Sunday, April 06, 2008

Randi Rhodes & other Hitler Youth for Bambi

*To folks wondering the Obama campaign was somehow affiliated with this event, please know that it was in no way sanctioned, authorized, or endorsed by the Obama for America campaign. This was a fundraiser put together by a San Francisco radio station (you can see their explanation of the event here This website is one of hundreds of thousands of user-generated websites you can make on*

That's a cute little statement and one that was added to Barack Obama's campaign site announcement of the Randi Rhodes appearance at an event sponsored by his supporters -- NorCal LGBT for Obama (where all the self-loathing LGBT members flock to), San Francisco for Obama, The Castro for Obama, Young Bay Area Professionals for Barack Obama. From the campaign's own page, it notes that "57" Obama supporters used the page to sign up to attend the event.

What was the event?

Randi Rhodes doing what she does best -- imploding. Hence her face.

Rhodes took to the stage at this joint Air America Radio and Barack Obama event to scream that Hillary Clinton was a "b**ch" and "a f**king wh**e!" and that Geraldine Ferraro was "a f**king wh**e!" as well. She used homophobic language and offered much more of the bittnerness that her barren life has provided her with.

Air America Radio can't afford Randi Rhodes. They truly never could. But as they continue to struggle just to broadcast, they really didn't need Rhodes pissing off half the Democratic Party. They didn't need her gutter mouth building ill will.

The announcement explains of Rhodes:

She was quieter in her support earlier in the primary season, but this week Randi Rhodes has been on fire with her passion for Obama (and disappointment/anger with his opponent). Today (3/7), she spent nearly her whole show urging people to get to Pennsylvania or to call Pennsylvania on behalf of Senator Obama.

Really? Because that would be a violation of several rules. Mainly it would shock the many who no longer listen to her (either to preserve their ear drums or because AAR has lost so many affiliates and their online presence has drastically reduced). See, there was no bigger Clintonista at AAR than Randi Rhodes. Even Al Franken couldn't come close.

So it's probably a shock to those listening from 2004 through 2006 to discover that Rhodes would attack Hillary Clinton so viciously.

Rhodes and her supporters want to argue it's comedy and that Rhodes is a comedian. That actually is funny. And what's even funnier -- and more telling -- is that it's the same excuse Rhodes fellow hate monger, Ann Coulter, has at times attempted to mount.

There's no excuse for the Democratic Party's Air America Radio to allow that sort of behavior. It was rude, it was sexist, it was homophobic and it was a sign of Rhodes' oft talked about unstable nature.

It was also a Barack event. He can back peddle with the little notice they've posted at the top of the page since Friday morning. But that doesn't change that this was his supporters and that Randi Rhodes was 'entertaining' them. 57 people signed up for the event from his website.


Barack Obama needs to apologize. When Bill Cunningham referred (over and over) to Bambi as Barack Hussein Obama at a John McCain rally, McCain apologized publicly. There was really no reason to, the candidate's name is Barack Hussein Obama and, at forty-plus, if his name is a problem to him, being that he is a lawyer, he could have changed it years ago. He elected to keep the name so he (and Michelle Obama) need to stop being so damn touchy.

We'll get back to that.

But John McCain was called out for that and he apologized. Calling Hillary Clinton a "b**ch" and "a f**king wh**e!" as well as Geraldine Ferrao the latter isn't the same thing. It's offensive and Bambi needs to apologize.

But he won't and the press will give him a pass on it as they always do because those are The Bambi Rules.

You've seen them this entire campaign season. You saw it when Bambi's drug use was mentioned -- by anyone other than Bambi -- and the cries of racism! When Bill Clinton's use of pot was mentioned in the press (it still is and Bambi's even made jokes about it) no one called it racism because it's not racism. And it's not racism to note Bambi's use of pot. It's not racism or slander to note that Hussein is Barack Obama's middle name. It's not racism to note that his father was a Muslim. What, you thought Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was a Christian name?

