Politics. Pop Culture. Basketball. Dog Stuff. Queer Stuff. Higher Ed. New Media. Pretty Pictures. Puns. Books. Righteous Anger. Cock-Eyed Optimism. Persistent Irreverence. From a Queer, Feminist, Critter-Affirming Perspective. Why? Because Dog Is Love, and Tenure Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Count Every Vote Rally: Photos
Bottom Line: It was a good day for the issues and a powerful message to the Democratic party that voters are watching and waiting to see how this mess is resolved. We heard a lot of talk in the crowd from pro-Hillary voters threatening to stay home or vote McCain in November as a way of registering their outrage toward the party. Roxie's World doesn't endorse either of those moves -- yet -- but we think the party must be made to understand that unity cannot be assumed. It must be built, and it must be earned.
Wa Po coverage of the meetings and events is here. All photos by Moose.
(Baby's first protest! One-month old Dana Weems Sussman-Martin puts up a cry for the voters of Michigan and Florida at her very first political rally.)
(Like many hard-core politicos, Dana finds comfort with a bottle in her mouth and a Hillary button on her head.)
(Rally organizer Jehmu Greene speaks at the rally.)
(Best eyewear spotted in the crowd at the rally.)
(The crowd at the hotel entrance greeting meeting attendees as they arrived.)
Friday, May 30, 2008
Count Every Vote Rally: Preview
Here's the poop on the rally if you are interested in joining in the fun. Remember: No Hillary gear -- It's not about a candidate but about the voters. Note to Obamaniacs: The Precious has told you to stay home and sleep tight tomorrow morning, so be good little Obamacans and do as He says. You need to save all your energy for those inaugural balls you think you'll be attending in January '09, so don't worry your pretty little heads about schlepping downtown tomorrow morning to help the DNC pull its head out of its back end and figure out how to resolve the nomination debacle in a way that will make Democrats, independents, and Republicans with a lick of sense in their heads inclined to support the Democratic ticket. We'll take care of that. Mwahahahahahaha.
(Photo Credits: Moose, armed with her awesome new Canon PowerShot G9, with thanks to Aunt Janice, who sensibly told her to buy it. Artistic Credits: Moose, in concert with the Creative Division and the Political Team here at RW Enterprises, LLC)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The Pudd'nhead Party
From the desk drawer of Mark Twain, director of the Office of Persona Management for Roxie’s World:
"I wish I owned half of that dog."Under normal circumstances, Roxie’s World would not look kindly on a joke that imagines the death of even half a dog, but we know Mark means no harm, and, besides, our irony meters are working well enough to realize that the joke is funny. It is also pertinent to the current situation facing the Democratic party, which we do hereby officially declare the Pudd’nhead Party because:
"Why?" somebody asked.
"Because I would kill my half."
The group searched his face with curiosity, with anxiety even, but found no light there, no expression that they could read. They fell away from him as from something uncanny, and went into privacy to discuss him. One said:
"'Pears to be a fool."
"'Pears?" said another. "Is, I reckon you better say."
"Said he wished he owned half of the dog, the idiot," said a third. "What did he reckon would become of the other half if he killed his half? Do you reckon he thought it would live?"
"Why, he must have thought it, unless he IS the downrightest fool in the world; because if he hadn't thought it, he would have wanted to own the whole dog, knowing that if he killed his half and the other half died, he would be responsible for that half just the same as if he had killed that half instead of his own. Don't it look that way to you, gents?"
"Yes, it does. If he owned one half of the general dog, it would be so; if he owned one end of the dog and another person owned the other end, it would be so, just the same; particularly in the first case, because if you kill one half of a general dog, there ain't any man that can tell whose half it was; but if he owned one end of the dog, maybe he could kill his end of it and -- "
"No, he couldn't either; he couldn't and not be responsible if the other end died, which it would. In my opinion that man ain't in his right mind."
"In my opinion he hain't got any mind."
No. 3 said: "Well, he's a lummox, anyway."
“That's what he is;" said No. 4. "He's a labrick -- just a Simon-pure labrick, if there was one."
"Yes, sir, he's a dam fool. That's the way I put him up," said No. 5. "Anybody can think different that wants to, but those are my sentiments."
"I'm with you, gentlemen," said No. 6. "Perfect jackass -- yes, and it ain't going too far to say he is a pudd'nhead. If he ain't a pudd'nhead, I ain't no judge, that's all."
Mr. Wilson stood elected. The incident was told all over the town, and gravely discussed by everybody. Within a week he had lost his first name; Pudd'nhead took its place. In time he came to be liked, and well liked too; but by that time the nickname had got well stuck on, and it stayed. That first day's verdict made him a fool, and he was not able to get it set aside, or even modified. The nickname soon ceased to carry any harsh or unfriendly feeling with it, but it held its place, and was to continue to hold its place for twenty long years.
Democrats seem determined to kill the half a dog of primary participants who have voted for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, as if doing so will have no effect on the health and electoral prospects of the other half of the dog that might be said to belong to Senator Barack Obama.How do you kill half a dog? Oh, let us count the ways.
