Note to Progressives for Obama: What Happens After Election Day?

Unless John McCain has a bombshell of a scandal to drop on Barack Obama at the 11th hour, this election is beginning to look like it’s in the bag for the Democrats. The Republicans will finally be kicked out of the White House and peace and calm will slowly return to Washington.

At least that’s the message reverberating across the progressive landscape these days. One can almost hear a collective sigh of relief. Darth Cheney will be gone. Karl Rove will be forced to recoil, and President Bush can retire in ignorant bliss to his ranch in Crawford.


It is certainly comforting to believe the stars have aligned and progressive values are about to flood the Beltway. Barack Obama has campaigned on “Hope” and “Change” and we all but believe the guy is actually going to deliver on his varied promises.

But believing is what’s caused so many to fall victim to Obama fever. You know the signs: they send you emails from (claiming you’re to blame for Obama’s fictional loss) and hope-filled rants from Norman Solomon. They talk about Obama as if he’s the next messiah, their wardrobe consists of more than two Obama shirts that they’ll wear every day leading up to the election. They have a “Change” sign in their window and one in their front yard. It’s as if they’ve become more or less Obama-zombies, just in time for Halloween.

No question the Obama strategists have accomplished what they set out to do. Just look at all they’ve achieved thus far: antiwar activists have exchanged their slogans for pro-Obama refrains despite the fact that their candidate inflates the alleged threat of Iran, wants to put more troops in Afghanistan and won’t pull out of Iraq anytime soon.

Environmentalists have come out for Obama in large numbers, even though he thinks coal can be clean and nuclear energy can be safe. No big deal that he wants to drill baby drill off our coastal shores. At least the guy believes in global warming.

Or take the civil rights champions who have few qualms about his rabid support for FISA and the PATRIOT Act or social justice activists who aren’t overly concerned that Obama condones the execution of convicts who have never murdered. Economic progressives, who would be the first to say the economic I.V. pumped into the Wall Street bloodline was hastily passed and rips off tax-payers, are the first to defend Obama’s economic platform. No matter he supported the bailout without reservation. No matter his team of economic hit men includes a whole slew of Clintonite neoliberals like Robert Rubin. Obama is still their guy.

All of this wouldn’t bother me much if it weren’t for the overt hypocrisy so many progressives, and a few radicals, are exhibiting with their blind support for Obama. It’s one thing to embrace pragmatic voting and lesser-evilism on the grounds that we don’t really live in a true democracy. It’s quite another to be excited about the prospect of electing a man who doesn’t stand for the issues you do, and is in fact campaigning against them.

What will happen if Obama wins the electorate? Progressive Group Number One seems to believe he’ll magically move left once inaugurated and is only running to the right in order to win the election. That position is a non sequitur and not worthy of real discussion as it’s based on wishful thinking.

Progressive Group Number Two knows Obama is pretty damn conservative but is planning on voting “strategically,” arguing that change comes in baby steps, yet they assure us they’ll apply pressure once Obama’s elected to get the little toddler strolling. A friend, who happens to be a professor at a large university, recently told me that he plans on coercing Obama by pressuring elected members of congress. He’ll be “making a stink” and “scene,” he assured me.

What a relief.

“The forces arrayed against far-reaching progressive change are massive and unrelenting. If an Obama victory is declared next week, those forces will be regrouping in front of our eyes — with right-wing elements looking for backup from corporate and pro-war Democrats,” Norman Solomon recently wrote in an article advising progressives to vote against their interests. “How much leverage these forces exercise on an Obama presidency would heavily depend on the extent to which progressives are willing and able to put up a fight.”

Does Solomon even understand what it means to “put up a fight”? And what’s with the notion that progressives will “apply pressure” once Obama wins? They have no cash and he’s already going to receive most of their votes. What are they going to do to pressure him, poke him in his ribs? Cause a stink by farting through the halls of Congress? Obama may actually listen to us if he thought progressives were considering to vote for a guy like Ralph Nader, which is the point Nader seems to be making by campaigning in swing states this week. Nader knows how to put up a real fight, one not mired in hypotheticals and fear-mongering, so he’s pressuring Obama where it matters most.

