“Just Say No Deal” In The News

After Clinton lost, Diane Mantouvalos launched the site JustSayNoDeal.com.

(Photo: Joshua Prezant for The Washington Post)

June 27, 2008 — On the day that the Democrats are attempting to unite disparate and passionate Obama and Clinton factions, Diane Mantouvalos says “Just Say No Deal” in Kevin Merida’s WaPo Style Section feature interview. Puma PAC founder, Darragh Murphy, and therapist and video producer, Robin Murray, are also interviewed and linked. Read it here and write a comment!

Puma is making an impact. It was discussed on CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN in the commentary following the Unity event.

On C-SPAN’s viewer call-in: 2:13 pm EDT — WaPo “The Fix” blogger, Chris Cillizza said the Just Say No Deal article was an important one. He continued that some Hillary supporters will not have their minds changed that she should be President. However, many ultimately will because issue upon issue they will have more in common with Obama than with McCain.

Puma also being discussed by pundits on MSNBC 2:20pm EDT. Question to a John McCain’s campaign about how they’re going to get the 23% of Hillary holdouts over to him?

On CNN, blogger Asma Gull Hasan wasn’t feeling the Unity love. She wanted a female president, and said that the more qualified candidate isn’t running. Originally a Republican, she feels that the candidates are being disingenuous by appearing together, and will be casting a protest vote for McCain.

Direction Home: Hillary’s ConCall And My Cabbie

After The Call

I didn’t really feel like going out on Thursday night, but a longtime friend was in town, and we’d made plans to go dancing. Yes, we are young-at-heart baby boomers.

Basement Bhangra in NYC is an upbeat Indian, family wedding-vibe-type club where ‘the kids’ go to flirt, find a mate, etc. They enjoy the kind of dancing they grew up with in their families of first generation Americans from Punjab. Some are trained as professional dancers and have performed in dance troupes, which is really a treat. They move rhythmically and gracefully, arms and hands extended, as they jump around, while entertaining their partner — feels tribal, subtle.

I held my head down, still deep in thought, trying to push away from the computer. I knew that I should leave, but didn’t feel much like it. I’d just gotten off of a 20-minute conference call with Hillary and some of her supporters, followed by a 2-hour commiserative rant and debrief of the call with a fellow PUMA and Just Say No Deal member.

Hillary’s Conference Call: My Notes

During the call, Hillary gave thanks to her fundraising staff in DC, NY and around the country. The support that each of us has provided to her throughout her campaign made it possible for her to show that a woman could compete in terms of the money, and as Commander In Chief. She was the first woman in history to ever win a Presidential primary.

There is a lot to be grateful for. The campaign involved a great coalition of all races, groups, economic backgrounds. What we have done is a strong part of Democratic history, and she is absolutely committed to continuing to fight for our goals and issues for Democrats and Senator Obama. Given the progress we have made in healthcare, the economy and women’s right to choose, the stakes are too high to not elect a Democrat.

She wanted all those to know who raised money, made phone calls, traveled from state to state: all the things we did really kept her going. Many of us are concerned about the attitudes about women, not just about her but about all women. She was surprised at the press’ reaction to women, said it wasn’t right. Part of why she ran was to make it better for women and girls.

Hillary said we needed to do everything we can to help Senator Obama. She wants help paying her debt so she can pay her vendors, saying she was outspent. She’s not asking us to pay her personal debt, and took it as a given that she spent it because she wanted to. She’s asking us to raise the money however we can.

There are big issues in the Fall. She understands that her campaign was a heroic effort of the finest people and bravest women. She is very hopeful that what she stood for will come to pass.

I Heard What She Said, But What Did She Mean?

I phoned my Hillary friend who was on the call, too. I was dumbfounded. We got nothin’. She gave us nothing, not even the teeny tiniest hint that she was fighting the nomination, that there were caucus improprieties, they’d be taking it to the credentials committee, that she thought she’d won, wanted to be on the first ballot in Denver, didn’t support him, or would be dropping out of the Democratic Party anytime soon to form a third party. Nada. Wasn’t there.

Of course, how could she? How could she say any of that? She couldn’t. Even after last week’s garden party “liberal” ex-supporter Superdelegate women senators met without inviting Hillary, but unveiled her programs and policies as their own. That was maddening. Even after nearly every single colleague in her Party turns their back, she continues on. Ugghhh, that’s why I’m not in politics. Couldn’t do it.

