Why Won’t Obama Go for the Knockout?

One of the emerging critiques of Barack Obama’s performance against John McCain in their first presidential candidates’ debate September 26 was that Obama was too kind to McCain, explicitly agreeing with him on at least eight (by my count) occasions.

Some of these statements of agreement were rhetorical tricks, as when Obama agreed with McCain that “the earmark process is abused” — and then went on to point out, in his often professorial tone, that $18 billion in earmarks is nothing compared to McCain’s plans to give away $300 billion to the rich in tax cuts.

Another was a mere evasion, agreeing with McCain that the government needs more “responsibility” to hold Wall Street accountable. Coming in the context of both candidates’ attempts to sidestep taking a firm position either for or against an unpopular bailout of bankers and financial firms, Obama’s support for “responsibility” had the all the conviction of his agreeing with McCain that the sun rises in the east.

And he agreed with McCain on the “importance of energy,” which no politician with the hope of getting elected these days would deny. He went on to attack McCain for failing to vote for a single legislative initiative to fund “alternative” energy sources. But perhaps lost in this joust was Obama’s definition of “alternative,” which, in addition to “green” technologies like solar and wind, included nuclear power.

So Obama appears ready to sign on to a large increase in the use of unsafe nuclear power under the guise of combating global climate change.

The only dispute between McCain and Obama on this score was over where nuclear waste would be stored. In one of Obama’s characteristic pulled punches, he looked set to point out McCain’s hypocrisy in supporting the burying of nuclear waste in Nevada, instead of his home state of Arizona. But Obama let moderator Jim Lehrer move on to the next topic, instead.

That topic turned out to be whether the U.S. was safer since 9/11. Again, Obama and McCain agreed that the U.S. was safer, but then moved on to elaborate a few differences between them.

In the midst of his remarks, Obama slipped in this aside, which may have come as a surprise to his supporters: “We are spending billions of dollars on missile defense. And I actually believe that we need missile defense, because of Iran and North Korea and the potential for them to obtain or to launch nuclear weapons.”

Say what? Obama had endorsed one of the most sacrosanct articles of faith among neoconservatives in Washington, and few commentators even noted it.

Yet if Obama’s endorsement of nuclear power and missile defense — certainly two of the Bush administration’s top policy goals as well — didn’t raise eyebrows, neither did some of the more fundamental areas on which Obama said he agreed with McCain.

At the top of that list was “We cannot allow a nuclear Iran.” After McCain raved that an Iran with nuclear weapons would precipitate a second Holocaust, with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad standing in for Hitler, Obama didn’t disagree with either of these preposterous claims.

The debate bogged down into a rather obscure dispute over what McCain adviser Henry Kissinger meant by saying the U.S. should be willing to meet with Iran “without preconditions.” But the key point was that Obama was committing the U.S. to years of confrontation with Iran, albeit carried out in a less ham-handed way than McCain would.

Even Obama’s refusal to back down from his earlier pledge to meet with Iran came with a caveat that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (and the professional liar Kissinger) would agree with: “[I]t may not work, but if it doesn’t work, then we have strengthened our ability to form alliances to impose the tough sanctions that Senator McCain just mentioned.”

So in a circuitous way, Obama’s disagreement with McCain ended up as agreement with McCain!

Just after their consensus on policy toward Iran was their policy toward Russia and Georgia. After McCain blasted Russia’s recent invasion of Georgia and reaffirmed his commitment to bringing most of the rest of the former USSR into NATO, Lehrer asked Obama if he had any disagreements with McCain. Obama responded: “No, actually, I think Senator McCain and I agree for the most part on these issues.”

In effect, Obama endorsed a policy of continued confrontation with Russia, and the flashpoint could be the pro-U.S. government of Georgia, whose attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia actually precipitated the Russian invasion. Had Georgia already been a full NATO member, the U.S. would have been treaty-bound to go to war with Russia!

Even though many people might feel more secure with Obama rather than John “Bomb Bomb Iran” McCain and Sarah “I can see Russia from my front window” Palin in charge, they shouldn’t expect much change in U.S. foreign policy. In fact, among the strongest disagreements between Obama and McCain came when Obama struck the more hawkish pose of the two: pledging to “take out” Osama bin Laden even if it meant carrying out an attack on Pakistani territory without that government’s consent.

