Almost 24 hours have passed since the Huffington Post published a damning audio of Clinton disparaging the “activist base of the Democratic Party,” and the New York Times has absolutely ignored it. By this time last week, the Times had written about 258 stories about Obama’s “elitist” views, as revealed in, like, 16 words in San Francisco.
Just after her defeats on Super Tuesday last February, Hillary told the VIPs, "We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn didn't even want us to go into Afghanistan. I mean, that's what we're dealing with. And you know they turn out in great numbers. And they are very driven by their view of our positions, and it's primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don't agree with them. They know I don't agree with them. So they flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support me."
Talk about elitist…When are we who believe the Iraq War is bad for our treasury, bad for our soldiers and their families, bad for the environment, bad for Democracy, bad for our foreign relations, bad for gas prices, and bad for American jobs, green collar or otherwise, going to stop being treated like third-rate citizens? When will our opinions have an audience with a Democrat in Washington, let alone the Republicans? When will the millions of Americans, diverse in race and gender and gender orientation and socioeconomic status, stop being lumped together in the “kook fringe” category and dismissed every time they decide to think differently than well-connected Washington insiders? It’s degrading, and offensive to be reduced to a category box and written off. People of color in America deal with it every day, on a far more emotionally challenging level, and women deal with it, but it is offensive and degrading nonetheless. I’d expect this breathtaking haughtiness from a Republican, but from Hillary Clinton?
If there are any Democrats left in Pennsylvania who still think that Clinton cares about their interest in pulling out of Iraq, to escape war with Iran, to escape the American escalation of conflict throughout the world…reconsider now. After running a campaign that openly shuns the “activist base of the Democratic Party,” how can we expect her to differ substantively from Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.)?
“Activist base of the Democratic Party.” “I don’t agree with them.” “Activist base of the Democratic Party.” “I don’t agree with them.” “I don’t agree with the activist base of the Democratic Party.”
Let’s break out the microscope that the media used to dissect Obama’s “bitter” comments because I don’t quite understand what she’s really trying to say here.
Where is the media now? If they love controversy, they have the biggest, most newsworthy controversy since the primaries began. Here is Clinton basically repudiating her base, and its coming out on the eve of THE BIGGEST Pennsylvania primary ever. This tape is going to absolutely destroy the Clinton campaign.
The calls for her resignation will treble by the end of this weekend. With every new sign of her contempt for the very voters she wants to step on in her ascent to the presidency, it ought to be clear that these voters are voting for their own silencing and negation when they vote for Clinton. It ought to be clear that they are voting against the very beliefs that make the Democratic Party the greatest party in the world. If Clinton isn’t proud of that tradition, then she shouldn’t be running as a Democrat. If Clinton isn’t proud of the Democratic base, then the Democratic base in Pennsylvania ought to leave it up to the Republicans to win Clinton the primary nomination.
Clinton ought to know that the Democratic base doesn’t split...not these days. In the last several years, the Democratic base has grown strong together, united by the disparagements of the right wing, which for too long and too often mocked and taunted “Northeast liberals.” We grew stronger together, and we stood strongly together when we all shared in the victories of 2006. All of us, united as a party in a way we had grown unaccustomed to.
In Washington, allies and foes are perhaps mutable and changing every day. That may explain how Clinton can do shots with John McCain one night, and with blue collar workers at a bar in Indiana the next, but the Democratic Party doesn’t split today. Not today. Not now.
We are Democrats all, united in brotherhood and sisterhood, who watched George W. Bush steal the elections in 2000 and 2004. We are Democrats all who opposed this useless, wasteful war in Iraq, whether at rallies or in spirit. We are Democrats all who care about green energy, and good jobs and health care and peace and the end of corporate intimidation, recklessness and hegemony. We always have stood together, through the high opinion polls for George W. Bush and the low. And we always will.
So Clinton keeps showing us exactly how she feels about us, but she keeps forgetting that the primaries aren’t over yet. She keeps forgetting that before she can dismiss the Democratic base and rehire Mark Penn, to negotiate free trade agreements; and forget about ending the war in Iraq and begin a new war in Iran, that she has to win OUR nod. The nomination of OUR PARTY: the proud “activist” party of the civil rights movement; the proud “activist” party during the grape strikes for Cesar Chavez’s laborers; the proud “activist” party that lobbied for de-escalation in Vietnam.
Our “activist base” is every registered Democrat because to even register as a Democrat in these days in America is to invite ugly homophobic attacks from the right wing; is to invite comparisons to Communists and Stalinists. To register Democrat is to display courage when the overwhelming majority of media pundits and journalists slant to the extreme conservative branch of the corporate Republican Party.
Clinton ought to apologize to the supporters she has fooled so far, and explain clearly to Democratic voters in Pennsylvania that their opinions will not be welcome anymore after their ballot has been cast. She ought to apologize to the Democratic Party for confusing its visions of peace, and energy independence and international respect with those of William Kristol. Clinton must account for her remarks and her attitude toward the Democratic base.