I clung to, “but she said ‘first candidate to win.’ She said ‘win’ — that means she’s acknowledging it.”

My friend knew better, “No she meant she was the first woman to ever win a Presidential primary.”

“Oh right, that she did.”

She went on, “It was canned.”

“What? No way!”

“I think it was pre-recorded.”

“Wow, I hadn’t even considered that.”

“No matter what,” says my friend, “I’m not supporting Obama. We need to take it to Denver. Nobody’s the nominee until they vote in Denver. We need to keep up the pressure. Keep petitioning superdelegates. We can’t let them get away with this. It’s not over!”

Beyond Hillary, It’s About Integrity

I went on: “Right, it’s also more than just about Hillary. It’s about the principle of treating a qualified candidate and former First Lady so disrespectfully. The MSM did it, the DNC, Obama and his supporters, women, the blogosphere. It’s about the caucus improprieties, bullying. It’s about the Democratic ‘leadership’ selecting a candidate for us.”

“There’s nothing wrong with getting progressives in office. We want that. What’s wrong with it is that they chose him, early on. That happened with moveon.org too. I was a member from their inception, participated regularly in their action and voter campaigns. They took a members vote early, perhaps in February, and Obama won. I thought, why are they making us decide now? Just like Pelosi and Reid forced the Superdelegates to choose. Now who’s side were they on? Hint: Do you remember when Pelosi came out and snidely replied to questions about a dream ticket, ‘No, I do not think that will happen'”?

“Howard Dean began working on this campaign right after he didn’t get to the White House the last time, and he’s still trying to get there. He formed an extremely organized grassroots organization, and built it from the ground up. They trained thousands of organizers at the city, county and state level, got all their people in there, and then elected Dean to DNC Chairman! Isn’t that the epitome of hubris? He created an organization so he could elect himself. Their initial intentions seemed good, but why did they make it exclusive? Why did they throw the rest of the Party under the bus? Why were Dean and DFA so averse to Hillary, slamming her in their press release after Iowa, taunting brazenly, look at who’s not inevitable anymore?”

“So if she doesn’t want to continue or want us to do so either, what do we do? I mean, besides helping with the debt, I have to get back to work. It seems to me that now is the best time ever for a third party or a new movement, with so many people seeing right through these Dem schemes. But in order to mobilize people, you need a leader, Hillary, or someone with experience in government who can do the job.”

“Perhaps we need to create a more inclusive, compassionate, responsible, and responsive organization than the current Democratic leadership. Millions of voters are angry that they were manipulated, cheated and bullied out of their candidate. They don’t know what to do or where to turn, but they’re not happy. We need to build a group from this which can be a force for shaping politics.”

Americans Are So Stupid

I went out for the evening as planned, and ended up having a lovely time. On my way home, I stepped in to a take-out place to get a bite to eat. There was an older (than me), upscale-looking white guy who was jumping around excitedly. He exclaimed, “Obama! I was so excited to see the sign on the outside, and that’s why, that’s why I came in!” He was beside himself with glee. I’d entered from the other door, and now looked up to read the storefront window-sized sign from behind, Senator Obama, Yes, We Are Ready. “Oh,” I said.

In New York City, sometimes you get a cab driver who talks in mumbled tones on his headset the entire drive. Other times, you have an engaging conversation. Pretty discouraged after the Obama old guy, I must have been a glutton for punishment, because I dove back in. Believing I’d get an Obama answer, because the driver was black, I asked him, “So what do you think about the election”? He was from Haiti:

“Acchhh, He-lah-ree. I was forr He-lah-ree. She haas the expeerience. She knows what she’s doing. She’s smart. I like her programs. That Obama, I don’t like him. Not his wife either.”

“Oh, I’m surprised.”

“Because I’m a black man?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “Well, I supported Hillary too.”

We commiserated all the way across town. In the end he said, shaking his head,

“People in the United States are soo stuu-pid sometimes. They have something, the best candidate rright in frront of them, and they don’t choose it. The US is sooo stuu-pid!

BE SMART. CLICK TO HELP RETIRE HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN DEBT!

How We Got Here, In Three Easy Steps (Videos)

“Deja Vote” a pagano/parente production

Citizens speak out about how the DNC handled the Florida and Michigan votes and how they treated the democratic candidates.