What about the main foreign policy difference between McCain and Obama — the issue that has been the subject of the hopes of millions over the last two years — namely their attitude toward the war in Iraq?

Obama’s best barbs against McCain were the series of “you were wrong” charges Obama flung at McCain’s predictions that Iraq possessed “weapons of mass destruction,” that the U.S. occupation would be welcomed and so on.

But that’s about the past. Regarding the future, Obama noted that “in 16 months, we should be able to reduce our combat troops.”

Perhaps lost on most listeners, Obama’s choice of the word “reduce” rather than “withdraw” may be a tip of the hand. Formerly, Obama had pledged to withdrawal “combat troops” from Iraq, which would have still left thousands of support troops and mercenaries deployed in Iraq. On September 26, he pledged only to lower the number of combat troops in Iraq.

We’ll see if this was merely a rhetorical misstep in the heat of a debate. But if it isn’t, Obama may be laying the ground for backing off even his original promise to withdraw combat troops within 16 months once he is president.

At that point, opponents of the Iraq war who voted for Obama may ask themselves just why they voted for him.

Lance Selfa writes for the Socialist Worker where this article first appeared. Read other articles by Lance, or visit Lance's website.

25 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. jacksmith said on October 1st, 2008 at 11:04am #


    YOU DID THE RIGHT THING people by stopping this 700 billion dollar bailout of Wall Street with your money. It’s a trap set by the Bush McCain administration years ago to spring on you, and the World just before the November elections. It will cripple our economy for years to come by taking away money from important social programs like health care reform, education, and social security.

    What ever congress does to try and fix our stunning economic catastrophe needs to be done very carefully. Congress needs to take their time, and be sure of what they are doing. Whatever is done needs to be sharply focused at helping, and protecting the best interest of the ordinary Americans. In particular the vast American middle class. 700 billion dollars is a lot of the peoples money to spend to bail out a bunch of corrupt Bush loan sharks.

    When have you ever known any government plan, or project to only cost what the government said it would. Remember the war in Iraq. Bush and his so-called advisers said it would only cost you about 80 billion dollars. But we now know that the war in Iraq will cost you, and your children, and your grand children over a trillion dollars, and still counting.

    So if 80 billion can end up costing you over a trillion dollars. How much could 700 billion end up costing you. Any math wizards out there. I come up with 9 trillion…:-(

    My fellow human beings, just as I warned you ahead of this catastrophic economic meltdown, I must now warn you that what is ahead has the potential to be even more catastrophic than what we are going through now. The worlds geopolitical landscape has been booby trapped by the Bush McCain administration and their republican allies in congress. These booby traps are poised to spring at any time.

    Fortunately the Worlds Nations have been blessed with many excellent leaders (except the US) who have been careful, wise, strong, and self-restrained in dealing with the provocations, and antagonism’s of the Bush, McCain administration.

    Barack Obama and the democrats are your best hope now. Tell your family, friends, and everyone you know to support them as best you can, and vote for them like your life, and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. Because it does. You will not survive 4 more years of Bush McCain.


  2. Deadbeat said on October 1st, 2008 at 11:26am #

    Barack Obama and the democrats are your best hope now.

    Obama is not the “best hope”. Obama is the “lesser evil” to prevent a McCain victory. The “best hope” is Ralph Nader but unfortunately the “Left” crippled his ability to get his message out in 2004.

  3. Rev. José M. Tirado said on October 1st, 2008 at 12:19pm #

    The “Left” in the US did not “cripple” Nader´s ability to get his message out. Nader did that. As someone who has supported and actively worked for his campaigns since 1992 I can tell you Nader, had he 1., run for Senator of Conn., 2. marshalled his mailing list for the Green Party, which he praised to high heaven in 2000, or 3., worked hard to organize under different leadership the Green Party last time around and this year, could have been a far more relelvant force than the caricature he has allowed himself to become today. The guys´s a real hero and someone I have followed for 30+ years, but he blew it himself.

  4. Jon said on October 1st, 2008 at 1:02pm #

    Although I feel that Georgia had it coming to them as far as the Russian invasion, I have to ask you why would you expect Obama to say such a thing?

    He is a politician (running for one of our two largest parties) after-all how would it look for him, he were to condemn our allies in-midst of them being invaded? For Christ’s sakes he’d hand the election over in a heart beat.

