Namecalling and harassment: The New Politics?

posted at 7:05 am on February 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Black superdelegates report harassment, intimidation, and namecalling in attempts to get them to change their votes. Has this come from the vaunted Clinton machine, desperately attempting to pull out a miracle win? No — it comes from affiliates of the Barack Obama campaign, which hardly needs the hard sell (via Memeorandum):

African-American superdelegates said Thursday that they’ll stand up against threats, intimidation and “Uncle Tom” smears rather than switch their support from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to Sen. Barack Obama.

“African-American superdelegates are being targeted, harassed and threatened,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), a superdelegate who has supported Clinton since August. Cleaver said black superdelegates are receiving “nasty letters, phone calls, threats they’ll get an opponent, being called an Uncle Tom.

“This is the politics of the 1950s,” he complained. “A lot of members are experiencing a lot of ugly stuff. They’re not going to talk about it, but it’s happening.”

After civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) switched his support from Clinton to Obama earlier this week, other black superdelegates have come under renewed pressure to do a similar about-face. A handful have bowed to the entreaties in recent weeks, including Georgia Rep. David Scott, but many say they are steadfast in their support for Clinton and resent strong-arm tactics to make them change.

This ugliness is the inevitable product of the Democratic delegate structure. One has to remember that the superdelegates comprise 20% of the total delegates, and that they are almost all public office holders. Their votes will determine the nominee, not the popular vote in the primaries and caucuses — and their constituents will hold them responsible if they vote in opposition to them.

For a candidate who supposedly wants a new kind of politics, this looks a lot like an older version that we thought we’d left behind. Obama’s supporters, at least, don’t seem to have much problem playing the race card with the superdelegates. That might work in the Democratic primaries, but this naked power play with identity politics will diminish his prospects in a general election, and it won’t help other Democrats, either.

It portends ugly divisions for the party in July, when they meet for the convention. Only an early withdrawal by Hillary Clinton will avoid it, and at the moment that doesn’t look likely. She’s leading in both Ohio and Texas in some polls, although in Texas she’s slipped behind Obama in most. If she stays in the race, the ugliness will only increase, and the bitterness will not easily fade.

The Democrats need to overhaul their delegate system, or put the pretense of a popular nomination process aside. They cannot expect people to sit idle as their elected representatives gainsay their will at the ballot box, and the superdelegates won’t stand for it again after this, either. They have to run for re-election in these districts and states, and getting called an “Uncle Tom” doesn’t make for a great campaign slogan.


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But don’t forget, it is our side who are the racists.

/sarc.

Blarg the Destroyer on February 29, 2008 at 7:13 AM

This is brain candy, it can’t get slimey enough for me to turn my nose up at it. I hope this goes on past the DNC convention and still rears it’s head into the general. Let them burn in their own vitriolic rhetoric, how ironic after throwing these race bombs at everyone else all these years.

Alden Pyle on February 29, 2008 at 7:29 AM

These “black superdelegates” say nothing when those same liberal pit bulls viciously attack black conservatives.

Honorable and decent people like Richard Steele, Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice are attacked daily by these same thugs and those “black superdelegates” refuse to utter one word in their defence.

The Democrats created these monsters for the sole purpose of destroying black conservatives. The fact that their creation have turned on them is poetic justice.

Deal with it Dems!

RMR on February 28, 2008 at 11:07 PM

RMR on February 29, 2008 at 7:33 AM

The dirty politics coming from democratic candidates who basically have the same ideology shows the one thing they long for: service power.

However, I’m not sure the same can’t be said for McCain.

shick on February 29, 2008 at 7:34 AM

liberal fascist

jp on February 29, 2008 at 7:37 AM

Whining, the newest Democratic political tactic. Cry me a freaking river…

Hog Wild on February 29, 2008 at 7:44 AM

New faces, same old dirty tricks.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

pilamaye on February 29, 2008 at 7:45 AM

Oh man were to begin.

When Al Gore lost the Presidency,what was the Liberal buzz word,oh ya popular vote,well what’s going to happen if
Hillary gets the popular vote and Obama gets the Superdelegates,or vice-a-versa.

