Discussion:
In "battleground Virginia", desperate GOP plays variations on "vote white"
(too old to reply)
Fred Feldman
2008-10-13 01:51:40 UTC
Permalink
Of course, the real news here is the GOP desperation. In the USA, "vote
white" for US whites is really mostly dog bites man.
Fred Feldman



http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1849422,00.html

Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008
In Battleground Virginia, a Tale of Two Ground Games
By Karen Tumulty

If John McCain is as serious as he says about running a "respectful"
campaign against an opponent he considers "a decent person," word hasn't yet
trickled down to his newly opened storefront field office in Gainesville,
Virginia.

No Democratic presidential candidate has carried Virginia since 1964, and
most election years both campaigns pretty much ignore the state. This time,
however, McCain is running behind Barack Obama in statewide polls, thanks in
large part to the head start he got on the ground there. "We haven't seen a
race like this in Virginia - ever," said state GOP Chairman Jeffrey M.
Frederick. "The last time was 40 years ago, and they didn't run races like
this."

Indeed, Frederick, a 33-year-old state legislator, hadn't even been born
yet. But earlier this year Frederick unseated a moderate 71-year-old former
lieutenant governor (who also happens to be Jenna Bush's father-in-law) to
become head of the Virginia GOP, promising "bold new leadership" for a state
party recently on the decline.

The McCain campaign invited me to visit Frederick and the Gainesville
operation on Saturday morning, to get a first-hand glimpse of its ground
game in Prince William County, Virginia, a fast-growing area about 30 miles
from Washington, D.C.

With so much at stake, and time running short, Frederick did not feel he had
the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign
volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points
- for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden:
"Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon," he said. "That is scary." It
is also not exactly true - though that distorted reference to Obama's
controversial association with William Ayers, a former 60s radical, was
enough to get the volunteers stoked. "And he won't salute the flag," one
woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a
man who called out, "We don't even know where Senator Obama was really
born." Actually, we do; it's Hawaii.

Ground operations - the doughnut-fueled armies of volunteers who knock on
doors and man the phone banks - are the trench warfare of political
campaigns. These are the people charged with finding and persuading voters
who might support their candidate, and then making sure they actually show
up at the polls. A good ground operation might mean just an additional
percentage point or two on Election Day, but in a close race, that margin
could easily be the difference between winning and losing. Obama campaign
manager David Plouffe calls his ground operation the "field goal unit," and
it was one of the big reasons the Illinois Senator bested Hillary Clinton in
the primaries. But Obama's team has yet to be tested against a Republican
operation that was built and perfected over decades, culminating in the
astonishing ground game that put George W. Bush over the top in 2004.

The Republicans wouldn't allow me to tag along with their volunteers, so I
drove 30 minutes across the county to the Obama field office. Where the
Gainesville GOP office that opened last week was still furnished only with a
few folding tables and chairs (workers were hanging the McCain/Palin sign
out front as I drove away), Obama's in Woodbridge has been up and running
since July, and has the dingy, cluttered, lived-in feel that every campaign
office eventually acquires. The campaign's "Votebuilder" software - with
house-by-house data on every registered voter in the area - dominated a bank
of computer screens, and the walls were covered with cartoons, volunteer
signatures and lists of "star phonebankers." Young volunteers bustled in and
out with stacks of clipboards and canvassing materials to hand to the
volunteers who were showing up by the carful in the parking lot. Word had
gotten out that a new load of yard signs had arrived, so they were handing
those out to Obama supporters who had shown up asking for them.

The campaign handed me a packet of addresses and sent me out to meet Brian
Varrieur. He's a 34-year-old lawyer who lives in Washington, D.C. and looks
barely old enough to vote himself. This was the fifth weekend he returned to
his parents' home in the neighborhood where he grew up to knock on doors for
Obama. Brian is soft-spoken - not exactly a natural personality for this
kind of work; back when his elementary school would hold candy-sale drives,
"I was one of those kids who would get their next-door neighbor and their
mom to buy some, and that was it," he told me. "But this [presidential
election] really matters to me."

