Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Prepare to get angry at me

I'm writing this post knowing that some of you might get a little ticked off at me. But please--hear me out.

One of the reasons I can’t stand listening to BushCo and people like Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly, Kristol, etc. is that these people willfully ignore the truth, spouting bold-faced lies and ridiculous statements that their supporters accept unquestioningly and then parrot back as “fact.” Logical appeals are wasted on most repugs; they deny the validity of any numbers, studies, or other factual information that proves them wrong, claiming it’s biased or (worse yet) just a fabrication of the “liberal media.” Ethical appeals are equally in vain, for the simple reason that anyone who still supports BushCo or their brand of “conservatism” has pretty much lost any sense of right and wrong, good and bad. Emotional appeals become the fodder for mAnn Coulter-style vituperative attacks on what the repugs call “whiny” “bleeding-heart” “dirty hippie” “hopelessly naïve” progressive philosophies.

So I avoid conservative blogs; I try to ignore the Fox Nazi Channel when it’s on in the cafeteria at work. Why listen to these people’s lies and get my blood pressure up?

Lately, however, I’ve noticed an equally frustrating trend as this battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continues. I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I've never really liked Obama, as his “change we can believe in” platitudes, lack of specifics, and what I perceive as his genuine INsincerity struck me from the first time I saw him speak and read his book. That said, now there’s this flap over his alleged plagiarism of several people’s speeches, talking points, and even strategic plans. People on both sides of the issue are claiming they’re right, and it’s starting to get ugly.

NOTE: I’m not mentioning any names or linking to any blogs, because I don’t want to piss anyone off or spotlight anyone in particular. So even if you start to think I might be talking about you in the rest of this post, please just read on with an open mind.

What surprises—and scares—me is how the level of rhetoric between the people who support Obama and the people who believe Obama is indeed “borrowing” ideas and words from others is fast becoming bitter and angry, and not a little unlike the wingnuts' defense of their Prezdint-Decider-Guy. Just yesterday, I read a comments exchange on one of my favorite blogs between two people who normally get along very well. One of them was attacking Hillary Clinton, while the other was asking, “but what do you have to say about these examples of Obama’s plagiarism?” It went on and on, increasing in fury, and I felt really weird – like I was reading an exchange between a repug and a dem, not two dems who just support different dem candidates.

On another of my favorite blogs, an Obama supporter basically claimed that anyone who doesn't support Obama is an old racist fogey. WTF?

It’s gotten to the point where people--even people I consider to be open-minded, progressives who truly live in reality--are fervently denying or ignoring the reality of the many instances where it does indeed look like Obama has been taking the words and ideas of others and passing them off as his own, which is how I used to define “plagiarism” to my students when I taught college English. Many people whose opinions I value and whose judgment I respect are still squarely behind Obama, defending him with a fury not unlike that of some repug friends of mine defending their Chimp-in-Chief. Again, I ask--WTF?

Now maybe I’m just wrong about all this. Maybe I’m just reading Obama wrong, and he really is a true man of the people, a populist who will change the direction this country is going with a bold new vision that he just hasn't yet outlined the specifics of yet. After all, the guy’s a noted expert on constitutional law, right? Who better to restore the rights we’ve had stripped away from us by BushCo?

And maybe this whole “plagiarism” thing is really just a figment of Hillary’s imagination, and John Edwards’ imagination, and indeed the MSM’s imagination.

And maybe when Obama supporters rigorously defend their man, they’re just fighting for the truth and their ardor should be admired, not questioned by the likes of me—and it certainly shouldn’t even be thought of in the same league as the reich-wingers’ defense of their repug candidates and president.

Maybe I’m just being completely unfair and delusional about this whole issue.

And yet…

And yet I still can’t get behind Obama. I still feel like he isn’t offering any specifics for how he’ll change things, like he’s a marvelous and dynamic speaker who has inspired many but may deliver nothing if elected, whether due to his inexperience, his naivete, his own ties to some of the same corporate coffers as he accuses Hillary of having, or his nice-guy personality.

And I still can’t help but feel like people who support him are ignoring the lack of substance behind the “dream” and the “hope” rhetoric Obama espouses so eloquently.

I’m not pointing any fingers, and I’m not trying to call anyone an “Obama-nut” or anything. I’m just trying to understand how we all got so bitter so fast.

21 comments:

CDP said...

Great post, Ms. Guzman. We're liberals, we're progressives, so we shouldn't get mad at anyone for saying something so reasonable, whether or not we agree.