Now this disgusting term “Uncle Tom” African American’s
use on each other,and I recall that term being used on
Clarence Thomas during the Anita Hill pop can episode!

So we had Liberal Democrats calling a Republican African
American that term and now its African Americans using that term WITHIN THEIR OWN PARTY,I said the DNC is stuck in the
sixties,I’m wrong,in the NewsBusters article above, I stand
to be corrected,it’s the fifties!

And they have the nerve to try and blame,and say it’s
the Republicans,——-PA_LEASE!

canopfor on February 29, 2008 at 7:45 AM

I knew I was getting old, but the dementia is much farther along than I suspected. The last time Clarence Thomas, Shelby Steele or Michael Steele was called an “Uncle Tom” was in the 1950s? My gosh I’m really loosing it. And to think that I thought they were children then.

burt on February 29, 2008 at 8:11 AM

“This is the politics of the 1950s,” he complained. “A lot of members are experiencing a lot of ugly stuff. They’re not going to talk about it, but it’s happening.”

Why not? If it was Duke doing the harrassing it would be in splashed all over every newspaper and network. Relativism indeed.

Limerick on February 29, 2008 at 8:16 AM

Um, Ed, did you read the thread comments thread right below this one? This isn’t just a democrat problem.

funky chicken on February 29, 2008 at 8:18 AM

Democrats can get worked up about Bill Cunningham, but don’t care about this. I found this comment on a site and it is the kind I generally have seen…

It’s a lesson to all Superdelegates, just let the Primaries play out and don’t go on record until you actually have to vote at the convention. Or at the very least, after it’s clear what the final delegate count will be before superdelegates.

Over the edge.

tomas on February 29, 2008 at 8:26 AM

That is like a woman being blame for being raped because she wore tight jeans.

tomas on February 29, 2008 at 8:34 AM

The Democrats need to overhaul their delegate system, or put the pretense of a popular nomination process aside. They cannot expect people to sit idle as their elected representatives gainsay their will at the ballot box, and the superdelegates won’t stand for it again after this, either. They have to run for re-election in these districts and states, and getting called an “Uncle Tom” doesn’t make for a great campaign slogan.

posted at 7:05 am on February 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Thanks for the advise. I’m sure Howard Dean is listening. He never expected it coming from Michelle Malkin’s website.

Any idea how to convince Hussein Barack that the Earth is not flat?

Indy Conservative on February 29, 2008 at 9:02 AM

These “black superdelegates” say nothing when those same liberal pit bulls viciously attack black conservatives.

Honorable and decent people like Richard Steele, Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice are attacked daily by these same thugs and those “black superdelegates” refuse to utter one word in their defence.

The Democrats created these monsters for the sole purpose of destroying black conservatives. The fact that their creation have turned on them is poetic justice. . .

RMR on February 28, 2008 at 11:07 PM

Well said, RMR. But will the thugs ever appreciate, or even understand, the irony and the justice?

Obambi (who isn’t any more ‘black’ than I am) sure isn’t going to point it out.

MrLynn on February 29, 2008 at 9:48 AM

Namecalling and harassment: The New Politics?

Hardly the new politics. This is precisely why many mere mortals, such as myself, have to hide behind goofy screen names. There is nothing that I have said in a place like this that I have ever been ashamed of, but I don’t really want to deal with the obscene phone calls that I would get if I were identified.

I believe the Boss wrote the book on this.

dinasour on February 29, 2008 at 10:03 AM

The democrats have always been the party of hate. Now they are eating their own. Feminists attack any female who doesn’t walk lockstep with party dictates and blacks rip any black who doesn’t worship at the altar of socialism. Racism and bogotry is the moral fabric of the democratic party. Anyone above a double digit IQ should not be surprised. If they are, they to have been brainwashed as the masses have since the invention of the printing press.

volsense on February 29, 2008 at 10:18 AM

I hope this is no surprise.

Liberals have called our President dumb, stupid,a terrorist,murderer, liar, war monger,and satan himself.

