Gullible, believe-any-talking point Democrats weren't visible in large
Today we drove to Naselle for the Democratic Caucus for our three Pacific County communities of Naselle, Nemah
and Bay Center. I had been keeping quiet about the caucuses after Lietta indicated earlier in the week that she'd be interested
in going.I thought that I had better things to do with my time and as one who had unofficially renounced
membership in the party, I didn't want to go.
But Lietta did and since the flyer said folks could come as observers I went with her.
When we signed in Lietta advised me that the mailer she received previously had indicated that I was still
a registered Democrat. So I signed myself in. However, on the right hand side where it said to indicate my presidential preference
coming in, I left it blank. I had yet to make up my mind.
Although impressed with Obama's success and the sense of enthusiasm and acceptance of his candidacy sweeping
the country, I was leaning ever so slightly in the direction of Hillary.
Principally - as I've joked with friends - I've felt that we baby boomers can't leave George Bush as our legacy
to our children. Surely we get one more chance. Hillary is one of us. She'd be a hell of a lot better than Bush.
Hillary is experienced more than ANY candidate still running or who has been running. A Hillary resume based
on facts and documented experience indicates that there is no other candidate this time that is/was more qualified to function
from Day One as president.
But the reason my leaning toward Hillary was slight has more to do with leadership and the ability to move
people to action; to inspire and provoke civic participation.
I signed in as "uncommitted" but inwardly was leaning toward Hillary, believing fully that I would hear no
new reason that would sway me toward Obama.
I also vowed to merely listen and refrain from speaking since I was only a half-hearted party participant
and knew I would vote for whomever of the two gets the nomination.
Lietta was among the first three to speak. For someone who's never been there to a caucus and done that previously,
that woman was not one who hesitates. After listening to an Obama supporter followed by someone who spoke like she might be
the head of the local Clinton support organization, Lietta made up her mind, stood up and gave an updated version of the powerful
and important points she's been making now at least five years. She's never altered her emphasis on the importance of supporting
those who seem most willing and able to end the Iraq slaughter as soon as possible.
Back and forth the speakers stood and offered their alternating opinions.
The Clinton supporters' lead speaker by that time had made three curious statements that caught my attention:
(1) Earlier in her political life she was caught up in support of an idealistic candidate, Jimmy Carter, who
let her down; who demonstrated a lack of ability to deal with the Washington cesspool. She said she'd never take idealism
over experience again.
(2) She told a story about Bill Clinton the idealist - right after he was first elected in 1992 - being taken
aside by Republican politicians and/or party hacks who flat out told him exactly all that he could and could not do.
(3) She declared that Hillary had been working on Health Care reform for years and that such reform was not
attainable given the political/economic climate unless there was a president who could function as a scheming dealmaker rather
than an idealist.
Idealism would leave millions of Americans uninsured.
Note: I would be curious to hear from other caucuses as to whether or not the Carter and Bill Clinton stories
were heard there. Those stories were presented in such an odd context that I've been wondering if they were Clinton Campaign
talking points given to supporters beforehand to be used in each caucus.
Somewhat irked by a sense that she might have been trotting out campaign-directed talking points while posing
as a wise voice of experience with inside knowledge, I finally put in my two-bits.
When Hillary's supporter followed up her Carter and Bill Clinton stories with a whack at Obama for an unrealistic
idealism that would fail at health care reform I had heard enough.
The Carter story doesn't fit because Carter in 1976 - minus the excessive wealth - looked more like Romney
than Obama. He emphasize his borne-again religious outsider shtick and brought a high amount of political naivete with him
into the White House.
Which is precisely what a President Romney would have done.
To shallowly compare Carter and his 1976 ambush of the electoral system of that time to Obama in 2008
with his senatorial experience, his lengthy on-his-feet-in-the-street success and experience (not to mention having to deal
with a more openly vicious and intense experience in campaign attack politics than Carter faced) is not a legitimate comparison.
As for in-power Republicans telling new President Bill Clinton how the cow ate the cabbage, neither is that
a legitimate point for supporting Hillary over Obama.
The simple truth about that circumstance is this:
McCain is on the Right, has built an albatross out of his Bush/War support and advocacy that will hang around
his neck and be totally visible and publicized to the same electorate that overwhelmingly repudiated Bush and his war in 2006.
Obama represents that same repudiation. Hillary does not.
Obama is much more likely to be elected in a landslide with long coattails.
Hillary - by virtue not only of her dubious war wisdom, but also her stubborn refusal to acknowledge error
when she voted for the war authorization as well as her self-proclaimed 35-year linkage to knowing the Good-Old-Boy ways of
doing business - is less likely to win by a landslide.
Her coattail dragging more Democrats into current Republican-held seats in Congress is less likely because
like it or not, she does not represent change in the same context as Obama. She more likely will represent only a change of
drivers on the Good-Old-Boy Bus.
Of the two, Hillary would more likely be subject to Republican muzzling than a victorious Obama.
The Bill Clinton story is only true because of the number of Republicans in Congress at that time and how
empowered they were.
As for talking point #3,
I work in a Welfare office. Very few vocations in this state present such a broad picture of how many Washington
residents actually are under-insured or have no medical insurance at all. Statistics and political talking points aren't what
walk into my office literally begging for some kind of welfare medical coverage to allow them entry into medical treatment
for something tearing them apart.
Health Care Reform, as was brought up by several Democrats at the caucus today, is a legislative event, not
a presidential decree.
Whatever Hillary could do as the elected president, Obama could likewise accomplish; perhaps more easily since
his coattails would sweep more Dems into office.
Also, since it is a legislative event, what evidence is there that Hillary has a better handle than Obama
on medical coverage for the poor in this country?
She and Bill had 8 years to try to get something done and did not. In addition, when a Republican congress
passed welfare reform with a stylistic tone and manner that vilified the poor and needy in this country, Bill and Hillary
did not have megaphone voices supporting what Republicans were preparing to take away from the poor.
Hillary also has not demonstrated much ardor in enthusiastic vocal outrage over the Bush budget cuts for the
past seven years so why would we think she has a greater wisdom about health care for the poor than does Obama?
Finally, I see that Hillary (whom I will vote for if she's nominated) was endorsed by the two most prominent
Washington Democrats who have disappointed and failed to impress me over the past five years, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.
Obama was endorsed by Christine Gregoire who has demonstrated that she's a more aggressive and activist governor
than her predecessor;
... who has demonstrated that she's a doer more than a talker who in her own elected venue has not made hesitation
a standard procedure.
Meanhile in terms of opposing the lawless corporate American imperialism and slaughter in Iraq, the two Clinton
endorsers, Cantwell and Murray, have both offered nothing more than excuses and alibis as to why they could not challenge
Bush Republicans to a fight.
Obama doesn't have to defend that kind of weakness and timidity.
I agree with Gregoire.
One more thing. Among those Democrats the gullible, believe-any-talking point Democrats weren't visible in
large numbers. If in fact the Clinton supporters were using talking points, those who rebutted those points were using their
own personal scripts. They were thinking on their feet and originating their own thoughts, benefiting and encouraging all
Our little caucus went for Obama.
Naselle will send 4 Obama delegates to the County Convention and 2 Clinton delegates.
Bay Center will send 2 Obama delegates (Lietta is one of them) and 1 Clinton delegate.
Well, that's my story.
I stood up mad and spoke up
... and sat down an Obama supporter.