The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Why Obama Must Become President


The fact that Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has come this far in American presidential politics is quite astounding. There are monumental obstacles that, by all logic, should've sunk his candidacy midstream, or kept it from getting off the ground in the first place. He's a 46-year young black man from a broken, racially-mixed family. He's got little experience on the national stage. He's a Senator. He's got some questionable, controversial relationships (Rev. Wright). He took on the the mighty Clintons. Despite being attacked on all sides, he fought in the primaries with dignity, grace and, for the most part, ran an unusually clean campaign that demonstrated character and integrity. He won his party's nomination and now faces an historic battle against the GOP's presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain. And in 2008 America, Barack Obama must win.

To be sure, when it comes to race and race relations, the United States has an ugly past. This includes slavery, lynchings, murder/hate crimes, segregation, voter disenfranchisement, job discrimination, etc. But the truth is, 2008 America is a much better place. While racial prejudice still exists, and it's still quite ugly at times, blacks have made tremendous progress in becoming part of the national fabric in sports, entertainment, business, politics and more. Blacks have become leaders of industry, pop culture icons and powerful politicians....many of whom, like Obama, have quite successfully transcended color.

On the political landscape, people such as Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice and Obama have risen to enormous positions of power. Blacks are winning city, state and national elections more than ever, and that includes the deep South. The U.S. House of Representatives is 10% black. Two states, including New York, have black governors. This year, the Obama camp believes that it could see the South return to the Democrats for the first time in 40 years. Yes, there is change indeed. Which is why Obama must win.

The U.S. presidency is the grand prize. Again, it is nothing short of remarkable that Obama has overcome so many obstacles and is within very short reach of the White House. But the simple truth is, this year's election is the Perfect Storm of politics. The country is mired in an unpopular war, the economy's teetering on recession, and the existing administration--racked by cronyism, scandal and corruption--has historically low approval ratings. Gas is inching towards $5.00/gallon, housing prices are down 15% year-over-year, and consumer confidence is at a 15-year low. It's the perfect opportunity for Americans to shatter racial divides and elect a black president, someone who, after eight miserable years of George W. Bush, speaks to their bread-and-butter issues. But that opportunity may not come around again for a long time. The table could not be better set than it is right now. Which is why Obama must win.

America needs to get over itself and finally break down these walls of racism. It's time that its citizens stop viewing each other through the prism of color, and focus instead on the person beneath the skin. If we as a nation are to ever get beyond centuries of ignorance and racial bigotry, Obama must win. Whites would finally be presented with a black president and be forced to confront their inherent fears, while hopefully accepting the cultural reality that success or failure in the Oval Office has nothing to do with race. And for some blacks, they would no longer be able to hide behind the contention that the "system" is keeping them down, and instead assume a greater responsibility for their own successes and/or failures....a point that both Obama and the comedian Bill Cosby have spoken out on recently. In short, Obama's candidacy would effectively disarm those with bias and those with excuses. More than ever in our 232 year history, people might finally be just, well, people.

But if Obama loses to McCain in November, that will be an even greater statement of where America is with regard to race. That a candidate from a severely weakened party, who votes in virtual lockstep with Bush, could beat Obama while voters voice that they so desperately want and need change, would signal that having a black president is, in 2008, perhaps too much change. In that case, the nation, not just Obama, loses.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. I am commited to raising $25,000 for the campaign between now and November. Click here to make a contribution and help me reach this goal. Together we can change America.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

'Sup, Obama, is You Talkin' Honkey Again?


Ralph Nader symbolizes the intense racism which still percolates below the surface throughout America. But in a shocking little slip during a Rocket Mountain News interview, the curmudgeonly third-party presidential candidate revealed the kind of ignorance, hostility and racial prejudice that could be carried into the voting booth come November. Here's what the crusty former consumer rights' advocate said about the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, Sen. Barack Obama:

"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American. Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards....He wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician. He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up."

What an unconscionable racist diatribe. Nader's upset that Obama apparently forgot to take his Ebonics classes at Harvard. With his disgusting comments, Nader is appealing to the lowest common denominator of racial bigotry: the belief that if a black person looks presentable, dresses nicely, is highly educated, extremely articulate and is successful, well then he or she must be trying to "act white." Because, as we all know, black people are supposed to sound like Al Sharpton, have gold teeth and rob liquor stores, right? Sadly, in 2008, this is how many people across America still view blacks. Despite the stellar accomplishments of Obama--Ivy League schools, Harvard Law Review editor, Illinois State Senate, U.S. Senate, Democratic presidential nominee--these racists can only see a jive-talkin' urban threat to white security. A homeboy in Whitey's clothing.

