What does the election of President Barack Obama mean to Black bloggers? Rickyrah of Jack and Jill Politics expressed it today through "The Imagery of Tuesday", because sometimes words are not enough to capture what we feel and what we feel has happened.
Would White people ACTUALLY vote for a Black man for President?
I said I didn't know the answer to the question, but I just wanted to know the answer. That this country was facing a moment of truth about itself. It was fast approaching the instance where the mythology of America was going to meet reality, and it was going to have to decide.
And, it did. Jack and Jill Politics
There has been some terribly unfortunate talk lately of President-elect Obama nominating Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State. To see why this would be so inappropriate, we have to consider what the Secretary of State will actually be required to do, in the context of two ongoing wars as well as ongoing covert interventions in Iran and Pakistan.
As Obama seeks to end the Iraq War and get Afghanistan under control, he needs a very effective and credible communicator who can explain his policies to the American public and convince us - across the political spectrum - to support his policies. He needs a change agent in Iraq.
Kerry's doesn't represent change; instead, like John McCain, Kerry is a reminder of the generational political battles about Vietnam that Obama promised to leave in the past. Unlike the wisdom shown by Obama in the leadup to the Iraq War, Kerry supported the war before he opposed the it, showing that he really hadn't learned the lessons of Vietnam, even though he fought there.
Kerry made some fatal mistakes in his approach to issues of war and peace that even he acknowledges. And those mistakes preclude him from being an effective spokesman for President-elect Obama. I have disccussed this with blogger African American Political Pundit and he agrees with my assessment. (See comments.)
The campaign of Barack Obama has certainly brought a lot of Black charlatans out of he woodwork, first to denounce Obama on behalf of Hillary Clinton and now Jackson to torpedo Obama's campaign in the last stretch, as if paid to do so by Republican campaign operatives. The Francis L. Holland Blog and African American Political Pundit, in turn, have urged the Rev. Jackson to "just shut his f**&king mouth" and AAPP has simply asked, "What's wrong with Jesse Jackson?"
Right wing blogs are overjoyed with Jackson most recent subversive comments.
Race-Hustling Poverty Pimp Jessie Jackson says Barack Obama will end "decades of putting Israel's interests first" if he becomes President. The Right Perspective
After Julian Bond and Jesse Jackson personally discovered in past generations of Black politics that these views are antithetical to obtaining and keeping public confidence and office in America, now Jesse purports to channel Obama's inner futilist, predicting that Obama holds the same views as those that defeated Jesse Jackson and Julian Bond.
One only has to look at the groups who are rejoicing over Jesse comments to see how destructive they are, and one only has to remember Jackson's own political history to see that he should know and does know better.
Jackson referred to Jews as "Hymies" and to New York City as "Hymietown" in January 1984 during a conversation with Washington Post reporter Milton Coleman.
As much as Jesse Jackson had other ideas and political gifts that allowed him to obtain a measure of political success, his obsession with whacking the Jewish beehive at the worst possible of times destroyed his potential for political success and made him seem pathologically self-destructive, not only to himself but to Black and polychromatic political aspirations in general. He seemed to want to be hung on the cross of Jewish fears of Black antisemitism, and he stoked those fires instead of endeavoring, as Barack Obama's policies and person successfully have, to allay and alleviate fears.
Jesse Jackson seems to have a deep and abiding self-destructive resentment both against Jews and against those who make common cause with Jews in their efforts to improve the United States and secure its place in the world. Maybe that's why he wants to cut Barack Obama's nuts off.
The Afrosphere Action Coalition (AAC) calls upon the Government of the United States to take such steps as are necessary to guarantee that all those in the United States who are in need of medical treatment shall promptly receive such treatment and care as is medically necessary, without being required to pay for it beforehand, at the time of service, or individually thereafter.
The Afrosphere Action Coalition calls upon the US Government to institute a national system of medical care that guarantees that medically necessary treatment, pharmaceuticals and other related medical goods and services are readily available, accessible and provided through a Government-operated system of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, clinics and private providers, paid for from the US Treasury, and redirecting as necessary such funding as is now spent on medical care in order to achieve this purpose, and provide subsidies as necessary for such care in the private system.
The AAC further calls upon the US Government to cease and desist obstructing medical patients from seeking and receiving quality medical care, pharmaceuticals and treatments wherever they may be most economical, refraining in particular from prohibitions on the importation of identical or essentially similar pharmaceuticals from foreign low-cost pharmacies and manufacturers overseas.
