I hit quite a few nerves in the piece I wrote, “The Party’s Over,” on Sunday. In progressive quarters, it was retweeted by many, while I heard from quite a few prominent progressives. The response is representative of the issues I outlined, which Glenn Greenwald, Matt Stoller, as well as Cenk Uygur had addressed, though I also stressed the carving away of women’s freedoms by Pres. Obama, Democrats and congressional proressives. It was a reasoned article backed up by real events that matter to a lot of people, which is why it struck a chord.
Obama fans went ballistic, including on Twitter with one very prominent supporter choosing to fling silly lies about non-existent “puma’ nonsense, to the predictable race-baiting, this time about a “‘whitey’ tape”, though on this one he had absolutely no proof at all, just his say so, to outlandish charges about me allegedly sliming “the Kennedys.” The last one is hilarious considering I’ve done a one woman show on J.F.K., been informed my whole life by the Kennedy’s, which was such a foundational part of my life it makes a small section of my book. (My brother coming to Washington, D.C. and the trip we took to view the John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame brought us both full circle in a political relationship that began when I was a kid and he became my mentor.)
This same prominent Obama supporter also lied about my support for “conspiracy theories”, which I actually fought against. He is close enough to the White House team to get a picture taken with Pres. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at Christmastime, which is terrific for him. Mazeltov! But it proves the President’s inside supporters are so venomous as to use lies against a woman in independent new media, no matter that facts were given to support my case and why I no longer trust the Democratic Party or Pres. Obama on policy. At least when I make my case it is backed up by facts.
The same cannot be said for Mr. Obama’s supporters, whose negative vitriol has been a hallmark of their support for the President going back years, which I’ve experienced enough times to prove a pattern that clearly is meant to silence critics. However, when it goes to the lengths of lying and attacking my character, which Oliver Willis did in tweet after tweet yesterday, it says something very specific about Pres. Obama’s campaign outreach team. That Willis has been associated with Media Matters and knows exactly how political hit jobs work and are unleashed to hurt a critic’s credibility says the rest.
I was involved with Sen. John Kerry’s Patriot Project, after the swiftboating offensive he suffered, so I’ve done campaigns to push back on smear merchants, so Obama reelect better get comfy with the notion that I will not take these attacks lightly. I will fight back.
I will make no apologies for taking on our President on policy in the piece on Sunday. It gave me no joy to do so. But I have no intention of allowing his most ardent supporters, people like Oliver Willis, a person close enough to the White House to be rewarded with a Christmastime photo with the President and First Lady, to attempt to impugn my character through assassination methods, simply because I’m effective.
I have no idea why Obama reelect thinks it’s important to allow a main supporter to flame an independent, professional female new-media writer, but I’ll just chalk it up to being good at what I do. As fellow Missourian Harry Truman said, “I don’t give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s Hell.”
This singular, small event is just a tiny part of the foundation for the USA Today poll in early December about people being turned off by both big two parties, with the Democratic Party losing the most when it comes to affiliated voters, as the Republican polling favorite, Rasmussen, trumpets the fact [update].
A USA TODAY analysis of state voter registration statistics shows registered Democrats declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party. Republicans dipped in 21 states, while independents increased in 18 states. The trend is acute in states that are key to next year’s presidential race. In the eight swing states that register voters by party, Democrats’ registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans’ by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000.
Not shown in these numbers is the depressed turn out possibility, because some Democrats are disillusioned by the President, for good reasons. These have been outlined by people who likely voted for Pres. Obama in ’08, I happily did, but who simply do not trust him anymore, with many more where we came from.
Die hard Obama fans can think this isn’t a problem, but with party affiliation sagging they’re wrong, though the good news for them is Republicans are in much worse shape.
In Iowa, Dave Weigel reported that Romney got Occupied during the event pictured at the top yesterday. But otherwise, Mitt Romney is coming off like the happy warrior ready for a good caucus day. A stellar showing in Iowa by Romney, after a stealth campaign that was not believed possible this past fall.
Not so much Newt Gingrich, which Jonathan Martin explains, who has been whipsawing between blubbering and bemoaning negative attacks, which he helped birth back in the ’90s. According to multiple reports, Newt’s decided to go back to his relentlessly evil roots.
The last time Newt Gingrich targeted someone for take down it was Pres. Bill Clinton, the man he zeroed in on to impeach.
So right after Iowa, Mitt’s team is making sure to schedule some early face time in South Carolina, because his team knows what’s coming and they’re not going to be AWOL when it starts flying.
It’s personal now for Gingrich, which he revealed in a back and forth with Chris Matthews, and he plans on doing what hasn’t been done before and that’s take it to Romney. Newt’s mad enough at his humiliation in Iowa to do whatever it takes. It’s also about regaining his reputation, which has been destroyed by Romney’s Super PAC pals. After all, the Gingriches are used to a certain lifestyle and he can’t make the money to support that unless he does some damage control.
Perry’s been on resuscitation duty since his early debate disasters, because he doesn’t want to go back to Texas disgraced.
If Iowa’s turnout is as large as Republicans and reports in that state, including Gov. Branstad, have predicted, it means that in a historically lame Republican field people still came out in droves to vote. Part of that vote will be against the status quo, with independents and Democratic anti-war, anti-establishment voters weighing in.
The most interesting piece I read today came from BuzzFeed, Ben Smith’s new digs. Here’s a snippet:
“We’re doing what’s been done most of the time in history — we’re going to fight for our candidate to the very end,” said Jared Hendrix, Ron Paul’s North Dakota state director (and the only North Dakota State Director for any campaign) in an interview from Paul’s local headquarters in an old insurance office in downtown Bismarck. “For the last 30 years we haven’t had many contentious conventions but if you go back to 1976, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan – there was a battle at the convention for delegates.”
Paul has, says his campaign chairman Jesse Benton, “offices, staff and strong organization” in ten caucus states besides Iowa: Colorado, Washington, Maine, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and North Dakota. (Alaska and Hawaii are also a caucus states and prime Paul territory.)
Those states together will award 419 of the 2,286 delegates who will choose a nominee in Tampa in August. They operate under complex, individual rules that favor the prepared. In Idaho, for instance, voters will gather in 44 county caucuses, each of which delivers a vote weighted by its size. Those caucuses will conduct run-offs until there are only two candidates left, and if any candidate gets over 60% in a caucus, he gets 100% of its vote. Any candidate winning more than 50% of the state’s weighted vote wins all 32 of Idaho’s delegates — more than will be awarded to all the candidates in Iowa combined.
Occupy took us out of 2011, so we’ll have to see what 2012 brings. But if it’s an anti-status quo year, which is quite likely, we’re in for quite a roller coaster.
This column has been edited.