Saturday, January 12, 2008

Asian and Latino Voters

From my sister Deborah:

Since politics is mainly a numbers game (among other things), it would be interesting to see what the stats and voting habits are for Asians, Hispanics, and other people of color in general? I wonder if this will help support Obama's voting block.

My response:

A very good and important question and the painful answer is: NOT GOOD. For example in 2000 and 2004 45% of all Asian Americans voted for Bush and 43% of all Latino americans voted for Bush during those two elections. We can only hopE and pray that (especially) the Latinos (who now comprise the LARGEST MINORITY GROUP IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY--they are now 14% of the American population to the Blacks 13% WILL FINALLY WAKE UP FROM THEIR COLLECTIVE POLITICAL COMAS AND VOTE FOR OBAMA. But given these absurd numbers in the previous two elections there's no guarantee that will happen. The key for both of these groups (reminder: Asian Americans only comprise 3% of the national population and are not quite as key to all this as the Latinos) is that they weigh in on the side of Obama around the crucial issue of IMMIGRATION, which is a major issue in both communities. There's considerable political evidence which suggests that both groups are especially angry at Bush and the Republicans for not being politically supportive on this issue. So that's one very important area that MIGHT make them more supportive of Obama' (although ironically Edwards has a better record on this issue than either Obama or Hillary)...

In any event the key to the Latino and Asian American vote is YOUNG PEOPLE from 21-35 WHO TRADITIONALLY ARE VERY ALIENATED FROM THE POLITICAL PROCESS AND DON'T VOTE. However over HALF of their populations are UNDER THE AGE OF 40 so it will be absolutely crucial for Obama to tap into this youth sector in his campaign. I'm sure Obama knows all this and has Latino and Asian American organizers out on the ground trying to get these people out to vote. If they're successful in recruiting this voting bloc it will help Obama's chances immensely. Otherwise if the opposite is true as it was in 2004 and 2000 it will definitely HURT Obama's chances. Stay tuned...


White Voting Population & a Black Candidate

A comment from Mary:

We can only hope that this proves to people that the polls are not determinates of the outcome of an election and instead of listening to what the polls are saying realize every individual has their role to play in this election more so than ever. I truly hope that the black population of this country owns up to its responsibility this year and votes as never before. Obama will not win if we make this race dependent on the non-black vote. Obama needs both.

In my mind, Obama is the best candidate and this has nothing to do with race.

The position of Michigan voters is a concern. The population here seems to be easily misled and confused by any changes to the process.

Of course, once all the voting is done, the question is how the electoral votes are distributed. This is a long ways from over. Stay tuned.


My response:


I don't want to burst anyone's bubble by saying the following (or maybe I do) but in the interest of sheer ACCURACY there's a much larger TRUTH that must be seriously acknowledged and dealt with here. And that is this: So long as AT LEAST 45% to 50% of the entire white voting population WILL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES VOTE FOR A BLACK CANDIDATE (whether he or she is the "best candidate" or not) we should NOT delude ourselves into thinking that this election doesn't have "anything to do with race." That's simply FALSE based on the actual well documented historical record. There is no such thing as "color blind" politics in the United States and anyone who thinks there is, is either ignorant of the actual facts or engaging in self-delusional fantasy. Of course the color of a person's skin SHOULD NOT make a difference in how someone votes but it would the height of naivete to think for even a NANOSECOND that this is the actual case in a country where racial bloc voting (legitima te and illegitimate) is well established and still very prominent and important in the way american citizens (ESPECIALLY WHITE AMRICANS) perceive and act upon making the political choices they do.

