, their progressive, hard-working, blogging constituents.  They went into action and worked with the blogosphere and the DNC to get this whole kerfuffle worked out, amicably and righteously.  

The moral of the story:  that screw-ups or oversights happen is not the issue; how decision-makers handle, and react to, and fix screw-ups is the issue.  Here, they did well.  Again, thanks are in order to state and national Democratic Party leaders.

Please feel free to give shout-outs to your favorite state-based progressive, Democratic blog.  We’re all in this together.

Mu . . .

Really, why should Clinton drop out?

A while back I had made a big stink about the primaries dragging on, because of the damage being done to the Democratic Party by having two massive egos battling it out until August.  But after doing some reading and looking at the last couple of big wins for Hillary Clinton, the latest apparently being in Kentucky, I’ve come to the conclusion that the former First Lady should stay in this race as long as she thinks she can get the nomination to run for president.  A large part of this has to do with the corporate media having participated in the drive to push her out of this campaign, “for the ‘good’ of the party and the nation.”

The pressure being applied to Clinton to get out of the race is both unprecedented and unjustified,  a solid case made by Eric Boehlert at Smirking Chimp.

Looking back at history, it’s hard to find evidence of the same media response to Ronald Reagan’s failed 1976 presidential campaign. Taking on President Gerald Ford, Reagan lost more primaries than he won, and Ford won a plurality of the popular vote, but neither man had enough delegates to secure the nomination. So the campaign went to the GOP convention, where Ford prevailed. The bitter battle did nothing to damage Reagan’s reputation (in fact, it did quite the opposite), in part because the media did not collectively suggest the candidate was acting selfishly or irrationally. Instead, Reagan walked away with a reputation as a resilient fighter who stood up for his conservative values.

And what about Sen. Ted Kennedy’s doomed run in 1980? He trailed President Jimmy Carter by more than 750 delegates at the end of the primary season and insisted on fighting all the way to the convention, where he tried to get committed Carter delegates to switch their allegiance. The press did not spend months during the primary season ridiculing Kennedy, in a deeply personal tone, for remaining in the race.

And what about Gary Hart in 1984? He and Walter Mondale split the season’s primaries and caucuses evenly, and neither had the 2,023 delegates needed to secure the nomination. Superdelegates eventually determined the winner. (Sound familiar?) Mondale had many of them locked up even before the campaign season began, so after the final primary between Mondale and Hart was complete, it was obvious that Mondale was going to be the nominee because Hart could not persuade enough superdelegates to change their mind and support him.

When Hart took his crusade all the way to the convention, the media did not form a posse and decide it was their job to get Hart to quit for the good of the party. (And the press certainly didn’t form a posse in March to start pushing Hart out of the race.) Nor did the press collectively suggest that Hart had an oversized ego that had turned him into a political monster.

That new media standard has been created exclusively for Hillary Clinton.

It’s very difficult to argue with this line of reasoning.  Granted, there is a legitimate case to be made for pressuring Clinton to drop out; her threat to use nuclear weapons against Iran marks her as dangerously unstable, like John McCain.  For that reason alone, she should have done the honorable thing and announced the end of her campaign.  That she hasn’t is indicative of her inherent selfishness trumping any and all sense of decency.

But leaving that aside, and doing the delegate math, there are few if any legitimate reasons to expect her to leave the race when all indicators are that she may yet pull off a win at the Democratic National Convention in August.  The ongoing bloodbath between Clinton and Barack Obama is still likely to result in a battered and financially broken nominee losing to Republican John McCain in November.  But that was going to happen anyway, regardless of which Democrat ultimately gets the nod, because of the insistence by both candidates on running to the political right instead of embracing the progressive base.

The only reason left, therefore, is hatred of Clinton that goes beyond all reason.  Not that she hasn’t brought a lot of that upon herself, mind you, but still, there’s no justification for it.  (As Paul Krugman pointed out in a February New York Times column, Clinton Rules are certainly in full effect.)  And there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it all.  Whatever the source of this hatred, it is that more than anything else which drives the agenda to push her out before convention time.

Could it be genuine fear that she might actually manage to get the nomination?  More than that, could it be absolute terror at the prospect that she could actually win against McCain in November with a large enough margin that the outcome wouldn’t be in doubt (thus preventing the GOP’s electoral fraud machine from claiming a “victory” that can be spun in the media as credible)?  I don’t see why, seeing as how even if she becomes president there is no reason to expect she would do any better or worse than Obama — or, for that matter, McCain.

The answer is right in front of me.  I’m just not able to see it.