  5. lichen said on October 1st, 2008 at 2:14pm #

    “Barack Obama and the democrats are your best hope now. Tell your family, friends, and everyone you know to support them as best you can, and vote for them like your life, and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. Because it does.”

    This sounds like a threat. My life depends on voting for someone with virtually the same foreign and economic policy as Mccain, and furthermore, not only do I have to vote for them, I have to set aside my principles, my faculty of reason and self respect to “support” them? I think we have different perceptions about my life, and what it is for. Whoever is next president has to be stopped dead in their corporatist, war criminal, polluting tracks by the grassroots. Voting for Obama will do nothing.

    It is not “the left” or Nader which lead us to Nader’s current unwinnability; it is the highly flawed, rigged electoral system and the ability of the democrats and republicans to use the crisis that came about (the stolen elections, 911…) to their own reactionary aims.

  6. Hue Longer said on October 1st, 2008 at 3:53pm #

    I’d rather have McCain win so that Democratic voter apologists will remain angry instead of defending their guy from blowjobs. At least they can see the end is coming when a Republican is in

  7. JN said on October 1st, 2008 at 4:19pm #

    The best (because it is the only) hope is for the American people to take control of their government; to build strong movements against the wars & against capitalism.

    The ‘Democrats’ will change nothing. They are part of the same state/corporate elite as the ‘Republicans.’ They represent most of the same interests & on most issues (particularly economics & foreign policy) are virtually identical.

    Vote for McKinney or Nader. Break the stranglehold of the “2 party system” on US politics.


  8. Deadbeat said on October 1st, 2008 at 4:44pm #

    To Rev. José M. Tirado…

    Thanks for your perspective. I read a similar perspective about Nader on Empire Notes by Rahul Mahajan. I think his perspective is somewhere in the middle. He doesn’t let Nader off the hook but neither does he let the Left off the hook.

    The main point however is that the failure by both Nader and the Green Party has left a huge void now being filled by Obama and has ill-positioned both Nader and the Greens (in this case Cynthia McKinney).

    In fact I recently read that the McKinney campaign is so poorly funded that she is having difficulty traveling to DC for an NPR interview segment.

    IMO, I think the perspective of JN above is sever wishful thinking and merely a protect vote. IMO, I would rather not risk a McCain victory in 2008 just to prove a point.

  9. JN said on October 1st, 2008 at 6:30pm #

    It’s not wishful thinking. I didn’t say it would be easy but it needs to be done. Radical change is an absolute necessity, particularly in the west. This can only be achieved by building mass movements.

    Obama’s economics are those of Friedman & the Chicago School, the consequences of which should be pretty obvious by now: the continued looting of the 3rd world internationally & of the working classes domestically. He is also happy to use racial stereotyping to win votes from right-wing whites (see his speech about specifically black fathers, for example).

    His foreign policy is no less aggressive & imperial than that of McCain/Palin. Obama wants to “reduce” combat troops (not end the occupation) in Iraq, so that he can divert them to the equally unjustifiable & unwinnable war in Afghanistan. He threatens to extend that war into Pakistan (something that is already happening) & to attack Iran. In other parts of the world, his foreign policy will be equally orthodox. He has already expressed total support for Israel & hostility to Cuba & Venezuala.

    The only major difference between Obama & McCain/Palin is character. Is it significantly better to have an absolutely immoral opportunist who is at least reasonably intelligent & comparatively rational? Not if he is operating within an institutional & ideological system that is itself insane.

    If you disagree, by all means vote for Obama in swing states where it will make a difference (assuming the electoral college or supreme court doesn’t overule the electorate again.) If you live in a state that is solidly R or D vote for McKinney or Nader, to open up some space in US politics if for no other reason.

    Above all else, organise mass movements independent of the corporate parties. Don’t be distracted or diverted by the electoral circus. Real change comes from the people.

  10. JN said on October 1st, 2008 at 6:59pm #

    McKinney knows that she can not win the presidency (although she probably could if everyone disgusted with the current mess had the courage to vote for her rather than “the lesser of 2 evils”). Her stated aim is to build the Green Party into a serious national alternative to the ‘Democrats & Republicans’ . Can anyone deny how vitally important it is to have such an alternative?

    Personally, the Green Party are not as radical as I would like but they are genuinely progressive in the context of the current system. They are far, far better than the ‘Democrats,’ & McKinney is far, far better than Obama. They will also be much more open to democratic influence than the corporate owned & funded parties.

