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Said the campaign loser.

Posted by Rufio (From Hook) | June 25, 2008 10:39 AM


Why do you even have to make a post about it? Why. I'd like an answer please.

You are only contributing to a fog of accusations, critiques, and irrelevant headlines detracting from the message.

Why do you have to post it?

Posted by Non | June 25, 2008 10:45 AM

I think SusanUnPC can tell us how this kind of thing plays in racist circles. PC?

(Non, it is pathetically elitist to feel you have to censor talking about what's on your mind for fear of influencing the rubes.)

Posted by elenchos | June 25, 2008 10:49 AM

I think Nader enjoys ruining elections for democrats.

Posted by Little Red Ryan Hood | June 25, 2008 10:49 AM


So what's on his mind then? Is a post without commentary "what's on his mind"?

Nice try with pulling out the old "elitist" card though!!!


Posted by Non | June 25, 2008 10:51 AM

Nader doesn't have a mind.

Hurry up and die, worthless old man.

Posted by Fnarf | June 25, 2008 10:53 AM

Way to focus on the titillating rhetoric than the crux of the message.

You must be angling to move on to the Times.

Posted by K | June 25, 2008 10:54 AM

And what the fuck do you know about the ghetto, Ralph?

And why even post this? Nader is so far from relevant there's really no reason to pay attention to him anymore.

Posted by Hernandez | June 25, 2008 10:54 AM

I'd rather this was a link to Crazy Ol' Mike Gravel.

Posted by heywhatsit | June 25, 2008 11:00 AM

It is elitist, Non. Why complain about the harm of giving attention to Nader, unless you believe the harm is that people are too stupid to do the right thing with accurate information about him?

Posted by elenchos | June 25, 2008 11:01 AM

Jesus. I need to get me one of those race cards. It's like a car bomb, but for intelligence.

Posted by Matthew | June 25, 2008 11:02 AM

Thankfully someone can still tell it like it is.

By whom I mean Fnarf.

Posted by Ziggity | June 25, 2008 11:07 AM

It looks like Nader is taking a page from the Ann Coulter playbook. As people stop paying attention, you must inflate your rhetoric to the point of madness. It doesn't make for smart commentary, but it gets your name in the news one more time.

Posted by Gurldoggie | June 25, 2008 11:10 AM

Ralph "America Hater" Nader can suck me.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 25, 2008 11:10 AM

"Hurry up and die, worthless old man" seems kinda like inflating your rhetoric to the point of madness, too. Not that I'm claiming (perhaps unfortunately) that Fnarf has the same sway as Nader...

Posted by leek | June 25, 2008 11:16 AM

The you-tube video was great, nice diversion on a boring day.

Posted by Sad Comment | June 25, 2008 11:16 AM

I thought I told you to stop talking about your repulsive sex life here, Will.

Posted by Fnarf | June 25, 2008 11:16 AM

I wasn't, Fnarf.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 25, 2008 11:28 AM
Posted by Joe M | June 25, 2008 11:40 AM

What is interesting though is the remarkable silence of Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton. I believe Sen. Obama has stolen their limelight for this election. Jackson couldn't say anything regarding Obama's Father's Day speech because he has a child by a woman other than his wife and Sharpton is busy being investigated by the Feds or leading a march against police brutality regarding Sean Bell. Their silence is deafening considering they both ran for President relatively recently. Seems Ralph Nader, of all people is bringing up the issue of race. His outspokeness is oddly timed.

Posted by lark | June 25, 2008 11:41 AM






Posted by K | June 25, 2008 11:47 AM

"Seriously, can Nader do any more to destroy what was once his good name?"
No. He can not. Nothing he could do or say could make his name dirtier than it already is. His selfishness, his massive, massive ego, is responsible for Bush's 2000 election. He is responsible for us being nearly four trillion dollars deeper in debt to China rather than on track to pay off what was "only" a five trillion dollar debt accumulated during the prior 225 years. He is responsible for eight additional years of denial and damage on climate change, likely taking us from a response "just in time" to "past the point of no return". He is responsible for the war in Iraq, and the failure in Afghanistan/Pakistan, and Korean and Iranian nukes, and the forfeiture of all of America's moral standing and influence in the world, so that even if the American people elect a President committed to our founding principles, the emanciption of humanity and the preservation of the earth, he will be powerless to carry out that mandate. So, what's a little racism on top of all that? Ralph's legacy is plenty secure already.

