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TygrBright

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 17,325

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Does this count as "vote suppression"?

"Hey, folks: Don't be alarmed if you've gone to the polls at the Community Center to vote and you see a bunch of cops next door outside McBrien School with guns drawn and storming the building. It is only a training exercise!"

You can't make this shit up, can you?

Someone thought that on election day, next to a polling place, was a GREAT time/place to schedule this!

amazedly,
Bright

If I Were Hillary...

Background, where I stand on the Primaries in general

If I were Hillary Clinton, I'd be looking at the large numbers of Democrats and others who are deeply engaged with Bernie Sanders as a candidate, and the substantial numbers who are committing donations to the Sanders campaign.

And I would be considering the possible outcomes for the primary, and how they will play out.

Senator Sanders' past actions show that he's a person of integrity as well as vision. And even if I didn't completely agree with that vision (having a vision of my own, after all,) I would look at the many places where we DO have overlap.

There are a number of such places and they are important, both to my (Hillary's) campaign and to a broad segment of voters.

I would anticipate winning the primary (because, after all, that's what candidates do) and I would be thinking, "in the general election, the passion, engagement, and support of those Sanders voters could be a real asset."

And I would certainly acknowledge that, based on the current levels of passion connected to those areas where I (Hillary) and Senator Sanders differ, in vision, experience, and approach, there's a realistic likelihood that some of Senator Sanders' supporters will never, ever, no matter what, put the same level of passion and engagement into my campaign. Indeed, some might not vote Democratic at all, and it wouldn't necessarily be a good use of time, resources, and political capital to attempt to change their minds.

On the other hand, once the disappointment over a Sanders loss/Hillary win primary outcome works its way through the feelings and hearts of those passionate Sanders supporters, it might be possible to engage some of them in my general campaign.

How, then, could what I (Hillary) do now, maximize my chances of both picking up broad support among disappointed Sanders supporters, and making enough of a case to them to engage them with a level of real commitment to a Democratic win in November?

Right now, many of the decisions my (Hillary's) campaign is making, much of the language and the focus, seems to be explicitly targeted to MINIMIZING those chances, alienating Sanders supporters by trash-talking the supporters themselves, rather than addressing the differences between candidates.

The only real explanation for such a short-sighted strategy would be if I thought that a) the possibility of a Sanders primary win is much greater than DNC punditry and mainstream polls assert; or b) the Sanders support phenomenon is not as deep and powerful and passionate a sea change in Democratic politics as they assert. In the case of b), then, I (Hillary) would sail on to victory in the general election because as "the only choice" many or most Sanders supporters would "hold their noses."

That scenario (it doesn't matter if we trash-talk the whole Sanders phenomenon because the ostensibly 'democratic' Business As Usual of elections in our increasingly oligarchic body politic will play out as it always does) is first of all, profoundly disrespectful, and secondly, profoundly short-sighted.

Why play that game? Granted, I (Hillary) would be unlikely to win the hard core of Sanders-or-no-one supporters, no matter what. But knowing Bernie himself, and the power of the passion he evokes, and the strength of popular support behind him, why not put some serious thought and effort into keeping bridges intact and doors open? The Sanders constituency is more substantial, more passionate, more engaged than any leftward-aligned anti-establishment populist movement since 1972.

Hard choices, but important. The lessons of history are before us.

Of course, Senator Sanders still might win the primary...

thoughtfully,
Bright

My gratitude to Hillary

The first Presidential Campaign I participated in was 1964, when I carried a sign that said "Bury Goldwater" to a Lyndon Johnson rally at the University of Minnesota, with my older sisters carrying a larger "LBJ for the USA!" banner.

The first Presidential Caucus I attended (still too young to vote, though) was 1972. My stepfather took me, even though he knew I was a McGovern supporter, and he supported Humphrey.

Significantly, that was also one year after the House of Representatives approved the Equal Rights Amendment 354-24, and the Senate approved it 84-8. Think about those numbers for a minute.

It was also the last Minnesota DFL caucus before the 1973 Supreme Court handed down Roe V. Wade, and everyone sensed that was coming.