    As an added advantage she can completely disarm the appeal of pseudo-progressive ‘identity politics:’
    You want a black president? Vote for McKinney!
    You want a women president? Vote for McKinney!
    You want a president who isn’t a worthless ‘neo-liberal’ war monger? VOTE FOR McKINNEY!

  11. Deadbeat said on October 1st, 2008 at 7:01pm #

    JN analysis regarding Obama is correct. However to infer that the only major difference between Obama and McCain is character is a tactical error. There are nuances that JN ignores that actually loom large to the people.

    What is missing from JN’s analysis (and it is a very good analysis by and large) is WHY the Left is in an extremely weak position and why the Left offers virtually no challenge to the two major parties.

    Also JN’s calls for a mass movement independent of the corporate parties JN doesn’t offer any analysis why the Left hasn’t prepared this landscape in light of the fact that there was a major anti-war effort that took place independent of the major parties in 2003. Why the Left failed to coalesced that movement is not explored by JN.

    While JN has offers some illuminating critique directed at Obama himself, JN offers no analysis is why the people (who he wants to begin a movement) fell in line behind Obama.

    Also JN doesn’t offer any real reason why if voters in non-swing vote for Nader or McKinney will open space in US politics. According to Rev. José M. Tirado, Nader is at fault for failing to really build the Green Party. My experience with the Green was that the Left played a major role in abandoning Nader in 2004. Rahul Mahajan of Empire Notes splits the difference. The point is the problem seem to be more sectarianism and the lack of cohesion on the Left rather than the lesser of two evils argument.

    In other words Nader, McKinney, and the Left has not given the people a reason to choose them over the Democrats. What that means is that JN’s analysis ends up being a cry in the wilderness and an empty jester rather than substantive politics.

  12. Deadbeat said on October 1st, 2008 at 7:03pm #

    JN says …
    You want a president who isn’t a worthless ‘neo-liberal’ war monger? VOTE FOR McKINNEY!

    Cynthia McKinney voted for the War on Afghanistan. It looks like that the Green Party is not anti-war or they’ve are compromising their principles.

  13. Timber said on October 2nd, 2008 at 12:56pm #

    So even though Obama, by his own statements in speeches, debates and in written policy statements on his own website, agrees with McCain at least half the time, he’s a “force for change,” while McCain is a horrible monster waiting to devour us all?

    It’s very convenient for the moderate Reagan Democrats who control the party these days: progressives with a conscience are told we can’t vote third party because the Democrats have lain down for 30 years and allowed the right to control political discourse, so any Republican victory is a guaranteed jump to the right, rather than a slow slide to the right as will take place under a Democrat.

    Too many liberals and Democrats have abandoned any kind of critical analysis of Obama’s positions on important issues simply to celebrate the anticipated Pyrrhic victory of having an African-American be the one to perpetrate and continue illegal terrorist acts against the rest of the world on behalf of the state.

    As I’ve said before, to no little criticism, Democrats have no legitimacy when it comes to Iraq; their position has always been that it was done poorly, and that the only real tragedy is the loss of face the US has suffered diplomatically, and the loss of a few thousand professional soldiers, not the millions of destroyed human beings who have suffered as a result of Bush’s “incompetence.”

    Let’s ask an Iraqi, an Afghani, or a Pakistani in a year if the bombs fall a little more softly or the napalm burns a little more coolly under the adminstration of Barack Obama.

  14. Sam said on October 2nd, 2008 at 1:54pm #

    Someone wrote this:

    “Too many liberals and Democrats have abandoned any kind of critical analysis of Obama’s positions on important issues simply to celebrate the anticipated Pyrrhic victory of having an African-American be the one to perpetrate and continue illegal terrorist acts against the rest of the world on behalf of the state.”

    I agree. I would only insert the words “so-called liberals” to that. Many people call themselves anything these days whether they really are or not what they call themselves. To some so-called “liberals” being a liberal means voting for any politician with a D behind their name and doing a little bit of recycling on occasion. That’s the extent of it.

    That Obama has a “D” behind his name is the only requirement for many (most?) people, even though he’s a R. Many Dem voters—WHY is anyone STILL supporting this dead party is beyond me!—make excuses and apologies for Obama’s Bush enabling. Or they refuse to talk about altogether and choose denial.

