HELL NO, I WON’T SIGN! Moveon.org’s Lopsided Petition Campaign

Here’s the petition I’m called on to sign by moveon.org, an organization I previously supported until they came out with a members’ poll early this year in order to endorse a candidate. I voted for Hillary. They endorsed Obama. I wrote to them at that time, protesting their insistence on calling for an early endorsement.

“Debate moderators abuse the public trust every time they ask trivial questions about gaffes and ‘gotchas’ that only political insiders care about. Enough with the distractions—ABC and other networks must focus on issues that affect people’s daily lives.”

Instead of signing, I replied to moveon.org with the following note:

Absolutely not!!!!!! No I won’t sign. For the first time, Obama wasn’t given a pass. I watched the same thing you and the other pundits watched. Hillary had clear plans with specifics re: Iraq, Iran, crime, the economy, greening, etc. What were you, the biased media, and other messiah hopefuls watching? Poor Obama didn’t know what to do, because he can speak AT the public, and ATTACK Hillary, but can’t think extemporaneously or speak clearly to any plan, policy or issue. Unfortunately, as a lifelong Dem, previously loyal moveon.org member, I see that you’re so wrong and so blind about your early endorsement of Obama, that you can’t even see that he’s not qualified, not ready, nor vetted, nor competent to be President of the US.

ABC moderators asked relevant questions that went to character. Just because Obama finally got pegged on what Hillary’s been going through over the last year, eight years, and fifteen years. Gee, moveon.org didn’t mind when the &*?@ was slung at Hillary. You weren’t sick and tired of it then. You didn’t holler when Obama spewed back at Hillary last week for showing the contents of his mind in the form of gossip about others. That’s new politics? Moveon.org is new politics? I used to think so about the latter, but no longer, as your outrage is uneven and only applies to when “your” candidate is wounded based on his OWN POOR LIFE CHOICES. GIVE ME A BREAK!

Here’s their petition letter in full, complete with references! Okay, all fall in line. Hell, no, I won’t sign.

Dear MoveOn member,

If you missed the Democratic presidential debate on ABC last night, Editor & Publisher called it “perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a major presidential debate in years.”

Moderators George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson spent the first 50 minutes obsessed with distractions that only political insiders care about—verbal gaffes, polling numbers, the stale Rev. Wright story, and the old-news Bosnia story. And, channeling Karl Rove, they directed a video question to Barack Obama asking if he loves the American flag or not. Seriously.

Enough is enough. The public needs the media to stop hurting the national dialogue in this important election year. Can you sign the petition to ABC and other media outlets and pass it on to friends who are also fed up? Click here for our must-see video with excerpts from last night—and to sign the petition:

The petition says: “Debate moderators abuse the public trust every time they ask trivial questions about gaffes and ‘gotchas’ that only political insiders care about. Enough with the distractions—ABC and other networks must focus on issues that affect people’s daily lives.”

We’ll deliver petition signatures to ABC and the networks hosting future debates. And if we reach 100,000 signatures, we’ll reprint the petition in an ad campaign targeting the networks on this issue.

ABC’s natural inclination will be to ignore their critics, so we need to go above and beyond to show them that the public is truly outraged. So, please, think about some friends who may be fed up with 2008 media coverage and forward them this email. If thousands of us do that, it’ll make a huge difference.

The reaction to last night’s debate has been very consistent:

“A stinker, an absolute car crash—thanks to the host network ABC…[It] ran the gamut from banal to inane. At the end of the debate members of the crowd appeared to be booing moderator Charlie Gibson.”—The Guardian’s Richard Adams2

“Halfway through the debate, not a single question on any policy issue had been asked.”—OpenLeft.com’s Chris Bowers3

“For the first 52 minutes…Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with.”—Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales.4

“We’ve revisited bitter. We’ve gone back to Bosnia. We’ve dragged Rev. Wright back up onto the podium. We’ve mis-spent this debate by allowing Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos to ask questions that skirt what in my mind is what we need to know now.”—Philadelphia Inquirer’s Daniel Rubin5

Shame on ABC for letting voters down with last night’s abysmal debate. Bad debates aren’t just painful to watch—they actually hurt the country by distracting voters and politicians away from big issues of the day.

