Saturday, August 30, 2008

Clearing up Gutter Trash's lies

Gutter Trash has made a number of false charges (usually in her comments section) and we'll clear those up from a list provided to me. I haven't and won't read Gutter Trash.

1) We are right-wing!

Did you know that? Maybe you didn't. I didn't know that either.

I'm a liberal. Not a 'progressive' -- a term that's historically been used to bash liberals and historically been used by people not of the Democratic Party but of the Communist Party.

As they say on Kids In The Hall, "It's a fact!" (It really is as anyone with any sense of history would know. Especially during McCarthyism, the term "progressive" became a cloak. Right or wrong, it became a cloak. "Progressives" sneer at liberals and consider them "reformers" and not "revolutionaries." The "revolution" is needed to take down the system, clearing the way for Socialism which will then bring about Communism. That's the theory.)

This community has all kinds. Outside of Judge (my friend of many years), I'm not aware of any right-wingers.

We have Greens, we have Democrats, we have Socialist, we have Communists (no closet cases), we have people not interested in party politics.

We don't have any right-wingers.

In my own life, I know and am friends with people of all walks of life. I make no apologies for that and my only "purity" test is are they an honest friend.

3) We are a site for the left. That was noted when this site started. That has always been the case. I will match the links we've offered up against any other site and argue we'll come out ahead.

We started as a resource/review. One of our goals was highlighting different voices (from the left) so that if another attack like 9-11 took place, people would know there were other places to go and the efforts to reduce Americans to scared little children would not so easily take hold.

We are, and have been from the start of this site, in oposition to the Afghanistan War.

It is not a "noble" war, even when contrasted with the Iraq War.

It's easy to understand why it is (still) seen that way because it was the first illegal war sold on the back of 9-11. Even The Nation magazine supported it in real time.

Fear and anger were channeled by the White House (and others, including the media) to unleash war on the Afghanistan people and there has been no improvement in their lives despite that illegal war going on and on and on. (With Barack and John McCain arguing it should continue.)

Barbara Lee was one of the few to stand up to the fear when it was first being sold. Had others stood up, it might have made a difference. As it stands, that war is still wrongly seen by many. John Kerry tried to use it to campaign with, the left (with few exceptions) refused to call him out on it. Barack uses it now and you hear the same silence.

4) Personally, I have voted Democratic in all presidential elections previously and that was noted here many times. In the 2004 primary, I supported John Kerry. By past statements up here, it is clear that I did not support Bill Clinton in the 1992 primary, Al Gore in the 2000 primary, Walter Mondale in the 1984 primary, Michael Dukakis in the 1988 primary, go down the list. That's clear because it has been noted over and over by me that, until 2004, I never supported the primary winner. (Bill Clinton wasn't contested in the 1996 election.) Despite having supported Jerry Brown, Jesse Jackson and countless others, I always voted for the Democratic nominee in the general election.

(And that's not just recent. I did not support McGovern in 1972. I did not support Jimmy Carter in 1976 or in 1980. Ted Kennedy was who I supported in 1980. Other candidates are no longer in the news, but for those wanting to smear me, let me make it easy for them.)

I won't be voting for the Democratic Party nominee in 2008.

I am far from the only one who won't be.

3) We're trying to defeat ____ [fill in cause].

Fill in whatever paranoia is up at Gutter Trash's site.

We're trying to be honest at a time when honesty is in short supply.

We're trying to be honest when others are trying to be alarmist.

The left rightly criticized Bully Boy's use of fear to drive support. But some on the left did the same thing in 2004 and some

But isn't that what Gutter Trash runs with when someone suggests it at her site. Doesn't she run with it and smear us as right-wingers?

I'm also apparently a crazy for supporting Ralph Nader, right?

4) So I'm right-wing and I'm a Nader supporter?

No one knows who I'm voting for.

With New Hampshire, I was on the road to becoming a Hillary supporter.

The race was then John Edwards, Barack and Hillary. I would never support John Edwards. John Edwards repeatedly lied to the press about John Kerry. I know for a fact what went down and I'm so surprised that now that "Honest John" Edwards has been blown out of the water, no one's gone back to that issue because Kerry said Edwards was wrong (Kerry was too kind to say Edwards was lying) and Edwards maintained he was telling the truth. Edwards was lying. We were in Boston the night of the election for the intended victory party and Edwards has always insisted that he wanted the votes to be counted. That's a lie too.

