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THE POLITICAL SAUSAGE MAKING BEGINS!

I'm linking to a story on Salon about "people powered" Obama coming to the rescue of Rep. John Barrow in Georgia.

http://www.salon.com/...

Barrow, one of the principal proponents of giving Bush unlimited eavesdropping powers and amnesty to the Telco's, is facing a primary challenge from Regina Thomas, an african-american state senator.  Their Savannah district is 70% african-american.

Salon links to an article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution where Obama is coming to the rescue of Barrow and has cut a radio ad to help him fend off this primary challenge

http://www.ajc.com/...

First, Barrow did not endorse Obama until well after the Georgia primary. and 2nd, he's one of the principal backers of the FISA bill.

Does anyone remember when Obama endorsed Liberweinie against Ned Lamont in the CT senate primary?  and then in the general didn't want to see "too" helpful to Ned Lamont?

We all know how well that endorsement situation has worked out for Obama.  How it has been repaid in kind by Lieberweanie.

Let's remind Obama. Obama's campaign number: (866) 675-2008

and a link to donate through ACT BLUE to fund radio ads today and tomorrow in Steny Hoyer and John Barrow's districts.

http://www.actblue.com/...

When calling, be nice!

Originally posted to MFL on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:03 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Context (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mary2002, brooklynbadboy, Shhs, mental

    Well, this kind of criticism had more value before Obama became the nominee.

    Right now, we're in this weird window where the big battle is actually getting him elected president.

    Issues advocacy -- these are less important battles that we can pick up again after the election, as far as Obama is concerned.

    Yes, it makes one feel a bit uncomfortable, but this is the nature of collective action.  You know, being able to tell what is big and what is small, prioritizing, compromising, etc.

    Joseph I. Lieberman is an al-Qaeda sympathizer.

    by bink on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:06:22 AM PDT

  •  I have already emailed the Obama websites (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MFL, empathy, Demi Moaned

    Barrow is bad news as is the FISA act.

    Obama can stop it with just his one act of telling the Democrats that he is opposed, I suspect.

    Or, maybe it is all about money.

  •  I got an email about this yesterday... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MFL, stevej, Albatross, Demi Moaned

    It was mostly pushing a racial angle, so I kind of understood the predicament for Obama here.

    However, this FISA issue is so important that reason and law simply have to trump politics. I understand that Obama is sensitive to the racial angle of this primary challenge, not wanting to offend white folks because he needs a percentage of them to put Georgia in play.

    Then again, if she's going to win anyway, as I expect she will, both Obama and Thomas win in the end.

    With him from the beginning, with him until the end.

    by brooklynbadboy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:14:01 AM PDT

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      sometimes it's best to sort of stay out of it and soften the repurcussions.

      He should have stayed out of helping Lieberweanie, leaving that primary to unfold on it's own and then how much he stumped for or did not stump for Lamont not be a bigger issue than what it turned out to be.

      Does this make sense?

      At the end of the day, do you think Barrow is going to champion Obama and repay the favor?

      Probably not.

      What I have been reading in my googling on Barrow is that at somepoint he was opposed to the FISA legislation.  It appears that he was beat over the head by republican challengers for being an unmanly, namby pamby, peacenik.

      So I am thinking that Barrow is overcompensating on his championing of FISA.  This district is probably just behind the curve on the overall national mood of limiting executive power after the disaster that has been the Bush presidency.

      •  Well, look.... (0+ / 0-)

        the bottom line here is that Obama can support FISA and oppose Telco amnesty irrespective of how he handles this primary.

        This local election is moreso about the white vote in Georgia than it is about anything else. Obama will have the black vote in Georgia regardless of what he does on FISA. So there is nothing but gain for him in getting the notice of local Georgia whites by supporting a white candidate in a black district. So thats the politics of this seat.

        But as a matter of telco amnesty, he can still oppose that and support Barrow for political purposes. Thats simple and easy to execute.

        This congressional election isn't about FISA. It's about a white congressman out of touch with his black district.

        With him from the beginning, with him until the end.

        by brooklynbadboy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:42:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think a middle way would be a good idea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross, Shhs, Jez

    I don't feel comfortable putting pressure on the Obama campaign on this, because I don't know all the facts. At the same time I think dKos should support Regina despite Obama's position.

    If I was a dehydrated baby, I wouldn't want bottled hot water from John McCain!

    by Fairy Tale on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:18:30 AM PDT

  •  Correction - The district is not 70 % (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MFL, hhex65, empathy, Shhs, The Bargeron, Fairy Tale

    AA, rather blacks made up 70% of the voters in the Dem. primary. In the GE Barrow won by a scant 1000 votes in a toss-up district

  •  FISA is a dealbreaker for me (4+ / 0-)

    If Obama doesn't work to keep Steny Hoyer's telcom whitewash from passing, I will withdraw my support for him and will vote for the Green presidential candidate.

    I'm not interested in supporting any candidate who can't or won't understand the importance of the Constitution.