- By trying to drive one candidate from the race on the grounds that her continuing to beat her opponent by sizable majorities in swing states (OH, PA, WV) is somehow unseemly, disloyal, destructive, or irrelevant;
- by arguing that one candidate’s small but mathematically insurmountable lead among pledged delegates means that he is entitled to the support of the superdelegates, which he will need to secure the nomination, while claiming that the other candidate, who will likely end up with a lead in the popular vote, would be “stealing” the nomination if she were to secure it through the support of superdelegates;
- by disenfranchising voters in two populous swing states whose support for the Democratic ticket will be essential to victory in November or coming up with a cosmetic solution to the FL/MI problem that will not fully count those votes and will disadvantage the candidate who won those primaries;
- by trashing some of the supporters of one candidate as racist, working-class trash whose votes are unnecessary because Democrats are now the party of the creative class and the cool kids rather than the bitter, gun-toting working class;
- by trashing other supporters of that same candidate as dowdy but docile women whose support is rooted only in identity politics and assuming that their loyalties will automatically shift to the handsome boy (prom king) as soon as the dorky girl (valedictorian) is out of the race;
- by actively pushing wildly exaggerated stories aimed at demonizing one candidate as a racist who dreams of the death of her opponent – while remaining silent when one’s own supporters publicly and without ambiguity fantasize the murder of the other candidate.
That’s right. The moms will get up bright and early on Saturday and join with a righteous band of mad-as-hell Dems who will gather at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel to let the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Committee know that they are closely watching and care passionately about how the party plans to address the FL/MI debacles. The demo is not affiliated with the Clinton campaign, and if you come you should show your support not for a candidate but for the principle of fairness to the voters of Florida and Michigan, who broke no rules when they cast their votes back in January. Moose will carry a sign calling on the party to count the vote of her sister in Michigan, who pulled the lever for “uncommitted” because she was an Edwardian back then. (She’s a Clintonista now, like all the other female Moosians as well as the vast majority of Goosians.) Goose will probably carry a sign that re-purposes one of the slogans the moms used during the original Florida election debacle of 2000: “No Fuzzy Math” was one favorite; “Democracy Counts” is another that still seems apt.
Details on the demo are here. Plans call for gathering at 7 a.m., but we’re guessing you could show up later and still have an impact. The meetings go until 4, so media will probably be around all day. The Hill reported yesterday that the Obama campaign was encouraging supporters not to attend, which might help to keep the event from turning into an ugly confrontation between warring camps of Obamaniacs and Clintonistas. We hope the Obamaniacs will listen to His Hopeness and stay away, if only to reduce the chance that the media will find some opportunity to broadcast sensationalized images of Democratic in-fighting.
To those who say we could further reduce those chances by staying home ourselves, we respectfully say, thanks, but some risks are worth taking. We are among the more than 17 million citizens who have cast votes for Senator Clinton during this long, hard campaign, and we want to let the Democratic party know that we and our concerns cannot be taken for granted. Our support for the eventual nominee cannot be assumed; it must be earned – by treating voters fairly and extending to Senator Clinton the respect she deserves for having waged an honorable and history-making campaign. So far, a sizable number of us do not feel that either of these conditions has been met. Others of us have grave reservations about Senator Obama’s candidacy and urge the party to realize that the primary campaign is ending in a functional tie and that its job is to select the nominee who stands the best chance of defeating John McCain in the fall. We are not Pudd’nheads, and we will not stand idly by while the party we have supported for our entire political lives abandons key constituencies, core principles, and values we hold dear.
We are not Pudd’nheads, and we won’t support a Pudd’nhead party or a Pudd’nhead nominee who thinks he can kill half a dog and snuggle up in an Oval Office chair with the other half. In Roxie’s World, we like our dogs whole and alive. See you Saturday morning in northwest DC. Look for the ornery bitches in the sensible shoes. Holding neatly painted, clever signs.
Monday, May 26, 2008
(Photo Credit: Janice Smith Moss; Rolling Thunder, Washington, DC, 5/25/08)
Wa Po "Faces of the Fallen" Project -- Photos and information on U. S. service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Today is as good a day as any to pause and reflect upon the slips and tricks and fogs and treacheries of memory. Imagine for a moment that I am a person and not a dog. It's hard, I know, but try. If I tell you that on a certain night in 1974 -- let's say it was August 8, the evening of Richard Nixon's resignation -- I lived in a certain town and went to a slumber party and tried to engage a particular group of adolescent girl pals in a conversation about the tragedies and outrages of the Nixon administration, and you find out later that I actually lived in a different town at that time and thus spent that evening, if I spent it with anyone, with another group of girls from the one I told you about, would you call me a liar, or would you laugh and commiserate with me on the fallibility of memory? The answer to this question depends, of course, on many things -- your previous experience of me, your sense of my veracity (or lack thereof), your judgment about my possible motivations for telling you something at odds with the truth. It is important to note, however, that the answer to this question also depends upon you -- your relationship to the truth, your motivations for seeing me as duplicitous rather than merely mistaken, your willingness to believe (in) me or your desire to tear me down.
