PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

February 20, 2008


I hardly know where to begin. The turnout last night was insane. Unheard of. Probably will never happen again. Amazing. Plenty more adjectives come to mind.

Maybe it is because I am exhausted (didn’t get to bed till 3am after helping tally the votes at HQ) and still in shock that I survived the onslaught of turnout in my district… But I am actually quite emotional when reading the results today. It is not often that I feel moved to tears of joy when reading about politics. Like I said, probably best attributed to lack of sleep.

That said, I am very happy about how things turned out last night. In District 20, where I am the chair, we had over 1000 people turn out to vote. Four years ago, even with a large influx of Kucinich voters (including myself), there were 128 ballots cast in the District 20 caucuses. Last night, 1028 ballots were cast. Statewide, over 37,000 votes were cast. That has never happened before, and I think it is safe to say it will never happen again. The factors that combined to create the huge turnout last night are unlikely to come together in the future. A candidate with a history in Hawai‘i. A national race so close that Hawai‘i “matters.”

A few thoughts on what all this may mean… (more…)

February 14, 2008

Obama & Ho‘oponopono

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Barack Obama — rachel @ 1:01 pm

In case you haven’t heard… PDH endorsed Obama at our meeting last week. In light of that, I think it is appropriate to post this commentary sent to me today by a PDH member…


I’m hoping next Tuesday’s February 19th caucus is on your mind and that you are considering supporting Barack Obama.


I was a Dennis Kucinich supporter, who took strong stands against the war in Iraq and the “Patriot” Act as well as, like Edwards, against the role of lobbyists and corporate greed and the continuation of poverty.

Now we have a choice between two capable candidates. As a feminist I would love to see, finally, a woman in the White House. As a civil rights attorney from New Orleans–the Deep South–who has lived and breathed civil rights for Blacks since I was 15 years old, I
would love to see a Black man in office. Torn–if it was just such a superficial choice. (more…)

February 1, 2008

McCain v. Clinton ??

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Barack Obama,Hillary Clinton — prog @ 5:15 pm

From Ostroy Report via Karin…The more likely scenario on Super Duper Tuesday unless Latinos shift to Obama

Is this worthy of a new thread?

Maybe not inevitable with this LA Times endorsement?

Why It’ll Be McCain v. Clinton Come Tuesday Night On Tuesday, voters in 22 states will go to the polls in what has become Super-Duper Tuesday…an historic day of key Democratic and Republican primaries and caucuses. By the time the polls close, I suspect the candidates left standing will be Arizona Sen. John McCain and NY Sen. Hillary Clinton. (more…)

Obama Ohana Super Tuesday gathering

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Barack Obama,HI Politics — prog @ 12:38 pm

Dear PDH friends, this is a warm invitation to all to the Obama Ohana Super Tuesday gathering at Ryan’s, from 4:30 on. Big screen tv, bring friends and family. It will be exciting! Hope to see you there! Meanwhile, there will be Obama canvassing at First Friday and Punahou Carnival.

Lots to do, and you are all invited to join the fun!

January 30, 2008


Glenn Greenwald wrote an important blog today on the subject of bipartisanship, which seems so earnestly desired by many. Here is what he found:

“bipartisanship” is already rampant in Washington, not rare. And, in almost every significant case, what “bipartisanship” means in Washington is that enough Democrats join with all of the Republicans to endorse and enact into law Republican policies, with which most Democratic voters disagree. That’s how so-called “bipartisanship” manifests in almost every case.

So no matter what Obama and Clinton say, “bipartisanship” does not look appealing from a progressive point of view. (more…)

Kucinich Out, Edwards Out: What Next?

The withdrawal of Dennis Kucinich, followed by today’s announcement of Edwards’ “suspension” of his campaign, forces progressives to assess our diminishing options in the Democratic presidential race. We have choices to make as individuals, and PDH has a choice to make as an organization. And the imperatives may not be the same.

So let me talk about the options facing PDH. Given my sense of opinion within our group, I can see 3 possible options: (more…)

January 28, 2008

Edwards, Obama support Dodd on FISA

Filed under: Barack Obama,John Edwards,National Politics — Tags: , , , — BobSchacht @ 10:27 pm

In the wake of Monday’s votes on cloture of several bills to revise the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), it was heartening to see both senatorial presidential candidates, Obama and Clinton, vote “no” on the first cloture vote with Sen. Dodd and almost all other Democrats.

