Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Some Election Reading

  • Glen Ford on Barack Obama.
    Barack Obama's corporate-made and -financed presidential campaign is the product of three distinct factors, all mitigating against Black self-determination and political cohesion: 1) corporate decisions, made a decade ago, to provide media and financial support to pliant Black Democrats that can be trusted to carry Wall Street's water; 2) a widespread desire among whites to prove through the safe and simple act of voting that they are not personally racist, and/or to dismiss Black claims of pervasive racism in society, once and for all; 3) a huge reservoir of Jim Crow era, atavistic Black thinking that refuses to evaluate Black candidates' actual political stances, but instead revels in the prospect of Black faces in high places. A President Obama would, of course, be the zenith of such narrow, non-substantive, objectively self-defeating visions.
  • Michael Moore on the Dems in general.
    ... Nothing has disappointed me more than the disastrous, premeditated vote by Senator Hillary Clinton to send us to war in Iraq. I'm not only talking about her first vote that gave Mr. Bush his "authorization" to invade -- I'm talking about every single OTHER vote she then cast for the next four years, backing and funding Bush's illegal war, and doing so with verve. She never met a request from the White House for war authorization that she didn't like. Unlike the Kerrys and the Bidens who initially voted for authorization but later came to realize the folly of their decision, Mrs. Clinton continued to cast numerous votes for the war until last March -- four long years of pro-war votes, even after 70% of the American public had turned against the war. She has steadfastly refused to say that she was wrong about any of this, and she will not apologize for her culpability in America's worst-ever foreign policy disaster. All she can bring herself to say is that she was "misled" by "faulty intelligence."

    Let's assume that's true. Do you want a President who is so easily misled? I wasn't "misled," and millions of others who took to the streets in February of 2003 weren't "misled" either. It was simply amazing that we knew the war was wrong when none of us had been briefed by the CIA, none of us were national security experts, and none of us had gone on a weapons inspection tour of Iraq. And yet... we knew we were being lied to! Let me ask those of you reading this letter: Were YOU "misled" -- or did you figure it out sometime between October of 2002 and March of 2007 that George W. Bush was up to something rotten? Twenty-three other senators were smart enough to figure it out and vote against the war from the get-go. Why wasn't Senator Clinton?
  • David Morris on what life was like under the Clintons, not all of which I'm sure I agree with.

  • Robert Sheer plays the class card.
    To his everlasting shame as President, Clinton supported and signed welfare legislation that shredded the federal safety net for the poor from which he personally had benefited. He faithfully served big corporate interests by signing off on Gramm-Leach-Bliley, the Financial Services Modernization Act, which, as a gift to the banks, insurance companies and stockbrokers, reversed consumer protection legislation from the New Deal era ... Yes, Bill Clinton was a very good President compared to what came immediately before and after, and his wife has many strong points in her favor, not the least of which is her wonkish intelligence. What I object to is the notion that the perspective of gender or race trumps that of economic class in considering the traumas of this nation. That is because the George W. Bush Administration engaged in class warfare for the rich with a vengeance that has left many Americans hurting, and we desperately need change to reverse that destructive course.
  •'s How Green is Your Candidate? plus a handy reference chart.

  • Glowing Pig Passes Genes to Piglets. Oh, sorry, my attention wandered for a minute there.


Mike said...

Well, about that "How Green Is Your Candidate?" chart... Climate and energy are the twin elephants in the room, but they don't mean the room isn't hip-deep in mice. That is to say, judging candidates' environmental records on the basis of their climate/energy proposals is important, but definitely not adequate, not a complete picture.

Some other considerations:

- Rep. Bill Richardson, in the early '90s, called for a nationwide moratorium on trash incinerators and introduced federal legislation to back it up. (It didn't pass, in part because Bill Clinton & Al Gore had taken so much money from the incinerator industry.) Here in the D.C. area, most of us live downwind and downstream from these massive furnaces that convert relatively benign household and office trash into airborne plumes of dioxin, mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic.

- Nobody who ever supported the Iraq war -- in 2002 or in 1991 -- can be taken seriously as an environmentalist. Oil addiction is bad enough; starting wars to keep oil prices so far below their actual economic cost, and camouflaging much of the price of oil in the war budget, is just plain antiterrestrial.

- Ron Paul's single position statement on energy (no more subsidies) is every bit as powerful and dramatic as the elaborate cap-and-trade emissions plans put forth by the mainstream Democrats. It would probably do at least as much good. (And, as a Libertarian, he should understand that pollution is the ultimate infringement of private property rights.)

- There will, of course, be a Green candidate, whose "green" credentials are pretty much a given, so there's a gaping hole in this chart.

Rob said...

Thanks, Mike.

From what I've read of it, the cap-and-trade system seems to be a pretty sound plan. Reducing emissions to 80% below 1990 levels far exceeds the 50% urged by the panel of scientists that signed the Bali declaration. It would need strong muleheaded leadership to get it enacted, though, and I'm not sure I see that from any of the current crop of frontrunners.

Orion said...

My father used to say and I quote "All politicians are crooks." He said it often and with verve. He was a smart guy...he read the paper every single day and knew how to read between the lines. I perhaps wouldn't go as far as to label politicans "crooks." well, not all of them anyway, but.... the fact remains...that unfortunately, these days, elections and campaigning cost sooooooo much...that if you are is almost assured that you have been in bed with corporate greed to some level. That OWE...and the public, not to mention our endangered planet who want and need change...are screwed. Whichever politician gets elected only makes a difference to the degree that we are screwed. Democracy has been bought out from under us. "Beware the military and industrial complex." No kidding.

Mike said...

Yeah, I don't mean to disparage cap'n'trade. But if we didn't subsidize pollution so much, we wouldn't need it.