Now, let's assume that the memory in question is not a private matter of arguably no significance but a public matter of great import. The stakes on both sides are obviously much higher. The costs of telling or shading the truth, of making and broadcasting judgments about conscious lies versus unconscious lapses are also higher. The consequences to those inside and outside this communicative loop are potentially enormous. If you are neither the person speaking the memory nor the one to whom it was spoken, how do you make a judgment about this complex trip down memory lane? If public figures and public memories are involved, do you shrug your shoulders and say, "They all lie, most if not all of the time," or shake your head and say, "They're always calling my guy -- or gal -- a liar in an unfair attempt to discredit him/her," or fold your arms and say, "Well, truth is not as simple as it sounds. Sometimes it really does depend on what the meaning of is is?" You have to make a judgment, because if you don't you'll be stuck, paralyzed, confused, but how do you assure that your own judgments are fair, reasonable, accurate? How do you know?
Sometimes, like Jesus, your favorite dog blogger prefers to speak in parables. Sometimes, a parable can be a useful means of opening up a seemingly insoluble problem, of breaking through a logjam in thought, analysis, or judgment. And sometimes, a parable might just be a way to blog without blogging, on a warm holiday afternoon when the world is off its rocker and the first sultry hints of summer are beginning to assert themselves. On such a day, an old dog's foggy brain is awash in memories that may not even be hers, and so she curls up on the cool tiles of the bathroom floor, closes her eyes, and does not remember gunshots, fallen heroes, body bags, and the lies that fed the slaughter.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Never Again Would Bird's Song Be the Same
Oh, yeah, and go read the latest from Anglachel, the smartest grrl in the blogosphere, who sent our brains into overdrive this morning with a post that brought Rousseau, Machiavelli, and James Madison to bear on the crucial question of why Barack Obama is just annoying the hell out of us lately and inducing post-traumatic flashbacks to Florida 2000, when George Bush claimed victory just by saying so and got the media to repeat his talking points as if they were some kind of objective truth. Way to take power, baby, and who cares what those little people the voters have to say about it? Further proof that the Precious is borrowing from Bush-Rove's 2000 playbook? Word today that Obama "has quietly begun the process of searching for a partner on the Democratic ticket." How's that for a power grab? We don't need to hear from those silly voters in Puerto Rico, Montana, and South Dakota, not to mention those pesky superdelegates whose votes we'll need to secure the nomination -- technically, officially. Prediction: By week's end, some media whore will trot out the line about Michelle Obama "measuring the drapes" for her new home in the West Wing. That's the way these things go in the echo chamber.
Sigh. Like I said kids, my typist can't work for me until the grades are in. Go listen to those birds. Try not to have any post-traumatic flashbacks to the scariest movie you saw before you were ten.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Lazy Sunday Photo Blogging
1. After Friday night's references to drunkenness and bitterness in Roxie's World, we felt it best to take a deep, cleansing breath and reassure readers that we hadn't lost perspective. Plus, I wanted to show you that Moose had sobered up enough to hold a camera steady.
2. For some strange reason, the Clinton campaign excluded the most famous pro-Hillary dog blogger in America from Friday's big conference call with the candidate, so I have absolutely nothing to say on that burning subject. Anglachel was in on the call, of course. Go read her recap. Ditto Reclusive Leftist. And Taylor Marsh, who has a podcast of the call up. We assume the Clinton team will be in touch soon, when they start scheduling the call with rabidly pro-Hillary dog bloggers. We're waiting, kids.
3. My typist has a stack of papers to grade and gave me a grouchy look when I suggested even an itty-bitty post, maybe just to make sure y'all had seen the piece in the NYT speculating on who America's first woman president might be if it doesn't turn out to be HRC. We're still holding out hope, of course, but it's an interesting line of rumination nonetheless.
4. It's been ages since my legions of adoring fans have been treated to a photo of yours truly, and with recent references to concerns about my health we thought you might like to see evidence that I am alive and still faithfully patrolling the ridiculously large back yard. We know what an anxious bunch you are.
5. Besides, the ridiculously large back yard is looking ridiculously lush these days, thanks to all the rain we've been grousing about off and on this spring. The moms -- who take no credit whatsoever for the design, execution, or maintenance of the space variously termed the Darwin Garden, Jurassic Park, or the South 40 -- are feeling a sense of delight with how their not so little postage stamp of soil is shaping up. Let's just hope Mother Nature keeps the moisture and mild temps coming.
And so we pass along to you a little photo essay by Moose that we might call "Springtime in Roxie's World." Enjoy. Imagine yourselves sipping a cool drink on the patio by the pond, which we call the Aquabar, because we are inordinately fond of naming things around here. Have some virtual guacamole, which has no calories but lots of garlic, because that's the way Moose likes it. Peace out, beloveds.
Picture 1: America's favorite dog blogger checks the perimeter of the pond, while wondering, "Do these collars make me look fat?"
Picture 2: The irises by the fish pond.
Photo 3: The rhodies in the midland region of the yard.
Photo 4: In the background, the sweet little Japanese maple by the pond. In the foreground, um, you know, plants.