Please send a message to ABC and other media outlets that we need our national dialogue to focus on the real issues facing Americans. Click here to sign the petition:

Thanks for all you do.

–Adam G., Patrick, Anna, Peter, Justin, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Thursday, April 17th, 2008


1. “Clinton-Obama Debate: ABC Decides Top Issues Facing Americans Are Gaffes, Flag Pins and ’60s Radicals,” Editor & Publisher, April 16, 2008

2. “Worst. Debate. Ever.” The Guardian blog, April 16, 2008

3. “Philadelphia Debate Thread,” Chris Bowers, OpenLeft.com, April 16, 2008

4. “In Pa. Debate, The Clear Loser Is ABC,” Washington Post, April 17, 2008

5. “The Debate Debacle,” The Philadelphia Inquirer blog, April 16, 2008

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


Hillary Comes Out A-Blazing

Poster by CaliGirl4Hillary

Hillary sure showed her stuff and guff in the ABC Debates at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center Wednesday night. She had specifics on everything. To be honest, she had so many ideas and such grasp of them that my attention wavered, and I began cleaning house while listening. However, let’s not attribute that to her being a boring candidate (vs. a messianic, charismatic one.) Dude! That’s what I want to hire her for!!! She knows this *$%^+@g stuff. She can spout it out anytime on a dime, no rehearsed speech about policy here. Try it lately? In front of millions of people? In any domain that was posed, the chick has a grasp of the problem, has a plan, a program, ideas, and solutions to solve it. She’s better at and has a much better grasp of this stuff than any of those now or formerly running.

Okay, I called it wrong. I thought George S. would give Obama a safe, but George and Charlie Gibson were both very hard on him, to where I began saying to the TV, okay let’s get to the issues. Please! But, it was great to see the candidates side by side under fire and how they handled it. As Mrs. Clinton said, she’s used to it by now.

As baby boomers, I’d say that Hillary and I are cut from the same cloth. She’s big boat, mahayana as Buddhists say. The difference is that we took a separate fork at the turn. I couldn’t stomach political and went hippy, whereas Hillary was trying to figure it out and went political. Doubters might wonder, how’s that ‘big boat’ for half of a couple who earned over $100 million over the last eight years? Well, they gave $10 million to charity. How many people can claim that? (I think that’s why that revelation didn’t have legs for very long.) They make, they give back. The Secret, Laws of Attraction. Very popular over the last year or so, right? The Clintons know how to attract money, I certainly was earning more during the Clinton years. Don’t we want that? Taking our country from recession after the Bushs’ first war to a projected surplus of $3 trillion in eight years. I’ll take more of that.

How else is Hillary big boat? She said she’ll do everything she can to make sure that one of them is the President, that Dems will close ranks. As far as her plans: she’ll get us out of the war, had steps and a plan for that, and explained that the President is Commander in Chief and must ultimately make these decisions, not the military. She talked about capital gains, energy independence, and was strong on calling together other countries to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and protect Israel from obliteration. That’s big boat. No one sails until all of us are aboard.

Oh, and where was the other guy–Obama, I mean? Looking a bit tight and uncomfie in his body to me, he faltered on a night when he (finally) didn’t get a free ride. His answers floated around without alighting firmly on the ground about: who should win the election, his 20-year allegiance to Pastor Wright, his “bitter” remarks about PA, an unrepentant Weatherman associate, and the, um, ISSUES and his POLICIES.

Hillary is always better in debates. As she thinks and speaks on her feet, I increasingly see her as a better problem solver and uniter of all sides (she made some pointed barbs, but was always the lady) while under pressure.