An Open Appeal to Obama and Clinton Supporters

First of all, this is my first diary here at TL, and I want to thank Jerlayn very much for allowing me diarist status here. I hope to bring everyone a lot of interesting information that I find in the worlds of elective politics and counter-terrorism, two of my cold, cruel lovers in life.

This entry itself leans more towards the former, and it's something that I've been wanting to write about for quite some time now, especially since just before the PA primary and the days thereafter. I feel as though an apology is necessary to Sen. Clinton and her supporters for the actions of many of Sen. Obama's supporters, including me, and perhaps even Sen. Obama himself. Equally necessary is an admonishment of Obama's supporters' actions both live and online--they are inexcusable, and must be addressed. Because of politics, Sen. Obama himself will probably never do it. I realize that my power is limited, but I feel as though I need to at least try and do something about it. This diary is aimed towards supporters of both Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama, with the purpose of making amends somehow, and re-instilling the notion that we are all still part of the Democratic Party, and that we should all support Democratic and progressive ideals.

Firstly, to my fellow Obama supporters:

I am one of you. I support Sen. Obama wholeheartedly, and I believe that he will make a good President, if elected. However, we are not helping our candidate out at the moment. As a matter of fact, we are hurting his chances of winning in November every time we make a ridiculous statement online, and every time we attack a supporter of Sen. Clinton. Does it go on on both sides? Sure. But it is especially prevalent amongst us. I do not know if it is because of our relatively young average age, or if it is because of the nature of our candidate, but either way, it is wrong and it must stop. I am no one special or important to listen to, but I do feel that it is important that we come to this realization so that we can change it and try and fix the damage that we have caused. Our candidate can not heal the party by himself if nominated, because of all the tearing apart we have done ourselves.

There are a number of things that have got to go, or we will kill our candidate's chances of winning the White House by driving out members of the Democratic Party from supporting us. We cannot win without Sen. Clinton and her supporters, and likewise, they cannot win without us.

  1. We must STOP sexist comments and accusations of racism when we are addressing Sen. Clinton or her supporters. This is not cool. "Racist" is not a word you throw around, especially after all the good the Clintons have done for African-Americans in this country during their term of office. Likewise, we must stop ridiculous and disgusting comments targeting Sen. Clinton because of her gender. "Psycho ex-girlfriend" is not an acceptable description of the work Sen. Clinton has done, and any sort of comment that is derrogratory and based on gender inferiority is absolutely unacceptable. I do not welcome those of you who make these types of comments into the Democratic fold. You do not belong here. We are the party that takes the high road.

  2. We must become more respectful in general. Politics, especially in the Democratic Party, is supposed to be an intelligent discussion of ideas, strategies, and issues. It is not a name-calling festival. Sen. Clinton has done a lot of work for the Democratic Party, a lot of very good work, and she is to be respected. If you don't like her ideas on issues, then fine, but don't make baseless slanders because she is a formidable candidate opposing Sen. Obama at the moment. Do not get angry and violent with Sen. Clinton supporters. Show some ettiquette--don't be so condescending. Your opinion is worth much less than anyone else's if the opinion only serves to create hostility and anger. We risk throwing people who made this party what it is today out of this party, and they do not deserve that.

  3. Realize that we are all Democrats first and foremost, not Obamacrats, and that we are certainly not the only members of the Democratic Party. There are some Independents and Republicans in our fold, and we welcome you as much as anyone, but Sen. Obama is a Democratic candidate, and as a supporter, Democratic ideals should be respected. We are not better than Sen. Clinton or her supporters in any way, and what she has done for this country deserves respect, not animosity. This "Creative Class" BS has got to stop. There is no way we will win with the attitude that we are the only important people in the Democratic Party, because if we think that way, then we will be the ONLY people in the Democratic Party--and that's not a good thing.

  4. Do not disrespect Sen. Clinton's record. She has done a lot, as previously stated numerous times, on minority rights, the health care front, and even national security. There is a way of criticizing things objectively without completely dismissing them or accusing them of being less than anything they really are. Many of us act as if Sen. Clinton has done nothing to deserve our respect, and that she has never done a thing for this country. That is ignorant, and makes me feel ashamed to be an Obama supporter at times.

  5. Don't listen to and repeat anything that Donna Brazile, Chris Matthews, or Keith Olbermann says, at least not 'til after this election. They are hurting relations in this party as much as we are, and if we accept much of their hateful, idiotic, and occassionally sexist speech as truth or a talking point, then it only serves to double the negative impact in our party.