It must. Saturdays in the suburbs aren't the ideal time to find people at
home. I followed Brian to 13 houses on his list, and no one answered at 10
of them. (He left an Obama brochure in the door of each.) At one, the woman
at the door told him she was "leaning" toward McCain, though I thought she
seemed more settled in her decision than that. At another, a teen-aged girl
told him: "My dad is a super-strong Republican. You're probably at the wrong
house." (He duly marked that down, to save future canvassers the trouble.)
Still, the yard signs we saw suggested that this was in fact a neighborhood
divided. We discovered that was true when we approached another house on the
list and found a father and son raking the frontyard. "I'm voting for
McCain," the father told us. But his 19-year-old son, a college student home
for the weekend, told us he plans to send in his absentee ballot for Obama.
His reason? "Palin's a retard," he said. As for the lady of the house?
McCain, the man said. "She has to live here. The kids I can kick out."
Louis Proyect
2008-10-13 02:06:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Fred Feldman
Of course, the real news here is the GOP desperation. In the USA, "vote
white" for US whites is really mostly dog bites man.
Fred Feldman
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1849422,00.html
Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008
In Battleground Virginia, a Tale of Two Ground Games
By Karen Tumulty
If John McCain is as serious as he says about running a "respectful"
campaign against an opponent he considers "a decent person," word hasn't yet
trickled down to his newly opened storefront field office in Gainesville,
Virginia.
My take on this is that the ruling class has really committed itself
to seeing Obama elected. They have huge problems on their hands and
the spectacle of McCain-Palin in recent weeks really makes them
nervous. I predict that the rightwing binge of the Republican Party
over the past 30 years or so will give way to the kind of centrism
that Gerald Ford, Robert Dole et al once demonstrated. They need
politicians who will be forced to defy neconservative formulas and
the Rush Limbaugh wing of the party only gets in the way.
Joaquin Bustelo
2008-10-13 21:49:05 UTC
Permalink
Louis writes, "My take on this is that the ruling class has really committed
itself to seeing Obama elected. They have huge problems on their hands and
the spectacle of McCain-Palin in recent weeks really makes them nervous."

I'm not sure this is true, not even in the sense that "decisive" but not
necessarily all ruling class sectors have committed themselves to getting
Obama elected. But I would say a very strong, perhaps decisive section of
the ruling class is unwilling to countenance an openly and vulgarly racist
campaign in its political mainstream. THAT decision was made decades ago,
and while it's taken a while for the reality to sink in, now that it has,
all major ruling class organs are beating up on McCain for it.

I don't think the tone and tenor of the campaign ads or the speeches at
McCain events and audience reaction are at all comparable to Clinton's play
for the white vote. This is much more crude and naked racism -- and that is
what the ruling class objects to. They have not forgotten having to send
five brigades --a third of the pre-surge occupation army in Iraq-- to
Detroit to quell the 1967 riot there, including elements of the 82nd and
101st Airborne Divisions and the entire 46th Infantry Division. And that was
just one of more than 100 urban rebellions that year alone, 75 of them
classified as major riots by a Senate investigation.

It is true that significant ruling class elements have backed Obama, really
from the outset, but even more now, of course, and that virtually without
dissent they all accept the likely Obama victory and perhaps even a majority
desire it. But I've seen no sign that they're pulling out all stops to make
sure Obama wins.

* * *

Fred also comments on this list that he doubts my contention that a Hillary
or an Edwards (minus the recent revelations) would be doing much better
against McCain. I think they would, because the working people most directly
affected by this financial panic so far are retirees and those close to
retirement. But it is among those older white voters that Obama has had the
hardest time convincing people.

It would also help in terms of the electoral map. Most Black votes are
locked in deep-red or deep-blue states, and the perhaps 2 million additional
Black votes Obama would get, compared to Mrs. Clinton, will have less effect
than an increase in the pro-Democrat older white vote in states like Ohio,
Pennsylvania and Florida. In Virginia the effect might cancel each other
out, in North Carolina, the Democrats might actually suffer some slippage
with Clinton instead of Obama.

Please note this ia simply the flip side of the coin of what I used to say
all the time, that with the demographics of the 2000 or 2004 election, Obama
would likely lose, and the only way he could win was by mobilizing and
extraordinary turnout from Blacks and young people. That, given the
financial crisis, and the impact it has had, is no longer true.

Joaquin
Marvin Gandall
2008-10-13 22:42:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joaquin Bustelo
Louis writes, "My take on this is that the ruling class has really committed
itself to seeing Obama elected. They have huge problems on their hands and
the spectacle of McCain-Palin in recent weeks really makes them nervous."
I'm not sure this is true, not even in the sense that "decisive" but not
necessarily all ruling class sectors have committed themselves to getting
Obama elected. But I would say a very strong, perhaps decisive section of
the ruling class is unwilling to countenance an openly and vulgarly racist
campaign in its political mainstream. THAT decision was made decades ago,
and while it's taken a while for the reality to sink in, now that it has,
all major ruling class organs are beating up on McCain for it.
=============================================
I think the ruling class could easily live with McCain or Obama, but it is
the right-wing populism which Palin's candidacy represents, in the context
of the current economic crisis, which troubles it most. The Palin movement
both threatens to exacerbate racial tension, and complicates ruling class
efforts to address the crisis, as the grassroots Republican opposition to
the Paulson plan, expressing itself through Congress, indicated.

