Wednesday, June 4, 2008

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

Senator Obama,

This seemingly endless nomination contest has finally come to an end, and let me be the first to say congratulations on your win. And if there's anything you need right now, it's unsolicited advice from someone who doesn't know what they're talking about, so here it goes.

I've been watching the stuff you've said about Hillary Clinton over the past couple of weeks, the effusive praise for her and her supporters, and the personal touch you added when you said she has made things that much easier for your daughters if they ever wanted to follow in her footsteps and run for political office. And I sure can't think of anything more empowering for young women everywhere than to dream of growing up to marry someone who goes on to a very popular president of the United States, then use that springboard of enormous amounts of money and a famous last name to become a do nothing senator for 6 years, and then feel entitled to the presidency. My cousin's an amazingly smart and ambitious young woman who is about to graduate high school this weekend... and god knows THAT'S the example I'd want her to look up to as she moves forward. In fact, it's on the card I'm gonna give her:
I wish you the best of luck during this important transition in your life. And remember, if you go through life always seeking the next move that will give you more power, and once in there you only that power to position yourself for your next move... one day you might convince a lot of people that you're a legitimate candidate for President of the United States! Congratulations on Graduating High School, Nina!
I swear, Hallmark must have assumed she'd win cause they printed a bunch of em' ... but I'll get back to the point.

In the next couple of days/weeks/months, there are going to be quite a few losers and stupid people out of work. Lets keep in mind, with the utmost respect for the remarkable race that you have run and the win you've pulled off, you owe your victory almost as much to their stupidity as you do to your own actions. They took someone with the best position to win the nomination, any institutional advantage you can name and former president campaigning on her behalf and ran her into the ground. They managed to blow 100 million dollars in the process, including over 10 million to this clod. They didn't understand the rules of the process, and DIDN'T EVEN PLAN for a race after Super Tuesday. This is incompetence worthy of the Bush administration, and should be kept as far away from your campaign at all costs. Democratic politics has been the only field where incompetent losers like theses get hired over and over and over to attempt their same failed strategies again and again. Uh... scratch that last sentence, but the point remains the same, we cannot let this cycle continue!

Mind-bending incompetence is a pretty good justification for sending this wing of the party out to pasture, but that's not even the most important reason there needs to be a clean break. The Clinton wing of the democratic party has an inherently different view of America than you or I. They may agree with us at heart on some polices, but they will always resort to a centrist strategy because they believe America is an inherently conservative nation. Just look at her career and her husbands for a blueprint. When in office, was there movement towards landmark progressive legislation? We got NAFTA, Welfare Reform, and the defense of Marriage Act to name a few. Do I honestly think these were things that Bill Clinton was passionate about? No, but he believed that because America was inherently conservative, he needed to take these centrist/right wing stands to win elections.

Look at her career. What did she champion while in the senate? China PTNR, Flag burning, video game violence, and the biggest examples of them all the Iraq war and Lieberman-Kyl. While in the senate in 2002 and already planning a run for president, she believed that she had to vote for the Iraq war to look "tough" if she were to run for president. Do I believe in her heart, Hillary Clinton would have done better things if she had voted with what she thought was actually right in a lot of these cases? It may surprise you, but I actually do. But when you believe that this an inherently conservative county and you have to sneak progressive ideas in when no one's looking, you will never bring about real change, and you are certainly not an asset to the movement that we are trying push forward. Senator Obama, although you were not my first choice in this race, I believe that you understand this divide, and in order to to move forward as a party, we must leave this way of thinking in the past.

And while the general election has just begun, you will already be making decisions that will greatly impact your ability to win this fall and then have a successful presidency. There's going to be a lot of pressure to bring the party together by giving theses people jobs, and the campaign has already begun to give the sorest loser of them second spot on your ticket. So please, please don't give in to their pressure and empty threats. Make a clean break with this faction of the party and bury their brand of triangulation and failure once and for all.

I hope you take this advice seriously, for I have 30 years of experience fighting for change. (Hey if she can say it, why can't I?)


PS: During your speeches over the next couple of weeks, can you send warning next time you're going to bullshit on and on about how what a classy campaign she ran? I know you "have to do it" and all, I'd just like to make sure I'd finished dinner before hand.


  1. PPS
    Obama, Game On..


  2. mark penn could not look like more of a clod in that picture. and kudos for making the word "clod" a part of our repertoire.

  3. Jonesy you clod, that's been a term frequently used on Train Of Thought for over 30 years!

    Funny about that hallmark card, at the safeway near me they have it right next to the card for boys telling them that if they want to become president, they had best find a cabin and start doing coke immediately- time WILL pass you by.

  4. Ha! Spoiler alert, much?

    You know who seemed oddly impressed by Obama today, on his radio show? Bill O'Reilly. God knows why I was listening, but I was surprised by his near-gushing praise of Obama's campaign and his remarks about how this is a historic moment for america, that an african american man is apparently successfully running for president. I'm not really sure why Obama's liked by people like him (though I guess I'm also not sure why any left-winger would have any political respect for McCain, either), but it's interesting. Putting Hillary on the ticket would totally destroy that.

  5. Maybe O'Reilly was impressed that Obama managed to run for president without screaming "Hey mf-ers! I want some more ice tea"

    But I also share the confusion about some of those people liking Obama, it's a weird phenomenon. And listening to conservative radio is worth it every now and then, especially hearing people like Hannity and Rush trying to say good things about McCain these days, which funnily enough would be the exact same position we'd be in if Hillary were the nominee. Yet another reason to be thankful.

    They just want to show how
    way cool they are, and hip
    to having a black president.


  7. JJ:

    Hahaha! Goodness me, what an asshole.

    PS: Y'all see how Obama chewed the crap out of Lieberman today in public? Awesome. Fuck that guy. (My own senator...)


    I think they're really impressed. Or at least O'Reilly is. He went on for quite some time yesterday about Obama's speaking ability – how he disagreed with Obama on paper but seeing him speak made an enormous difference. It's not like he's going to vote for him (I don't think!), but the sincerity was clear. If anything, the intellectual, calculating part of him was the part pushing him to talk about their disagreements on the Iraq withdrawal policy, not the part congratulating Obama on his victory.

    Also, as careful as he was with the phrasing of "Obama is confident about the election," the number of times and the way he said it would have embarrassed me if I was a republican. It's clear that he at least thinks of Obama as a particularly worthy candidate.

    This is a weirder election than we even give it credit for.

  8. I think that those deeds are highly influential in terms of social awareness. You know, you've pointed out the topic you see as an important one.