Moneybag Democracy

To view the original art, please travel to “Moneybag Democracy” [Archive No. 9703]

copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.

“Now, that doesn’t mean that questions of Taiwan, Tibet, human rights, the whole range of challenges that we often engage on with the Chinese, are not part of the agenda. But we pretty much know what they are going to say. We have to continue to press them but our pressing on those issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crises.

~ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (February 20, 2009)

The news appeared in cyberspace on Friday, February 20, 2009.  As Yogi Berra once elucidated, it was as déjà vu, all over again. International and domestic activists have come to realize, once again, America is a democracy dependent on dollars.  Amnesty International advocates shook their heads, wondered, and worried of what might be.  Students for a Free Tibet collectively shrugged their shoulders and expressed a shared distress.  Citizens at home, in America, barely blinked.  An avid Obama supporter, was resigned to realities that, only weeks ago, she might not have thought she would willingly accept.  Moneybag democracy lives.  Hillary Clinton serves the President, the precedent past, present, and perhaps, future.

Days ago, with Secretary of State Clinton abroad in China, the world was given an opportunity to witness America’s new direction.  Most anticipated dollars would no longer have a greater influence on United States policy than humanitarian concerns did.  Globally, people waited to cheer for the change that had certainly come.  Then, Secretary Clinton, pleaded with Beijing to buy United States bonds.  Contrary to her pointed comments on human rights, made during her presidential campaign, as a representative of the Obama Administration, Secretary Clinton spoke as though she no longer believes as she had, Chinese ownership of US government debt had become a threat to national security.  

Perhaps, Hillary Clinton, and her President, surmised Capitalism, or a democracy devoted to dollars must survive at all cost.  Certainly her husband, and his Secretary of State, Madeline Albright had reached this conclusion near a decade earlier.

Like Secretary Albright, Hillary Rodham Clinton, chose to sell America’s soul. When the first woman Head of State spoke of her decision, few United States citizens said a word.  In the 1990s, then Head of State, Albright, in a 60 Minutes interview, discussed the American policy decisions that caused the deaths of more than half-million Arab children in Iraq.  She said without hesitation, the loss of young lives were the price the Clinton Administration thought wise to pay.   Madeline Albright mused; the sacrifice of little ones was “worth it.”

Hardships on fellow humans are the cost citizens in a comfortable and “civilized” society must pay for democracy.  Apparently, Americans, even the most Progressive amongst us, seem to agree.  Then, as now, few if any said a word.

Today when news came over the wires, Secretary Clinton stood firm in favor of economic relations with China, regardless of human rights violations, only a few countrymen responded.  Activists were ‘shocked’ when they heard the American Ambassador, Clinton, take such a stance.  Representatives from Amnesty International and Students for a Free Tibet spoke out.

T. Kumar of Amnesty International USA said the global rights lobby was “shocked and extremely disappointed” by Secretary Clinton’s comment.  The advocate for honorable and equitable civil liberties may have trusted that at least where China was concerned, the Clinton’s had a record, or at any rate, had offered respectable rhetoric.

James Mann, a Johns Hopkins scholar who wrote a history of U.S.-China relations, also recalled.  When asked of Secretary Clinton’s most recent comment, Professor Mann stated he was struck by the contrast.  Bill Clinton, he said, as president more than eight years earlier gave strong speeches on behalf of political freedom in the People’s Republic.  “Bill Clinton told the leader of China he was on ‘the wrong side of history,'” Mann recollected.  “Now, Hillary seems to be giving them the reverse message: that China is on the right side of history.”

However, historians might consider the statement that President Bill Clinton is better known for was his truer agenda.  “It is the economy stu***!”  In March of 1997, writer for China Daily, Ren Yanshi avowed the Chinese government certainly perceived the United States had a record of human rights violations, during the Clinton years.  In a “Moneybag Democracy,” the United States of America caters only to the rich.  In the States, a consumer culture allows the prosperous to profit further.  The people, the poor suffer greatly.

In recent years, as the rich got much richer, this truth was revealed in radical ways.  The word “Katrina” evokes much empathy.  “Bank bailouts elicit more emotions within the ranks of what once was the Middle Class.   Some might say, these truths are the reason that change has finally come to America.  Until today, the thought was coins and currency would no longer guide an Administration or US policy.  Barack Obama brought hope to the world.

Students for a Free Tibet embraced the new Administration.  They believed the current White House could and would make a difference in the lives of all people.  Surely, a President Obama would not serve only the affluent.

As a Senator, Barack Obama was among the sponsors of the act, which bestowed the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, on the Dalai Lama.  Senator Obama urged Chinese president Hu Jintao to “meaningfully address the Tibet issue.”  After the election, Tibetans were encouraged.  They sent President Obama letters of Congratulations.  Thus, it was an unexpected and an unwanted surprise to hear Secretary Clinton cavort, cajole, and say as she did.  The proponents of social justice stated, Clinton’s remarks “sent the wrong signal to China at a sensitive time.”

“The US government cannot afford to let Beijing set the agenda,” said Tenzin Dorjee, deputy director of the New York-based advocacy group.

Long-time activists, domestic supporters of Barack Obama, persons such as Jessica, see Secretary Clinton’s statement differently.  This woman who energetically endorsed Barack Obama from the moment he announced his campaign would have welcomed a more mindful position.  She yearns for United States policy to be benevolent as she believes Barack Obama, the man, is.  Jessica, who organized her community to come out and work for what she craved, an Obama White House, now thinks America cannot “afford” to do other than cater to the wishes of the Chinese government.

A jubilant Jessica has been joyful since her presidential candidate was chosen to serve. She avows; “Unfortunately, due to our greed, China owns us.  If they pulled their money, this country would die.  Sad fact but true.”  

American lives would be lost if foreign affairs focus on humanitarian concerns in China.  There can be nothing worse.  Who would buy the wares that please the people in the States, or Jessica might say, in her own defense, furnish jobs for those born in the Far Eastern nation.  The argument could be made; and certainly, descendants of Wal-Mart founder, Sam Walton, would be the first to offer it.  US dollars support a much-improved Chinese culture.

George W. Bush might have mused the latter claim an important one.  Perchance, that is why the former President chose to attend the 2008 Summer Olympics.  United States indebtedness served to justify relations with China, a country well-known for human rights violations.  The desire to feed a Capitalist market, the need to assuage the hunger of citizens who habitually consume on credit, and a country famished for cash, will do all that they can to appease those who beat and brutalize Chinese citizens.

The people of China, many Americans cried at the time, cannot be punished because they live under totalitarian rule.  Nor can US athletes be penalized.  Cruel and inhumane treatment is not acceptable, or at least it would not have been months ago, to Jessica who did all she could to help place the now President, Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

In primary season, Jessica stood staunchly against what she then thought were Hillary Clinton’s hawkish views.  She, might have agreed with essayist Stephen Zunes when he wrote for the Foreign Policy in Focus on December 11, 2007, “(F)ront-runner for the Democratic nomination for president shares much of President Bush’s dangerous attitudes toward international law and human rights.”  