  6. Quit calling for her to drop out. She has earned the right to run as long as she wishes. She is a Democrat, and she is a fighter who wants the nomination as much as we do. We are not entitled to it, and we have to fight for it as well, just like everyone else. When it ends, it ends. Try and come to a compromise or a conclusion about Michigan and Florida instead. We should not support the disenfranchisement of voters in any way, even if it does benefit us somehow. It does not benefit the party, or Obama's chances against McCain in November. Until Sen. Clinton wins the nomination or leaves the race on her own accord, we need to shut up and stop trying to force her and her supporters out of this race and the party. It is unwarranted and makes us look like idiots, which we certainly do act like sometimes.

Those are the things we have to stop doing. There are probably more, but at least this is a start. Politics is a civil thing. Don't get involved so much in drinking the Kool-Aid so many of us have, and fall into some strange cultish behavior. This is a discussion about who is going to lead America and the Democratic Party, not a rock concert or a game. I encourage my fellow Obama supporters, whether guilty of anything or not, to make an effort to apologize to Clinton supporters who have been dissuaded by our actions, and to back that apology up with changes in our actions. If we do not do this, then our apologies are meaningless and do not deserve to be accepted.

Stop the madness. Please.

Secondly, to the supporters of Sen. Clinton:

This is my own apology. I know that I have offended a few, not on purpose, but I have in the past, and I regret making the statements which did come across as offensive. I have no interest in sexism, or in 'purging' you from our party. I am ashamed at some of my fellow supporters who think this is necessary. I wish I could apologize for them, but sadly, I cannot. It hurts me whenever I hear a fellow Obama supporter wave you off as something unimportant, or disrespect or even attack you and your candidate. It is wrong, and I recognize that, and apologize for it as best as I can. I cannot control the actions of other supporters, and certainly not Sen. Obama himself, but I can control my own and will try to make amends as best as possible. I hope this does not come across as anything less than a sincere and humble apology. This is speaking for me only, as BTD is fond of saying.

I know that I probably can't do a whole lot here by writing it. Not many people will read this diary, but I hope that maybe I can at least affect one or two people by the words I type. I feel it is important that we Obama supporters change our actions and words, and if we truly want party unity, to take the first step and quit acting the way we do towards Clinton supporters. We have already lost many from the Democratic Party, who will either not vote or vote for Sen. McCain in the fall. This makes me sad, but I do not want to lose any more. However, if we as supporters do not change our actions, then we deserve no less but to suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of the people who we pushed out of the party during this primary process.

Hope that everyone has a good day, and that the progressive movement is not stemmed in any way from this long and arduous process we have endured. At the end of the day, we are all (or should be) still Democrats and progressives, and hopefully we can get back to those notions of advancing America, and a civil discussion between our two candidates.

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    Good on you (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by zyx on Mon May 12, 2008 at 11:00:45 AM EST
    Wow.  That's just about all I can say.

    I can think of several other places I wish this would be posted, but I am very happy to have found it here.  Thanks.

    You are free (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Mon May 12, 2008 at 07:23:23 PM EST
    To post it wherever you feel necessary, as long as it's the whole thing. I don't frequent many of the other places, other than TL, because I'm tired of the inanity. If you wanna stick it on The Great Orange Satan or whatever, then more power to ya.

    We'll all have to find a way to move on (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by andgarden on Tue May 13, 2008 at 12:26:44 AM EST
    There will always be fights, but this season has been particularly intense.  

    There is a great quote in (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by oculus on Tue May 13, 2008 at 12:33:03 AM EST
    this LA Times piece about Hillary Clinton in WV about moving on; look for the rodeo reference:



    You're On The Right Track (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by flashman on Tue May 13, 2008 at 01:28:57 PM EST
    it IS up to Obama and his supporters to try to reach out and heal the party.  Sadly, I don't think they are up to the task.  Too bad you're not running the show.

    Dalton, I don't think you need to apologize (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Teresa on Tue May 13, 2008 at 04:43:27 PM EST
    for yourself. You're a good example for all of us.

    Thank you for this diary and I hope there are many more Obama supporters out there just like you.

    Ditto what Teresa said (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Dr Molly on Tue May 13, 2008 at 07:43:46 PM EST
    This was a great and moving diary. As she said, you don't need to apologize for yourself. And it is very nice of you to apologize for the others, but you can't really do that for them. Nor should you.

    You clearly have the best of all motivations in writing this!

    Thank you, Dalton. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by JKR on Wed May 14, 2008 at 11:14:22 PM EST
    I admit I got a little misty when I read your post. However, I am afraid it is a little late. There is no putting the genie back in the bottle this time.  Calling President William Jefferson Clinton a racist was so far beyond the pale that it can never be forgiven.  I have been called a racist for not agreeing with Obama's health care ideas.  I have never harbored an ill thought toward a black person in my entire life. Now, after having seen how little they care about being fair to whites, I am in a different place that I haven't sorted out. I see black Americans voting for Obama in a very racist way after they have complained about whites doing that very thing. I also always thought that the young were our country's future and to be supported in their ideas and plans. I now have been told that I'm "old" and get lost so they can take over. Now the woman candidate that my 88 year old mother and I have been dreaming of for oh so long has been lied about and vilified. Our dream is being trampled on and swept under the rug. Every cruel thing the male media has said about Hillary has been like a knife in the heart of her women supporters. We're the ones who have had to give up our jobs for the younger, less knowledgable guys. Enter Barack Obama and it is the same humiliation all over again and we have to watch it all over again. Hillary would be ahead in superdelegates if they voted as their states voted, as Obama said they should.  She would be ahead in the popular vote if MI and FL were counted. But once again, the woman has to meekly step aside. Well, as far as voting for Obama and supporting the party, well--NO WE WON'T!! You've killed our dream....