Earlier this week the comedian Robin Williams appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Speaking to this underlying racism, Williams nailed it in a hilarious bit about how whites deep down fear that once Obama becomes president he's gonna bounce out of the Oval office onto the White House lawn, grabbing his nuts, flailing his arms and hands like a rapper and sounding like Flava Flav as he introduces his cabinet, which would consist of folks like Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and perhaps Flava himself (my examples, not Williams'...I can't remember his but they're similar). And ya know what? He's unfortunately right, as Nader so chillingly reminded us this week. The truly scary thing is, if someone as seemingly intelligent, progressive and well-known as Nader can publicly utter such irresponsible, reprehensible racial stereotypes, just imagine what might face Obama once small-minded America closes the curtain at election time...and is all alone with their racism and that lever.

In the wake of Nader's painful wake-up call about racial intolerance and bigotry still prevalent today, the million-dollar question remains: is Obama inspiring enough young people, blacks and independents to offset the loss in votes from the racist dumbasses across America? To be sure, because of the race factor, this is an election like no other in our nation's history.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. I am commited to raising $25,000 for the campaign between now and November. Click here to make a contribution and help me reach this goal. Together we can change America.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Obama's "Contract with America"


Hindsight is a beautiful thing. It give us the ability, the luxury, to look back and learn from history. Campaigning in 1994, Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and several others leading the Republican Revolution devised a brilliant plan to win the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. It was called The Contract with America, a document detailing the actions the GOP would take if they won. It was a promise. And it was signed by all but two of the Republican members of the House and all of the Party's non-incumbent Republican Congressional candidates. The result? A Republican landslide, with the party picking up 54 seats and their much sought-after majority.

Sen. Barack Obama and the Democrats have an opportunity this November to repeat history. Obama, the party's presumptive nominee, should waste no time in issuing his Contract with America. He and party officials should come up with their own catchy name, The Promise to America, perhaps. It would be Obama's vow, in the aftermath of eight years of Bush/Republican tyranny and corruption, to restore White House and government respect for the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights...two documents that the Busheviks have shamelessly trampled on since 2000. The Promise to America would be Obama's contract with the American voter. And Democrats, both incumbents and those running for House and Senate seats, would sign this document just as their 1994 Republican counterparts did before them.

Imagine a nationally televised primetime Obama speech before thousands of Americans, in symbolic Philadelphia perhaps, where the candidate would promise, if elected president, a nation once again governed by the Rule of Law. A government which assures Due Process. One that Separates Church and State. Operates under a system of Checks and Balances. Respects its citizens' Right to Privacy; Free Speech; Civil Liberties; Freedom to Petition; Right of Assembly; right to Free and Open Elections. A nation that protects against Unreasonable Search and Seizure. Respects Habeas Corpus. An administration that promises No Elective Wars; No Torture. Promises a return to International Diplomacy. Allows for an Independent Judiciary. Promises No Corruption and Cronyism. And a Congress that promises voters that it will fulfill its Constitutional obligation of Oversight of the Executive Branch of Government. Given Obama's gargantuan oratory skills, imagine how such a fiery, passionate, patriotic speech would resonate among Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike. To be sure, voters are starved for change, and for a return to America's greatness.

The simple truth is, the Republican "brand" is heavily damaged and cannot and will not be repaired before November. The party's presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain, is running as a change candidate. Someone who calls himself an independent maverick who's gone against Bush on several occasions. Spend just one afternoon listening to Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing talking heads and you'll incredulously hear them say "I'm not a Republican, I'm a conservative." Um, when Hannity and Limbaugh are afraid to call themselves Republicans, that spells shitstorm for the party come election time.

We are at a watershed moment in American history and in politics in general. The likelihood is that we are about to elect the first black president of the United States of America. How that can and will change the socio-economic landscape and racial dynamic in America is monumental . I get chills thinking about what it does for our overall progress as a nation. But politically there are tremendous ramifications as well. All points lead to a Democratic landslide in Congress. And if history is any barometer, this could usher in a new era of Democratic rule for decades to come.

Obama and the party are therefore sitting atop a potential goldmine. The political opportunity of a lifetime. The Promise to America can seal the deal.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. I am commited to raising $25,000 for the campaign between now and November. Click here to make a contribution and help me reach this goal. Together we can change America.


And finally, Happy Birthday (June 24) to our sweetheart, the late Adrienne Shelly.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bill Kristol is Not Stupid, So Why Does he Pretend to Be?


Republicans, especially the near-extinct war-mongering faction of the party, aren't really good at anything these days, but they sure have perfected the art of framing a political issue to suit their rhetoric. In his NY Times op-ed column Monday, "Someone Else's Alex," uber neo-con Bill Kristol demonstrates the skill with such uber-deftness that it's a painful reminder of how much the left still needs to learn. And hopefully well before November when, in Kristol's dreams, the nation could elect the GOP's nominee, Sen. John McCain, as Bush 3.