Posted by JDC | June 25, 2008 11:49 AM

I think posting this is relevant because Obama's race as far as people react to it is very obviously an issue in this election. Here we have Ralph Nader, deluded as he may be, who still has his adherents, deluded as they may be, making an issue of Obama's race. It will continue to come up as an issue and needs to be addressed and discussed because it is exemplary of our national inability to address race issues in any substantive way.

Posted by inkweary | June 25, 2008 12:09 PM

Yeah, we need Ralph Nader to tell us that a black man is talking too white. WTF?

Surely Obama would increase his chances of getting elected if he'd only speak more ebonics. Maybe throw in a little rap video. Cause Ralph Nader doesn't think Obama talk's black enough.

What. A. Douche.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | June 25, 2008 12:16 PM

Does the old fool realize Obama is half white? So, it gives him the ability to talk both "white" and "black." Really, it's silly. I've had folks tell me that I sound "white." What is that supposed to mean?

Posted by Fitz | June 25, 2008 12:34 PM

Democrats are absolutely fucking pathetic. They don't give a shit about the politics of a candidate, just their party affiliation. If George Bush has tits and a vagina, Democrats would worship him. Look at Hillary. Bush in a skirt, but god damn she's a Democrat so let's ignore everything she does.


Column: Lance Selfa [1]

Obama’s circle of hawks

The Democratic nominee has a team of veteran warriors advising him on foreign policy issues.

June 18, 2008

DURING HIS campaign to win the Democratic nomination for president, Barack Obama used a line that never failed to draw applause from the largely antiwar crowds that turned out to hear him.

"I don't want to just end the war, but I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place," he said. "That's the kind of leadership that I think we need from the next president of the United States. That's what I intend to provide."

Yet only days after clinching the nomination, here was the same Barack Obama performing one of the biggest rituals of conventional foreign policy thinking.

On June 4, Obama addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, pledging his fealty to the Zionist regime and even calling for an "undivided Jerusalem" as Israel's capital. In other words, he endorsed the annexation of East Jerusalem, the Palestinian capital--a position that no government, including George Bush's, supports.

In an earlier appearance before that other favored foreign policy lobby, the far-right Cuban American National Foundation, Obama pledged to support the U.S. embargo on the island--a position that the Republican House of Representatives voted to rescind in 2005.

Some may be tempted to write off these appeals to the right as political pandering to insulate him from the Republicans' planned assault on him as "weak on defense." But the people who believe this are burying their heads in the sand.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

LET'S STIPULATE a couple of points at the top. First, Obama is running to be the commander of the world's biggest imperial power. He will fill that role--and not that of anti-warrior in the White House.

Second, aside from his well-publicized opposition to "the wrong war at the wrong time" in Iraq, there is nothing in his record to suggest that he plans any radical departures from the mainstream of the American foreign policy establishment.

To survey Obama's positions, it's well worth reviewing his almost year-old Foreign Affairs article, "Renewing American Leadership."

The main aim of Obama's presidency, it seems from this article, will be to regain the leadership of the world that George Bush's reckless and dumb foreign policy has squandered. "In the wake of Iraq and Abu Ghraib, the world has lost trust in our purposes and our principles," Obama writes. "We must lead the world, by deed and by example."

There's no disputing that the U.S. is more widely hated today than before Bush took office, and Obama's message recognizes that. And it's not surprising that Obama would urge "renewing American leadership," because "leading the world" has been the overriding U.S. foreign policy aim since at least the end of the Second World War.

"This century's threats," he writes, "are at least as dangerous as and in some ways more complex than those we have confronted in the past," including "weapons that can kill on a mass scale," "global terrorists who respond to alienation or perceived injustice with murderous nihilism," "rogue states," "rising powers," "weak states that cannot control their territory" and global warming.