    Although I truly appreciate (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by samanthasmom on Thu May 15, 2008 at 01:14:51 PM EST
    what you're saying here, the person asking for our votes is Barack Obama himself.  We do sometimes make the mistake of reacting to what his supporters say and do by saying that we will not vote for Obama based on something done in his name but not by him..  I have taken a personal pledge to base my vote for him or against him only on what he himself says and does.  So far, no vote for him. But you're OK.

    This is true. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Thu May 15, 2008 at 01:26:09 PM EST
    And only Obama himself can change perceptions about him, and earn the respect and the votes of Clinton's supporters now. I know some, though, are very upset by his supporters, and won't vote for Obama for that reason. If we as Obama's supporters can do anything about that, then we should, and that's all I'm trying to do.

    Thank you so much for the comment!


    I accept your the poster's sincerity... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by lambertstrether on Thu May 15, 2008 at 02:01:39 PM EST
    ... so I won't even mention "Code Blue" (Google "pocket guide" "behavior cycle").

    That said, the fish rots from the head. At this point, it devolves to us to figure out what to do on our own, relying neither on the Obama Movement -- now, apparently, to be institutitionalized as a sort of permanent campaign -- nor on the leadership of what most of us have always thought of as our Party (for all its flaws). Sorry, but there it is.

    Behavior Guide (none / 0) (#21)
    by creeper on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:10:38 PM EST
    That would have been funny but for this:

    "I'm not worried.  The Hillaryites will come around and vote for Obama in November.  After all, where else can they go?  Like a battered wife they'll come crawling back, no matter how much we bash them.  So let's keep having fun beating them up."

    That one hit me like a ton of bricks.  How much of this dynamic is at work in the current race?  

    I have news for Mr. Obama.  It's Independence Day here.


    Be Careful! (none / 0) (#24)
    by sugerfunk on Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:28:52 AM EST
    While I agree with the original poster that there is definitely a good deal of animosity from misguided Obama supporters, I also urge everyone here be wary of subversive trolls (a.k.a. partisan Republicans posing as Obama supporters to stir up the pot) The vile 'battered wife' example is suspicious at best.

    Well Dalton This Is A Very Fine Effort (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:58:00 AM EST
    on your part. I appreciate your what you are trying to do.

    While I have not liked the actions of some of Obama's supporters, my discontent is with Obama and the direction a portion of the party is going.  I am probably the most angry at those who thought that this critical year was a good time to stage an internal power struggle within the party and the tactics that have been used to achieve those ends.  This has become more then just two candidates competing for the presidency. It has evolved into generation pitted against generation, encouraged racial and class animosity and IMO has not been good for either our party or the country. It has deteriorated to such an extent that I doubt either candidate will be able to win in November.

    The "New Democratic Party" as described by Obama, his surrogates and party members such as Brazile no longer represents what I believe in. In many ways we have been encouraged to leave and I have done so by becoming an Independent.  At this point in time, I doubt that I will vote for Obama in November but only time will tell.

    A word of advise for your candidate and his supporters. If Obama and his campaign continues to blame others for his weakness in certain demographic and does not take real action to correct these shortfalls, he will lose in November. The percentages saying that they will not vote for Obama are too large to take the attitude that these voters will get over their tiff and fall in line come November. They need to quite blaming voters and correct the problems. IMO only Obama, himself, can make these corrections. It will not be enough to send others out to do the work to mend the divisions. He has to be able to do this himself.

    Thanks Dalton, (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri May 16, 2008 at 07:18:22 AM EST
    Appreciate the sentiments. I do disagree with you on one thing...I kind of do expect Obama to apologize. I know you say that politics would prevent him from doing it, but isn't that the old politics? He's supposed to be different, and I don't say that in any kind of snarky way, I say it sincerely. I want to see evidence of his "difference." So far I really haven't, just promises of doing things differently at some point in the future; but it looks like politics as usual to me. That's what I'm waiting for from Obama. I want him to do something of his own volition that may cost him politically because it is the right thing to do....and calling out his most obnoxious supporters on their behavior would be a great start.

