Chicago Sun-Times
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Sweet web column: Obama's GOP anger management; tackles Clinton electability.


DES MOINES, IA.—White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) Thursday night mounted his most forceful argument to date that he is more electable than chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), demonized by Republicans and used as their punching bag for more than a decade.

Obama, not mentioning Clinton by name, said he could appeal to Republican and Independent voters in a general election because he has no history of “generating anger among Republicans.”

“…I think there are a lot of disaffected Republicans, a lot of Independents who are Republican leaning who are really disappointed and so they are willing to give us a chance. But in order for us to take advantage of that opportunity I think we’ve got to have to have a candidate who can bridge some of those divides,” Obama said.

The electability factor could be a crucial factor in this first caucus state, where voters may decide to pick the candidate on Jan. 3 not who they like the best or agree with, but who they gauge has the best chance of winning the 2008 general election.

GOP presidential contenders have already been aiming darts at Clinton, the national front-runner who is in a deadlock with Obama and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) in Iowa. Edwards, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Ct.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson have been raising the question of whether Clinton could go on to win crucial swing states if she clinches the Democratic nomination.

“I’ve got a track record of being able to get Democrats and Republicans working together, or at least not generating anger among Republicans,” Obama told a crowd who filled the Skate Pit in the small town of Knoxville, Ia.

He made his comments in reply to a man who asked, “tell me one thing about yourself that makes you the most electable Democrat in the general election.”

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed later Thursday night that the crisp remarks Obama made in Knoxville was the most forceful argument he has mounted to date on the electabilty question.

Clinton’s reputation as a polarizing figure could create a backlash to her candidacy with the Democratic concern playing out like this: Clinton at the top of the ticket could rally Republicans and turn out the GOP vote, dragging down other Democrats running in swing or GOP leaning turf.

A USA Today Gallup poll published on Thursday suggested that in a general election, “Clinton has the least potential for winning votes from Republicans—84 percent say they definitely would not vote for her, compared with six in 10 for either Obama or Edwards. Independents show the least resistance to Obama and the most to Edwards.”

Obama scores high in likeability in other presidential polls. He told the Knoxville man his approval among Republicans in Illinois was so strong that “if Democrats didn’t vote in Illinois, I’d still be the U.S. Senator.”

“During this past election season 2006, I campaigned for more members of Congress than any other person and probably raised more money more except maybe Bill Clinton,” said Obama. “And the reason was that folks would invite me to places they couldn’t invite other Democrats. I went to campaign for (Sen.) Ben Nelson in Omaha, Nebraska. He did not invite a single other Democrat to campaign for him.

“I’ve got appeal that goes beyond our party. And part of it has to do, it is not because of the positions I take are more conservative, but I do think it has to do with the tone that I use and people have a sense that I listen to other folks, that I am not trying to stir up and score political points all the time.

“I think the other side trusts me to at least be honest about how I am approaching problems. And so I’ve got a track record of being able to get Democrats and Republicans working together, or at least not generating anger among Republicans.

“And that’s I think, going to be important in this upcoming election. Because we’ve got an opportunity, Democrats I think have an opportunity in this election to actually get the country to, to come together in a way that we have not had for a long time precisely because of the failures of George Bush.

“I think there are a lot of disaffected Republicans, a lot of Independents who are Republican leaning who are really disappointed and so they are willing to give us a chance. But in order for us to take advantage of that opportunity I think we’ve got to have to have a candidate who can bridge some of those divides. Ok?”


i've got an idea. why doesn't the junior senator become a republican and bring democrats together. sounds like he's either morphing into tim leary or having a flashback to his more troubled youth.
either way, with the time and money left in this race, maybe the electorate should reach for the pepto.


Al Gore’s acclaimed and Oscar winning documentary, “The Inconvenient Truth”, exposed the dark reality of what’s to come for a carbon based society if radical and progressive steps are not forthcoming. Well, here is another inconvenient truth; Republicans and their conservative corporate supporters are favoring Hillary and at times Barack as the Democratic Presidential pick. What is it that they know that we don’t? Could it be that the Republicans would rather run against Hillary or Barack and if so, why?

Republican pundits, strategists and status quo editorial pages are lauding, if not anointing, Senator Clinton and at times Senator Obama as the Democratic Party front-runners. I guess that it’s not surprising since Senator Clinton and Senator Obama have raised much of their campaign money from Wall Street financiers who are not flaming liberals to anyone’s knowledge. It’s no secret, according to William Domoff, author of, “Who Rules America” that Wall Street contributes to both political parties with most of their largess going to the Republicans; but why are they so happy to support Clinton and Obama this time around?

