Sunday, March 30, 2008

Football and the Disaster Called the Press

As I watched the situation disintegrate in Iraq, it was interesting that I found that information, not from CNN, MSNBC or FOX(Pravda)News, but from the BBC. The mainstream media in this country focused on the Presidential race like it was a football game. Clinton gains a first down but is called for off-sides. Obama gets called for a late hit. Ew, that'll cost him. Oh no, Hillary fumbles the ball and turns the ball over to Obama.

That kind of thinking and effort seems to be par for the course for our so-called liberal media, which more resemble a propaganda network for the regime in power. I hate to say it, but I can only find reliable information about the war in Iraq and Afganistan by watching the BBC, listening to NPR and watching Frontline on PBS. And that reality is truly embarrassing and alarming.

Kudos, BTW, for the PBS Frontline documentary "Bush At War I,II." The fact that such deep analysis didn't occur on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN or FOX, is an indictment to the degree of complicity our press has in the disasters that Cheney/Bush has imposed upon us. Our press has let us down in the past, and continues to do so. We have a press that is nationalistic in it's focus and seeks to gain ratings by telling Americans what they want to hear. We have commercialized the press to the point that their reporting is gauged for viewership rather than accuracy and relevancy. This truly alarms me. The American people continue to be misled, misinformed and given the party line, not a true assessment of what is going on in the world.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Clinton Victory/A Democratic Defeat

Looking at the delegate math, it is now impossible for Hillary Clinton to win the nomination without taking a significant majority of superdelegates. Even with lopsided wins in the remaining primaries and caucuses, it is virtually impossible to overtake Obama's pledged delegate lead. If this is the case, a Hillary victory in convention will be a disaster for the Democratic Party. Can you imagine Hillary trying to draw any support from the Democratic African-American voters after party insiders deciding against their candidate who won the majority of primaries and caucuses?

To put it simply, for a Democratic Presidential victory in 2008, Hillary must concede the election. And there is no sign that she is willing to do that. And every attack she makes against Obama is just giving the Republicans a jump-start to what will be coming from the "Republican noise machine." I believe it is time for party insiders to approach Hillary and explain the situation. Would she rather have John McCain or Barak Obama? That is really the choice Hillary has to make. Because her as President at this point is statistically virtually impossible. And with every gasp Hillary makes in this impossible quest, it makes her look less and less like the stateswoman she wants to be, and more the politician so many fear she is.

Hillary made a good, impressive run at the Presidential nomination. She showed a passion that few people, myself included, thought that she possessed and could show the voters. She came to debates well prepared, and I believe she has run a good campaign that she and her supporters can be proud of. But the game is up. Do we want Barak Obama, or John McCain? A vote for Hillary at this point is a vote for John McCain.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Kudos to The Utah Democratic Party

Looking at the slate of candidates which the party recruited this year, some real praise is due those who worked so hard to recruit candidates for office. Particularly in the legislative races, I'm glad to see that most Republicans, even in strongly Republican districts will face a contest. The importance of these contests is to force Republicans to spend money on their own campaigns, rather than distribute that money to other campaigns.

Democrats have learned how to put together aggressive campaigns with nominal expense but I'm sure that these candidates can use campaign donations and those who can contribute, I hope they do. A campaign donation in a legislative race can go a long way and even small contributions are encouraged.

More than anything, I'm encouraged that there are many well educated, former Republicans beginning to fill Democratic ranks. The lack of accountability, transparency, and vision of Utah's Legislature, and the arrogance with which so many legislators have operated, is creating a tangible backlash and I believe Democrats will do better than people expect this year.

To the candidates who have thrown their hat in the ring, I tip my own hat to you. Running for office can be both exciting and draining. But in the end, I believe it makes you a better citizen, if even you go down in defeat. You have invested in our Republic in a way that is significant by putting your own name out there, willing to face rejection.

And again, kudos to Wayne Holland, Rob Miller and the rest of the Democratic leadership for a job well done as far as candidate recruitment.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another Insignificant Obama Victory

Atleast you would think listening to the Clinton campaign. With every Obama victory, and the Clinton campaign spin, you really begin to understand the race. Obama, a candidate with broad appeal has won in the pacific northwest (Washington), the mountainwest (Utah/Wyoming/Idaho), the midwest (Iowa/Illinois/Wisconsin), the northeast (Vermont/Maine) and much of the south. Clinton's claim of winning the big states by narrow margins isn't a compelling reason for Clinton to claim the nomination and garner up super-delegates.

Watching James Carville on the news the other night poo-poo Obama's victories in Idawho? etc., you can see the internal disagreement between Howard Dean's 50 state strategy and the politicos who surround the Clintons who only want a strategic majority. A typical feature of the polico mindset, is in order to acheive power, they tend to give up any hope of a mandate to accomplish the important objectives they claim to want to acheive.

