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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Oh, Those 43rd District Democrats

posted by on April 5 at 15:50 PM

I sat through about four hours of today’s legislative district caucus in Seattle’s 43rd District. I wish I could bring you pictures—of the yawns, the shouts, and the American Idol style campaigning for those coveted spots as a state convention delegate—but the Stranger camera that I grabbed turned out to be suffering from some sort of paralysis. Sorry.

However, now that I’m home I can at least bring you an i-sight image of a small flier that was getting wide circulation at the caucus.


Watch out, Ron and Maria. The Obama campaign may be telling its supporters not to do things like this, but it doesn’t look like its supporters are listening.

But let’s begin at the beginning of this event, with the invocation by a well-regarded north end Buddhist; the laughs that drowned out any cheers when the few die-hard Kucinich supporters in attendance were recognized; and Rep. Frank Chopp’s observation (intended as a rallying cry?) that the crowd of well over 1,000 people was about ten times as large as Gov. Christine Gregoire’s margin of victory in 2004.

This legislative district caucus meeting was held at Lincoln High School in Wallingford, and when I showed up the gymnasium was overflowing with precinct delegates who had been elected at their precinct caucuses on Feb. 9—and with what seemed to be an even larger number of wannabe alternate delegates. So much for the idea that all those young, energized, newly-involved Democrats wouldn’t show up for the next step in this process.

After registration was done, the actual, non-alternate delegates listened to speeches delivered from a half-darkened stage in a nearby auditorium. (How many Democrats does it take to turn on a spotlight? Apparently more than the 1,000+ in the auditorium, because the spotlight never came on.)

There was a portion of the program devoted to surrogate speeches, and Obama’s surrogate, Sen. Ed Murray, stood at the rear of the stage (where the lights were actually on) and pronounced: “I have been coming to these meetings since the mid-1980s and I have never seen anything like today.” The numbers were a very good sign, he said.

Hillary Clinton’s surrogate? He was very, very late, causing a lot of grumbling from the crowd, which was overwhelmingly pro-Obama.

While everyone waited for the Clinton surrogate to appear and give his speech, Congressman Jim McDermott showed up and lumbered toward the stage. Before mounting the steps he turned back to take in the crowd and snap a digital picture for himself. In his remarks he too praised the turnout, saying: “It makes me think we’re going to win in November.” But then he added, ominously, that Republicans are determined to play the fear card. “They’re looking for ways to have bomber strikes on Iran,” he said. “They’re looking for some little excuse.” The audience loved every word of it, giving McDermott the lefty hero treatment even though he remained neutral on the issue of the day, the question of who the Democratic nominee should be. “Both of them are good candidates,” he said.

When Clinton’s surrogate finally showed up he was… Sean Astin??? Yes, the man who played Samwise Gangee in Lord of the Rings had flown up to rally the Hillary Clinton troops. Which made very little sense, given that the type of people who show up for legislative district caucuses on a Saturday don’t really need a celebrity (or semi-celebrity) to motivate them to take political action.

Astin’s speech was most memorable for this line: “Should Obama get the nomination I will become a massive Barack Hussein Obama supporter.

Hussein? Eyebrows shot up. Brows furrowed. Heads turned. A friend in the audience texted me: “Hussein!?” I’m not sure what Astin was up to with that line, but someone probably should have told him that Seattle’s 43rd District is the last place in the U.S. where subliminal messaging around Obama’s middle name is likely to move Democrats toward Clinton.

Further proof of this: There was some time to kill as multiple tallies of the delegates and alternates were done, and when the time-killer of taking audience questions had run its course and the idea of teling jokes had been nixed, someone suggested doing the Pledge of Allegiance to pass the time. (Are you listening, right-wing bloggers? This is going to get good.)

At the mere mention of doing the pledge there were groans and boos. Then, when the district chair put the idea of doing the Pledge of Allegiance up to a vote, it was overwhelmingly voted down. One might more accurately say the idea of pledging allegiance to the flag (of which there was only one in the room, by the way, on some delegate’s hat) was shouted down.

There were to be 67 delegates to the state convention apportioned at this legislative district caucus: 14 for Clinton and 53 for Obama. I didn’t stay until the bitter end to find out who among each of the candidates’ precinct delegates was voted on to the next level, but I will tell you that The Stranger’s Annie Wagner seemed to be a strong contender, based on the cheers of recognition she got from the (apparently Slog-reading) Obama crowd as she was giving her 30-second speech.

RSS icon Comments


Obama/Wagner 08!

And ... he really said "Barack Hussein Obama"? Are you fucking kidding me? And if Team Clinton specifically sent him up thinking this would win them support, then this is pretty representative of why they're losing.

Posted by tsm | April 5, 2008 3:58 PM

Re: the pledge of allegiance - Joel Connelly is pissing himself with glee over the column that just wrote itself.

Posted by B | April 5, 2008 4:12 PM

No wonder they killed him off in 24.

Posted by Ziggity | April 5, 2008 4:13 PM

Astin made a douche out of himself in the 36th, too. But I can't believe you guys booed the Pledge of Allegiance! That's hardcore silly. I just leave out the "Under God" bit and I'm good.

Posted by Fnarf | April 5, 2008 4:21 PM

Wow, I'm sure glad I didn't sit near you! I had a far less jaded, more inspiring experience, and I'm a Clinton supporter AND I had to put up w/ constant barbs and asides from the Obama people who sat behind me in the Hillary section from the beginning because, as they told me: "Like you guys will ever fill up this section anyway." Got it.