    True. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:59:15 AM EST
    He SHOULD apologize, I agree. I don't think he will because of poltiics, which is by no means "new." He is a politician, certainly, and the old kind of politics to boot. He should definitely call out his supporters, prominent and not, but especially Brazile and her ilk. I certainly do not support Obama with the hopes that he will revolutionize Washington.

    A fine diary (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by BarnBabe on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:47:45 PM EST
    But this should have been written by Marcos 4 months ago when it basically all got out of hand. Now, when Obama supporters think they have it all locked up, Hillary supporters are suppose to say, ok, we will get back in step with the DNC and the party lines. This time it feels different. I am still a Democrat but I feel as if my vote is important to BHO but I am not. And in as much as I have always voted for the Democratic Candidate (8 so far)because that was the right thing to do for unity, I am not ready to go that route this time. I voted that way even if I did not really like the candidate. Roe, judges, liberties, Iraq, better than the alternative and all what the party stands for. I was so excited in 06  and now I look back and we really did not accomplish that much. We fought a little but then always caved. That is how it is now. We have been fighting but everyone wants us to cave. This is the new Democratic Party. Promise hope, change, and dreams and deliver as little as possible. I even understand what the whole Obama for President has been about. Some powerful people wanted to get control back of the WH and they figured they could not do it with Hillary as President. They did not care how they got there or what the people really wanted. It is all about control. It saddens me that it ends up still being a back room deal except smokeless.

    If there was a Woman's Party right now, I would switch and I was not a feminist when it was at its height. We always knew it existed at work and elsewhere, but now it is not even hidden. I use to see these girls on the Howard Stern show. Howard would say, take off your clothes and let's see what you got. And lo and behold, they would. Then Howard would say they were too fat or big butt, etc. etc. Maybe men do this to us because we allow it. But, by saying I will just forget and forgive because that is the way it always has been and unity is the most important thing, I am allowing my own personal beliefs to be destroyed. I am giving up my right as a person to choose a President based upon who I believe is the most capable of being a President who I would be proud of representing the United States of America, the Democratic Party and me.

    Thanks for a very well writen first diary.

    Too little, too late (4.75 / 4) (#3)
    by DaleA on Mon May 12, 2008 at 11:03:20 PM EST
    Maybe in late December or early January this would have helped. But not now as we end the primary season. After all the trash talking and outright filth thrown agains Hillary and Bill, the Obama campaign needs to learn a lesson. Which they will probably only learn by loosing. Your collective actions and failure of anybody in the campaign to even attempt to cool things down has badly split the Democratic Party. Enjoy what you have accomplished.

    Apology accepted (none / 0) (#13)
    by Raven15 on Thu May 15, 2008 at 11:32:16 PM EST
    but it´s wayyyyyyyyyy too late for reconciliation. The damage is done.  Have you posted this elsewhere at pro-Obama sites?

    TL (none / 0) (#14)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Thu May 15, 2008 at 11:36:27 PM EST
    Is really the only blog I visit. Those interested are free to post this elsewhere if they wish, but I'm not involved at DKos or anywhere along those lines. TL is my only home. I do recognize the need to perhaps market this particular argument to a different crowd.

    Nice try (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 20, 2008 at 08:42:03 AM EST
    but it's too little to late. Obama has split the party with his arrogant and condescending attitude. He continues to act and run his campaign exactly the same way Bush did. McCain is more of a change from Bush than Obama is sorry to say. And quit blaming the voters.

    Nicely Done, Dalton (none / 0) (#20)
    by creeper on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:34:32 PM EST
    From the looks of the latest diaries, though, nobody read this.

    You get a gold star for trying.

    Dalton, (none / 0) (#22)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue May 20, 2008 at 07:46:18 PM EST
    were you the one who just jumped into the lifeboat with us?  If so, a hearty welcome.  If not, while there's life, there's hope!

    Your diary was much appreciated.  The world changes one person at a time.  So in many ways, it is never too late.  

    Yes, (none / 0) (#23)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Tue May 20, 2008 at 09:07:47 PM EST
    I rescended my support of BHO and will fully turn my attention to getting Dems elected to the Senate, specifically in CO, TX, and AK.

    Well Done (none / 0) (#25)
    by Isabelle on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:47:43 PM EST
    Your diary is wonderful, and I wish Obama had said this when it still mattered, which would have made a world of difference, but sadly for him, he did not.  His supporters are still at it on MSNBC, even as I write this and the Huffington Post guy is so smug and disrespectful.  He smirks and blows off any mention of needing Senator Clinton or her supporters so I'm ready to let the chips fall in November, and there are alot of people who feel the same way, not because we're uneducated, poor, toothless or  unwashed, quite the contrary, but because we don't like to see fellow democrats made fun of or called names  because they have the audacity to support a democratic candidate that many of us have respected for years.  The republicans could not do to her what those in her own party have and I can't imagine how she feels right now.