Mary Ellen said...

Hi-

I understand what you mean and to be honest, I don't it.

At the Art Institute of Chicago, they unveiled a statue of Obama as Christ. Yup...long robes and all (he's still wearing his tie, though). I've seen a comment on another blog that Obama is like Jesus, and I've also seen comments that refer to him as another MLK, JFK, and yes, I saw today that he was compared to Lincoln.

There's a blog that is named someting like "Obama Messiah"...I wish I had the link, I saw it hot linked on another blog the other day. It's creepy...very very creepy.

There have been numerous articles written about the Obama supporters as a "cult" following.

Here's the problem I'm having. I started my blog with the plan to write about politics and religion. I found that I was uncomfortable writing about religion because there are so many people who either don't care about that subject and wouldn't come and read it, or I may anger some who really hate it. That left politics, which was fine when we all agreed that we didn't like what Bush and Co. was doing and later, when we were angry about our spineless Congress. Then came this election...everything was fine when there was multiple candidates, but as it whittled down to three and then two...BLAM! That's when I was called a racist by a blogger that used to come to my blog. After that...any time I would write a post about Obama (I wrote about the Rezko affair and I think two more posts) I angered some...many of my regular bloggers. One didn't come back to my blog after the Rezko post and then only returned when I wrote about Obama...that blogger never came around to comment on any of my other posts again, all which had nothing to do with Obama. It's as if they were just looking for a fight.

It seems as if I'm not allowed to write about the candidate I support or point out the many inconsistencies with Obama's record without taking the chance of losing bloggers.

So, I ask...what's the point of having my blog?

Try going to what I thought were progressive blogs...AmericaBlog, Huffpost, and a few others. They are pro Obama---hate Hillary AND Bill at all costs. The writing is skewed toward only good news of Obama...slander or false rumors about Clinton. It's like watching Faux News. These are blogs that I used to depend on to get my news. Now I don't trust them...and wonder if I should EVER have trusted them?

I'm seriously thinking of leaving the party. I've been a life long Democrat (and it's a hell of a long life), all because of the hatred coming from our own party.

Many say they will vote for whichever Democrat gets the nominee. I felt that way myself until I saw Michelle Obama say that if Hillary won the nomination that she would have to "think about the issues" and Barack Obama also fudged around it by saying that the real question is whether Obama supporters would support Hillary if he was not nominated. When pressed about it on another day, he said, "Look, Hillary and I were friends before the election and we'll be friends after the election." He ducked the question again. Hillary said, without hesitation, that she would vote for Obama if he won the election.

Since Obama thinks that Hillary isn't good enough for him and his supporters, I don't think he's good enough for me, which is why I will not support or vote for him if he gets the nomination. I've seen this arrogance of his in Chicago...that's why I never supported him from the get-go.

Mary Ellen said...

Crap...first line and I screwed it up.

I understand what you mean and to be honest, I don't it.

I don't get it.

I shouldn't answer the phone while blogging.

dguzman said...

Fellow Sno-Caps lover and Necco-peace warrior: Thanks, and I agree. Infighting will get us nowhere but four more years of rethug fascism.

Nunly: Obama... as Christ? Was it some kind of joke? Imagine if someone had done a Hillary-as-Virgin-Mary statue? Holy shit, the museum would've been blown up! I just want all us dems to get along, you know? Hearing of Obama's and Mrs Obama's arrogance (they're skewering her right now on Faux, btw, for saying something about finally being proud of America) really saddens me. I want to be able to vote for a dem without holding my nose. I think the last time I did that was when I voted for Ann Richards in TX.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Good point. Maybe we should alll just settle down and make sure we vote for who we support in our local primary or caucus and then go from there. The party needs to attack Bush McCain and not itself.

Mary Ellen said...

dguzman-

Here's the link with the video about it. He even has a neon halo...no kidding. It wasn't meant to be a joke, I guess, which is why there was an uproar about it.

In response to the other comments...here is the problem I'm having with the "let's all just get along". That implies, imo, that we should never write anything in our blog about a candidate. If I write something about Obama, it was because the main stream media refuses to report it or cover it and you aren't going to hear anything about it on the big and many of the small progressive blogs who are supporting Obama.

That's like saying that we should have all just shut up about Bush when the news was out about his draft dodging, or other escapades. Or maybe we should all just be quiet when Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid don't show any backbone.