But I agree with you that Astin was pretty much a joke, beginning with his lateness and then continuing with the booing, shouts of "Obama!" and endless hissing that went on during his speech. I was mortified for him, and embarrassed to, once again, have to endure the frat-boy antics of Obama supporters. Whatever. The Hussein remark? I think you're a little paranoid, no one around me reacted in any way but to burst into cheers when he said that.

Despite all the silliness, the Clinton people were excited and enthusiastic, everyone was in a great mood and it was pretty cool to be part of the process. Too bad your experience was so incredibly lame. Maybe it's the company you keep?

Posted by mitten | April 5, 2008 4:41 PM

you sound bitter that you supported a losing candidate mitten.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 5, 2008 4:50 PM

I have an idea! Lets all split the votes again!!! McCain is looking extra sexy these days- it'd be dandy to have another asshole in The White House. C'mon people- at this point can we really be this choosy? Hillary or Obama is fine by me.

Posted by Kristen | April 5, 2008 4:51 PM

booing the pledge was very, well, 43rd district. bunch of anti-american elenchos if you ask me.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 5, 2008 4:51 PM

and yes, i used elenchos as a noun.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 5, 2008 4:53 PM

a noun to describe wimpy wannabe commies that are out of touch with the rest of the country.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 5, 2008 4:58 PM

fuck, i cant be this drunk already

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 5, 2008 4:59 PM

How is being inspired by and having a good time at the caucus bitter?

Posted by mitten | April 5, 2008 4:59 PM

I must have pissed the stranger off, my e-mail address was blocked by Dan or Christopher.

Posted by Andrew | April 5, 2008 5:00 PM

Booing the pledge of allegiance? You city people are wacky. In the 'Quah, the 5th LD sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee." Brought a tear to a glass eye.

Our Clinton guy was some New York intellectual. Some in the crowd didn't want to let him speak until an Obama proxy had been identified- bad form. Head of some School of Communication. Identified himself as gay, said Hillary has always supported LGBT.

Obama proxy was some nobody in the district who wasn't even a delegate- just an alternate. Clinton supporters in the crowd got uppity when he said "Hillary is a divisive figure." Then Obama supporters got pissed, shouted down the Clinton supporters, etc, etc, etc.

Credentialing took 5 hours. WTF? And why wasn't Darcy there to talk to us for 5 of those 300 minutes? Net net: 36 delegates for Obama, 12 for Clinton.

Posted by Big Sven | April 5, 2008 5:06 PM

the tone you have when you describe obama supporters.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 5, 2008 5:07 PM


That's fine, but it should be plural: elenchoses, elenches, elenchi. Something like that.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 5, 2008 5:08 PM

The guy who spoke for Hillary was a joke. They flew him up from LA to "rally" the troops. Really? You couldn't find someone local that could, I dunno, meaningfully connect with the residents of the district?

"Ooh, he was in a MOVIE? I'd like to change my vote now."

And the Hussein name drop was clearly intentional, at least that was the read from myself and those around me.

Posted by Dan | April 5, 2008 5:15 PM

There's nothing like someone who played an effeminate gardener hobbit to sway middle America.

Posted by Gitai | April 5, 2008 5:26 PM

Hey Fnarf, did you run for CD del?

Sean "Hussein" Astin has some 'splainin to do.

Must have been making my sign or something when the booing of the Pledge happened, missed that.

Posted by annie | April 5, 2008 5:27 PM

ps- Sounds like Sean Astin sucked and was totally ineffective, but... the cool thing about Frodo's little bear? The son of John Astin. That's right: Gomez Adams, and one of the coolest people *ever*.

Posted by Big Sven | April 5, 2008 5:27 PM

No, Annie, I didn't run. Frankly, after today's experience you couldn't pay me to go on to the next level, though I suppose as you go up the ladder you leave more of the nimrods behind. I bailed as soon as they announced the seated alternates from my precinct, and I wasn't one of them. I wouldn't have won, anyways; for all the glamor and charisma I exude here (like oil from a sweating man's forehead), in text, I'm not very persuasive in speaking.

Posted by Fnarf | April 5, 2008 5:42 PM

Four hours? That's nothing. The 36th district caucus for Obama was SEVEN HOURS!

Posted by dat | April 5, 2008 5:45 PM

@20, Big Sven IMDB says his father is Michael Tell, not John Astin as was long thought to be the case. I don't know if it's accurate, but I saw that as I was double checking his info. on IMDB (dumb me forgot who his mom was for a minute and somebody on another post said they'd jerked off to her so I was trying to figure out who "her" was.)

Posted by PopTart | April 5, 2008 5:47 PM

@20 - actually, no, he later discovered his real biological father was not John Astin after all, but Patty Duke's second husband. D'oh!

Posted by tsm | April 5, 2008 5:48 PM

Oh. And the reason Sean Astin was late was because he made an appearance for Hillary at the 36th first.

Posted by dat | April 5, 2008 5:49 PM

In the fighting 37th--you know, the most diverse (culturally, racially, religiously) district in the state--we started the whole thing off with the pledge. There was no voting. Some people left out the "under god" part, but it seemed like everybody participated. And then our Obama speaker, who called attention to his "African accent with a hint of British," delighted (multiple times) in the chance to say "My fellow Americans" to such a crowd.

Posted by Gidge | April 5, 2008 6:08 PM

I'm home NOW from the 36th, where Samwise / Mikey the Head Goonie also stressed his pronunciation of "Barack HUSSEIN Obama" while advocating for Hillary -- exactly the class act we expected from the Clintons and their surrogates. I'd like to see footage of it on "Countdown on MSNBC" this Monday, maybe those five seconds from each LD he hit, run in a loop ... followed by Clinton being skewered for same in Tuesday's press availabilities. I'm sure superdelegates would be impressed with the Clinton's (secret fearmongering) message.