ONE: Just so we’re clear. The video above shows where we were at on May 31, 2008, rallying to Count All the Votes in Florida and Michigan at the DNC RBC Meeting in Washington, DC. All the votes were not counted.

TWO: The DNC (s)elected presidential candidate Barack Obama instead of candidate Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote.

THREE: So, as the Democratic Party refused to acknowledge our collective voice, 18 million strong, we are selecting ourselves — The People, the original, inclusive base of the Democratic Party — and making our voices heard.

Of course, this is only the Reader’s Digest version of where we’ve been until now, but will serve as reminder and encouragement.

Obama Opts Out At What Cost? (Video)

Video by PoliticalX, added 6/19/08

Senator Barack Obama announced that he would not participate in the public financing system for presidential campaigns. He argued that the system had collapsed, and would put him at a disadvantage running against Senator John McCain, his likely Republican opponent.

With his decision, Mr. Obama became the first candidate of a major party to decline public financing — and the spending limits that go with it — since the system was created in 1976, after the Watergate scandals.

Shaking my head. Sigh. Still shaking my head.

Read “The Small-Donor Fallacy” by Colgate University economics professor Jay Mandle in the Washington Post, Friday, June 20, 2008, excerpted here:

Not long ago, Sen. Barack Obama criticized special-interest lobbies that “use their money and influence to stop us from reforming health care or investing in renewable energy for yet another four years.” He has said that his army of small donors constitutes “a parallel public financing system,” one in which ordinary voters “will have as much access and influence over the course of our campaign” as that “traditionally reserved for the wealthy and the powerful.”

Obama has raised record-breaking sums from small donors, so his announcement yesterday that he would opt out of the public financing system for the general election did not surprise many. And the idea that the Internet and grass-roots donations will somehow reinvigorate our democracy is appealing. But this notion is not borne out by the evidence.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Despite the importance of small donors, both Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain are still taking lots of big donations from wealthy special interests. In fact, when the nominating system as a whole is studied over time, the evidence suggests that the role of big donors will turn out to be growing, not shrinking.

And from CQ’s Beyond The Dome, David Nather writes on June 19, 2008:

One on the consequences of Barack Obama’s announcement this morning that he’ll opt out of the public financing system is that he’s alienated the allies who worked with him, and praised his work, on last year’s lobbying and ethics overhaul.

Obama was one of two Democratic senators who took the lead on the legislation, and it was the most significant accomplishment of his short Senate career. Reid paired him up with Russ Feingold of Wisconsin – the Democrat who co-authored the 2002 campaign finance overhaul with John McCain – to take the lead in pushing the ethics legislation through the Senate.

So what did Feingold think of Obama’s decision not to participate in the public-financing system in the general election against McCain? Not much.

“This is not a good decision,” Feingold said in a statement today. “While the current public financing system for the presidential primaries is broken, the system for the general election is not. The entire system must be updated.

Government watchdog groups are taking notice:

The reactions were similar from the government watchdog groups that worked closely with Obama and Feingold on the ethics overhaul. Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer declared himself “very disappointed” with the decision. Public Citizen president Joan Claybrook said she was “deeply disappointed.” You get the idea.

Another complication is the fact that Obama is a co-sponsor of a Feingold bill that would overhaul the public financing system, notably by allowing more matching funds in primaries and letting primary candidates spend more if their opponents opt out of public financing. So it would create some awkward moments for a President Obama if Feingold continues to push that bill next year, as he’s likely to do

Early in 2008, I had a serious discussion with a dear friend who was an early supporter and backer of Obama. This was the first political issue that we were ever on different sides of — you know how it goes: Hillary was too divisive, voted for the war, unelectable. “This guy’s something, I read both of his books.” I told him that Hillary’s plans and policies looked more liberal to me and that Obama would surface as more conservative than he appears.

I remember a particular thing he said to me about the passionate way his young adult kids and their friends were supporting Obama. They thought he was so progressive, and everything he stood for was anti-DC-establishment.

You know, they’d be crushed if he didn’t make it, really crushed. They believe so much in what Obama’s doing. He really wants to change everything. The guy’s really got it.

Campaign reform. Right. That public financing is the $3 check box on our tax forms. I hated to see such obscene amounts of money spent in the campaigns this year, when people throughout our country are struggling financially — programs, infrastructure, education, food, housing, energy, Katrina still. Just think what those millions and millions of campaign dollars could have gone for, and still could with what is about to be raised and spent. Once again, this is about top-down power using the money and trust we hand on up, isn’t it?