Of course, such a direct confrontation to Obama’s backward policies ruffles the slacks of many devout liberals. But that is the point. Progressives are not flush with cash and as we all should know, flashing the almighty buck is usually the best way to grab a politician’s attention. But the only thing we have at our immediate disposal now is votes. These crooks need us to get elected. Obama already has the majority of left-wing support shored up despite his resistance to embrace our concerns. Imagine if he had to earn our votes instead of receiving our support without having to do a thing for it?

So let’s prepare for what’s ahead. Obama may win next Tuesday, but what will happen to the movements that have been sidelined in order to help get the Democrats elected? What will become of the environmental movement after January 20? Will it step up to oppose Obama’s quest for nuclear power and clean coal? Will the antiwar movement work to force Obama to take a softer approach toward Iran? Will they stop the troop increase in Afghanistan?

These are but a few of the questions I’d like progressive supporters of Obama to answer. I’ve yet to hear exactly how they will pressure an Obama administration. In fact, I don’t think they will. George W. Bush will be gone and that will be enough for most. Progressives faced a similar confrontation in 1992 when Bill Clinton took office, but without much of a fight we saw neoliberalism take hold in the form of NAFTA and we endured the Telecommunications Act, Welfare Reform, a forest plan written by the logging industry, the dismantling of Glass-Steagall, the Iraq Liberation Act, and much much more.

What makes the Democrats believe that they even deserve our support now? President Bush has indeed been bad, but his most egregious policies were upheld and supported by the majority of Democrats. They gave Bush the green light to whack Saddam while they controlled the Senate. They supported the PATRIOT Act (Obama voted for its reconfirmation), the War on Terror, Bush’s increased Pentagon budget, a no-strings Wall Street bailout and two awful Supreme Court confirmations. You may also remember that two years ago we ushered Democrats back into office with the belief that they might actually fight Bush on Iraq. Instead we’ve had nothing but complicity, with Democrats time and again supporting increased war funds.

I hope I’m not alone in saying that we deserve more than lofty rhetoric about “action” and “hope.” We deserve a program for real progressive change — the kind Democrats and Barack Obama will not bring as long as we give them our unconditional support.

Joshua Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published by AK Press in June 2008. Check out the Red State Rebels site. Read other articles by Joshua.

33 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. steve conn said on October 29th, 2008 at 11:39am #

    Amen, brother.

  2. Nader Rider said on October 29th, 2008 at 11:50am #

    I absolutely agree.

  3. rosemarie jackowski said on October 29th, 2008 at 12:09pm #

    The ‘peace movement’ no longer exists in many places. It was killed by the ‘Obama’ campaign. I do not blame Obama for this. He is a politician trying to win an election. He has already said that he will increase the military and send more troops to the battlefield. He has been honest about this. Many democrats are in denial.

    Vote Nader.

  4. usul said on October 29th, 2008 at 12:34pm #

    “The Republicans will finally be kicked out of the White House and peace and calm will slowly return to Washington.”

    Gosh, that sounds awfully familiar…
    Oh yes, I remember now.
    It was when the Dems won the House and Senate.

  5. Deadbeat said on October 29th, 2008 at 12:58pm #

    Ms. Jackowski writes…

    The ‘peace movement’ no longer exists in many places. It was killed by the ‘Obama’ campaign. I do not blame Obama for this.

    The “peace movement” was not killed by the Obama campaign. It was killed four years ago by the Left when various factions on the Left chose to diffuse the movement especially when other parts of the peace movement did not tow the “war for oil” line and began to center on Zionism’s influence on leading to 9-11 and the War in Iraq.

    Other members of the Left sabotaged the Green Party and Nader and the Greens could not form a united front. Also part of the Left decided to get behind the “Anybody But Bush” tactic and throwing their support to John Kerry.

    All of the aforementioned fractured the Left and the Left is in an extremely weaken position four years later during this election cycle.

    Ms. Jackowski is absolutely correct to NOT fault the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign FILLED THE VOID that the Left help to create by its inability to build solidarity among oppressed group and form a united front. The “peace movement” has been moribund for the past four years.

    I find it extremely ironic that Howard Zinn NOW fully supports Ralph Nader but gave all kind of obscure reasons not to fully support Ralph four years ago. Had Zinn took the plunge four years ago his voice would have had more weight to it. Today his voice and Chomskyare virtually meaningless because the public has already made up its mind and public turnout is expected to be huge.

