Thursday, April 24, 2008

Four Year Wait? (Updated)

I guess should preface this by saying I was watching MSNBC when a viewer asked why Barack Obama's failure to win the white blue-collar voting bloc was seen as a bigger problem than Hillary Clinton's failure to win the African American voting bloc. What Joe Scarborough explained is that African Americans are the most loyal Democratic voters; that Clinton isn't really worried about losing African American voters to John McCain in November. Of course, Rachel Maddow had to point out that since 1964, no Democrat, including Bill Clinton, had won a majority of white male voters; that it shouldn't be a big deal that Obama can't secure the white male vote during the Democratic primary.

So. Hillary Clinton seems to presume that the African American vote is guaranteed even if she's viewed as having stolen the nomination from Obama, the first viable black candidate. I think African Americans should prove her wrong. No, I'm not suggesting that we vote for McCain. I didn't just drink a large glass of stupid. What I suggest is that we African Americans, and any other voters of conscience, either vote for Cynthia McKinney, the former Georgia congresswoman who is the frontrunner for the Green Party presidential nominee; or, vote for Ralph Nader, even though I think he's a bit cloudy; or, not at all.

Yeah, I said it. Essentially, I'm advocating that African Americans essentially phone it in in November. We've gone through far worse than what four years of John McCain might offer. So, yeah, let's forget this election. I'm loathe the campaign the Clintons' have been running. I loathe whatever plans John McCain might have, which I already know includes ending any and all legal affirmative action (And let me point out, few white workers or students are displaced by affirmative action; and, the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action are white women.)

But I'm really disturbed by the notion that African American votes can be taken so lightly. I'm disturbed by the notion that in the name of breaking the hardest, highest glass ceiling women face, the first viable black presidential candidate can be tossed under the bus. I strongly reject some of the reasons he'd make a "bad" president, most of which is, at least partially, racist.
  • "He's all fluff." Interpretation: Black people are great speakers, but they never actually do anything about the problem the speech is on.
  • "He's a snake oil salesman." Interpretation: Black people are very sly and cunning, and always looking for the next mark for their next con.
  • "All he has are speeches." 1st Interpretation: All black can do is talk. They're to lazy to do anything else and aren't bright enough to know what else to do. 2nd Interpretation: All he has is speeches. That's make him unqualified. Don't make him the Affirmative Action president.
  • Etc and so on.

Those and others hearken back to racist notions that supposedly explain black inferiority. The Clinton campaign has been playing the race card. And when others play the race card against Obama, even though some Republicans come to his defense, the Clintons use the "controversy" against him. I mean, the only argument Hillary Clinton is making is basically that Obama's all fluff, and unvetted fluff at that.

So what she feels she'd make the better president? George W Bush thought he'd make a better president than Al Gore and John Kerry. And so what there're some who haven't voted yet? Those same voters hadn't voted in elections before.

And what's their major policy differences? The fact that he doesn't have a health coverage mandate? Or, the fact that he's not proposing a Middle East umbrella under which any country that promised not to acquire nuclear weapons would be protected by the US military industrial complex should Iran attack them. Yeah, forget the fact that the most recent NIE said the Iranians weren't trying to build nuclear weapons. Forget the fact that Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, the "crazy" leader we must guard against, doesn't even have control over the military, and the Supreme Ayatollah has acknowledged that attacking Israel or any US ally isn't worth the risk. Yeah, ignore all that. Just like she ignored the NIE before the Iraq resolution. I mean, she's arguing that she'll be best to handle an emergency, but she keeps making these awful decisions under specious reasoning, and is now threatening to nuke Iran if they attack one of "umbrella" allies. I'm not alone in thinking threatening Iran with nukes as a bad idea.

Had she dropped out earlier, she would've made an absolutely incredible vice presidential candidate, and an unbeatable ticket. With his "speeches" and inspiration, Obama would've changed the political landscape and gotten some good policies passed. With her as vice president and his willingness to listen, they would've gotten very strong legislation passed. His presidency will show that the country is actually left of center. Americans actually care about each other and aren't going to cede our country to the wealthiest 1% and multinational corporations. And if she were the vice president those eight years, the country would be ready for her more wonkish style in 2016. She would've walked right through the elections. I guess she didn't want to wait that long. So, she's willing to undo Obama, and if she doesn't win the presidency this year, she can try again in 2012.

So really, why is she continuing her candidacy. The only way she can win, and "win," is that Obama implodes, and it doesn't appear that they may happen; or, that she blows him up. If she's willing to destroy his candidacy to benefit her own, then yes, I say African Americans should not vote for her. Other voters of principle are invited to join us.

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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