Thursday, June 30, 2005

Obama Yo Mama

The 2004 elections, among other things, ushered in the twilight of Black broker politics: "Having virtually shut down the activist wing of the Civil Rights/Black Power Movement in favor of electoral and broker politics at the dawn of the Seventies, Black leadership now finds itself blackballed from the $200 million-plus soft money Democratic campaign feast. Essentially, they have been sidelined from the only mass action game they chose to play" ("Black Anger, White Money: A Crisis for Black Leadership," The Black Commentator 109, 14 Oct. 2004).

Barack Obama Having dumped Black brokers who emerged from movement politics, the Democratic Party cultivated the great white hope of a Black politician, Barack Obama, whose message on race and class would never alarm even the most anxious white mind: "There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America" (Barack Obama, Keynote Speech at the Democratic National Convention, Boston, 27 Jul. 2004).

What does Obama have to say about George W. Bush's latest speech on the Iraq War?

Obama waxes hawkish: "I believe the president must take a realistic look at our current strategy and reshape it into an aggressive and workable plan that will ensure success in Iraq" (emphasis added, Barack Obama, qtd. in Dori Meinert/Copley News Service, "Dems, GOP Differ on Bush Speech," The Lincoln Courier, 29 Jun. 2005). In other words, No Exit. What's his plan, then?
"It is a challenge now to try to fix the mess that has been made by this administration," Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said in an interview. "There aren't any easy answers. It would be irresponsible to just spout off without having thought through what all the alternatives -- and implications of those alternatives -- might be." (Charles Babington and Dan Balz, "Democrats Press Bush Harder on Iraq: Words Reflect Drop in Public Support for War," Washington Post, 22 Jun. 2005, p. A6)
Should he not have thought about "all the alternatives" to the continuing occupation of Iraq and their "implications" by now, especially since he had already thought about what to do about Iran (David Mendell, "Obama Would Consider Missile Strikes on Iran," Chicago Tribune, 25 Sept. 2004)?

Surely, the American people "want and deserve better answers about where we go from here in Iraq" (Barack Obama, qtd. in Mark Silva, "Bush: Iraq Is Worth Sacrifice: President Invokes Sept. 11 in Appeal for Support," Chicago Tribune, 29 Jun. 2005) than Bush's insistence that their sacrifice is worth it; but they also want and deserve better answers than what Obama delivers.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obama is dealing with what we have had to endure. I don't blame Obama for his decisions. He is doing good for the people of Illinois and the United States of America.

Anonymous said...

This lack of an alternative is of course why Bush one a second term. Cant blame voters for preferring decisiveness, even if they disagree with it, to indecisiveness in a time of crisis.

redbeard said...

To the previous anonmyous commenter:
Obama is doing good for the people of Illinois and the United States of America?
Is that what he was doing when voted FOR the credit industry's bankruptcy bill?

Anonymous said...

It's time to admit that the Democratic Party is no one's hope.

Anonymous said...

Certainly not going to defend the vote on the bankruptcy bill, but Yoshie fails to tell the whole story. It may be a sign of how right the U.S. has drifted, but Obama is talking further left than you paint him, and further left than most US politicians--he's the only one talking about poverty reduction for the racialized underclass, meaningful debt reduction in Africa, and the downsides of TINA, among other issues. No doubt that politics has shifted him rightward of his old leftist BP leanings, and far too "pragmatic" and centrist for my tastes. But the story is more complex than Yoshie makes it out to be.

intractable_maximus said...

I think Obama is just a waste of time, and expectations, as many in the African American community have already realized. You can talk about the "complexities" of the issues faced by Obama and similar politicians until we are all blue in the face...but let's face the reality: A substantial portion of the mainstream (read "corporate") media has annointed Obama as a credible politician and actually lionizied him for mass consumption. Ask yourselves a simple question: when was the last time that the American media establishment failed to identify correctly the actual political challenge posed by a political figure, especially African? Quite frankly, never. Their nose is virtually infallible in this regard, sorry to say. They will never admit or support a guy who's talking real challenged. Just watch what they did with Dennis Kucinich. They ridiculed him out of the picture. Obliterated him. Now, it's natural for the African community to support and be proud of a charming and articulate figure like Obama. But it's quite another to see this inherent generosity of our masses turned into a weakness to be exploited by our oppressors ad nauseam...

Anonymous said...

Obama shouldn't have voted for the Bankruptcy Bill - it was fucked. And I'm sure if you look at any and every politician who ever got anything done you could find plenty to criticize, because they're human, and they have to deal with the system AS IT REALLY IS. FDR and LBJ busted their butts to pass reams of legislation that made the US a fairer, better country, but by your Utopian standards they'd probably be shmucks too. Fortunately the left fringe that you cling to like a freezedried suit has zero relevance in reality. While you stubbornly igorant punks stand on your soapbox the world turns, and imperfect but hard-working, committed people like Barack Obama fight on the front lines, where the real lever of power turns, to save the right to choose, the environment, labor rights, etc. You are the same idiots who told us five years ago that Bush or Gore would be the same thing, but the last five terrible years haven't taught you a damn thing. I would hope that at some point in your life you would escape your theoretical world of perfection and see how the world really works, but I have my doubts. In the real world, where one grasps that Obama makes thousands of decisions that effect our lives, one has to count the pluses and minuses. You immature assholes spend too much time comparing Obama and the like to ideals that don't exist, and will never exist, especially in this country. Fucking grow up.

