Like Howard Dean, I consider myself part of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. So I find stuff like this deeply offensive. Here's the essential quote that absolutely turned me off (emphasis is mine).
Volunteers are needed in Pennsylvania BEFORE March 24. We have only until that date to register new voters and persuade Independents and Republicans who want to vote for Obama to switch their party registration for the primary. (They can always switch back for the general election.)What makes it so deeply offensive is that this does not even make a pretense of being an honest attempt to win over moderate Republicans, who would then, hopefully, go on to vote for the Democratic candidate in November. And it's certainly not a legitimate attempt at party building.
The PA primary (April 22) is a closed one, meaning only registered Dems can vote. We have until March 24 to expand our "universe" of Obama voters. After March 24 that window shuts.
Whoever set up this strategy is telling volunteers to register Republicans to vote for Obama just to win the Pennsylvania primary. And their main selling point to those Republicans they hope to recruit is this: "They can always switch back for the general elections."
This helps us in November, how?
It's actually a slimy and deceitful tactic. And it's one sure to have consequences, the first of which is that it gives credence to those Hillary supporters who argue that many of the Republicans crossing over party lines to vote for Obama are not doing so because they want to vote for him in November, but because they want the Democrats to have the weaker candidate for the general election.
Worse, tactics like these undercut any claim that Obama and his supporters represent a fresh new style of politics. After this, can anybody ever take their claims to the high road seriously again?
Registering Republicans, who have no intention of voting Democratic in November, just to pull out a cheap victory in March, proves that those claims were hollow and these people would do anything to win. This is exactly what they've accused Hillary of.
Then to add further insult to injury, in order to accuse Hillary of being the one hell bent on destroying the Democratic Party, another real winner in the logic and intelligent debate department, Rebecca, who by the way has stated proudly that she would rather see the Democrats lose than vote for Hillary, posts this diary, which actually has no original writing but is one long blockquote from conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan, who is also the author of The Conservative Soul.
It's amazing how in order to defend or promote their own candidate - you know, the one who is above partisan bickering - Obama's supporters always have to tear down Hillary and they always seem to need to revert to rightwing talking points or conservative pundits' quotes to do so.
It's equally mind-boggling that despite his supporters' claims to the contrary, most of Obama's actual positions are not new or fresh. They are the same centrist, moderate positions that Bill and Hillary espoused when they were a part of the DLC.
Yep, the great saint, Obama, and the horrible hag, Hillary, actually agree on more than they disagree. What's happening is that many of Obama supporters have used him like a coat hanger. They have taken their own idea of what they think Obama stands for, and they are hanging it, like a topcoat, on his persona. But the Obama of their imagination is not the Obama of reality.
For example, although there are a few minor policy differences between him and Hillary, on health care, the economy, and even resolving the war in Iraq, they are not that far apart on any of these issues. In fact, on health care reform, Hillary's plan is the more progressive one. And they both differ with John McCain far more than they do with each other.
The one important difference is that Hillary voted to give Bush the authorization to invade Iraq. Obama opposed the war from the very beginning but he was not in the Senate to vote against the resolution. He has, in fact, admitted that had he been in the Senate, subject to the barrage of faked intelligence reports, he might have voted just like Hillary.
But this is the crux of the viciousness of the opposition to Hillary. The ultra left just cannot forgive her for having voted in favor of the resolution that gave Bush the authority to go into Iraq.
Even Lowell, however, has pointed out that she was not an outlier. She did not break party ranks to support Bush. Just the opposite. The list of Democrats, who, during those awful hours, voted for the resolution, was long and included many in the mainstream and progressive wing of the Democratic Party. It reflected their fear that if the administration's intelligence was correct, they could not afford to make a mistake that would harm the U.S.
Although they, and Hillary, turned out to be wrong and Obama and those of us who opposed the war from the beginning were right, it is important to at least recognize that they were fed lies, all of which were stamped "Top Secret." They were led to believe they knew things we didn't. And so, to them, it made their decision seem like a reasoned response to information the general public wasn't privy to. They were lied to.
But what is more important now is that both Obama and Hillary are in basic agreement about ending the conflict and bringing our troops home. To confirm this view, Samantha Powers, the Obama aide who was forced to resign after calling Hillary a monster, admitted, in the same interview, to the Scotsman, that Obama's pledge to begin withdrawing troops immediately and have them home within 16 months was only "a best case scenario."
So, just as Austan Goolsbee told the Canadian media that Obama's anti-NAFTA rhetoric was somewhat overblown for campaign purposes and shouldn't be taken too seriously by pro-NAFTA forces overseas, Powers was admitting in Scotland that his anti-Iraq rhetoric was frequently for the benefit of his supporters over here and also needn't be taken too seriously.
There's nothing so new and refreshing about those political tactics, lying to tell your supporters what they want to hear while telling others something different. Just like there is nothing new or refreshing about encouraging Republicans to register as Democrats just to beat one's opponent in the primary. In fact, those are the oldest dirty tricks in the book.
It's why I am pretty disillusioned with Obama and his supporters right now.
By the way, did I mention that I am now supporting Hillary Clinton for the duration? I am only sorry that all this came about after I voted for him in the Virginia Primary. If I can do a mea culpa for having been taken in, this is it.
Of course, should he be the ultimate winner, unlike his supporters - you know, the ones who keep accusing Hillary of destroying the Democratic Party, while they vow that if Obama loses they'd never vote for her - I will vote proudly for whoever wins, even Obama.
It's because I belong to the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.