Friday, May 16, 2008
(From The Times of London, by way of Mark Simpson, with thanks to the blogger formerly known as qta)
Had enough? Apparently, some Clintonistas have. There's a movement afoot among pro-Hillary bloggers and others to girl-cott Barack Obama, to stand up and say, We won't vote for him no matter what, because we're sick of his condescension (toward women and workers), of the Democratic party's limp-membered inaction on the debacles of FL and MI, of the rank displays of media misogyny and the grand delusion that the Precious has been anointed by god, history, and the American people to save us from. . .all the icky stuff we just need to transcend, because transcendence is so much prettier than . . . politics and work and conflict over deep-seated inequalities and differences. Boring. Old-style Washington politics. Close your eyes now, children, and just believe in . . . His Hopeness. He will take us higher.
So, it's out there, this idea that we should abandon ship -- vote for McCain, not vote, protest at the convention, pour vats of menstrual blood on Howard Dean's desk -- and Roxie's World is in a dither. Some of us will never abandon the Dems, and some of us don't have any menstrual blood left to give to the cause, but all of us are near the end of our ropes over the idiocies of this campaign. We can't believe how clueless Dems seem to be, how arrogant they are in their assumption that Clinton voters will fall into line, as good girls have always done, and support the party that sold their candidate down the river for the sake of a man with a pretty voice and a thin resume.
Sometimes late at night here in Roxie's World, when we're drunk and bitter, we play a game we call Substitution. Imagine, we say to ourselves, that Keith Olbermann had said of Barack Obama that what is needed is "Somebody who can take [him] into a room and only [one] comes out." Imagine that instead of saying, "Hold on one second, sweetie," as Obama said to a woman reporter, someone had said apropos of him, "Hold on one second, boy," or "negro." Imagine how those words would sound to contemporary ears trained in racial political correctness. Not all of us have lost our sense of gender-fairness or appropriateness. When a man smirks and calls a woman "sweetie," we still hear an effort to demean women and marginalize their concerns. We hear the voices of men who counseled patience as they explained to women they would have to wait to gain the right to vote after the Civil War.
Substitution is a nasty game. We don't like playing it. We are Democrats because we don't believe we should have to play it. We believe that rights are inalienable and infinite and that we gain more by acting together for the rights of all than we could ever hope to gain by acting separately.
And yet . . . and yet . . . we are not sweeties. We do not iron your shirts. We do not cross our legs and wait for you to tell us it is our turn to run the world. We are not waiting for your approval or permission. Stab us in the back with a star or a knife, and we will turn, pull it out, and throw it right back at you. We are strong, we are ready, and nearly 17 million of us have voted for the girl. Do not fuck with us, fellas. This is not our first time at the rodeo.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Don't Leave Home Without It
Prepare yourselves, people. It's not like this is going to get any prettier.
Question 1: Is John Edwards, who finally endorsed Obama last night, angling to be VP, attorney-general, or under secretary for pretty nobodies desperately aching to get back in the game?
Question 2: Did Elizabeth stay home in Raleigh last night to make a political statement, or was she just determined not to miss Top Chef? (NYT suggests it was a political absence, noting that "the Edwardses were said to be split on the endorsement, with Mrs. Edwards said to favor Mrs. Clinton because of her preference for parts of the Clinton health care plan.")
Question 3: What is the precise temperature at which blood boils? We ask because we think we got close to it yesterday when we read news that NARAL was endorsing Obama over a woman who has been a front-line fighter for women's reproductive health and freedom for decades. Way to hang a sister out to dry, NARAL. Join the chorus of negative comments on the organization's blog.
Keep your pocket guides with you at all times, kids. You never know when you might encounter an Obamaniac in the throes of Attack/Gloat Mode, so, like any good scout, you have to be prepared. Be ready, be safe, stay strong.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
(Not) Fit to Print
A headline that was not on the front page of yesterday's Wa Po or any other major U. S. newspaper: Clinton Campaign Brought Sexism Out of Hiding.
Let the record show that Roxie's World is officially horrified by the incidents recounted in Kevin Merida's story of Obama supporters having doors slammed in their faces or being subjected to racial epithets while stumping for their candidate. We are, of course, opposed to all forms of rudeness, and we recognize the uniquely violent history of racially motivated rudeness in the United States of America. We can also appreciate why the Obama campaign is going out of its way to minimize such incidents, on account of their occurrence might undermine belief in the salvific powers of the Precious, who shall deliver us all from the evils of racism and all other forms of unpleasantness.
Nonetheless, this story made us scratch our heads, and we don't think it's because we've got some early spring fleas running around up there. Reading it, we couldn't help but wonder:
- Did the Post bother to call the Clinton and McCain campaigns to find out if their supporters have ever had doors slammed in their faces or been hung up on with some less than polite remark when they called some poor likely voter at dinner time? Do we assume that all door-slams and all hang-ups are racially motivated? Is it fair to do that if we haven't investigated such incidents in other campaigns? We do, after all, live in a nation of famously rude people.