A President Obama, popular in Mississippi, Idaho, Utah and Iowa, can translate that popularity with pressure on those in the legislative branch in those states to work with the President, rather than roadblock him. Clinton may win, but her divisiveness may get her the Presidency, but the title will be shallow when she fails to deliver the goods.

This post is a call-out to superdelegates such as Karen Hale who has committed to Hillary. The people of Utah were loud and clear in their support for Barak Obama. Clinton's campaign has shown that they don't care about little insignificant states such as Utah and enabling this behavior must stop. I think it is time that we unify our party around a candidate with broad appeal, with a message of unity and hope. That candidate is Barak Obama.

This message brought to you by the Obi wan liberali for Vice President committee

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Tenacity of a Clinton

You have to admit it, but Hillary Clinton is tenacious. Having been written off twice during this campaign season, she's still in the race after winning 3 out of 4 primaries yesterday.

Clearly Obama made some errors last week that hurt him, even so when you remember how far behind he was just a couple of weeks ago in Texas and Ohio, you have to admit that Obama shows an impressive ability to mobilize people. Republicans, having secured their candidate can just watch the Democrats anihilate each other. This is unfortunate. Hillary turned the election to a greater degree of meanness that clearly worked in the elections yesterday.

One thing I want to get off my chest, is irritation at Hillary's claim to having foreign policy experience. There is no indication that Hillary had anything to do as first lady with foreign affairs other than meeting individuals as first lady. There is no indication that she attended National Security Council meetings, discussed foreign affairs with Bill's appointees or anything that would lead one to conclude that she was a foreign policy expert. In fact, her vote to authorize the War in Iraq showed more political astuteness than foreign policy astuteness.

I am supporting Obama because I believe that Hillary cannot win in the General Election. If she gains the nomination, I will pull for her, not that my vote in this reddest state will do any good. But Hillary like Bush, is not a uniter, but a divider. She seeks to get just enough support to gain power, not to try to unite people in a common cause of turning this country around.

We have a candidate in Obama who can win in November. But with the forestalled nomination process, I think both Democrats harm our nation's chances of electing a much needed Democrat to the Presidency of the United States.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hillary's desperation

Failing to inspire a vision of her Presidency, Hillary has resorted to fear-mongering. I suppose that in her position, I might consider doing the same thing. The LBJ commercial against Goldwater is reminiscent of Hillary's 3:00 a.m. commercial. The fact that it worked against Goldwater, who in the end, was far more moderate than modern conservatives, shows that it is effective.

However, I have to give alot of kudos to Obama, whose response was appropriate and pointed. What I want is a Democrat who isn't ashamed of being a Democrat. I'm tired of Democrats trying to show their toughness by their ascribing to bad conservative policies. Obama understands that strength is borne by building alliances, not alienating other countries. Obama understands that having the best military in the world is both an asset, and a responsibility.

To OBama's credit, he has consitently shown good judgement in his responses to Hillary. He'll have to face similar challenges from various leaders of other countries. I value judgement more than I do experience. I've known far too many well experienced individuals who have incorporated bad ideas that were considered mainstream and prudent. Hillary despite her many strengths seems to fall into this mindset.

I want a President that is smart, articulate, and can lead a coalition that can get things done. I love Hillary's passion, but I doubt her ability to accomplish the objectives she seeks. I have greater faith in Obama to accomplish those things. As a leader in an organization, I've learned to trust my instincts when making hiring decisions, and those instincts have served me very well. Those instincts tell me that we Democrats must elect Obama.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Looking at Vision

As I've looked at the Democratic nomination process, I've come to certain conclusions. One is that Hillary Clinton is a very formidable person, who is well prepared, well educated and dives down to specifics in a way that is truly impressive.

I have also watched the phenomenom of Barak Obama, where he projects a vision more than he does specifics. Even so, when pressed, he shows an impressive command of understanding the trade-offs that are inherent to the issues confronted by Presidential candidates.

One of the great things about the competitive Democratic primary, has been to the fact that the American public has been exposed to the depth both in vision and specific understandings of issues that lacked in the discourse when the Republican nomination was still in question. Republicans gravitated to conservative talking points, all trying to outdo each other in how they aligned themselves to conservative dogma.

Democrats in contrast dealt with items both telescopal as well as microscopal in ways that were and are far more significant than Republicans. Republicans have managed to take John McCain and forced him to dumb down in order to appeal to the base. Democrats challenge their constituency, Republicans mollify them. The contrast is very telling. Republicans wish to rule an ignorant people, whereas Democrats seek to embolden an enlightened one. These are two visions for our Republic. One shows a faith in the people. One shows contempt. Though I am an avowed atheist, in this case, I'm willing to side with faith.