Media Matters: Liddy: Obama concentration camp will serve “ham hocks and turnip greens”

Media Matters

Liddy: Obama concentration camp will serve “ham hocks and turnip greens”

On the November 4 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, G. Gordon Liddy spoke to a caller who stated: “I’m ready to go to the concentration camp, that [Sen. Barack] Obama’s police force — he will round me up. Because I — I’m a white American.” Liddy then said, “Well, listen to this,” and aired an edited clip of Obama saying in a July 2 speech in Colorado Springs: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” Liddy then stated: “Shades of the Gestapo. The Geheime Staatspolizei,” to which the caller replied: “How’s the cooking going to be? What will — what will they serve, at the camp?” Liddy responded: “Well, I think, probably, there’ll be ham hocks and turnip greens.”

Taegan Goddard Political Wire: Bonus Quote of the Day

Taegan Goddard Political Wire

Bonus Quote of the Day

“If people were walking into the polling booth thinking terrorism, terrorism, terrorism, probably no way that Barack Obama has a chance of winning.  McCain wins.”

— Rudy Giuliani, interviewed on CNN.

Detroit Free Press: Nader concedes race, predicts Obama landslide

Detroit Free Press

Nader concedes race, predicts Obama landslide

Ralph Nader, the self-styled consumer crusader and perennial third party presidential candidate, conceded today, telling the Free Press minutes ago that there was going to be “a landslide” for Barack Obama.

“The streets are going to be filled with revelry … both here and in Africa,” Nader predicted, followed by a 10-minute denunciation of most of the Democratic Party candidate’s policy and record. 

AmSpec: Report:Obama Told Abbas He Supported Dividing Jerusalem

AmSpec

Report:Obama Told Abbas He Supported Dividing Jerusalem

Israel National News has the following disturbing report:

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama privately expressed his support for a new Arab state within Israel’s current borders, including eastern Jerusalem, during his meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah this summer.

According to a report published Tuesday in the Lebanese newspaper al-Ahbar, Obama told Abbas that he supports a PA state, and Arab “rights to east Jerusalem” as well.  The sources said Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad “heard the best things they ever heard from an American president” during the meeting. However, said sources quoted in the report, the candidate asked them to keep his declaration a secret.

To recap, this means that he went before AIPAC in June and told a pro-Israel audience that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided,” then, after Palestinians raised a fuss, he said it was a “final status issue,” and then he went to the Palestinian leadership and told them the exact opposite — that he actively supports a Palestinian state with a capital in eastern Jerusalem.

If, like me, you’ve approached Obama with skepticism, nothing about this should suprise you. There has been ample reason to believe that Obama’s election-year statements on Israel are meant to mask his true feelings on the subject, and now, on the day of the election, we get an account that if accurate, means that all along he was secretly planning to shift U.S. policy in the region toward the Palestinian point of view

Stuff White People Do: refuse to see how things look from another point of view

Stuff White People Do

refuse to see how things look from another point of view

A lot of people find Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s presence on “The View” incredibly annoying, and I gotta say, I do too. She’s like a feminine Bill O’Reilly–loud, domineering, condescending, obstinate, and most of the time, just plain stupid.

Nevertheless, for the purposes of this blog, I’m glad that Elisabeth is on television. By arguing her (talking) points so tenaciously, she often dramatizes common white tendencies.

I’ve written before about Hasselbeck’s continual demonstration of the common white insistence, especially in mixed-race discussions, onoccupying center-stage. In the clip below, from this morning’s edition of “The View,” she launches a vigorous, last-ditch volley of attacks, which largely consist of guilt-by-association claims about Barack Obama.

We’re probably all tired of such crap, especially today, but a tone of something approaching desperation in Hasselbeck’s attack here does provide a sense of something like schadenfreude. More to the point, she also demonstrates a common white tendency in such discussions–refusing to see or consider how something looks from another, non-white point of view, and then judging that thing from a limited white perspective.

In this discussion, Joy Behar serves as a foil to Hasselbeck; Behar highlights Hasselbeck’s performance of this common form of white solipsism by performing the opposite, an openness to experience that differs from her own.

Joy Behar thus provides some hope here; she shows that some white people can step back and admit that because they’re coming from a different place in terms of race, they just don’t know enough about something to judge whether it’s right or wrong.

Racism Review: The Meaning of Wright in the Obama Campaign

Racism Review

The Meaning of Wright in the Obama Campaign

What does it mean that white Americans are (apparently) willing to elect Barack Obama, a black politician, but still unwilling to engage the discourse of race and discuss continued, un-equalized race relations between people of color and whites and the long, on-going history of white racism in America? How is this socio-psychological paradox explained?