    What threw the Left off-balance is the Obama campaign. I think the Left expected Hillary Clinton to head the Democratic Party ticket and thereby would have sit back and waited for anti-Clinton “progressives” to join their ranks. The Obama campaign was able to capture that faction and thereby weakened, divided and confused an already weaken Left and why I think the Left needs to reassess its tactics.

  6. John Hatch said on October 29th, 2008 at 1:02pm #

    What happens when you replace a sociopathic lunatic with an eloquent, sane man who espouses the exact same policies? I think it will become even more apparent to the world that America is helplessly in the grip of corrupt corporations and a hoplessly corrupt Congress and that it’s time for a serious worldwide boycott of all things American, including the dollar. The dollar is all that America understands.

  7. Jonathan said on October 29th, 2008 at 1:24pm #

    I think there is a lot of truth in what you are saying that the so called “left” (whatever that really means – do you mean a potential movement that could unite as a force behind someone like Nader and actually give a strong voice to real progressive policies?) has been absorbed in its fractured state (if it was ever really a coherent whole?) by the Obama campaign.
    I do find it tragic that there is a lack of a coherent and significantly widespread movement behind Nader or the Green Party.
    About Zinn and Chomsky fully supporting Nader – I wondered what your sources are on this as I think you may be mistaken.

  8. Erroll said on October 29th, 2008 at 1:40pm #

    I agree that most of Obama’s supporters are sincere. I also agree that many if not most of them are also delusional. While traveling to a liberal town about a month ago for our weekly grocery shopping, I noticed a sign in the rear window of a car of the store’s parking lot which admirably proclaimed WAGE PEACE. On the bumper was a sticker which told the world: OBAMA O8. There was an oxymoron that could have been straight out of a George Carlin routine: WAGE PEACE with OBAMA in O8. If Obama lurches any more to the right with his militant rhetoric, he will soon be sitting in the right field bleachers.

  9. rosemarie jackowski said on October 29th, 2008 at 2:51pm #

    Deadbeat…I agree with you. When I wrote my comment I was thinking only of my immediate geographical area. I stand corrected. Thanks.

  10. Poilu said on October 29th, 2008 at 3:31pm #

    ” … All of the aforementioned fractured the Left and the Left is in an extremely weaken position four years later during this election cycle.” -Deadbeat

    Egads! We on the Left are certainly a self-destructive lot, aren’t we?

    Of course, since I’m unable to locate any phone listing for “Leftist Central”, I have real problems taking seriously these contrived arguments which seek to “lay the blame” for virtually all of this country’s ills on some mythically “monolithic” Left, ESPECIALLY when the most consistent complaint centers squarely on that Left’s purported INABILITY to present any such “united front”.

    To me this seems every bit as irrational as asserting repeatedly that, “The problem with individuals is that they’re simply NOT a group!!” %^}

  11. Rich Griffin said on October 29th, 2008 at 3:33pm #

    One cannot be a peace activist and vote for Obama or any pro-war candidate or party. Therefore: the only way to be peaceful is to vote outside the two major parties. I’m angry, sad, and motivated: Obama supporters have pissed me off no end with their endless excuses for voting for a pro-war pro-corporate pro-nuclear slick politician.

    What we need to do is to deprogram “Democrats”. We can’t get any traction until we confront so-called progressives who find excuses to vote for slime such as Obama, Pelosi, etc.

  12. KR said on October 29th, 2008 at 4:29pm #

    It’s delusional to think that radical, progressive social change will be acheived through elections in the US, no matter who you vote for – even Green party candidates. The best you’ll get through voting is some tepid reforms. Often those reforms mean a great deal in the everyday lives of people trying to make ends meet, so I’m not denigrating them. I just think we should keep this in perspective.

    One of the worst aspects of elections is that all our grassroots energy gets diverted not only into electoral campaigns but these endless, redundant and stupid arguments about them.

    The fact is, if we’re already committed to working for change from the grassroots, we will have to continue to do so without continually being diverted and distracted by the smoke and mirrors of elections. Radical social justice movements are not lead by politicians, period. Some politicians and elected officials will be more receptive than others to a left perspective, it’s true, but regardless, once someone gets elected in this capitalist country, they will be pushed and pulled in many directions.

