I Know I'm Going to Get Ripped to Shreds for This

I'm going to do it anyway. I sent this to my candidate today:

Dear Senator Clinton,

I have been reading today that you will hold a rally in NY tomorrow night that will be a pivotal moment in your campaign. There are many rumors circulating and much speculation about what will occur. I understand if you are going to suspend your campaign. I will be elated if you continue your campaign. I would like to ask you to consider the following, however. As a feminist and a woman with two daughters I would ask you not to endorse Senator Obama.

I realize that as a Democrat the conventional wisdom is that you must endorse him to be seen as a team player. The fact is that your team has benched you. Your supporters see this and we are appalled. We have watched as the media and the pundits and your own opponent, a fellow Democrat for crying out loud, have insulted and belittled you time and again. We have watched as the leaders of your party remained silent in the face of the most egregious misogyny. The excuse given when cries of sexism erupted was always "it's not about women, it's about her," as if that made it ok.

The fact is that when Senator Obama dismissed a female reporter with his "sweetie" comment and the boyz with him snickered he showed his true colors, and demonstrated once and for all that the "it's just Hillary" argument is false. I am extremely worried about the fall out of this campaign in terms of what will now be acceptable behavior toward women who compete in traditionally male arenas.

My daughter, as the only natural born citizen in our Canadian immigrant family always used to say "I'm the only one in the family who can be President. I guess I'll have to do it." It was adorable to hear her say that when she was four and five years old and I never doubted that if that was what she wanted, that was what she could do. I doubt it now.

If you choose to fight this all the way, I am behind you. I will be happy to spend the summer fighting the good fight here in Washington state or wherever I would be effective. What I will not do is cast a vote for Senator Obama, period. I will also not cast a vote for anyone who has endorsed him. I will happily go to the polls and vote for any downballot Democrat who has endorsed you. I will write in your name on my ballot if that is allowed in my state, but I will never tick the box next to the name of a man who has condoned and benefitted from the demeaning and subdugation of American women.



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Donna Brazile and the Rules

After the West Virginia primary last night, CNN paid pundit and covert Obama supporter Donna Brazile got into a heated discussion with Hillary campaign media honcho Howard Wolfson about the DNC "rules" with regard to the Florida and Michigan delegates. Wolfson made the case that perhaps the DNC might not want to disenfranchise the 2.3 million folks who voted in those states, but Donna is a stickler for the rules and wouldn't hear of changing them, even for 2.3 million Democratic voters. Two things strike me about this conversation, which is one that has been repeated ad nauseum since Hillary fell behind in pledged delegates.

First of all, the "rules" that Brazile and the other Obama Democrats keep touting are not the rules at all. The actual Delegate Selection Rules provide a clear remedy for states that hold their primaries or caucuses in violation of the timing rules: the loss of 50% of their pledged delegates and alternates, and all of their "at-large" or add-on delegates. That is the actual rule. It is also almost never mentioned that Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina also held primaries or caucuses on dates that violated the timing rules.

The second thing that strikes me is the absolute failure of the media with regard to calling out Donna and the rest of the Obama supporters on this point. It seems a highly relevant point of interest in such a hotly contested primary, but no mention of it has been made anywhere except for a few Hillary forums. The rules are easily accessible from the DNC website. Here they are. If you don't believe me, read them for yourself.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/apache.3cdn.net/ de68e7b6dfa0743217_hwm6bhyc4.pdf

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Goodbye to All That (An Homage, Sort of)

Well, I know I haven't been around here long but I've enjoyed reading some very moving, funny, informative and enlightening diaries during my brief time here. I can't tell you what a relief it was to find one of the few places on the internet where Hillary supporters are welcomed and treated with respect. I'm not sure how welcome I will be around here much longer, however.

Tonight I want to share my feelings about the Democratic Party. Let me give you a very brief biography about myself to put my experience in context. I'm a newly naturalized American citizen from Canada. Since I voted in my first election in Canada in 1984, I have voted NDP. The NDP (New Democratic Party) is the social democratic party that first brought socialized medicine to Canada in the province of Saskatchewan under the leadership of Premier Tommy Douglas. I'm from the prairies myself, Manitoba to be exact, and we often had an NDP provincial government. I can remember when the national NDP held enough seats in Parliament to be a formidable minority. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm used to having a viable third party candidate to vote for.

Being an ex-Canadian, I am intimately familiar with American culture and politics because the Canadian media is inundated with them, to the extent that there are laws mandating at least a small sliver of  Canadian content on television and radio lest we lose our cultural identity altogether. I have lived in the United States through two Presidential elections, which I followed somewhat closely although I couldn't vote. I was disgusted by the media's fascination with the "Dean scream" and even more disgusted by the "Swift boating" of John Kerry. I often yelled at the television when George Bush came on and told his whoppers with his lopsided grin and folksy drawl and was amazed at how little he was called to account by the talking heads.

Even after witnessing all that, I am flummoxed by the way Hillary Clinton has been treated during this primary season, both by the media and by her own party. I find I was wrong about many things, not least the Democratic party itself. I was honestly shocked by the amount of sexism that has been demonstrated by the mainstream media. There are numerous egregious examples from all the news networks, and it continues to this day, but from the Democratic party we have heard not a peep in protest.

From the Obama campaign we also hear nothing. Not one word from the candidate. Zero from any surrogates, and from campaign chairs, nada. In fact, Senator Obama has made several comments himself that feminists like myself take exception to, although they pale in comparison to raging misogynists like Matthews and Olbermann. I guess to them he's just one of the good ol' Hillary hating boys. This is not about the media bias, mind you, which is in itself a bit puzzling to me, as I suppose I expect a tad more integrity in my journalism and at least a nod to fair play.