It's revealing that Republican intellectuals like David Brooks, Andrew
Sullivan, Christopher Buckley, David Frum and Kathleen Parker have all
recoiled from Palin. They disdain and fear the Palinite "white trash" in
much the same way the Weimar conservative bourgeoisie frowned upon the
Nazis. In this case, happily for them, they don't have the same need to seek
shelter behind the extreme right as protection against the mass left-wing
parties.
gary.maclennan
2008-10-13 23:06:25 UTC
Permalink
Marvin writes: I think the ruling class could easily live with McCain or
Obama, but it is
the right-wing populism which Palin's candidacy represents, in the context
of the current economic crisis, which troubles it most. The Palin movement
both threatens to exacerbate racial tension, and complicates ruling class
efforts to address the crisis, as the grassroots Republican opposition to
the Paulson plan, expressing itself through Congress, indicated.
It's revealing that Republican intellectuals like David Brooks, Andrew
Sullivan, Christopher Buckley, David Frum and Kathleen Parker have all
recoiled from Palin.
Hi Marvin,

It is impossible to really know for sure what the ruling class are thinking
in this juncture. I tend though to agree with Louis that Obama is now THEIR
CANDIDATE and the Democratic Party is now THEIR PARTY.

Obama brings them a mass base in the Black working class and the young and
increasingly a mass base in the old and the scared. Not something to be
sniffed at.

But I cannot really see how they would be frightened by Palin. There is no
suggestion at all as far as I can see of independent mobilisation by her of
those who are choking in their petit bourgeois *ressentiment*. At the
moment she is simply an extra brash and vulgar cheer leader for a mainstream
bourgeois party. To become "dangerous' she would have to be threatening to
create an independent political force.

If that were to happen then she would have to be eliminated or, if the
crisis were big enough, co-opted. Here in Oztralia, Pauline Hanson was the
darling of the media until she began to make noises about the Chinese and
then the Murdoch press destroyed her. She had become bad for business.

So my take on Palin is that she does not as yet lead a "movement" so she
does not scare the ruling class in any way. They do not want her at the
moment and it may be that there is a permanenet place reserved for her in
the dust bin of history. I certainly hope so. But I also recognize that the
ugliness and the hatred and the racism she is do desperatley attempting to
tap into, represent an untapped reserve army for the ruling class. They may
sneer at 60k howing in hatred against Obama. They may think they are at
pesent a nuisance even, but the ruling class would also see in them a
promise for the future.

best regards

Gary
Joaquin Bustelo
2008-10-14 01:12:06 UTC
Permalink
Gary writes, "But I cannot really see how they would be frightened by Palin.
There is no suggestion at all as far as I can see of independent
mobilisation by her of those who are choking in their petit bourgeois
*ressentiment*. At the moment she is simply an extra brash and vulgar cheer
leader for a mainstream bourgeois party. To become 'dangerous' she would
have to be threatening to create an independent political force."

I think you're missing the point. It's NOT Palin and her supporters the
ruling class is scared of, it is the other side they fear.

After a *few hundred* Black urban rebellions from 1965-1968, which
culminated in a massive wave following the assassination of Martin Luther
King, there were various and sundry studies and reports, one key
recommendation of which was that open, overt racism had to be driven out of
the mainstream of U.S. politics.

And Nixon in 1968 showed it was possible to run a perfectly "respectable"
and completely racist campaign, and he had the votes from southern
segregationist whites to prove it.

The issue was laid out very well by former civil rights leader and current
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who sent to the insider's blog Politico a letter a
couple of days ago saying something to the effect of "remember George
Wallace," an ultra-racist politician who himself wound up the victim of an
attempted assassination.

All the McCainites want to do is set of a disciplined army of racists to go
to the polls and help get others to the polls. But when you try to set
controlled forces into motion in politics, you ALSO set uncontrolled forces
into motion. The ruling class has determined that for U.S. politics, THIS
WAY of setting controlled forces into motion is TOO DANGEROUS because of the
uncontrolled forces it sets into motion, both among rabid racists, and then
in reaction to them, in the Black community.