Obama gained two delegates in the 36th, which do not equal two delegates at the state level, but if the same happened elsewhere it would add up to an even larger Obama victory today than on Feb. 9. The 36th settled at 77% for Obama. Did Obama gain in Washington over-all today?

Hundreds of us campaigned to be elected delegates for Obama going forward. Some of those hundreds of candidates had marched with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., others had personally campaigned for Obama in every election he has ever contested, including in the Illinois state legislature -- the incredible stories of personal roles in our history went on like that for hours, one twenty-second speech at a time.

For the 13 male delegate slots, and another 13 alternates, competition was about as fierce as for getting into Harvard Law School. Not that those odds stopped Sen. and Mrs. Obama.

Posted by Brian Glanz | April 5, 2008 6:30 PM

He really said the HUSSEIN bit? Ugh.

Posted by Jason | April 5, 2008 6:45 PM

He really said the HUSSEIN bit? Ugh.

Posted by Jason | April 5, 2008 6:45 PM

Sadly Jason, yes he really said that.

McCain has more respect for Obama than Clinton does? Apparently so. This was not just someone who supports Hillary, this was someone flown here by her campaign as her official surrogate, giving remarks repeated in more than one LD (prepared and carefully worded).

Posted by Brian Glanz | April 5, 2008 6:50 PM

BigSven @14, I think we had the same Hillary guy flown in from NY speak at our 45th District caucus this morning. He invoked Senator Clinton's behind-the-scenes work opposing the Defense of Marriage silliness, which was the first time I'd ever heard that sort of thing credited to her.

I'm scratching my head over shouting down doing the Pledge of Allegiance. We all happily took the Pledge and also had a guy get up and sing a great version of the Star Spangled Banner that made me start craving a baseball game to watch...

Posted by Peter F | April 5, 2008 6:56 PM

Obama speaker, who called attention to his "African accent with a hint of British

That he did, he barley spoke to any of Obama's issues. I'm guessing he didn't need to since just about everyone there was for Obama.

Did you catch the Obama Rap by the lady who wanted to be a state delegate?

Good times in the fighting 37th, but very, very, very, VERY DULL!!

Posted by Block Party | April 5, 2008 7:16 PM

I honestly do not understand the big deal with saying Obama's middle name. I understand there is the first assumption of linking him to Saddam but if he were to become the President of this country, you're saying we can never say his full name? That's absolutely ridiculous. Honestly, the more we say it, the less it means, so it's not really a big deal.

Rather than Obama saying he prays to Jesus and is a Christian, he should have just addressed the issue during his race speech that there is a fear of Muslims and Arabs in this country as well. It is not just a black and white world.

Posted by Rachel | April 5, 2008 7:53 PM

What was Hillary's middle name when she was born? Hopefully it was Saddam, or Pol Pot.

Posted by Abdul Paula | April 5, 2008 8:27 PM

Repeated shouts of "Go into the light!" made the first hour worth the price of admission.

The pledge thing was silly. As I recall, we didn't have any trouble getting people to say the pledge during the 43-1353 precinct caucuses back in February.

I think that my fellow Obama supporters could try being more magnanimous in victory. I know the national campaign has been a bit rough, but jeebus, chill. Being nasty doesn't accomplish anything here. In particular, Mr. Guy Who Suggested Canning the HRC Surrogate's Speech: yes, it felt a little disrespectful to be made to wait for what turned out to be a Hollywood actor flown in to give the surrogate speech, but we knew going in that we were going to be there for most of the day. You could have just gone to get a hot dog.

Finally, for as much as they paid to put that thing on, you would think that the 43rd District Dems could have gotten instructions on the lighting written into the rental contract.

Posted by Apocalypse Tom | April 5, 2008 8:35 PM

wimps. I was at my 32nd CD caucus for 10 hours.

#34: I think her middle name is "fucking whore." I may be wrong but I think Randi Rhodes has the line on that.

Posted by thehawke | April 5, 2008 8:48 PM

Well if he's not John Astin's son, then he can just fuck right off.

Posted by Big Sven | April 5, 2008 9:15 PM

@33 - Quick: what's John Edwards's middle name? What's Hillary Clinton's? (Hint: it's not Rodham.) Now, why do you think it is the answers to these questions don't come as readily?

Posted by tsm | April 5, 2008 9:24 PM

Randy Rhodes? Didn't he go down in a plane? Polka dot Flying Vee!

Posted by drewl | April 5, 2008 9:46 PM

ummm no. The chick.

Posted by thehawke | April 5, 2008 9:55 PM

Yeah, I know.... just being a slogger.

@38... very good point.

Posted by drewl | April 5, 2008 10:04 PM

Count me among those that groaned loudly at both the Hussein dropping hobbit and the pledge idea.

It was swell to see Annie running for delegate and WIS doing his trot around the room with signs that most of the delegate candidates made.

Posted by gnossos | April 5, 2008 11:03 PM

Some takeaways from the 36th:

1) Ironic highlight of the day was that the vote on the resolution urging Demo party unity this November split roughly 50-50! There's another Connelly column that just wrote itself.

2) As Fnarf pointed out, our pledge was non-controversial, although you could detect an audible drop in volume for "under god".

3) Couldn't believe Astin's "Barack Hussein Obama" quip. I'm an Hillary supporter, and this is another example of why she will lose the nomination.

4) As an HRC delegate, it was nice to wrap up our business by 4 pm. When I left, the Obama people were still hashing it out. They're probably still there. I now squarely support a party primary.

