Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Screw you Obama

I'm registered to vote. When I replaced my driver's license a few weeks back, they asked me if I wanted to register. I said, "sure," but I had little intention of voting in the primary. In the past I've endorsed everyone from Sylar to Ralph Nader to Rocket J. Squirrel. I'm not a believer and haven't been since 2004. Bruce Springsteen broke my heart and I didn't recover.

I haven't forgotten Bruce. I haven't forgotten that you and your merry band at navigated around the state of West Virginia, that you threw your little shows to support Kerry in all the states bordering West Virginia. Everybody else was a swing state that year, except West Virginia. I remember that none of your people wanted to explain their reasoning. Yeah, I ain't letting that one go.

Over the last week and a half, it's been kind of a perfect storm. Because of the usual fun and games over at The 5th column over Mike Garrison, I've had the opportunity to look at some other blogs, bigger blogs in other states. Invariably, because of the political season, the conversation on these sites has turned to the primary and Clinton's completely predictable win here. According to the comments, it was the usual stuff. Because West Virginia supported Clinton, West Virginia was stupid. We're dumb. We're inbred hicks, not fit to deserve the right to vote because one of our senators was in the KKK fifty years ago.

Clinton winning had nothing to do with Obama ignoring the state, of course. Damn, I've complained non-stop about the stupid e-mail blasts from the Clinton camp. I've been sent updates for when she goes to the bathroom. It's been really annoying.

Obama spent six hours in the state on Monday. Six hours... Other than one other appearance, I don't think he's been anywhere near the state in a year. Clinton's people were all over the place. Hell, they sent the former president Bubba to Bluefield and that place is a hole. The Clintons came to town, they shook hands and let people get a look at them.

That, by the way, is how you win West Virginia. Maybe we are a bit backward, but the way Bush won in 2000 and 2004 was both he and his people were here all the damned time. Not just that, after he got elected, he kept showing up here. Both times, if the state had gone the other way, if West Virginia had voted for Gore or Kerry, Bush would be back in Crawford. Neither Kerry or Gore bothered to do more than token campaigning in West Virginia.

Oh sure, other states might say the same thing, but not all of them are states that have historically identified as a Democrat state -and yes, I know there's a disconnect in these parts with what people say they are and how they vote. Governor Smokin' Joe is proof of that. He's more of a moderate republican, interested in business, likes reducing state services and is not so interested in the plight of the poor.

Anyway, I'm moving off topic. During my usual repetitive reading of the news, I found this on Yahoo news. It was the Obama campaign's response to yesterday's primary.

"At Obama's Chicago headquarters, advisers said there was no reason to worry — West Virginia was demographically suited to Clinton and won't be part of their general election plans."

So, that's it. The great uniter doesn't care about the poorest of us. We are one of the worst states in the nation. Our quality of living is lousy. As a state, we're poor, less educated and aging. Our prospects are dim and our future uncertain. We' live in a corrupt banana republic of a state that could probably use a couple of good, high profile Federal investigations. But we're not part of "their general election plans." They know all they need to know about us and our participation is irrelevant to the election of the likely democratic candidate. We don't count. And if we're not part of the general election plans of the candidate, is there any reason to believe we'll be part of the national dialog after it's over, if the democrats win?

We have been publicly discarded. Is there any other way to read that line?


Brooke said...

I see what you're saying, Bill... but where the hell has Nader been? I kid, I kid.

The only reason the Clinton camp, er, camped out here for so long is that West Virginia is their consolation prize. They wanted a big win, and they got it. (Cue the confetti.)

As for Obama, the presumptive nominee, he's focused on the general election. He's in Michigan and Florida, trying to smooth things over there. He's in Oregon trying to maintain the lead that will give him the majority of pledged delegates. And he'll be in West Virginia... in due time.

I would've liked to have seen him campaign more, too, but it would've been fiscally irresponsible. He has a large war chest because his campaign understands strategy (see Oregon, Michigan, Florida); Hillary, even though we all knew she'd win, dropped plenty of dough in this state, increasing her debt to $25 Million. I think that's called throwing bad money after bad, or something.

I do agree with you re: the secret to winning West Virginia, especially in the General Election: simply visit our state more often than the other candidate.

Great post, all in all. I would say that I "feel your pain," but I'm ready to move past the Clintons.

Yes we can.

primalscreamx said...

He was already throwing money at us, with ads and phone banks. He just wasn't giving us his time.

Up until the other day, I was really following the man's campaign --or at least, amusing myself with the Clinton campaign's utter silliness. Jeez, you'd think they'd have a few more competent people saying things like, "Um, don't lie about Bosnia. Don't make up stories about what you did and didn't do. Don't talk about being a fan of guns when you're in the gun control camp." It's been funny. It made it possible for Obama to catch up and overtake, but I'm not laughing any more.

By the national press and by a bunch of blogs outside WV, we're all a bunch of dumb, inbred, racist hillbillies. We're subhuman and an embarrassment to real Americans. We fell for a con because we're rubes. We voted against the obvious chosen one.

Jay said...