The Bambi Rules exist to prop up an unqualified candidate with no record. Without The Bambi Rules, he'd have to leave the race. Without The Bambi Rules, the weak-skip-votes candidate would be revealed as the immature and inexperienced candidate he is.

The Bambi Rules, as Ava and C.I. noted last week, allow for the media to ignore Florida and Michigan. Those states held primaries. They may or may not get to revote. But they held primaries. While their delegates are in doubt at this point, there is no question that they held primaries and that people voted. When the press speaks of the popular votes, it is incumbent upon the press to include Florida and Michigan (especially Florida which had their highest turnout for a primary ever and whose participation was greater than the number of people participating in every caucus and primary that came before).

The Bambi Rules demand that Hillary be trashed and Bambi get a pass. Over and over. They instruct that there are two ways to tell a story: Reality and fantasy and the latter will always be favored for Bambi or you will risk charges of racism.

Bambi's unqualified. He's always been unqualified. He made a deal in Illinois to get his name put to the legislation that others worked on and even that didn't give him a strong record. (Reporters might want to check out his 2004 interviews when he claimed being responsible for the passage of numerous pieces of legislation. Not only did he not steer the legislation, it often didn't pass. But it was a cute story, wasn't it?) Despite publicly promising he would finish his first term before running for Senate, he didn't do that. And he hasn't been there for most of the votes and has skipped many votes he was present for. That's the story of Bambi who can't run in 2012 if he doesn't get the nomination this year because in 2012 he will either have a record or be as inexperienced as he is today and that just won't fly four years from now (and shouldn't today).

Bambi is the front runner. At least that's what his campaign says and the press rushes to agree. They also rush to claim he has it sewn up when, in fact, he doesn't. Tom Hayden and his ilk had to force John Edwards out of the race because, the lie went, John Edwards was preventing Bambi from getting the votes he needed. Now they're trying to force Hillary out with the claim that she's preventing Bambi from winning.

If Bambi truly was the people's choice, he wouldn't be neck in neck with Hillary all this time later. For that matter, if the Democratic primaries were confined to Democrats (as they should be), he wouldn't even be tied with her.

Bambi's not the front runner and has never been the front runner. Not even with all the soft press, not even with all the faux mania. He can't sew up the nomination.

Meanwhile, Hillary's been attacked non-stop. As the person posting the Rhodes event to Bambi's campaign site noted, Randi had devoted her whole show to ripping into Hillary. Well why not? The Nation's done the same, so has The Progressive, so has CounterPunch, so has Democracy Now!, so has pretty much any Pacifica program you can name, and go on and on. With all of Panhandle Media spending two years in their attempts to destroy Hillary, with them screaming praise for Bambi, he still can't sew up the nomination.

And he won't. Neither he nor Hillary will end the primaries with enough delegates to claim the nomination. That's because Bambi isn't the choice of the people, despite the hype. Those who voted or caucused have been split between him and Hillary.

So super delegates need to look at reality and not hype in making their decisions. And they don't need to listen to the media. For weeks, the Bambi campaign spread the word to reporters that John Edwards was going to endorse Bambi. Edwards put a rest to that last week. But that lie the campaign was telling reporters certainly did give the appearance of movement and motion. There was none. That's true of everything about that campaign.

Super delegates need to grasp that Bambi's independent supporters are not Democrats. That they come and go from election to election. They need to grasp that the base is behind Hillary. They need to grasp that Bambi is damaged goods and that will only become more true in a general election where false charges of racism will not scare off Republicans. (Real charges of racism wouldn't scare them off.)

Ruth Conniff, who in 2004 just knew that John Kerry was going to win in a landslide, recently took to the pathetic website of The Progressive to dismiss the issue of patriotism. According to Ruthie, patriotism is so 2001. Patriotism and jingoism are not the same thing though we don't expect Ruth's addled brain to grasp that. Americans are genuinely offended that Wright, as the head of a church, stood up in front of a congregation and damned the United States. The issue hasn't gone away. Even the speech that the media hyped like it was The Gettysburg Address didn't kill off the Wright issue. (And the press has additional clips which will be featured if he gets the nomination.) Even after the speech, he's still having to address it (with Barbara Walters, with Chris Matthews) and he's not addressing it.