Well here it is; they know America’s dark social reality. Yes, they know the reality of racism, commonly known as white supremacy, and sexism, the ism that has stifled female wage earners - no matter what their race - from organizing along common and natural interests with their male counterparts; thereby getting equal rights in the workplace and throughout society. Maybe that old saying is true; “the truth will set you free if it don’t kill you first.” Now, we know that many good white liberals and progressives alike may find this proposition uncomfortable and deplorable, with good reason. After all, there has been significant social progress for people of color and women over these past 230 years.

With the enactment of civil rights legislation and the implementation of equal rights policies, African-Americans have made tremendous gains in government policy, housing and education. An African-American woman is now Secretary of State and was formerly the National Security Advisor, a position that influences the decision making process of the most powerful public officer in human history. Furthermore, an African-American man served as Secretary of State and previously on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Women from all racial and ethnic backgrounds have made gigantic steps from business CEO’s to healthcare professionals, to public office holders. Currently, a woman sits two offices away from the Presidency. Yes, we as a society have made significant strides in social progress, especially since the Sixties.

It was just some forty years ago that peace, love and understanding, espoused by the Hippies, offered hope for America amid the war, assassinations and social upheaval of the Sixties. This was lucidly portrayed on the History channel airing of the documentary on the Sixties. The Hippies who gathered in cities, such as San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, celebrated and reveled in the goodness and potential of the human spirit. They believed that the artificially constructed social barriers of all types could be overcome through flower power. This, we affectionately refer to as a Hippie trip.

While we do share a profound belief in, and a deep affinity for, human kindness and generosity represented by the Hippies, the reality is that we are not there yet. We must come out of our Hippie haze and see our political and social reality for what it is; white supremacy and sexism are intricately intertwined into every facet of our social and political life.

Hence, Americans for centuries have come to view our reality through the prism of these concepts, whether consciously or unconsciously. One of the major tenets of the white supremacy mentality and mindset is the superiority of the white male. This was magnified in the fallout surrounding black athletes playing quarterback in the NFL. Just recall the controversy with black quarterback Donavan McNabb and right wing conservative provocative talk show host Russ Limbaugh who raised doubts about the mental ability of McNabb. The institutionalized message communicated was that the quarterback position required leadership ability, the proper temperament and the cerebral capability for abstract thinking. The benign overt message carried the malignant subliminal message that a black man could not play quarterback because he did not have the required skills, which his white counterparts possessed.

Another example is Al Campanas, executive for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who was candid and deliberate in his statement about the lack of cerebral ability in black athletes in high profile leadership positions. This assertion of white superiority is manifested throughout American history in the fields of science, culture and sports. Democrats should not be naïve and blithely assume things have changed. This concept will be exploited in the electoral process as long as it yields the results that those unscrupulous harbingers of hate like Karl Rove know are possible. Fear and hate are great motivators in a cowering and terrorized population.

The office of President of the United States, since its inception, has personified the aforementioned white male superiority mindset. The succession of Presidents has been overwhelmingly white males from the upper class of American society. While we have seen traditionally white male dominated positions both public and private undergo a transformation, the Presidency is the last bastion of white male superiority. With that being said, the question is: can a black man or any woman be elected President at this point in time? The answer, sadly, is - NO.

To buttress our point let’s look at the recent high profile election between DLC Democratic candidate Harold Ford Jr., a black conservative Democrat, running for the Senate in Tennessee against a white Republican. To win the race the Republican machine ran that age-old racist stereotype that D.W. Griffith exploited in the first movie blockbuster, Birth of A Nation, where black men were sexually accosting a white woman. This type of sexual liaison lies at the core of white supremacy doctrine and has precipitated many race riots and attacks on blacks - i.e. Emmett Till, a teenager in Mississippi, who was brutally beaten to death for whistling at a white woman.

Jessie Jackson, during his Presidential campaign also witnessed similar subliminal inferences and often openly racist statements about his ability to lead. Black Presidential candidate Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm of New York was subjected to this notion as well as the gender bias inculcated in the typical American voter. The sexist stereotypes that haunted Congresswoman Chisolm were also brought to bear against Vice Presidential Candidate Geraldine Ferraro, however, with Italian racist overtones. The efficacy of her ability was constantly being discussed within the context of the patriarchal framework; that she was not masculine enough to lead and make difficult decisions.

This is what corporate conservative Republicans will use against Hillary or Barrack if either one are chosen as the Democratic nominee. If either of these candidates is nominated, the Republicans will resurrect Lee Atwater from the grave to mount a campaign that will dig into the dark side of the American psyche. So, that raises the question, what would be the most logical and strategic choice for progressive, liberal and working class men and women? You got it - John Edwards. Senator John Edwards is the candidate whom corporate conservative Republicans fear the most.

Let’s look at the facts bluntly and honestly. Edwards would be their toughest opponent for all of the unfortunate reasons we have stated and the good reasons he has put forth in his policy positions and his work as a lawyer protecting citizens from corporate abuse.