The objective fact in the Democratic Party race is that Obama, Clinton, and John Edwards ALL BASICALLY HAVE THE SAME POLITICS. In fact, if anything Edwards is on the basis of both his platform/agenda and past political record is ACTUALLY THE MOST PROGRESSIVE OF THE THREE. But Edwards can't win precisely BECAUSE the white working and middle class in this country (especially white males) consistently keep voting AGAINST their own self interest in elections because of their RACISM AND SEXISM. They did so in 2004 and 2000 when a whopping 60% of them inexplicably voted for Bush against both Kerry and Gore! This fact has perplexed and frustrated liberals and radicals for over a century now. Just tonight there were white political pundits on 'Bill Maher's' program who support Edwards and/or Obama saying that this is a major problem that still frustrates them and that they are wary about come the elections THIS YEAR. You gotta remember folks that for the past 100 years poor white worke rs and middle class professionals have primarily voted for REPUBLICANS (the only exception to this extremely odd and tragically predictable pattern was during the period of the Great Depression, World War !! and very early post- World War !! period (1932-1952) when poor whites, workers, and a significant number of middle class whites FINALLY stood with and remained loyal to the liberal and leftist wing of the Democratic Party in reelecting Franklin Roosevelt 3 times and his successor Harry S. Truman in 1948)...

But what we ALL must remember in terms of THIS election is that since Dr. King and Senator Robert Kennedy were assassinated in 1968 there have been TEN presidential elections and the Republicans have won 7 of them (or an incredible 70%.)! In fact since 1952 the ONLY Democratic Party president to be reelected to office was someone named BILL CLINTON (1992-2000). EVERYONE ELSE were Republicans: Eisenhower (1952-1960), Nixon (1968-1976), Reagan (1980-1988) and Bushwhacker II (2000-2008). For the past 56 years (the span of my entire life) the Republicans have been in office A GRAND TOTAL OF 64% of the time to the Democrats' measley 36%.

What all this MEANS of course is that for the most part the (white) American electorate is RACIST, SEXIST, AND REACTIONARY in the way that it votes (no matter what many of these might tell pollsters from time to time). The actual record speaks LOUDLY for itself! THIS then is the reason that black voters can't afford to rely or count on, let alone take for granted how whitefolks WILL VOTE. In 2004 for example 65% of ALLL WHITE MALE VOTERS in this country voted for Bush (that's ACROSS THE BOARD--poor, middle class, and wealthy alike). The fucked up and obviously irrational reason for this is that most of these people perceive themselves (erroneously of course) as voting for WHITE SUPREMACY on some level of another by voting AGAINST what they (again erroneously PERCEIVE as the BLACK VOTE and THE FEMALE VOTE). It's bizarre that the great majority of whites in this country feel this way of course given that voting for liberal and left-of-center candidates would be far more in their political and economic interest than voting for rich, imperialist PRICKS like Bush WHO DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THEM. It's called CLASS POLITICS. Which along with RACE AND GENDER IS WHAT ALL AMERICAN POLITICS IS ACTUALLY ABOUT. These truths are extremely well documented and irrefutable.

So the absolute bottom line, given the sad reality of American politics, is this: IT DOESN'T MATTER IF OBAMA IS OR IS NOT THE "BEST CANDIDATE" (among his two Democratic Party rivals). That personal sentiment is a subjective opinion anyway--no matter what ANY of us may "individually" believe or think ourselves.. WHAT MATTERS IS THAT IF BLACK VOTERS WANT TO SEE A BLACK CANDIDATE winning the Democratic Party nomination and having any legitimate shot AT ALL of not only being nominated but becoming the next president of the United States, the black voting population had better come out WITH BIG TURNOUTS AND VOTE 9-1 (at least) for OBAMA (like we have for every white Democratic candidate anyway in the past 75 years going back to Franklin Roosevelt). Only this time we hadALSO better increase the NUMBER OF BLACKS VOTING OVERALL by a t least another 10% if Obama is to have any real chance at all. In other words only LARGE VOTING BLOCS--whether "racial", "gender-based", "ethnic", or "cl ass-based" win major elections. The highly mistaken, pollyanna idea that "individuals" determine the course of presidential elections is not merely WRONG but a COMPLETE LIE (don't take my word for it look it up and check it out for yourselves--the statistical and analytical data is widespread and voluminous and a real eye-opener to anyone who thinks otherwise.