Harry Reid called President Bush a loser and a liar to a group of school children,later only taking back the liar part.

mov@on.0rg circulated a video Showing President Bush morphing into Adolf Hitler.

Condi Rice was referred to as Bush’s “house slave” in a political cartoon and Steele was portrayed in Black face by a leading “progressive” blogger.

Not to mention the bigotry and hatred from super liberal
cartoonist Dan Riehl in reference to the President,Rice,and
the American Soldier.

I marched with the Gathering of Eagles twice on Washington to counter protest Cindy,code pink, and the “progressives”
that are he!! bent on surrendering to Al-Qaeda.

This group of “love” and “peace” repeatedly called the
police officers pigs,hate mongers,murderers,and fascists,unless they needed their help of course.
They carried signs calling our Soldiers baby killers,child
predators,Fu#K the Soldiers,We support our Soldiers when they shoot their officers,we support the insurgents right along with their hammer and sickle flag of the wonderful Stalin,Marx,and Che.
Fu#k Bush,Bush is a terrorist,Bush and Cheney are war criminals…..
NOT ONE SIGN OR SHOUT OUT AGAINST THE REAL ENEMY-THE
TERRORIST.

Bill Maher,Sean Penn,Susan Sarandon and hubby,Barbara Streisand and hubby,Charlie Sheen,Rosie O’donnell,Alex Baldwin and many other super intelligent movie stars have
regularly called our President/Vice President stupid,war mongers,mass murderers,war criminals,and stated they were
responsible for the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
They now wear orange ribbons and bracelets supporting the
terrorist in Gitmo,have not seen any American flags or yellow ribbons supporting our troops. They must have lost
them during the filming of “Redacted”.

The bigoted,racist,hate generated from leading liberal websites like the daily kos,DU,and indymedia is also well known.

Right now we have liberal activists who have contributed
hugely to the democratic party(nice pictures of Howard Dean and John Murtha hugging the anti-military pink leaders) and insurgents in Fallujah, Code pink, who are chaining themselves to the doors of recruitments stations,given preferential treatment by the city to protest in front of the station to call our Soldiers child predators,
murderers,war criminals,and Bush’s gangsters(by the city council).

It is amazing to listen to the democratic party talk about
the lack of unity, and the incredible partisanship on capital hill when this is who they are a what they support.
Conservatives have come no where near this type of vitrol
and bigotry.Usually when liberals cry about the “hate”from
the right,they are quoting Coulter or Pat Robertson.
And these people are called out by conservatives on their
remarks if they go over the line whereas liberals call the
hate and lies spewed by their party as speaking”truth to power” and hold these people up in high regard.

These complaints by the super delegates does not surprise
me at all,this is who the democratic party is.

It you disagree with them, you are a racist and a nazi.
How “progressive” and “intelligent” this behavior is.

Baxter Greene on February 29, 2008 at 10:45 AM

And another thing. If these high-profile government officials are susceptible to such attacks, think of average black voter. Makes one wonder about that 90% Democrat vote.

Maybe instead of setting-up phony stings to accuse Americans of “Islamaphobia” Dateline should take a closer look at this. Nah..who am I kidding.

RMR on February 29, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Its be said many times before on this site, WE AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN YET. Wait for he general election when the Messiah is up against McCain (whomever….) the liberal fascists are just warming up with this playful display of blue on blue. I have already experience the moronic accusations of racism when discussing the Messiahs lack of qualifications and making the very real comparison to governor Cadillac Deval Patrick (yes I am a proud citizen of the People Republic of Massachusetts) I am afraid that with the full weight of the MSM behind him, Barry O Messiah has this election in the bag!

dmann on February 29, 2008 at 12:18 PM

Pardon me while I ascend my Uncle Tom soapbox…

ahem…

Uncle Tom is one of the most noble, virtuous, self-sacrificing, human and yet divine characters in all of American literature.

He is, in fact, a Christ-figure.

Anyone who uses his name as an insult is an illiterate asshat.

/off soapbox

29Victor on February 29, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Maybe they should be called the ‘demon-cratic’ party? Seems more fitting

Be Reasonable on February 29, 2008 at 2:10 PM