Leaving aside the question of whether al-Qaeda is really the equal of Nazi Germany or thermonuclear holocaust--the last century's major threats--this is the standard issue from all sectors of the political establishment, including Bush.

"We must become better prepared to put boots on the ground in order to take on foes that fight asymmetrical and highly adaptive campaigns on a global scale," Obama writes. "I will not hesitate to use force, unilaterally if necessary, to protect the American people or our vital interests whenever we are attacked or imminently threatened."

In other words, it seems that the Bush Doctrine of endless war and unilateral intervention would not disappear under an Obama administration. It will simply be "repurposed" and given more lofty-sounding justifications.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

LEST ANYONE think that this kind of interventionism is just campaign rhetoric, one should consider who Obama's chief foreign policy advisers (and likely authors of the Foreign Affairs article) are.

They include Anthony Lake, a one-time protégé of Henry Kissinger. As Bill Clinton's national security adviser, Lake devised the main strategy for U.S. intervention in the Balkans, including the NATO bombings of Serbia and aiding Croatia's ethnic cleansing of Serbs, which ultimately led to the 1999 NATO war.

Lake and another ex-Clintonite, Susan Rice, co-authored a Washington Post op-ed in which they argued for unilateral U.S. intervention in the Darfur region of Sudan: "The United States acted without UN blessing in 1999 in Kosovo to confront a lesser humanitarian crisis (perhaps 10,000 killed) and a more formidable adversary."

Beyond them are a number of ex-Clinton advisers, including Gregory Craig, who oversaw State Department policy planning around the expansion of NATO and the decision by the Clinton administration to endorse "regime change" in Iraq.

Another Obama adviser was Samantha Power, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard history professor who is a leading advocate of "humanitarian intervention" around the world. Power was what liberal blogger Joshua Micah Marshall called Obama's "Condi Rice"--that is, she played the same role in schooling Obama on foreign policy that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice played in training candidate George Bush in 1999 and 2000. Although she was forced to resign from the campaign after calling Sen. Hillary Clinton a "monster" in print, Power's influence is still heavy.

A second Harvard academic in the Obama brain trust is Sarah Sewell, who collaborated with Gen. David Petreaus in updating the army's counterinsurgency manual. Sewell advised Petreaus on human rights in counterinsurgency.

"Her impact on the thinking about the war and the conduct of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been significant, and not without cost," Army counterinsurgency expert Lt. Col. John Nagl told American Prospect. "She has shown, in my eyes, great moral courage. I think Senator Obama is listening to someone who has thought long and hard about the use of force, and who understands the kinds of wars we're fighting today."

Besides these bureaucrats and intellectuals are a coterie of generals and other ex-military types who have lent their names to the Obama campaign. One is Jonathan Scott Gration, a two-star Air Force general who commanded a task force in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

While Gration has endorsed Obama's stated support for withdrawing troops from Iraq, he has also hedged on this position. "If it's very clear that the al-Maliki government is making significant progress, that we're turning the tide, it would be crazy not to re-adjust" the plan to withdraw, he told the New York Sun.

As Anthony Arnove pointed out in a recent Socialist Worker interview, "People who believe Barack Obama will end the occupation of Iraq are likely in for a rude awakening. Despite talking about withdrawal from Iraq, his plan would keep troops in the country for years to come, likely well beyond his potential first term.

"Obama has also left open the possibility that if he reduces the overall troop levels in Iraq--something that from a military standpoint is very likely, given how overstretched the United States is now--he would increase the number of mercenaries in Iraq."

As media speculation about Obama's vice presidential short list began, Team Obama made sure that the name of Ret. Gen. James Jones--one-time Marine Corps commandant and Supreme Allied Commander in NATO--was thrown into the mix. Jones, like Obama, has called for the U.S. to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Finally, if Obama's Middle East policy remains fairly conventional, that might be because one of the most conventional Middle East foreign policy hands in the U.S. establishment is advising him. Dennis Ross, special Middle East adviser to both Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, is encouraging Obama to pursue diplomatic interactions with Iran and Syria.

But this is hardly the "path to peace" in the Middle East that Obama's supporters might hope for.