Think of it this way: this is all about what the reaction in the Black
community would be to the assassination of Barack Obama.

Ironic as this may sound, it was the "Bloody Sunday" attack on the Selma to
Montgomery (Alabama) march for voting rights that led Lyndon Johnson to
insist that Congress immediately pass a voting rights act, introducing the
legislation by calling a dramatic joint session of Congress.

One story I've heard --not sure how true-- is that as he was leaving the
hall, one of the committee chairs promised Johnson, "we'll begin holding
hearings next week, Mr. President." And Johnson replied, "Start tomorrow.
And hold night sessions." That's the urgency the ruling class assigned to
staving off more Black explosions like the Watts Riot of 1964.

Some will say, "the U.S. is past the age or race riots." But, frankly, the
ruling class doesn't want to put that proposition to the test.

That's why I think some comrades are exaggerating the degree or solidity of
ruling class support for Obama, in the sense that the ruling class is
determined he SHOULD BE the next president. I think they're confusing ruling
class opposition to some of the things McCain and especially Palin have been
saying and permitting in their rallies for a do-or-die commitment to his
opponent.

A President Obama is not without complications. Leave completely aside both
Obama's real intentions and what a person in that position will be allowed
to do no matter what his intentions. What will he be expected to do by those
who voted for him?

"Obama brings them [the rulers] a mass base in the Black working class," and
that's precisely the problem. There could well be a tendency for Black
people to think that now that Obama is president, any number of urgent
demands and long-festering concerns will be dealt with. And what happens if
they're not? I'm not so sure the ruling class is itching to have a President
that tens of millions of Black folk might expect to REALLY represent them.

Joaquin
gary.maclennan
2008-10-14 01:55:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joaquin Bustelo
I think you're missing the point. It's NOT Palin and her supporters the
ruling class is scared of, it is the other side they fear.
My reply: I take your point here. They do fear the possibility of
inependent mobilisations from below. Always. But the kind of "human dust"
(as Trotsky called them) that Palin is in touch with they do not fear.


Joaquin: There could well be a tendency for Black
people to think that now that Obama is president, any number of urgent
demands and long-festering concerns will be dealt with. And what happens if
they're not? I'm not so sure the ruling class is itching to have a President
that tens of millions of Black folk might expect to REALLY represent them.
My comment: I cannot make up my mind here. What exactly are the dialectics
of disillusionment? The question of course cannt be answered in the
abstract. However the optimistic side of me thinks sometimes that Obama
represents the quckening of desire and that desire will not be contained by
President Obama. The pessimistic side of me fears that disillusionment will
lead to a further plunge into apathy and despair. In any case we shall see,
for disillusioned the Blacks of America are going to be.

warm regards

Gary
Shane Mage
2008-10-14 02:39:48 UTC
Permalink
...But I cannot really see how they would be frightened by
Palin...To become "dangerous' she would have to be threatening to
create an independent political force...So my take on Palin is that
she does not as yet lead a "movement" so she does not scare the
ruling class in any way...
The US presidency is a very powerful position. Everyone has seen how
much damage a Cheney could do, and a Xtian madwoman in power could do
much worse. McCain's life expectancy, after repeated bouts of
melanoma (and given the public secrecy--but secret from the organs of
power?) can scarcely extend to anything like four years. "Movements"
have nothing to do with it. They are really, really, scared of seeing
a pit bull bitch in power over them.


Shane Mage
"This cosmos did none of gods or men make, but it
always was and is and shall be: an everlasting fire,
kindling in measures and going out in measures."
Herakleitos of Ephesos
Marvin Gandall
2008-10-14 15:43:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by gary.maclennan
Marvin writes: I think the ruling class could easily live with McCain or
Obama, but it is
the right-wing populism which Palin's candidacy represents, in the context
of the current economic crisis, which troubles it most. The Palin movement
both threatens to exacerbate racial tension, and complicates ruling class
efforts to address the crisis, as the grassroots Republican opposition to
the Paulson plan, expressing itself through Congress, indicated.
It's revealing that Republican intellectuals like David Brooks, Andrew
Sullivan, Christopher Buckley, David Frum and Kathleen Parker have all
recoiled from Palin.
Hi Marvin,
It is impossible to really know for sure what the ruling class are thinking
in this juncture. I tend though to agree with Louis that Obama is now THEIR
CANDIDATE and the Democratic Party is now THEIR PARTY.
[...]
Post by gary.maclennan
But I cannot really see how they would be frightened by Palin. There is no
suggestion at all as far as I can see of independent mobilisation by her of
those who are choking in their petit bourgeois *ressentiment*...
==========================================
Hi Gary: I don't think the bourgeoisie is presently "frightened" by Palin
and the forces she represents so much as it is "troubled" (my adjective) by
the populist and racist themes they have introduced into the campaign, and
by the real possibility this inexperienced and unpredictable outsider could
succeed McCain if he were to win and to then die in office. The bourgeoisie
prizes stability above all else, which is why it is comfortable with the
leadership of the Democratic party and very annoyed by the demagogic and
unstable McCain campaign.