- On the other hand, why is racially motivated rudeness front-page news, while rudeness motivated by gender bias is not? Some have insisted that their hatred for Hillary Clinton is in no way gender-related. Fine, we still think it's news that a particular candidate who happens to be a woman is inspiring public displays of animus that are saturated with images of violence toward women. Go read the Marie Cocco piece we linked to above in case you haven't been keeping careful track of all the tasteless garbage that's been hurled at Clinton over the course of the campaign. Or, if you prefer a background of classical music as you take in nasty news, check out this video, which was sent to us directly by the folks who made it, because Roxie's World is, as you well know, the most powerful dog blog on earth devoted to politics, pop culture, and basketball. It's long but worth the watch:
Charming, yes? Sorry to focus on the negative on a morning when y'all might have expected some major happy dancing over Senator Clinton's stupendous win last night in West Virginia, but we wanted to call some attention to the issue of news judgment, which is also relevant in the West Virginia story, since all of this morning's headlines roughly translate to, "Clinton Kicks Obama's Butt in WVA, But It Matters Not At All Because the Media Called the Election a Week Ago, So Why Are Voters Even Bothering and When Will the Bitch Die So We Can Proceed With the Coronation of the Precious?"
For the smartest, fastest analysis of West Virginia you will find anywhere, go read, you guessed it, Anglachel, here and here.
Gotta run, kids. We're off to the vet this morning to talk about those worrisome blood tests, and then we've got some celebrating to do. Happy Birthday, Goose!!!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Rainy Monday Dog Youtubery
Carry on, children. Know that you are loved. Be loving in return.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Rainy Friday Linky Love
Curl up and do some more reading on the state of the Dem race, while my typist takes care of business on campus today. Feel sorry for her, please. The Learning Outcomes Assessment assignment she was so relieved to have finished yesterday turns out not to be finished after all. Special note to Historiann: Here is a topic for your next think piece on what's destroying higher education in America -- Death by Data: LOA and the Collapse of Freedom, Thought, and Creativity on Campus. Discuss.
Meantime, let your reading match your mood. Roxie's World is here to help you find what you're looking for, particularly if you are a Clintonista still trying to figure out what to feel, think, or do:
- Need a reason to believe that the fat lady shouldn't be warming up her vocal chords in the wings? Jay Cost plays out one last scenario for Clinton, which hinges on huge wins in West Virginia and Kentucky. Hey, why not? Both states are packed with the voters who have stood with Hillary throughout the campaign.
- Still not ready to make nice? This incredibly annoying piece by Chris Bowers on the cultural shift (from "Bubbas" to "Creatives") represented by the rise of Obama is guaranteed to make your blood boil. (By way of the incomparable Anglachel.)
- Have you reached the point of trying to figure out what went wrong for Clinton, aside from the conspiracy of media gas-bags and left-wing blogger boyz who decided it would be fun to bash a woman around 24/7 in the name of infotainment? Then you should read Karen Tumulty's brief analysis of the five mistakes Clinton made. They may sound familiar to regular readers of Roxie's World, because we've touched on most of them in our analyses of the campaign, but some things are worth repeating.
- If you're ready for a devastatingly smart analysis of the deeper meaning of it all, head right over to the (we say it again) incomparable Anglachel. Her "Revolution of the Saints" brilliantly probes the secular fundamentalism that has fueled Obama's rise by dissecting the class complexities of the Obama/Clinton split. It helps to explain the weird sense Moose and Goose have had many times in the primary season: When did we become evil white reactionaries?
- Finally, if you are ready to get up on your unity ponies and ride, read this happy piece by Clintonista Tom Watson and his Obamaniac pal Jason Chervokas. They're ready. The question is, is the Democratic party ready?
Evening Update: The rain has subsided for the moment, but Roxie's World still looks and feels like the inside of a cloud. Several must-reads from this morning's New York Times to add to this morning's set of links. Check out the editorial affirming Senator Clinton's right to stay in the race. We disagree with some of the finger-wagging about her supposedly negative tactics and the insistence that she drop the fight for Michigan and Florida, but we appreciate the recognition of her right to hang in. Paul Krugman has some good advice for those worried about how to heal divisions among Dems. Among the suggestions?
Um, Paul -- How 'bout explaining that last point to the guys over on the editorial page, huh?
More tirades from Obama supporters against Mrs. Clinton are not the answer — they will only further alienate her grass-roots supporters, many of whom feel that she received a raw deal.
Nor is it helpful to insult the groups that supported Mrs. Clinton, either by suggesting that racism was their only motivation or by minimizing their importance.
After the Pennsylvania primary, David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, airily dismissed concerns about working-class whites, saying that they have “gone to the Republican nominee for many elections.” On Tuesday night, Donna Brazile, the Democratic strategist, declared that “we don’t have to just rely on white blue-collar voters and Hispanics.” That sort of thing has to stop.
One thing the Democrats definitely need to do is give delegates from Florida and Michigan — representatives of citizens who voted in good faith, and whose support the party may well need this November — seats at the convention.