At the center of this paradox of race and politics is Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright (image fromRobinDude via Flickr). I agree with Joe that Wright is “actually an American prophet, indeed a prophetic hero who is not afraid to condemn this country’s racist government actions, past and present.” But I would stress that Wright’s demonization andcomplete marginalization, not just by mainstream media and Republican circles, but also by Obama and the Democratic party, demonstrates a much deeper problem in American race relations and in ways that Americans understand and deal with the ‘race problem.’ Obama’s distancing himself from Wright and categorical condemnation of Wright’s social philosophies about American government was clearly stated. One hopes this was only a temporary, strategic political move to reach a powerful office (wouldn’t be the first time a politician momentarily masked their ideological position to win an election) and that, in fact, Obama will champion policies that amend the disempowerment and disenfranchisement of blacks and other nonwhite minorities.

Whatever is behind Obama’s decision to sever his relationship with Wright, the fact remains that he was forced to denunciate Wright and suppress Wright’s message about the history of white racism in order to maintain political viability in American politics, illustrating that mainstream America is not yet willing to seriously address the murky, taboo issue of race. As Obama’s society-sanctioned sacrifice of Wright demonstrates, both republicans and democrats—Fox News and MSNBC—and the American public at large call for Obama to disassociate with and denounce Wright’s unsettling message.

Blogometer: DEM STRATEGY: Fighting Back The DLC Wing

Blogometer

DEM STRATEGY: Fighting Back The DLC Wing

Liberal bloggers are criticizing recent columns by Dem strategists Doug Schoen and Mark Penn, who urge the hypothetical Obama administration to stick to “centrism” and “conciliation.” Liberal bloggers perceive Schoen’s and Penn’s argument as an attempt to pre-emptively constrain Obama’s progressive agenda:

  • The Washington Monthly‘s Steve Benen: “We’ll know soon enough whether Democrats have a good Election Day or not, but Doug Schoen is already urging the party not to perceive potentially sweeping victories as an endorsement of the Democratic agenda. […Schoen argues that] if voters turn out in record numbers, elect Democrats to control almost everything, and deliver a ‘wholesale rejection’ of conservative Republicans, Democratsshouldn’t consider this a mandate for change. Indeed, as far as Schoen is concerned, if Democratic policy makers try to implement Democratic policy ideas after Democratic victories, the party will surely be punished by voters. […] I suspect Obama, given what we know of his style and temperament, would make good-faith efforts to encourage Republicans to support his policy goals. But Schoen’s advice seems misguided — if Obama wins, he should scale back on the agenda voters asked him to implement? He should water down his agenda, whether it has the votes to pass or not? He should put ‘conciliation’ at the top of his priority list? And what, pray tell, does a Democratic majority do if/when Republicans decide they don’t like Democratic ideas, don’t care about popular mandates or polls, and won’t work with Dems on issues that matter? Do Democrats, at that point, simply stop governing, waiting for a mysterious ‘consensus’ to emerge?”
  • Open Left‘s David Sirota: “Mark Penn joins fellow corporate pollster Doug SchoenPeggy NoonanCharles Krauthammer and Jon Meacham as the latest member of the Punditburo to insist that no matter what happens on election day, America is a center-right nation, and therefore a President Obama must not govern as a progressive. […] Penn is following Schoen’s lead in making the Democratic side of this Establishment argument — using the manufactured storyline of Bill Clinton‘s supposed actions to claim that if a President Obama governs as a progressive, he will end up like Clinton in 1994. Not only is the storyline wholly fake, it implies that nothing has changed in America since 1994. That is, it implies with a straight face that the [George W.] Bush years and the backlash to those years did nothing to move the country in a progressive direction. […] Look, I’m all for Obama governing as a ‘centrist’ — as long as he recognizes that the actual ‘center’ of American public opinion is far different from the ‘center’ as defined by corporate-hired pollsters like Penn, and the rest of the Establishment Punditburo.”
  • Think Progress‘ Matthew Yglesias: “The real thing that the next administration needs to do is to avoid failure. In particular, the country clearly faces a serious economic challenge. What the next administration needs — and what the next congress needs — is policies that will work to restore prosperity. If the administration signs into law a recovery program that, whether popular or not at the time, delivers the goods in terms of restoring prosperity, then the president and the congress will be in good shape politically. By contrast, if they can’t do so, they’ll suffer. Similarly, a health reform plan that works will be rewarded. That’s the real issue here — not policies that ‘are seen as too far left’ or policies that are seen as too far right, but policies that are seen as failing.”

Atrios makes a similar argument: “No matter how much Obama wins by, if he wins, the media will have Joe Lieberman and Harold Ford explain to us what it really means, which is that the American public supports exactly what Harold Ford supports. The establishment is ‘center right,’ whatever that means, and no matter what public sentiment actually is, they will tell you that the American People support their agenda.”

