Monday, December 12, 2005

Blogging Around

Checking out some political rumblings on the net...

NewDonkey has a great analysis of what he terms "liberal activist" candidates from Adlai Stevenson to Gene McCarthy to Howard Dean and how they "struggled, to one degree or another, to attract much support from blue-collar and minority voters" while garnering much of their support from upscale, educated white voters. The lesson to be learned for the Democratic party in regards to these candidates is how to add to FDR's coalition without subtracting from it elsewhere.

SoapBlox/Chicago wades into DLC/Boogeyman conspiratorial territory, wondering if Barack Obama is a "DLC trojan horse" because he is supporting 10 of his Senatorial buddies who happen to be DLC members.

Donkey Rising comments on Jamison Foser's expose of mainstream media's pro-Republican bias as written over at Media Matters, specifically, how the media ignored a Zogby poll that showed the majority of Americans favor impeachment of Bush if he lied about reasons for going to Iraq.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hillary Clinton, Jerry Springer, and Democratic Underground

I've been watching a thread unwind over at Democratic Underground concerning Hillary Clinton's support for a federal law prohibiting desecration of the American flag in some forms. To be precise, THIS is what the bill Clinton supports would prohibit:

* Destroying a flag with the intent of causing violence;

* Threatening someone by burning a flag;

* Damaging a flag that is federally owned or that belongs to someone else on federal land.

I see no problem with this. But the leftwing wackjobs over at Democrat Underground do. And boy do they have a Hillary hatefest going on! A couple of examples:

"this fascist move is really beyond the pale - of all the things that she wants to appear "moderate" - is to criminalize flag burning."

This is the new definition of 'craven.' Hillary is over as far as I am concerned.

This bill would put burning the flag in the same realm as burning a cross. Don't do it to incite violence. Don't do it to threaten someone. Don't do it if it is Federally owned or privately owned on Federal property. The right to burn a flag should not transcend someone's safety or property rights. To read how the far left is reacting to this makes one wonder if they truly understand the issue.

It isn't as though Clinton is endorsing a Constitutional Amendment banning flag burning. In fact, back in July of this year, Mrs. Clinton said, "I support federal legislation that would outlaw flag desecration, much like laws that currently prohibit the burning of crosses, but I don't believe a constitutional amendment is the answer."

But what of a couple of the left's darlings? What is their take on the issue? Well, Dennis Kucinich once supported a Constitutional Amendment outlawing flag burning. In fact, he flipped flopped, voting for it before he voted against it. How did the Democratic Underground's thread starter take THAT news?

it's hard to believe that he would have done that. And if he did, it's not widely known.

Even after being shown proof, Mr. More Liberal Than Thou didn't really want to believe it.

Wes Clark, who I am a big supporter of but has become somewhat of a hero on the far left, supports a Constitutional Amendment outlawing flag burning. When that was pointed out in the thread, it was largely ignored.

But the most ironic point made there was that Howard Dean (who I support as the DNC chair) indirectly supported a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit flag burning! Although in 2002 Dean said, "I favor protection of the flag, but I do not favor a constitutional amendment," he supported a VT state legislature decision voicing support for protecting the flag and suggesting Congress pass a constitutional amendment as an option in providing such protection. Specifically, the resolution urged Congress to "take whatever legislative action it deems necessary and appropriate to honor and safeguard the United States Flag."

Further, according to liberal writer Joe Conason, "Around that time, Dean rather pompously declared that politicians should declare their positions on the flag issue before voters went to the polls in 2002. That requirement didn't apply to Dean himself, as he "coyly" told the Rutland Herald, because he wasn't on the ballot that year."

That, too, was pretty much ignored. But I'm sure you're not surprised.

Enter Jerry Springer

I've been contemplating this entry to my blog for several days now but I've procrastinated, thinking something else migdevelopope to add a little more substance to it. Thhappenedned today while I was listening to the Jerry Springer show.

Springer brought up Clinton's flag burning position, packaged it with her position on the Iraq war, and asked if Hillary was moving to the right or pandering to the rightwing. I decided to call in and not only mention the positions of Kucinich, Clark, and Dean on the flag issue, but also to remind Springer that Clinton's position on the Iraq war now is in keeping with that of the majority of Americans, i.e., that U.S. troops should be withdrawn only when certain goals are met.

So, I get Springer's call screener on the phone. I tell her about Kucinich, Clark, and Dean. She tells me that Jerry wants to concentrate on the Iraq issue and asked me if I thought Hillary was taking the stance she was because she is a woman and needs to appear "macho." I said, "No, she's taking the position because the majority of Americans feel that."

Click! She hung up on me.

I called back. Click! She hung up before I could say anything.

I waited a few minutes, called back, and said, "Before you hang up, I want you to know I am a Democrat, an officer in my county party, and I hold a vote in my state party. It is obvious you don't want a dissenting opinion on the air, especially from Democrats!"