Lastly, you must read Susan Faludi's marvelous examination of how Hillary's more pugilistic campaign style (derided as negative by, again, the NYT editorial page) has succeeded in bringing male voters to her side. It answers the knee-jerk, classist charges of racism and, importantly, finally finds a way to use Thelma and Louise as a way to explain Hillary's persistence. There's just no stopping a woman who realizes that, "Something's crossed over in me. I can't go back." Amen, sister. Onward -- to the edge of the world!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Let Me Sleep On It
Oh, children. I feel you out there. I know you are waiting -- feverishly, breathlessly -- for Roxie's World to weigh in on the crucial question of what Hillary Clinton should do now. Despite the best efforts of Moosians in both states, Clinton barely eked out a victory in Indiana and lost substantially in North Carolina as you know all too well by now. We realize, though the Obamaniacs think we Clintonistas are mathematically challenged (being girls and all), that it is at this point impossible for Clinton to overcome Obama's lead in either the popular vote or the pledged delegates. We would like to point out, however, that an insurmountable lead is not the same thing as a large lead. The latest RCP popular vote spread between Obama and Clinton, even without Florida and Michigan (which Obamaniacs have apparently decided are in another country) is just 2.3%. Bring those two densely populated swing states back into the mix, and the spread is just 0.25%. Even if Hillary were to drop out tomorrow, which we don't expect her to do, the Precious wouldn't exactly take this thing in a landslide, unless you define "landslide" in the terms of Bush/Rove 2000: We won, narrowly and dubiously, by disenfranchising voters who weren't on our side, but, hey, a win's a win.
Note to Obamaniacs: Comments filled with long-winded, condescending explanations of party rules and Obama(th) will be deleted. We are sick and bloody tired of hearing you recite your little talking points about how the state parties violated the rules and the candidates had agreed not to compete in Florida and Michigan. Moose sits in her red chair and mutters that she doesn't give a rat's ass about a bunch of party apparatchiks trapped in a pissing contest over rules and dates and the sacred place of Iowa and New Hampshire on the political calendar. The bottom line is that 2.3 million Democratic votes have been discarded in this process, and we can't figure out why the "Count Every Vote" party is suddenly sounding so much like the party that denies elderly nuns the right to vote because they don't bring identification to the polls. Nuns, people -- Is that where we're headed?
Believe us, darlings, we want to rise with you to the highest levels of high dudgeon and political frustration, but the truth is we need some time to rest up, sort it all out, catch our breaths. The dirty little secret is that at the moment we are a house divided. Goose went downtown this afternoon for an estrogen-fueled Clinton chick trifecta event featuring Hillary, Chelsea, and Clinton mom Dorothy Rodham and still feels there's a fight left to wage. Moose was at the office, feeling surly about an overdue Learning Outcomes Assessment assignment she will have to take care of tomorrow and worrying that the whole gas-tax pander was a major miscalculation on Clinton's part. I'm feeling better, thanks for asking, because three days of antibiotics have taken the edge off my eye infection, but I'm beginning to think it may be time for Clinton and Obama to sit down and broker some kind of deal that will make it possible for everyone to get up on their unity ponies and ride, ride, ride happily toward a Dem victory in November.
2nd Note to Obamaniancs: That whole unity pony thing? It ain't happening unless you all step back from the Hillary hatred and the whole crock of crap about how your guy is the second coming of Che Guevara. Here me again, people: Barack Obama is a centrist Democrat. His health-care proposal will never get us to universal coverage. His opposition to the Iraq war when he was an Illinois state senator was just about as courageous as Moose and Goose heading downtown with their sweet little hand-painted signs declaring, "No blood for oil!" Once he was in the U. S. Senate, he voted to fund the Iraq war and was AWOL on the Kyl-Leiberman vote regarding Iran. Your super-hero guy cannot win in November without the voters (women, workers, Latinos) our evil, pandering, ambitious bitch has been winning throughout the primary season. Cannot. Win. Do you get that, or are you so caught up in the fever of your Obamania that you genuinely believe you can knock off the war hero with more than 20 years in the senate without the broadest possible coalition of left-of-center voters? Do you not get how close a lot of us are to saying, "Good luck with that, kids. You got this far without us, and your contempt for us is palpable. Let's see how much further you can go all by your politically perfect, arrogant selves."
Flame us if you dare. Our pride is wounded, and this race is as close as two ticks on a Texas prairie dog. If we want to win this thing, we have to figure out a way to win it together. That's your homework assignment, class. Comments are due by noon on Friday.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Leave It to the Moosians
Meanwhile, down in North Carolina, the newest Democrat among the Moosians heads to the polls to see if she can wrest the Tar Heel State from the grasp of the Precious. Just remember, Big Sissy: A single-digit win for Obama will be a victory for Clinton. Now that you're a Dem, you've got to master a whole new set of talking points, but you're a smart girl, too. We know you can do it.
Indy Star's endorsement of Clinton in the primary is here.
Indy Star's editorial on how cool and incredible it is that the state actually matters in a primary race is here.
Hoosier and Dem political operative Ron Klain has a thoughtful piece on how appropriate it is that the state that calls itself "the crossroads of America" should be playing such a pivotal in the battle between Clinton and Obama here.
Latest RCP averages give Clinton the edge in Indiana and Obama in North Carolina.
Video of one of the worst pop songs ever, which demonstrates Indiana's vital place in the cultural imagination, is here. We'd embed it, but Goose would die from embarrassment. The Official Prep School Teacher of Roxie's World, however, is probably already humming along.
Stay tuned, kids. We'll try to have results and reactions later today!