Posted by Joe M | April 5, 2008 11:22 PM

I was proud to be one of the 10 obnoxious slog readers. The other esoteric shout-out moment was when some video game developer made a Battlestar Galactica reference.

Yeah. I shouted for that too. :\

Posted by Sir Learnsalot | April 5, 2008 11:27 PM

A friend did a little back-of-an-envelope math and figured that one out of every six women running in the 43rd would get selected as a delegate. Based on that, I'm thinking Annie is a shoo-in.

Posted by gnossos | April 5, 2008 11:41 PM

I thought Annie gave a good speech - not as good as her first speech when she was elected as a Dean delegate, but a good one nonetheless.

Turned out the school had locked up the controls for the stage lights - and the flag had been (surprisingly) left in its package in the Gymnasium where Obama delegates were.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 6, 2008 12:42 AM

The inspirational quality of the caucuses back in February was matched by the tediousness of the caucuses today.

It was the Democratic Bataan Death March in the 43rd.

44- I think his exact quote was "John McCain is the final Cylon." Made me laugh.

Posted by The Warden | April 6, 2008 1:19 AM

"wimps. I was at my 32nd CD caucus for 10 hours."

wimp. I was at the 37th for about 13 1/2 hours.

I am not kidding.

Posted by litlnemo | April 6, 2008 2:21 AM

Does anyone know what Hillary's middle name is? How about McCain's? Apparently, Obama is the only candidate whose getting publicity about his middle name.

Still, for Sean Astin to bring it up in a back-handed compliment is completely without class. Just another reason not to support Clinton (as if any more were needed).

Posted by montex | April 6, 2008 2:32 AM

Hillary's middle name is Diane. And, yes, I did already know that.

I saw Annie Wagner at the 43rd! Right in front of me! In fact, I said to my neighbour, "THAT'S Annie Wagner?!" I thought I had squealed too loudly and fangirl-like, but either Ms Wagner is used to that sort of thing and knows how to ignore it or she simply didn't hear me. ;->

The booing of the Pledge was crass.

Posted by DEM | April 6, 2008 10:04 AM

yeah well, I couldn't stand it anymore and went home when they said they would call the winners. I am a wimp. I thought about that on the way home. I've gotten no phone call so I assume I am done with delegating, which I think could be a blessing in disguise.

Posted by thehawke | April 6, 2008 10:48 AM


Posted by Agnostic | April 6, 2008 10:57 AM

At the 46th, one Obama delegate candidate gave a speech that really choked me up. She said something to the effect of, "today when we said the pledge of allegiance, for the first time in my life, it wasn't just habit or routine, I genuinely felt it and what it meant being in this room with all of you."

Posted by Shanna | April 6, 2008 11:08 AM

In the 36th, Astin intoned "Hillary Rodham Clinton". Equal time.

Posted by Fnarf | April 6, 2008 11:18 AM

except "rodham" isn't her middle name, as illuminated in other comments on this thread. OMG i should READ what i'm replying to?

Posted by yeah but fnarf | April 6, 2008 11:47 AM

Spending four hours, mostly sitting on one's ass listening to speeches, so we can enjoy an unbloody Democratic government with input on the local level.

Wow, such a sacrifice every four years...

Posted by Andy o' the Forty-Third | April 6, 2008 11:49 AM

Yes, but it is the long form of her name most commonly associated with right wing loons. I think Astin was trying to be funny, or dramatic, or something. I agree he was extremely annoying but I don't think you need to read hatefulness into it. He's just another Hollywood boob.

Posted by Fnarf | April 6, 2008 12:03 PM

@Fnarf: Although I answered the question "What was Senator Clinton's middle name at birth", I failed to add that the question itself is misleading. In point of fact, it is not uncommon (among married U.S. women) to do as Senator Clinton has done: To adopt her birth surname as her middle name. Hillary Rodham Clinton is, in fact, the name she uses on her official US Senate page (no 'Diane'). And I bet most people-on-the-street would give 'Rodham' as her middle name. So, it's not disingenuous to equate 'Hussein' and 'Rodham'.

Posted by DEM | April 6, 2008 12:03 PM

I meant to address "yeah but fnarf". Sorry for any confusion.

Posted by DEM | April 6, 2008 12:05 PM

@58 and back to fnarf,

it was no less wrong to raise "hussein" without clarifying intent because of the popular context in which "hussein" has been abused to smear obama and convince more than 1 in 10 americans that he is muslim. (he isn't. sadly bears repeating.)

equal time? so what.

saying "rodham" when one says hillary's name does not give carte blanche for dropping "hussein" without further explanation. let's say one was discussing that some muslims might hate america a little less if our president's middle name was hussein. in that context, intoning "hussein" isn't evil, it's obviously part of a discussion.

without resetting context away from the popular abuse of "hussein" however, its bare use was abuse. clinton should be called on it because the hobbit was her official surrogate.

Posted by yeah but fnarf | April 6, 2008 12:46 PM

yeah but fnarf: I don't disagree with you on the general issue of how 'Hussein' has been used as a disparagement by some. I also happen to think that Sean Astin often comes across as a goober (both yesterday and in general). However, I don't agree that we can necessarily impute ill intent to everyone who speaks Obama's middle name, and I definitely don't agree that HRC needs to be called onto the carpet for Astin's use of it.