All things being equal, though, it prefers the fiscal and monetary policies
of the Republicans to those of the Democrats. It's important also to
distinguish the base of the DP from the leadership. The bourgeoisie knows it
would have more to fear from an assertive DP base - composed in the main of
supporters of the trade unions and the various reform movements - than from
the vaguely populist and easily manipulated Republican base led by Palin,
which hates unions, minorities, and social movements more consistently than
it hates the bankers.

Here is a Wall Street Journal article from today which has some bearing on
our discussion:

* * *

Wall Street Donors Resent Being Blamed by McCain
By MONICA LANGLEY
Wall Street Journal
October 14 2008

NEW YORK -- Sen. John McCain badly needs the cash infusion and momentum from
a Tuesday night fund-raiser in New York. But the senator's recent demonizing
of Wall Street made it tough to lure contributors, with Wall Street and
corporate executives balancing their aggravation with the Republican
presidential hopeful against their rising unease about his Democratic
opponent.

The McCain campaign hopes to raise $7 million at the event at a midtown
Manhattan hotel. For $25,000, guests get a sit-down dinner and a photo with
the Arizona lawmaker and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Guests
who pay $1,000 can attend a reception.

And though a flurry of pledges in recent days reached the event's
fund-raising goal, organizers in recent weeks had struggled to fill the
ballroom.

The Republican presidential candidate's "populist stuff sounds good on the
campaign trail, but it's caused a lot of trepidation," says John Faso,
onetime Republican candidate for New York governor and one of the event
organizers. Sen. McCain's relationship with corporate America "has hit a
bump in the road," says Mr. Faso, who is an attorney.

Even big business names are advising Sen. McCain to quit looking to assign
blame for the economic crisis and instead offer more-detailed solutions. "I
told the campaign that McCain must do a better job talking about ways to
make corporations -- their executives and directors -- more accountable,"
activist investor Carl Icahn, a McCain supporter who doesn't plan to attend
Tuesday's fund-raiser, said in an interview. "Frankly, Obama is doing a
better job, and it's resonating for him."

Tonight's fund-raiser, at a time when Sen. McCain has fallen further behind
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in polls and spending, follows a tense month
between the Republican candidate and the financial executives and advisers
who back him.

During one recent weekend, when the federal government grappled with the
looming collapses of financial giants American International Group Inc. and
Lehman Brothers, the Arizona lawmaker held a conference call with Merrill
Lynch Chief Executive John Thain, J.P. Morgan Chase Vice Chairman James B.
Lee Jr. and Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The men urged a calm
reaction to the crisis, to help reassure roiling global markets.

Sen. McCain later declared on the stump: "In short order, we're going to put
an end to the reckless conduct, corruption and unbridled greed that have
caused the crisis on Wall Street."

At a Sept. 22 town-hall event in Scranton, Pa., Sen. McCain was more
specific. "We can't have taxpayers footing the bill for bloated golden
parachutes like we see in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy," the Republican
senator said to huge applause. "My friends, the top executives are asking
for $2.5 billion in bonuses after they ran the company into the ground."

Shortly after these remarks were carried in news reports, Lehman Brothers
CEO Richard Fuld advised a McCain backer that the senator was "inaccurate"
in his attack, a Lehman spokesman said. "Dick Fuld did not receive a golden
parachute or any severance, and he received no bonus for 2008," he said.

Two days later, on Sept. 24, tensions heightened when Sen. McCain, who had
come to New York for the United Nations session, met with key business
supporters, including Cisco Systems' CEO John Chambers, retired E-Bay CEO
Meg Whitman and private-equity guru Henry Kravis. The campaign invited these
executives just the night before to show up at the Manhattan hotel for an
emergency meeting.

After the media left a photo op with the group, the financiers gave Sen.
McCain an earful. Some of them warned him against getting personal and
making Wall Street the scapegoat for the nation's troubles.

Sen. McCain's continuing broadsides against business have damped his ability
to raise money for the Republican Party.

