I must admit I’m a little surprised, I always had the impression Mark Thomas wasn’t too keen on voting. This is another step in the Green Party becoming the ‘left’ alternative for those who don’t want to vote Labour or can’t bear voting Lib Dem.
In March, Trevor Phillips wrote an extremely critical piece on Barack Obama. In response to questions about why Britain couldn’t have an Obama, he gave a multi-faceted reply. Firstly, he pointed out that the UK and US have very different demographics with the black population in America making up a bigger proportion of the population. More importantly, Phillips argued that, ‘Black Britons can’t bring centuries of white guilt to bear with the devastating impact that African-Americans have done for two generations.’
After dividing prominent black people into either ‘challengers’ who guilt white people into policies such as affirmative action and ‘bargainers’ who agree not to point out America’s racism if America isn’t racist towards them, Phillips ended with the following. That rather than ushering in a post-racial America, Obama’s ‘charm, skill and ruthless cynicism’ was more reminiscent of Bill Clinton than JFK.
Now, it seems that Mr Phillips diagnosis for why Britain couldn’t have its own Obama isn’t demography or white guilt, but the institutional racism within the Labour Party which prevents outsiders from breaking through. I think he has a point but that he’s over-stating it so lets break it down.Continue Reading...
Hello guys and gals (see we’re getting Americanised here y’all!) as you all know today is the big day, the moment in history, the chance for our American brothers and sisters to consign Bush and his ilk to history.
To mark this historic moment the excellent Liberal Conspiracy will be live blogging it. A team of highly coffee fuelled experts will be on hand to offer up all kinds of er expert stuff.
Things will be getting going from 11pm onwards, I intend to be there cup of lemsip in hand to offer my historic 2 cents (read: make stupid jokes) and I invite all PP readers and writers to join us.
It’s gonna be historic y’all!
Normally during the course of a week we used to get around 70 – 90 volunteers a day coming in and making calls and helping out. Some for most of the day, some just for a few hours before the picked up kids from school or during lunch breaks from work. Over the weekend over 350 people came in each day to volunteer to make calls across the country. Yesterday (Monday), 450 people came in to make calls on behalf of Obama and volunteer in other ways. Keep in mind this is just one office in Los Angeles, there are now over 50 phonebanks across the city doing the same. Some are bigger than ours.
So I’m at a phone bank in LA. One of our phone-callers lets me know that someone has been flyering Democrat leaning households, with a poster saying that if voters get annoyed with the long lines tomorrow – they can request a mail ballot on the day and vote later. Of course, it’s pure rubbish.
This is just to give you an idea of the sort of tactics Republicans get up to on election day here. The number of reports that will come out today and tomorrow on voting irregularities are going to be staggering. Tomorrow I’m going to be poll monitoring in the morning.
It is difficult for me to convey the importance of the next four days to you folks, especially as its halloween tonight and Americans love celebrating this day and therefore I’m slightly drunk. Anyway. It’s 4 days until the election. For the Obama campaign its the culmination of 20 months of work and the next four days are perhaps the most important for an entire generation of American history. I maybe exaggerating, but there is still a lot riding on this.
Let me try and put this in perspective without giving too much away of what I’ve been told. I’m in California right now, and this deeply Democratic state is responsible for over 50% of the entire volunteer effort for the Obama campaign. Californians have fanned out from the state to other states and knocked on doors for the campaign in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri and even as far as North Carolina (as far as London to Prague). Californians have made over 50% of phone calls to other states encouraging people to vote or support Obama.Continue Reading...
Joe Klein at Time blog:
Here we have the McCain campaign’s execrable Michael Goldfarb slinging around accusations of anti-semitism–a favorite pastime, as we’ve seen this year, among Jewish neoconservatives. I’ve never met Rashid Khalidi, but he is (a) Palestinian and therefore (b) a semite, so the charge of anti-semitism is fatuous. Khalidi is also a respected academic, the sort of person who is involved in foundation work that John McCain, for one, was willing to support financially. I’d say that if we have a bigot here, it’s Mr. Goldfarb who, if he’s intent on calling people antisemitic–or any other epithet–should be required to provide chapter and verse, which he does not do on CNN.