I think that it ought to be Barack Obama who leads the way on "resetting the context". Now, I'll be the first to admit that I haven't followed all of Obama's remarks on the matter. However, from what I have seen, he's been slow and inconsistent on reframing the issue. The time that I did see him try to reframe, I was on the one hand glad that he did, but on the other hand felt that his remarks sounded a bit too much like "not there's anything wrong with (being Muslim)." I guess what I'm saying is: Obama is in a unique position to turn things to the positive, and he ought to do it more often -- rather than (implicitly or explicitly) hiding from his middle name and/or promoting the message that all speakers-of-Hussein are baiters. Tip-toeing doesn't do any of us any good.

Posted by DEM | April 6, 2008 1:24 PM


Posted by Haha | April 6, 2008 2:20 PM

@61 -

I don't agree that we can necessarily impute ill intent to everyone who speaks Obama's middle name,

Sure you can, if for no other reason than it's discourteous to refer to people by names they clearly wish to not be referred to as. And in the case of Barack Obama, there's generally clear motive at work when people tack on his middle name.

If you make gratuitous use of his middle name, you're showing a certain amount of disrespect, and best you not pretend otherwise.

Posted by tsm | April 6, 2008 2:29 PM

I don't agree that anything Sean Astin has ever said on any subject whatsoever is important or interesting.

Posted by Fnarf | April 6, 2008 2:32 PM

DEM @ 58: Did you really just write:

it's not disingenuous to equate 'Hussein' and 'Rodham'


Wow. Just let that sentence hang in the air, all on its lonesome for a second or two, and then tell us that you really beleive that to be true. Today. In greater America.


Posted by Timrrr | April 6, 2008 3:02 PM

DEM- I read somewhere early in this race that when reporters called Obama's campaign to get his middle name [and the spelling] the standard response was "Hussein, like the dictator." Which I thought extremely cool.

The thing that Astin should have kept in mind is that WE can say Hussein, but Clinton or McCain supporters can't, not without the presumption of ill-intent. As it happened, I thought his saying it was intended as an olive branch, as he said it in the context of affirming his support for Obama should he win the nomination, but that could be because I am predisposed to like him, due to his sweet narration of Meerkat Manor.

Regardless of his actual intent, when a Clinton supporter says "Hussein" he plays with fire, and he should have just skipped it because it didn't work.

Posted by Phoebe | April 6, 2008 7:39 PM

King Hussein bin Talal (1935-1999)

Jus' askin'.

Posted by Uncle Ralph | April 6, 2008 9:06 PM

Yeah, Timrrr, I really did just write that phrase:

    as part of a longer sentence,
    in a discussion about politicians middle names,
    and, specifically, whether one can say that "Hussein is to Rodham as Obama is to Clinton".

I am not intimidated by decontextualisation, thankyouverymuch.

Posted by DEM | April 6, 2008 9:39 PM

btw, the 41st went 13 hours 30 minutes. and an hour if you arrived early.

Posted by bellka | April 6, 2008 10:45 PM

You can't say Barrack HUSSEIN Obama? Why? Isn't he proud of his father's MUSLIM background? You would think it would be fine especially since Barry's spiritual mentor of 20 years praises MUSLIMS like Louis Farrakan and groups like Hamas.

You guys seem to be proud of booing the pledge of allegiance so why aren't you proud of Barrack HUSSEIN Obama's MUSLIM connections?

Posted by rick harsch | April 7, 2008 2:38 AM

What is Bill Clinton's middle name? Everybody knows it's Jefferson. That's because during the 92 election it was used constantly by the media and Clinton supporters. The tie in with Thomas Jefferson was obvious.

But hey, it's his name, so why not use it? Similarly Barack Hussein Obama is his name. No reason people can't call him by his full name. Should he be ashamed of it?

Posted by Brian S | April 7, 2008 4:35 AM

Bill Clinton's other middle name is "Blythe", and if ever a name fit, that would be the one. A novelist couldn't have named him better.

Posted by moptop | April 7, 2008 6:22 AM

"That dark speech has never before been uttered in this place."
- Elrond

Posted by Citizen Grim | April 7, 2008 6:24 AM

Well, the man's middle name is Hussein. Is he ashamed of it?

Posted by Thomas | April 7, 2008 6:27 AM

If one does not possess allegiance to the United States of America, it is hypoocritcal to recite the pledge. If it is indeed true that the only flag in the room was on someone's hat, the analogy to William Tell and Hermann Gessler's hat is uncanny.

Posted by Porkov | April 7, 2008 6:34 AM

Funny Democrats. More worried about someone using Obama's middle name then they are about being in the news for shouting down the Pledge of Allegiance.
I beg of you, as a fellow American, please ensure Obama is your candidate. McCain trouncing Hillary would be...satisfying, but not as satisfying as the trouncing of Obama. And it will be fun to listen to Democrats argue among themselves over the race/muslim issue that matters only to....Democrats.

Posted by Diggs | April 7, 2008 6:40 AM

John Sydney McCain. Obama supporters seem to think it is Warmonger.

If any group of people could get McCain elected President, it would be the Democrats. Who thought up this Cage O' Death primary contest?

Posted by John | April 7, 2008 6:53 AM

So, I guess the flag is GOOD if you stand in front of one, or in front of eight (as did Obama), when giving a speech that you badly need to get you out of hot water.

The flag, or any demonstration of allegiance to it as a symbol of a greater bond with one's country, is BAD otherwise. At least in certain Dem enclaves in Seattle.

Got it. Silly me.

Posted by cobaltbob | April 7, 2008 7:28 AM

Obama is not ashamed of his Muslim father! Whitey will get set straight when the O MAN wins!

Posted by Rufus Mubatu | April 7, 2008 7:30 AM

Just because Bill Clinton's middle name was Jefferson doesn't mean he's a laissez-faire governing guy. Likewise, we know Obama goes to church, never mind what is actually taught in that church.

