YOU’VE GOT TO HIDE YOUR LOVE AWAY

Jimmy Carter has apparently issued another non-endorsement endorsement of Barack Obama, this time saying that while he “has not yet announced publicly,” after June 3 “a lot of the superdelegates will make a decision…announced quite rapidly,” and then “it will be time for her to give it up.” In other words: I haven’t made up my mind, but “my friend” is planning to endorse Obama soon, and when he does Hillary Clinton should concede…Of course the main difference when Carter ends the suspense and makes a “public” endorsement is that that’ll be a plum opportunity for John Hagee’s friends to call Obama an antisemite.

Speaking of hiding your love away, Senator Byrd endorsed Obama a few days after Hillary Clinton’s big-though-ultimately-insignificant win in his state. Which is funny only because I don’t think anyone doubts that Robert Byrd knew whom he supported before the West Virginia primary, and West Virginians are presumably the Democrats most influenced by a Robert Byrd endorsement. But Byrd and/ or Team Obama must have concluded (correctly) that an Obama endorsement before the WV primary only would have helped Team Clinton by raising expectations for Obama and drawing attention to the state (as well as maybe making Byrd look bad). Which just goes to show yet again how twisted election coverage is.

This was also probably the first time in a while that Robert Byrd’s seen his former KKK membership touted as a political asset. Maybe Joe Biden can help his veep chances by resurrecting his boast about Delaware being a slave state.

FIGHTING WORDS (INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY EDITION)

Jon Stewart: “And let me say to you, Bill O’Reilly, and the entire O’Reilly clan, Feliz Navidad to you. Although I’m sure you’re concerned that that’s getting too prevalent as well in this country.”

Gordon Lafer: “By cutting back on tenured positions while refusing to recognize teachers’ unions, NYU is undermining both pillars of academic freedom. In this way, academic managers are pushing a new vision of higher education – not a community of independent scholars freed to boldly pursue their notions of truth, but a place of permanent insecurity, where everyone is afraid to speak out against those in power. Universities were supposed to be model citizens of the community, but no longer.”

Kenneth Roth: “In a one-party system intolerant of dissent, petitioning is one of the only ways that ordinary Chinese have to air their grievances. By using or allowing violence to squelch grievances, the authorities are effectively closing off some of the only political space in the country. They should realize that this endangers the very thing they are trying to protect—social stability.”

Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, Shirin Ebadi, Desmond Tutu, Lech Walesa, Jody Williams et al:”Protecting the right to form unions is not only required by the Universal Declaration but also is vital to promoting broadly shared economic prosperity, social justice and strong democracies…Even the wealthiest nation in the world–the United States of America–fails to adequately protect workers’ rights to form unions and bargain collectively. Millions of U.S. workers lack any legal protection to form unions and thousands are discriminated against every year for trying to exercise these rights. We cannot remain silent in the face of these and other serious abuses of workers’ rights.”

Kerry promises to screw his base:

He noted that Reagan Democrats were a critical faction in the 1980’s but that Democrats like President Jimmy Carter had trouble attracting Republican votes.

“Fear not,” Mr. Kerry said. “I am not somebody who wants to go back and make the mistakes of the Democratic Party of 20, 25 years ago. Nor am I somebody who believes that Washington has all the answers.”

Some would take from history that Reagan offered a coherent alternative vision, while Carter failed to. But Kerry apparently has learned from history that Democrats are just secretly looking for Republicans to vote for.