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What if Obama Had Lost? Did He Have a Concession Speech Ready? November 5, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in About Barack Obama, U.S. Election 2008.
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Either Obama was going to win, or there were going to be riots.  Here is one of the articles describing the kinds of preparations police were making in serveral US urban centers.

article imagePolice Nationwide Bracing for Possible Civil Unrest on Election Night


African Americans and other minorities voted overwhelmingly for Obama.  The Black vote was probably over 90%.  White America did not elect Barack Obama, they would have preferred McCain/Palin.  We should not forget that.  It is a scary statistic.

If McCain had won, it was common wisdom that this would have to had been a result of massive electoral fraud.  The presidency was stolen in 2000 and 2004.  There was no reason — perhaps apart from Obama’s large lead in the polls (although even there there were discrepancies) — to believe it couldn’t happen again.

Imagine a McCain victory and riots in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Newark, Detroit, etc.  There can be no doubt (or can there?) that Obama would be on the air urging the rioters (insurgents?) to cease and desist.  But what could he promise them other than eight more years of White racist neo-Fascist rule?

Thankfully, as we celebrate this historic moment, we do not have to live that imagined nightmare.


Obama, Yes, a Thousand Times Yes, of Course, But … October 29, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in About Barack Obama, U.S. Election 2008.
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© Roger Hollander, October 29, 2008


In 1964 I worked full time on the Johnson/Humphrey campaign, motivated in a large part by the hawkishness of Barry Goldwater vis-à-vis Vietnam.  We elected Lyndon Johnson, and he proceeded to escalate the War beyond our wildest nightmare.


That was the last time I bothered to vote in a presidential election until 2004, when the prospect of a second Bush term was so unthinkable that even the notion of supporting the candidate for the latter day Democratic Party of Clinton and Bush Democrats did not come close to overriding my fear of such an outcome.  We all know the outcome.


My absentee ballot for Obama/Bidden was in the mail some time ago, going to the key state of Pennsylvania.  The thought of a McCain/Palin victory is so beyond the pale that even as the democratic socialist that I am, who sees a fatally truncated democracy in play in capitalist America, I find myself as close to praying for an Obama victory as an agnostic can get.


But …


Let’s keep things in perspective.  Eight years of Cheney/Bush (yes, in that order) has moved the country so far in the direction of patriarchal militarized fascism, that even a moderate like Barack Obama appears to be nothing less than a Saviour.


I am aware that Obama is generally considered to be a Liberal Democrat.  Labels aside, the country has so drifted (drifted like an avalanche) to the right that our political perceptions tend to be somewhat skewed.  We have seen, for example, candidate Obama shifting away from his original audacity (unconditional dialogue with Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea), as mild as it was, towards today’s apparently obligatory Republocrat hard line orthodoxy.  He wants to take the troops out of Iraq and send them into the Afghanistan quagmire.  You will not hear Obama utter the phrase that classically came from the lips of Dwight David Eisenhower in his farewell address: military industrial complex.


I would like to believe that an Obama presidency would begin to dismantle militarized armed-to-the-teeth America, but I have seen nothing in him to suggest that he either understands the need or has the intention.  I would like to believe that an Obama presidency would take on the health insurance industry and give us genuine universal health care on a single payer basis (a la Canada), but I do not see that coming either.  I would like to believe that an Obama presidency would genuinely take on Wall Street, the Banks, the corporate media, and re-negotiate NAFTA out of existence, but I don’t see that happening either.  Do you? 


[I hope I will be proved wrong.]


Nonetheless I do not discount the Obama “phenomenon.”  Tom Hayden said that he doesn’t necessarily endorse Obama, but he does the Obama Movement.  I have predicted all along that President Obama will provoke profound disappointment amongst his most committed followers; that he has raised expectations that he cannot possibly fulfill.  This is good.  Other good things coming out of an Obama presidency should include more balanced judicial appointments, an end to know-nothing anti-environmentalism, reversing the scandalous tax cuts to the rich, and perhaps a breather from the attacks on Roe v. Wade. 


Of course, electing its first Afro-American president, something that would have been inconceivable not that many years ago, will be of enormous moral and political significance in a country whose original constitution considered African slaves as nothing more than chattel property.


Will an Obama presidency and a Democratic Congress hold the Cheney/Bush gang accountable for their various crimes?  I seriously doubt it.  Presidential lying about extra marital sex?  Yes.  Taking the country to war based on conscious lies?  Ask Nancy Pelosi.


Nevertheless, no sane, informed, intelligent and good willed American will do other than vote for Obama/Bidden.  As I stated earlier, I have already.  The level of disaster that will result from a McCain/Palin victory is almost beyond imagination.


But let’s consider that possibility (shudder).  My thesis is that the only way McCain can win at this point is by again stealing the election via electoral fraud and voter disenfranchisement, as the current incumbent did in 2000 and 2004.  In such circumstances, how will the Obama Movement react?  With the same relative passivity as in the previous two stolen elections?  I doubt it, but I don’t foresee the possibility of a reversed outcome or anything resembling an uprising.  And we should not forget that to deal with whatever dissent and civil disobedinece that may be mounted against a stolen election, Bush/McCain will be armed with the Military Commissions Act, which in effect gives the president carte blanche to detain without habeas corpus.


If contemplating such a possibility doesn’t keep you up at night and get you out to the polls on November 4, I don’t know what will.


And Yet Another Republican October 29, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain.
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McConnell Fundraising E-Mail: Vote for Me to Fight Obama Presidency

Sam Stein, Huffington Post, October 29, 2008

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has sent out a new fundraising email that, at its crux, plays off the assumption of a Barack Obama victory in the presidential election.

Citing media reports that show “an Obama win [as] a real possibility,” the Kentucky Republican positions himself as the one man capable of standing up to the Obama/Pelosi/Reid machine” that “will steamroll a host of new taxes and left-wing social policy across the Senate Floor.”

It is not uncommon for politicians to use presidents or presidential candidates as a boogeyman to curry votes. But McConnell’s fundraising appeal seems to go a step beyond, painting, at times, Obama’s election as a fait accompli that voters in Kentucky must consider.

“[L]ocal and national newspapers are already saying that if my opponent were to win this race, he would be a reliable vote for Obama and Chuck Schumer,” he writes of Democratic challenger, Bruce Lunsford.

Hinting at the possibility of complete Democratic control of government – again a statement predicated on an Obama win — McConnell writes: “national liberals want this Senate seat so badly” because “they are making this race a power play for domination of the public debate. They have made no secret that they are fighting for total unfettered domination of the government and its agenda.”

This is the second time in as many days that a Republican official has sent out a fundraising letter for the Kentucky Senate race that forecasts a future Obama White House. On Tuesday, Mitt Romney blasted out an email on McConnell’s behalf, warning that Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford “was handpicked by Chuck Schumer and will be a reliable vote for the Democrats. And as we face the very real possibility of an Obama presidency, that’s the last thing we need.”

The Kentucky Senate race has become ground zero of sorts for Democratic efforts to secure 60 seats in the Senate. And as the election has approached, McConnell’s once strong standing has diminished.

Good government groups, who have long viewed the Minority Leader as a thorn in the side of their agenda, are also seeing a real possibility of flipping the seat. On Wednesday, Campaign Money Watch, a national nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog organization, announced that it will spend another $800,000 on a television ad in Kentucky accusing McConnell of being a puppet of special interests.