The Afrosphere Action Coalition urges that NO PERSON OR PERSONS BE COMPELLED TO RECEIVE SERVICES UNDER THE ABOVE PROVISIONS, but that such services be available as of right to those who request them, in every region and portion of the United States and its territories and dependencies, without intentional, accidental, or incidental discrimination on the basis of skin color, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, reproductive treatment necessities, psychiatric requirements, or on any other basis or pretext. Please click here to sign now!
When Bill Clinton left office eight years ago, he made a handful of executive pardons during his last days in office that the Republicans called shady. Now, George W. Bush is leaving office and is requesting unfettered and unreviewable power for his Secretary of the Treasury and other officials to reconstruct the American economy, likely effectively granting criminal immunity to those who caused the current meltdown of our economy by fraud, insider trading and other illegal behavior.
Under the plan being considered in Congress, the purpose of granting a trillion dollars to the malefactors is to wipe away all that was done and start anew. And undoubtedly that will involve undercutting the legal cases of anyone who would like to go to court, just as the Administration has opposed legal relief to those who were tortured in Iraq.
Bush gave immunity under Iraqi law to the US armed forces and US contractors, and now he wants to give immunity under American law to Wall Street criminals - a blanket pardon of a sort that Bill Clinton never would have imagined in his wildest dreams.
Now that sub-prime fraudulent mortgage lenders have caused the meltdown of the US economy AND caused hundreds of thousands of individuals to lose their homes, the US government is going to bail out the banks. Does this mean that the people who lost their homes, and whose homes are now empty and perhaps being used as crack dens, can go back to their homes?
The New York Times says,
An enormous, taxpayer-financed program to buy up bad mortgages and other distressed debt is necessary to protect the savings and aspirations of millions of Americans, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.said on Friday. New York Times
If the Government is going to put half a trillion dollars into the money markets, why can't those who lost their homes go back to their homes? Isn't the Government effectively paying the mortgages that the public was unable to pay? Why not just give the money to consumers whose mortgages are in default, effectively shoring up the bad loans while letting consumers stay in their homes.
However, if those who lost their homes cannot go back to them, then what is the US Government and the US public going to get for the half-trillion dollars that is about to be taken out of the US Treasury?
The simple answer is, "nothing at all." We (Americans) have lost our homes and continue to them, and meanwhile those who took our homes are going to get a bailout. Those of us who once owned homes but our mortgages went into default - they are still in the same boat, paying rent and watching the contents of their homes sold at auction because they can't pay the rent on their storage boxes.
If the Government had declared a moratorium on foreclosures back when only individuals consumers were going under, then the surrounding homes wouldn't have lost their value, which in turn pushed more homeowners into foreclosure, which in turn has caused the the failure of all of these banks. Paying off the bad mortgages of consumers and letting them stay in their homes would have prevented the failure of the financial institutions that are now getting the bailout.
How many Americans are wishing they had all of their retirement in mutual funds or the stock market today, after WallStreetizing their entire US Government Social Security retirement expectations? Not many, I'll bet!
Putnam Investments has closed a $12.3 billion money-market fund to limit losses to its investors, the large mutual fund company said today. The highly unusual announcement is the latest sign that tremendous financial pressures are now threatening even some of the safest kinds of investments. WaPost
The Washington Post says that there was effectively a 'run on the bank' at this fund, with its exclusively institutional investors all demanding their money at once. So, instead of giving the money out on a "first-come, first-served basis", with every successive withdrawal getting less of its money back than the last, until some got nothing at all, Putnam decided to just divide up what was left equally among the investors and liquidate this fund.
I know John McCain thinks the economy is basically sound, but the "bankruptcy" and liquidation of large money-market funds doesn't seem like a good omen to me. In fact, a lot of people have their retirement funds invested in mutual fund accounts, and such people have got to be increasingly nervous today, fearing that their hopes for retirement could be entirely wiped out.
One of the forces that could lead to a lot failures at these funds is that Moody's is downgrading the debt of a lot of banks, funds and other institutions, effectively making it harder and more expensive for them to raise money to cover their obligations. The more Moody's downgrades debt, the more companies will become cash-strapped and go under, in a downward spiral, unless the same brilliant president who got us into this mess somehow finds an unusually brilliant way to get us out.
I'm sick and tired of hearing people ask, "What will Blacks do if Barack Obama loses? According to polls, he is as likely to win as is George W. Bush's replacement, and the utter discombobulation of Wall Street cannot be helping the Party in power.