With the information that was emerging early in the year about Obama’s past, added to his tepid, insecure debate performances, I thought that his supporters would be in for a rude awakening. I wonder what my friend and his kids are thinking now? Are they still floating or has the bubble burst? Do they notice or care? As young adults, and throughout my voting life, we always had to settle for the “lesser evil.” This time The Democratic voter base thought (God knows how) that they had finally gotten their Liberal into power, despite warnings from their better half. What a joke.

Oops, Didn’t Realize I Was So Late: Dean’s DFA

What and Who Is Democracy For America?

Talk about a bamboozlement. What a strategy. It appears that attempts to organize now, after the Hillary fact, are, well, several years too late, to put it mildly. This one bowled me over, like I’d been hit in the gut. It doesn’t mean that I’m giving up; I’m just saying.

Howard Dean, it seems, has been busy training Democratic operatives and bloggers in a highly organized manner for a while now. Where have I been? I hadn’t heard of DFA until this week. This from fellow blogger, Claudiabl*:

DFA (Democracy For America) along with Netroots Nation are organizations founded by Howard Dean for the purpose of “training” campaign workers and promoting progressive candidates

That makes sense, right? It makes sense to have launched such an operation, considering the ass-whooping Dean and company got in 2000 and 2004. At the time, there were rampant “what hit us?” conversations about how Republicans had organized at the grassroots level, situating themselves in local government and on school boards. And what with the “swift-boating,” we were patsies and pansies and weren’t going to take it anymore. (I can’t help it, even though Democracy For America was on my side and ostensibly formed for good progressively strategic reasons, my mind keeps wandering over to the Hitler youth movement as a comparable. I should be ashamed.)

Why Was DFA Founded?

DFA was founded to reform the Democratic Party:

DFA members are working everyday to build a stronger more progressive Democratic Party. We believe the Democratic Party must be driven by people-power and responsive to the needs of everyday Americans.

Why sure, “people-power.” Me too, I’m for that!

Too often, once leaders from any party get elected, they get tied to a culture of incumbency and insular thinking that is dominated by special interests. DFA members fight for a culture of activism and rebuild policies and platforms for grassroots empowerment. It is our mission to constantly revitalize the party with new members, progressive ideas, and effective actions.

Huh. I guess that the Clintons were among those cultural incumbents. Bill had been so wildly popular as to be elected twice (first time for Dems in 40 years), and accomplish so much for our country, that Dean couldn’t wait to take ’em down.

How Are DFA and The DNC Connected?

Evidently, DFA elected Howard to the DNC Chairmanship — Who knew? I had no idea how screamin’ Dean had gotten that position:

In 2005, DFA members elected our founder Howard Dean to the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. With the 50 State Strategy, Governor Dean has successfully delivered on our campaign commitment to stand up for Democrats and our principles in every district in every state.

Our work hasn’t ended with electing a new chairman to head the party, DFA members have run for all levels of party office from precinct captains to county and statewide party chairs. We don’t just talk the talk. DFA members do the work it takes to make change happen. Join us in our mission to reform the Democratic Party.

DFA, The DNC, and Obama

Dean had run a hallmark campaign in 2004. Indeed, it was the first Presidential primary campaign to make effective use of online technology to mobilize and raise contributions from small individual donors. Dean’s training of campaign workers and bloggers would seem like a dovetail fit with Obama’s so-called grassroots community organizing background, combined with the forces of the progressive grassroots moveon.org. Moveon caught the attention of Congress and the DNC with their effective online protest and voter campaigns beginning in 2003. I was an active member, from their Berkeley inception as they grew into a national movement, until their early endorsement of Obama which I protested.

A Florida progressive blog, Florida Politics carries along the DFA message in their state, and notes that their blogging software is similar the Daily Kos, apparently a bragging right. Lately, they’ve reported on the huge Obama operation being set up there, and the takeover by his campaign of a portion of FL’s previous delegate selection. Just as with Michigan, I wonder if the Sunshine State will Remember in November or warm to the candidate who blocked fair reflection and counting all their votes.

