Sara Whitman

Women Unite

Filed By Sara Whitman | June 30, 2008 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council, gay rights, Michelle Obama, women's vote

I am thrilled by Michelle Obama's speech in NYC the other night at the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council. She used strong words and where I've struggled with Barack Obama's arrogance, I heard her sincerity loud and clear.

Maybe it's because she's a mom, too. I don't know, but I believe her.

After her "I'm finally proud of my country" comment, the handlers have kept Michelle Obama quiet. I hope, deeply, that they stop doing that. Because as a former Clinton supporter, not only do I hear what Michelle Obama says? I think she means it.

I believe the key to swaying the former Hillary Clinton voters lies in Michelle Obama. All those people who say they will stay at home and not vote? They need to hear this woman.

Michelle Obama is not the candidate. But she can swing some voters so turned off by her husband, or so in love with Clinton as a woman, or those thirsty for something more than political pandering.

Staying home, this election? It's not an option. Regardless to how far ahead in any poll Obama may be, when people close the curtain, racism will come alive.

We have to vote, all of us, this November. No one can stay home and pout.

Maybe, just maybe, we have a voice in Michelle Obama.

Besides, you know, we women always have a way to figure it out.


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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 30, 2008 10:57 AM

Sara, Thank you! I think that it is telling that Michelle Obama sent Barrack out to play basketball with one of her brothers. The theory was that you could tell a lot about a guy by the way he played sports. I bet the brother was prepped to be negative in his assessment, but he came back telling his sister that this was an all right guy.

Michelle is the best secret weapon Barrack has and as I said before: "The reference point of how proud you have been of our country is in direct relation to how many of your ancestors have been lynched." If you have an ancestor who has been lynched you can question her patriotism.

If only Obama would follow the lead of Arnold Schwarzenegger it would be easier to support his candidacy - maybe as easy as it is to like Michelle:

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=5944

Gee Robert, I have ancestors who were lynched on both sides of my family tree........at Salem.

That said, I agree about Michelle and wish she was the candidate rather than her husband who makes me singularly uneasy. The cult-like devotion of the Obama-maniacs scares the crap out of me.

Like many feminist women my age, I am bitterly disappointed I may now never get the opportunity to vote for a woman for president in my lifetime and the open mysogyny Hillary experienced did change me from being only lukewarm supportive (why the hell did it have to be her?) to outraged....and the racism that is sure to follow the conventions will no doubt feel similar.

But I must admit I am so totally disgusted by the democrats in Congress collective lack of spine and unwillingness to "defend and protect the Constitution" as they all sworn an oath to do that for the very first time in my life I am seriously considering not voting at all. Our country is in shambles, the Bill of Rights dismantled and I have zero faith in the Dems to fix that.

I want to see that addressed and it hasn't been.

Yeah, I don't know anyone who thinks that Hillary didn't play an important role in Bill's White House. I hope Michelle does the same in Obama's.

I hope that you are right Sara, and a very good post, by the way.

I had publically bailed on Senator Clinton for a bit when I was worried that there were simply too many faux pas to survive a Republican smear before the general. Then Senator Obama made a few of his own, so behing the curtain I pressed the button for Hillary, having been turned off by another round of misogyny from supporters of Barack Obama the day before.

I campaigned actively for Senator Kerry in '04, as he had one of the best voting records on gay rights in the Senate, including opposition to and a no vote on DOMA. I registered LGBT voters, coming into contact for the first time with the LGBT phenomena of LRC's. Kerry's campaign statements on LGBT rights left something to be desired, and my enthusiasm waned .

Actively involved now in the G/L marriage issue (I am married in New York, courtesy of the Province of Ontario, Municipality of Niagara on the Lake) I was and remain unhappy with Senator Obama's remarks on California, coming as they did while the Arizona amendment was still on desks in the Legislature and while right wing ministers and legislators were on the Capital steps in Albany protesting against New York's anomalous handling of SSM.

The Senator handed Dems an out to abstain from or vote against marriage issues for G/L's. He cast those Dems supporting us, as in New Jersey, where they are considering SSM to replace existing Civil Unions, as to the left of the mainstream of the party.

His timing was impeccably bad. It is an odd situation to have the Republican governor of California, the Republican dominated Supreme Court of California, the Republican mayor of New York, the Republican dominated Supreme Court of Massachusetts all to the left of the proclaimed agent of change and hope of the Democratic Party.

Cathryn,
I and other Obama supporters resent being called 'Obama-maniacs'. We used the same cognitive reasoning skills to determine that Obama was the person to support for president just as those of you who had valid reasons for supporting Shillary did.

One of the things that drove me from the Hillary camp was the HRC endorsement. I and many other also didn't appreciate the race baiting that was done in South Carolina and subsequent states.

And what do you expect politicians to do when they take principled stands and don't keep their seats?

In 1993 Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D-PA) was the deciding vote in favor of the 1993 Clinton budget that jumpstarted the economy during the 90's. What was her reward? In 1994 she got ousted from her surburban Philadelphia seat by the Republican she defeated two years earlier.

This is the woman Democrats have in mind every time ideological purists demand they stand up and take principled stands. When we start rewarding politicians for doing so, then they'll be more inclined to take those risks.

