June 03, 2008

Do It For Barack

Dear Obama supporters who say that fixing the divides opened up by this primary season are Clinton's responsibility to fix,

If you want Barack Obama to be the leader of the country as he will now be the leader of the party, understand that he has asked for and must now take on responsibility for the problems facing both party and country. He's the one who asked for the job and got it, so he's the one that had better get it done.

Clinton can say anything at all in support of Obama, and she has both congratulated him and said she'd work to unite the party, but he has to be the one to seal the deal with the people he wants as constituents.

In fact, to suggest otherwise is to say that Obama, the unity candidate, isn't up to the task of handling the concerns of the 49%+ of primary-going Democrats that supported Clinton. By that logic, he'd be an incompetent party unifier and an unsuitable person to take us into the general election. But it's your argument that says he can't handle it, not me. Your argument suggesting that a Democrat who thinks he can win over Republicans can't even win over Democrats. Your argument that posits a party that just decided against the only person who could unite us, Hillary Clinton.

Y'all might want to think that one through.

Personally, I think he'll rise to it. And I wish him good luck on that, there's a lot at stake.

In the meantime, if you're also wondering how you can help heal things with Clinton supporters, particularly if you've spent the last several months insulting us, here's my suggestion: be quiet. Don't rub it in, perpetuate the arguments of a contest that's now over, insist on forcing admission that Obama was a better candidate, nay, a better person, or blather on about how all the complaints of sexism were obviously bull as we can plainly see. Right. Talk about something else, like the weather. Or maybe shut up until you can think of something actually nice to say.

Do it for Barack.

Kissy the face,

Posted by natasha at June 3, 2008 07:10 PM | Elections | Technorati links |
he has asked for and must now take on responsibility for the problems facing both party and country.
Clinton has done a lot to create those problems. I know you don't mean it this way, but a lot of Clinton dead-enders at e.g. NoQuarter and TalkLeft use the same words to mean "kiss our ass, Obamabots," and this is hugely offensive. I supported Dean in 2004, and Kerry didn't suck up to his supporter at all AFAIR. I came around, and Clinton supporters should do the same. Posted by: sean at June 3, 2008 08:04 PM

I think you misspelled "So, how's the weather"?

Seriously? Yes, the leader of the party gets the responsibility of, well, LEADING the party. And there's lots of nice things to say about Senator Clinton and her supporters who aren't named Mark Penn, about whom... well, let's talk about the weather, shall we?

Posted by: rob at June 3, 2008 08:55 PM

Oh, and one other thing: thank God we can start worrying about beating Republican Senator Abe Simpson now.

Posted by: rob at June 3, 2008 09:08 PM

> and Kerry didn't suck up to his supporter
> at all AFAIR

Yeah, and that really worked out will for him...and us.

Obama's job is to lead. Hopefully in about 10 months or so he'll be leading America, but the first step is to lead the party. And part of leading is to be the one to reach out. If he can't do that, well, god help us all.

Posted by: Mike at June 3, 2008 11:17 PM

Wise words from Jezebel, and as we've already seen, not likely to be taken to heart by the Obamabots. "She hit me first." Cripes, sixth graders have more social awareness.

Hopefully, Obama will be smarter. He seems to be, and he certainly is smart enough to realize he has to mend fences.

Posted by: Cujo359 at June 3, 2008 11:37 PM

Nice post. This is the central issue going forward, and I think you make a strong case. However (and you sort of imply this in the last full paragraph) I think it is incumbent on all of us to make the effort to draw together. I make the case here:


that the goal was never to put one or the other or the other in the White House, but to choose someone who could and would end the destructive policies of the last 30 years. My feeling is that either of the two candidates wouold have satisfied me, but this task is what we have to focus on in the weeks and months ahead. Thanks again from a fellow North Lefter


Posted by: Lockwood at June 4, 2008 12:01 AM

@rob: Nope. I meant "Obama supporters should be gracious, but have no responsibility to kiss ass in the face of abuse and mockery." Reconciliation is a two-way street.

@Mike: I don't think disgruntled Dean supporters were Kerry's problem.

@Cujo: "Obamabots"? Come back when you're willing to stop name-calling and start treating fellow Democrats with some respect.

Posted by: sean at June 4, 2008 04:09 AM

Wow, Natasha, tell us how you really feel. I really like the Pacific Views blog and have had you linked for three years now without ever asking for the return. (Which is just as well because I don't focus on politics in mine).

But this type of post on Pacific Views is surprising to me. I know there are hurt feelings out there: my parents and east coast sisters were extremely, emotionally behind Hillary. And family political discussion over the past 8 months have been terrible despite being an avowedly progressive clan.

Then you come with:

"In fact, to suggest otherwise is to say that Obama, the unity candidate, isn't up to the task of handling the concerns of the 49%+ of primary-going Democrats that supported Clinton."

Bull. Absolutely false premise. Obama is the Democratic Party presumptive nominee by virtue of taking the primary and accruing the needed number of delegates to seal the nomination. Accruing to him the internet and MSM shit-throw of the past several months is non-sensical. It's wrong to make the candidate responsible for making others feel better about his candidacy in any way other than continuing his campaign (now against the real enemy), and winning the presidency. That's the way we can be rid of disease of the politics of the past 36 years.

David, Seattle

Posted by: tres_arboles at June 4, 2008 04:16 PM

Back in late January I was torn as to who to vote for in the NJ primary. I decided on Obama, but still liked Clinton. As the tide turned for Obama, I believe Clinton ran a nasty, dishonest and selfish campaign that turned me off bigtime. Last night made me so glad that I chose the right person. Clinton gave one of the most classless, self-indulgent and hostile speeches possible and continued to fan the flames of many of her supporters, who I feel she has egged into their emotionalism. Obama responded with a respectful speech that was kind to Clinton and the mark of a true leader.

Yes, he has to do work. However, I hope that the damage Clinton has done is possible to be undone.

Posted by: Scott at June 4, 2008 05:28 PM

So, how's the weather?

Posted by: joel hanes at June 5, 2008 02:14 PM