According to the Wall Street Journal's Jay Solomon, "Members of Sen. Obama's Middle East team, however, said they believed Damascus should be tested diplomatically because success could undermine Syria's military alliance with Iran. They said such a development could drastically shift the power balance in the Middle East while stanching the flow of arms to Hezbollah and Hamas. Syria also could become a partner in stabilizing Iraq, they say."

In the Middle East, as in the rest of the world, Obama's foreign policy might mark a change from the disastrous and incompetent policies that the Bush administration has pursued. But the change will be one of style and form, not one of substance and content.

Commenting on Obama's "fawning" speech before AIPAC, Israeli analyst Uri Avnery wrote that Obama's "dizzying success in the primaries was entirely due to his promise to bring about a change, to put an end to the rotten practices of Washington and to replace the old cynics with a young, brave person who does not compromise his principles. And lo and behold, the very first thing he does after securing the nomination of his party is to compromise his principles."

Avnery is only partly right. Obama isn't betraying his principles. Those are his principles.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Columnist: Lance Selfa

Lance Selfa Lance Selfa is the author of the forthcoming The Democrats: A Critical History [2], a socialist analysis of the Democratic Party, and editor of The Struggle for Palestine [3], a collection of essays by leading solidarity activists. He is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review [4].

Posted by Lonnie | June 25, 2008 12:37 PM

This is exactly the crap I've come to expect from the pathetic political wing of the Stranger. Ignore substance and focus on bullshit. Dan, why not just talk about flag lapel pins and whether Obama is elitest like your corporate media heroes?

Nader-bashers, pull your heads out of Obama's ass and ask yourselves whether the claims Nader makes are true. It's that simple. This is why your party has shifted so far to the right over the last 30 years.


Scoring points at the expense of Black men

Demonizing Black men was the latest in a series of right turns by Barack Obama now that the general election campaign is underway.

June 17, 2008

THE IMAGE of the shiftless Black man has been a staple of U.S. presidential politics since the founding of the Republic.

Typical was Democrat Grover Cleveland, elected in 1884. The first member of the old slaveowners' party to make it to the White House after the Civil War, Cleveland said that among Blacks there was "a grievous amount of ignorance, a sad amount of viciousness, and a tremendous amount of laziness and thriftlessness."

In the modern era, the race-baiting has been a bit more subtle. But when Republican Richard Nixon campaigned for "law and order" in the 1968 elections, everyone knew what he meant--especially conservative Southern Democrats who have turned to the Republicans ever since.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan upped the ante, referring to "welfare queens" driving Cadillacs and "strapping young bucks" who took government handouts rather than work. In 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton joined this shameful parade when he left the campaign trail to personally preside over the execution of a mentally disabled Black man, Ricky Ray Rector--and, later, denounce the rap artist Sister Souljah at a meeting of Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition.

Now comes Barack Obama with his own broadside against African American men.

"We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception," Obama said at an African American church on Chicago's South Side on Father's Day. "Too many fathers are M.I.A, too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it."

The focus of Obama's harangue was statistics showing that about half of all Black children live in single-parent households, the overwhelming majority of them with their mothers.

But rather than examine the social conditions that gave rise to this, Obama blamed the victims. He lectured African American parents who "just sit in the house watching SportsCenter," and said, "Don't get carried away with that eighth-grade graduation. You're supposed to graduate from eighth grade."

According to the New York Times, Obama's speech at the Apostolic Church of God was well received. The audience often voiced approval and, at one point, gave him a standing ovation.

Obama was echoing the comedian Bill Cosby, whose recent books and speaking tours criticizing hip-hop culture and the African American family have been popular among the Black middle class.

The African American writer Michael Eric Dyson points out that Cosby's attacks on the Black poor ignore social realities.

"If the rigidly segregated education system continues to fail poor Blacks by failing to prepare their children for the world of work, then admonitions to 'stay in school' may ring hollow," he wrote in response to a 2004 Cosby speech. "In suburban neighborhoods, there are $60-million schools with state-of-the-art technology, while inner city schools desperately fight for funding for their students."