Sunday, May 04, 2008
On Good and Bad Analogies
Case in Point? Goose came home late yesterday afternoon from a conference she had attended on campus. She held in her trembling hands the carefully written note you see above, which had been left on the windshield of the cute little Prius she and Moose bought for Christmas last year. Read the note, please, and try to help Moose and Goose understand why their devotion to Senator Hillary Clinton should be viewed as a betrayal to the cause of Prius owners everywhere -- or is it only a betrayal of owners of silver pine mica Priuses? If they had gone with the Barcelona red metallic, would Tim have felt less implicated in their bad politics and not been compelled to try to shame them out of supporting her? Moose and Goose spent hours and many glasses of wine last night trying to imagine what on dog's earth made Tim think he had the right and the obligation to leave his series of heart-felt but poorly supported assertions about Senator Obama's supposed virtues and Senator Clinton's alleged vices. By the end of the night, they were drafting their own imaginary letter to Tim in which they patiently explained that harassing fellow Prius owners did not count as a politically significant act and was not likely to be conducive to the party unity that will be essential to Democratic success in November.
Dear Tim, they thought of writing, We appreciate your taking the time to try to slap us out of our political stupidity and get us to join you in the dazzling light of hope and change, change and hope, and other super-delicious rhetorical treats. However, if we were amenable to appeals based on thin evidence ("most progressive candidate. . .in decades"), veiled threats ("helping John McCain"), and compliments to our good taste as consumers ("NICE CAR!"), we would have dumped Hillary and climbed aboard our unity ponies months ago. Instead, we continue, proudly and on the basis of solid evidence and considered judgment, to support the candidate in this extremely close race whose grasp of the issues we face and the office she seeks impresses us more with each passing day. We are in no mood to be harassed about our position by sniveling little hope-mongers who implore us to "do the right thing," when by "the right thing" they mean "our thing." Pardon us, Tim, but we think doing "the right thing" means listening carefully to the voices of nearly half of Democratic primary voters rather than trying to bully them into siding with you. We think it means realizing the party has a serious problem with Florida and Michigan that won't be resolved by condescending explanations about party rules. We think it means refraining from systematic efforts to demonize a Democratic candidate who, on the substance of policy and issues, is not a whit less progressive than her opponent. Which brings us to the next point of this post.
A Really Bad Analogy: It is in no way fair, appropriate, or politically constructive to compare Senator Clinton to Eight Belles, the filly who took second place in yesterday's Kentucky Derby, broke both of her front ankles not long after she crossed the finish line, and was euthanized right on the track at Churchill Downs. Such comparisons are not even justified by the fact that Senator Clinton herself, in Louisville on Thursday, urged supporters to put their money on the first filly to race in the Derby since 1999. And yet, sadly, inevitably, such comparisons are being made.
Case in Point? Check out the comments to Jake Tapper's report on the hard race and sudden death of the filly Clinton backed in his ABC News blog, "Political Punch." This one from an enlightened fellow named Tom is typical of the riotous good fun one can have with analogies:
one nag down - one to go!!!Then there's this one from Greg:
It was a shame having what happened to that horse. Horrible. I wonder if Vince Foster and Ron Brown are feeding her carrots right now telling her "it's okay...you took one for the team"?I'm telling you, kids, garbage like this makes me glad I'm not a member of your species. Sometimes I think laptops should come equipped with showers to allow users to cleanse themselves of the filth they too frequently encounter in cyberspace. Of course, many bloggers, including Jake Tapper, are condemning the coarse analogies between Clinton and the filly. Jeff Fecke has a nice piece on Eight Belles over on Shakesville that also makes this point. Sally Jenkins has a column in Wa Po this morning that raises the important questions about the ethics of horseracing and the breeding of modern thoroughbreds.
Moose and Goose were watching the Kentucky Derby live yesterday at a party they have attended almost every year since they moved to Maryland in 1986. They were also watching the 2006 Preakness when the magnificent Barbaro fell to the ground with the injury whose complications would kill him eight months later. When Eight Belles went down, they saw not an analogy but a tragedy -- and possibly their last horse race. Moose shook her head sadly when they got home from the party. "I was born in that town (Louisville), Rox, and I've watched the Derby all my life, but I don't know. There are just some things you can't risk seeing, not when you've seen them before. The wholly unnecessary death of all that beauty and all that power in a spectacle designed for gambling and entertainment? I don't think so, Rox. I just don't think so." She looked deep into my eyes, which are cloudy and red right now from a nasty infection. I looked back at her. Sometimes, I think Moose wishes she weren't a member of your species either.
(Photo Credit: Brian Bohannon, Associated Press; Eight Belles on the track at Churchill Downs after her catastrophic injury in the Kentucky Derby, 5/3/08)
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Campaign '08 keeps coming to the Moosians -- and the Moosians are coming to Clinton! Photo above shows Bill Clinton engaging in a bit of political handiwork (that's his hand at the center of the frame, adorned with a groovy friendship bracelet) at the high school of one of Moose's several nephews, the one she fondly calls Mr. B. That was on Monday. By Wednesday a.m., Moose's cell phone was bouncing like a Mexican jumping bean (in the middle of a meeting on, you guessed it, Learning Outcomes Assessment) as her formerly Republican (but mostly apolitical) older sister kept phoning in from a Bill Clinton speech in Apex, North Carolina. Moose swears she hasn't heard Big Sissy sound this excited since she went to see the Beatles at the Indiana State Fair back in 1964. Big Sissy swears Bill Clinton looked her right in the eye and that he really, really saw her. Moose said, "Of course, he did, Sissy, and he felt your pain, too. Listen, Sissy, you gottta go easy on this politics stuff. I'm not sure you should have seen Ole Blue Eyes as your initiation into Democratic political events. If you had called me first, I might have suggested easing your way in -- with, you know, a Senate floor speech by Harry Reid or something."