Integrating Activists With Grassroots Media

If you fish around on the DFA website under their trainers and training agenda, you will find that we PUMAs and Just Say No Deal Coailtion Members, and likely Hillary herself, ladies and gentleman, are very late to this table.

Last summer we did a session of Night School live from the YearlyKos convention in Chicago. We featured Chris Bowers from OpenLeft.com and Katrina Baker from Living Liberally to discuss building open progressive communities.

Of course it now stands to reason how the DNC could so “quickly mobilize” to announce their move to Chicago last week, and accomplish it over the weekend.

Early Involvement In Presidential Endorsement

Question: How did all the progressive causes that we — I and other Democratic Party members, now-refugees — fought for over our entire lives get absconded by people who seem ready and able to disregard us and our efforts? Hey, over here, I’m a progressive too. How did they choose to throw Hillary away? Or did she or her old-school campaign staff not see DFA as a force?

It appears that DFA had weight in making their early assessments of the Presidential candidates in terms of progressiveness. I don’t see any mention of Hillary Clinton being engaged with them. Perhaps they were deterred by Mark Penn’s purported initial barriers to her easy access, or perhaps Dean didn’t include her? Obama even used their training manuals for his trainings!

All throughout 2007, DFA members were engaged in the Presidential race. DFA kicked off the year with messages to the candidates demanding to hear their plans for ending the Iraq War and combating global warming – and Senators Edwards and Obama, Gov. Richardson, and Rep. Kucinich responded with special videos to DFA members. Gov. Richardson sent campaign staff to a DFA Training Academy and Sen. Obama’s campaign used the Training Academy manual for their trainings. (emphasis mine) This engagement culminated in November of 2007, with the largest online poll of the election season. Over 154,000 DFA members voted in response to “Vote for Me Messages” from the candidates in the race. As a response to the overwhelming support for progressive leaders, DFA launched the Unite for a Progressive President campaign.

Big Tent No More

DFA appears to send out strident press releases, endorsing their progressive candidates and slamming others within the Democratic Party who don’t go along. Evidently, they deemed Obama and Edwards the most progressive, crediting their organization with Iowa’s win, and challenging an unnamed candidate with: what’s all this inevitability talk, huh? Bwa ha ha ha ha.

So, it’s clear that the DNC Chair, under the auspices of Democracy For America, preferentially campaigned, and built an organization, to defeat Hillary Clinton from within, and from the git go — way before Iowa and months, if not years, before the DNC RBC Committee Meeting on May 31, 2008. Pardon me. I am now officially more than naive. I thought I kept up, but maybe I was just a “holiday Democrat” after all. Until this campaign season, I always thought that the DNC was a neutral body that contained all Democrats in “the big tent.” Oops, my bad.

From DFA, originally dated January 3, 2008:

Progressives Win! Obama Wins. Edwards Second.

Democracy for America Lead the Way in Iowa
Des Moines, IA – Democracy for America, our nation’s largest progressive political action organization with over 9,000 members in Iowa, has shown their power tonight in Iowa. With the one-two finish of Senator Barack Obama/Senator John Edwards in the Iowa caucus, it is clear that progressive voters are the key constituency in this election. DFA’s Unite for a Progressive President Campaign made the difference here in Iowa. Democracy for America’s Unite for a Progressive President Campaign brought together the strengths of the Iowa caucus process and the commitment of DFA members throughout the country. The 675,000 members of DFA gathered tens of thousands signatures on a national call to action, wrote over 6,124 letters to Iowa DFA members, and plastered the Des Moines Register with an ad asking Iowa Democrats to not leave their caucus until a progressive wins their location.“If you listened to people last year, it was as if there was no need to vote. There was all this talk about inevitability, but, tonight, Democracy for America’s members here in Iowa proved that primaries matter, progressive values are what make the Democratic Party strong,” said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. (* bold format mine, itals theirs)

In sharp contrast to 2004, issues of concern to progressive voters have been front and center in this presidential race. The activism and involvement of progressive Democrats have transformed the Party and fundamentally altered the primary landscape. From universal health care to ending the War in Iraq to global warming, every Democrat in the race has seen the need to take a strong stance. Those Democrats who have taken a stance have seen their support increase among voters.

“Tonight’s caucus results are further proof that progressive voters make up the core of the Democratic Party – they are the key constituency in this election. DFA members and progressive Democrats support candidates who fight for progressive values: bringing our troops home from Iraq, expanding universal health care for all Americans, and fighting to end global warming,” said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of DFA.