People ALWAYS vote in their own self interest (if they have any common sense that is) or AGAINST their own self interest if their vote is misinformed by ignorance, hatred, bias, masochism, or jealousy and envy. So if we as Black voters vote for Obama we had better know that this race (like all political races in American history including this one) is ALL ABOUT RACE--or rather OTHER FOLKS' RACISM as well as CLASS, GENDER, AND IDEOLOGY. If we don't now that much about the REALITIES of American politics then we DESERVE to lose (Obama or no Obama!). I'm voting for the brother both because I think he's the "best candidate WHO CAN WIN--since Edwards CAN'T) AND because after 226 years and the election 43 white American male presidents (98% of them WASPS) it's WAY PAST TIME for someone of color to be in the driver's seat. And BTW: Consider the sobering and shocking fact that not only have there not been any black presidents, there haven't been any Women of any nationality, Italian-Americans, or Jewish Americans (let alone Latino and Asian Americans) this means that 85% of ALL AMERICANS have NEVER had the opportunity to be President of the United States!...In the past 100 years going back to 1897 there have been 19 presidents (18 elected) and of that number 16 of them were WASPS and only 3 were Irish-Americans. of the 3 Irish-American presidents (one Catholic among them) 2 of them were ASSASSINATED (William McKinley in 1901 and John F. Kennedy in 1963), and the third one (Ronald Reagan) was the victim of an ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION attempt in March of 1981. If all that doesn't tell you what kind of country we're REALLY living in I don't know what will...

So if Black folks seriously want a serious black candidate who ultimately HAS A REAL CHANCE TO WIN both the nomination and the presidency WE HAD BETTER COME OUT IN VERY LARGE NUMBERS AND CAST OUR VOTES FOR HIM. Otherwise as sure as I'm sitting here HE WILL LOSE. That's the name of the political game IN 2008 AND ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU DIFFERENT doesn't know what he or she is talking about...FOR REAL. It's OUR TURN folks and if we ain't man and woman enough to TAKE IT then we deserve to take a collective ass kicking like we have for the last 40 years in this country. Please remember what Dr. King said on April 3, 1968, the day before he got killed in Memphis: "I don't know what's going to happen to us now. WE'VE GOT SOME DIFFICULT DAYS ahead." In his typically prophetic and highly prescient way he knew what the challenges and stakes for the future were. Malcolm X also fully understood our real political plight when he said in 1964 the year before he was also killed: "Of all our studies HISTORY is the one that most rewards all research." Words of wisdom indeed...I hope and pray we finally heed them...


OBAMA IN 2008!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

On Obama's New Hampshire Loss

A question from my sister Regina:
Kofi - do you smell a rat? How could the polls (in Obama's favor) be so "way off"? In your recent memory do you ever recall polls being so far off?

My response:

There's a RAT alright. It's what's known as "fake polling." In this case the pollsters asked many people who they were going to vote for and they LIED. As one political consultant pointed out on 'The Charlie Rose Show' on PBS yesterday this OFTEN happens with black candidates (he mentioned the race for Mayor of New York in 1989 when David Dinkins was running and for Governor of Virginia around the same time when Doug Wilder ran as examples of this). Of course in those two particular instances the black candidate actually wound up winning the overall race but in most other cases the black candidate ends up losing because white voters tell the pollsters one thing and wind up doing another.. The Clinton camp could also have easily "set up" a number of actual voters to give fake or erroneous information (and probably did) to throw off the polls and create the false impression that Obama was ahead, thus slowing down the possible turnout of other potential voters who erroneously bel ieved he was going to win big in New Hampshire as all the major newspapers, polls, and other major media outlets (including the Internet) clearly indicated he was. This is all the more reason why black voters in particular CAN'T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED in the upcoming primary elections over the next 2-4 weeks...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Primary Fight Is On!

THE FIGHT IS ON! The upcoming primaries here in California, New York, and in a number of other key states in on February 5 (traditionally known as "Super Tuesday" will be essential to whoever wins the nomination this summer. The race is now a DRAW as Obama and Hillary have now on one primary each. This in my opinion will change drastically one way or the other in the next 6-8 weeks. Stay tuned...


January 9, 2008

From a Big Boost for Obama to a Sharp Blow

NASHUA, N.H. — On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Senator Barack Obama delivered a message to supporters: “Do not take this race for granted. I know we had a nice boost over the last couple of days, but elections are a funny business.”

