Wednesday, June 18, 2008



In sync on the issues

When I allowed myself to be talked into supporting Barack Obama for president-- I had been an early enthusiast when he was a longshot state Senator in Chicago running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate-- I warned the young man urging me to abandon my post-Edwards neutrality and forget that Hillary Clinton had a more progressive voting record, that he (and his generation) should steel themselves for some tremendous letdowns that Obama would surely be serving up. He laughed at me. But when I was his age I would have laughed at me too.

So today when I heard that Obama had endorsed John Barrow, the most reactionary Democrat in Congress, in a primary pitting him against Regina Thomas, a progressive state Senator, I wasn't in the slightest bit surprised. No one who recalls Obama's enthusiastic endorsement of Joe Lieberman against Ned Lamont could possibly be surprised. Obama, like McCain and Clinton, is a professional politician. One of their basic tenets is the Incumbency Protection Racket. That Barrow is running the ads everywhere in the district is a tribute to the powerful grassroots campaign Regina Thomas is waging... and to the polling his campaign just completed that shows he's going to get his head handed to him by constituents who know he represents the corporations and the elite power structure, not everyday Georgians. Look at his first TV commercial and what how he choses GOP talking points to lean on-- eliminating "the death tax," a McCain-Bush perspective on unending war in Iraq, and scapegoating immigrants.

A friend of mine says that Obama taped the ad not realizing there is a primary. I don't believe it. He's a smart guy and knows exactly what he's doing. And he has nothing to lose-- at least nothing he cares about. Still, when Obama is president he may well regret that he taped an ad that says “We’re going to need John Barrow back in Congress to help change Washington and get our country back on track,” since the moderate Obama and the ultra-conservative Barrow differ on most important issues that Obama will have to face starting in January. Let's start with this one:

As far as the current contretemps over retroactive immunity and warrantless wiretaps which Senator Obama opposes, Barrow is a major supporter-- one of the original 22 Blue Dogs who signed the letter to Nancy Pelosi demanding that Bush's policies be adhered to. Of course that forces one to notice that while Obama is refusing the corrupting influence of PAC money-- and insisting the DNC follow his lead-- and then you make realize that his endorsee, Mr. Barrow, is a typically corrupt Blue Dog scarfing up whatever he can get from the companies who need his help. So... Obama refuses to take money from the telecoms and he is opposing-- like most Democrats-- granting them retroactive immunity for breaking laws. Barrow, on the other hand counts the telecoms, particularly AT&T, Comcast and Verizon-- the very ones who broke laws and demand immunity-- among his most generous supporters. He's taken tens of thousands of dollars from these shady characters and rather than recusing himself from voting on their special interests, he becomes one of their biggest supports... against Senator Obama's principled stand.

Regina, of course, whose candidacy may be harmed by Senator Obama's endorsement, has been working hard in the Georgia state Senate for the same exact principles and values Obama claims to represent. So while Barrow has publicly bragged about being a rubber stamp for Bush (watch that top video again), Regina has been opposing the war and working hard for the well-being of her constituents. As for the FISA bill Bush and Barrow want so desperately for their campaign donors... Regina and Obama are on the same page. "After reading the bill," she said, "the first thing I thought was that this was not good for any American citizens-- and it seems like a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. It doesn't look like what the Bush Administration wants is just the power to eavesdrop on terrorists-- I think we all agree that's his job-- but to also monitor any communication he wants to between any American citizens he wants to and without any lawful judicial supervision."

Like I told my young friend, be ready for lots of this kind of thing from President Obama-- or President Anyone Else; just don't be fooled... again. He really is just like all the rest. Meanwhile, we are not powerless, we're making a real effort to help Regina overcome this latest obstacle. Please donate to her campaign directly or to our PAC, which will be targeting Barrow in the July 15th primary.


At least that is what I'm hearing from reliable sources in Georgia. Obama taped the radio ad or agreed to tape it, before Regina announced she was going to run. I don't know if this is true or not; I want to believe it.

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At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew. I'd really thought you-all'd gone into the tank for Obama after somebody erased a comment I made about him being a typical politician.

I'd still prefer him to the opposition but he's no shining knight, that's all I'm saying.