When Pelsoi and Reid took "impeachment off the table" regarding the worst CRIMINAL ever holding the office of president..and who got there in the first place by a supreme court political coup, an overthrow of our system so blatant they even labeled it not to be taken as law in the future.....the Dems lost me forever. Bush is a war criminal, has committed dozens of capital crimes while in office, violated every single principle the country is supposed to represent.

Ten years ago it would have been inconceivable that we would debate whether or not torture was justified, now we debate which form of torture is ok.....I am a historian and the parallels between what is happening in the US and Germany between the world wars are uncanny.......and terrifying.

Never again will I vote for the lesser of two evils, because I finally realized that is still a vote for evil.....and if the Dems are afraid to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States when they took an oath of office to do just that, all my ancestors who fought in the Revolution did so in vain....and I will not support them.

Our system has presented me, over the course of my lifetime, only one candidate I could, in good conscious, vote FOR......the rest of the time it was a vote against........and I am sick and tired of that. If Obama wants my vote, he'll have to promise to restore the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, a system of law rather than lawlessness at the top.......and he hasn't said a word about that.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 30, 2008 7:50 PM

Obama has the potential to win by a landslide. The only thing that can stop him is the Bradley effect, the attempt to mine underground layers of racism begun by the Clintons. Their humble efforts are going to be squared and then cubed by the Republicans. It’ll be Willie Horton on a flotilla of swiftboats. Republicans are shamelessly expert at that sort of crap. They’ve had lots of practice.

That aside, we can be sure that whoever wins, Obama or McCain, they’ll be an unprincipled careerist who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about our welfare.

McCain and Obama both plan for a long war. How many more GI’s and Iraqis will die to feed Halliburton and Texaco/Chevron. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/604/democrats-debate-iraq

They both support NAFTA, a measure intended to bust unions, a real piece of Chamber of Commerce/NAM garbage legislation. http://workinglife.org/blogs/view_post.php?content_id=7337

They oppose good health for most working people by opposing socialized medicine. They oppose same sex marriage. They stood by while ENDA was shredded and the hate crimes bill was junked.


Obama is a mirror image of Bill Clinton in the early nineties, an unprincipled right centrist faker hustling for votes with vague promises. Some people will even tell you that in his heart of hearts Obama secretly agrees with us and will reveal his true pro-GLBT self after he gets elected. Those people are have gone from terminally naive to actively delusional.

Others say that electing a few more unprincipled Democrats backstabbers is more important than building a national response to defend SSM in California, They're wrong. Building a mass movement to defend the California SSM decision is our most critical nationwide task for now. It should be the national focus of our work until it’s defeated. If we lose it’s a national defeat and a huge loss. Also, keep in mind that pushing doorbells for unprincipled Democrats is more than just a waste of time and effort: it’s counter productive. Remember Bill Clinton? DOMA, DADT, NAFTA etc, etc, etc.

Cathryn,
Welcome to my world as an African-American.
Sucks doesn't it?

You're griping about Pelosi taking impeachment off the table, but did you not read the presidential line of succession?

If you impeach the president and vice president, guess whose the next in line to become president?

The Speaker of the House.

If I'd been Pelosi I would have made that call too. You've got a two seat majority in the Senate, and the impeachment articles require a 3/4 vote to remove from office. Can you honestly see Mitch McConnell, Gordon Smith, Susan Collins or Joe Lieberman voting to impeach Junior and Darth Cheney?

If Pelosi had even started te impeachment ball rolling she would have been hit with charges of 'she wants to be president'. She didn't have the vbotes either, so that's why she took it off the table.


Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 30, 2008 7:56 PM

Impeachment was taken off the table so Obama (or Hillary Clinton) could continue the genocide.

Monica, with all respect;
3M's was elected to in a heavily Republican district narrowly. When she was running for re-election, the Republican Revolution and the Contract ON America was the trend. I am certain that voting to raise taxes did not help, but I doubt that abything could have saved her,

I was in New York and Philadelphia a great deal at that time on work issues, and remember her campaign.

Her vote was repaid by her being named as chair of the US Delegation to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in 95, just after she left office.

She ran for the Lieutenant Govenor of Pennsylvania in 98, as I understand it, but was involved with some kind of huge financial scandals along with her husband involving millions and multiple banks and investment groups(one of the reasons that I remember 3M)

She landed on her feet after that.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 1, 2008 5:09 AM

Excellent point on the impeachment issue Monica. I am so tired of hearing that the Dems have control of congress therefore... Impeachment is a last resort, not a first course. There have only been two impeachments of a president and both failed. I think part of the reason they failed was the instability they cause between branches of government.

I'm still believing that "W" is going to give himself a pardon on the way out of office anyway.

Catherine, my point on lynching was relative to the many thousands of former slaves executed though out the south for about eighty years following the civil War. A comparison to colonial Salem's land grab disguised as witch hysteria is not the same thing at all.

What did the last poll say, that around 10% of Clinton supporters still say that they won't support Obama? That's not really much in the scheme of things, especially considering that not everyone who voted for Hillary in the primary would have voted Democrat in the general anyway if the candidates were all completely different people.

She drew in supporters who traditionally vote Republican or who don't vote, just like Obama did. They're not Democrats, and a few will go for McCain because that's what they would have done had Hillary not been in contention in the first place.

Still, do like Michelle Obama. And she's already getting swift-boated for having gone to Princeton and Harvard and for being black woman. I hope it backfires.