Dean’s Mission Remains The Same

Now I’m wondering exactly when did my candidate and I get voted out of the Party? It would appear as if the strong-arm tone and tactics that characterize many people’s encounters with the Obama campaign have roots in the mission of an organization that has been at play since Dean’s piercing scream. The fratboy doc never gave up. In fact, he has been very hard at work getting back at anyone who ever laughed at him, and is still intent on going all the way to the White House. Memory lane, y’all.

—————————————————————————–

* Hat tip to Claudiabl for the lead.

Just Say No Deal Answers Questions on Sirius Radio

Just Say No Deal Coalition Interview on Sirius Radio

Just Say No Deal spokespersons, Will Bower of PUMA and Diane Mantouvalos of HireHeels.com, were on satellite radio today. This is the question and answer part of their interview.

On the show, Will and Diane effectively frame the questions — including “he won, she played negatively, DNC, 50 state campaign, caucus problems, the rules, and switching things in the middle of the game” — that many democrats have about the protest vote movement. They address why we are standing on principle and justice, rather than blindly supporting a Party that went astray.

Will introduced himself at The Confluence yesterday:

Two big things happened to me this year. I became a writer for the Huffington Post *and* I became an administrator for the largest pro-Hillary group on FaceBook (called “Hillary Clinton for President – One Million Strong”), which then had a membership of 27,000 people.

A third big thing happened to me. I met Harriet Christian at the DNC’s RBC hearing. You can read my account of it here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/will-bower/my-evening-with-harriet-c_b_104594.html

I also met someone else that night — “Sista Christian Louboutin” of HireHeels.com. It was Sista who later mentioned me to Diane Mantouvalos and vice versa. HireHeels.com, of course, was the nucleus around which “Just Say NO DEAL” would later be born.

Will describes how Just Say No Deal was quickly formed and caught on fire:

After another member of the FaceBook group (Thuc Nguyen) created some images for us, I took the PUMA / Party Unity My Ass concept to my FaceBook group with the idea of having it be a mascot and a call to arms…. and it caught fire there *immediately*. Within a few days, “The National” contacted us for an interview, which you can read about here:

http://thenational.ae/article/20080607/FOREIGN/763911149

Meanwhile, Diane was preparing the conference call that would give birth to “Just Say No Deal”. Being that she knew of me through “Sista” and through The Huffington Post and through the PUMA article in The National, I was invited to participate.

Press coverage and an angry electorate that felt swindled made for a quick launch:

http://tinyurl.com/6e2wak

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/06/12/2008-06-12_hillary_clinton_fanatics_keep_fight_aliv-1.html

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/06/13/1138240.aspx#comments

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/06/13/a-clinton-backer-turns-to-mccain/

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/256106

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0608/McCain_mingles_with_Clinton_supporters.html

* Hat tip to commenter Henry Dubb for posting interview link on The Confluence. And to the Confluence who published Will’s intro letter, excerpted here. Thanks to Will and Diane for their organizing wizardry and for articulately stating our concerns to the public.

Obama’s Return to Michigan: Will They Remember?

It appears that Obama is intent on winning no matter how many longtime loyal Dems or states he has to throw overboard. I wonder if Michigan voters can forgive and forget how he treated them in the primary? 55 percent voted for Hillary Clinton; Obama took his name off the ballot in a state where he was not expected to win, and his campaign blocked various re-vote and fair voter reflection measures. Is Al Gore to the rescue enough?

From The Hill, June 16, 2008 by Sam Youngman, on Obama’s return to Michigan and the AP Story about his nontraditional campaign strategy:

Obama’s two-day visit to the state underscores just how important his campaign views Michigan to its electoral success.

The Associated Press reported Monday that Obama’s campaign is looking at a strategy that would allow the Illinois senator to lose the traditional battlegrounds of Florida and Ohio, but he would need to hold onto three states Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) won in 2004 — Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Michigan. Gore won Michigan in 2000.

Just about every poll recently conducted in the state shows Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) with a narrow lead. The RealClearPolitics average of polls has McCain leading Obama by less than two percentage points.

Obama has an uphill battle against McCain in Michigan in his bid to claim the state’s 17 electoral votes.

