By Joe Campbell
June 12th, 2008
”Eventually, the hard feelings will die down,” the pundits say. And I think they are mainly right.
I don’t want to make a big deal of the still raw feelings on display by Clinton supporters – after all, we all should be on the same side come November. But the overheated rhetoric, the deliberate attempts to undermine the legitimacy of Obama’s nomination, and the incredible sense of entitlement on display among some of these Clinton supporters inspires some raw feelings in me as well. RiverDaughter writes of those “Democrats in Exile“:
Any day now, Obama supporters will be knocking at my door and ask me to get a membership in their exclusive club. I will be treated like a queen once they scan the voter’s rolls in NJ and see my name. It will be like, “Oooo, Riverdaughter is a “creative class” unaffiliated. Well, we must really ask her to do a round of golf with us or share a latte.” I will be pampered and courted and made to feel better than all of you losers who comment on this blog.
In another example, a Heidi Li (seconded by RiverDaughter) has written a very popular blogpost that asks her readers to “slap the face of the DNC” by donating to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, instead of the cash-strapped DNC, which – through some form of black magic – is supposed to lead to Hillary becoming the nominee or regaining control over the Democratic party:
My view is that if the D.N.C. wants one lick of help from any supporter of Senator Clinton the first thing it should do is boot Howard Dean and make it clear that the new chair is somebody who Senator Clinton wants in that position.
In the meantime, we can help Senator Clinton AND tick off the D.N.C. at the same time (smile a slightly naughty smile here). If we very quickly raise a ton ‘o money to rid Senator Clinton of her debt, believe me, the D.N.C. will understand where the true power lies. After we raise that money, we hold on to every penny we have unless and until Senator Clinton becomes the nominee for President or clearly takes control of the D.N.C.
It’s unclear if Ms. Li is expecting that The Angry Clinton Supporters Brigade will outraise the legions of Obama supporters who have consistently been more generous. And the idea that Clinton deserves to
control the DNC is ludicrous. Just because the Clintons controlled the DNC from 1992 until when Howard Dean was selected doesn’t mean that they should continue to control it. Especially given Dean’s role in paving the way for the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress and Obama’s 50-state plan for the general election.
The Democratic Party is not a Clinton family property. The Clintons have contributed and continue to contribute greatly to progressive causes and the Democratic party1 . But it is not healthy for them to have a stranglehold on the organization because they alone are not the Democratic Party. We are.
We Are the Democratic Party: We activists, we progressives, we liberals, we feminists, we wary libertarians, we blue-collar and white-collar workers, we blacks and Hispanics and whites and Asians and Native Americans, we students and professors, we union-workers and hedge fund managers, we who drink lattes and we who drink coffee (black, no-sugar), we who down Manhattans and we who drink beer, we who bowl and we who do not, but most of all…we unlucky few who saw our nation going down the wrong path for all these years, yet were unable to stop it and we who only gradually realized the incredible cynicism that has taken over the Republican Party as it exploited and fanned our basest fears to win elections while pursuing policies which made our nation less safe.
The Democratic National Committee is struggling – and we Democrats, we Obama supporters, we Clinton supporters – will need a strong majority in Congress, in the Senate, and throughout the country if we are to achieve what we set out to do.
We must win this election. And we can.
We need everyone to donate time – at your local DNC office, at the local Obama campaign office, with any get-out-the-vote operations. We need everyone to think about the issues and the course that needs to be taken. We need people to make sure the Democratic Party stays a party of ideas by voicing their individual opinions – on the web and elsewhere.
And we need money. If you can, donate today to the “We Are the Democratic Party” at the Democratic National Committee. And if you are a Hillary supporter who wants to show appreciation for her ground-breaking campaign, then certainly donate to help her retire her debt. Donating to Hillary won’t be sticking a finger in anyone’s eye or slapping anyone’s face.
We who know how important this coming election is – as a choice between a neo-empire and a true democracy, a choice between a government that benefits the few and a government that helps the many, a choice between an aggressively conservative Court and a more moderate one, a choice between a health care system that is broken and attempting to fix it, a choice between staying in Iraq for 100 years or leaving as soon as possible – we who know how important this election is are the Democratic Party.
And that’s why we all need to support the Democratic National Party as it prepares for this momentous election, perhaps the most important of our lifetime:
America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.
- Obama is our excuse
- The Bush/McCain Counterterrorism Strategy: Winning Through Losing
- McCain’s unsustainable ‘realistic idealism’
- Hayden on Obama: I didn’t see him coming.
- Even if their overall legacy – both within the Democratic Party and outside it – is mixed. [↩]