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An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-03-14 06:25
Subject: [politics] An open letter to Hillary Clinton
Security: Public
Location:Nuevo Rancho Lake
Music:morning sounds
Dear Senator Clinton —

This has been the most important Democratic primary process in my lifetime. Your candidacy, along with Senators Edwards and Obama, has been invigorating to Democrats as well as nonpartisan liberal-progressives all across America. I found the South Carolina primary especially historic, in a way that lends me great hope for the future of us all.

For a long time this process has been characterized as a battle of ideals, a primary where messaging and policy and sheer old fashioned hope have driven both your candidacy and that of Senator Obama. But somewhere recently your campaign has crossed a line into business as usual.

If I wanted win-at-any-cost politics, if I wanted veiled racism and technical machinations and plausible deniability, I would be a Republican. America deserves better from your campaign. Your voters deserve better from your campaign. You deserve better from your campaign.

I don't suppose my few words this day will ever impinge on you. Your campaign certainly isn't going to change direction because of dissatisfied voters like me. But I wish I lived in a world that was different, higher-minded, more dedicated to principle.

More to the point, I wish you did too.

The Republican party has given us a painful eight-year lesson in what being less for America looks like. Please, be more for America.


Jay Lake
Portland, OR

This letter may be freely distributed, excerpted or quoted, with attribution.

Post A Comment | 12 Comments | | Flag | Link

User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2008-03-14 14:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Clearly, you're just a misogynistic Obama cultist..."

(For more abuse, see http://onegoodmove.org )
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User: shsilver
Date: 2008-03-14 14:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The Republican party has given us a painful eight-year lesson in what being less for America looks like.

I take exception to this. I think "painful eight-year lesson" should be spelled "painful sixteen-year lesson" since it really dates back to Bill Clinton's inauguration when the began their shenanigans.
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User: sheelangig
Date: 2008-03-14 15:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

You know, if they really wanted to knock the Republicans on their keisters, they'd campaign FOR each other, not against.

Apparently, I am a frustrated idealist.

Well done, Jay.

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Dave Bara: bush-crown
User: dbara
Date: 2008-03-14 19:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, I'd say that's about right.

This isn't a fantasy world folks, it's a campaign to be the most powerful leader in the history of the world. Instead of whining about Clinton and Osama not being able to play in the same sandbox you ought to be marveling that in 232 years the seat of power has never changed hands through real violence.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-03-14 19:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I do marvel at the consistency of our transitions in power. (Even the 2000 election, which I strongly suspect will be judged very harshly by history.) That doesn't stop me from wanting us to be better than we are — hardly whining to ask for principles in politics, is it?
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User: sheelangig
Date: 2008-03-14 22:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

I don't think that it is truly whining to ask for principles. However, it is certainly not a welcome approach from the point of view of those who choose to call their behaviors "realistic" and "practical", because they just cannot get away with calling them principled.
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russ: quo vadis
User: goulo
Date: 2008-03-15 08:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:quo vadis
Did you intentionally type "Osama" instead of "Obama"?
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-03-14 15:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for that! Spacebo!

I've seen it before, though - this happened several years ago, IIRC. Nonetheless, there's something about watching all those stone-faced uniformed guys rocking out...wish we could have got them for my son's wedding to the beautiful Russian woman...
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User: justinbarba
Date: 2008-03-14 15:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Nice, Jay.
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User: basletum
Date: 2008-03-15 00:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I agree with your letter completely. While there's still a few good individuals left, both parties in general have turned into big disappointments.
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Camille Picott
User: camillemulan
Date: 2008-03-15 04:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I like your letter. Thanks for posting. :)
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User: mojave_wolf
Date: 2008-03-15 20:50 (UTC)
Subject: Re-post w/edit for typos & clarity (sorry, was in a hurry!)
I guess I get to be the contrarian here . . .

Eriposte at The Left Coaster has a great post here:

w/this quote sort of getting at the gist of what it's about:

I'm the last person to claim that Sen. Clinton has run a perfect and non-negative campaign (she hasn't), but to paint her and Sen. Obama the way Aravosis, Markos and Hart have constitutes nothing short of an egregious rewriting of history. The fact is that Sen. Obama and his campaign have used numerous, often false, talking points and negative attacks against Sen. Clinton for many months. Some of these attacks easily cross the line that Hart has drawn and some are exactly along the lines of what Markos and Aravosis claim the Obama campaign has not done. I simply don't have the time to chronicle it all (one could easily write an entire book about it) - so here's just a sample list and an approximate timeline of such attacks - with URLs added to the dates providing backup details. These are clear examples illustrating the fundamental driving force that has characterized the Obama campaign since at least late Fall 2007: say or do anything to get elected.

I'm sort of amazed that so many people have bought the MSM spin on this one, given that they've pretty much proven themselves in the pockets of the Republicans for well over a decade now, and my signif other told me last night there was a good Village Voice article speculating that they (the corporate media) were deliberately setting up the narrative of Obama as benign force of goodness forced to defend himself from malevolent Clinton attacks because they see him as the weaker candidate in the fall.

She and I were speculating that in addition to this, it may also be because they believe Obama is more likely to play ball with them if a Democrat does get elected. This is especially true on economics, as his top economic advisor is a DLC guy who is a big fan of the whole "the market/invisible hand is God" theory of econ, and his top social security advisor is pro-privatization, and another of his top people was the same guy who helped the insurance industry take down the Clinton health care plan in the 90's.

In addition, if Hillary is the less desired opponent/president for the conservatives in the media, but the 90's pretty much guaranteed that Republican attacks on anyone named Clinton are going to be taken as a sign of a crazed vendetta, it makes much more sense to try and damage her in the primary, especially if the charges are coming from a charismatic and well-liked opponent. (oh, and some of the spin is because the MSM & cons in general have a pathological hatred for the Clintons. So whoever opposing Hillary is going to get a break, anyway. Should Obama get the nomination, watch the narrative/media treatment of him change. As they begin to believe he is looking good, it's already changing . . . )

Likewise, if Republicans/corporatists would prefer a Republican, it makes sense to damage both the democrats as much as possible during the primaries with the narrative they set up. Since people insist on treating the t.v. news as if it is any less bought and paid for than, say, Hannity or Limbaugh, this has worked. One of the blogs I read (no time to look up where right now) mentioned that to some extent both candidates were at the mercy of media narratives, thus Hillary's green jobs/solar energy plan gets no attention, Obama's market-based stimulus ideas get no attention, or, say, Paul Krugman's or MTI's comparisom of their health care plans, no attention, but things said by their supporters that can be used to set the camps at each other's throats? *Lots* of attention.
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