She said, "you were off topic!" Click! She hung up again.

So there you have it. What more can I say about this topic?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Air America Radio's Missed Opportunity

The Moderate Donkey listens to Air America Radio. I have friends who are involved with Air America Radio. I realize that they have beaten incredible odds to become the success they have become. But Air America Radio has thus far missed a golden opportunity to become what they originally set out to be - a liberal answer to conservative talk radio.

Let me explain.

Air America Radio was created to be the counterpart to the Rush Limbaughs of the world. What they did instead was, with a few exceptions, hire a host of inexperienced leftwingers who often joined Limbaugh, Hannity, and their ilk in attacking the Democratic party.

Let's take the now cancelled show Unfiltered with Rachel Maddow. First, and this is a big pet peeve of mine, they came across as cultural elitists. I cringed whenever they made condescending comments about certain types of music or artists I like, or movies and TV shows I've enjoyed. Were they trying to make their mainstream listeners feel culturally impaired by touting their superior entertainment knowledge or were they just trying to appeal to the 2% or so who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000?

This came across at no better time than on their Friday party machine segment when they played music no mainstream listener had ever heard or would ever hear, music I certainly would never play at my parties unless I wanted everyone to leave. And here I was thinking this was a political talk show!

But the one thing that REALLY turned me off to Unfiltered as well as several other Air American Radio Shows is they were quick to criticize Democrats. Now, I don't feel any Democrat is above criticism - but doing so with literally millions listening won't do anything to build support for the party and get rid of the GOP. Do you ever hear Limbaugh, Hannity, or Savage trashing the Republican party? Plus, it provided fodder for the rightwingers. Maddow really crossed the line on her last day on Unfiltered when she launched into an anti-Bill Clinton diatribe. With millions listening, she explained why the man who saved the Democratic party was really a bad president.

Way to go, Rachel! That's how you convince the fence sitters to vote Democratic! Unfiltered was cancelled because of low ratings. Now you know why the ratings were low.

But Maddow wasn't alone in her disdain for anything that isn't far left simon-pure. Mike Malloy, the Left's answer to rightwing wacko Mike Savage, believes he is a "traditional Democrat" (no, seriously, he believes that) but, as Wikipedia explains, he has basically withdrawn from the Democratic party and is now making overtures to the Green Party - those swell guys who cost Al Gore the election in 2000.

So the ax has fallen at Air America again. Morning Sedition, their unpopular morning show which, coincidently, also has a knack for trashing the Democratic party, has been cancelled. It's being replaced by (drum roll please...) Rachel Maddow!

Some will tell me that you can't argue with success. Afterall, Air America Radio is now on over 80 stations nationwide, and a few are in major markets. But other than liberal strongholds like Seattle, the Air America affiliate stations haven't been a blazing success ratings-wise. They're essentially preaching to the choir. And with the imminent departure of Al Franken to run for the US Senate, one has to wonder if AAR will replace Franken, who is a moderate, with another moderate voice (someone like Ed Schultz) or will they lurch left with another Maddow/Malloy type who will further propagate the myth that there is little difference between the Republican and Democratic parties.

Where I've Been

My last post here was on April 26 but I assure you The Moderate Donkey isn't another orphaned political blog. I have a good reason for being MIA. I was running for a local office - a race that I lost. But still, I'm proud of my effort and here is why.

I ran this race on a shoe string budget - less than $2000.. And considering the constraints of my budget, I believe I had a respectable showing for a first time candidate running as a Democrat against an obviously popular three term Republican opponent in a Republican area. I garnered almost 25% of the vote and I plan to build on this, learn from my mistakes, use my experience in campaigns for other candidates, and yes - I WILL BE BACK AS A CANDIDATE!

I'll always remember this race for several reasons. I've now experienced the democratic process as both a voter and a candidate. I learned that running for office is a lot different than talking politics around the dinner table or in an internet chat room. But most importantly, my first child was born during the campaign, an event that makes everything else seem not nearly as important - even losing.

Speaking of losing, just remember: Bill Clinton lost his first bid for office. So did George W. Bush. Rudolph Giuliani was unsuccessful in his first race. Though Jimmy Carter was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1962, he lost his first campaign for Governor in 1966. Though I have no reason to compare myself to any of these, I do take comfort in knowing that they, among many other public servants, were able to dust themselves off after a loss and try again.

Of course, I had my detractors. One in particular, who belongs to a far left "clique" of sorts and has never forgiven me (or Democrats like me) for not supporting Howard Dean in the 2004 presidential primaries, took my loss as a sign that "DLC-types" can't win anymore. The irony of that statement was it came the morning after DLC member Tim Kaine won the Governor's race in Virginia with the help of Virginia's current governor, DLC member Mark Warner. I pointed this simple truth out to her but it didn't make her real happy. Can't please them all.