The first Democratic Presidential candidate I got the chance to vote for was Jimmy Carter, in 1976. The DFL District Convention that year (yes, I was a delegate from my Precinct,) was a shitnado of chaos and conflict, thanks to the MCCL delegates attempting to derail the platform process with their multiple anti-abortion planks. (MCCL = Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. Google it. Long and revolting history, and I was there from the beginning. Got its momentum in the district that would one day be represented by none other than ol' Crazy-Eyes Bachman herself.)

By that time, too, Phyllis Schlafly and the other helots of the patriarchy had fluttered down and swooped out of their cave to land on the necks of any number of former supporters and fence-sitters on ERA. Within two years, state ratifications would grind to a halt, and in 1979 the recission bills started popping up in states that had already ratified.

1980 was the year of "The Patriarchy Strikes Back." We watched the progress already made begin to erode, faster and faster with every year.

Even so, women kept pushing. The list of inspirational leaders who kept on in the face of the growing backlash is long, and their work many times salvaged measures of victory from tidal waves of intended defeat.

Hillary is one of those women. She went to law school, became a Congressional counsel, determinedly pursuing a self-charted course to a political career, negotiating her personal life on her own terms, and standing up with intelligence and determination to more than FOUR DECADES of vicious, calculated, sexist opposition from the patriarchy. She modeled grace under fire uncountable times. She beat the establishment at its own game, again and again. She used the tools at hand: negotiation, leverage, compromise, deal-making, horse-trading.

She has always been her own woman and steadfastly lived her own vision of feminism and the success possible for women in a patriarchal culture. Others who claim feminist ideological leadership, with differing visions, have tried to co-opt her to their version of "what is a feminist" and reviled her with "no true Scotsman" attacks when she kept steering her course based on HER vision.

I met Hillary in 1992 when she swung through Minnesota with Ira Magaziner to do some policy work with the Clinton campaign. I was a Harkin supporter, but she impressed the hell outta me. I wished SHE were the one running for President. She understood how government functions, and, more importantly, how those functions affect the real lives of real people, especially the vulnerable and marginalized. She "got" all of the policy goals our Jobs Now Coalition group and its allies were pushing, and promised to take them back to the campaign.

It's always hard to tell, once ideas get fed into the sausage-making hopper, where their traces are in the eventual product, but I had then, and still have, good reason to believe she kept that promise.

If Hillary Clinton becomes the nominee, I will work my ass off for her. I believe she would be a good Chief Executive, and so many light-years better than the toxic clowns in the GOP car that it would become a matter of life or death to elect her rather than any of them.

If she becomes President, I believe she will work hard to stave off the worst depredations of the ideological nutbags, overcome the obstructionism of Congress (with, probably, just slightly less success than Obama has had in that area,) and make small increments of progress toward a more equitable, functional, sustainable America. Small increments are not to be despised, they tend to be less vulnerable to backlash, more sustainable, and often have surprising cumulative impact down the road. Another Clinton presidency would be anything but a disaster for America.

And as "America's first woman President," I would cry tears of joy at her inauguration, too. Say what you like about symbolism, it has power, and this one is long, long, LONG overdue.

But I'm still voting for Bernie in the NM Primary, and hoping to vote for him in November.

Sustainable as small increments of change are, there is also an important role and a strong effect to be had from scaring the hell outta the Oligarchy. (See: Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 1932-1945) That, too, is long, long, LONG overdue.

And as much as I respect Hillary's integrity to her own vision of feminism, and her assessment of what it's possible to achieve in the arena of government in pursuit of equity, function, and sustainability, I have my own vision, my own priorities, and my own beliefs about what is possible.

Bernie Sanders better aligns with a broader array of those beliefs, and better represents my vision, as a Democrat who grew up in the 1960s and came of age in the early 1970s. Yes, even the "feminism" part of those beliefs, because MY vision of feminism is grounded in awareness of the interlocking agendas of patriarchy and oligarchy.

I am not going to participate in any discussions that bash either candidate. I believe such discussions, well-intended, sincere and passionate though they may be, are counter-productive at best, to both candidates. In the short term, during the primary process, and certainly in the longer term when we go up against the money of the machine, they will weaken us.

I believe it is possible to contest this primary as a fight of ideas and vision, and WIN, no matter who the nominee is. I also believe it's possible to contest this primary as a fight of memes and mud, and LOSE, no matter who the nominee is.

I have no illusions that this post will change anything on DU. I'm putting it in my Journal because when I acknowledge gratitude, I benefit from that acknowledgment.

unequivocally,
Bright

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