It was a prescient warning.

Mr. Obama, who arrived here five days ago after a commanding triumph in the Iowa caucuses, had planned to leave New Hampshire on a similar high. But a defeat by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton here on Tuesday evening startled Mr. Obama and ensured that the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination remained fully engaged.

“We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change,” Mr. Obama said, speaking at a rally of crestfallen supporters. “We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics that will only grow louder and more dissonant in the days and weeks to come.”

For the last five days here, Mr. Obama made one appeal above all to the legions of voters who turned out at rallies from dawn to dusk to see him: Prove that Iowa was not a fluke. He made that pitch again and again to audiences, which spilled from gymnasiums into side rooms and from opera houses onto snow-covered sidewalks, a tableau of young and old pressed closely together as they cheered his historic candidacy.

In the end, though, it was another historic candidacy — that of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton — that appealed to more voters in New Hampshire, particularly women who broke with Mr. Obama in significant numbers in the closing hours of an accelerated campaign here.

Mr. Obama was counting on a New Hampshire victory to serve as a permission slip for Democratic leaders across the country to step forward to support his candidacy. He was hoping to trade the title of insurgent candidate for the perilous crown of front-runner. But the race is now a draw between the two rivals — with John Edwards of North Carolina, who came in a distant third, vowing to continue — and a furious scramble lies ahead.

With a confidence buoyed by a series of polls that consistently showed Mr. Obama leading Mrs. Clinton by as many as 10 percentage points, the Obama campaign was shaken by the loss as the final ballots were tabulated from a primary election held on a glorious springlike day where a record number of Democrats turned out.

If Mr. Obama had hoped to leave New Hampshire as a soaring victor, on his way to seizing the air of inevitability that had belonged for months to Mrs. Clinton, his narrow loss underscored the challenges that lie ahead for turning a political movement into an electoral success. As he addressed his supporters in a gymnasium at Nashua High School on Tuesday evening, he showed no signs of relinquishing his fight.

“When we’ve been told we’re not ready or we shouldn’t try or we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people,” Mr. Obama said. “Yes, we can. Yes, we can.” Throughout the evening, the confidence of Mr. Obama’s campaign gradually fell as returns poured in from across the state, which never put him over Mrs. Clinton. Aides said they believe that women rallied behind Mrs. Clinton in the final hours of the race, when news coverage was dominated by accounts of her nearly breaking into tears as she answered a voter’s question.

With Mr. Obama winning in Iowa and Mrs. Clinton winning in New Hampshire, a fresh dose of uncertainty was injected into the race as it moves to Nevada and South Carolina before contests in 22 states take place on Feb. 5. Mr. Obama was still hoping to win a crucial union endorsement in Nevada, where he dispatched his top aides from Iowa to organize the state.

Since Mr. Obama’s victory in Iowa, the volume of calls and inquiries into his campaign had more than doubled, with financial contributors, policy supporters and volunteers eager to join the campaign. He is flying on Wednesday to New York, in the heart of Mrs. Clinton’s territory, to hold a fund-raiser and to stage a campaign rally in New Jersey. Both states are among those with contests on Feb. 5.

“I am still fired up and ready to go,” Mr. Obama said. “First of all, I want to congratulate Senator Clinton on a hard-fought victory here in New Hampshire. She did an outstanding job.”

Those words seemed to be the only kind ones spoken between the two on Tuesday evening. In the final days of the race, Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton raised sharp questions about the viability of Mr. Obama’s candidacy, and Democrats were bracing for a combative race to come, with two well-financed campaigns and a series of primaries and caucuses ahead.

A victory for Mr. Obama, which even most of Mrs. Clinton’s advisers were predicting, would have opened the door for many Democratic leaders to coalesce around his candidacy.

As supporters filed out of the rally on Tuesday evening, Mr. Obama’s advisers declined to discuss the election results. They said they were moving on to the races ahead.

But Mr. Obama’s words from a rally on Monday, perhaps, provided the best explanation.

“It is very important for us all to be clear,” Mr. Obama said, “that we have not won anything yet.”

Carl Hulse contributed reporting from Washington.

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