So, let's ask ourselves a much more interesting question: What will white Republicans and color aroused people do if Barack Obama WINS:
I think the answer is pretty straightforward. If after all of their efforts to take Black names off the voting rolls, prevent us from voting by requiring I.D., and tip the scales with election fraud on election day, Barack Obama comes out in front anyway,
Then, Republicans and the white color-aroused will riot in the streets in front of the Elections Clerks offices (as they did in 2000, against a white Democratic presidential candidate), demanding recounts, demanding that votes not be counted, demanding that votes from the overseas military be counted twice . . . even if they were submitted after Election Day.
If Obama doesn't call his supporters out into the streets to confront the Republicans, then the US Supreme Court will once again feel free to call the election for the Republican candidate, perhaps even before the polls have been closed in all precincts.
People get ready cause a train's a comin'. I only wish I could tell you what train it is.
Barack Obama did what most Democratic presidential nominees do when called upon to pick a vice presidential nominee: he picked a "safe" white man. White men are perceived as being inherently safe, while anyone who is not a white man is perceived as being inherently less safe simply by virtue of not being a white man. That's what we're struggling against. (At least SOME of us are, while the rest are viciously opposed to the concept that there ought to be demographic representation in government.)
From a substantive political justice standpoint, isn't it really outrageous not to have a woman on the ticket when women are 59% of voters and 53% of the country? Doesn't an all-male ticket just throw demographic representation out the window?
From a tactical standpoint, when Barack Obama chose Biden, it might have seemed like it was reasonable not to try to change too much too fast. But it was also foreseeable that the Republican response to an all-male Democratic ticket would be to nominate a woman and make the Democrats look like the party of patriarchy. I wrote as much in an essay at July of 2006, before I had my own blog.
So, now it seems to me that Obama has lost some of the tactical advantage of being the Party of inclusion and "making history" and even of demographic change. What he has left is being the representative of the party that has its head on straight with respect to Iraq, the economy, taxation of the rich, and everything else the Republicans have royally screwed up during the last eight years.
So McCain has nominated a woman Republican for vice president and upstaged the Democrats' change message to some degree. In 2006, I predicted that if the Democrats did not nominate a woman in 2008 then the Republicans would do so, if only for the tactical advantage it might provide. Before I was banned from participation at DailyKos for failing to make a contribution there, I pointed it out in an essay at DailyKos on Friday, July 28, 2006 that if Hillary Clinton or another woman were not on the Democratic ticket, the Republicans would use the issue to upstage Democrats in 2008. I said,
If the Democrats are indifferent or averse to the value of [women] "firsts", there is a significant political history suggesting that the Republicans might grab and claim this ground for women before the Democrats do, because they typically have arrived first in the past. The Republicans historically have been the first to elevate women. The first women in the US Senate, the US House of Representatives and the US Supreme Court were Republicans. "In 1917, Jeannette Rankin, a Republican from Montana, entered the U.S. House of Representatives, the first woman ever elected to Congress." In 1978, "Nancy Landon Kassebaum, a Kansas Republican, was elected to the United States Senate in her own right. In 1981, "Sandra Day O'Connor, a former Republican state legislator from Arizona who had served on a state appeals court, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the first woman ever to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court." Prior to the election of Nancy Kassebaum to the US Senate in 1978, all women who had ever served in the US Senate had succeeded their husbands in Congress or had first been appointed to fill out unexpired terms of somebody else." [ http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/... ]
So, if the Republicans have been first to elect women to the US Senate, the US House and to appoint a woman to the US Supreme Court, will the be the first to nominate and elect an woman President? I certainly hope not, because her name might be Condoleezza Rice. Yes, most Americans expect that US Senator Hillary Clinton will be nominated by the Democrats in 2008, but she is not then Condoleeza Rice or another Republican could become the first female president of the United States. [ http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/... ] That's something for Democrats to ponder as they weigh whether "firsts" have any remaining value in the post-Jackie Robinson age.
It is unfortunate that the only way that women could make strides into public office historically was when their husbands had held those offices first. Yet we must be grateful for those historic first because without them women might still be precluded, by custom if by nothing else, from participating at all. Certainly, our country should have been more "free" and it should be more free today. But, to lament and criticize the "husband route" is effectively to say that all-male leadership was and is preferable - a proposition that I hope few of us are yet ready to support. Criticism of the "husband route" has the damnable effect of supporting and advocating the sexist status quo. DailyKos, July 28, 2006