Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Few Election Results From Some Interesting Dem Primaries

Good news being reported all over the country.

Cynthia McKinny is out of office here in my congressional district, and Hank Johnson is in, and I helped. I know a lot of white male Republicans in my district were super-motivated to get Cynthia out, and I hate to ever be in agreement with that group of people, but it wasn't the slapping incident that got me to dislike Cynthia McKinny. It was another moment. The first time McKinny took questions from local reporters after her scuffle with Capital Police, McKinny wasn't the least bit candid about the incident, didn't have a sense of humor about it, was very defensive, and insisted she wouldn't answer any questions about it. When the interview was over, she forgot to take her mike off of her coat. So the TV crew got audio of McKinny dissing one of her own staffers post-interview for not making it clear enough with the reporter that McKinny would field no questions regarding the Capital scuffle. When McKinny realized her mistake, she came back to the table where she'd been answering questions and spoke to the reporter in a tone dripping with condescension and a palpable dislike. "Anything that was said after our interview was concluded," Cynthia said, her googly eyes googling and her lips peeled back away from her teeth so she could over-anunciate, as though to a child, "will not be used for broadcast of any kind. Do you understand me?" I was done with McKinny right then. Anyone who doesn't know how to handle reporters better than that doesn't deserve to represent anyone, much less an entire congressional district. So she's out, and that's good. Give ole Hank a chance. I'm tired of this incumbent retention rate of 94%. Throw the incumbents out. If your representative or senator hasn't done an absolutely stellar job while in office, if they haven't done something that, when you think of it, makes you happy or proud some way, give someone else a shot. There's even money they'll do a better job.

Also, Joe Lieberman, the faux-Democrat and born again Republican, has failed to convince Democratic voters in Connecticut that he ought to be the Democrat nominee for his Senate seat. Ned Lamont is in. People have been saying that Lieberman's ouster is a result of his support for the war in Iraq, but I think that's just part of it. It's also his high-handed moralistic positions regarding sex and violence in video games and music and movies, and it's also because every ultra-right-winger in the Punditsphere, like Hannity and Coulter and DeLay, have all come out in support of Lieberman. But the final nail in his coffin was his scolding of fellow Senate Dems last November. He told them to stop criticizing the President because, like it or not, Bush is our President for the next three years. Pretty fucking galling. True, he was lobbying the Bush administration then to take over Rumsfeld's job, (a job he was never in the running for, but was too out of his depth to know it), but the fact that he didn't know his days were numbered as a Democrat that very moment shows how out of touch he is. Now he says he's going to run as an Independent. I hope to God he loses that too and then fades quickly into obscurity as a former progressive who lost his way. We need actual Democrats in power to help bring America back from where Bush has taken it.


Anonymous said...

Crane - I agree with you on only one point in this statement.

Cynthia McKinney is a true progressive voice in the wilderness and is one of the only people who stands up to the corporate run dems and republican puppets.

She was and is against both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, questioned the veracity and objectivity of the 911 findings as well as pushed for Bush's impeachment and calling him on the terrible Hurrican Katrina response. She has the balls to do this and yet also stand up for herself against the "pigs".

Not to mention, she served on the House Committee on Armed Services where she was a key voice for people like me, who are tired of unchecked military agression and pentagon pork barrel spending.

So, I disagree - she was very potent and her problem was that she was "too liberal and black" for such a backwards ass state like Georgia, with its patented racism and patriarchal golf course back slapping.

A major loss here.


Check out how she voted. She was excellent. Come one! As if Bill and Hilary or even Al Gore haven't made any mistakes or public guffaws.

When are people going to realize that the Dems are the new Republicans and the Republicans are the new fascists? I've been saying this shit for years.

Without a politically pluralist society a democracy is doomed.


Anonymous said...

Now let me add something about Hank Johnson - he's a white man's black candidate.


First its the skin tone - a shade lighter and I'm sure that goes over well with the racists in Georgia.

Second - his harmless platform which is republican lite - focusing on an increase in federal spending on schools, to stay the course in Vietnam...I mean Iraq. I mean he wants to pull out when our military brass say it's time! Ludicrous. Has anybody asked the Iraqi's? They want us out now!