Anyway, the truly extraordinary political news among the Moosians this week is that Big Brother himself, who probably wouldn't mind being described as Pat Buchanan without the liberal tendencies, actually ventured into the belly of the beast. On special assignment from Goose, Big Bro went to Clinton's campaign headquarters in Indianapolis to get "Hoosiers for Hillary" signs and pins for his besotted Middle Sister, who, as you might have noticed, has become obsessed with her native state's suddenly pivotal role in the Democratic primary battle. He was successful in his mission and is even teasing his sister, as brothers will do, by pretending to back Clinton -- whether because he thinks Clinton would be easier for Geezer McCain to knock off in the fall or because he truly believes Obama is the anti-Christ she cannot tell, but Moose is grateful for the gear and hopes he will spend the weekend knocking on doors for Senator Clinton, because an ally is an ally. And, trust me, it's rare that Moose and Big Bro are allies in any political cause.
Excellent interview with HRC in the Indianapolis Star is here, and it's worth noting that one of the senator's main messages is that Democratic voters should under no circumstances abandon the party in the fall, regardless of how the nominating contest is resolved. The money quote, and we promise to copy it out in our best handwriting and slip it under Goose's pillow tonight, is:
"Anyone, anyone, who voted for either of us should be absolutely committed to voting for the other” in the general election, Clinton said during an hourlong meeting with the Indianapolis Star Editorial Board. “I’m going to shout that from the mountaintops and the valleys and everywhere I can, no matter what the outcome of the nominating process is.”From the rooftops, people, so stop with the whining and the accusing about Clinton's diabolical plot to destroy the party, okay?
We know you're all desperately disappointed that Roxie's World has not weighed in on the mad Oedipal psychodrama that has consumed the Barack Obama campaign in the last week. Because all progressive bloggers, no matter who they are backing in the primary, are duty-bound to offer words of sympathy to the Obama campaign for Rev. Jeremiah Wright's stunning display of narcissism and bad timing in his outrageous remarks at the National Press Club on Monday, we do hereby offer this full and heart-felt statement of shock, support, and sympathy for the senator from Illinois. Are you ready? Here's the statement:
Boo-fricking-hoo, Barry. Guess you shouldn't have dozed through all those sermons, huh?(Friday Update: 58% of likely voters agree with Roxie's World that Obama denounced his minister for political reasons and not because he was genuinely outraged, according to a Rasmussen poll released this morning. Uh-oh, Precious. Looks like voters are figuring out that the emperor might be a few threads shy of a complete outfit. Question: How long will it take the Obama campaign to announce that 58% of likely voters are racist?)
You are paying the price for being caught in the act of politics -- of carefully tailoring your message and persona to appeal to different audiences (black, white, religious, secular) -- even as you've been selling people the fantasy that you magically transcended the unseemly business of politics, of race, of difference. Here's the thing, Precious: Politics is the business you are in, and it is necessarily messy. Race is real. Differences are real and stubborn, and they won't disappear just because you have a pretty voice and a winning smile. Rev. Wright understands that and had the audacity to say it out loud. If you suffer for his inconvenient truth-telling, it is only because you have committed the sin of pretending to be something you are not: a non-politician.
And here's a little message for all our friends who have Clinton death-watch widgets on their blogs and Facebook pages:
We don't get it. Oh, I know we feminazis are humor-impaired and everything, but do you really think all these jokes whose punchlines involve the rape, murder, or death of Hillary Clinton are funny? You're smart people, decent people, progressive people. Does that feel like a healthy contribution to the political discourse? How would you feel if we put an Obama jive talk detection widget on Roxie's World? We suspect you'd get all ticked off and call us racists, but we're wondering why you're not worried about looking misogynist or just obnoxious and hateful when you traffic in the cruder forms of anti-Clintonism. We're wondering why you're all up in arms over the media trying to sink Obama's candidacy through some trumped-up guilt-by-association with his "extremist" minister, when you were happy to declare Clinton unelectable because she had a complex history and some dubious associations that created resistance to her candidacy in some quarters. Suddenly, the impressionistic politics of perception are turning against your guy, and they're not so fun anymore, are they? Suddenly, you want to talk about math instead of likability (which has recently been revealed to be a racist code word, though Clinton was playing the victim card when she objected to the likability standard).
If you haven't already, go check out Melissa McEwan's Hillary Sexism Watch (now up to "Part Eighty-Goddamn-Seven) over on Shakesville. Melissa tracks it so we don't have to, and we are grateful to her for doing so.
And here's a link to the first two parts of HRC's lengthy interview with Bill O'Reilly on the The O'Reilly Factor. Talk about journeying into the belly of the beast, kids! It is a riveting pas de deux, we promise. We think old Billo was impressed and charmed -- We just hope Moose's brother was watching.
Peace out, beloveds. Play nice.