    One should vote their conscience and no one should be telling anyone else which candidates to vote for. It’s a personal choice and decision. If one doesn’t want to vote at all, that’s your choice too. Our voting system is a sham to begin with with these hackable e-voting machines all over the place.

    If there is an “election” I’m voting for Nader/Gonzalez because I think they will be best for the nation and world should they have the opportunity to reside in the White House, which they won’t of course, but nevertheless I’ll be voting my conscience. I campaigned for Matt Gonzalez which he ran for mayor here in San Francisco. I like him a lot. He’s also bilingual (English/Spanish).

    I’m not about to participate in the so-called “lesser of two evils” game which is dragged out one election cycle after the other to keep people in this deep rut. Along with the Fear card. We got in this rut we’re in by people resorting to this “lesser of two evils” bull shit. And people expect something to change by staying in it? I-don’t-think-so. You’ll just keep spinning in the ditch. No, I want nothing to do with it or the pro-war, corporatist one-party system. Screw them.

    I also like Cynthia McKinney, but I don’t what she was thinking when she voted for Bush’s terrorist attack on Afghanistan.

  15. Sam said on October 2nd, 2008 at 1:59pm #

    I wrote previously:

    “I also like Cynthia McKinney, but I don’t what she was thinking when she voted for Bush’s terrorist attack on Afghanistan.”

    I should have added: Bush’s terrorist attack on Afghanistan ENABLED by both the Repugs AND Dems.

  16. JN said on October 2nd, 2008 at 2:45pm #

    I know McKinney voted for the war against Afghanistan (does she still support it?). She was absolutely wrong. That imperial war is no more justifiable than the others.

    However, unlike Obama she offers some hope of ending the war in Iraq & is far less likely to start any new wars. Even if she still supports the occupation of Afghanistan (perhaps under some delusion that it is “the good war”), she would be much more open to persuasion/pressure to end it than Obama would.

    To be honest, I’m not American (however, US politics affects all of us) so I don’t know what is wrong with the American left. I’m not even sure there is such a thing, at least in organised form at the national level. The Green Party, for all its flaws, is an attempt to fill that void.
    As to Obama’s appeal, it’s a mystery to me. He seems like an American Tony Blair.

    Certainly sectarianism is a huge problem in the western left but it also has to be recognised that the “2 party system” is effectively rigged against us. The “lesser of 2 evils” mentality is part of that. Furthermore, if against all odds we should play by the rules of the political game (IE: capitalist ‘democracy’) & win, we’ll find that the rules have suddenly changed (see Bolivia). I really doubt that the US elite would willingly let even the most moderate of reformists interfere with their established policies. That is why it is absolutely necessary to organise mass movements regardless of who wins the elections.

  17. lichen said on October 2nd, 2008 at 3:12pm #

    Cynthia Mckinney is no longer for the occupation of Afghanistan; she has repudiated her vote, and that is why she has signed on to the Green Party’s solid rejection of war and militarism.

    I think it is funny that partisan democrats come online to trash “the left” and the green party while their presidential candidate and entire party is 100% for so many wars it is hard to keep track of them. JN’s response is substantive, while others provide nothing, especially because their only aim is to insult and marginalize voters as opposed to looking at the rigged, undemocratic electoral system for what it is.

  18. Sam said on October 2nd, 2008 at 5:05pm #

    I don’t find it funny that partisan Dems come online to trash the so-called “left.” I find it pathetic. The partisan Dems are so blinded by their partisan programming and that party-line shit that….well to me, they are just pathetic.

    Many voters deserve to be insulted for their damnable willful ignorance, sheep-like behavior and not having a clue as to what’s going on. Those aspects in a voter certainly don’t deserve to be praised. They buy into a rigged system and live in denial about that rigged system. How can something be corrected when most people are in denial about it?

  19. Deadbeat said on October 2nd, 2008 at 11:19pm #

    I don’t find it funny that partisan Dems come online to trash the so-called “left.” I find it pathetic. The partisan Dems are so blinded by their partisan programming and that party-line shit that….well to me, they are just pathetic.

    What I find pathetic is how the “Left” remains in denial about their lack of cohesion, the active role it played in diffusing the anti-war movement, and its role in denying how Zionism has affected the American political economy.