    If we can’t even succeed in building a viable mass base which by its very existence changes the terms of the political climate and debate, we may as well not get too worked up about this relatively minor political decision about voting this Tuesday.

  13. Max Shields said on October 29th, 2008 at 4:34pm #


    Nader issued the statement in an email that Zinn sent out an email that he was mistaken, and would vote for Nader, but said that while he recommends (like Chomsky) that non-swing state voters vote for Nader, he’s sticking (like Chomsky) with the recommendation that swing state voters vote for Obama.

    He, like Chomsky lives in a non-swing state – MA where the winner take all electorial college will bestow their “votes” – all of them – for the Dem/Obama. So, Zinn will vote for Nader in be counted among the tally of Nader votes.

    Personally, I strongly disagree with the overall strategy, but think that regardless vote for the person who you think has the right positions on the substantive issues. For me that’s clearly Nader (regardless of swing/no-swing).

    Jonathan, I don’t think Deadbeat is talking about the wishywashy crown that call themselves progressives for Obama. He just thinks the left (who ever they are) are closet zionists – the whole lot of nameless, faceless, American lefties…

    I think Frank has characterized the state of the so-called progressives in US pretty well.

  14. Diane said on October 29th, 2008 at 4:50pm #

    Sometimes I wonder at the sanity of you Americans, you act as if this is some little parochial election and that you actually feel you have a choice. Get real, think about the rest of the world for a change and get out and vote the Republicans OUT
    If you had a choice the third parties would be in the running, and your working class would be organised and powerful its not, their not. We really are beginning to despair of you

  15. Ramsefall said on October 29th, 2008 at 5:10pm #

    It’s refreshing that other dissident voices like Joshua recognize and state that which seems to be most obvious.

    I understand that the public is feeling pressure in this economic calamity, and at the same time they may even be anticipating a hint of relief in the political wake of a W and Chaney departure. Nonetheless, that the choice is so limited and the public so desperate has to be why Obama’s supporters are blind to the reality of his voting record; pro war, pro petro and pro civil right’s infringement laws. Or, they HAVE taken the time to track his voting record, but are willing to compromise values for a fresh image, as that is about all the country will get.

    While Obama may have a few stronger characteristics than his geriatric opponent, it’s challenging not to perceive all this as evidence of democracy’s impotent condition in the U.S.

    It’s true that Nader is a stubborn fighter who refuses to throw in the towel, that’s admirable, but not the problem. He hasn’t built a movement behind him, not one like the phenomena we’re witnessing with Obama, but a genuinely collective movement of the masses who all know what to do at the polls, and why. Electorate participation of 80% or more is what is needed, support that men like Jorge Gaitan, Jacobo Arbenz and Evo Morales had behind them, these men had reality changing movements behind them with enough power to overturn the system. What will Nader take home next Tuesday, maybe 8-10%?

    If the U.S. wants change that will turn back the fascist progression of the past eight years, the movement had better start brewing on 05 XI 08, there’s no time left to wait. Naomi Wolf makes a solid case for this type of critical action in her “The End of America”, of any of you haven’t yet read it.

    Best to all.

  16. Hue Longer said on October 29th, 2008 at 6:01pm #


    Whatever horrors you are experiencing in your country due to the US Empire, take some comfort that at least with a McCain victory, you’ll have plenty of polarized liberals at least taking notice.

    I know a social worker in Australia who LOVES Bill Clinton (in a lusting after a rock-star sort of way), and she is appalled by Bush and the Iraq war. Don’t bring up 500,000 starved to death children though or you won’t get invited to the next party.

  17. Giorgio said on October 29th, 2008 at 6:44pm #

    Let’s throw a party, America!

    The Lesser of Two Evils Puppet is going to be the next El Presidento!
    But who calls the shots in this game? The Puppet OR the Puppeteer?

    Magnifico! Put on your party hat, America. You won the prize.

    You’ve successfully answered the musical question, “How lethally stupid can one country be?”

  18. Chuckypita said on October 29th, 2008 at 7:27pm #

    Ron Paul is the only candidate that promotes real – fundamental – positive change.

    Everyone else is a pawn on the FED’s chess board.

  19. usul said on October 29th, 2008 at 7:42pm #

    Meet the new neo-libs, same as the old neo-cons.

