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Donkey Days

Sep 02, 2008
The Democratic convention is over: A few observations:

  • The speeches are still available at the Democratic Convention site linked below. They require the installation of a couple of browser plug-ins, but the procedure is quick and painless.

  • Two years ago, who would not have bet the farm that they wouldn’t live to see a black man or a woman of any shade accept the nomination for president from a major American political party. Beyond a doubt, we witnessed history last Thursday night, and Republicans and Democrats alike should have been thrilled.

  • We recommend the speeches of Dennis Kucinich and John Kerry, both of whom came across as sincere and impassioned, which is more than we can say for the other professional politicians we listened to. There remain huge undercurrents of racism, of Clintonian resentment, and—we hope—of corporate uneasiness surrounding Obama’s nomination. He will need to struggle as mightily to overcome these forces within his own party as he will to overcome the petty, scurrilous, and beside-the-point (but enormously successful) tactics of the Republican opposition if he is to take that final giant step to the White House.

  • Jimmy Carter’s presence at the convention was, at the last minute, reduced from a speech to a three-minute video, probably because of his stand on the Israeli-Palestine issue. The American people, and the world, are finished with one-sided, unquestioning support of Israel in their struggle to solidify and expand their presence on lands to which others have a justifiable claim. That the Obama campaign continues the tradition of thralldom to the Israeli lobby, to the extent that it can disrespect a former president from its own party, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and one of the world’s most ardent and effective supporters of peace and brotherhood, does not bode well for its chances with a significant minority of voters for whom these issues are paramount.

  • Michelle Obama, her non-professional enthusiasm and her palpable sincerity, may just become Obama’s most important secret weapon in this race.

  • Ralph Nader gave, as usual, the most pertinent speech of the week, at his rally on Wedneday evening. View the video on his home page. Though some may accuse Nader of being a “Johnny-One-Note,” the note he harps on—that an unholy alliance of neocons and multi-national corporations have hijacked the American political process and American government, and are destroying fundamental American values—is supported by the facts, which we try to bring you on All Together Now. Obama has made no statement I know of to acknowledge this fundamental challenge to our democracy. On the contrary, he has surrounded himself with advisors who have been instrumental in enabling this situation, from Jason Furman to Robert Rubin, and others. This stands beside his shameful about-face on telecomm immunity and his quite arguably misplaced reliance on military power to turn the Afghanistan debacle around, stances which must be amended in some manner before he can be assured of the votes of some of his earliest supporters.

  • Eugene V. Debs: “It is better to vote for what you want and not get it, than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.”

tags: Politics | Obama | Nader

Official Democratic Convention Site (w/Videos)

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