Not only did McCain win the primary there in 2000, but he competed vigorously in this year’s primary before losing to native son and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) by nine points. McCain’s defeat there was considered respectable since Romney’s father served as governor of the state.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), one of the only Democratic candidates who didn’t remove her name from the Jan. 15 ballot, won the primary with 55 percent of the vote. Because there was still a full slate of Democratic candidates — former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), New Mexcio Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Joseph Biden (Del.), although they were not on the Michigan ballot — it is difficult to tell how many of those who voted for “uncommitted” did so as a protest vote in favor of Obama.

Yee-upp. Shaking my head. Sigh.

More here on Obama’s new strategy. Hat tip to Riverdaughter. Wha hap-peen here? I thought this was to be a 50 stater. How many are overboard as of now? Apparently when you begin with 57, you can afford to lose a few. Okay, I be nice.

What Don’t They Get About “Voter Revolt”?

Most lifelong Democrats who are defecting en masse from “Our Party” have no illusions about the obvious drawbacks of a John McCain Presidency when it comes to our core beliefs. This is nothing less than a voter revolt. From The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English 2008:

re·volt / riˈvōlt/

• n. an attempt to put an end to the authority of a person or body by rebelling: a countrywide revolt against the central government | the peasants rose in revolt. a refusal to continue to obey or conform: a revolt over tax increases.

Should we stand idly by as our most basic rights of representation are stripped from us by our own Party in nothing less than a calculated coup? And now rumor has it that Clinton’s name will not be placed on the first nominating ballot. Wake up! This isn’t about winning or losing. This is about creeping fascism.

If the leftover and shiny brand-new Party members are so concerned about what would be further lost with four more years of Republican rule, let them fight that agenda themselves. After all, they said they could do it without us.

Obama has gotten new and crossover voters that will take up the slack.

We will win without you.

I wouldn’t be on Hillary’s side, if I were you, when it all comes down.

Since you all have decided that you are no longer Democrats, go to the Republican National Convention and stay away from our convention.

Leave us Democrats alone.

It is time for someone to kick his dumb A out of the party.

The problem is that we have too many of these losers running around parading as democrats.

They belong in the other guy’s party.

They should have considered their base and The Issues, which frankly Obama has no concern for nor record of supporting, before shoving him down our throats. They will not succeed, because in the long run Country and Constitution trump Party, brand, and bully tactics.

Obama supporters who would naysay this as petulance or shooting ourselves in the foot just don’t get it. In case you haven’t tried to swim out of the DNC, Obamalite, MSM net, our issues of contention are much, much broader than the sexism and misogyny that were promulgated freely and without check during the Democratic primaries. Our bigger beef has to do with the willful manipulation and coercion of rules, primaries, penalties, voters, caucuses, committees, delegates, and superdelegates by the Party Elite to select the untested, teflon-like candidate of their choice.

It is incomprehensible that the one candidate in the history of our country who has earned more votes than anyone else ever in a primary contest would not be placed on the initial ballot at her Party’s Convention.

Keep in mind the words of our founding fathers, but make no mistake, lest the thought police be tempted to come haul me off: I am not advocating overthrow of the government. I am providing justification from within our founding principles, to protest and withdraw from Our Political Party, based on same principles that hold representation sacrosanct. Although our 2008 situation is markedly less extreme than the colonies faced under British rule, can you see any similarities? From The Declaration of Independence, In Congress, July 4, 1776: (emphasis mine)

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

Gallup Presidential Poll: It’s A Tie (Again)

Gallup’s Daily Poll conducted June 12-14, 2008 reports a virtual tie between presumptive Presidential nominees Obama and McCain. 44 percent of the nation’s registered voters are for Obama, 42 percent are for McCain. However, 15 percent are undecided, the highest percentage of the year so far.

This most recent tie brings to mind the one that Democrats just experienced on June 3, 2008, discussed here in “Did Hillary Lose? Not So Fast: Taking Stock.” In that tie, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, while Obama was declared winner due to Superdelegate and caucus wins, which gave them undue weight by awarding similar amounts of delegates for comparatively low representation. Before suspending her campaign one long week ago, Clinton had maintained that she was the candidate best-prepared to beat John McCain in November. (I can guarantee you this: Hillary would not be using gun ‘n knife fight analogies to frame her ideological arguments. Yes, I later found out it’s a movie reference, but still shaking my head — it’s a bit rough around the edges for this lady’s taste. But . . . I digress.)