Typical trick for right-wing and for McCain.
Here is Michael Goldfarb, communications director for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, using the insinuations of “I think we all know Obama is an Angry Black Man/Secret Muslim/Terrorist” again. Notice too the robust use of the race card. Unfortunately for Goldfarb, who advocates religious-identity politics and Jewish bloc voting, not very successfully.
I’ve not worked this hard for such a long time – and that too for free. It’s almost insane, if it wasn’t for the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of people across this country doing the same. Every morning I see so many people making calls for Obama. People working full day shifts, purely voluntarily. I barely get time to check my email let alone blog.
This weekend I’m off to Las Vegas, Nevada. Initially it was just to see how things happen on the ground in a swing state. Now it turns out Obama will be speaking in Las Vegas on Saturday. I feel like a groupie… but in that I’m not alone. No politician has got Americans this excited for decades, if ever. I’ll post pictures once I take them. History is being made folks – I’m just glad that I’m witnessing it.
Discussing the rise and then sudden collapse of support for Sarah Palin is likely to be the biggest story if John McCain loses the American election in less than two weeks time. When she was unveiled as the candidate, right-wingers mostly swooned over her (incl. Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes) while the left went on the attack. I was amongst the most scathing.
Now here is the interesting thing. In America there was clear agreement in the left-wing media (the blogs, some shows on MSNBC) on how to regard her and approach her: with contempt. They highlighted every mistake and played up every bit of stupidity. Her supporters in the USA and UK responded to that by essentially saying: hah! Under-estimate her at your own peril. You’re just elitist of making fun of this family woman. This is why liberals keep losing elections.
The key difference is that even some left-wingers in the UK were making that argument, scared as they are of criticising anyone on the right in case they look a bit elitist. One of the key articles was this by Nick Cohen, which now looks rather silly doesn’t it? And there was Shuggy’s post too.Continue Reading...
Hi everyone. After back-packing around India, Nepal and Pakistan – I’m now temporarily in the USA. My aim here is to learn from the Obama campaign’s ground operation. I’m also volunteering for this historic election. Hell, if and when he wins, wouldn’t you want to be here to watch history be made?
To be sure, none of the actual work in political campaigning is very glamorous. It’s repetitive, tiring and long.
First, some background. The Democrats have always been far behind Republicans in mobilising and connecting to their potential voters and supporters. Hence, they have also been far behind in knowing about their voters and connecting to them on the issues that matter to them. Karl Rove built a massive and highly sophisticated database of Republican voters during the Bush years and the Democrats still haven’t caught up.Continue Reading...
As polls the world over indicate that this election is in the bag for Obama, after three unsuccessful debates for the Republicans, and most of all after we were all proven right about the poor choice of Republican running mate, it looks like the battered Republicans may make one last attempt to win hearts and minds: by making fun of themselves. Sarah Palin is set to appear in a satirical comedy sketch about herself on NBCâ€™s Saturday Night Live, after the show gained new popularity with star Tina Feyâ€™s effortless satires of the governor. And what better way to redeem oneself than to mock oneself? It may even make her more cute and folksy: â€œIsnâ€™t that adorable, sheâ€™s laughing at herself!â€ Some may call it ingenious. I call it desperate.
(cross-posted over from Liberal Conspiracy)
Watching the final presidential debate between McCain and Barack Obama was a frustrating one for a strong supporter of Obama like me. Obama didn’t attack back enough; he didn’t point out that Sarah Palin was clearly unfit to be president; he didn’t hit back on the smears on Ayer and Acorn.
But I think it makes sense in a counter-intuitive way. Obama doesn’t need people like me, or similarly inclined American voters on his side. He needs to make himself comfortable to Middle America and the biggest danger to him has always been to come across as an Angry Black Man. Obama was unbelievably calm, collected and straight to the point. In fact he went out of his way to be nice while McCain was constantly attacking and putting on that fake, scary smile. Damn that smile is scary, and McCain looked almost wierd by flashing it so constantly.