In his column Kristol whines about the new MoveOn.org 30-second ad, "Not Alex," about the Iraq war and McCain's position on keeping troops there indefinitely, even for as much as "100 years," as he's been quoted. In attacking the ad, Kristol claims all it does is "express contempt for all who might choose to serve their country in uniform." Nice catchy soundbite, Bill. Damn those unpatriotic Democrats, right? Well here's what the ad actually says, according to Kristol's own account:

A mother speaks as she holds her baby boy: "Hi, John McCain. This is Alex. And he’s my first. So far his talents include trying any new food and chasing after our dog. That, and making my heart pound every time I look at him. And so, John McCain, when you say you would stay in Iraq for 100 years, were you counting on Alex? Because if you were, you can’t have him."

Now, let's play a fun little game. Can anyone actually spot the part where the ad expresses "contempt for all who might choose to serve their country in uniform?" Kristol's accusation is a pretty big leap, no? Here's a woman who "simply" (as Kristol writes) says she does not want McCain or anyone else to send her baby to fight in Iraq someday. Where does she say anything...anything...about our military forces in general or her "contempt" for them?

Kristol continues by quoting the reaction of the mother of an "actual" soldier (as if only mothers of actual soldiers can have an opinion about the war): "Does that mean that she wants other people’s sons to keep the wolves at bay so that her son can live a life of complete narcissism? What is it she thinks happens in the world? ... Someone has to stand between our society and danger. If not my son, then who? If not little Alex then someone else will have to stand and deliver. Someone’s son, somewhere."

No ma'am, I believe what Alex's mother is "simply" saying is that she does not believe the Iraq war is justified; or that it's accomplishing the mission it set out to achieve; and that she does not want her son to have to grow up and be shipped off to another futile Vietnam-like debacle which the Republicans so cavalierly started and are now so clueless as to finding an end.

Kristol finishes his piece with a preachy, nauseatingly faux-compassionate sermon about patriotism and fairness: "The MoveOn ad is unapologetic in its selfishness, and barely disguised in its disdain for those who have chosen to serve —and its contempt for those parents who might be proud of sons and daughters who are serving. The ad boldly embraces a vision of a selfish and infantilized America, suggesting that military service and sacrifice are unnecessary and deplorable relics of the past. And the sole responsibility of others."

That's pretty ironic, Bill. This is what Democrats have been saying since the war began. That our soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq are the sons and daughters of the poor and middle classes, not those of the wealthy, or those of the Republican war-mongers who sent them there. The true contempt for our soldiers comes from you and your neo-con pals who sent them off to fight and die in a totally bogus, elective war where America faced no threat whatsoever. It is you and your testosterone-starved henchman who need to apologize, not MoveOn.org or Alex's mother.

But as I said, Kristol's a great framer. He's not as dumb as he sounds. He's actually quite smart. Smart enough to know his audience, who's clearly not nearly as smart as he is.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. I am commited to raising $25,000 for the campaign between now and November. Click here to make a contribution and help me reach this goal. Together we can change America.


George Carlin, RIP.

Monday, June 16, 2008

What to Do with Meet the Press


In the wake of Tim Russert's tragic, untimely death last Friday there's much speculation as to what NBC executives will do with Meet the Press, the venerable Sunday morning news program he hosted for sixteen years. But, there was truly only one Tim Russert, and selecting a suitable replacement is surely a daunting task for the network.

In my opinion, there are only two names from which to choose: Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw. Let's review the more obvious choice first. Brokow represents the same type of old school non-partisan journalistic integrity as Russert, as well as a genuine passion, enthusiasm and love of politics. He commands respect from both sides of the aisle, and is a veritable encyclopedia of national news and world affairs. He's a slam dunk for the job, and truly the only person who can occupy that chair and do justice to its former resident.

But then there's Rather who, up until four years ago, was one of the news biz's most respected journalists. A guy who unfortunately got caught up in a controversial shitstorm in the age of Karl Rove/Tom Delay dirty Republican politics. How sad that over 40 years of dutiful service was tossed in the trash over one story about President Bush's alleged draft evasion during the Vietnam War. Mind you, Rather was and still is right about the story. But the right-wing fanatics conducted a witch hunt and shot the messenger, rather than question the message. Democrats simply went along for the ride. It was shameful and undeserving. NBC would show it has ginormous journalistic integrity, and balls, were it to put Rather behind that famous desk. It would make a huge statement to the partisan hacks who took him down: that there's a new sheriff in town, and a new town as well.....


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. I am commited to raising $25,000 for the campaign between now and November. Click here to make a contribution and help me reach this goal. Together we can change America.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert, R.I.P.


