Saturday, May 31, 2008

Today's Civic Lesson

Apologies for light posting lately. I've got several projects going including one at the BRI where I'm spending the lion's share of my days. It's likely that posting will continue to be light, but you never know...

Anyway, the Rules and Bylaws Committee met today and finished their business. It seems like a fair outcome to me considering the circumstances (Fla. docked half their votes/Mi. delegates go to Clinton 69 to 59). Naturally some of Clinton's diehard feel differently. I'm calling them the Jong Coalition after the deranged rants that Erica Jong spewed out over at Huffington Post earlier this year. So here's some footage of the more unhinged members of said coalition. 

McCain? Really? Pro-life, 100-years-in-Iraq McCain? But, she's not an idiot, right. 

(She really ought to get back on her meds.) 

Really, though, what are these people talking about? It's pretty clear that they don't know. That Clinton has stoked their passions with her rhetoric is irresponsible and pathetic, but I'm not going to blame her for all of her supporter's craziness. That's on them.

Then there's this long-winded gem from Clinton adviser Harold Ickes threatening to take their beef to Denver. Keep in mind, Ickes was on the committee deciding what to do with errant states and voted for the penalization of states who jumped forward on the primary schedule. He was for it before he was against it, I guess. 

What can one say? 

The entitlement and cynicism of the Clinton camp knows no bounds and the craziness of her supporters is disconcerting. (For more fun, check out this report on a hallway scuffle between Clinton wingnut Lanny Davis and DNC member Jon Ausman.)

A Daily Dish reader sums it up best, I think:
After watching the RBC meeting come to a close, I can't help thinking that Hillary's slowly withering support has been whittled down to two main camps. From the nutty Clintonites in the crowd shouting "Denver! Denver!" to the disingenuous moral posturing of Harold Ickes, she's left with what she deserves:
Hicks and Hacks.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Sun Also Rises

"I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running. ... I can't believe it. It is just frantic the way they are trying to push and pressure and bully all these superdelegates to come out." 
—Bill Clinton, 5-25-08
Clearly people are calling for Hillary to drop out because of sexism. Because never before in our history has anyone faced such pressure before the final primary state has voted. I mean, right?


I can envision a new game show: contestants are challenged to watch video clips of either Clinton saying something and guess whether they're speaking truthfully or not. Bonus final round is tougher: the contestant will have to determine whether they're telling the truth, flat out lying or shading the truth. I'm not sure anyone could win (though the safest bets would be to guess lying all the way through).

Big wet sloppy kiss on the mouth to Jed Report who has already put together several of the best video compilations of the season and continues to crank them out.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Hagee-Lieberman Coalition

Though I'm someone who supports Israel's right to exist and is generally supportive of pro-Israeli policies, I find this whole coalition of some American Jews and Evangelicals way more than creepy. I mean, what kind of ally is it that supports you because it'll bring about their reward at your (eternal) expense. 

I guess I can almost understand it from a practical perspective—when you feel your and your people's very existence is threatened, you might be inclined to take your allies where you can find them. After all, at least the evangelicals don't want to drive you into the sea like many of the anti-Semetic wackjobs like Hamas, Hizbollah, and Iran's Ahmadinejad, (no, they just figure God will take care of that). Still, fear often drives people to bad decisions and this one seems like a devil's bargain to me. And unnervingly odd. Watch this video and see what I mean:

P.S. Nothing like a cameo from the creepiest politician of the past 30 years—Tom Delay—to spice up a vid clip, eh?

Progressive Patriots

For far too long liberals have ceded the idea of patriotism to jingoistic right wing nuts. Not only does this marginalize libs, but it does a great disservice to the great and proud history of progressive patriots of the past: the abolitionists, the suffragettes, the civil rights activists, most of the Founding Fathers and Mothers, etc., etc. It's a misreading of history and a luxury we can no longer afford. Here's an interesting article from E.J. Dionne on the redefinition of patriotism—through a progressive lens—for a new generation.

Choice cut:
Obama's Patriot Campaign
The reaction of too many progressives to patriotism is "automatic, allergic recoil," say two young Seattle writers, Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer, in their important book "The True Patriot."

Instead of recoil, they offer rigorous standards for what patriotism should be. "True patriots," they write, "believe that freedom from responsibility is selfishness, freedom from sacrifice is cowardice, freedom from tolerance is prejudice, freedom from stewardship is exploitation, and freedom from compassion is cruelty."

Their new progressive patriotism bears some resemblance to the old progressive patriotism of Theodore Roosevelt. "We cannot meet the future," Roosevelt said in a 1916 Memorial Day speech, "either by mere gross materialism or by mere silly sentimentalism; above all, we cannot meet it if we attempt to balance gross materialism in action by silly sentimentalism in words."

For good measure, the trust-buster also declared that "the big business man" must "recognize the fact that his business activities, while beneficial to himself and his associates, must also justify themselves by being beneficial to the men who work for him and to the public which he serves."

Both of these examples suggest that anyone who enters into a serious discussion of patriotism is required to offer more than bromides about love of flag and of country. Patriotism has to involve definitions, commitments and actions.


Talking Points Memo has a round up of the weekend's coverage of Clinton's RFK flub:

Well, Both If We Could

Leave it to Fox...

Update: Today she "apologizes":