Sometimes in politics there is a thing known as ‘a tell’. That’s when a politician drops their guard and tells you something true that they ordinarily give inordinate energy to hiding. For example:

“[T]he activist base of the Democratic Party… [T]hey are very driven by their view of our positions, and it’s primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don’t agree with them. They know I don’t agree with them. So they flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support me.”

Hillary Clinton made that statement back in April February in response to’s endorsement of Barack Obama. Now, we in the Netroots are definitely part of the activist base. And we have been the people most vocal about the fiasco in Iraq and the abuse of our civil liberties that have been carried out in the name of ‘national defense’. It’s absolutely true that it is ‘national security and foreign policy that drives us’, although everyone has their own areas of policy concern. What’s remarkable is that Clinton so openly admitted that she does not agree with us on these issues and that she knows that we know that she doesn’t agree with us on these issues.

In one sense, I take her observation as a compliment. She knows that we’re not stupid enough to take her word on foreign policy. After all, her official positions are not all that different from Barack Obama’s or from our own. But she sees that we are not buying her rhetoric.

The Clintons hated Left Blogistan long before they realized that the activist base was going to cost her the nomination by dominating the caucus states. Now she hates us even more. What’s remarkable is that she gave too much credit to the Blogosphere. I looked around early in this contest and I didn’t see too many bloggers that had a stone-cold understanding that they were the blood enemies of Team Clinton. I tried to tell them that the people around the Clintons absolutely detested us and everything we stand for, and I got accused of being a pie thrower.

Unfortunately, the result is that the bloggers can’t take much, if any, credit for Obama’s success. He didn’t ask for help and that was resented. He didn’t follow (mostly bad) advice and that was seen as disrespectful or suspect. But, you know what? The readers of blogs…the audience…they knew all along. They understood instinctively. In every Daily Kos or MyDD poll, Clinton never cracked double digits. The readers knew that the Clintons were for shit on issues of national security and foreign policy. They knew that the Clintons hated the activist base and would sideline it if allowed to take over the DNC.

So it didn’t matter that most bloggers were hedging their bets. What mattered was who was showing up in the caucuses and who was manning the phones and who was knocking on doors. The activist base took this nomination away from the Clintons even with a substantial fraction of the leadership abandoning their posts.

So I just want to thank you…the readers…for helping to take back the Democratic Party for the people, and for the people that opposed this war from the beginning. Thank you. You are the people that give me hope for this country and for our future.

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