    The fact is that the “Left” itself has created a huge void that permitted Obama to emerge because of the “Left” own sectarianism as well as its own inability build a real challenge to the Democrats. The collapse of the Greens in 2004, diffusion of the anti-war movement, Nader’s inability to run as a Green in 2004, and generally the Left’s own racism all of which has prevented the Left from expanding and providing the “people” with real alternatives.

    The problem that I see with the Left is its own UNWILLINGNESS for self-assessment. For example here’s Ralph Nader’s own assessment of the Greens…

    AMY GOODMAN: Why didn’t you go for the nomination? Cynthia McKinney won that nomination.

    RALPH NADER: Because it’s just too disorganized. They can’t—they can’t put it together. They bicker a lot, and they drive out a lot of good Greens who want to focus on agendas. I wish them well. I wish Cynthia McKinney well.

    Before you folks on the “Left” lash out at people voting for the Obama because of your own failures and lack of honesty and cohesion you need to start your own housecleaning.

  20. Deadbeat said on October 2nd, 2008 at 11:25pm #

    lichen says…

    Cynthia Mckinney is no longer for the occupation of Afghanistan; she has repudiated her vote, and that is why she has signed on to the Green Party’s solid rejection of war and militarism.

    Really can you provide a link to back up your assertion to where Cynthia McKinney came clean and repudiated her vote for the War on Afghanistan. I haven’t seen it. I would greatly appreciate it.


  21. Deadbeat said on October 2nd, 2008 at 11:29pm #

    As to Obama’s appeal, it’s a mystery to me. He seems like an American Tony Blair.

    The reason why there is an “Obama Blair” and why he has such great “appeal” is a direct result of the fact that the Left help to open up the opportunity. If the was a viable Left or working class solidarity there would be NO Obama.

  22. Sam said on October 3rd, 2008 at 12:38am #

    Well, this “left” (me) is not in denial about anything. I’ve said for sometime—although not on here—that the “left” is dead. And it is. Although most people who claim to be “liberal” or “progressive” would likely refuse to admit that because they don’t want to…. Denial.

    One of the problems is that the real “left” has virtually no representation in congress. Kucinich comes the closest. So when one has no representation in congress there ain’t much that can be done in that context.

    I suspect much/most of those who are truly “left” (not the wannabees) will be supporting “third party” candidates. I prefer to call them “second party” candidates since the D and Rs are one-party, charading as two.

    Those who pretend to be “left” or claim to be could have gotten behind McKinney or Nader (as two examples…as I have been urging people to do since 2000, only to be called “troll” and “Rove operative” by Dem supporters for suggesting that), but because most people are programmed from an early with D or R party-line politics, most of the so-called “left” can only think in terms of supporting Dems. Period. It’s part of their deep programming. Just like the belief in a supreme being is part of that deep programming instilled at an early age. Therefore, most of the so-called “left” has been wasting their time since (at least) 2000 with the Bush-enabling Dems in congress who are no where near “left” and are not about to be. Much of the so-called “left” has been living with their false hope, delusions and wishful-thinking that the Dems in congress would somehow “change” overnight (just because the became the majority) and work for THEM. Yeah right. Much of the so-called “left” has been spewing that

    1) “change the party from within” bull shit and that

    2) “hold their feet to the fire” nonsense and

    3) “take back the party” bull shit

    The fact is most of the scum in congress don’t give a damn what any of us think unless our last name is Halliburton, Bechtel et al or unless we are a CEO at some lobbying firm or corporation. They especially could care less about the “left.” And most of the Dems in congress have repeatedly spit in the face of the so-called “left” since 2000 yet most of those who pretend to be “left” continue to this day to embrace and support them (the Dems). Astounding. How dysfunctional is that! Someone spits in your face repeatedly and then you hug them (just because they have a D behind their name). Go figure.

    And these Dem supporters are pretty thick people. Wednesday night after the Senate passed the bailout, people were writing “vote them all out.” Yet some of the same people will be voting for Obama who voted FOR the bailout. So much for “vote them all out” (which would INCLUDE Obama). But of course, an exception is made for Obama it seems.

    Also, the corporations and the corporate media play a large role in choosing the pro-war corporatist candidates and the Bush state media refuse to give any time to anyone who doesn’t have a D or R behind their name. They even minimize Kucinich and he does have a D behind his name. And the congress minimizes Kucinich as well because he’s not in lockstep with the so-called “leadership.”