I would have never have supported Edwards in the primary unless he was the only one running.

I was focused on Iraq while there were multiple candidates.

The New Hampshire primary coincided with our days speaking there. One of the college professors I knew from her work on a Clinton campaign (general election, I was for Brown in the primary) in the nineties. She asked me if I would be a Hillary speaker for a forum she had on campus. It was a last minute request. I said no and explained I hadn't decided who I was supporting (and I hadn't). She explained the Hillary speaker had to cancel at the last minute. She pointed out that I knew Hillary and she really needed someone to speak. I said fine but I'm going to say I haven't decided who to support. I spoke and noted that and then went into why Hillary would make a strong president.

She had two more forums booked and I did two more. I wasn't attacking anyone, I wasn't comparing and contrasting. I was dealing with Hillary's long record. And she has a very long record of accomplishments. The students were excited because -- and this was the first I was aware of that -- it had been accepted that Hillary was just Bill's wife, just First Lady.

I did campaign for Bill Clinton in 1992. So maybe that's why I knew about Hillary's accomplishments long before he won that election in 1992.

But I still wasn't supporting Hillary (or opposing her). Somewhere during that the joke caucus in Iowa took place (we've called out caucuses here and at Third since both sites began, the caucuses are a joke, filled with voter fraud and intimidation, that's not a new development in 2008) and a crowded field reduced to three or four. (I'm not sure when Gravel dropped out.) I couldn't vote for Barack because he is a War Hawk who was lying publicly that he was for ending the illegal war when Elaine and I spoke with him and he revealed that it was too late because US service members were in Iraq. That was while he was running for the US Senate. Being hyped as the "anti-war" candidate. A liar.

And John Edwards' unprincipled attack on John Kerry had taken him off a list of possibilities. But I voted in our primary (California) and I never said who I voted for. I never made it an issue. Ava and I tackled the sexism in the campaigns and media at Third. Third (with me included) made the following endorsements: Hillary for the Democratic Party, Ralph Nader's independent campaign and Cynthia McKinney for the Green Party. I was perfectly comfortable with those endorsements because I wasn't saying, "I am endorsing ___." We were saying we thought (take it for what it's worth or not) that those were the strongest ones and the ones who would do the best job.

People act astounded by Barack's inability to connect with any more voters. By his inability to get a huge lead in the polls.

I'm not shocked. We dealt with that when John Edwards was still in the race. (And you won't find me calling Edwards a "liar" then. I didn't do it. I didn't try to tilt the field in his favor or against his favor despite the fact that I didn't care for him and wouldn't support him. We defended him when Michael Gordon distorted his words in the New York Times.)

But at that point, the problems the media now sees for Barack were already noticeable.

It was no secret that many groups (including women, LGBT, Asian-Americans, and Latinos and white working class voters) were not being reached by the campaign. I made that very clear to friends on Obama's campaign as far back as January.

This idea that suddenly last Thursday he would connect with the voters was always suspect. He didn't connect. Not even swiping from American President and Hillary.

His problems are very real.

And it is not about racism. But screaming "racist" falsely over and over has only intensified the problems.

Over a year before Geraldine Ferraro made her 'controversial' remarks, Peter Hart had written more or less the same thing for FAIR's Extra! He was talking about the slide Barack was being given due to his perceived race (he is bi-racial). Barack himself had made similar comments. People tore into Geraldine (who I don't like and have never liked but have no problem defending from false attacks) and there is a backlash.

When you falsely scream "racism" over and over, you do two things. One, you make it very difficult for real victims of racism to have their valid objections recognized because (two) you have treated everything in the world like racism and have turned the charge into The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf.

With the exceptions of Jesse Jackson Jr., James Clyburn and Melissa Harris-Lacewell, publicly those charges were not being made by anyone with a name that was part of the campaign. (His various flacks of course made it regularly to the press, both on and off the record.) The drive for the charge of racism came from Panhandle Media, from White people. (Often from non-praciting Jews, make of that whatever you will.)