    Obama / Mabus 2008:

    by simca on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:39:15 AM PDT

    •  Call Steny's Office (0+ / 0-)

      They person I talked to sounded as if they may be beginning to get some angry calls from those of us against FISA. We need to flood his office with calls.
      Hoyer
      202-225-4131

      Pelosi
      202-225-4965
      Conyers
      202-225-5126

      Make the calls, let them know we are watching.

      President Theodore Roosevelt,"No man can take part in the torture of a human being without having his own moral nature permanently lowered."

      by SmileySam on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:39:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    Does anyone remember when Obama endorsed Liberweinie against Ned Lamont in the CT senate primary?  and then in the general didn't want to see "too" helpful to Ned Lamont?

    As sitting Democrats did, he endorsed the sitting Democrat during the primary.

    When Lamont won that, he endorsed Lamont.

    Where do you get the "didn't want to see (sic) too 'helpful' to Ned Lamont crap"?  Did I miss something?

    Because Ned Lamont endorsed Obama fairly early in the race.

    This is not to say I agree with his support of Barrow over Thomas.

    I have the distinction of being called a media whore by Courtney Love. -Maynard J. Keenan

    by arielle on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:39:36 AM PDT

  •  A painful thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned

    Amd not all that many Obama supporters explaining this.

    I guess there is no good way to explain this. Still, better than McCain.

  •  Not so fast! Some more context for the situation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, pelagicray

    When I was growing up in Georgia, we were in a different incarnation of this district, which was heavily gerrymandered in favor of the Democrats and represented at one point by Cynthia McKinney.  The old twelfth was stretched out to include parts of liberal Athens, big chunks of African American population in Augusta & Savannah, as well as big territorial portions of rural counties.

    Here's what it looked like then:

    Photobucket

    After redistricting, it now looks like this:

    Photobucket

    For the non-Georgia-informed among us, this is now a district with a much more rural character, with more even racial demographics.

    As a previous commenter has pointed out,

    AA, rather blacks made up 70% of the voters in the Dem. primary. In the GE Barrow won by a scant 1000 votes in a toss-up district

    My addendum to that is that this is a district with large swaths of territory in which the whites are quite conservative to moderate.  Many of them--rightly or wrongly--still bristle over the McKinney years, making it very tough for an African American candidate to win over the centrist whites that he or she would need to win the district.  

    All of this to say that John Barrow is the right candidate to back if we want to build on our Democratic majority in the House.  

    •  And I say what good is a Democratic majority ... (3+ / 0-)

      if they are only going to enact the worst aspects of the right-wing agenda? Remember the '... and better Democrats' side of our mantra? Where is it now? We have a majority and we are in no practical danger of losing it in the coming election.

      More to the point, as I note above, Obama could mitigate his support for this candidate as a political calculation if he were to join Dodd and Feingold to mount a vigorous opposition to this in the Senate.

      No doubt that would ruffle some feathers, but it would certainly show that Obama intends to fight for at least some things that we value.

      •  I understand your point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BasharH, AronBlue

        but there are a host of other issues beyond FISA, as troubling as it may be.  I'll take someone with whom I disagree on a few things over someone who is totally reactionary on most issues any day.  

        We need a big majority to do something about Health Care & Education, two name just two major issues.

        Not a popular sentiment 'round these parts, but let's not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.  

        •  It's not about perfect (0+ / 0-)

          The Democratic Congress this term has been so far from perfect that the word should not be even mentioned. It's a question of whether they stand for anything at all.

          Expedience is a bullshit excuse in this case as their is no popular sentiment in favor of this exceptional grant of amnesty. This is being completely driven by Washington insiders paying off their debts to the special interests.

          •  Sure, but (0+ / 0-)

            you've got to understand how the FISA thing plays in rural areas.  For many folks, it's a convincing argument to say that "the Democrats are trying to make it easier on terrorists in this country and harder on those who are trying to stop them".

            Now, these are folks who are suffering big time under the present economy, who have bad health insurance or none at all, and who by and large are beginning to have reservations about the war.  

            They will vote for a Democratic candidate like John Barrow, some of them anyway.  But if you put up a political novice who will be easily painted into a well-known identity (out of touch liberal), you've got a problem.

  •  Disappointing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, AronBlue, sk7326

    Greenwald is a must-read every day and it was sad to see him expose Obama on backing Barrow - sad because Glenn was spot on.  Hopefully Obama will come through for us and help defeat telco amnesty.

    This comment has been crossposted at AT&T: 611 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA - Room 641A.

    by ManahManah on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:02:14 AM PDT

  •  Heresy? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chaoslillith, word player, AronBlue

    Good for you for posting this. I just peaked at Greenwald (part of my daily devotions) myself.

    This is not some trivial issue that can be postponed until after the election. From Greenwald:

    ... Obama turns around and intervenes in a Democratic primary on behalf of one of the worst Bush enablers in Congress -- not in order to help Barrow defeat an even-worse Republican, but to defeat a far better and plainly credible Democratic challenger.

