Tag Archives: democrats

This is Hillary’s week

The Democratic National Convention starts today and the latest round of polls are out. FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only estimate of the election now shows Trump in the lead. Just in case you think we can not vote or not volunteer, and Hillary will coast to a win anyway… we can’t.

As a long-time Hillary supporter — I recorded a podcast episode about the primary process back in 2008, which I’m still very proud of — I’m increasingly frustrated to realize how much damage has been done with the constant attacks against her character over 20 years. She’s held to a different standard of perfection than everyone else. But she’s a very good candidate and fundamentally honest.

Let’s not forget how historic this election is. From a New York Times profile by Gail Collins:

You can argue the pros and cons of Hillary Clinton’s character, or her potential to change the nation, or her position on trade policy. But you can never take away the fact that she was the one who made the idea of a woman becoming president so normal that many young women are bored by it.

If Hillary wins, future generations will grow up learning about how Republicans (and even some Democrats) threw everything at her for decades, and she never gave up on politics. Success isn’t just the best ideas, the best product, the best marketing. Success is perseverance.

There are many people alive today who were born before women had the right to vote. Trump is wrong about what makes America “great”. The country is great because it is progressive, even if progress takes a long time. Electing the first woman president isn’t supposed to be easy. Hillary is a strong Democrat, and her place in history is worth fighting for and celebrating.

Palin

I made a comment on “Dave Winer’s points”:http://www.scripting.com/stories/2008/08/29/initialThoughtsOnThePalinN.html about McCain VP pick Sarah Palin that I feel like I should republish here. I’ve commented on dozens of blogs and news sites through the primaries, but I haven’t posted here on this blog, instead preferring to let off steam on Twitter. I think this comment serves as a nice snapshot in time of the race, at least from my perspective, so here it is:

Some of your points may end up being true, but let me just address number 6. Since you didn’t vote for Hillary, there are 18 million people who know more about this point than you do.

Every day this week at the convention, the main news story was Hillary and party unity. What would she say, would Democrats unite? Well she hit it out of the park with her speech, and Bill Clinton did too, and then Biden followed strong and it was easy to be excited about being a Democrat, about the story of Obama and Biden and how hopelessly lost the Republicans were by comparison. Even those Democrats who were frustrated with the party, and disappointed with Obama in general, started to warm up to the ticket.

When McCain picked Palin, it was like none of the week had happened. Everything was reset back to the primaries, in how Hillary had been treated by the press, party, and Obama supporters, and how Obama had passed her over for VP.

On the issues, Palin is no Hillary. But every day for the next 2 months, Palin will be a reminder to disgruntled Democrats that Obama messed up.

Unite the Party

After Hillary won Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island last month, I decided it was time to think less about actively supporting my own candidate, who clearly wasn’t going away, and more about the future of the Democratic Party and what it would take to come together when a nominee is chosen. I had been quick to defend Hillary on Twitter and in blog comments, but the more I considered the close race and the long month until the next primary in Pennsylvania, now finally here, the more convinced I became that a joint ticket is the answer to a unified party.

Rather than bicker with my friends who support Obama, I changed my tone to emphasize our shared values and launched a new site: “unitetheparty.com”:http://www.unitetheparty.com/. I’ve been posting there regularly since March, and hope to build a group of like-minded Democrats to write on this topic, as well as a list of supporters who want to see a joint ticket happen.

Thinking about the endgame of the race in this context provides an excellent backdrop for discussing the real issues important to voters. There’s still an opportunity to use these campaigns for good: setting the right tone against McCain and bringing awareness of the Democratic agenda to everyone.

Bush veto

Yes, it’s a politically-themed post. Probably the only one before 2008, so don’t run away just yet.

The Bush veto of the bipartisan children’s health care plan a few weeks ago really made me angry, but it wasn’t until “Justin Miller responded”:http://twitter.com/incanus77/statuses/310113392 to “my tweet”:http://twitter.com/manton/statuses/310110182 that I started to think about why. Here’s the reason.

When Bush was elected in 2000, I expected this kind of stuff from him. Vetoing stem cell research? Killing children’s health care funding? Sure, par for the course for this Republican. But then 9-11 happened and everything changed. The war. Our president’s priorities changed.

Bush got a free ride from the media during the 2000 election, and again after 9-11. He would make the most incompetent and clumsy mistakes and yet be cut slack because, frankly, expectations are just so much lower for him than any other president in recent history.

At some point in 2004, opinion started to shift, led by folks like Howard Dean (who I’ve “written about before”:http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Amanton.org+howard+dean). Eventually, after Bush won re-election, there would be enough anti-war momentum to matter. And that brings us up to now and this veto.

Everyone is focused on the war. Everyone understands the significance, the mistakes. Most of the country wants it over but we know that it’s complex, and the consequences for any given action will be felt for a decade. Compared to the lives lost in Iraq and the harm done to the stability of the Middle East, the rise of a new generation of terrorists — what does a health care bill matter? Is it worth fighting for?

Democrats in power by a slim majority probably think they have to choose their battles, have to give in on some issues so they can hold on to the important ones, like the war. But I say no. The only thing that works against this stubborn ass in the White House is to take the fight to him. Cut him off at every turn. Don’t give him a freakin’ inch. Call for an override vote again and again.

Every. Single. Day.

That’s how you win. You put people on the ground in every state — organizing, protesting, getting out the vote. You put letters in the hands of our representatives — email, blogs, editorial, flyers. You put a loud voice to what you feel and never, ever back down.

The 50-state strategy

I started writing this post yesterday afternoon. Worried that I would jinx a victory, I wrote two versions: one for a narrow loss and one for what really happened.

Two years ago, after Kerry lost, “I wrote”:http://www.manton.org/2004/11/after_almost_winning.html: “We almost won, and all the hard work of the last 18 months will pay off big in two short years.”

Well, it’s two years later, and we did it. DNC chairman Howard Dean’s “50-state strategy”:http://democrats.org/a/party/a_50_state_strategy/ worked. The media will tell you that the election was just about Iraq and Bush, but it goes deeper than that — voters are sick of Republican corruption, tired of half-hearted attempts at health care, and longing for a real vision for public education. You can see the patterns by looking at the progressive wins in state races and on local propositions too.

There are “20 posts in the politics category”:http://www.manton.org/category/politics.html of my blog, and they include some of my favorites from the last 4 years. It’s nice to be on the winning side again after too long. The next part of the job is for Democrats to show everyone in America that real progress can be made in Washington. Deliver. Then keep organizing and make it all happen again in 2008.

Midterm elections matter

I voted today. Here’s the scene for my precinct today. Not too crowded, but a steady flow of people.

Voting

Yesterday Traci and I called voters as part of “MoveOn.org’s Call for Change”:http://www.moveon.org/. I’m always nervous about calling complete strangers. I did this for the first time for Howard Dean’s campaign and it’s easy to get disillusioned with answering machines and hang-ups. But almost everyone we talked to was planning to vote today, and I think there’s definitely a sense that this election matters. Sometimes a simple reminder is the difference between voting or skipping it, so if you only reach a handful of people it can make the difference in a close race if thousands of other people are doing the same.

I’ll be up late tonight watching the returns. Polls close early in some places and may get crowded, so don’t wait any longer if you haven’t voted yet. For location info call 1-866-MY-VOTE-1.