Nonetheless, today, Jessica, the proud Progressive, a self-identified peace lover offers, “If there is no money, people will die.  Fact.  I hate it (almost) as much [as an idealist would.]  I also agree we are a soul-less country.”

Then, she quickly deferred to her disgust for the George W. Bush years.  She stated the crimes committed by the former Administration were deplorable.  Jessica concludes, “(W)e have to hold the previous administration accountable for their crimes.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose position on censure has wavered would concur with Jessica, today. If the subject were an investigation or possible prosecution of the Bush White House, Nancy Pelosi would be on-board.  However, Speaker Pelosi may, or may not, think the United States can ignore human rights violations on the part of China.  One never knows.  History and statements made in the past, are often inconsistent.

Almost a year to the day, on February 21, 2008, Secretary Clinton’s good friend, the esteemed Representative from San Francisco, Pelosi, spoke eloquently of what she did not publicly discuss with fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton, now in 2009.

“If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China’s oppression in China and Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world,” House Speaker Pelosi told reporters during a visit with the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala, India.

Indeed, America, the Moneybag Democracy has forfeited ethical influence.  Economics has replaced principled certitude as US policy.  The press understands the priority.  The commercial media knows dollars deliver.  Damn the lives and liberties of our brethren abroad.  In the United States there is but one mission, moneybag democracy.

Perchance this truth explains why coverage on the decision to forego human rights concerns is limited.  An article appeared here, or there.  Yet, few commentaries focused on the human rights aspect of the Secretary Clinton’s travel.  The Los Angeles Times reported, Clinton added environmental and security issues to economic talks in China.  Most say Secretary of State Clinton has sealed the deal.  She has merged the past with the present. Former First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton has performed laudably for her President, Clinton, Bush, Obama, or for the precedent moneybag democracy.

References for varied reality . . .

The Cost of Democracy

Senator Bill Clinton?

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.

Democracy is in play.  Politicians take their positions.  The people ponder as powerbrokers decide.  The stage is set.  Tickets are for sale, but only for a select few.  Thus is the scenario.  Consider the scene.  New Yorkers contemplate who might fill a probable vacant Senate seat.  Should their representative, Hillary Rodham Clinton, be approved to serve, as Secretary of State, Governor David A. Patterson will appoint another to fill her chair.  Therein lies the problem for many of the people in the Empire State.  The Constitution allows a State’s Chief Executive the authority to assign a seat to whom he, or she, thinks best.  People, prominent and prestigious, such as Caroline Kennedy and Andrew M. Cuomo, vie for position, and constituents have no real say.  She is the daughter of much beloved and laudable President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  He is the son of the former nationally renowned Governor of the State, Mario Cuomo.

Each has enthusiastic support from voters.  If they two were candidates in an election, the race might be close.  However, constituents will never have an opportunity to cast a ballot for the Senate seat.  The consensus is the cost of a special election is prohibitive. Meanwhile New York Republicans revealed today, January 13, 2009, they are ready to pay the price for such a move.  

For the Grand Old Party the expense would be far less than the fee paid for another Democrat in the United States Congress.  However, the Progressives intend to hold the line.  In New York, just as in Illinois, where the Obama seat must be filled, budget concerns during a recession, one brought on by lobbyists, who influenced lawmakers, who then limited regulations, dictate a need for frugality.  Those on the left of the aisle remind the public of circumstances they cannot escape; we as a country must consider the cost in this economic crisis.    Monetary issues must take precedence . . . and it does for those average Americans who are not eligible for a bailout.

The populace observes the performance of each of the esteemed entries; and they can do nothing.  Some amongst the common folk think the persons who have insider access to the New York Governor are less qualified, or merely legends.  Yet, these individuals are able to court the lawmaker.  The public understands how persuasive power, prominence, and pay for play might be.  New Yorkers cannot forget the folly that is the current circumstance in Illinois.

It was a cold December day when, embattled, and some might even say ethically challenged, Rod Blagojevich, announced his selection for the Illinois Senate seat.  Before the January House impeachment of the perhaps, brilliant, and beleaguered Blagojevich, the President Elect stated: “The assembly should “consider the issue and put in place a process to select a new senator that will have the trust and confidence of the people of Illinois.”  

However, that was in days of old, when Barack Obama was bold and principles were more prudent.  Currently, it would seem, cost conveniently counters a need to hear citizen voices, as do concerns that a political Party might lose power.

Today, it is accepted; politics is but a game, a show.  The audience, in the cheap seats, looks on .  Republicans and Democrats of authority are the actors.  Policymakers have dominion given to them by the American people who wistfully worry they are no more than pawns.  The public is aghast; citizens rights, privileges, and permissions to speak, are held hostage.  Yet, the electorate continues to stand by and watch the cabaret.  People willingly pay the price for government malfeasance.  They accept that they have no power.  They gave it away.  Rulers, otherwise known as Representatives, have convinced the commoners; “practical” truths are the cost of democracy.  The price is exorbitant.  

Cost of Democracy . . .

Hope for Hillary Springs Eternal

Hillary Clinton to Accept Secretary of State Post

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.

Hope for Hillary springs eternal.  This deed is done.  Numerous accounts say the documents are signed.  The die was cast, perchance before the public knew what they might say or do.  Change has come; yet, it has been thwarted with but a single statement.  Hillary Clinton will be Secretary of State, according to news sources.  Today, as more than a decade ago, First Lady Clinton is welcomed into the White House.

Senator Clinton spoke of her certainty on the campaign trail.  She trusted, once again, she could and would sit in the most esteemed Executive residence.  Indeed, the word heard on the streets is Hillary Rodham Clinton has succeeded.  She found her way to the place she calls home.  With the Chief Foreign Policy Officer appointment attained, a sense of her articulated desire is an action, a fait accompli,  

Conventional wisdom is Hillary will realize her aspiration.  For  now, that prophecy is but a oft-expressed faith.

Years ago, the prominent First Lady crossed the threshold from the front.  Today she enters from a side door.  Tomorrow, or in 2012, the soon-to-be sanctioned Secretary intends to stride across the promenade, placed upon the path to the Oval Office.  All the while Bill Clinton was, as he will be, by her side.  

Americans may recall the day the duo initially appeared on the national scene.  From the first, when the people gazed upon the potential co-Presidents, up until, and through the 2008 Primary Election, the coronation of the Clintons, together, and one at a time, was expected.  Moments ago, when the announcement was made, few gasped in amazement.  Citizens have always known; America is Clinton country.  The periodicals only print what was a foregone conclusion.  Hillary has arrived once more.  

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is Hillary Clinton’s castle. The people, throughout this global village, are hers.  The former First Lady Clinton reigns.  In our name, she will speak with world leaders, Premiers and Prime Ministers.  Secretary of State Clinton will establish the rules.  Hope for Hillary is more than a perpetual power.  What she wants is realized.  However, what others had yearned for may be lost with her appointment.

People may muse.  When an individual freely expresses a desire to obliterate another nation, with what she thinks raison d’être, as Hillary Clinton has, that person does not define diplomacy as an ambassadorial arbitrator might.  For those who crave planet-wide peace, a scornful Secretary of State Clinton could be the cause for much concern.  Some say, with Hillary at the helm, world peace may remain the impossible dream.  Her vision may be international doom.