The Republican machine has already made this assessment and that is why they working over time in both the print and visual media to persuade Democrats to support Hillary or Barrack as the Democratic nominee. This is the inconvenient truth we must come to terms with.

Endorsed and published by
Ahjamu Makalani, Jo Olson and Brad Parker
July 27th, 2007

The Men Behind the Curtain

When ideals morph into idealism our objective insight into the body politic may stray and strand us in subjective analysis that has no bearing on the current political reality. There is what we believe – what we wish to believe and blind faith. None of these can or will explain the behavior of our neighbors. Especially when our neighbors are being buffeted by the outrageous propaganda of the men behind the curtain.

We believe that America should be able to elect as President someone of the highest Progressive and Liberal demeanor: someone who says what they mean and means what they say – a bearer of truth. We believe that America should be ready to elect a woman and that gender makes no difference in any citizen’s suitability for office. Furthermore, we believe that a person of color should not only be able to successfully run for the Presidency but to win without undue prejudice.

We wish to believe that our neighbors across this vast landscape of ethnic, economic and cultural variation are one country. We wish to believe that they like us can be fair-minded and value the content of someone’s character above all other considerations. We wish to believe that in time of great peril that we will all pull together for the greater good as we did in World War Two. We wish to believe in the inevitability of truth, justice and social equality.

Then there is blind faith fueled by overarching enthusiasm.

We, because of our Liberal and Progressive natures, are gathering together to support Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. As we watch the lack of funding for the Kucinich campaign we know why it’s happening – the big money donors would never back anyone who would tell the truth and act on it. As we watch the preposterous amount of media and money going to the Clinton campaign we know why it’s happening – the DLC / Clinton machine that has a stranglehold on the Party and is led by the charismatic but ineffectual leader Bill Clinton is doing it’s thing. As we watch the astronomic interest and funds gushing to the Obama campaign we know why it’s happening – the promise of equality embodied in an accomplished young man is about to be fulfilled. However, what if that is just our subjective analysis and another scenario is playing itself out that we in our idealism and cynicism cannot perceive?

Suspend your beliefs for just a moment and consider this. If you were a very rich and powerful oligarch how would you achieve your goals - blunt force and obvious manipulation? Or would you be cleverer than that? Would you simply support the candidate you wanted to elect or would you also support the candidates you knew you could defeat? For the men behind the curtain the latter route is the road to riches.

The men behind the curtain – most aptly represented by Wall Street – are always on the road to riches. The one thing they are certain of is that a Democratic White House and Democratic Congress, while lacking the courage for truly monumental change in governance will nonetheless modify and stifle their most outlandish ambitions. So, in order to insure the defeat of the Democrats they are pouring money into the candidates who cannot win – at least from their objective analysis of America. To them America is a racist, sexist and prejudiced nation of parochial fiefdoms. Each sector can be manipulated in the open through the marvel of the media. Nothing would suit them more than a woman or black man as an opponent in the upcoming Presidential election.

One needs to look no further than the campaign for the Senate in Tennessee in 2006 to see the efficacy of this observation. Poor Harold Ford Jr., a DLC conservative in fact, was undone by a series of tawdry commercials that implied he was having sexual relations with white women. Then there is the infamous “Swift-boating” of a bona fide war hero, John Kerry, in 2004. All lies and all effective. The theft of the Al Gore election as President in 2000 and the John Kerry campaign in 2004 in Florida and Ohio respectively will not be necessary in 2008 if the candidate for the Democrats is a woman or a black man. That is the ugly truth that the FOX Noise crew is counting on. You can hear them sharpening their blades by the fact that they are saying nothing negative about either Clinton or Obama.

They are only attempting to ridicule and eviscerate two candidates – Kucinich to make sure he stays unheard and Edwards who they truly fear. John Edwards is a white southern male. That fact is the one reason that the men behind the curtain are doing everything they can to make sure he doesn’t become the Democratic nominee. They know that he can defeat their choices – Rudolph Giuliani or Fred Thompson – both the type of Trojan horse, compassionate moderates (as they will be portrayed) that fearful Americans will embrace – who will then prove to be even more destructive than their archetypical predecessor.

Now that is a monstrously base and evil scenario but one that would have made Machiavelli smile in grim recognition. Not only will Wall Street and the Crony the clown monopolists play on the fears of the independents and Republicans but they will distort and manipulate the ideals and idealism of the Democrats – creating a perfect brew of opportunity for the ghost of Lee Atwater and his very live minions like Karl Rove – all masters of the evil arts of deception and fear. The Clintons of course will ignore this notion because their hubris and ambition – ala the Macbeths – will not allow them to recognize that they have always been pawns of the Crony crowd. Obama seems sincere and will be blindsided and incredulous when they begin the public lynching. Only one outcome in the Democratic primaries will give the oligarchs pause – the nomination of John Edwards. Watch them every night in the media as they float the trial balloons on his hair, money or house to see what sticks.