The McCain campaign responds that the candidate's latest attacks on
corporate America show he is a maverick ready to take on special interests.
"It has never hurt John McCain to tell the truth," says policy adviser Doug
Holtz-Eakin. "He's running for president to help Main Street, not to be
popular on Wall Street."

Sen. McCain has now stopped raising money directly for his campaign, having
chosen to take federal funds for the general election. But he has been
actively seeking donations to the Republican National Committee, and the New
York fund-raiser is aimed at gathering money the RNC can spend on behalf of
him and other Republicans. RNC spending has been critical to Sen. McCain's
ability to try to compete with Sen. Obama, whose prodigious fund raising led
him to opt out of the public-financing system, allowing him to raise and
spend unlimited amounts.

To help offset that gap, McCain campaign chairman Rick Davis set a goal of
$7 million for Tuesday night's event immediately after the Republican
national convention in early September.

When the goal looked difficult to attain, Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson IV,
heir to the Johnson & Johnson family fortune and owner of the New York Jets,
called for a Sept. 24 dinner meeting at 21, a posh Manhattan restaurant. Mr.
Davis attended on behalf of the campaign, and urged the backers to push
harder to ensure the fund-raiser was a "huge success."

"No one brought up the elephant in the room -- all of us were losing money
as we sat there," one executive says.

Over the next week, as the Treasury's proposed bailout package struggled in
Congress, Sen. McCain often talked to some of his Wall Street supporters for
their input on how he should respond. The outreach was coordinated by
Patrick Durkin, who worked for 22 years at investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin
& Jenrette -- since acquired by Credit Suisse -- and recently joined the
campaign as a business adviser.

Yet, the McCain campaign seemed to ignore their advice, two executives say.
Instead, Sen. McCain last week launched attacks on Sen. Obama's character.
"Instead of addressing the economy, John is throwing up a '60s radical at
Obama," one supporter said, referring to the Democrat's association with
one-time Weather Underground member William Ayers. By week's end, though,
Sen. McCain did also give a speech including one suggestion from financial
executives: freezing certain 401(k) withdrawals while underlying stock
prices were depressed.

Some campaign officials began to worry about the ambitious goals of the New
York City fund-raiser, which the campaign decided to hold in the vast
ballroom of the Grand Hyatt hotel near Grand Central Station. These
officials said McCain national finance chairman Lew Eisenberg, the former
chairman of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority, increased participation
by reaching out to business leaders around the region in New Jersey,
Connecticut and Massachusetts.

In recent days, McCain officials say, interest picked up. By Monday, pledges
totaled $7 million. About 1,000 people paid $1,000 each for the reception.
The more exclusive dinner with the Republican ticket drew about 200
contributors.

"Reality set in," one fund-raiser said. "Donors realized they could face an
Obama administration next month." They are petrified they will face steep
increases in personal and corporate tax rates, this person said.

Several executives resisted the fund-raiser because of their own financial
pain. But Mr. Fasso didn't let up, telling them, "Obama will be a disaster
for you."

Fred Feldman
2008-10-13 05:20:17 UTC
Permalink
Louis wrote:
My take on this is that the ruling class has really committed itself
to seeing Obama elected. They have huge problems on their hands and
the spectacle of McCain-Palin in recent weeks really makes them
nervous.

Fred comments:
That's my impression too. Obama may now be headed toward the blowout that
Wallerstein, a very abstract "world system" thinker but not at all stupid or
unperceptive in my experience, predicted what seems like many months ago.
After Iowa, I think. Despite the cosmic generality, I find his assessments
are less indifferent to the actual motion taking place than many assume. No,
"world system" theory does not tempt me at all.

However, Louis and my common conclusion reflects the fact that this was not
a settled matter until recently. The ruling class was divided over the
election, and the capitalist media was broadly open to sinking Obama if that
could be done. Obama's campaign would have been impossible without some
support and encouragement in the ruling class.

But the recent turn toward broader ruling class support is a product of
gyrations and instability that stemmed not primarily from Republican
weirdness, although this clearly enters the game, but from the failure of
successive waves of attack to break Obama's mass electoral base in the mass
of the population, including white people. Remember that when Hilary raised
all this crap, the media was pretty sympathetic, but the Obama base did not
break. She also crossed the line, presenting herself to all intents and
purposes, as the spokesperson of "hard-working people, white people."

So the problem to which the ruling class as a whole (this is new in my
opinion, as Louis seems to agree) is responding is in part not just the
problems of the Republican Party but the problem of the failure of repeated
attempts to make Obama "toast" to fundamentally break the momentum of the
campaign for him, which had a spontaneous mass response which was and is
real.

