February 27 2008 show notes

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Wednesday 27 February '08 National show

  • Laura Flanders was guest hosting as Thom was participating in the Air America Cruise.
  • Last night's debate. The lack of focus on the real issues. Why does it feel so bad? What would you do?
  • Clip:
    "As I said last week, you know, it's been an honor to campaign. I still intend to do everything I can to win, but it has been an honor, because it has been a campaign that is history making. You know, obviously I am thrilled to be running, to be the first woman president, which I think would be a sea change in our country and around the world, and would give enormous... (APPLAUSE) ... you know, enormous hope and, you know, a real challenge to the way things have been done, and who gets to do them, and what the rules are. So I feel that either one of us will make history."
    Senator Hillary Clinton, The Democratic Debate in Cleveland, February 26 2008.
  • Book: "Blue Grit: True Democrats Take Back Politics From the Politicians", Laura Flanders. People were getting involved, even before Obama.
  • Clip:
    "Well, can I just point out that in the last several debates, I seem to get the first question all the time. And I don't mind. I -- you know, I'll be happy to field them, but I do find it curious, and if anybody saw "Saturday Night Live," you know, maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow. (Laughter, boos.) I just find it kind of curious that I keep getting the first question on all of these issues. But I'm happy to answer it."
    Senator Hillary Clinton, The Democratic Debate in Cleveland, February 26 2008.
  • Article: A New Moment?. The Grassroots and the Party, 1964 and 2008. Laura Flanders.
  • It's ok to critique the policy, but not personal attack, sexism. "Whining", etc. are loaded language.
  • Guest: Dr. Erika Falk, Associate Program Chair for the Master’s Degree in Communication, John Hopkins. Author of Women for President: Media Bias in Eight Campaigns. The historical context of the race. She compared women in 8 presidential races with men pulling similar numbers. The men got twice as many articles written about them, which were on average 7% longer. There 59 for Obama to 36 for Clinton in January 2007, and she was leading. Part of a trend. Women get less substantive coverage - issues. About 27% of paragraphs are about issues, 16% for women. Questions like "As a woman candidate how would you..." Press the button. But men don't get the equivalent. They don't ask men if they would have the restraint not to push the button. They talk of Hillary as the first serious woman candidate, but said the same of Elizabeth Dole and predecessors - amnesia. Laura suggested she look similarly at race. They speak of Obama as black candidate. For Hillary, they refer to clothes, make up, and they more frequently drop her title - Mrs rather than Senator Clinton. Women don't put themselves forward as candidates. Hopefully more will.
  • Enemy combatants. Unitary executive. Closing Guantanamo.
  • What would you change about the primary system?
  • We need better people questioning the candidates.
  • Clip:
    "I have to say, Brian, I think she is -- she would be worthy as a nominee. Now, I think I'd be better. Otherwise, I wouldn't be running. But there's no doubt that Senator Clinton is qualified and capable and would be a much better president than John McCain, who I respect and I honor his service to this country, but essentially has tethered himself to the failed policies of George Bush over the last seven years.

    On economics, he wants to continue tax cuts to the wealthy that we can't afford, and on foreign policy he wants to continue a war that not only can we not afford in terms of money, but we can't afford in terms of lives and is not making us more safe. We can't afford it in terms of strategy.

    Senator Barack Obama, The Democratic Debate in Cleveland, February 26 2008.
  • RadioNation.
  • Guest: ACLU attorney Ben Wizner. Guantanamo. Torture. Debates. Civil liberties.
  • Bumper Music: The Only Living Boy In New York, Simon & Garfunkel.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Ohio. The crowd felt that Tim Russert was too rough, and there was too little on issues. Byron Dorgan endorsed Obama. Tom Daschle spoke on Ohio farms for Obama. Ben Bernanke sees a sluggish economy, will keep a close eye on inflation, assess monetary policy, calibrate it. Harry Reid and Debbie Stabenauer event about predatory lending, subprime mortgage crisis, African Americans families most affected, Senate housing bill. Feingold initiative. Iraq hearings. Joe Lieberman hearing on private contractors. General Zinny will speak in the next week or two. March 11 hearing on waste, fraud and abuse. Mukasey touring Gitmo today. Lieberman, security of Americans overseas, training standards, human rights.
  • The Democrat's war chest went on advertising, to advisers who sell advertising, and on a new HQ. State parties were in shambles in 2004. The Democratic Party walked away from its own voters in Florida. Hubris. Hillary drank the kool aid of how to run a campaign, doing things the same old way. NAFTA. DLC. Hillary's mistakes. She gave bush authority to go to war.
  • Democracy was obtained by courage; it should be sustained by it.
  • Guest: Susan Griffin, "Wrestling with the Angel of Democracy: On Being an American Citizen".
    "Susan Griffin, winner of a MacArthur grant and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, is widely recognized as one of the most important feminist thinkers of our day. Griffin has been broadly praised for her erudition and depth, and for her poetic and evocative writing style. In this unique and timely exploration of American history, which emphasizes the inner lives of pivotal historical figures, she demonstrates that ultimately democracy is not only a system of governance, but, in its fullest form, represents a revolution in consciousness--one that is still unfolding today.

    Beginning with an exploration of the life and thought of Thomas Jefferson, Griffin identifies two battling aspects of the American psyche: the psychology of empire, characterized by a desire for safety, order, and control, and the psychology of democracy, characterized by equality, empathy, and truth telling. According to Griffin, these two psychologies have been battling each other for supremacy from our country's earliest inception. Griffin's probing exploration of American history is interwoven with beautifully wrought passages of personal memoir exploring her upbringing and political awakenings in 1950s California.

    Griffin argues convincingly that the birth of American democracy signaled a fundamental shift in our most deeply held values and understandings. Yet she provocatively suggests that the work of establishing democracy in this country has not been completed. We are still wrestling with the promise of democracy today and, as American citizens, are deeply impacted by the ongoing struggle between tyranny and freedom.


    She was furious to the core about the Supreme Court giving Bush the election. Demo racy is at one's personal core. She refused to join a Laura Bush symposium. Code Pink. She was arrested in 2002 with other writers. Frustration. Democracy. From the book:

    "Self knowledge is a complicated process. What may begin as a flicker of intuition; an image, a strange half-explained desire or discomfort may evolve into words uttered late at night or early in the morning, spoken in solitude, and probably then not even allowed. But without a sympathetic listener, more often than not such insights evaporate, and at least on a conscious level are forgotten. For this reason one of the most appealing effects of a political movement is that it encourages what is on the edge of consciousness to be spoken and heard when they are still fresh and have not sunk yet into ideologies or truisms. Political movements create a resonant field, and a fruitful one as well, as observations and insights that have seemed unutterable before are heard, understood and echoed; new visions come into being.

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