No one can know with certainty what will be.  Nonetheless, while the Obama Transition Team proclaims the terms of the contract have not been confirmed, others believe as was guaranteed, in the New York Times.

Clinton Decides to Accept Post at State Dept., Confidants Say

By Peter Baker

The New York Times

November 21, 2008

WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to give up her Senate seat and accept the position of secretary of state, making her the public face around the world for the administration of the man who beat her for the Democratic presidential nomination, two confidants said Friday.

The apparent accord between perhaps the two leading figures in the Democratic Party climaxed a week-long drama that riveted the nation’s capital.

Mrs. Clinton came to her decision after additional discussion with President-elect Barack Obama about the nature of her role and his plans for foreign policy, said one of the confidants, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the situation.

Mr. Obama’s office told reporters on Thursday that the nomination is “on track” but this is the first word from the Clinton camp that she has decided.

“She’s ready,” the confidant said, adding that Mrs. Clinton was reassured after talking again with Mr. Obama because their first meeting in Chicago last week “was so general.” The purpose of the follow-up talk, he noted, was not to extract particular concessions but “just getting comfortable” with the idea of working together.

A second Clinton associate confirmed that her camp believes they have a done deal. Senior Obama advisers said Friday morning that the offer had not been formally accepted and no announcement would be made until after Thanksgiving. But they said they were convinced that the nascent alliance was ready to be sealed.

Internationally everyone awaits further corroboration.  Few doubt what seems pre-determined.  Most have faith the coalition of challengers is complete.  For now, Hillary Clinton will hold hands with Barack Obama.  The President Elect can pull her up and into the White House, officially.  His assistance may secure a forever achievement, a legendary legacy.  The future, perchance, belongs to the First Lady, the Senator, the Secretary of State; the potential is eternal for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Source for the Secretary of State Clinton . .

The Unstoppables; Bill and Hill

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.

How do you stop a train that long ago left the station?  How might you un-ring a bell that rang weeks months, or even years, before you knew the chord was struck?  How can a countryman, or woman rewrite history?  How might a Clinton, or two reclaim entrance into the White House?  Perhaps, she [or he] has already done what, since Barack Obama secured the Democratic nomination, no one expected.  The Clintons have found a way through the front door of the White House prior to 2012.  Days ago, President-elect Obama met with Hillary Clinton to discuss her role, and her husband’s, in the Oval Office and in international affairs.  Senator Clinton emerged as the candidate for Secretary of State.

While Americans voted for change in 2008, and millions cast aside even the politics of past Democrats, the Clintons included, Barack Obama calculated his choice for this most senior position would be his former antagonist, Hillary Clinton.  Some reports say the New York Senator requested time to think.  Other accounts suggest the Obama Administration asked only for her thoughts.  What might Hillary Clinton wish to pursue.  As the hours pass there is one certainty.  “Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has engaged three prominent lawyers to help President-elect Barack Obama vet her candidacy for Secretary of State.”

Several within the President Elects inner circle were critical of the possible appointment.  Advisers to the former First Lady said nothing is definite.  Senator Clinton will weigh whether to take the job if President-elect Obama offers it.   Yet, it seems the die has been cast.  Senator Clinton and her spouse have secured the powerful position of Secretary of State.

Breathless with consternation, numerous inquire; is there a way for one small individual to sway a gargantuan group who controls what was and will be our government?  Countless fear not.  It seems the Clintons will once again control policy, people, and alter the political landscape planet wide.

Momentum builds.  A rolling stone, or a rumor, gathers no moss.  When a report is not immediately rescinded, we must accept, as frequently occurs, gossip grows into reality.  Hence, scores conclude, Hillary Clinton will be the next Secretary of State.

The way is cleared.  Only the justifications need to be formalized.  Qualms need to be calmed.  One cabinet job would put focus on “Two Clintons.” That circumstance cannot be corrected, and perhaps, the President-elect would not wish to alter what is.  Some say the status of a former Commander, well-connected would benefit the soon-to-be current.

“He’s a former President of the United States. He’s been traveling around the world, and he’s got his foundation and a lot of foreign policy efforts going on,” proclaims Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton’s former Chief of Staff.  The current Professor of public policy, Mister Panetta pronounces, “What they will have to obviously be careful of are the potential conflicts that might appear.”

Conflicts may extend to interests, investments, and the invisible hand of another American widely considered a world leader.  In the past, the President may call upon another former United States Chief Executive for advice.  He, or she might ask for counsel, or invite the previous President to serve as an envoy.  However, if, as proposed, the once Head of State sleeps with and sings sweet nothings in the ear of the current Secretary of State, it may be a challenge for Premiers and Prime Ministers to determine which President presides. A nation in negotiations must be confident; the person they speak with communicates the preferences that take precedence in policy decisions.

Rogues often rise from rolls in the hay.  “You want to be able to determine when you are going to make use of a former president in terms of foreign policy or trying to help on particular issues. That can be a very powerful tool if it’s used well,” Professor Panetta advised. “It has to be used with discretion. Delicate details in an intimate relationship cannot be ignored, particularly when more than passion is at stake.  Lives can be lost on the turn of a phrase.  A United States President, be his name Bill or Barack, must not forget how much influence he has in and out of the bedroom.

Charles Hill, a Professor at Yale, perceives a possible peril if Hillary Clinton is appointed Secretary of State.  The scholar, Hill explained, the former President’s constant presence could lead some world leaders to question the authority of the new Commander-In-Chief.  As he attempted to digest the dynamics, Charles Hill asserted, “He’s got to maintain his stature. He should not want Bill Clinton getting all the ink or Hillary Clinton.”  

The ink may have already been put to paper and dried.  Deeds may be done and decisions made.  Hence, Professor Hill’s concern for supposed sins may only be academic.  Nevertheless, he states, the selection would violate “one of the cardinal rules of foreign policy: “Secretaries of State don’t deal with ex-presidents.  And if they do, the White House raps their knuckles.””

A slap of the hand, a slight blow to the wrist, a reprimand, or a retort will not change what has been a constant in the life of Hillary Clinton.  Bill will not be removed; her resolve will also remain.  

Hillary Rodham Clinton the oft-perceived to be a hawk, will deliver dictums if or when she chooses.  As she told Barack Obama in a recent debate when he remarked, it was difficult for him to know who he was running against, Bill or Hill, she replied, “Well, I am here, he is not.”  To that then Senator Obama said as Heads of States may say tomorrow, should Hillary Clinton become Secretary of State, “It is hard to tell who I am running against [or working with] sometimes.”

The sensibility expressed by Barack Obama in earlier times is not singular.  It has been stated and said again.  When an individual associates with the Clintons, direct dialogues are reported to be other than those involved thought the circumstances to be.  Some might say, for the Clintons, the shortest distance between an ambition and an accomplishment is often an indistinguishable path.

As an assistant to the Senator, a former 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue aide stated, when First Lady, Hillary Clinton learned how to be effective as a “backdoor diplomat,”  Now, through her characteristically tough talk, the once Presidential aspirant intends to acquire what might arguably be considered the keys to the second most powerful position in the world.  

A few prominent persons at home and abroad may muse Senator Clinton is not the best choice.  Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former First Minister of the province might say as he had in March when Senator Clinton and her supporters exaggerated her foreign experience record, this is a “wee bit silly.”  Nonetheless, Barack Obama never asked the man who truly brought tranquility to his homeland of Hillary Clinton’s talents.  Had he, he might have heard the tale,

“I don’t know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill [Clinton] going around,” Lord Trimble reflected.  In the Spring of this election year, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient pondered then recent statements about Hillary Clinton being deeply involved.  His conclusion was, the rhetoric was “the sort of thing people put in their canvassing leaflets” during elections.  “She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on, she can certainly say it was part of her experience.  I don’t want to rain on the thing for her but being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player.”

Perhaps, David Trimble is correct.  However, Hillary and her adept assistant have capably adopted a different  perspective; Senator Clinton mastered “a lot of the intricacies of these issues before ever joining the Senate’s Armed Services committee.  She’s tough; she had meetings with some Prime Ministers and Presidents where she had to deliver some blunt messages for us.”  Perchance, in the past, the world leader who received most of her brusque communications was her husband Bill.  

This appointment would provide her far greater opportunities to be brash with world leaders.  As benevolent as Barack Obama may wish to be in his appointments, as Lincolnesque as he longs to be, it may be wise to consider the wars Hillary Clinton welcomes, her words, and President Elect Obama’s own  experiences of the dynamic duo of Bill and Hill.  The actual person, the personality, and the prospect of what Senator Clinton brings to the world stage, may not be as magnificent as the former President-elect Obama, First couple, or their supporters would wish us to believe.  

While granted, a team of rivals who work together may be reminiscent of the illustrious words of President Lincoln, “We are not enemies, but friends … Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection,” human emotions may not evoke “the better angels of our nature.”  People, personas, and the power they seek may have wings, and wants more fragile than a seraph.

Confident in his current role, perhaps, the President Elect forgets.  In May 2008, he bellowed, Hillary Clinton has the “bluster” of President Bush.  It is she who was ready to obliterate Iran if provoked, or Senator Obama, if he stood in her way.  

On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Hillary Clinton, not Bill, offered the statement “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran [if it attacked Israel].”  The former Presidential challenger, when she thought she had a chance to sit in the Oval Office and commands said, “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”  Given the opportunity to retract her words, the potential Secretary of State did not.  

“Massive retaliation” is the message Hillary Clinton chose to cling to.  The then Presidential hopeful did not waver.  Hillary Clinton confirmed her truth, reprisals are needed.  Talk of diplomacy was for Senator Clinton naive.

Then, the candidate the people chose to govern expressed a divergent thought.  Barack Obama emphatically stated, “We have had a foreign policy of bluster and saber-rattling and tough talk, and in the meantime have made a series of strategic decisions that have actually strengthened Iran.”  Being more sensitive to slights, Mister Obama offered, “[I]t is important that we use language that sends a signal to the world community that we’re shifting from the sort of cowboy diplomacy, or lack of diplomacy, that we’ve seen out of George Bush.”  In what now appears to be ancient wisdom, the one, or that one that Americans elected to act with restraint affirmed, “[T]his kind of language is not helpful.”  Tis true!

Barack Obama may wish to recall the rants and rage expressed by Senator Clinton not so long ago.  The President-elect might ponder beyond Bill.  Hillary Clinton, on her own, now wishes to serve in an alternative capacity.  However, as she attested to through words and actions, she is her own master.  She will posit her own positions, irregardless of who might be her President, Bill or Barack.  Might it be mused, Hillary Rodham Clinton will officiate, cooperate, or obliterate, whatever she may choose.

Post Script . . .

I know not what to do with my frustration.  Do I merely restate what others have said before I put pen to paper?  I tried to, many times.  In frustration, I have walked away from a composition that expounds upon futile arguments.  I relent.  Barack Obama offered Hillary Clinton a position in his Cabinet.  He proposed she might be our next Secretary of State.  Now he and his transition team vet the New York Senator and her spouse.  However, in truth, as I assess recent history and recall that Hillary Rodham did not wish to be considered for Vice President unless . . . thus, I presume the mere consideration is a confirmation.

For days, the White House transition team told no tales.  They did not confirm hearsay.  Nor did they deny the talk.  Hillary Clinton was offered a Cabinet position in the Obama Administration.  Ultimately, after much speculation, word came down from senior sources unknown.  The former First Lady is “under consideration.” Hillary Clinton will have to decide whether she wishes to abandon her Senate career and pursue another path.

The signs say she is interested.  The smile at a Press Conference as she discussed the possibility, the saucy statements, the legal assistance she provided the transition team, all say ‘Sure, I would love to be Secretary of State.’. Hence, countless conclude.  Hillary Rodham Clinton is the one, the person who will serve at the pleasure of President-elect Obama, and I can do nothing, but voice my apprehension aloud.

Should Senator Clinton become Secretary of State, America and the world will have to weigh each day what perchance, Barack Obama did not wish to, or thought would not be a problem.  Bill and Hillary Clinton are forces not to be underestimated.  Negotiations are not their forte.  The two favor force and power.  Peace is not the prospect they pursue.   If this train leaves the station, and the bell rings, no one will be able to look back.  The damage will be done.  Perhaps, we will live the truth of the words oft cast, “Past is prologue.” Woe is me or we.

Sources of Scorn from the possible Secretary of State . . .

Tough to take for Hillary

To view the original art, please travel to Tough to take for Hillary

copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

Sarah Palin must be the final insult to poor Hillary.  To be so close to breaking the ultimate glass ceiling, and to feel you were mistreated by the media, and then to see some gun-tottin’, Bible-thumpin’ hottie hockey mom, with even less experience than that punk you were supposed to have crushed, strut in using a ready-made “the media is sexist” defense.  Every time Palin evokes her name on the campaign trail, Hillary must die a thousand deaths.

When I first sketched this toon, I had Hillary saying something like “What have I begot?”  But as I was looking at it on the art board, the final caption wrote itself.  It’s the unspoken word that’s been in the background this entire whole campaign (and notice that it’s still unspoken).  It seemed pretty obvious that’s “What Hillary Must Be Thinking.”  (Archive 0831)

That’s all for this week.  Back in seven.



Post Script . . . Please peruse the news share just a journey away.  Click the “There’s More” phrase at the bottom of this treatise and travel further into times and toons.

Two toons honor at Homer Davenport event

In other news, one of my editorial cartoons, “Stimulating a War Economy,” (Archive 0817) took top honors at this year’s Homer Davenport International Cartoon Contest.  The event is part of the annual Homer Davenport Days festival in Silverton, Ore.  Another of my toons, “The Numbers Game” (Archive 0813b) (color version), took third.  It was a small competition – 13 artists competed – but I’m still pretty tickled.

I’ve reprinted the cartoons below, or you can check them out at the Homer Davenport Days Web site.

To view the original art, please travel to Two toons honor at Homer Davenport event

Sarah Palin; Wrong Woman, Woeful Record

28 Sarah Palin Facts

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Above the crowd chants, Americans can hear the roar of resentment. The Republicans have weighed in.  Sarah Palin is the saintly small town American.  She has traditional conservative values. And the venom needed to spread the McCain message with a vengeance.  The Grand Old Party says, Sarah Palin is just what they needed to excite the base.  The senior Senator, John McCain, the Republican Presidential pick was too dry, too dull, or too dogmatic.  He did not seem to possess the magnificence of a maverick as he once did.  

If the Republicans were to win the election and retain the White House, as was the plan, they needed a dynamic force to follow or to lead the Presidential campaign.  The Grand Old Party found one.  Her name is Sarah Palin.  This lovely lady, a hockey Mom, or, as she say of herself, a bit pull with lipstick, has made her mark on history.

Since Sarah arrived on the national political scene Democrats have weighed in as well.  Women perhaps have felt a need to voice their concerns more vehemently.  Countless amongst the gentler sex believed that Governor Palin was chosen just for them.  The consensus was daughters of Eve had committed to the Hillary Clinton campaign, for the want of a woman in the Oval Office.  However, many would publicly say, that was no the case.  Outraged, prominent persons, in the feminist movement stated what they thought was obvious.

Palin: wrong woman, wrong message

Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

Palin’s value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women’s wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves “abstinence-only” programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers’ millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn’t spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

~By Gloria Steinem

Los Angeles Times

September 4, 2008

Others, rather than deliver a definitive statement, offered the documentation.  Governor Sarah Palin’s record revealed a message that caused many to cringe.  Women, men, all equally read what perhaps Presidential candidate John McCain had not before he chose the person he now touts as the perfect Vice Presidential candidate.  Please peruse the report and then rant, rage, sigh, or cry.  Please share your evaluation of the person who may be the next vice President, or President of the United States of America.

Sarah Palin

Debt Service Increased 69 Percent Under Palin.

In fiscal 2003 – the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget – the total government debt service was $658,662. In fiscal 1996-the year before Palin took control of the budget – the debt service was $390,385. The increase was 69 percent. [Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 1]

Palin Left Behind Almost $19 Million In Long-Term Debt, Compared to None Before She Was Mayor.

In fiscal 2003 – the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget – the bonded long-term debt was $18,635,000. In fiscal 1996-the year before Palin took control of the budget-there was no general obligation debt. [Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 10]

Long-Term Debt Was $3000 Per Capita When Palin Left, Compared to None Before She Was Mayor.

In fiscal 2003 – the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget-the bonded long-term debt per capita was $2,938. In fiscal 1996 – the year before Palin took control of the budget-there was no general obligation debt. [Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 10]

When Palin Left Office, 6.24% of Government Spending Was On Debt Service, Compared to None Before She Was Mayor.

In fiscal 2003-the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget-the ratio of debt service to general government expenditures was 6.24 percent. There was no long-term debt before she took office. [Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 11] ??

Palin Signed Ordinance to Issue $15 Million in General Obligation Bonds and Increase the Sales Tax From 2 to 2.5 Percent.

In 2001, Palin signed an ordinance authorizing the city to issue general obligation bonds in the principal amount of $14,700,000 to finance the acquisition and construction of park and recreation capital improvements. The ordinance also increased the sales tax from 2 to 2.5 percent and put the issue on the ballot. After it was adopted by voters, Palin signed an ordinance issuing the bonds. In 2002, Palin signed an ordinance putting the higher sales tax into effect. [Ordinance 01-55 (am), 12/10/2001; Ordinance 02-14 (sub), 4/8/2002; Ordinance 02-49, 8/12/2002]

Palin Was Accused By Stein of Overspending By Approving $5.5 Million Bond; She Replied that It Had Been Approved By Voters.

“Now Stein is urging voters to turn the tables again. He’s accused Palin of overspending city money and has been particularly critical of a $ 5.5 million road and sewer bond passed last year by voters. He says the bond payments could make the city vulnerable should the economy turn down. Palin notes residents approved the bond, which she says was needed for critical road work.” [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 10/5/99]

Palin Said the Reason for the Increased Cost of Government Was Interest on Bonds.

“Sarah rode in on a conservative horse, but the actual cost of government has gone up,” he said. But Palin says most of the increase is due to the $ 400,000 in interest owed on the road and sewer bonds, a measure she notes the voters approved. Much of the rest is due to some positions now included in her budget that weren’t when she first took over, she said. Stein also criticized the $ 5.5 million bond package, which he said will cost too much to pay off and could make the city vulnerable should the economy turn down.” [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 9/20/99]

Do Women Whine?

Palin: The Perceived Whine

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Women are in leadership roles in every avenue of life.  Today, two have risen far above the fray.  They have accomplished more than many a man.  Senator Hillary Clinton and Governor Sarah Palin each saw the top of glass ceiling and put cracks in the upper limits.  For these exceptional persons, the sky was not high enough.  They sought to be more, to be all that they could be.  Perchance, the pair succeeded.  Yet, as these skillful and courageous females spoke of what they had achieved, or could, were there no constraints, frequently, the reaction from others was sadly, as could have been expected.  For centuries, conventional wisdom may have weighed women down.  At least words of woe have dampened the spirit of daughters of Eve who hoped to soar.  

Many who are thought to be among the gentler sex have heard the declarations.  If a women expressed her desires or worked for what she wanted, several sought to quell her aspirations.  Some would say , “Her tone is too shrill.”  Others offered unsympathetic disapproval; “She whines.”  Indeed some of the sharpest criticism came from women equally dynamic.  Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin know this all too well.

During the March 2008 Newsweek Women & Leadership Event in Los Angeles, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin spoke her mind.  At the time, although John McCain had just become the presumptive nominee of her Republican Party, Sarah Palin liked Mitt Romney for President.  She had yet to endorse the man who she now adores and supports.  Then, it was not widely known that months earlier this self-proclaimed “Hockey Mom” might maximize an opportunity to become more prominent on the political stage.  Few knew that behind the scenes a campaign to draft Sarah Palin for the Vice Presidential nomination had begun.  Nonetheless, Newsweek reporter Karen Breslau invited the former Mayor of Wasilla to “”feel free” to make some news.”  The “news” Sarah made, all those months ago, countless thought petty.  Might Governor Palin wish to incite a cat fight, was the cry of a few.  Upon reflection, the Journalist who interviews the Alaskan Chief Executive muses, of Palin . . .

She grinned broadly-looking back, I guess it was a grin of the Cheshire Cat variety-and thanked me for the offer . . .

Once onstage, together with Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Palin talked about what women expect from women leaders; how she took charge in Alaska during a political scandal that threatened to unseat the state’s entire Republican power structure, and her feelings about Sen. Hillary Clinton.  (She said she felt kind of bad she couldn’t support a woman, but she didn’t like Clinton’s whining.)

Yet, days ago, the same Sarah Palin invoked the name of the former First Lady as she looked towards the White House.  Once officially appointed as John McCain’s running mate, this prestigious woman from Alaska again spoke of Senator Clinton.  However, this time Sarah Palin showered praise upon the very successful women who almost won her Party’s favor, Hillary Clinton.  

I think as well today of two other women who came before me in national elections. I can’t begin this great effort without honoring the achievements of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and, of course, Sen. Hillary Clinton, who showed such determination and grace in her presidential campaign.

It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.

Crack the ceiling she did.  As the newly chosen Vice Presidential candidate entered the Republican Convention Hall applause rang out.  The sound of joyous screams resonated throughout the building.  Certainly, the loud cheers broke the sound barrier, just as Sarah Palin had burst through blockades that once left women behind.  As Governor Palin took this larger stage, and stood at the center, she reflected on her most recent experience.  Noticeably annoyed by what she thought to be unwarranted and unwelcome attention, the aggravated Alaskan Governor acknowledged . . .

Well, I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And . . .


. . . I’ve learned quickly these last few days that, if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

Persons in the audience thought her tone a bit strident, her tone harsh.  Numerous, particularly those in the press wondered if the woman did not protest too much.  Indeed, it might be said, Sarah Palin whined in self-defense or disgust.  Millions were distressed when they heard her words.  Yet, one person, another woman who Sarah Palin had previously chided and then praised spoke of the Vice Presidential candidate with a sense of humor and less disdain than some might have expected.  Nor did Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton voice the insincere admiration that had been bestowed upon her.  The former First Lady graciously offered a concise assertion.

Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton?

Thursday, Sep 4, 2008

The two party conventions showcased vastly different directions for our country. Senator Obama and Senator Biden offered the new ideas and positive change America needs and deserves after eight years of failed Republican leadership. Senator McCain and Governor Palin do not.

After listening to all the speeches this week, I heard nothing that suggests the Republicans are ready to fix the economy for middle class families, provide quality affordable health care for all Americans, guarantee equal pay for equal work for women, restore our nation’s leadership in a complex world or tackle the myriad of challenges our country faces. So, to slightly amend my comments from Denver: NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCain-PALIN

No whines.  Nothing shrill.  The words of Hillary Clinton did not pierce the flesh of the Hockey Mom from Alaska.  Perchance, Senator Clinton chose not to be as Sarah said of herself.  The former First Lady did not wish to act as a bit-pull with lipstick; nor did she.  Attacks were not delivered.  Possibly, the lesson the electorate, or Senator John McCain might learn from this repartee is, not all women are alike.  Hillary Clinton is not Sarah Palin. Women constituents may not take pleasure in the words of just any other female.  There is more to a Presidential or Vice Presidential hopeful than the genitiala, they are born with.

Sources of Scorn, Shrill, Spite, or Sensitivity . . .

Speeches or Solutions

Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention Part 1

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Tonight Hillary Clinton, I thank you.  Your speech was sensational.  The words were welcome.  A call for unity could not be more needed.  I believe only you could make this plea in a meaningful manner.  As grateful as I am, and indeed, I am truly pleased that you spoke as you did. I wonder if this pronouncement, as presented, will solve what some see as the dilemma of the disaffected.  Will your words alleviate the concern too often expressed about the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama?

After more than a year of harsh criticism from you Senator Clinton, might the chasm within the Party and this country be too great to counter in a single speech, particularly one that did not address the countless serious concerns you, yourself raised for so long.  Time does not heal the wounds words wield.  Only assiduous treatment lessens the lesions.  Hence, I share my trepidation.

As I reflect, I cannot help but acknowledge as the Republicans did immediately.  Your expressions, as glorious as they were, spoke to a compromise, not confidence in the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama.  

As committed as you claim to be, you neglected to endorse the man, Barack Obama.  The support you offered was for the Party, the platform, and not for the Senator from Illinois.  Thus, Americans will read the Republican response, and react.  

Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds issued this response: ??”Senator Clinton ran her presidential campaign making clear that Barack Obama is not prepared to lead as commander in chief. Nowhere tonight did she alter that assessment. Nowhere tonight did she say that Barack Obama is ready to lead. Millions of Hillary Clinton supporters and millions of Americans remain concerned about whether Barack Obama is ready to be President.”

Many will remain reluctant.  People will ask; does Barack Obama offer the change we can believe in.  While you were gracious enough to state, that you do not approve the McCain campaign commercials that feature you, these advertisements continue to air.  Pointed statements, not rejected have power.  When a prominent figure proclaims as you did, that too is forceful.

The American public is being bombarded with the woeful words you offered for near nineteen months.  The people hear your heartfelt declarations, just as they did during the primaries.  Statements of disdain for President hopeful Barack Obama resonate when these are not rescinded.

For months, you Senator Clinton, said Barack Obama was not qualified to be Commander-In-Chief.  He was too inexperienced.  He would not provide health insurance for all Americans.  Many of your supporters said he was not truly Progressive.  They clamored; Barack Obama could not possibly understand what it means to be a woman, to be paid less, and to be passed over.  The Illinois Senator would not fight for causes important to the common folk.  Senator Clinton, you frequently voiced your faith.  Barack Obama was but a man who could speak well, not a person of substance who offered solutions.  Now, we discover your most ardent supporters, advisors and top fundraisers do not wish to remain in Denver longer than they think they must.  They will stay to hear Hill and Bill, then, they will leave.  Tonight, you asked the questions.

I want you — I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me, or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him?

Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids?

Were you in it for that young boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage?

Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

On the surface, it would seem those closest to you have answered your queries in a manner that could cause greater concern.  Clinton Advisers Skipping Obama Speech.  I understand that schedules may preclude a presence at the Convention on Thursday for most of these persons.  Nonetheless, in a time such as this, any action can be twisted.  A truth can be turned.

Appearances have authority.  In this moment, there are too many messages, too many contradictory communications, verbal, and on video.  Thus, as I applaud you, I implore you.  Please, Senator Clinton might you do a bit more to secure the dream of a Democratic President in 2008.  Please speak to the quality and qualifications of Barack Obama.  If you cannot do that, I will again be left to wonder.  Speeches or solutions.  

You are correct Senator Clinton; that may be the choice in 2008.  However, it seems that the potential President Obama offers solutions.  You gave a great speech.   Still, I believe there is only one way we can hope to nullify what you have done through your numerous denunciations.

Senator Clinton, I know not whether your legacy is at stake.  I do trust the State of the Union is at risk.  Please, if you care about our country I invite you to speak specifically  and unequivocally about Barack Obama, the man, the candidate, and our potential Commander-In-Chief.  Tell us all that you trust him to be credible.  Assure us that he cares about the common people.  Only you First Lady Clinton can assuage any doubts.  

Please Senator reassure Americans and say, Barack Obama is ready to be president!

If you would, please be both the brilliant speaker and the solution.  Again, I appreciate your performance this evening.  I yearn to sincerely show gratitude for what you might say tomorrow, and the next day, and every day.  I beseech you.  Help ensure Democrats are unified.  Do what you can to achieve a change.  Wholeheartedly, tell us you want Barack Obama to be President of the United States.  I thank you.

Sources for Speeches or Solutions . . .

Associated Press: Accuracy in Reporting


copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

What is black and white and read all over?  Associated Press reports written by the “respectable” albeit some would say disreputable Ron Fournier.  Few Journalists foment interest in this Presidential election in the way this whimsical writer does.  His prose is not dry.  Detachment does not define the Washington Bureau Chief.  Conventional standards, set by the information industry, might label this laudable lackey as less than logical.  For logic is rarely found in flaming rhetoric.  Fournier describes his approach as “accountability journalism” and “liberating . . . the truth,” as well it should be.

The employer of this esteemed Correspondent, is the much admired Associated Press.  The establishment is a formidable favorite in the news industry.  The company’s facts fascinate.  Its mission mesmerizes.  “The Associated Press is the backbone of the world’s information system serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television and online customers with coverage in all media and news in all formats.  It is the largest and oldest news organization in the world, serving as a source of news, photos, graphics, audio, and video.  AP’s mission is to be the essential global news network, providing distinctive news services of the highest quality, reliability and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed.”

Yet, the articles Mister Fournier submits have a factual flavor.  The zest and zing leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many, or at least those on the political Left.  His black type is not a savory chocolate.  The white behind the words is not a plain vanilla.  Some may call the work of Ron Fournier yellow journalism.  

Each essay Fournier inscribes favors a political Party, the Grand Old one.  Readers might review but a few captions and columns to gain a sense of the slant.  The title On Deadline: Obama walks arrogance line, captures the conceit of a candidate or a columnist haughty with the power to influence an attentive audience.  The text within the article enriches the essence of this tasty tidbit, which passes for “news.”

He’s bordering on arrogance.

The dictionary defines the word as an “offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.”  Obama may not be offensive or overbearing, but he can be a bit too cocky for his own good.

Might we wonder if Ron Fournier, the reporter can be a bit too overconfident?  Within this “objective” story the Journalist believes he can aptly assess the mettle of the man as evident in the essay Analysis: Obama a ‘Courageous Leader’?

Women are not exempt from scrutiny that is if the female is a Democrat.  Hillary’s Flight of Fancy, a discussion the former First Lady’s memory and actual experience in Bosnia, while newsworthy is unfairly ridiculed by this Associated Press reporter presumed to be committed to the organizations mission.  Again, the Associated Press pledges to provide reliable and objective reports that are accurate, balanced, and informed.

Thus, the question might be asked; is the Washington Bureau Chief a columnist or a correspondent.  Another headline might answer this query.  Sen. Hillary Clinton an Artful Dodger.  Journalist Fournier wonders in print; What does Clinton want?  A reader might contemplate what does Ron Fournier long for?  

A reader might accept that this reporter inquires as he informs.  An avid learner who looks for news could chime, such curiosity benefits the public, and well it might.  However, the presumed neutrality of Ron Fournier is not evident, his alliances are.

Associated Press  reporter Ron Fournier, in his missives, supports a Presidential aspirant, John McCain.  The maverick McCain is equally enamored with the veteran political reporter.  Indeed, the Senator was a suitor of the correspondent.  Perchance, the Arizona Senator saw the prosaic phrase Mister Fournier inscribed in a mail to Karl Rove, “Keep up the fight,” and he knew.  Ron the Republican could and would fight or write for him too.  Perhaps, he does, although he is paid by the Associated Press.

Hence, with such a respected and widely read source to spread the word, the articles offered by Ron Fournier pass for objectivity.  A credulous citizen may not suspect a seemingly credible Correspondent.  A reader of any of the many prestigious periodicals that carry AP stories may be unaware of the connections this columnist has with those on Capitol Hill.  The people can only muse of the media, the power of the message, and the messenger, and perhaps they must for  . . .  

Fournier Is At It Again

By Steve Benen

CBS News

(Political Animal) – Fournier Is At It Again  . . . The latest piece from Ron Fournier, the AP’s Washington bureau chief and the man responsible for directing the wire service’s coverage of the presidential campaign, on Joe Biden joining the Democratic ticket, is drawing a fair amount of attention this morning. More importantly, McCain campaign staffers are pushing it fairly aggressively to other reporters, in large part because it mirrors the Republican line with minimal variation.

By choosing Biden, Fournier argues, Barack Obama is showing a “lack of confidence,” and is siding with “the status quo.”

If, such slander, or the source, evokes exasperation, readers of what is printed in black and white by the Associated Press and read all over, may wish to react.  Articles, which appear in most every paper worldwide, may wish to communicate such distress to Executives at local or national newspapers.  Readers may wish to write  letters to the editor such as . . .

Dearest Editor . . .

I write of what troubles me.  Associated Press correspondent Ron Fournier weaves quite a tale as he tells readers what to think of elections and candidates.  His essays are as rumors, rants, or a rage against anyone in the Democratic Party.  Readers such as I seek more than tantrums.  We yearn for quality accounts.  I, personally, do not appreciate diatribes.

The most recent invective was “Biden pick shows lack of confidence.”  The text screamed its skewed vision.  “The candidate of change went with the status quo . . . Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness -inexperience . .  The Biden selection is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative . . .”

Surprised by such barbs, I studied the author.  I learned, scorching satire could be expected.  Apparently, Ron Fournier spoke with the McCain campaign of his being a senior Political Adviser in 2007.  While one malicious missive might be excused, a slew of such essays offer ample cause for concern.

Mister Fournier words are frequently more Republican than reasoned.  The “journalist” writes . . .

“Poor Hillary.  After trying to save her sinking candidacy with awkward turns of flattery and sarcasm, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton resorted to a new tactic in Tuesday night’s debate: self-pity.”

Editors, such statements do not reflect fair and accurate reports.  Please tell those at the Associated Press, the recent reports penned by this wire service reporter, Ron Fournier, lack objectivity.  Your readers want no more tirades; we long for impartial accounts.

Betsy L. Angert


Possibly, if readers write the Associated Press will be reminded; periodical readers seek enlightenment in black and white text.  A newspaper is read all over for it resonates as reasoned.  Those who love current affairs do not wish to have the truth obscured.  They read for fact not fiction.  If the people write, newspaper Editors flooded with fervent letters may feel the wrath of citizens eager for ingenuous information.  Perhaps, the Associated Press will come to understand, the people are unwilling to be silent or consent to a commentary flavored by the reporters bias.

Readers of rhetoric that obfuscates all but a Republican perspective, please speak.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

~ Martin Luther King Junior

References for readers . . .

The Clinton Factor

Clinton on Obama 8/22/08

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

I saw them.  I heard them.  The undecided voters were no longer in the shadows.  The seven, eleven, or fourteen percent, the unpersuadables who either decline to state a preference, or have not yet determined whether they could or would support the presumptive nominees, Barack Obama or John McCain, were there.  They stood at the door of the Arena.  It was a Thursday afternoon, in Boca Raton, Florida.  Hundreds, myself among them, stood in wait as the storms overhead threatened.  Rain clouds did not deter us.  What some thought oppressive heat did not dissuade the many who wished to hear the former First Lady.  As we stood outside and discussed when the doors might open, many shared their deeply held conviction.  Obama could not possibly beat Senator McCain without Clinton, and her supporters.  If Hillary was at the top of the Democratic ticket, several speculated, we could crush John McCain.