He added: "There's nothing like a formerly poor Black multimillionaire bashing poor Blacks to lend credence to the ancient assaults they've endured from the dominant culture."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

DYSON'S COMMENTS about Cosby apply equally well to Obama's attacks on Black men. But Obama's motives are more cynical--part of a calculated appeal to conservative white voters by validating racist stereotypes.

There's a pattern here. Just a day after securing the nomination, Obama gave a hard-line pro-Zionist speech at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting. He also took a classic Yankee imperialist position slamming Cuba and Venezuela's Hugo Chávez in a speech before right-wing Cuban Americans.

Demonizing Black men was just another checklist item in Obama's post-primary right turn for the general election.

Moreover, Obama's pronouncements about Black men left out more than a few important facts.

Having gone well beyond eighth grade himself to graduate from Harvard Law School, Obama surely knows that the number of children living with single mothers has increased among all racial groups. According to Census Bureau statistics for 2005, for Latinos, the figure was 25 percent. For whites, it was 16 percent.

And as a former community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, Obama is well aware of the social impact of the loss of good-paying factory jobs. Unemployment--or the lack of a decent job in the first place--is certainly a more important factor in destabilizing families than sports shows on cable television.

Finally, there's a shocking statistic about Black men that Obama didn't cite in his speech--that one out of 15 are behind bars. That figure, perhaps more than any, captures the continued impact of racism on U.S. society.

But that's not something Obama is eager to talk about. Because giving a speech denouncing the fact that the U.S. sends more African Americans to prison than to college just isn't good politics. Not when you're the favorite to become president of the United States.

Posted by Lonnie | June 25, 2008 12:42 PM

Oh goodie, the Socialist Workers Party has shown up.

How about this statistic? White high school students become more popular with their peers as their grades rise, while black students become LESS popular with their peers as their grades rise.

Much of black culture does, in fact, punish education and success. This is a serious problem. People like Ralph Nader have always been more interested in finding white people to blame than in finding solutions. At some point black people need to stop cultivating their own victimization. Pointing that out isn't "talking white", it's talking sense. Ralph Nader, and fools like "Lance Selfa Lance Selfa" have absolutely nothing to offer. Barack Obama does, and I think the response of the black community to Obama, in comparison to their near-total rejection of the Socialist Worker agenda promoted by Lonnie, is telling. It's pretty easy to tell who is looking forward and who is looking backward here. Grover Cleveland, for Chrissake.

But I'm sure you have lots more screeds to c&p from your nutcase websites, so have at it.

Posted by Fnarf | June 25, 2008 2:01 PM

You never fail, Fnarf.

Nice response.

Posted by Non | June 25, 2008 2:03 PM

Thanks for posting that quick comment Lonnie. I've been putting it off for some time, but you've finally persuaded me to join the Socialist Workers Party.

Posted by Joe M | June 25, 2008 2:04 PM

I think that Lonnie's over-active imagination needs a nap and at the same time he needs to pull his head out of nader's ass and take a breath.

Posted by Sad Comment | June 25, 2008 2:06 PM

But to be Nader totally wrong?

Posted by Krizpie Kreme | June 25, 2008 2:28 PM

Yes, Nader is totally wrong...this is just a sad attempt to grab some attention for himself.

Posted by Sad Comment | June 25, 2008 2:51 PM

Nader...blech! He's an old curmugeon with a grudge. AND A LOSER! Here that socialist dick heads...A LOSER!

Posted by Vince | June 25, 2008 3:25 PM

By the way, when I say "black people need to", I am not telling anybody what to do; I am repeating the words of many in the black community, including Mr. Obama. Racism exists, but nothing can possibly change by sitting around waiting for someone else to take action. When black people take their own fates in hand they can achieve things that have been denied them. Take the future, don't wait to have it given to you. When Obama says things like this, people light up, because it's true, and it's what they've waited fruitlessly to hear from other people who claim to speak on their behalf -- people like Al Sharpton and Ralph Goddamn Nader.

Posted by Fnarf | June 25, 2008 3:56 PM

thanks, fnarf. the dependable voice of reason on this blog.

Posted by ellarosa | June 25, 2008 8:46 PM

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