Speaking of fair play, I am writing this as the results are coming in from Lake County. After seeing at least one example of verified electioneering by Obama's campaign today, and after reading numerous accounts of illegalities at caucuses in Texas and Iowa by the Obama campaign, and after attending the laughable Washington state caucuses, who knows what's going on there. It doesn't matter anyway, because no one cares. Not the media, not the DNC, and not Democrats excepting those supporting Hillary. A win is a win.

A win is a win, in 48 states. In Florida and Michigan a win is not a win. On television, in the newspapers, in the blogosphere, Florida and Michigan votes are not counted. The idea that those states "broke the rules" and are only getting their due is promoted endlessly by the media and by the DNC itself. We know that is not true. We know that Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire also "broke the rules" and we know that they were arbitrarily given a pass just as Florida and Michigan were arbitrarily punished, just as North Carolina was arbitrarily given more delegates, a fact revealed on CNN today by fatuous Credentials Committee member Donna Brazile.

I have been a Democrat a very short time. I proudly signed my voter registration card at my naturalization ceremony on December 19th, 2007 and registered as a Democrat.  I can call myself a Democrat no longer. I can't be part of a party that disenfranches voters. I can't be part of a party that condones misogyny. I can't be part of a party that sanctions election fraud. I can't be part of a party that demands a viable, compelling, thoroughly electable candidate step aside in favor of another while she is still competitive, something that is, by the way, unprecedented in recent history. I can't be part of a party that doesn't share my values.

I still support Hillary, but from now on it will be as an Independent.

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Hillary Gets Me

It's late, and figure skating is on. I want to get this out quick so I can catch a few minutes of it on CBC before I go to bed. In 7 short hours I will have to drive my kids to school.

Today I read a clip on a blog about how Barack Obama described his grandmother as a "typical white person." I don't know how to take this, I really don't. At first I was insulted, now I'm just sad. Here is this privileged man: private schools, Ivy league universities, wealthy, powerful, adored by the masses, reducing the elderly woman who helped raise him to a "typical white person."

My grandmother died three years ago of brain cancer. More than fifty years earlier, in 1953, her husband and the father of her eight children died in a mining accident. The youngest child was not yet two. My grandmother Mary raised those children herself, without any help from the government, even though my mother and her siblings were taunted at school for being on "relief."

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Open Letter to FOX News

"Dear FOX News,

As a politically liberal, feminist leaning, 40 something women I just want to say thank you for your recent coverage of Senator Clinton's bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination. I turned to FOX in desperation when the fawning coverage of Senator Obama by the other cable news networks became too much for me to bear as a Hillary supporter. Please note that the non-partisan Center for Media and Public Affairs has recently found that the Fox broadcast network's coverage of Senator Clinton was the most fair from October 1st, 2007 to January 27th, 2008, with around 50% positive coverage. Compare that to the between 62 to 84% positive coverage of Senator Obama, and 58 to 64% negative coverage of Senator Clinton by the three other major networks during that time. Well done.

The Center did not study cable news networks like FOX's, CNN, or MSNBC. I used to be a faithful CNN viewer, and a casual MSNBC viewer but no more. Like I said, I switched to FOX in desperation because the other cable news networks have by and large given up all pretense of fairness and objectivity. I have been pleasantly surprised by the coverage I have seen so far. I had heard about sexist remarks made by FOX commentators in the past but I have witnessed none as yet. Apparently the leopard can change its spots after all. FOX's coverage has in fact been overall more respectful of my candidate than any I've seen elsewhere for the past few weeks. Keep up the good work. You've got my attention, at least throught the primaries."

It's come to this.

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Caucus Questions

"As final results from the Texas Democratic caucus remain unknown, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign wants signatures from the March 4 contest verified before party conventions are held around the state later this month."


Not such a bad idea really. I attended the caucuses in Washington state and at my caucus site no signatures were verified. There were no voter rolls. No ID whatsoever was required to participate so basically anyone could walk in off the street and caucus, registered voter or not. I personally  spoke to people who were not sure if they were registered to vote but since there were no voter rolls we had no way to check. In New Mexico, where roughly 140,000 votes were verified and officially counted, something like 17,000 votes were cast by voters who were not registered Democrats and therefore were not counted.

I also cast my vote in the "non-binding" Washington state primary where there were voter rolls and identification was required. Surprisingly (or not) the results of the primary were vastly different from the caucus. While the caucus results (from which the delegates were awarded) were 2 to 1 in favor of Senator Obama, the primary results were almost evenly split.

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Politics As Usual

How would you define "politics as usual?" Half truths? Doublespeak? Outright lies? Pork? Earmarks?

One of the two remaining Democratic candidates for President pretends to be above "politics as usual" but actions speak louder than words, even if the words are the same ones originally crafted for a fellow politician who also ran on a platform of "hope" and "change" and "yes we can."

At a November 2004 news conference, Senator Obama said that he wouldn't consider running for President in 2008 because he wouldn't have enough experience. While some people might be arrogant enough to consider such an audacious move, "I'm not one of those people" the Senator insisted. Yet a scant three months after making this statement, "in February 2005, in a four-hour meeting stoked by pepperoni pizza and grand ambition, Sen. Barack Obama and his senior advisers crafted a strategy to fit the Obama "brand."" By October of 2006 it was clear that the freshman Senator had reversed course. NBC reported: "Obama dismissed notions that he might not be ready to run for president because of his limited experience in national politics. He agreed the job requires a "certain soberness and seriousness" and "can't be something you pursue on the basis of vanity and ambition....I'm not sure anyone is ready to be president before they're president," Obama said. "I trust the judgment of the American people.""

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