  23. Sam said on October 3rd, 2008 at 12:47am #

    correction to previous comment. It should read:

    …but because most people are programmed from an early ***AGE*** with D or R party-line politics, most of the so-called “left” can only think in terms of supporting Dems.

  24. Sam said on October 3rd, 2008 at 1:08am #

    “Before you folks on the “Left” lash out at people voting for the Obama because of your own failures and lack of honesty and cohesion you need to start your own housecleaning.”

    The exact same thing can be said about the Dead Democratic Party.

    When one votes for Obama/Biden, one will of course realize one is voting for the candidates of a dead party, correct? And a party that has done NOTHING since 2000 but enable the Bush regime accomplish most of its goals. Period. Both Obama and Biden have served as Bush-enablers as well. Biden was one of Bush’s strongest supporters in the senate for the attack on Iraq. And because of the dead Democratic Party’s miserable failures since 2000 and lack of honesty (pretending to be something that they are not) to We the People and lack of cohesion (in serving in a unified block as a legitimate ***opposition party*** versus a Bush-enabling party)…if anyone needs to start housecleaning, it’s the dead Democratic Party and it’s supporters. Because it should be abundantly clear to any thinking person at this point in time that the Dead Democratic Party is thoroughly bankrupt.

    And we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for coward Al Gore and his pathetic 2000 campaign, and the Dead Democratic Party refusing to do all that they could have during the stolen 2000 “election.” Coward Al Gore even refused to stand to contest the electoral college vote reading the following January.

    Some people try to lay it all on Nader rather than taking responsibility and ownership for their own party’s (Dead Democratic Party) miserable failures. The fact is:

    Nader did not require the Dems to enable Bush since 2000 with anything. Nader wasn’t even in the congress. Nader did not require the Dems to vote “yes” repeatedly for whatever Bush wanted, including Alito and Roberts or the USA PATRIOT ACT, or 2 terrorist attacks on nations, on and on. There’s way too much to list here of how the Dems have enabled Bush/Cheney/Rove et al.

    The Dems willingly enabled Bush all on their own since. And they have had spine of steel for doing so. Nader had nothing to do with it. It’s long overdue that Dem supporters FINALLY take OWNERSHIP and RESPONSIBILITY for their own dead party’s miserable failures since 2000 and stop blaming other people.

  25. Poilu said on October 3rd, 2008 at 3:25am #

    “What I find pathetic is how the Left remains in denial about their lack of cohesion, the active role it played in diffusing the anti-war movement, and its role in denying how Zionism has affected the American political economy.”

    Deadbeat: What I constantly find disconcerting and off-balance in your comments are these sweeping generalizations directed at an imagined, potentially “monolithic” Left that has never existed. The “Left”, being a loose aggregation of diverse, relatively independent-minded individuals, has NEVER marched in any semblance of ideological lockstep, not even during the Russian Revolution! Such uniformity is the hallmark of RIGHT-wing factions, which thrive on demagoguery, indoctrination, and raw emotionalism.

    It seems pretty pointless for any individual to rail about the perceived “failings of the Left” when he clearly has no innate ability to exert any direct control over the huge mass of people who may qualify for that designation. In my mind, it’s a complete abdication of personal responsibility to thus attempt to widely disseminate culpability in such an impossibly abstract fashion.

    So let me ask you directly: Where do you personally fall along the political spectrum — i.e., do YOU consider yourself a member of the Left — and who do you consider to be the other “members”? Are Democrats automatically included in your list? Liberals, Greens, Socialists, Anarchists?? The Media, Unions, Cooperatives? Who EXACTLY comprises this “denomination”, in your mind? Moreover, if it’s the “Left” that supposedly “actively diffused” the anti-war movement, as you suggest, does that imply that you consider the anti-war movement to be separate from the “Left”? Or is that assertion intended to indicate a kind of fratricide committed by the left against its own??

    Such generalizations simply demand a meaningful defintion of terms. And even provided same, to be frank, I suspect I’d find this argument of yours fairly relatively circular and pointless. We, the people, are not culpable for the ethical failings of our “leadership”, though we MAY eventually be forced to remedy them in some radical fashion, much as the Founding Fathers themselves once did. But what you’re proposing strikes me as very much like blaming the Colonials for their PRIOR subjugation under King George III — a situation over which they had no control UNTIL they finally broke with the Crown in the War of Independence.

    So again, who is this “Left” that you find repeatedly “at fault” for our current national woes?