And what does - "vigilant national security against terrorism" mean? An expansion of the Patriot Act?

Moreover, seeing North Korea and Iran as security threats is disengenous. Man, these Dems love to talk tough just to get elected by that coveted and fearful centrist voter...

He's focused on keeping businesses in his district! How? By somehow fucking over labor, that's how. Perfect little Uncle Tom for White Corporate power.

"There is a sensible balance between vigilance and intrusion, between security and tyranny, and we can find it."

- This is Orwellian Speak. What the fuck does this mean?

Ok - on the Environment - he seems to be open to mixing environmental stewardship with market forces. Pretty much green washing. I'd like to see how he will enforce his mandates, especially since Corps are backing him.

About the only reason I would vote for him would be that he stands for a nationalized healthcare system - otherwise - he is as boring as a Michael Bay movie.


blankfist said...


That's all I see when I look at Paul's posts. Take that Anarchy. Just kidding, Paul. Seriously, great stuff. I read every bit of it. Yep. Didn't miss a word.

Hey Cranesy, let me ask you a question. Do you make it a point to watch Hannity, Coulter, DeLay and all the other Repubs you love to hate? Don't fear you have to tiptoe around this or anything, I'm not setting you up for anything. I'm just curious if you specifically tune in so you can see what the enemy is doing - and to work on that nifty near-aneurism vein that's been growing to Gibraltor proportions since you left NCSA.

Oh, and, Paul... great stuff, bruther. Read every bit of it and agree with you. Awesome stuff. Really interesting read, too. It's good to see you didn't discriminate in chosing what you wanted to talk about, instead you just threw out whatever was on your mind, which is obviously plenty. Really stream of conscience. Very edgy. Great stuff, man. A really exciting read from beginning to end on both posts. I especially liked the part that was political. Yeah, I think that's my favorite part, dude. Good stuff. Really poignant and eye opening stuff about neo fascism and Bush and all that. You should write a book. A six-thousand page literary opus. You'd probably be done by next week if you start now. Yeah, man... great stuff.


Anonymous said...


JudgeHolden said...

I understand your points about her voting record (though I do wonder which website you're pulling all of those talking points from), but I voted against McKinney because I don't like her as a person. I like my Dems humble but firm, eloquent and dignified. Cynthia was a bully with a lot of rage issues. When I saw the video clip of her I described in the post, I was embarassed and angry. But because she voted the right way in Congress, I'm not allowed to take her overall credibility into question and vote her the hell out of office? I disagree.

I'm sure I'd agree with most of her votes. But just because I agree politically with her, does not mean that she is the most effective person I could send to Congress to represent my district. Check out this link on Salon's VideoDog site with some of McKinney's highlights:


And you asked if Bill and Hillary hadn't committed public flubs and gaffes like McKinney has. No, they haven't. Can you imagine Hillary telling a reporter that she had better not use any part of the interview that she didn't want the reporter to use, in the same tone that McKinney used, and still be in office? Highly doubtful. Serious politicians know how to deal with the press. That McKinney doesn't have a clue, speaks volumes to me about her overall fitness to be in the House. Most sane and successful politicians do not express the kind of hot-tempered, paranoid disdain for members of the media that McKinney does in nearly every interview. Look at the video clips in the link. Not just with the woman whom she tried to bully into not airing her microphone flub, but Wolf Blitzer. Wolf doesn't do tough interviews, so he's not someone people usually get their back up about, and in this case all he does is ask her to back-up the racial profiling charge she levels against the Capital Police. Instead of answering the question, or even deflecting it as a skilled politician does, she says up is down and that she didn't actually say the words 'racial profiling' even though she actually had only seconds before. Hank Johnson, by contrast, doesn't seem totally batshit crazy, and I think that's kind of refreshing. Won't it be nice not to have my district be a laughingstock? And though some are charging Hank Johnson with Uncle Tommery, (which seems stupid to me considering the fact that he's a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat who won in a primary in a sky blue district, though if your website is right, he does have some right-of-center views on some issues), I think overall he's just McKinney-lite, and after another 2 years of the real deal, I think we could use another break. Maxine Waters, John Lewis, John Conyers -- members of the powerful black caucus in the House -- I love these guys. John Lewis was a key leader in the civil rights struggle. These members of the House comport themselves with dignity and decorum and speak out eloquently on important issues. Compared to other members of the black caucus, McKinney was just a tactless upstart with no class, and that's why she's out. She's embarassing. For me it has nothing to do with her politics. She didn't even deign to show up for the 2 debates before the primary (her lectern was conspicuously empty) because she took her district's support for granted, even though she'd only been in for 2 years. All the good things she did, like call Bush out on his poor response to Katrina and argue against military spending -- another black democrat could do those things just as well, and they wouldn't have to be Cynthia McKinney.