But perhaps there is another reason to consider why we're not allowed to mention Obama's middle name. I don't necessarily agree, but it's an interesting take.

But dude, what's up with booing the pledge? Is this that the "unity" thing Obama supporters are looking for? Aren't we supposed to be on the same team? It's one thing to boo a player's performance on the field, but you only disparage yourself when you boo the pledge. That's your team. That flag represents you as well. I'd have a lot more respect for both Democrat candidates if they and their surrogates started acting like adults.

Posted by Pete | April 7, 2008 7:31 AM

Communists, opps I mean Democrats, are soooooo stupid.

Boo the pledge and flag, get hyper about the phrase "under God" and then raise holy-hell when people notice that you are anti-American, anti-religious bigots.

Congrats on nominating the first full-fledge racist for President. Obama, his racist, anti-semetic "pastor" and his nutty wife are probably the first Democratic candidate ever to truly represent your true beliefs and ideas.

So stop your silly unity candidate nonsense and let Obama run on his anti-American, anti-Israel and get "whitey" platform and let see if that is what America really wants to represent them to the world.

Posted by LogicalSC | April 7, 2008 8:31 AM

If you're wondering where all the mouthbreathers that just posted here came from, well, you won't be surprised.

Posted by tsm | April 7, 2008 8:58 AM

There are some very thoughtful posts in response to Seattles' caucuses, then there are the rest. If you infantile democrats want to be taken seriously, then maybe you should grow up and realize the universe doesn't revolve around you, and people aren't waiting with baited breath for your every utterance. Of course, a lot of the people at the caucus are probably under the age of 25, and we all know this generation was raised by wolves. They sure weren't raised to respect other people as much as they love and respect themselves. Mr. Astin is entitled to his opinion, and even if you disagree with it, you should be adult enough to listen to a point of view that disagrees with your own.

Posted by Citizen | April 7, 2008 9:08 AM

Asking that crew to recite the Pledge of Allegiance was a mistake. If the organizers were trying to fire up the troops, they should've asked them to sing "The Internationale."

Then we'd see some serious enthusaism.

Posted by Occam's Beard | April 7, 2008 9:10 AM

Freepers would vote for a known child rapist over Abraham Lincoln if the rapist wore a couple of extra American flag pins on his lapel.

Posted by silly patriotism fetishists | April 7, 2008 9:22 AM

I know Eli isn't reading these comments any more, but I do want to mention that our caucus in the 43rd may have been just about the shortest and best run caucus of the day. I can't believe that some others made people sit around and wait (and wait, an wait, and wait) while they counted all those ballots. We never entertained the notion that we'd have the names of the elected delegates available on Saturday.

Along with the rest of the organizers in the 43rd, I'll happily accept kudos.

Posted by N in Seattle | April 7, 2008 9:30 AM

OMG! OM Fing G! You'd think a Hobbit would know better than to speak aloud "He Who Shall Not Be Middle Named"!

Posted by John Steward | April 7, 2008 9:57 AM

Republicans are evil. They are against abortion and gay marriage.

Muslims are good. They are against abortion and gay marriage, but they're so darn multicultural.

Oh, darn it, did I just imply that Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim? That's a lie! He's a good ol' fashioned America-hating black theologian, not a dirty Muslim. Not that Muslim are dirty.

Posted by Blame Hillary | April 7, 2008 10:03 AM

I think we need a better excalamatory than OMG. I mean, seriously, who still believes in G? I suggest OMO -- Oh My Obama!

Posted by Kate | April 7, 2008 10:07 AM

Have any of you noticed that this Obama feller is black?

Posted by Allan Greenspank | April 7, 2008 10:09 AM

so what if paul revere yawned at a fucking flag pledge???

and does doing the pledge excuse republicans from burning the constitution? do they not recognize that the executive unconstitutionally bypassing judicial oversight is neither patriotic nor american (or legal for that matter)??? do they actually believe it when they say: the dems and liberal judges are aligned with the terrorists (what i always thought was just expressive hyperbole)???? my goodness! ...i pity their poor tormented hearts and minds. for the sake of humanity send the democrats to the white house!!!!!!

Posted by upchuck | April 7, 2008 10:28 AM

Why would Americans vote down (and boo) reciting the Pledge of Allegiance?


Posted by RJ | April 7, 2008 10:47 AM

#85- WTF is a "freeper?"


Posted by Howee | April 7, 2008 10:54 AM

I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America.
And to the republic for which it stands
One Nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.

I wish liberty and justice didn't apply to the far left nuts, but it does.

Posted by LydiasDad | April 7, 2008 10:57 AM

RJ, because they're not really Americans. They hate the United States. They really don't know why; they've just been TOLD they should, given a lot of false reasons, and they do.

Posted by LydiasDad | April 7, 2008 11:00 AM

Being a lifelong Republican, I'm very heartened by the rapidly accelerating disintegration of the donkey party. Keep on fighting until the convention, folks, and you'll have four more years to moan about how unfair life is, and, oh yeah, the election was stolen. It's hilarious to watch you stuck on your own petard with a female AND a black candidate. Also, the attempt by your party and most of the main stream media to "whitewash" (pun intended) Obama's record and past connections won't work this year. There are too may conservative voices out there to let his record slide. See you in November! Have a great summer with your stomachs in knots!

