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Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Clinton Didn't Concede

And some people are unhappy. Being conciliatory wouldn't have netted her anything, and her final primary speech was hers to make. She won South Dakota and she's won every state in which major party elites were backing Sen. Obama. (California - Pelosi; Massachusetts - Patrick, Kerry, and Kennedy; Nevada - Harry Reid; New Mexico- Bill Richardson; South Dakota - Daschle) h/t Anglachel

I think she said it best: ""You know, I understand that a lot of people are asking, what does Hillary want? What does she want? Well, I want what I have always fought for in this whole campaign. I want to end the war in Iraq. I want to turn this economy around. I want health care for every American. I want every child to live up to his or her God-given potential, and I want the nearly 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard and no longer to be invisible.

You see, I have an old-fashioned notion, one that's been the basis of my candidacy and my life's work, that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their own dreams. This nation has given me every opportunity, and that's what I want for every single American."

Why didn't she just up and concede? I turn the question around. Why should she have? She doesn't need the goodwill of the media--they've never offerred it anyway--, she doesn't need the good will of the Obama supporters who've been demonizing her, and she will remain in the Senate all else fails. And she's using her position as the popular vote leader to force Obama to become a Democratic (not-post-party) partisan. There will be no triagulation on health care, the economy, or the war. Quitters don't win.

Here's what's clear: Sen. Clinton (and to a lesser extent Bill Clinton) are the door through which Sen. Obama must pass to offer unity to the party. If he is going to be the nominee, then it's his duty. She will endorse on her own terms.

And y'all just need to deal with it.

Sen. Clinton is teaching us to be strong. And she is simply doing what every single mother has always done for their children when they had to deal with the choice of themselves, and their children; the gas or the groceries; food or healthcare. And I know because I watched my mom make (and continue to make) those decisions. And she had staying power that resulted in me pursuing my dream of graduate education, and the rest of her children their dreams: in the Air Force (my sister), as an architect (my brother), and to be in the WNBA (my other sister).

If the super-delegates insist on making Sen. Obama the nominee, then I, as one of the authors of this blog, will have little to say about American partisan politics. (President Bush is fair game and I will comment on other stuff.) I am going to think of a plan to banish from the party all the politicians who defected from the popular vote of their constituents to put Obama over the top--especially after all the bellyaching his people did about 'respecting the will of the voters'--and punish them with the loss of office. I am going to remain registered as an independent, and try and get progressive elected down ticket. As JFK once quipped: "Forgive your enemies, but remember their names."

Like Michelle Obama, I had only one candidate I was excited about, and if that candidate leaves the race, then I'll have to wait and see what I will do. I don't want to here a lick about him making history. I've been black all my life and it's nothing new for me. More importantly, making history doesn't pay the bills and it doesn't get every American health care. I voted for an unenthusiastic candidate in 2004, and there is no reason for me to do that again. If the Democratic and Republican parties keep fielding unacceptable candidates, I'm going to restrict myself to only voting in the races in which there are exciting candidates, and do my best to prevent races in which I have to stomach the lesser of two evils. And if you want to send me an angry note saying: "John, it's over" I'll tell you this: On the CNN website, McCain is the presumptive nominee and Obama is the projected nominee. The word difference is what matters.

More importantly, if Clinton is not in the race, I am not going to spend too much time making a case against John McCain (2004 is hopefully the last time I cast my vote to register discontent against someone). Sen. McCain is clear about where he stands, and clear about how we should respond to him. Where John McCain agrees with President Bush, his policy proposals are incompetent; on the points where McCain disagrees with Bush, his policies are reckless.

The Republican Party--of Regan to Bush II--is in shambles, and it is being sucked into the quicksands of political oblivion. The massive political landslide toward the Democrats--I predict 5 (if Obama is the nominee) to 7 (for a unity ticket) to 8 (if Clinton is the nominee) Senate seat and a 20 House seat gain for the Democrats--will break the Republican Party. They will have to rethink, repackage, and purge the dead hands of the paleo- and neo-cons that threaten to drag them down. Gov. Jindal and Gov. Crist--suburban women and Latino voters-- are the future of the party.

So I am not going to vote for, and specifically will advocate against, people voting for the Republican Party if Sen. Obama is the nominee of the Democratic Party. Instead, I am suggesting the following course of action:

(1) only vote downticket for the members of the House and members of the Senate they like. I think turnout should plummet to 5% for the Presidential race, and we should all vote for Congressional and local officials,

(2) Only give money to (i) progressive watchdog organizations that do not endorse Sen. Obama, (ii) local candidates running on the Democratic ticket, (iii) and Sen. Clinton.

(3) Do not tune into any mainstream media on TV; with the exception of the Washington Post and the Christian Science monitor, only read local and foreign press, Clinton's website, and the Clinton blogs.

(4) Contact Super Delegates.

A little spine and dignity is what Sen. Clinton would have asked from us.