But let's say that Hank Johnson, like Denise Majette was accused of before him, is just a black stooge put up by the white Republican power brokers in my "backwards ass" state. Then I say double shame on McKinney for being so icky and unlikeable in so public a fashion that the "white man" was able to defeat her with someone who only had to seem like he wouldn't rain bad publicity down on our congressional district to win. Even if she is a bully and paranoid and even if she suspects racism wherever she goes, whether it's present or not, the fact that she couldn't do a better job of keeping that from public view makes her unfit for office in my view. And if Hank Johnsons turns out to be the wrong man for the job, which he may be, we can vote him out in 2 years, too. Incumbents are too entrenched in their position on Capital Hill -- I say if you can vote them out safely, that is within a same-party primary, then there's nothing wrong with it. Give someone else a chance to serve -- it's not supposed to be a person's career, though it almost always is.

As for Heath, I do sort of keep up with what the Fox News fascists like Hannity and O'Reilly and Coultergeist have to say about things. Media Matters is a great site for that, providing mpeg clips and calling them on their bullshit a lot of the time. I think these sorts of people get all the headlines, but the serious conservatives, guys who actually think and believe in the ideals of conservatism and put them ahead of party politics, are usually sidelined in the mainstream media because the things they say aren't offensive enough. Thought never grabbed a rating. Things are bad out there, and liberals and the Democrats need as many serious, credible people as we can get to represent us in D.C. to fight back against people with legitimately fascist leanings.

Anonymous said...


I understand your points quite well and realize that she lacks tact and discipline when dealing with the spectacle (or media). She is not properly groomed in the art of political sophistry and bullshit. All the better.

The spectacle is not democratic and participatory - but highly rigid, heirarchial and almost exclusively owned and operated as a massive propaganda machine by big corporations. They distort and
lie constantly - pushing an ADD infused soundbite reality that we accept like fools. If I were a politician I would be vicious and confrontational to them as well.

If I were a politician, my true calling and responsibility would be to my grass roots constituency (not pleasing the corporate manipulators of the spectacle).

Perfect example is Bush - he is horrible in media situations and to interviewers (Helen Thomas being an example) - far worse than McKinney - yet he stands for the interests of corps and yet he is consistently exonerated!!!

I applaud McKinney for being a bitch to the spectacle and not taking any more of their shit. So what if she is a trash talking ghetto sista.

As for the debates - yes that was a bit narcissitic move on her part - and that cost her with the dumbed down electorate who should be worried about things like our government being overthrown, perpetual war, the end of the government social safety net, the emergence of a police state and the take over of America by private interests - rather than how eloquent of a speaker they are and how much they emulate James Baldwin or Maya Angelou or how media savvy they can be to run an effective campaign. FUCK THAT SHIT! Kerry and Gore did that and where did it get them?

People like myself (I'm not saying you called me this) are labled as Paranoid or conspiracy nuts - but read the papers everyday and see what these bastards are doing to the world and to our limited democracy. It will make your hair crawl on end.

We need a straight talking, truth seeking mother fucker. Where is Samuel L. Jackson when you need him?

Look, there may also have been reasons for McKinney not to attend these debates (politically motivated - and we'll never know unless someone asks her). I'm not being an apologists, mainly stressing that someone must call TRUTH TO POWER and it might not come from the honarable and acceptable likes of a Hank "Uncle Tom' Johnson.

BTW - I retrieved his platform directly from his personal website.


Anonymous said...