  20. Max Shields said on October 29th, 2008 at 7:44pm #

    Sometimes we lose sight of what brute power is. Chomsky has understood this very well about the US. It is mafia like in its approach to the world.

    When some talk of what the left should or shouldn’t do, or Zionism as the ultimate enemy, there seems to be an utter lack of appreciation for American Empire power. It has crushed and destroyed whole nations, Laid them unhabitable. It scorches the earth with bombs so vile, it is unmentionable what happens to human flesh as a result of their launch.

    The “left” is sadly laughable when compared to this montrous empire.

    Those who search for a peaceful America are up against something so utterly destructive in nature as to make such cries for peace a deep and penetrating sorrow, a tragedy beyond words.

    The politics of evil is more than simply a flipant cynicism, it is incarnate.

  21. Carl Davidson said on October 29th, 2008 at 9:25pm #

    Well, since this is addressed to us, I’ll offer a few answers, but I’ll also ask Frank the same question: What doe HE plan to do after election day?

    First, a lot depends on who wins. It matter to me, most of the working class and almost all African Americans, that McCain loses. It doesn’t seem to matter much to Frank, so in some ways, he’s not part of any left I want to deal with. He’s deluded into thinking he can end this war while dissing all these folks.

    I’m not in his first group, thinking Obama will magically move left. We’ve had him pegged as a liberal speaking to the center from day one.

    But I’m not in his second group, either, thinking every advance is teeny. If we organize well, we may actually get some rather important ones.

    ‘Organize’ is the key word here. He asks how we plan to pressure the politicians on high. Whether in the Obama camp or any other, you first get the attention of politicians mainly in two ways–organized voters or organized money. Since we don’t have the latter, we stress the former, and that’s what we’ve been doing–building new grassroots organization of voters that belong to us, not the Dems or anyone else at the top. Second, you deploy your forces both in the streets, at the polls, in the schools, in the military, everywhere. But if you have no base community organization to do these things WITH, then all your talk is so much cafe chatter.

    Because of our work in this campaign, we’ve done fairly well. But Frank is really clueless. How would he know, since his cynicism blinds him? He just doesn’t get it after all these years. If you want socialism or any other kind of radical change, you have to go to the working class, where they happen to be; you don’t just play ‘waiting for lefty’ or run around with red flags and hope they’ll come to you. And then you work with their allies as well, against the main immediate enemy.

    I live in blue-collar Beaver County in Western PA. We went into this campaign with an independent base organization of 80-100 workers united around ‘Out Now,’ HR 676, and Green Jobs.

    That’s still our key stands, but we’ve added Kucinich’s 16-point New Deal plan to project into the Bail-out battle.

    But we’ve nearly doubled our size in the last nine months, made new allies in other unions, made new alliances in the Black community and with antiwar Obama youth at some local campuses.

    We also now have an online public face weblog, Beaver County Blue, which puts out a left-progressive pole and is widely read among unionists and Black activists.

    We demonstrate against the war every week, but we build strong organization that belongs to us, and operates within the milieu I write about. Some of the local Dem incumbents worry, but we’re widely appreciated as a source of good ideas and tireless work.

    We work with IVAW here, as well as MFSO, and together with other peace groups and a state senator, we now have resolutions in the statehouse to yank the PA guard out of the war.

    We circulate hundreds, if not thousands, of items against all kinds of repression on our national P4O lists, and forward them to many others. In Denver, we worked on the IVAW security team to lend a hand with a successful action.

    So we’re doing well, but always hope to do better. We’re far from perfect.

    But this won’t satisfy you. You’ll cherry pick some demand or another issue or event to strike a pose, so no matter.

    But the fact remains that we’re building serious organization for serious work. You can call it ‘pandering’ or whatever you like, since our local opposition knows better. It really doesn’t matter what Frank or his local compatriots, the Pittsburgh student anarchists, think about this, because, first, they rarely think things through much at all, and second, they hang up near the University of Pitt, and are completely irrelevant to the actually class struggle unfolding here. Fine by us, since there’s plenty of sane and radical working-class youth here for us to relate to with politics that can go somewhere.

    It’s actually quite refreshing outside the cul-de-sac of the ‘left bloc’ swamp. Frank is welcome to stay there, if he insists. But if he ever want to put that baggage down, he’s welcome here, too.

