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                                       politics + culture

Thursday, January 10, 2008

choices

I wrote a diary on DailyKos today that got a wide-ranging discussion started. It's called the heart and soul of the party and you might like it.

A blogger challenged me in a comment on that thread and I wanted to share that challenge here and my response below.

The commenter writes:

I hadn't gone to check this out until you posted this ko, but I'm a little flustered. If the entire basis for the "Hillary is a sell-out insider who takes powerful people's money and so won't be open to participatory democracy", you should take another look at open secrets. I see all sorts of money from all sorts of industries washing all around our candidates. Honestly, the money frothe lobbyists (who do, as she says, include the likes of nurses), is swamped by the money coming directly from those in the industries themselves. For example, while HIllary gets the most from Pharma and Docs, take a look, Obama is #2 nipping at her heels.


And here was my response:

Thank you for that link. Obama and Clinton are both raising tons of money from PACs, and tons of money in general. (Obama winning more small donations than Hillary...more or less...but yes, you don't get to the Hundreds of Millions of donations w/o big donors.)

Now, if either of them weren't raising that kind of money, they wouldn't have the funds to compete on Tsunami Tuesday. That's not my point. It's a valid debate topic, but it's not my point.

The point is that Obama and Edwards made a pledge to refuse/return donations from Federal Lobbyists. Clinton did not. Even with all that PAC money, Clinton wouldn't make that pledge.

Imagine if she had. What message would that have sent? What message would unity among the top three Democratic candidates sent on that topic? It did not happen. Hillary chose otherwise.

Further, Hillary Clinton, when challenged on that one topic...not donations from PACS btw....just donations from Federal Lobbyists...chose to say "like it or not" Federal Lobbyists represent real Americans too. No one put those words in her mouth.

This is about choices.

Clinton's name is on the ballot in Michigan. That was her choice. She could have stuck with Obama and Edwards and the party, she did not.

Clinton could have sent a powerful message to the netroots by choosing a progressive campaign chair. Someone with a fresh voice and representing a new way of doing things. She did not.

Terry McAuliffe was her choice.

Bill Clinton could have acknowledged the enormous benefit Barack Obama is creating for the Democratic Party by energizing young people to register and show up at the polls in record numbers.

Bill made the opposite choice. He called Obama's campaign "the biggest fairy tale he's ever seen." Bill, an ex-President, belittled Barack Obama and gave words of criticism on live tape that can be used by the GOP.

I guarantee you that that moment will be used by the GOP if Obama is the nominee.

The Clintons have made choices. They should be judged by them. That's politics. I am very certain that the Clintons understand that thoroughly.

In fact, the message they send when they choose to act like they have is that they are ABOVE scrutiny. That's simply not true. It's not good politics. And it's not good for the Democratic Party.

I mean, the Clintons are making a very big ask from the American public. They are asking us to return them to the White House. This is a nation where we take that kind of thing seriously.

No one owns the White House. No one gets a free pass.

Not Barack Obama. Not John Edwards and not Hillary Clinton.

1 Comments:

  • True. Your opinion and actions are a service to the party and your country. Keep it up.

    By Blogger John Leek, at 8:10 AM  

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