    For all of Obama's talk about the wicked ways of Washington, these incumbent protection schemes -- whereby Beltway power factions all help each other stay in power no matter their ideology or positions -- are among the most vital instruments for perpetuating how Washington works. Democratic leaders pretend that they are forced continuously to capitulate to the Bush administration due to their "conservative" members, yet continuously work to keep those same members in power, even when it comes to supporting them against far better Democratic primary challengers. [Emphasis added. DM]

    I know this is heresy to followers of Saint Obama. But is a perfect example of why some of us have been deeply skeptical (even while supporting his candidacy for the nomination) of him all along.

    Obama is far more a status quo figure than many around here are prepared to recognize.

  •  Party politics vs. civil liberties (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MFL, sk7326

    We can't continue to think that democrats are the good guys and republicans are the bad guys.  It's not an automatic "win" for the people if we elect a democrat to congress if said democrat happily votes to violate our rights guaranteed in the Constitution.  

    The house is on fire.  Our core rights as Americans are in danger.  Obama needs to lead on this.

    Personally, I'm excited about the Strange Bedfellows alliance.  I've always had a sneaking affection for the Ron Paul crew-- I'll happily work with them to defend the Bill of Rights.

  •  The title of the diary is misleading (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Bargeron

    Obama is supporting Barrow, not voting for amnesty in the Senate. Barrow is the incumbent and taking some positions that are in contradiction to Obama's.
    This has more to do with Georgia politics at this point and reinforcing the Democrat' brand
    rather than an insurgent candidate.

    This is a signal to incumbent democrats supporting Obama in a difficult primary fight that Obama repays their support.

    We might have had a different approach if Kucinich was the nominee but we didn't and we don't.  Georgia is in play, and we are not going to rise or fall on FISA by Barrow's efforts at this time.

    Unlike most Republicans, he HAS dropped bombs on a people and country that did not attack America. $traight Talk.

    by Pete Rock on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:05:00 AM PDT

  •  Too much purity and we will lose the GE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    democrattotheend

    In states like GA  we must field candidates who are likely to win. This means we won't agree with them on every issue, even some important ones like FISA. Obama is the leader of the Dem Party now. He needs to support Dem incumbents wherever his support might help them..

    In places where a liberal Dem will win we must primary the DLC Dems. Like in MD recently. This is how the 50 states strategy works.

  •  OMG! IMPURE! IMPURE! (0+ / 0-)

    MUST CLEANSE!  MUST CLEANSE!  ENGAGE FLAMETHROWERS IN 3-2-1!

    Circular firing squad to arms!

    I'm going to cry into the crumpled copy of my health insurance policy if we shitcan our own nominee over stuff like this.

    I am aware of all internet traditions.

    by slippytoad on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:19:52 AM PDT

    •  "Over stuff like this" (0+ / 0-)

      Like..supporting the constitution?

      Obama isn't erfect, he is human. But how do you explain the fact that he knows the constitution and still gives support to someone who doesn't care about that quaint document.

      •  Unless your handle doesn't mean (0+ / 0-)

        What it says, what is your investment in this?

        People are stringing together such long chains of causality in an effort to shoot down Obama from the left it's almost like there's a concerted effort to deny him the Presidency.  I mean, the attacks from the right have largely been mocked and derided, and nobody takes them seriously.

        I have learned to trust Obama, and that the right thing will eventually get done.  Looked at through a series of funhouse mirror filters such as the diarist proposes, and this looks really bad.  But it's a filter.  The reality is, Obama is supporting a candidate who supported him.  He's building a coalition which is what needs to be done.  I was, for a long time, very concerned that he wouldn't be far enough to the left for my purposes.  But what I see right now is that he is really trying to unite this country.  He has MORE JOBS than one, and until someone else steps up to the enormous task of unity + leadership + restoring people's access to their government, I'm going to stick with him.  

        I'm a manager where I work, and that's a leadership position.  I've learned that there are things going on that fall under the "sausage rule," which are things that most people are better off not knowing.  The final product is edible.  The process of making it is grotesque.

        So my general instinct is, people are making VASTLY OVERSTATED generalizations regarding what Obama's doing here, and maybe they could BACK THE FUCK OFF and let the guy do his job, which is for the next five months getting himself elected to the Presidency.  When he arrives there, he will have a Congressional coalition that supports him because he's supporting them right now.

        I am aware of all internet traditions.

        by slippytoad on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:37:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But Barrow did not support him until he already (0+ / 0-)

          won.  Not exactly a show of faith there.  I don't think Obama is doing anything evil in his current state.  But this is a very important relevant issue to the Constitution (which he is applying to defend), and he should show some leadership here.  That is not a bad thing.  Somehow, when an issue so core to civil liberties is going to be sacrificed for a campaign, it doesn't seem right.

        •  I missed (0+ / 0-)

          You know, I am having some trouble locating the part in Obama's policy positions that said Barrow Must Be Defended At All Costs.

          Because Barrow is going to jump at the chance to return the favor.

    •  who said "shitcan?" (0+ / 0-)

      Is making a phone call to voice your disapproval the same as shitcanning?

      we aren't electing a despot in case you didn't read the memo.

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