    As for the antiwar movement ‘disappearing,’ what a hoot! A whole new sector of it has emerged, the antiwar Obama youth, about a million of them. They just decided to try to use Obama to end the war. whether wisely or not, they didn’t bother to ask me or Frank if this was OK. They just did it. Same with the union workers who give Obama standing ovations when he asserts he’ll end the war.

    Now if you’re an antiwar leader, your task is not just to lead the people who mainly agree with you. That’s the easier, softer way. You have to try to lead those who don’t mostly agree with you, who are not yet activists or anti-imperialist, but are the workers who cheer Obama or the youth who work for him.

    That’s what we do, and we’re doing it rather well. Believe me, we’re already preparing a mass mobilization on an Obama White House (hopefully Obama will win) early this spring to demand he follow through on ending the war, and to block any wider wars. We’ll have lots of new troops to work with, not just a bunch of wacked out anarchists who think the way to end the war is to play dress-up with black clothes and masks, break store windows, and play tag with cops in the streets. After the RNC fiasco, thanks, but no thanks. We have better ways to go about it.

    So again Joshua, you now have an idea of what ‘Progressives for Obama’ will be doing. So give us a summary of what you’ve accomplished, and what your plans are, and all that you’ve gained from boycotting all our activity.

  22. DavidG. said on October 29th, 2008 at 11:35pm #

    Max, sad to say but your words ring true. America is now an Evil Empire. It glories in war and greed and materialism.

    But if it’s not caught by bankruptcy, then the ecological crisis combined with global warming will bring it down.

    My new post ‘SAD’ provides some details about the Ecological Crisis. If you’re feeling depressed, don’t read it!

  23. Rich Griffin said on October 30th, 2008 at 3:26am #

    I keep reading how elections don’t matter, other activism matters, but they never elaborate. I think BOTH matter equally.

    Obama supporters piss me off no end. I have bottom lines: the least I expect from a candidate, and Obama does not even come close to meeting it. Fear of McCain and/or Bush is not enough of a reason to vote for a murderous thug like Obama. I disagree with Obama on hundreds of issues. I believe elections are important and we should work hard at electing non-one party system candidates that are real progressives.

    I’ve called for an all-out boycott of all mainstream corporate media. This means: giving up your morning newspapers, your corporate news programs and stations (such as CNN & MSNBC, etc.), and magazines. If enough of us do it we can drive them out of business or willing to start covering ALL the news, and stop excluding progressive voices and ideas.

  24. Hue Longer said on October 30th, 2008 at 3:37am #

    I am the founding member of Progressives for Nancy Pelosi and I endorse Carl’s message…you people are not Barack’s constituents, so fuck off!

  25. Max Shields said on October 30th, 2008 at 5:36am #

    Hue, When is Saturday Night Live going to pick up on this?

  26. Darren Hutchinson said on October 30th, 2008 at 7:03am #

    I would thank God, if I were a believer! This is a great article. It sums up everything I have been saying to my liberal friends for months. I have nothing against Obama. Instead, I have been more dismayed by their belief that he represents a monumental shift in the nation’s ideology. Obama is another Democrat. I have always voted Democrat, but I have never believed I was saving humanity by doing so. Thanks for this essay!

    I have written similar articles myself. Please indulge the links:

  27. Hue Longer said on October 30th, 2008 at 7:32am #

    Max Shields said on October 30th, 2008 at 5:36am #

    Hue, When is Saturday Night Live going to pick up on this?