The Obama campaign probably had the pre-primary scoop on the 20% of the 96% that would not ever vote for a black candidate. 2nd only to Mississippi.

Bush would've won WV in 2000 and 2004 whether he came here or not. Every Democratic candidate will try to take every WVians guns and use them to force us to marry a gay, and we don't need the Republican candidate coming here to tell us that.

We're not all a bunch of dumb, inbred, racist hillbillies, but we definitely have a higher percentage of them.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

But, I bet even the poorest and dumbest among us can tell you how many US states there are.

Jay said...

Evil Twin's Wife?!?! Please God tell me that Surber doesn't have a twin! Because that comment sounded very Surberish in content.

You married to Surber?

primalscreamx said...

Apparently, I'm at odds with Jon Stewart, but in sync with Sprouse on the Obama in WV thing. How the fuck did that happen?

Anonymous said...

By taking these things personal.

primalscreamx said...

How personal is your life, your way of life, your community and the people who live in your state? A national election is anything, if not personal. It's about people's beliefs, how they see themselves and what they want for their future.

Obama would have very likely lost the state. He wouldn't have lost it by 41 points if he'd put in more than the most token effort. If he'd bothered to make a few real visits, talk to some people, the exit polls very likely would have said something different.

Race, I think, is an issue with voters, but maybe that number would have been 1 in 10, 1 in 20 or 1 in 50 instead of 2 in 10. It was an easy thing to latch onto, as opposed to, "Was your vote influenced by whether or not the candidate spent time in West Virginia?"

He's running for the highest office in the nation and he couldn't be bothered with getting to know the people he wants to govern or letting them know him past a sound bite. These people are my neighbors and they are me.

His campaign wrote us off, then tossed an excuse that we weren't worth the effort.

That's pretty personal.

Jay said...

Those ladies that Jon Stewart showed "are you"?!?! I don't believe that.

I understand what you're saying, but the only thing worse than a 40%+ beating is having the same result in spite of a huge effort.

Making those kinds of decisions is a gamble, but I understand the reasoning behind it and don't take it personal.

I just want a Democratic president, not a drinking buddy. We've done that and look where it got us. If Obama's strategy for winning the White House requires him to by-pass WV, then that's fine by me.

I put my name in - don't know why it came up "Anon".

brooke said...

I understand your frustration, Bill. I really do. But everyone knew WV was going to produce a big win for Hillary. Strategically, as the presumptive nominee, he did not need to spend a lot of time here, and, actually, had he campaigned heavily and still gotten walloped, that would not have played well in the media, which unfortunately means something.

I'm more frustrated that folks don't bother to educate THEMSELVES on the candidates. Read Obama's books (he's written two), visit his website and read his presidential plan, call the campaign offices and ask questions. We are too lazy and uninformed in this country. Instead of taking things personal, we need to take some responsibility for a change.

primalscreamx said...

I don't think I'd have a beer with Hillary Clinton, even if she was buying, which would be unlikely.

Campaign stops are also symbolic. That he made no effort here... and I mean, no effort... that says volumes to me.

It bugs me because I was coming around. The way he lost the state and the way his campaign dismissed it, I think, means something. To me, it suggests how he's going to think and maybe shape policy.

I haven't heard of him barnstorming Kentucky either.

brooke said...

Another common argument for why he didn't spend a lot of time here (or Kentucky, so far) is that he's conceding these states so that Hillary goes out with a couple of wins (instead of the big defeat in NC and the minor victory in IN). They're irrelevant to the primary election, as he's all but wrapped it up, but perceptively significant as she can leave the race a strong competitor.

Also, these wins give her media attention and, thusly, a national audience. She's now utilizing these occasions to help mend any damage done during the actual battle. I mean, did you see her with Wolf Blitzer yesterday? She's defending Obama and talking about how she'll "work her heart out" for the Democratic nominee.

He'll be back, Bill. In the meantime, I'd gladly lend you my copy of "Dreams from My Father."

primalscreamx said...

Wouldn't count on him coming back -at least, not in a meaningful way. He might stop for a lunch on his way to someplace important like Ohio or Pennsylvania or Virginia. "Won't be part of their general election plans" is pretty specific. I take them at their word.

Sure, he'll be back to do a flyover or to show for a hundred or two hundred dollar a plate chicken dinner. He might even do what Kerry did 4 years back and cap his big visit with fifteen minutes at a rally over at UC, wave then yell, "See you in November."

But... if he does better than that. If he really gives the people of West Virginia his ear for more than five minutes (not including Smokin' Joe Manchin's yattering about whatever is on his mind) then tells us how we fit into what he wants for America, and I'll buy you lunch.

I don't see it happening. We were kicked to the curb. He doesn't need us and he doesn't care that he doesn't need us.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, Bill...I've never seen someone with abandonment issues that stem from a presidential campaign.

Steady, man.

Jay said...

It did it again. That was me.

Jackie said...

Nobody has asked me, but I'd vote for a black guy...just not that black guy.

As far as Hank Clinton goes, I can't stop wondering if her husbands hands and face still smell like Monica Lewinskys asshole. But that's not just me..right?

Maura said...

Excellent entry- i'm inclined to agree.