Posted by Tim | April 7, 2008 11:32 AM

Why didn't the Democrats say the pledge? Are they rejecting their political heritage? After all, it was written by one of their own kind - a socialist! His name was Bellamy and he had a famous brother who was a socialist novelist. The socialists in federal education wanted the pledge to use it in indoctrinating school-kids. Obviously, it has worked! (See for more)

Posted by Tom Stelene | April 7, 2008 1:10 PM

Ooops! I just remembered ... we're not supposed to know about the socialist origins of the pledge - and especially that it's original salute was adopted by the Nazis - so forget everything I wrote, and continue patriotically pledging allegiance - comrades.

Posted by Tom Stelene | April 7, 2008 1:22 PM

Who cares what they called Obama? What I care about is the huge tax increases and his total lack of understanding on major issues. Nor does he have a grasp about the folks paying taxes so these idiots can bribe those who only take.

"No Representation without Taxation

In the early days of colonizing America, we were being taxed by Britain without any representation or any say in how the money was spent. The battle cry was “No Taxation Without Representation”, we fought the Revolutionary War and won our Independence from Britain.

Taxes are a necessary evil for a civilized country. Someone must pay for the legitimate functions of our government. National Defense, infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc…), a means of dispute resolution and a local police force.

Consider a couple of questions:

As the breadwinner in your family, would you give binding votes to each member of your family to determine how your paycheck is allocated and spent?
If you owned 10,000 shares of stock in a company, would it be okay for a person owning just one share to have equal influence at shareholder meetings?
If you owned a business, would you give one binding vote to each employee and one vote for yourself to determine pay scales and how profits are utilized?
If you were on an airplane, would you allow yourself and each passenger a binding vote to decide if the contents of your wallet would be distributed to all passengers?
Any “reasonable” person would clearly answer NO to all of the above questions. Yet, for unexplainable reasons, the US Government is run exactly as described above. If you pay no Federal Income Tax, you still get one vote. If you pay tens of millions of dollars in taxes, you still get one vote.

People who consume more than they produce and who pay no federal taxes, or nowhere near enough to cover what they consume, can band together and vote to take more and more from those that do produce - just like in the examples above.

The sad fact is that this is exactly what is happening in this country today. Politicians from both sides constantly tell the so called “needy” that they have a right to ever increasing portions of my income.

Accepting any form of welfare used to be shameful, and should be, but they’ve turned it from shameful into an “entitlement”. Each generation grows up believing more and more that money grows on trees and all they have to do to get more is to vote for more welfare. Working for it is just too hard….

There is a fatal flaw in our political system in this country. Even Karl Marx was aware of it:

Democracy is a form of government that cannot long survive, for as soon as the people learn that they have a voice in the fiscal policies of the government, they will move to vote for themselves all the money in the treasury and bankrupt the nation.

– Karl Marx / The Communist Manifesto

Another unknown author said it even more clear:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure.

From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

– author unknown –

The politicians have finally convinced enough people that they can have everything for free without working for it.

Just vote for ME and I will tax those bad bad “lucky” people who actually produce wealth and give it you without any strings or restrictions. At this point, almost everyone collects some form of handout from the government. Everyone wants to keep their share of the loot and get more free loot, more than the next guy, that’s how one gets ahead in America today. Piss and moan and complain and cry “poverty” and spend all your money, have all the children you want and demand to be taken care of cradle to grave. We now have those that produce the wealth in this country and the rest are “looters”.

The latest crop of Presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to promise more and more of my income to those that refuse to take care of themselves.

I believe in freedom, I believe everyone is owed the protection of most of the Bill of Rights. I do not believe that anyone that does not pay for all they receive back in services from the government has a right to vote - to express a voice on how the tax dollars they did not contribute to get spent.

But you say if everyone didn’t have the right to vote, that one group could abuse the other group, and reestablish slavery.

Funny you should mention that, because that is exactly what is happening in America today. Those that refuse to pay their own way in this world have banded together with short-sighted politicians to abuse those that actually do produce wealth. By voting themselves more and more of my earnings, I have been reduced to slave status, a sacrificial animal who is forced to work to support others.

Sound familiar? It’s called government enforced slavery through taxation.

In private industry, shareholders get one vote per share of stock in a company, the person with 10,000 shares gets 10,000 votes and a much larger say in how the company is run than the person with just one share. And of course, those who don’t own any stock get no votes at shareholder meetings. If a dividend is paid, the same amount is paid PER SHARE OF STOCK, it’s not paid per shareholder.

When we go to a restaurant, the price of our meals is the same for everyone. Nobody would accept being charged different prices for the same meal based on their income. When you take your family to the movies, you’re charged by the head, not by your income. The cost of providing restaurant food, or a seat in a movie house is a constant and not a variable based on your income.

The cost of our national defense, and courts and infrastructure and police force is a constant and not variable based on income.

If this country is to avoid total economic collapse, we need to stop now, once and for all, the “entitlements” for the able, keep a small safety net of “welfare” for the truly needy and take away the voting rights of those that do not pay their way in this country. The more one pays in Federal Taxes the more votes a person should get.

Want a vote? Earn it.

Earn one or more votes with actual work and production instead of pissing and moaning and crying poverty, take care of me, you owe me a living cradle to grave, it’s my entitlement, and voting to steal more and more of my earnings so you don’t have to pay your own way. Have some pride in yourself."


Posted by Misty | April 7, 2008 1:38 PM

The 43rd couldn't have been any worse than the 45th! We had nonresidents from Colorado at caucus bully folks towards Obama. I had these jerks yell and try to "convince" me that Hillary couldn't win. The goons and American haters have taken over the party in Washington.

Posted by Misty | April 7, 2008 1:49 PM

John Sidney McCain Hillary Diane Rodham Barack Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama Hussein Osama and one more of those for every star in the flag! Now pledge allegiance to he who must not be middle-named.