    I suppose when they switch from parody to satire

  28. Martha said on October 30th, 2008 at 9:47am #

    Carl Davidson has his Kool-Aid site. Does he have to comment here? Joshua Frank wrote a wonderful article. Davidson writes, “First, a lot depends on who wins. It matter to me, most of the working class and almost all African Americans, that McCain loses. It doesn’t seem to matter much to Frank, so in some ways, he’s not part of any left I want to deal with. He’s deluded into thinking he can end this war while dissing all these folks.” Who told you that, Carl, a pollster? This African-American is not voting for Barack.
    As for “most of the working class and almost all African Americans,” let me just scream “racist!”
    Carl isn’t that what you and your buddy Tom Hayden did to Hillary Clinton?
    ‘No, shut up, Carl. This Black woman doesn’t need to hear your excuses for your racism. You’ve just said that African-Americans aren’t part of the working class.’
    That is how Carl and his other ‘buddies’ acted throughout a Democratic Party primary even though they are not Democrats.
    That needs to be noted.
    It needs to be noted that the non-Black working class was behind Hillary which includes Latinos and Latinas who were supporting Hillary overwhelmingly. But Carl wanted to hide behind my race because he (and bi-racial Barack) had nothing else to offer.
    Carl, my race does not exist to be your fashion accessory. You’ll just have to face that you’ll be wearing White long after Labor Day.
    Vote Nader, vote McKinney, but vote for real change.
    As to what Joshua Frank’s going to be doing after election day, I imagine he’ll be helping to lead the way forward with those of us who grasp that he never sold out the way Carl, Tom Hayden, Norman Solomon, Laura Flanders, Amy Goodman, Matthew Rothschild, Katha Pollitt, et al did. (You’ll note just how many Whites are listed. For a so-called ‘progressive’ media that insists upon portraying bi-racial Barack as “Black” and swearing it is so important to the African-American community that Barack get into office, you’ll notice they never give up their seats at the desk to anyone of color.)

  29. Diane said on October 30th, 2008 at 1:57pm #

    Hue Longer

    Can’t agree with you on that, mostr Australian’s I know are very cynical about politicians, and most of us knew exactly what Bill Clinton was about , we just have this funny old view that you never ever work with the conservatives, never ever. Too many libertarians running around in the American left, who somehow seem to feel in you drop the child into the deep end it will swim, doesn’t happen. The triumphant working class that Karl Marx envisiaged worked in large factory towns and cities, we don’t have that now and we need to rethink how it is done not spit the dummy cause the candidate is not ideal

  30. Hue Longer said on October 30th, 2008 at 3:53pm #


    When I see a guy who starved 500,000 kids, I don’t think about him as a guy I could work with and suggesting that it’s not as bad as what the guy who didn’t get voted in would have done reeks of extreme cowardice or apathy. Whitlam would have been overthrown by the CIA whether it was Nixon or Johnson farting in the oval office.

  31. bozhidar bob balkas said on October 30th, 2008 at 4:56pm #

    in US there is no uncle sam and auntie sarah. neither is in US two uncles; one of lesser evil and the other of greater evil.
    when finally we obtain two uncles of ab. equal econo-military-political power, we may obtain a US w. a human face.
    spread the message that if amers (ab. 80% of pop) want they’r country back, they better listen to nader.
    actually, amers never had their america. it is time to work one’s but off for america that even i loved decades ago because of my vast ignorance.
    what a fool can a person be. thnx

  32. Eddie said on October 30th, 2008 at 5:00pm #

    Great article by Joshua Frank. Great comments (especially loved Martha’s). Not sure what Diane’s trying to say but one way you don’t get the working class to come together is by falsely screaming “racist!” at a huge chunk of them over and over. And if and when Marx is going to be realized, it’s going to take a lot of egg heads losing their “I’m so precious” attitudes. We had our primary in March. If you didn’t support Barack, you were a “racist.” All it did was ensure my entire family would not vote for him. We’re working class Latino and his vague speeches and lies about Iraq didn’t mean ___ to us. A lot of sites my brothers and sisters (and I) used to go to are sites we will never go to again. And we’re fully aware of just how quickly White eggheads were to toss Latinos under the bus for Barack. People like Carl and Tom Hayden are Gringos we’re never listening to again. And you include a lot of other ‘progressives’ on that list. Like Amy Goodman who regularly misrepresented Latinos and refused to promote Juan’s column “I smell Barack-oloney.” You can’t build any movement when you go around telling people they’re stupid or racist just because they won’t drink your Kool Aid. It’s probably also a good thing not to comment like your an expert on a country (the US in this case) if you’re not on the ground here.

  33. Mike P said on November 1st, 2008 at 5:13pm #

    Both candidates policy’s are diametrically opposed to the plight of the majority.
    They both rallied behind the bailout, pure extortion by the elite the largest transfer of wealth known to man.
    An act of treason by those that voted for it. One of them expands the current war the other expands it
    into other countries. Only difference I can see is one will be diplomatic the other wont in the pursuit
    of our final demise.
    My wife will vote for Nader without reservation a life long Republican, she refuses to be an accomplice
    to either evil.