THREAD: WHY I'M CALLING OUT DEMOCRATS (1/15) In recent days I've spoken out about the Democratic Party's failure to rise to the gravity and intensity of this dangerous moment in American history. My words seem to have resonated but also raised questions.
No, you really haven't. You're still promoting Russian hysteria. Even worse, you're becoming Bob Somerby. The world was not perfect until the press disliked Bill Clinton. But his heart throb Bill is where his history starts and usually ends. It's become the same way with you and Hillary.
Why I'm calling out Dems (3/15): As part of the netroots, what united us was fierce opposition to Bush and frustration with a meek Democratic Party. I was very critical of Dems who caved to Bush on civil libs, Iraq, etc. I criticized Obama for continuing some of those policies.
Am I missing something here, you did a blog at SALON. That's not exactly netroots. You didn't criticize Barack enough but we'll get to that in a moment.
Why I'm calling out Dems (4/15): Politicians like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton hired me as a liaison to the progressive community, NOT because I was a Democratic insider. I've never felt comfortable (or welcome) in Beltway culture.
They hired you because you were with SALON. I know for a fact that John kerry wanted nothing to do with blogs -- I had that conversation with him. I didn't know what a blog was myself. I'd heard about them and I asked what the campaign was or wasn't doing. He didn't take them seriously. John Edwards was only a little more responsive at the time. (Elizabeth Edwards did grasp their importance.) This is not to mock or make fun of John. I was part of big circle -- the circle jerk continues to this day without me -- and no one had faith in blogs. One even said it was the equivalent of my weekly e-mails or whatever ABC did (The Note?). When we met up after the 2004 election and discussed what worked and what didn't, I again raised the issue of blogs and is this something we needed to be aware of, focused on what, trying, what?
They were of no importance. So said one, so said them all. (Including one who can't stay off MSNBC to this day -- as a guest.) I've never been one for group think and I am one for learning and for doing my part which is why, after that meeting, immediately upon arriving home, I started this website.
So I don't know whether you're lying, Peter, or whether you've been deluded, but you were hired because you were seen as a traditional journalist 'with spiky hair' (as Jann would put it). You were the same thing in a little more modern package. If anyone told you anything else, they were lying to you.
Why I'm calling out Dems (5/15): After working for Hillary and Kerry, I came to see the mainstream press as a huge part of the problem, echoing and reinforcing rightwing frames out of fear of being called the dreaded "liberal media." They're STILL doing it, and helping Trump.
No, as usual, you're wrong.
You're wrong because you don't understand the United States -- transplants can make excellent observations but they're not always good at putting it together with their non-native country's history. The MSM is not worried about being seen as liberal.
The constant attacks on Trump would not take place if they were.
I defended Samantha Bee's right to use a disgusting word. But I've also noted that no functioning network would allow this sort of thing to take place. Jimmy Kimmel? In what world would he have been allowed to do what he's doing now. It's not truth. It is megaphone.
I agree with a great deal of what he says, that doesn't make it right.
The only people being punished are the right-wingers or those perceived as such.
So just stop your b.s. Daou. You're either lying or extremely ignorant.
More to the point, the journalists are workers. They like to see themselves as more. But then Magie Halberman likes to see herself as more than the scared little gal in the college course taught by the gay professor -- writing course. She's not more, she's in fact less. More afraid today than she was a student.
It's the owners, it's always the owners.
Karl Marx understood it a century ago but, schooled by David Brock, Daou can't even grasp it today.
Why I'm calling out Dems (6/15): I was always more in line with the politics of Paul Wellstone (and yes, Bernie Sanders) than the Clintons, but I got to know Hillary in 2007 and 2008 and I saw a completely different person from the monstrous caricature.
That was an inspired Hillary you got know, no sarcasm. It was when she really wanted to connect. She wasn't perfect but she wanted to connect.
Why I'm calling out Dems (7/15): I came to see my defense of Hillary as a proxy for the larger battle against the brutally efficient rightwing attack machine (Fox, Drudge, Limbaugh, etc.). So when people on the left echoed those anti-Hillary narratives, I fought back hard.
Not all of the anti-narratives were right-wing. Nor were the ones popularized by the right -- not all of them -- not worthy of consideration. A recovering Clintonista, I acted reflexively many times during the 90s. I dismissed many things that should not have been dismissed. Those things that have resurfaced? I've tried to give them a fair hearing. Juanita Broaddrick being an example of one. I didn't know here story. Like a few, I was exhausted by the whole impeachment issue. (I disagreed in real time with Stephan Jenkins, who is a lefty, and, looking back, I believe his view was more solid than mine was at the time.) I know her story now, she has every right to tell it. Is it true? I don't know. It rings true. She seems completely honest when she speaks about it.
Equally true, those of us who supported Bill have a right to the question being answered. We stood with him. He's no longer president, he refused to speak on the topic when he was president.