Posted by Barack's Baby Daddy | April 7, 2008 1:54 PM

Democrats eating each other.
The entire Democrat party is fractured and in full "Daily KOS" style meltdown.

These are the best of times.

The next time Hail to the Chief is played in D.C. will be to honor President McCain.

Posted by PatriotGame | April 7, 2008 2:10 PM

Misty - you are spot on! Of course the commies and socialists on the left can't even begin to comprehend your premise. To them anything right of Mao, Stalin, and Noam Chomsky is EVIL and must be destroyed.

One day these old school hippies and their new age anarchists offspring will wake up standing in a pile of radioactive debris starving and blinking like a bewildered cow wondering "how did this happen?"

I really don't care if they dig their own graves but I am damned if I will let them dig mine.

Posted by PatriotGame | April 7, 2008 2:17 PM

Where's a B-52 bomber with a full load when you need one damnit. We had all the hate America first smelly scum bag Marxists all together in one spot! Oh well, suppose there's always the convention in Denver. LOL

Posted by Moses | April 7, 2008 2:54 PM

"Someone suggested doing the Pledge of Allegiance to pass the time. (Are you listening, right-wing bloggers? This is going to get good.) At the mere mention of doing the pledge there were groans and boos. Then, when the district chair put the idea of doing the Pledge of Allegiance up to a vote, it was overwhelmingly voted down. One might more accurately say the idea of pledging allegiance to the flag was shouted down."

And you wonder why normal Americans think the Left is out of touch...?

Listen, I hate fascism, racism in all its forms (including the soft bigotry of low expectations), and chauvinism, but the day that wanting to pledge allegiance to the flag of the USA marks one as RIGHT WING, then count me as a right winger. The problem with you lefties is you don't realize that you're so far over the edge with kneejerk America hatred that average moderate people feel alienation from you.
It's not weird to love what this country is and is becoming. It may be weird to ignore the past and to forget that we have a history full of sins, but it is equally weird to decide that it is irredeemable and unlovable. This is a great country because of our aspirations and because we do have guiding principles. Eschewing patriotism is stupidity! I would bet those that booed the flag would say "dissent is the greatest form of patriotism." Bullpuckey! Reactionary dissent is merely contrarian.

Posted by Stefan Sanders | April 7, 2008 3:33 PM

Greetings from os Angeles. Sean Astin is a stand-up guy. Never heard a bad story about him. Stepping into that open psych ward, also known as the Wallingford District, took some guts.

Posted by Jenn M. | April 7, 2008 4:10 PM

"Voting" against saying the Pledge? This is but one more example of why Democrats will never regain the national stage. Never.

Posted by Denny, Alaska | April 7, 2008 4:44 PM

I’m a true believer in History repeats it’s self. The Civil War was fought North against South . It was black against white if we call it what it really was.

Obama gets in and we will see another Civil War. White against black…. Nobody should be shocked by it. Obama will split this Country…… Look at all his lies and racism, he’s what’s referred to as a Slick Willy…..
The 43 rd. Dem should move to Africa with Obama what idiots and somebody voted these fool in.....

Posted by Reddesires | April 7, 2008 7:55 PM


Posted by Reddesires | April 7, 2008 8:13 PM

This is what Wallingford has come to? Geez.

Posted by Chuckles | April 7, 2008 9:52 PM

no doubt obama and his mentor rev WRIGHT would agree.

Posted by deroy | April 7, 2008 10:14 PM

based on his heritage obama's 'typical white grandmother' made his middle name "WHITEY".

that's right barack whitey obama.
he's the candidate of white supremacy.
don't let him fool you. he takes after the mama and granny who raised him!

Posted by deroy | April 7, 2008 10:24 PM

Hey assholes, HUSSEIN is his middle name, deal with it! How is it disrespectful to simply say the guy's middle name?

Posted by Laura | April 7, 2008 11:34 PM

WOW! Just read these comments. Seattle = Alternate Universe. My advice? Move on.

Posted by Ed | April 8, 2008 5:09 AM

To those Obama supporters who cannot post w/o obcenities - Keep it up! It's just an indication of your IQ.

Posted by EH | April 8, 2008 7:17 AM

Who would Osama vote for???You got that right,Mr empty shirt!!Osama,Obama.Osama.Obama.

Posted by Gator | April 8, 2008 7:35 AM

You right wing types crack me the hell up. You're the 1/3rd of the country that still believes that the taxation is slavery, peace comes through aggressive war, and the President can do anything he wants as long as it's to brown people.

You must be really hurting ever since the American people saw through your charade and voted you guys outta the Congress.

And now we're going to take the Presidency too. Double ouch for you!

You know why? Cuz you lied to much, your hypocrisy was shown to everyone, and now people don't trust what comes out of your mouth. Go ahead and call Obama a muslim or a communist or whatever terms you wanna throw at him. The only people who'll believe you is your own echo chamber.

And watching you melt down over McCain has been a blast as well. Talk about imploding. I'd wish you good luck but you already used all of yours up.

I'm praying for you.

Posted by Donolectic | April 8, 2008 7:58 PM

**********"'d be dandy to have another asshole in The White House..."**********

Your intellect is sharp and your analysis exceptionally astute, Kristy! Please show the rest of us meandering dolts the path that leads to such superb wisdom as you have graciously revealed to us here!

Whether or not one supports a particular U.S. President (or candidate for the office), a comment like Kristy's amounts to nothing more than a shallow, thoughtless personal attack; similar to that which an immature elementary school child might craft after not getting his or her way on the playground.

Get a life, lady! :)

Posted by busterfuss | April 9, 2008 7:17 PM

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