How will the polls play out? I have no idea, but I have a feeling that Obama has seen detailed polls of the difficult demographics and realised the biggest advantage would be to come across as a nice guy to ‘ordinary Joe six-pack’. There was no reason to be nasty about Sarah Palin – her ratings have been tanking like a lead balloon without him saying one nasty word. It’s worked. Tonight, I hope it works again.
Why am I not surprised?
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is guilty of abuse of power, according to a probe by the state legislature.
Mrs Palin was accused of sacking a senior state official, Walter Monegan, in connection with a family feud. She allegedly fired him for refusing to sack a state trooper who was in a bitter custody battle with her sister.
The verdict of the state legislature could have a significant effect on Republicans hopes of winning the US presidential election next month.
I should hope it does. It will be a sweet irony if Palin damages McCain’s campaign. Not that he’s likely to win now anyway. Barring an unexpected Obama gaffe/scandal or terrorist attack I expect we’ll be seeing the first Black President being elected in a few weeks time.
Firstly, watch Triumph the Comic Insult Dog’s classic foray into ‘spin alley’ in 2004.
If you have more time, then this bloggingheads on a liberal v libertarian foreign policy is a must-watch. Both Heather Hurlburt and Chris Preble are very smart people with interesting and nuanced opinions on foreign policy. Seriously, its a great discussion and you won’t regret it.
The debate starts at 2 am but if anyone is interested i may try and setup a liveblog from either midnight or 1 if anyone is interested. No point doing this if no one is around but if you do want to drop by for a chat (hopefully at least 3 people) then let me know in the comments.
It has been said often that the American generation of the 1960s started the ‘culture wars’ that led the country to among the most angriest left-right political debates of any western democracy. The political divide among the Republicans and Democrats is far and wide on social issues, even if they largely agree on foreign policy and economic issues.
Barack Obama said he was going to get over that, and this is one of the reasons why many conservatives like Andrew Sullivan crossed over to his side. McCain too was seen as a ‘maverick’ who opposed his party frequently and together they would conduct a civil and serious election that wouldn’t be characterised by mud-slinging. I called bullshit on that months ago.Continue Reading...
McCain is smarter than he looks going by his choice for running mate:
Republican presidential nominee John McCain today selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin, a relative political novice, as his vice-presidential running mate.
The move is a bold play for the potentially millions of disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters who yearn to vote for a woman candidate in the November election and who have remained impervious to Democratic pleas for party unity.
The announcement came the morning after Barack Obama’s well-received address on the final day of the Democratic convention, a transparent effort to keep pundits from discussing Obama.
Texas senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, one of the senior women in the US Senate, praised Palin as “a breath of fresh air.”
Team Obama must be watching this turn of events with interest. Sarah Palin presents a distinct challenge for him (as noted above), she could tempt Hillaryâ€™s supporters, sheâ€™s photogenic, sheâ€™s young and sheâ€™s a feminist. The US Presidential election just got a bit more interesting.
Update: BenSix notes the other challenges she presents as being not your average Republican.
Update 2: Team Obama responds with quite a scathing attack:
Barack Obama’s campaign is blasting John McCain for putting “the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.”
The Green’s have put up a candidate against David Davis in his upcoming by-election for freedom:
Green Party Principal Speaker Derek Wall has backed local education and environment activist Shan Oakes to contest the election. Shan has lived in East Riding since 1975, where she was an English teacher for many years and is one of the founders of Voice International, an organisation working to promote sustainability through education and is Chair of the Trustees of the Development Education Centre.
Leading Greens will be joining the Shan on the campaign trial in the next few weeks, including Dr. Wall, human rights spokesperson Peter Tatchell, target Parliamentary candidates Darren Johnson AM and Cllr. Adrian Ramsay, and prospective MEP candidates Peter Cranie and Cllr. Rupert Read.
Derek Hall has come up with a fairly campaign friendly line of attack too:
“This by-election was supposed to be about civil liberties. But it’s been called by a man – David Davis – who thinks it’s okay for the government to lock you up for four weeks without even telling you what you’re supposed to have done.