They better stop it because no one knows until the votes are counted who will win. And if Barack loses (yes, boys and girls, he could lose), you've just set the cause of a person of color winning the presidency (unless Barack loses to Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader) back for at least a decade. The most stunning person of color could emerge for the 2012 race or the 2016 race and they will be handicapped by this nonsense that "people won't vote for then! They didn't vote for Barack because he's Black!" (Again, he's bi-racial.)

There is no data that demonstrates people aren't voting for him due to his race. There is data that suggests his race has been a factor in the African-American support. (That took place after the race card was repeatedly played in South Carolina.) There is anecdotal evidence of some strong support for him due to race and of some minor opposition due to race. But there is nothing that warrants anyone claiming he's winning support or losing support from voters due to his perceived race. (Had he ran as bi-racial, that would be more of an issue, as his campaign admits privately. Running as bi-racial would have pissed off many old lions -- the same ones who launched their attacks on the bi- and multi-racial movement in the nineties.)

But it was Panhandle Media that led the charge on racism and continues it to this day.

How does CounterSpin bill itself? "FAIR's weekly look at the press!" That half-hour weekly show couldn't stop reaching to find racism (often where it didn't exist or where it wasn't surprising to find -- from the right-wing pundits) but how many times did it call out sexism in the primary coverage? In 2008, it called it out only once and took a CNN discussion on whether or not Hillary was a "bitch" to get that one sentence on CounterSpin. One sentence.

And they wonder why people stop listening to them?

We have been a left site and we remain one. Early on, I was happy to highlight anyone suggested in an e-mail. That stopped when a sexual predator was being highlighted. I did not know his history. A friend provided me with the video of his refusal to answer the questions asked on TV about his past arrests. That began our move away from highlighting just anyone.

We continue to highlight people on the left that I personally know and dislike. It's not an issue to me. It is an issue if they lie.

Due to the fact that a number of Closeted Communists (and a smaller number of closeted Socialists) in Panhandle Media injected themselves into the Democratic Party, and pretended they were Democrats, they no longer get highlighted. I know they lied and they know they lied. There's no reason to believe another word from their mouths.

The general election is for all. Party primaries are for members of that political party. There was no reason for those not in the Democratic Party to be pushing any Democratic candidate in the primary. There was no excuse for their posing as Democrats in order to do so. But had they said, "As a lifelong Closeted Communist, who never votes Democratic in the presidential election to begin with, I would like to endorse Barack Obama," their endorsements would have meant much less.

One Closeted Communist (whose long been with a political magazine as a contributor) has never been highlighted. That's due to his promotion of The Ego Of Us All and his slanders against Gloria Steinem. I'm not talking publicly, I'm talking about his pitches to the New York Times (staff as well as editorial board). It's why Gloria, a lifetime activsit, never received the credit she deserved for a lifetime of work from that paper and why The Ego Of Us All got credit for a rip-off book.

I do not like attacks on Gloria, I do not tolerate them. I don't tolerate them in my personal life (and never have) so I've not tolerated them in my online life.

I have never spoken or written an unkind word about Gloria and do not intend to start. That's an important point because grassroots feminists are rightly outraged by what was done to Hillary and Gloria will campaign for Barack this fall. Gloria campaigns for every Democratic presidential nominee. It is who she is. So if she says something that sets you off while doing that (or just that she's doing that), remember that is who she is and remember that when the sexism got into high gear, Gloria stood up and called it out. (And was tarred and feathered as a racist for daring to believe that ALL women mattered. As Ava and I noted repeatedly during that and after that, it was really important to scream "racist" at any name who didn't support Barack.) You were silenced ( such as Amy Goodman deciding she wasn't interested interested in interviewing Paul Krugman, Sidney Blumenthal, Joe Wilson, Larry Johnson or various others who were supporting Hillary) or you were attacked. Attacks on a man didn't take place to a large degree but they did happen (Johnson was probably the male most attacked. Blumenthal was smeared and there are others) but it was open season on women.

[Note. I planned a three-entry cycle. This was the second. The third is going over to Third. This wasn't the ending of this post but there's no way I can go further. The next four paragraphs set up the intended third entry that will now be a group piece written by and posted at Third.]