Commodore Luke Perry said...

Obama is a coward who never risked anything in his whole life.

I got called a racist something or other by Democrat asshole, Nate Newman, on Duff Henwood's waste of a life list, LBO Talk, for saying it, but I can't help it, he is, a coward, totally.

Anonymous said...

Where is the respect for each other as we dialogue? Clearly we can have differing opinions and NOT resort to name-calling. Save that for your "real" enemies. Re Obama, one must start with the fact that he is a politician, and politics is the art of compromise--or, at least it used to be before the Bushies took over in DC. None of us can hang our future on one person. We have to accept political power as ONE aspect of other forms of power we would like to have. Granted, I also don't think that Obama is acting very progressivley these days,and he should've voted no on the bankruptcy bill. And the fickle media will probably dis him, as they've done other Black politicians, once he does something that truly challenges the white power structure.

Anonymous said...

Umm, I just checked the Senate web site and Obama is listed as a nay on that vote.... Do you know something I don't? http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00044

StealthBadger said...

Fact-checking just warms my heart. All praise be to the Internet. It won't cure any problems, prevent lying, end slander, or ameliorate hunger... But more and more, not only are we learning what's going on (after, admittedly, sifting through tons of chaff), we're able to compare what people said in the past to what they're actually doing.

Anonymous said...

don't use too much logic -- these Green Party fucks aren't worth it; they're just like the Red State numskulls in reverse

Paolo Honorificas said...

Who do we think we're all kidding? Who does Obama think he's kidding?What we think carries no weight. Money does. The Belt Way Hooligans will do what they want as told to them by their corporate handlers. Don’t for a second think that you matter to them. We need to run a candidate named None Of The Above. A definition for politician is *on the take.*

Anonymous said...

Paolo, your one-size-fits-all comment is for morons, the equivalent of Poli Sci 101 at a two-year university. OF COURSE they're on the take, to one degree or another, if they are among the handful of most powerful people in the most powerful country this planet has ever seen. But LBJ and FDR were politicians, and they did a million times more good for the common man than utopian twits like yourself.

Paolo Honorificas said...

Mr. Anonymous is a very sage fellow. He's a famous poet, political analyst and two line aphorist. Books are filled with his down to earth pronouncements. He's also the guy who sends hate mail, accuses people of false crimes and revels in the all too obvious. Whose twitting who? Just because everyone takes graft, does it make it acceptable? How much does Mr. Anonymous really know about L.B.J. or F.D.R.? Was he there when L.B.J. phoned Earl Warren and asked Warren to head the Kennedy investigation? When Warren refused two times, L.B.J. threatened to send the I.R.S. after him. Are you surprised that Warren headed the K. investigation? It's on tape at the L.B.J. Library. God save us from the powerful when they are filled with the righteous wrath of their own good intentions.

Anonymous said...

Paolo, man are you fuckin' dumm. There isn't a single politician in history that hasn't done something slimy, or they never would become powerful in the first place, obviously. By the same token, chickenshits like yourself judge politicians but never achieve a single thing for the common man. The world is oh so pure and black and white because you refuse to engage it. The bigger point was that LBJ and FDR, who yes, shithead, I know an awful lot about, many times over what you will ever know, made a lot of revolutionary, positive changes in peoples' lives, far more than any Green Party twit, though LBJ did some criminal fucked up things too. You're judging Obama against something that exists only in your not-so-capacious head, which is meaningless. Big-time politics takes place out there, in the bigger broader world, which has its own rules, none of which you choose. The only correct assessment of Obama is one that judges him relative to his peers, in which case he comes out pretty good on the balance, though any halfass blogger can find votes to be critical of. It's nice sometimes to dream of how strong the left could be in this country if all the armchair kneejerk theologians could leaven their esoteric, dull commentary with a couple teaspoons of reality.

Paolo Honorificas said...

The historical Anonymous was wise to foibles and fables. This Anonymous has yet to grow up. Earthy language is useful language except when it stands in as a sleazy substitute for original thought. Mr. Anonymous would make an excellent politician. He could take Saudi money on the side. He could work for Halliburton as a Nigerian oil facilitator. Paolo smiles and bows to Mr. Anonymous regarding this individuals profound historical understanding. As Anonymous insists, it is vast indeed. The more Paolo learns about the two party system, the more he becomes involved in politics on a local level, the more he delves into history, Paolo ends up scratching his head in bewilderment. Bakunin was right: "The trouble lies not in any particular form of government, but in...the very existence of government itself."

Geek Rex said...

Get your facts straight first--did Obama vote for the bankruptcy bill? He did vote against an amendment about acceptable interest because it would allow interest on credit cards to rise to 30%. Check your facts before you start raking someone. The blogosphere is full of half-truths and blog myths and legends.

Paramendra Bhagat said...

Obama Votes Nay