He can't. He can't because his latest spin is that if Wright hadn't retired, he would have raised the issue with him or quit the church. If Wright hadn't retired? He damned the nation and the people in it. And Bambi would have done something if Wright hadn't retired. In 2008, he would have done something. That 'excuse' doesn't put the issue to rest and, at this point, he's offered so many contradictory reports that it will be an issue in general election debates. "You said you weren't aware of those kinds of statements but then, in your speech, you said you were. Then you said . . ."

Ruthie brings up Michelle Obama's assertion that until this year she was never proud of her country. Ruthie tries to dismiss that as well. It can't be dismissed. That's not First Lady talk. Cindy McCain has already scored points by noting she's always been proud to be an American.

There is no excuse for Michelle Obama's statement. There's no excuse for Jeremiah Wright's damning of the nation.

If the Democratic Party wants to feed into the stereotype of "America haters" that the right-wing has created, they can certainly nominate Barack Obama. They will lose come November (because it's a bit difficult to tell people to take pride and part in the American democratic process by voting for someone seen as unpatriotic by association). More importantly Barack Obama will be the anchor around the party's neck for several election cycles to come. After he loses, his 'supporters' will move on to other issues. The right-wing will not move on. Democratic Party representatives will be peppered with 'questions' about their patriotism in 2010, 2012, 2014 and later. "You're the party that hates America. For goodness sake, your 2008 nominee attended a church, for 20 years, that damned the United States and his wife was over 40 years old and claimed she'd never been proud of her country until 2008. What do you say?"

Super delegates need to also consider the way the race has gone on. Mentioning a candidate's drug use, drug use the candidate himself has written and talked about, results in charges of racism. Ditto the use of his middle name. Does the Democratic Party want to reward that behavior? If it does, look for it to continue and to thrive. Look for every criticism of any candidate to result in someone screaming racism.

They also need to consider the way super delegates have been attacked. The smears against, for example, Geraldine Ferraro. The threats against Sheila Jackson Lee and Stephanie Tubbs Jones to name but two people. Is this what they want? They really want to reward a mob that thinks that they can threaten and bully the party?

His moment has peaked. His campaign is not what it was at its height. Members of Congress have caught on to the fact that they have been repeatedly astro-turfed by a small group of people using multiple names and addresses (which didn't check out when investigated). The whole campaign's been a fraud. Another David Axlerod candidate built a campaign around faux mania and generic statements and how's that working out for Deval Patrick? (Not good.)

Does the Democratic Party really want to take marching orders from the likes of Laura Flanders who is not even a Democrat? Do they want to surrender the party to Tom Hayden who never held national office and never will? Do they want to let a bunch of White malcontents (who have driven Obama's overly hyped campaign) who have regularly attacked them suddenly feel that they're in charge of a national party?

We think not.

The kicked to the curb nature of all the malcontents results from the fact that they are not players and they never will be. Selecting Hillary sends a message to them. It tells, for instance, Dave Lindorff, "We didn't appreciate your campaign last fall of 'Quit the Democratic Party' and we have no reason to listen to you or your laughable claim that Barack fought racism, as a Black man, by doing drugs." It lets them know immediately (as opposed to January 2009 when their faux candidate would be lucky to get to the White House since he'll most likely be wiped out in the November election) that they're not steering the party and they're not calling the shots. It lets them know that the party will not be intimidated by a pack of faux Democrats who have spent years trying to tear apart the party.

It's an important message to send. One that will find them running with their tails between their knees.

Bambi won't call out Randi Rhodes. He won't do it because without her and others creating a Hitler Youth mania around him, he has no campaign. A historic Democratic Party vice presidential candidate was called "a f**king wh**e!" as was a former First Lady. It's not cute. It's not funny. And rewarding Barack Obama not only rewards that type of behavior, it encourages it. Super delegates need to act like grown ups, they need to remember the McGovern wipe out and they need to say, "Our choice is Hillary Clinton."
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