His wife has now run for president twice. As the spouse of a would-be president, the press should have asked him to go on the record a long time ago about Juanita.
When he shows up to plug some bad book he put his name on, the press should ask him about Juanita.
A woman accused him, when he was a sitting president, of raping her. She has stood by that accusation ever since going public. And yet he has never been asked. Maybe his little tantrum on THE TODAY SHOW, when asked about Monica, was meant to scare off any questions about Juanita?
And to be perfectly clear, I think it's possible that Juanita could be telling the truth and Bill could still not have thought he raped her. Bill's enjoyed rough sex. He could have not realized what was actually taking place. And if that's the case, he especially needs to talk about it because there are other men who like it rough and who think "no" means "yes" and seeing what he did and knowing how it effected Juanita could impact a lot of men and their future actions.
Daou, you're playing either/or and it's non-binary world we're living in. It's a both/and world.
You're inability to see complexities harms you more than anything else.
"America has NEVER had a woman president." That's not "beyond reprehensible." It's simply a fact. It's not beyond reprehensible or reprehensible at all. It's just a fact. It's not as though we've had this huge number of women running every four years for president and rejected them. That would be reprehensible.
More women are running for office period. There will be a woman president. There will be an openly gay president (not just one who covered for a lavender couple because he had his own piece of same-sex on the side -- yeah, we went there, Tricky Dick, we went there). There will be presidents of all ethnicities, races and demographics.
It is important to fight sexism. And, Peter, I'll give you credit for doing that in 2008. A lot of us fought that fight. You were one. But if you were aware of it in 2008, stop pretending Hillary faced it in 2016.
Bette Davis, give it a f**king rest. Just when I'm starting to feel sorry for you -- the ectopic pregnancy -- you then throw in "as Russians were threatenting to murder us." What the hell are you talking about? Were we working for Desna and trapped in an episode of CLAWS?
The "Russians were threatening to murder us"?
Are you seriously that deranged? Do you think everyone else is?
When you lie like that, I not only no longer feel sorry for you, I find myself asking, "Would someone like that lie about an ectopic pregnancy?"
Yes, you became a caricature. But no one saw you as part of the DNC, they saw you as a Cult of Hillary. There is a difference and, if you knew Hillary's real history, that wouldn't be surprising. In 2004, the DNC didn't want women speaking to the convention. Hillary being a fundraiser -- a huge fundraiser -- was forced on them. Hillary is not the DNC (except when little Debbie heads it). Again, you're failure to know history -- even fairly recent history -- is your undoing.
Why I'm calling out Dems (11/15): I've been going after regressive Republicans for two decades and questioning the weakness of Dem strategy and messaging. I've spoken out against Democrats on fracking, Gitmo, extrajudicial killing, drones, and timidity on universal healthcare.
I'm confused, Peter. In Tweet three of your thread you mention Iraq. I don't remember you on Iraq but I wasn't aware of you then so I'm willing to say that you might have actually opposed the Iraq War. But if by Tweet 11 you can't even remember Iraq, I'm less likely to believe you.
Why I'm calling out Dems (12/15): Not only am I not paid for my activism, it has cost me dearly. Consulting clients don't want someone who is "polarizing." Leela and I are hardly well-off. I do what I do because I want to leave something good behind and to make my family proud.
No, you do what you do for money. The netroots? They did what they did for a better world. Some ended up making money from it, some didn't. But don't pretend like you're not doing it for the money when you so clearly are. As for it costing you, I'd speak to some of the women of 2008 before you started passing off how dearly it cost you. Delilah Boyd is only one woman who was repeatedly attacked in 2008 (for supporting Hillary) and who eventually packed it in. So drop your whole martyr act, there are many others who suffered much more than you ever have.
You're polarizing because you've trashed so many -- Susan Sarandon (not wanting to vote for Hillary does not make Susan a bad person or a non-person), Bernie Sanders and his supporters, go down the list. You made yoursellf polarizing. You can work to walk it back at any time.
Why I'm calling out Dems (13/15): I have trauma from growing up in war, from being displaced by violence as a child, from witnessing unspeakable horrors. PTSD and hypervigilance. My scars motivate me to fight for justice and fairness so others don't have to face the same thing.
No, sweetie, I don't think so. I think those are reasons for you to stop speaking online. I think you need to work on healing and, until you do, you are just reframing your horrors onto other people who really haven't done anything to you. Your scars don't motivate you to fight for justice or fairness, they just motivate you to fight.
Why I'm calling out Dems (14/15): From 2015 to 2017, I believed it was IMPERATIVE to set aside my critiques and wholeheartedly support the Democratic Party because it was the ONLY way to defeat the most dangerous candidate in my lifetime. But now I see that isn't enough.