Many Democrats are heard to say that winning is all that counts. Most of them are in the Clinton campaign or watering down the Obama message. They toil and struggle while they do the Republicans hard work. They are creating a Democrat who can’t win. That is the objective analysis of the hardened big money. They are betting on America’s sexist and racist core exemplified by the paucity of women and people of color in public office. And they are readying the gusher of obfuscation they will spew across the amber waves of grain as soon as they get what they want – a Democrat who can’t win.

Well, back to our ideals and idealism: we can take comfort in the fact that we would never think like that or do those things. Republicans like to win – Democrats only like to make a point and weakly at that! Our virtue brought us our righteous causes and – The War in Iraq, the Patriot Act, Outsourcing, NAFTA, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the End of Welfare as we know it, Katrina and so many more despicable deeds of the last 16 years. Yes, we are to blame with our ideals, our apathy, our fear and our lack of participation in a Party that has power. Couple that with everything that could have been accomplished and remains to be done and ask yourself: who is the best Democratic candidate? Which Democrat can win? What is America really thinking and feeling? Why are Clinton and Obama getting a pass when Kucinich and Edwards aren’t? Or as Marvin Gaye sang, “What’s Goin’ On?” The men behind the curtain know. Do we?

Endorsed and published by
Brad Parker, Ahjamu Makalani and Jo Olson
July 19th, 2007

TWO EXCELLENT, and well thought out submissions!!! the blogesphere has taken on a much richer tone as a result of this.

Barak is a nice guy. Gore and Kerry were nice guys. None of them had a history of generating hatred among Republicans. If you believe that that made a difference in how the Republicans campaigned against them, then I have a home in New Orleans to sell you. I don't know who would make the best President among the Democrats, but I know that any Democrat would be better for America than any of the Republican Presidential candidates. So I want the best, quickest reacting, and, if necessary, the meanest, political machine the Democratic Party can produce today - the Clinton machine. Whether or not the Republicans hate you, they will tell whatever lies are necessary to defeat you, and they will be helped by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and everyone at (MS)NBC except Keith Olbermann.

While there has been lots of news coverage about Billary Clinton's debate double speak about driver's licenses for illegal’s, who come to this country, no one has focused on her response to questions about reforming social security. In adittion to appointing a commission, she said she has a plan to save social security; however, she will not tell the American public what her plan is until after she is elected President. The last time some one running for president had a secret plan, (to end the Vietnam war)it was Richard Nixon. So now we have Billary Clinton copying tactics espoused by the only President forced to resign instead of being impeached. Does she really think the public is so stupid that it will fall for her secret plan? It is time for the liberal media to be objective about her statements and stop giving her a pass on her statements. Smart democrats should dump her because their party will lose the White house in 08, if she is the Democrat candidate. They should realize that Billary Clinton has the highest number of people who will never vote for her. Her negative polling is 45 to 50 percent, which is a historical record for any Presidential candidate. Also her husband was elected 2 times with less than 50 percent of the vote.
Wake up and smell the coffee Democrats or you will spend another 4 years in the political wilderness. Do you really want to spend another 4 years debating the meaning of the word is? The Republicans will have a field day with her past scandals. The only reason her and her husband, of convenience, are not convicted felons is that they consistently used the phrase "I can't recall" more times than anyone can count, whenever asked tough questions during those scandal investigations. Pretty amazing that they couldn’t remember anything, especially when they credit themselves with being the smartest couple in the world. They will only get away with being the smartest couple in the world if everyone else can't recall all of their scandals like renting out the Lincoln bedroom for 50k per nite. The office of President deserves some one who is honest, not some one who will look the American public straight in the eyes and lie. Bill Clinton was not impeached for sex, as their political machine would have you think, he was impeached for lying under oath, which is a felony. If you don't think she said this please review the Democrat debate.

Obama, not mentioning Clinton by name, said he could appeal to Republican and Independent voters in a general election because he has no history of “generating anger among Republicans.”

Maybe that is you largest problem Obama, maybe we are afraid you will only be a yes man for the dark side.

Get out there and start pissing off some republicans, then you might move up in the polls.

Speaking of Bill Clinton:

It is opined that Bill Clinton committed racist hate crimes, and I am not free to say anything further about it.

Respectfully Submitted by Andrew Y. Wang, J.D. Candidate
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

(I can type 90 words per minute, and there are probably thousands of copies on the Internet indicating the content of this post.)
“If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded.” Off the top of my head—it came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 9, 2007 8:04 AM.

Sweet blog extra: Obama's Iowa caucus "Cliff Notes" for college, high school students. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet web column: Obama says his state papers "could have been thrown out." Where is the stuff? is the next entry in this blog.

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