Of the remaining presidential candidates, Edwards, with some encouragement from the netroots, got it first. In a letter sent out on January 24, customized for each state, he wrote, (more…)

January 27, 2008

Identity Politics

Barack Obama’s overwhelming victory in South Carolina today was, of course, important. What does it mean?

I don’t often agree with Pat Buchanan, but he’s been making an interesting point lately that a lot of the Mainstream Media (MSM) are suppressing, even on the air to Buchanan’s face. (I saw him attempt to explain his thesis on air recently and the other panelists didn’t even give him a chance to explain– they just shouted him down, focusing exclusively on the magnitude of Obama’s win in South Carolina, and ignoring the consequences for subsequent primaries.)  Buchanan’s thesis, IIRC, is that the Clintons knew they weren’t going to win in South Carolina, so they laid a trap for him there. Let him win in SC, with a lopsided Black vote, and paint him as The Black Candidate. Hillary, of course, has been painted as The Women’s Candidate. There are more women than Blacks. Therefore, if they can convince America that this an Identity Politics campaign, Hillary wins.

But Obama, of course, has been trying to run a post-identity politics campaign. Apart from his memorable MLK-day speech at Ebenezer Baptist church, he has not been running as a Black American, as Jesse Jackson (the last Black candidate who ran for president and actually won several primaries.) The Clintons are trying to pull him off-message.

I think the Clintons are trying to sell the media on the Identity Politics meme. If they can get the media talking about Obama as the Black Candidate, and Hillary as the Woman’s candidate, and Edwards as the White Male candidate, I think they figure that they can win. In so doing, of course, they’ll also paint Edwards into a corner.

Obama needs to stay on message as a post-Identity Politics candidate. But can he do it, against the framing of the Clintons and the MSM?


January 20, 2008

Detailed comparison of Obama & Edwards

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Barack Obama,John Edwards — Tags: , , , — BobSchacht @ 10:48 pm

Kossak RenaRF, who supports Obama, wrote a long post over on dKos dated Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:26:23 PM PST, which begins,

I am sick to DEATH of seeing people – individuals who I would have otherwise said I found intelligent, well-read, and thoughtful – knocking Barack Obama for being all hope without substance behind the oratory. Have you finally sunk so low in your blind advocacy of not-Obama that you can’t simply go out and read and recognize that Obama HAS positions on the issues, positions which you can actually read?? Shame on all of you for picking up a Rovian smear and propagating it into this forum.

So I’m going to give you a summary of Obama’s POSITIONS vis-a-vis Edwards’ POSITIONS so that you can no longer say that you weren’t made aware that each actually HAVE THEM. I’m sorry to leave out Senator Clinton, but this is addressed primarily to the Edwards supporters, since they are so quick to spout the “hope isn’t a policy!!” smear.

For the full analysis, see the link.

I’d be interested in seeing how many of these positions Obama has announced as his own were developed before John Edwards published his positions. We’re at the stage of the primaries where the candidates are freely stealing from each other, just like Kerry did in 2004. It is part of the normal process of seeing your opponent’s best talking points, and coming around to the same positions. Edwards has already had an enormous impact on the positions of both Obama and Clinton.

Obama is talking a lot, as Clinton is, about “reaching across the aisle,” to work with Republicans. So far, that hasn’t worked very well. Obama is running a “post-identity politics” campaign– an interesting effort. I would just like to know who he is actually proposing to work with.


January 10, 2008

Who is the most progressive presidential candidate?

OK, here’s this to ponder, from Progressive Punch, listed in descending order by their Progressive Score:

Senator Clinton    91.29    16/100
Senator Obama      88.76    24/100
Rep. Kucinich      87.42   121/432
Senator Dodd       86.57    28/100
Senator Biden      84.26    31/100

Ha! You didn’t know that both Obama and Clinton were more progressive than Kooch? Of course, the mix of House data is different from Senate issues, but I think these ratings will surprise many.

The big problem with Clinton’s score, for me, is in the categories of

War & Peace (17 subcategories)                                    80.30      39/100(T), and
Human Rights & Civil Liberties (9 subcategories)      82.22      30/ 99(T)

Those two scores really bug me, and are not at all in progressive territory.


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