That may be the stupidest thing you've said. Either that, or it is the most dishonest thing you've said. I know of you vaugely and it's only due to Bill Clinton. But I know for a fact that in 2008, the Laura Flanders told us we had to be quiet during the primaries and we'd hold his feet (Barack's) to the fire in the general election -- she and Tom Hayden told us that. Then in the general, we were told we could be honest after he won and make our demands then. Then they told us, what? Oh, that's right, Republicans were out of power had no control of the White House or either house of Congress and instead of holding feet to the fire, the Toms and the Lauras made it about the out of power Republicans.
And Barack's feet were never held to the fire. He was treated like a baby and whenever I've made that point to Bill, he's noted that you've told Hillary similar.
So stop lying, Peter.
You knew from 2008 that what you're describing doing in "2015 to 2017" was a losing strategy.
I'm calling out Dems (15/15): The Democratic Party is NOT acting in unison. It is NOT speaking with a unified voice. It is NOT doing everything in its Constitutional power to resist the rise—and dominance—of white nationalism. And its leaders aren't leading. END OF RANT.
Quit lying? It's so clear now that you just can't.
White nationalism? Seriously? That's what's gripping our nation? No. You're a liar. The corporations, that's the issue we should be focused on. Where is the anti-trust legislation we need? Where are the decent wages Americans need? Keep talking "white nationalism" because it's a non-issue. The country's already aged out of it.
That is not to say that racism is over, it's not. But the notion of White nationalism in the US is flat out laughable. It's a tiny number of people. Smaller than it's ever been.
You said in Tweet two that you railed against the Iraq War. You are aware it's still going on, right? Maybe it's time you grasped the racism of empire -- even when it's led by bi-racial Barack?
In 2008, I decided to back Hillary. I knew every candidate running for the Democratic Party's nomination and backed off choosing a side for all of 2007. Barack was lying about Iraq (in so many ways, it turned out, remember the Samantha Power BBC interview that forced her to resign from his campaign). Mike Gravel was a real fighter. But I didn't think he could get the nomination. I applaued Bill Richardson's Iraq War stance but knew that the media wasn't going to embrace him as a Latino (and they didn't). It was becoming a three way race -- Hillary, Barack and John Edwards.
Grabby hands was out because I don't support people who maul me. That left Barack and Hillary. Elaine and I met Barack at a big money fundraiser when he was trying to get into the US Senate. He told us Iraq didn't matter because the war already started. That's when he lost our support.
So that only left Hillary. Could I support her?
If she was anything like Bill as a president, I could.
Bill was criticized for his polling. If Hillary was the same, great. The Iraq War would have to end. If shew as ruled by polling, great. That meant she'd listen to the American people.
She was a fighter in 2008. The nomination was stolen from her.
In 2016, she was an embarrassment. Everything she ridiculed Barack for in 2008, she was pimping in 2016 and she seemed to think that the answer was to rack up the most celebrity endorsements and appear with them. No, that wasn't effective. In 2008, she was in the dives and bars, in the halls and holes, elbow to elbow with the people. In 2016, she was trying to be Barack. She was a lousy candidate in 2016.
The press was not hard on her. They let her lie often without calling her a liar ever. (They called her out for lying in 2008 -- remember Bosnia?) Her e-mails were a legitimate story. The reason for them was her secrecy -- it reminded everyone of the missing records for this or that, her stories that never lined up. It also went to, most importantly, a criminal investigation. That's what the FBI was always conducting even if Loretta wouldn't let them say that.
More to the point, it went to her entire period as Secretary of State. She had no Inspector General. The post was vacant. John Kerry came in with it vacant. Congress asked him about that. He said there'd be one within the year and there was. Not Hillary. She can't stand oversight, she can't stand openess. The press had already given her a pass on the four years without an IG -- the first time that's happened, where a secretary has served an entire term without an IG. That was unethical. It wasn't illegal.
The e-mail scandal could be illegal. It was a criminal investigation. The press had to cover it.
She told one fib after another, one lie after another about it. She never could be honest and she dodged the press repeatedly.
Oh, they didn't want to talk about her issues!
They never do. That's not what the press does. That requires work and thought. We made that point in 2008 and actually used the Iraq snapshots to note her actual positions and policy proposals. The press ignored them in 2008, why would you expect them to be covered in 2016?
That's on you.
The only way to get them covered? Sit down and do an interview. But Hillary spent too much time avoiding interviews.
She also a ran a lousy campaign. One thing I bitched to Bill about? She was going home instead of staying on the trail. You know who did that? Bully Boy Bush because he was a little baby who needed to be in his Texas home in 2000 to go sweepie weepie. I slammed him for that. I was appalled to see Hillary do the same thing in 2016. Guess what, Bill agreed with me on that? He noted that he, Al, Hillary and Tipper ran themselves ragged in 1992 and didn't take anything for granted while her campaign 'experts' in 2016 seemed to be taking everything for granted.
Cedric and Wally updated: