LittleClarkie's Journal - Archives
He was already "Hanoi Johnny" as absurd as that was.
The scary thing is how many rank and file Republicans just fell into line with the far right talking points because they're, well, Republican and Bush is "their guy."
Bob Dole sold out a fellow veteran because Bush was "his guy."
I kept thinking, "There is no Republican truth and Democrat truth. A lie doesn't become the truth because it's being told by 'your guy'" Which is why any time the chickenhawks around me started joking about Kerry's medals, I'd blow a gasket. At least the veteran Republicans I know had more sense. The two I can talk to both say that Kerry served honorably. One has major issues with "The Testimony." The other doesn't even have problems with that, saying Kerry earned the right to say what he thought about the war considering he'd seen it first hand.
I couldn't believe how upset I got at my chickenhawk friends, or anyone who would say "Support the Troops!!" and then shit on the record of a war vet. I had no idea I felt that strongly about the issue. But then I'm the daughter of a Navy vet. And that Navy vet died this year. I think part of me has linked the two: my dad and Kerry, the Navy vets. I'm sure that's part of it. But the utter hypocracy just blows me away.
And yet there were "Veterans for Kerry" in every city. I'm starting to think it was an "enlisted guy" vs "the officers" thing. Kerry was one of very few officers who listened too and stood up for what was happening to the enlisted guys. And, being the little guys, I guess they also tended toward Dem.
Sadly, sometimes the Vets for Kerry were even on the outside looking in. In Mass. they would save his ass from attacks to his record. Nationally, they weren't enough. In fact, sometimes I wondered if they were looked at as being "less veteran" somehow, as if a "real vet" would never support Kerry. That sounds absurd, I know. But I watched at our State Fair as the vets opposed to Kerry got two tables, and the vets supporting Kerry weren't even invited to the "Veteran Day at the Fair" festivities. They just sort of hung out by the tent, wandering in every once in a while to engage the tent vets in discussion. I felt good standing by them that day, and watching them man the Democrat booth inside the main hall. But still it was sad to see the MIA people so dead set against "Hanoi Johnny."
I wish Kerry didn't have that baggage. But I'm also grateful for what it brought to the Iraq discussion. It was good to hear folks apply his famous quote to Iraq, and I heard more than one person call it "another Vietnam." I wondered if discussions about Iraq would be the same without that input. I don't know. But I think it was a valuable comparison.
I think that's why "Going Upriver" hit me so hard. There are some images in that movie that screamed "Iraq!" right down to a smiling face and a thumbs up next to a dead enemy.
It's late. Sorry if I'm rambling again.
Some of the more hardcore freeps I know think Bush is going to turn out to be the best president ever.
I think 9/11 did strange things to some people's psyches. I think being in the middle of a war resulted in the kneejerk "we can't change horses" response.
I get preached to an awful lot on the phone when I was phone canvassing. Granted Wisc. is a fairly strong pro-life state. But those were hard calls. There was no talking to some people.
Plus the folks I ran into here who kept calling all Dems socialists and communists. I don't think I've ever run into that before. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention.
I actually got called a Communist for supporting Kerry. I asked the guy if he wanted a one party system. He said no, he'd accept the Republicans as the left wing party and another party farther to the right of that. Frightening. The Freepers are scary people, and I was shocked to find out how many I live next to. And if you go to swiftvets.com, you'll see how many of them were on that bandwagon too. The Scary Kerry people are just strange. I don't even recognize their reality.
One of the bartenders at the pub just loves Cheney, for example. Thinks he's a tough son of a bitch. Another guy, a goth who plays roleplaying type games, wants to just nuke the Middle East. Crazy people. I live next to crazy people.
Of course, I do know some Republicans who are repulsed by their own party, but there aren't nearly enough of them.
How do you reason with crazy people.
Sorta Buddah-like, ain't I. Yes, that's me. From the local paper the day after the election. I've been immortalized.
I continue to have political discussions with folks at church. Today, a dad whose politics I didn't know called Bush "Hitler." I guess that clears that up.
Another said that she felt our democracy was in danger.
Still another has relatives in Ohio and firmly believes the election was stolen.
The parish secretary, when mailing me a list of new ushers, included a photocopy of the above picture saying, "I prayed with you that night, and now I mourn with you."
A lawyer parishioner likes to greet me jokingly with "Greetings, fellow traveler!" Right after the election he asked me if I wanted in on the flight to Canada he was booking.
So glad I decided to wear the Kerry button to church. I had know idea that out here in the "Red as all get out" suburbs, a bastion of Democrat-ness still remains.
Don't buy into the idea that Republicans own religion. They don't.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, am I really going to have to look at Jerry Fallwell's puss for the next four years? Dang.
My own little 2004 timeline.
What a strange evolution I followed over the summer.
June - ABB
July - (reading up on ABB candidate) Hmm, not bad.
August - Thanks to smear vets, I discover his illustrious anti-war career, and get a foretaste of his debating skills. I start to develop something of a crush on our candidate, if only on his younger self.
Sept - Temple Speech and first appearance of the Incredible Hulk. Woo hoo! Getting excited now.
-"The Closer" makes full appearance.
-Debates blow my socks off. I am now in the Kerry camp big time.
-By the end of October, I am actively trying to see the man at a rally, and getting upset when I can't get a ticket.
-I go to see Going Upriver. If possible, my esteem goes up even more to what can only be described as "Band of Brother" level. I would be part of that full crew who follows him into hell.
-I make three bets with three freepers on the election, shouting "Landslide" at anyone who will listen.
November 1st: I finally get a ticket to a rally I can go to, since I'm taking time off from work to GOTV. I stand in the cold rain for 2 hours. By the end of the rally, I can't feel my feet. But I get to see the man I am firmly convinced will be my next prez.
November - my guts get ripped out and put back in sideways.
But still, there is no going back. The only thing that would stop me now is if he suddenly pulled off a mask and revealed himself to be Karl Rove on stilts, shouting "Damn you kids!"
Kerry 2008! I'll be there.
Posted by LittleClarkie in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Nov 08th 2004, 06:01 PM
An experience at work. Ah, life in the freeper zone. Blah...
I just mailed two packages for the aunt of a soldier in Iraq. It's part of my job. When I brought her the receipts, I wondered aloud if she could ask her nephew what they thought of Election 2004, whether they'd gotten a chance to vote, what the consensus in their area was, etc.
A sales manager who was talking to the new administrative assistant piped up with a smile, "Say Erica, do you think if more of the military vote were counted, your guy would have lost bigger."
My answer, "No, frankly, I don't."
Still with a smile that was looking more like a gloat to me by this time, "Have you met our new assistant? She spent 9 months in Iraq. Why don't you ask her what she thought."
After alittle hemming and hawing from me, as I felt put on the spot, I did ask her what she thought of the atmosphere where she was. She said that most of the people she worked with there thought that if Kerry got in, they were going to die.
I mentioned, mostly from what I've read here, that there were entire squads of soldiers voting Kerry, saying "Get us out of here."
The girl answered with a diplomatic "I'm sure there was support for both candidates in different areas."
Sales Manager, still with the gloating "Isn't this all a big election game and I won" smile on his face, shoots in with "Did you read that on moveon.org?"
The most civil thing I could make come out of my mouth was "If you're going to be a snot about this, I don't want to talk to you anymore about it."
"Ass" is the word that wanted to come out, actually.
Not that I have a problem with being identified with moveon.org. But I'm quite sick of people assuming they know me, and where I get my news, from the person I voted for. I assume the average Bush supporter's opinion of organizations like Moveon was that they were ultra liberal, ABB rather than pro-Kerry, and prone to distortions about their guy Bush. I don't know for sure really. I don't want to know.
I don't mind a serious discussion on the election. I've actually managed to have that with a Republican political junkie friend of mine. But if people think I'm going to sit still while they take pot shots at me for fun they have another thing coming.
If they can't take the time to find out if I was ABB or a Kerry supporter, to find out where I get my information, or that I just spent 4 months of my life and $200 that I didn't have on a guy I really, really thought was going to make a wonderful president, then I don't want to talk to them. It's that simple.
I don't think the Bushies understand that, as much as their news sources told them we were more against Bush than pro-Kerry, that some of us are truly heartbroken for the man and our country and are in no mood to talk, let alone stand as a gloat target.
One of the bystanders was in the ladies room just now (luckily she came in AFTER my crying jag) said SM was just funning with me. I felt alittle better when she also said that it was apparent that he was the one who overstepped his bounds and not me. Good to know, as I'm on a hair trigger right now, and I don't want to lose my job regardless. Not with Bozo in the White House, that's for sure.
The other bystanders teased him that he might have trouble getting his mail out of the building from now on. Yes, that's right, I am the mailroom goddess for my company. And the goddess is NOT amused.
Thanks for listening DU. I don't have alot of places I can go to vent.
First entry: I'm going through my posts from 2004, picking out the ones that I think expressed my emotions at the time, explained my past (or lack thereof) in politics, and some early Kerry defenses, some right after the election. Eh, gotta start som
I have no plans to be a fair weather friend.
Those of us who have come to respect the man do not appreciate watching our party eat its own.
No wonder we can find no consistency. We race from candidate to candidate, looking for the perfect one.
I dearly hope you end up having to eat your words. Perhaps lightly grilled with some cream sauce?
But even if I hear nothing from him, I trust him. And I've learned enough about him in the last few months to feel that he doesn't deserve to be called a coward, a turncoat, a skull and bones conspirator, or any of the rest of the things I've seen this week.
So how do I get my name changed to "KerryDemocrat"?
Posted by LittleClarkie in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Oct 17th 2004, 10:14 PM
Working the Campaign HQ front desk on Friday
I encountered mixed back of callers and visitors. One guy called and wanted to know if he came down to HQ if he could see the secret Democrat documents on the campaign. "What?" I replied. "The one's that show how you're gonna accuse people of cheating the vote." "Um, sir, if you'd like to speak to someone here, I can take your name and number." "Oh, no no no." "What do you want then." "I want you guys to not intimidated the voters." "Well, sir, I'm not." "Oh, maybe YOU'RE not, but just tell them." "Okay, and if you would sir, please don't listen to gossip." "I don't think I am." "I do." Click.
Another call: "Tell John Kerry I think he's a good and intelligent man, but if the negativity of the campaign doesn't stop, I may not vote." She said she'd sent a similar message to the Bush campaign. The funny thing about this call was that she thought we have some sort of direct line to the candidate.
I got one call from a woman who was going back to Taiwan this next week, and wanted desperately to vote before she went. Her absentee ballot hadn't come yet. That was a frustrating one, as I couldn't help her much.
A helpful fellow had done some internet research on absentee ballots and could prove that all the Bush leaning suburbs had gotten all or most of the ballots they wanted, and that Milwaukee was the only one who didn't get what they wanted. I promised to pass on his information if it turned out we needed it. Luckily right about then the news came out that we'd gotten all the ballots needed in Milwaukee. Woo hoo!
One gay person came in, got signage and stuff and kept saying over and over, "Please call me. I want to volunteer. I mean it. I will do whatever is needed. I don't think I can take 4 more years." I told him that I thought we had a good chance, and explained what the polls are not showing. He seemed to appreciate that." A woman came in, got some rainbow signage, and said that she didn't understand what the fuss about Mary Cheney was. It hadn't offended her.
I discover at one point that my co-worker on the front desk came in for a week from DC. He's originally from Wisconsin, and so felt he had to come and help out his home state, considering DC is about a blue as you can get.
Another guy called from Illinois, saying he had a group put together that included someone who'd just gotten back from Afghanistan, a photographer who'd spent much time photographing in the Middle East, and a dedicated school teacher. I hand-delivered that one.
Highlights of the GOTV Convention
It was quite cool actually. I went to the one in Milwaukee, but I was told that we were only one of several going on all over Wisconsin. I think they said we had about 4000 GOTV people meeting, from ward captains and their helpers to other volunteers who will be helping in the last 5 days. We heard speeches from the local campaign people first (well, one not so local -- a lawyer from D.C. who's coordinating the campaign). They say this is the biggest campaign organization this state has ever seen. The staff is doubled from the Gore campaign. The ward captains are tripled -- in fact the ward captain program was quite progressive and new. The idea was to make this a very face-to-face campaign. They said they have never had this many people training for GOTV before. It was the most incredibly organized campaign any of them had seen in recent memory. One guy, whom everyone calls "Feingold Brian" reminded us that Feingold won his first election by 52 votes. If you don't think that every vote counts, he said, think again.