“David Davis also believes that you should have no right to criticise the government within a mile of Parliament. He believes that if a child is being bullied for being gay, his school should not have a policy to protect him. And he believes that a judge should be allowed to kill you if he thinks you’ve committed a serious crime.
“So the Green Party had to stand. Someone had to stand up for civil liberties.”
It will be interesting to see what support she gets outside the party. Will those Left/Liberals who don’t see the wisdom in supporting David Davis support her candidacy? And will the New Statesman throw it’s weight behind her?
I was literally about to post the same thing but the excellent RecessMonkey got there first so the hat tip is his:
Attention seeking egotist, David â€œbasherâ€ Davis has launched his new website. The masthead – featuring a load of fuzzily-unidentifiable â€œendorsersâ€ makes it clear that this is a â€œWhites Onlyâ€ campaign.
According to the scooptastic PR Week, Lobby firm Fleishman Hillard is thought to be behind the Davis campaign.
Sunny was right; Brown people better watch out freedom aint for us!*
*please note this is a joke, I feel the need to add that given the large number of over the top postings these past few days…
David Davis has resigned as an MP to provoke a by election, he says that this is to fight the seat with regard to the vote yesterday on 42 days.
Shadow home secretary David Davis has resigned as an MP. He is to force a by-election in his Haltemprice and Howden constituency which he will fight on the issue of the new 42-day terror detention limit.
Mr Davis told reporters outside the House of Commons he believed his move was a “noble endeavour” to stop the erosion of British civil liberties.
Update: Paul Linford and Nick Robinson think David Cameron has found himself in dangerous water over this. Rachel North is impressed by David Davis’ stance while Unity is less so. Hopi has some media management advice for the government. Iain Dale thinks the dust has settled and Luke wants the gloves to come off.
I don’t normally do this of course, but this itch has been getting bigger lately. A few months ago on CIF I said that the race between Obama and Clinton was leading to a fight between feminists and anti-racists in the fight to claim the mantle on who faced more bigotry in this presidential race: did the black man have it worse or the white woman?
Quite sensibly, most feminists in America have tried not to let it get out of hand by highlighting the sexism that Clinton has faced, but not play that against Barack Obama, as if its still his fault and he’s getting off easily. But not all.Continue Reading...
It’s been a long time coming but John Edwards has finally endorsed Barack Obama:
Democrat John Edwards is endorsing former rival Barack Obama, fresh signs of the party establishment embracing the likely nominee even as Hillary Rodham Clinton refuses to give up her long-shot candidacy.
Edwards was to appear with Obama in Grand Rapids, Mich., as Obama campaigns in a critical general election battleground state.
The endorsement comes the day after Clinton defeated Obama by more than 2-to-1 in West Virginia. The loss highlighted Obama’s work to win over the “Hillary Democrats” â€” white, working-class voters who also supported Edwards in large numbers before he exited the race.
Another nail in the coffin for the Clinton campaign…
Is it me or does this come across like the dress rehearsal for a valedictory address? Is Clinton readying herself and campaign for defeat? Or is she just showing a ‘softer’ side as a campaign tactic?
Let’s assume for a start that no catastrophic issue worse than Jeremiah Wright will affect Obama from now until November. I’m betting he will be president. Well, I’m not officially gambling but I’m saying he will be. I don’t buy the view that America will never elect a black President. For a start, the rednecks elected Bobby Jindal. And secondly, the percentage of people saying America is ready for a black president stands at 81%, about 20% higher than at the start of this election.
Anyway, here are the latest reasons why:
1) Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr formally jumped into the White House race Monday as a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination. He’ll split the Republican libertarian vote.
2) Ron Paul isn’t going away and his supporters keep trying to reclaim the Republican party. This year the Democrats are more united than the Republicans.
3) George Bush, the most unpopular president in American history, is more damaging to McCain than Jeremiah Wright is to Barack Obama. All Democrats have to do is keep linking them together, putting McCain in a fix. If he tries to distance himself too much from Bush, he loses hardcore Republicans, if he doesn’t, he loses independents.
Update: 4) Travis Childers has won Mississipi. He was linked very heavily to Obama by the Republicans.