By the way (this is more a response to Joaquin, not Louis), I do not think
that the Democrats would have had an easier time if they had nominated
Hillary Clinton or, God help us, the "pro-working class" handsome white nerd
Edwards -- even leaving aside his more recent embarrassment. I think Obama
was not only more vulnerable because Black, but more importantly more
invulnerable because Black to the routine Republican attacks of the last two
decades. This has to do with progressive shifts I have been sensing for some
times in American politics, as reflected in my workplaces and other
experiences.

Probably, given the catastrophe which the Bush administration is ending up
in, I believe that Hilary (if not Edwards) would have won in the end, but
she would not have done as well against McCain as Obama seems likely to do.
In part, this is not just a matter of "race" although that is clearly
involved as a positive as well as negative for Obama (I think), but because
of Hillary's all too excessive "experience."

What seens to be shaping up as a historical crisis of present day US
capitalism (pace Charlie Post, I don't believe in a "final crisis of
capitalism" as an economic construct, although I believe firmly that, viewed
in a broader social/political construct a final crisis is entirely possible.
The bottom line is what the masses of workers, peasants, oppressed
nationalities, women, and their potentially vast array of allies.

Given the fact that we are apparently going to have to go through this
historical crisis, which promises to be quite painful, I plan to do whatever
I can individually and collectively with others (most importantly) to have
it turn out to be the final one, but I make no such predictions.

Louis continued:
I predict that the rightwing binge of the Republican Party
over the past 30 years or so will give way to the kind of centrism
that Gerald Ford, Robert Dole et al once demonstrated.

Fred comments:
In the context of the crisis which exists, what possesses Louis to portray
Obama as though he represented simply a moderate wing of the Republican
Party? Ford, Dole, with even Carter and Clinton dissolved into an "et al"
which may or may not refer to them (maybe the et al refers to Eisenhower and
Dewey for all I know).

I have no idea what Obama will do in office. I think awful things are
possible and even likely, but I also think that some progressive or less
reactionary or whatever you want to call them are possible. In the end, of
course, without the struggle of the masses against the existing order, all
this will lead to disaster, just as the New Deal, to the extent that the
masses could be demobilized through it, helped pave the way to World War
II.

But I do not believe that ANYBODY is electing him because they think things
must stay exactly the same, without rocking the boat, which is what the
Dole-Ford parallels seem to suggest.
Fred
Louis Proyect
2008-10-13 09:00:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Fred Feldman
In the context of the crisis which exists, what possesses Louis to portray
Obama as though he represented simply a moderate wing of the Republican
Party?
I wasn't referring to Obama or the Democrats, but to the *Republican
Party*. They will be under pressure to move to the center.
Walter Lippmann
2008-10-13 12:54:03 UTC
Permalink
FRED FELDMAN writes:
I have no idea what Obama will do in office. I think awful things are
possible and even likely, but I also think that some progressive or less
reactionary or whatever you want to call them are possible. In the end, of
course, without the struggle of the masses against the existing order, all
this will lead to disaster, just as the New Deal, to the extent that the
masses could be demobilized through it, helped pave the way to World War II.
==============================================================================

Fred's assessment is on-target. The difference between Obama and McCain is
one of tactics and not of political principles, since both believe in the
same things: capitalism, imperialism, and all that flows from that.

However the difference is whether or not it's good for business for the
United States to be hated and reviled throughout the world, and seen as
an enemy, or should the US instead play more of the game of manipulations,
maneuvers and political tricknology, or should it rely more on brute force
of arms, as Bush has been doing, with McCain's support.

Given the current status of the United States in the world today, it's
evident that the Bush/Republican model isn't good for business, and that
is why so many in business think Obama offers a better possible series of
options.

But whether or not the backers of Obama among the powerful can put over
the kind of change in policy Obama might represent remains to be seen.
It's not a settled or closed question. There are three weeks remaining in
the campaign, which is a short time in history, but a long time in an
election campaign. Who knows what's liable to be put forward at a time
like this? Lots of people have something at stake, something to lose, in
a Bush/McCain defeat, and they'll try any number of things to prevent it.

The campaign isn't over until it's over. Don't assume it's done deal.
October is a month when surprises have historically taken place.