Blog for our Future: “Center-Right Nation” Watch – Mark Penn Edition

Blog for our Future

“Center-Right Nation” Watch – Mark Penn Edition

Mark Penn joins fellow corporate pollster Doug SchoenPeggy NoonanCharles Krauthammer and Jon Meacham as the latest member of the Punditburo to insist that no matter what happens on election day, America is a center-right nation, and therefore a President Obama must not govern as a progressive. Here’s the excerpt from Penn’s screed in the Financial Times:

The history of 1992 contains a clear warning that a centre-left coalition can fall apart quickly if the policies are seen as too far left. In 1993, Mr Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy, adopted the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military, proposed and lost universal healthcare and adopted gun safety measures, banning assault rifles. (emphasis added)

Penn is following Schoen’s lead in making the Democratic side of this Establishment argument – using the manufactured storyline of Bill Clinton’s supposed actions to claim that if a President Obama governs as a progressive, he will end up like Clinton in 1994. Not only is the storylinewholly fake, it implies that nothing has changed in America since 1994. That is, it implies with a straight face that the Bush years and the backlash to those years did nothing to move the country in a progressive direction.

Give all of these hacks credit. Out of their hysterical fear of waking up to irrelevancy on November 5th has come a disciplined strategy of lying – lying about where polling data shows the country is on issues, and lying about what an election of Obama actually means in such an ideologically polarized context.

BAGNews Notes: The Visual Codes Of Racism

BAGNews Notes

The Visual Codes Of Racism

Racism is the American tragedy, and as the current political campaign reminds us, it comes in many shades and colors.

Sometimes it is explicit, as when a Georgia bar owner visually compared Senator Obama to a playful monkey, or more recently when a San Bernadino Republican group distributed Obama Bucks adorned with visual racist stereotypes linking African Americans with watermelon and fried chicken. At other times it is a bit more subtly coded, as when anationally syndicated political pundit emphasizes “blood equity” rather than “race or gender” as a sign of one’s fitness to be president, or when the current housing crisis is blamed on the efforts of ACORN, a “community organizing group,” to facilitate mortgages for “low income groups” and “inner city” residents rather than, say, on those within the financial industry who targeted such communities for subprime loans in the first place.

All forms of racism are troubling, especially for a nation dedicated to social and political equality, but in some respects these more subtly coded versions are all the more pernicious because they operate under a thin veil of interpretive ambiguity that enables such advocates to absolve themselves of the responsibility to acknowledge (let alone to justify) the insidious implications of the views that they espouse.

Consider, for example, this photograph published in an online slide show at the Washington Post this past week. The caption reads:

race-and-the-dog

 

“Police officers accompanied by police dogs, stand guard near supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama outside a campaign stop of U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain in Sandusky, Ohio.”

A defender of the scene might argue that the photograph clearly marks the tension between “security” and “liberty” that is symptomatic of political culture in a liberal-democratic polity. The pivot point, one might note, is the yellow police line that marks the often tenuous division between public order and chaos. Shot from an oblique angle, the image distances the viewer from easily aligning with either the police officer and dog (the signs of public order) or the Obama supporters (the signs of potential disorder); it thus invites and implies a degree of viewer objectivity that encourages us to treat such tensions as regular and ordinary: protest is legitimate within bounds, but so too is the exercise of state authority, and as long as the two operate in careful equipoise all is well.

But, of course, such an analysis begs the larger question: Why the guard dogs? What is about this particular event that warrants the presence of dogs trained to kill upon command to guard the public welfare against what appear to be peaceful and orderly Obama supporters?

There are no doubt answers to this question that deny any racist implications to the image or the scene it records, but as with those who invoke specific racial stereotypes only to deny any racist implications to their comments, such responses willfully ignore the history and symbols of American racism writ large. And one prominent symbol of that racism has been the use of dogs to manage and control African American populations.

Of course, the presence of a single symbol of racism at one political rally will not, by itself, animate or sustain a culture of racism and racial anxiety—or at least not for very long. The problem is that at some point the accumulation and concatenation of such symbols, explicit and subtle alike, reinforce and eventually naturalize one another. And when that happens it becomes increasingly difficult to resist the power and appeal of their “common sense” pretensions.

The only antidote is to develop the verbal and visual literacy necessary to understand and interpret such codes for what they are and to be guided, in the end, by what Martin Luther King referred to as the “true meaning” of our national creed that “all men are created equal.”

Nashville Post Politics: The End Of Affirmative Action

Nashville Post Politics

The End Of Affirmative Action

Could Barack Obama usher it in:

That was “a huge admission,” said Linda Chavez, the chairwoman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and another anti-affirmative action crusader.

Chavez is also supporting McCain, but she said Obama is more likely than her candidate to shift the debate on race in her direction, and possibly even end race-based affirmative action policies.

“He certainly would be the perfect candidate to do it,” she said. “It would be sort of like a Nixon-goes-to-China moment.”

Partisans of both sides of the bitter, long-running wars over affirmative action say Obama’s position on the subject is ambiguous, and scarcely articulated. His campaign did not respond to repeated requests to make a policy adviser available to discuss the issue.