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It is 2008 and yet this country still has a large amount of xenophobes and racists; most of who will come out of the woodwork should Barrack Obama get the Democratic nomination. Jonah Goldberg and Glenn Reynolds both wrote blogs yesterday warning of the “social unrest” among “certain segments” of our population should Obama not get the nomination. I know I’ve only been around for seven presidential elections, but to the best of my knowledge there has never been a black nominee and this has led to exactly zero riots or social unrest. As much as I want to vote for a third party, I have a feeling that the tactics the Republicans are guaranteed to use during the few months before elections will get me to vote Democrat. Just sitting around listening to people call Obama a “secret Muslim” or Hussein Obama like either of these things means he can’t run our country, makes me want to do everything I can to make sure the Republicans do not stand a chance to further ruin our country. I wish I had faith in my fellow citizens to put the race thing behind them and vote for the person they feel will lead our country the best; isn’t that why we vote?

                In a short post today, the Anonymous Liberal talks about how John Edwards has decided to align himself with Barrack Obama while distancing himself from Hilary Clinton. Usually the second place finisher would go after the person who finished just ahead of him, but not this time; Edwards is (correctly) saying that people want change, and that him and Obama are the people to give it to them, not Hilary Clinton. This is the truth; I think it’s time that Clinton starts slowly slipping into the background. Change is not having two families in the White House over at least a twenty-four year period, change is not electing someone who not only voted for the war in Iraq, but also voted for the bill condemning the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Crops as a terrorist organization thereby giving the administration the green light for any future attacks. I don’t think Obama or Edwards are much of a change either, but the voting population will surely see them as more than Hillary Clinton.

                Speaking of change, Helen Thomas wrote an op-ed piece today about how none of the candidates have made it clear exactly what they want to change. Obama talks about change and a new day, but rarely talks about specific things he wishes to accomplish or how to go about anything; Clinton obviously does not plan to change anything, she has even stopped talking about a single payer healthcare system; John Edwards talks about wanting to bring all the troops out of Iraq within ten month of taking over the presidency, but (as far as I’ve read) has never exactly said how. Do we know specifically how any of them feel about Iran (besides keeping all options on the table), waterboarding, warrantless wiretapping, or immunity for the telecommunications companies? Instead of having the candidates debate each other, I think someone like Helen Thomas or Thom Hartmann should sit down with each on of them for an hour and be allowed to demand answers for all these important questions; then we would be a little closer to knowing exactly where they stand.

                It seems that violence in Kenya has taken a short hiatus, as talks are under way to form a coalition government. Desmond Tutu and a US Ambassador are both in Kenya talking to government leaders and while things look good, there are some catches. The active president, Mwai Kibaki, says that he will only agree to talk about a coalition government once the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, admits defeat. However, Odinga says he will not even begin negotiations until Kibaki admits he rigged the elections, and steps down. Things are getting pretty bad for the few hundred thousand people who have been displaced by this conflict; makeshift homes usually lead to mass diseases and no aid workers are able to reach the refugees due to safety concerns. There has to be some kind of middle ground when it comes to reactions over election rigging; it seems like people either bend over and take it (as in the US) or take to the streets and begin killing each other (as in Kenya). Maybe we should be thinking about the proper way to go about things just in case something fishy occurs in November.

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8 thoughts on “Blogs and Articles for January 5

  1. Democratic candidates sit down and answer questions? Are you mad?

    You either misunderstood or deliberately slanted Goldberg’s comment, BTW. I suspect you are mind-reading what he “really” meant. Because Democrats are so good at that, y’know?

  2. “Imagine the media invests as heavily in him as I think we all know they will if he’s the nominee — and then imagine he loses. I seriously think certain segments of American political life will become completely unhinged. I can imagine the fear of this social unraveling actually aiding Obama enormously in 2008. Forget Hillary’s inevitability. Obama has a rendezvous with destiny, or so we will be told. And if he’s denied it, teeth shall be gnashed, clothes rent and prices paid.”

    Help me understand

    I am neither a mind-reader nor a democrat

  3. I’ll do my best. I’m not sure that Jonah Goldberg’s prediction
    is accurate. But I certainly understand where he’s coming from.
    I don’t believe he’s referring to racial riots.

    Basically the vehemence of the hateful reaction to George Bush is
    insane and over the top. It does not appear to be grounded in
    anything like reality. I claim no understanding of the thinking
    or the emotions of those who hate so extremely and with such
    remarkable inability to make coherent rational argument. And
    I’m amazed by the number of people who seem to fall into this
    camp.

    But having confessed my incomprehension, I don’t know that the
    response to Huckabee would be any worse. Possibly people are
    responding to some aspect of Bush that I and Goldberg are
    oblivious to and a Huckabee presidency would not encounter anything
    similar.

    On the other hand, Occam’s Razor, the simpler hypothesis, would
    suggest the reaction would be much the same, and that what is
    different is not Bush, but rather the internet, which has enabled
    the illogical and the irrational and the hateful to reinforce
    one another.

    Having said my say, I have a hunch you don’t really get it at
    all.

    Reading your comment above more closely, you said, quote:

    “Just sitting around listening to people call Obama a — secret
    Muslim — or Hussein Obama like either of these things means
    he can’t run our country, makes me want to do everything I can
    to make sure the Republicans do not stand a chance to further
    ruin our country.”

    So far the people I’ve heard quoted saying such things have been
    democrats. It’s been part of the Democratic primary process, or
    didn’t you notice?

    As for attempting to get Obama to say what he’s about, to make
    specific statements, I’d say good luck and yes I’d like to see
    the same. But I doubt it very much. Obama’s goal seems to be
    as vague and non-particular and as popular as possible. And that
    last item, popularity, means that even with respect to what little
    is actually said, we don’t know that is true. It may instead simply
    be something that polled well.

  4. It’s really difficult to understand why Goldberg would refer to Obama’s race, and Reynolds did the same in referencing his past prediction that black voters would stay home if Clinton beat Obama for the nomination, if their reference to “fear of social unraveling” wasn’t about race riots. “Prices paid”? Come on. Reynolds says he meant “an extended chattering-class hissy fit,” but only someone stuck up his own chattering-class ass could see Ezra Klein’s bitching as a “social unraveling” momentous enough that fear of it would make voters go for Obama against their own preference.

    But props to Goldberg for the oblique language that will allow him deny that he was talking about race and instead claim that he believes voters live in fear of Maureen Dowd’s becoming more unhinged.

  5. “So far the people I’ve heard quoted saying such things have been
    democrats. It’s been part of the Democratic primary process, or
    didn’t you notice?”

    http://www.google.com/search?q=+hussein+obama&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    results for “hussein obama”

    I don’t dispute that the democrats have been angling for the subtle cultural/religious smear on Obama but it hasn’t only been them…or didn’t you notice?

  6. “Basically the vehemence of the hateful reaction to George Bush is insane and over the top. It does not appear to be grounded in anything like reality.”

    Anybody baffled by the fact that people hate what GW has done to the country will be equally bewildered when the Dems sweep back into power this fall.

  7. I think the importance of Sen. Obama’s race lies only in the utility it provides the race-baiting “Civil Rights” industry in being able to stir hate and discontent with cries and assumptions of racism. Given that a 94% white state stood behind the Senator as their candidate this should be ridiculous, but personal experience indicates to me that such facts and data can be easilly overcome through concerted application of rhetoric, emotion and victimology.

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