Humorously, that former leftist with whom I traveled to Nicaragua in
1983, Marc Cooper, has been weighing in as a supporter of Barack Obama.
Basing his rhetoric on the kind of training most people in the United
States, at least of a certain age, received in our formative years,
Marc Cooper has taken to red-baiting the Bush-McCain regime:

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Indeed, writing on TheBigMoney.com, James Ledbetter notes that
?the Bush administration has undertaken the single largest socialist
investment in the history of mankind. The Bolshevik revolution of
1917 couldn?t dream of an economy worth $700 billion; the figure
dwarfs anything ever attempted by Fidel Castro or the Sandinistas.?
Hugo Chavez, compa?ero, eat your heart out. You bet on the wrong
horse and should have joined the Florida Republican Party if you
wanted a real revolution.

Unfortunately, like most socialist revolutions, the current
Bush-Bernake regime suffers from a hypocritical double morality.
The Wall Street nomenklatura will not only continue in business,
in one way or another, but will also continue to reap fabulously fat
salaries as the taxpayers pick up the tab for the stinking mess. This
revolution fully socializes all of the losses and risks while keeping
private profit intact. Some deal.
http://www.laweekly.com/2008-10-09/news/tuesday-s-debate-was-a-death-rattle-not-only-for-the-mccain-campaign-but-for-a-political-era/
----------------------------------------------------------------------


Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California












.

=========================================
WALTER LIPPMANN
Los Angeles, California
Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/
"Cuba - Un Para?so bajo el bloqueo"
=========================================
Fred Feldman
2008-10-14 03:06:10 UTC
Permalink
Shane Mage wrote:
They are really, really, scared of seeing a pit bull bitch in power over
them.

Fred Feldman:
I think that the term "bitch" in reference to women should be formally
banned on the list, and that those who feel driven or duty-bound to throw
such terms around should pay the appropriate price. Suspensions, unsubbing,
moderation, whatever.

Perhaps permanent moderation is the way to deal with Mage, since he
occasionally says useful things and also since he will probably regard it as
a matter of principle to violate the rule if it is established. At least
that is what his behavior to date seems to signal.

Some people just get a kick of upsetting people who are sensitive to certain
kinds of racist, sexist slurs. It makes them feel like oh-so-brave free
speechers defying the wicked "politically correct" people -- especially
women -- who get upset by such terms. Allowing them to do this delegitimizes
the list in the eyes of women, and not just women by any means.

Time to draw a line and enforce it.
Shane Mage
2008-10-14 03:51:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Fred Feldman
They are really, really, scared of seeing a pit bull bitch in power over
them.
I think that the term "bitch" in reference to women should be formally
banned on the list...
In English there is a technical term, in general usage, for a female
dog. Feldman doesn't object to that specimen being called a "pit
bull"--after all that's what it called itself--but he seems to want it
unsexed. Tough.


Shane Mage
Post by Fred Feldman
"This cosmos did none of gods or men make, but it
always was and is and shall be: an everlasting fire,
kindling in measures and going out in measures."
Herakleitos of Ephesos
Louis Proyect
2008-10-14 12:13:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shane Mage
In English there is a technical term, in general usage, for a female
dog. Feldman doesn't object to that specimen being called a "pit
bull"--after all that's what it called itself--but he seems to want it
unsexed. Tough.
Shane Mage
Shane has been unsubbed.
Fred Feldman
2008-10-14 04:50:11 UTC
Permalink
Mage writes:
In English there is a technical term, in general usage, for a female
dog. Feldman doesn't object to that specimen being called a "pit
bull"--after all that's what it called itself--but he seems to want it
unsexed. Tough.

Fred comments:
I addressed none of my comments to you. I do not give a flying fuck what
your excuses are for your intentional indulgence in sexist abuse on this
list. I already know how much you enjoy doing it and how committed you are
to doing this on every possible occasion.

It is the moderators' job to deal with it. If they don't, you get away with
it, and the list suffers. If they do, you don't. Simple as that.

They've already expressed their opinions which you have treated with
snarling contempt. It's up to them, not me, tough guy.
Erik Carlos Toren
2008-10-14 15:00:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joaquin Bustelo
the only way he could win was by mobilizing and
extraordinary turnout from Blacks and young people
And I would add getting a large % of the Latino voting population to come out and vote.

por el socialismo,
Erik



----- Original Message ----
From: Joaquin Bustelo <jbustelo at gmail.com>

Please note this ia simply the flip side of the coin of what I used to say
all the time, that with the demographics of the 2000 or 2004 election, Obama
would likely lose, and the only way he could win was by mobilizing and
extraordinary turnout from Blacks and young people. That, given the
financial crisis, and the impact it has had, is no longer true.
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