Numerous expressed their distress.  People in this horde were not happy with what they felt was forced upon them.  Many mused of the eighteen million who cast a ballot for New York Senator Hillary Clinton.  Certainly, she received more, not less of an endorsement from the electorate.  More than one person proclaimed, “She was President for eight years!”  Hillary needs to be in the White House again.  However, these statements were offered in somewhat hushed tones, before we entered the building.  

While outside the auditorium, people chatted quietly as they expressed sincere concern.  Senator Obama does not address issues that are important to them.  He does not know what it means to be a woman, to be oppressed, to be the victim of gender bias.  Most offered their angst politely.  They made no loud declarations.  These respectful persons whom the Obama campaign, with the help of Hillary, hoped to recruit inquired.  Did the new man on the political scene have enough experience?  

A few said, Barack Obama was not their choice, first or last.  Individuals whispered their disdain for the person the press says now leads the Democratic Party.  This group was for the most part refined.  In the throng, the older population was well-represented.  The persons in line, before the doors to the Florida Atlantic University amphitheater opened, were ladies and gents, sophisticated and sensitive to the fact, Barack Obama, and his supporters hosted this event.  The actual audible venom was not heard until we were indoors.  There, shouts would ring out more loudly, although just a few.  “Hillary for President.”  “We can secure the nomination in Denver; yes, we can!”  

While at the entrance of the edifice, before the rally began, and after, inside the sanctioned sports center, men and women discussed what for countless was a dilemma.  How could it be that Hillary Clinton was not the Democratic nominee?  What could be done to make her dream, their hope come true?  This was the consensus in this assemblage, although most had reluctantly resigned them selves to what seemed out of reach.

Silva, a very sweet women in her seventies sat to my left.  This delightful woman shared stories of her past activism.  She had been committed to a Hillary presidency.  She worked on the 2008 Clinton campaign.  While she had always liked Bill, in this election season she thought much of what he said was inappropriate.  Yet, the words of Hillary’s husband did not lessen her commitment to the former First Lady.  Silva, though wobbly when she walked, as she recovered from a serious illness, was willing and wanted to devote hours to the Hillary Clinton candidacy.

The lovely silver-haired lady, whose smile lit the room, grimaced at the thought of what she might do now.  No, she had not met Barack Obama.  She did not attend any of his forums in Florida.  “What was he like” she asked after she heard my stories of him.  Silva listened intently.  She knew, chapter and verse of all that the Clinton campaign had hollered.  Every barb the New York Senator directed at Barack Obama as she  attempted to defeat the Illinois Senator was familiar to this genteel and feminine being.  However, she had not heard much else about Obama.  Nor had she had the desire to listen in the past.

Silva was turned off to Barack Obama before she had ever tuned in.  Admittedly, her love and trust in the Clintons had shaded her research early on.  She remembered how well the Clintons had served the American people.  Prosperity and peace, just as Hillary Clinton often claimed were emblematic of the 1990s.  Oh, how Silva longed for the good old days.  

Before the Democrats were barred from the Everglade State, prior to primary date being changed, Silva saw the Clintons on more than one occasion.  As we watched the clock in anticipation of the first Lady’s arrival, this gracious women  wondered aloud.  Is Barack Obama as impressive a speaker as Hillary is?  Her sharp and focused eyes voiced her curiosity as much as her words did.  She said, “Hillary answers every question posed to her.  She cares.  The Senator from New York is passionate; her speeches are animated.  Does he listen to the people in his audiences?  Can he relate to the average American?  I shared my story.

I told her of how, when he went through the rope line, he shook my hand and that was nice.  However, such a gesture could be expected.  Then, I told her of the tale.  

As Barack Obama stood before me, I said, “I have a silly question to ask.”  He stopped.  The Illinois Senator still held my hand.  As I offered my inquiry, he did not let go.  Indeed, he looked me in the eyes throughout our conversation.  I expressed a concern for what had troubled me.  I went on and on for minutes.  The background seemed important to me.  I mentioned a friend hand-delivered an article I had written on the topic to each of his offices, in Washington and in Chicago.  “Had he reviewed them before his oration on the subject?”  He smiled and honestly admitted he had not seen the script.  The Presidential candidate mused of his schedule and the lack of time he had in the office during the primary campaign dash.

As hundreds vied for his time, as hand after hand reached over my head, and out to him, the Senator from Illinois took more than a moment to spend time with me, a no one to him.  My story is one of millions.  I assured her that my meet and greet with Michele Obama was equally wondrous.  

Still, I have other questions about Senator Obama’s candidacy, not the conventional sort, that fill the airwaves.  I worry of advisers who think they know what the electorate wants.  I agonize over turns to the Right, Left, Middle, or what is declared the popular, and therefore preferred path.  

Candidates who crave to appease or please the public trouble me.  Both Bill and Hillary appealed to the moderates, to many conservatives, to the same voters Barack Obama now seeks.  Compromises were well crafted by the Clintons.  Obama fashions the familiar.  Too many Presidential aspirants, for too long, all at the expense of the American people, shape their speeches.  We, the people may admire one, and hence, dismiss another.  Likeability, more often than not, determines electability.

“Silva,” I shuttered, “Divisive dictums disturb me.”  Hillary harkens.  Bill beckons.  Barack has begun to bellow.  My qualms extend to the constituents.  People, every one of us, are entrenched in what we believe to be true.  Frequently, we cannot see beyond our limited scope.  Silva understood.  She acknowledged she had not sought out information about Barack Obama prior to today.  She was sold on the Clintons and had faith that her choice was the best.  While my stance had, has, and still waivers, I am certain that no human is objective, not even I.  Sadly human, I too can be influenced.  However, I hoped I would not let a person sway me.  Principles, I feel, must be my guide.

The thoughtful soul that sat near me understood.  We had conversed at length before and after the conversation focused on the candidates.  We told each other of our personal physical and psychological traumas.  She was less steady since she suffered from what for some is a fatal illness.  I had been in an accident that could have left me unable to move through life as I do.  She had explained, as had I, our history taught us not to trust experts, to be weary of titles, and not to do as prescribed by a “professional.”  In our lives, physicians told us what they thought best.  Yet, for us, the treatments were unwise.

When Silva and I honored our insights, our intellect, our sense of veracity we did better than when we listened to one thought to be knowledgeable.  We concluded we could not be lead by a love for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or the hate for either.  As one woman near us declared her hate of all that is Obama and her intent to cast a ballot for John McCain Silva and I thought how silly she or we might be.

The answer to what ails America will not be found in fondness for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.  The cure for this country will not be cast in a vengeful ballot for John McCain.  If Americans are to truly care for the body public, we must vote not for a person, or a particular policy.  What might best persuade us is not the Presidential nominee, he, or she.  The principles, philosophies, or ideas that invest in our ideals, not individuals, will bring this nation back.  If the undecided are to choose wisely, perchance they, we, might look away from the podium and look within.

References Revealed . . .