I'm not a Democrat, but I agree we as a country don't need just more Democrats in office, we need more better Democrats.

At 12:17 AM, Blogger Steve said...

It seemed to me that he had a LOT more hair in the first (more recent) video, than in the second. I did get that right didn't I?

As a bald man, I'm suspicious of bald men who need to hide their baldness.

And, yes, I have the same conversations with the young and enthusiastic.

At 10:37 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Very disappointed that Barack Obama is interfering in a Democratic primary this way, especially on behalf of a Blue Dog/Bush Dog. Here's my email to Obama for America:

Hello --

I've been an online donor to the campaign since John Edwards dropped out, and recently donated again the night Al Gore endorsed Barack Obama. I am very disturbed to read in the Atlanta Journal Constitution this evening that Senator Obama has recorded a radio ad in support of Congressman John Barrow in his primary campaign against State Senator Regina Thomas.

John Barrow is a Blue Dog and a Bush Dog. He represents the worst obstructionism in the Democratic House caucus, and certainly won't help President Obama enact his policy goals after inauguration. Regina Thomas is a strong progressive candidate who represents the demography of the district and is supported by progressive organizations across the district and the nation, including Blue America, where I learned about her and have contributed to her campaign.

I don't know why Senator Obama decided to become involved in this primary in support of an incumbent who votes against progressive interests and the Democratic caucus in support of the worst of the Bush policies every chance he gets. I would appreciate hearing from someone in the campaign about my concerns, and I would appreciate it if Senator Obama decided not to become involved in this primary campaign.

Democrats need to settle their intraparty differences without bigtime party leaders getting involved. I'm sure Congressman Barrow -- or Senator Thomas, if she beats him on July 15th -- will welcome Senator Obama's support. Until then, though, I think it would be better to let the voters in Georgia decide without radio ads and other involvement by party leaders. This has been the DCCC's policy, and it should be Senator Obama's policy too.

Thank you for your time reading this lengthy email, and thanks for all you are doing to elect our next Democratic President, Barack Obama.


At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howie -

I never bought in to the Change meme, but I held out hope that with all the support from "small donors", BO would be empowered to proceed differently

my bad

ps - Blue America/Regina Thomas will be getting some of this working poor family's cash on Monday

cbl from fdl

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your second video clip is the most dishonest thing I've ever seen. You can make a quote out of context sound like anything you want, but he went on to say in that speech that the surge is wrong.


In it he said he HAD supported the President in the war and that he was breaking with him on the war because the surge was the wrong move.

Why not sell honesty for a change? Finally, if you defeated the 42 Blue Dogs in the House in primaries, like you want to, you would gain small moral victories, but the DEMOCRATS WOULD NOT BE IN THE MAJORITY ANYMORE. get with the program.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

Your second video clip is the most dishonest thing I've ever seen. You can make a quote out of context sound like anything you want, but he went on to say in that speech that the surge is wrong.


Fine, he only used 13 seconds of it - but those 13 seconds were important. He supported Bush on every turn. What's that? Some 3 years of supporting Bush on a losing proposition, and you want to nit pick because he captured Barrow categorizing his behavior himself? He supported Bush on every turn.

Kick him outta office.

At 11:41 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Here's a list of all 30 roll calls on Iraq since Barrow was elected. He's voted against the Democrats on Iraq about half the time, one of the worst records in the House. As far as getting with "the program," I'm afraid ours may be very different than yours. We are hoping a progressive state Senator and actual Democrat,Regina Thomas, replaces a fake Democrat who votes to rubber stamp Bush entirely too often.

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Barrow is a liar. He needs to be voted out of office in a big way. He doesn't support the people of his district or the US Constitution. He's every bit as bad as anyone you can name in the corrupt Bush administration.

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barrow is disgusting and must go. Yesterday he voted with the Repugs on FISA. With Dems like him who needs Repugs?

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Obama getting behind Bush Dog Barrow, progressive Regina Thomas needs more grassroots support!

Visit her campaign website at

Watch her "42 Reasons" video.


At 2:50 PM, Anonymous gazeteler said...

It is surely a sign from God. He does not want us to have anything to do with the heathen Michael Moore. After all MM has blasphemed against the Anointed One.

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous lezbiyen said...

Thanks for the post


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