Things Bush and co are doing:

1) Retroactively amending the War Powers Act so they will not be indicted for war crimes..ever.

2) Domestic spying on Americans without notice - the ability to call anyone at any time an "enemy combatant".

3) Privitazation of the internet

4) Completely dismantling and doing away with FDR's NEW DEAL - meaning no social safety net and the way to do this is by perpetual war and deficit spending. READ PAUL KRUGMAN.

5) New McCarthyism on college campus

6) Haliburton internet camps and criminalizing dissent against the government or corporate interests.

7) Militarizing space

8) Producing new low yield nuclear weapons and using them.

9) Dismantling and erasing ALL environmental laws that were hard fought.

10) Criminalizing labor union activity (a reformed TAFT-HARTLEY ACT) and making it impossible to sue corps for lawful grievances.

11) Granting Corporations complete personhood and "civil rights" - this has a history in the US dating back to the late 19th century and will find its climax within this new Supreme Court.

12) The emergence of a Christian Evangelical class that will take over America after the first financial collapse (which will happen as we constantly dillute ourselves with constant wars and empire building).

The list goes on and on....

There is no time for a vanilla candidate.


JudgeHolden said...

I'm with you, Paul.

I think we need someone who will fight hard for the Democrats in the House, but I think that in order for that person to get any traction in the Capitol and get something done, they have to come to the table with a little credibility and McKinney, over time, worked very hard to undermine her own credibility. A fierce voice with no credibility affects no real change, and is certainly not able to help out their district. And I think if McKinney had found a way to espouse her political beliefs, which aside from aspersions cast on the 9/11 Commission Report I agree with, and suppress the least palatable aspects of her off-putting personality (the meanness, the paranoia, the false victim persona), she'd be on her way to defeating the Republican this November. I think as she is, McKinney would be perfect as a member of the left-wing Punditocracy -- her in-your-face style would be exactly right for one of the 24-hour news networks. But not for Congress. I know the House is supposed to be the place for lunatics on Capitol Hill (Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, Sensenbrenner), but there's no reason to send them there BECAUSE they are lunatics.

A Quick List of her Most Egregious Mistakes:
1) After she reportedly "stabbed" a cop with her cell phone, instead of apologizing publicly -- which would have ended the entire incident as a news event inside of a day or two -- she cries 'racial profiling', not allowing for the fact that her hairdo went through a major change just before the incident, rendering her less recognizable, and that she wasn't wearing her Congressional pin that allows senators and congresspeople to pass more easily through security checkpoints. Obviously, it must be racism. She stays out of sight for weeks, doing nothing for her constituents.
2) When she does finally begin to interview regarding the Capitol Police incident, not only is she cagey and defensive about answering questions pertaining to it, ("before you bring on my two lawyers"), she deliberately tries to equate the allegedly racist Capitol Police with the media, attempting to cast them in the same "They're all out to get me" light, and herself as yet another victim of racism.
3) She doesn't show up to the only 2 debates offered before the primary.
4) When the runoff results don't go her way, she blames the electronic voting machines and calls it a 'stolen election'. She puts forward no evidence. Though I have serious reservations about electronic voting machines that don't create a verifiable paper trail, I doubt McKinney can lay any serious claim to a conspiracy against her. I doubt the exit polling, if there was any, indicated an impending McKinney win. When Democrats control policy again, maybe we can demand that Diebold and their ilk accomodate a paper trail, if for no other reason than candidates who lose fair and square can't blame the voting machines for their losses.

She's kind of a crank, dude. The thing is, we need serious people who don't talk of conspiracy the moment things get rough; serious people who when they say something terrible is happening in Washington and something has to be done about it, we can all safely believe them without also looking like cranks.

Anonymous said...

You do make some solid points.

Unfortunately she does sound like an unstable person. She must be going through some personal issues. Maybe it is time for a break - maybe Hank Johnson will find his radical voice?

I agree in that these are little things that over time dilute the message because they undermine the messenger. And - in a world of corruption - you need someone the average, law abiding tax payer can relate to. Not a perfect person - just someone who has their own personal life in order - like Delay, Frist, Gingrich, and Cheney....


blankfist said...

They lied to Coz and Coz is a fool!