Then there was Gwen Moore, who is trying to become the first black Congresswoman in Wisconsin. She was very uplifting in her message, saying that she wasn't supposed to be there. Everyone figured she didn't have enough publicity, or money or organization to get nominated. But the media didn't know about one thing, she said. "They didn't know about y'all," she almost whispered, as if she didn't want Bush to figure. We cheered. In fact, we cheered alto during that portion of the convention. It almost seemed like a revival at times. Everyone chanted, "You go Gwen!" Next we met one of the Killer "D's" from Texas from the state legislature. She told of having to sneak out of the state to go give aid to Dems in Oklahoma. Perhaps some of you know the story. I don't know it well enough to relate it well, except that it was interesting that apparently Bush, Ashcroft and Co. invoked the Patriot Act on these people as the Republicans tried to figure out where the Sam Hill these people were, as they were NOT in session. She talked about how Bush screwed up Texas, about the lapdancing tax for education initiative -- nicknamed "Tits for Tots." A couple of cute acronyms she threw at us: WD40 -- White Democrats over 40 and saying that she wanted to see some BMW's in the community -- Black Males Working. The biggest surprise during this "red meat" portion of the meeting was a visit by the Milwaukee mayor, Tom Barrett, who talked about this campaign being unprecedented in its organization. He assured us that we would have the ballots we needed.
We had a reporter from the Washington Post sitting in, and I noticed cameras with "Fox News" on them, I assume for the local affiliate.
The last part of the convention was spent talking about volunteering for the last five days. I found out where to go as a "floater" as I am in a "red" county, and wanted to work in Milwaukee, because often as goes Milwaukee, so goes the state. There will be many calls to make and doors to knock on in the last few days. We found out who to call in case of trouble, which we are fully expecting on the North Side, our Black stronghold.
After the convention, I went to trivia at the local pub. At one point after the game, as a guy was leaving he stopped to have a few words with the owner, on whose team I was on. They were planning some event for around November 2. The guy replied he couldn't do anything ON November 2, as it was election day. He had plans to hunker down and do a shot for each state that turned Red. I commented that it was going to be MY job on that day to see if I could keep him stone cold sober. He asked why. I said I was working on the campaign. He asked which one (duh). "The Blue one, dear." "Oh, you mean the one that's going to try and pull off the biggest fraud this state has ever seen." I told him he'd been listening to too much Conservative radio and that there wasn't any fraud (well, as much as usual, I suppose, as per any election) He said, "Sure there is. You guys are going to try and steal the election. You know, you guys can go to China, or North Korea, or Cuba or something. I don't have any place to go." "Hrrr?" I replied. "You Communists. You have places to go, we don't." I asked what he wanted, a one party system? "No, I'm fully willing to accept the Republicans as the Left party and some other party as the more Right-wing." He called me a Communist, I called him a Fascist -- we had a lovely time. Just then, luckily, nature called, so I had a convenient excuse. Ugh. What the HELL was he talking about?!?! It's like we're being outlawed in our own country. HELP.
Today was alittle more uplifting. I got a request from one churchgoer for more signs, as all the one s in the neighborhood had been taken. No problem. Another churchgoer, someone who said he was voting Kerry but never wanted any stuff, suddenly wanted a sign for his yard. I got over there with one later on, and talked to his wife. This man and his wife are both in their late 60's or early 70's, with a son in the Marines. The wife surprised me with the distress in her voice. She said "It's becoming a desperate battle. It's like the democracy in our country will cease to exist as we know it unless we get Bush out of there. I don't think we can stand 4 more years." How often have you all heard that refrain. Don't let anyone tell you that Christians are all for Bush!
The ten most recent threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums.
FL GOP tries to close state pension system to new workers, yet take THEIR pension at 2X accrual rate
FL GOP denies $51 billion federal Medicaid to poor, yet order cheap health care for themselves
Happy Mother's Day
I love DU2!
Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R) ran company now accused of Medicaid fraud (Rick Scott redux)
Mediterranean diet cuts risk of heart dis-ease
By No Elephants
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.
Today's Featured Forums