It's silencing the news on OBama and giving free reign to those who want to trash Hillary--like AmericaBlog and Huffpost.

I have never put anything on my site that wasn't backed with fact, never...and yet, this has caused the Obama supporters to get angry.

As much as I would like to hold hands and sing KUMBAYA, it just doesn't seem fair that there is a double standard for what could be discussed when it comes to Obama, and anything goes for Hillary.

Whiskeymarie said...

I agree with Dr. Monkey. I love a good discussion/argument/exchange and hope the productive ones continue, but the mud-slinging and name-calling has to stop.
It's like we're hell-bent on undermining ourselves sometimes.

Mary Ellen said...

Well, I just noticed on another blog that I was told I was a "fundamentalist feminist" because I was supporting Hillary. I'm not sure how that explains why I was supporting Edwards in the beginning. I guess that feminism stuff just creeps up on ya when you aren't looking. Really...this is the stuff I've had to deal with from the Obama supporters. So, now I'm a racist fundamentalist feminist. My mother will be so proud.

FranIAm said...

I have been accused of issues because I chose not to support Obama and because I questioned the tone of the rhetoric.

In fact I may even be the racist old fogey in question that you mention, but who am I to flatter my sorry old self?

I did an open thread a week or so ago. I don't get it- there is a lot of love for Obama.

And I am not supporting Hillary either.

I will vote for the nominee - the whole process at this point saddens me and scares me.

Great post my girl. Sorry- you can't get me mad at you.

Randal Graves said...

"Uh, you were telling me about the time you got out of jury duty."

"See son, the trick is to say you're prejudiced against all races."

I don't like any of these candidates, and I'll vote my conscience in the primary and be pragmatic on November 4. But the fervor I see from supporters of either is nuts. She's a corporate Dem. He's a corporate Dem. Either would be a monstrous improvement over Chimpy, but we're not getting a true blue, hardcore progressive here, and the fact that policy wonkery is now making lefties go all loon is fucking nuts.

I will, in my lifetime, never cast a vote for a progressive with a chance at the White House on Election Day. So I'll keep voting for the lesser of two evils. It's frustrating that so many can't see that. Hillary isn't a savior. Obama isn't a savior. Get over yourselves, people.

dguzman said...

Dr Monkey--as usual, you're a uniter, not a divider. Love the new avatar, you big hunk of monkey man meat!

ME--I understand your problems with "let's all get along." It's a tough line to walk between intra-party peace and just taking it up the ass "for the team." A "fundamentalist feminist"--there are worse things we could be, eh? I'd be happy to be called that!

Fran, I believe everyone above 40 was called a racist old fogey that day, including me. Silly kids! I am also disappointed with this whole stupid process.

Randal--It seems like every damned election, we end up with the lesser of two evils. Like I said, the last time I felt really good about voting was back in TX voting for Ann Richards. That's almost twenty years ago now, man.



Whiskey--Yup.

Jess Wundrun said...

Bill Clinton said that he had waited his whole life to be able to vote for a woman or an african-american for president and now that the chance is here it has to be either/or.

I support Obama. I have never wanted Hillary to run for president because I don't want anymore of that triangulation bs that Bill Clinton could pull off. Let's face it, hopeful rhetoric is important because without it you can have a president do a good job and get remembered as a goat. (Hello Jimmy Carter).

Because I don't support Hillary, I like to read comments by her supporters. They assure me that if she gets the nomination she will have a chance to win against McCain, which I can't say I currently believe. I just wish the passion for both candidates didn't have to spend so much time remarking on what sucks about the other.

This should be a very exciting time. In fact, I am enjoying the hell out of this year's nominating process, political geek that I am, so I mostly ignore the overheated rhetoric.

Excellent post.

KD said...

Good post, just dropping through on Mary Ellens bloggers.

I am confused by Obama and as of yet I do not support him.

I do not believe he offers solutions for the health care industry (yes, industy because they are making a proffit from people)

I am not saying..... that if he wins the nomination that I will not vote for him, because I will to keep a republican from the grips of the white house.

Mary Ellen will be back before we know it, with another firey post as usual. You will see me watching her blog while she is away... (to keep the trolls away)

O.K., I go for now.....Bye for now.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Really?? Obama Christ statue at the AI? I don't get that at all. Anyway, I think it is very important this election for all liberals and democrats to unite, no matter who is on the ticket, so we can assert a plan to get out of Iraq and put an end to this abomination of an administration.

kendalnite said...

NEWS FLASH!!!

I just placed the global primary results on Mary Ellen's Blog under the America's Castle post, this was for 11 delegates.

Mauigirl said...

I'm not angry at you at all. I know Obama is no saint, nor is he the Messiah. And I know Hillary and he have similar goals and if she wins, I'll gladly vote for her in November. I just feel, as Jess says, that Hillary can't beat McCain, and above all, I want our side to beat McCain.

I might have voted for Kucinich in the primary, to be honest, if he had still been running. He was the one whose beliefs were closest to my own. But he never had a chance anyway, and go back to paragraph one - I want our side to win in November.

I think people are tired of the Clintons and they won't be able to pull in the independents or moderate Republicans. I think Obama can do that.

While Obama probably does not have enough experience, I am hoping he will be able to surround himself with good people and have the right vision for the country. I know McCain's vision is very different from mine so if Obama can beat him, I'm all for him. And if he doesn't get the nomination, I'll have to hope Hillary can pull it off.

Because otherwise we're in for a long four more years (minimum) of Republican rule. And I think one thing we can all agree on is that that would be very bad.

karenzipdrive said...

As an avid blogger, blog reader and commenter, I couldn't agree with you more.
Obamanistas can be be like Claymates who cannot tolerate any criticism of their American Idol.
Just look at how you had to tiptoe even to broach the topic.
Of course I'll support whomever wins the Democratic nomination, but Obama is definitely not my first choice.
It's not him so much as it is the delusional faction of his fanbase. They love his flowery speeches about peace, love and harmony, yet they are quick to turn into snapping jackals when they read the slightest bit of criticism about him.
Obama seems a little thin on specifics, and that troubles me.
He's also a little short on Senate accomplishments, which makes me wonder if he's more style than substance.
As a middle-aged woman, I have done my time protesting the Vietnam war, the lack of civil rights and equal rights for women and gays. Throw in guarding clients of abortion clinics, too.
Obama is a little too young to recall the struggles we older liberals have gone through, so, like his youthful followers, he takes a lot for granted.
Hillary has done her share of marching for the same causes as I have, and as a woman I can relate better to her than I can to Obama.
I think on the whole, Obama's supporters have been less tolerant of Hillary supporters than vice versa.
We need to keep the discourse between Democrats more civil. We are fielding two great candidates, after all.
There will be plenty of time for streetfighting once the general election race is decided.
We should all keep out powder dry until then.

fairlane said...

DG-

I'll go one further.

Once you sift through the rhetoric, is there really much difference between Orthodox Dems, and Orthodox Reps?

When I hear grown adults say, "Whomever the Dems choose, I'll vote for them no matter who it is," I get very discouraged.

How is that any different than what Wingnuts do?

"Anyone's better than a damn Democrat."

Why not have the parties simply select the nominee, and cut out the selection process altogether?

If Americans truly wanted "Change," they'd stop supporting the Two Parties who were bought and sold by Corporations decades ago.

Like ME, I too was called a "racist" because I had the "Audacity" to say I find it offensive when people compare Obama to MLK.

King risked, and eventually lost his life for what he believed. Obama didn't even have the balls to vote against the Bill condemning Moveon.org (The most ridiculous piece of legislation in decades).

The reason people like King, Gandhi, our Forefathers, etc hold such powerful positions in history, is because their words were backed by actions, and their actions came first.

We are being duped, yet again.

fairlane said...

I meant the "Primary process."

dguzman said...

Jess--it is exciting to see a black man and a woman both running for president, and the idea of voting for a woman (in the PA primary) and then probably for Obama (I'm realistic) in November has me TOTALLY jazzed. It is sad that it has to be one or the other, but maybe they could team up to beat McCain and we'd have the best of both worlds! Hillary running the Senate as VP would ROCK.

KD--thanks for coming by! I'll check Nunly's site for your updates.

GKL--such inspiring words from our next VP! Monkey/Love 08!

Maui--you're so right. Whoever we end up with, we just have to beat McCain. No more warmongers in the White House!

Karen--I sometimes feel just like you, thinking about how younger people like Obama and his followers don't know what it's like be part of a true struggle like they/you had in the late 60s and early 70s. Obama certainly doesn't; he's been privileged from the start.

And Fairlane, I really hate the comparisons to MLK or anyone; I mean, what has this guy ever done that even comes close? Running for president is easy when you have a charismatic personality and a ton of money.

Iheartfashion said...

Amen!