A truly great, honorable man with an unbridled enthusiasm, passion and pure love for politics There's s huge crater left in the world of journalism which will never be filled. I mourn his death with great sadness, and already feel a tremendous sense of personal loss even though I knew him only as that friendly, familiar face on my television. Tim Russert, may you rest in peace. Our hearts go out to your family in this time of profound sorrow.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Michelle Obama Is Nobody's Damn "Baby Mama"


Have the right-wing media mercenaries over at Fox News lost their fucking minds? During a discussion Wednesday between commentators Michelle Malkin and Megyn Kelly on whether Republican attacks on Michelle Obama have been too harsh,
the following banner ran across the bottom of the screen:

OUTRAGED LIBERALS: STOP PICKING ON OBAMA'S BABY MAMA!

This blatantly racist, unconscionable remark is an outrage, and is part of a carefully orchestrated campaign to incite America's bigoted dumbasses against Sen. Barack Obama, the first black to be on a major national ticket in Western political history. Shame on Fox for this disgusting, irresponsible act of race-baiting. Just in case anyone is still wondering, it clearly demonstrates Fox News' true motives and loyalties in this campaign and with politics in general. Fox is nothing more than a shameless, unapologetic mouthpiece for the ruthless Republican attack-machine

Michelle Obama is no damned baby mama. I still am dumbfounded by what an offensive, insensitive, racially charged reference Fox made. Born and raised on Chicago's South Side, Michelle Obama saw herself through Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and held prestigious positions in the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin and on the staff of Mayor Richard M. Daley. And now she stands to become the first black First Lady of the United States of America. She deserves respect, dammit. She's not some character out of the Jerry Springer Show. That Fox chose to tag her with this grossly disrespectful, racist label is beyond vile. Rupert Murdoch should immediately fire everyone responsible for this reprehensible act.

Get ready, Democrats, this is only the beginning...


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. I am commited to raising $25,000 for the campaign between now and November. Click here to make a contribution and help me reach this goal. Together we can change America.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Did John McCain Just Say What I Think He Said About Iraq?


It's been over five years, 4000 dead U.S. troops and $600 billion since we invaded Iraq. But Sen. John McCain thinks it doesn't matter how long we end up staying in that war-ravaged country. The GOP's presumptive nominee appeared Wednesday morning on NBC's Today show in an interview with co-host Matt Lauer, who asked the Republican candidate about President Bush's troop surge last year which McCain has vehemently supported:

Lauer: If it's working, Senator, do you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?

McCain: No, but that's not too important. What's important is the casualties in Iraq. Americans are in South Korea. Americans are in Japan. American troops are in Germany. That's all fine.

So the crusty old Senator from Arizona thinks it's "not too important" when, if ever, our troops return home, huh? That an overwhelming majority of Americans want an imminent end to the war apparently doesn't faze McCain. As he's said in the past, we could be in Iraq for another 100+ years and that would be just peachy with him.

McCain's new boneheaded remark ranks among the other colossal Bushevik blunders pertaining to Iraq such as "Mission Accomplished" and "We'll be greeted as liberators." It only serves to demonstrate just how out out of touch he is with mainstream America.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presumptive nominee, would be wise to aggressively hammer home this new example of McCain's consistently cavalier attitude towards the war and our foreign policy in general. It's just more of the same shoot first, ask questions later reckless cowboy mentality that has gotten us mired in the Iraq debacle in the first place. And we certainly don't need four more years of Bush 3 in the form of McCain.

Americans have a very clear choice this November. A vote for McCain is a vote for more war, more militarism, more death. And that's just Iraq. Imagine the surprises this war-monger has in store for us with Iran. As Yogi Berra said, it'll be "deja vu all over again."


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. Click here to make a contribution and help change America.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hoppin' the Hillary Bandwagon


A week ago Sen. Hillary Clinton was Cruella De Ville, the Wicked Witch of the East and Nurse Ratched rolled into one. This weekend she is Mother Theresa. One speech is all it took. The same folks who all but crucified her just days ago are recommending her for sainthood now. My, what a difference a few days makes. I'm sorry, but all the fawning, hypocrisy and phoniness of it all is making me want to puke. Democrats are tripping over themselves to congratulate and praise Hillary for her Saturday rallying cry of support for Obama in his bid to beat Sen. John McCain, the GOP's presumptive nominee, in the presidential election. What is it about Democrats and bandwagons? This one is so full it's about to tip.

To be sure, that the party is coming together as we head towards November is certainly an important turning point, and if Clinton's call for unity helps achieve that then she clearly deserves her props. But honestly, what was her other option? Are we really so surprised at the content and tone of her speech? The Democratic establishment, the media, and Obama supporters spewed so much venom towards this woman that she realized Wednesday morning, after the last primaries closed and Obama claimed the nomination, that she could (a) go down in history as the shrill narcissist whose naked ambition destroyed her reputation, her legacy and perhaps sank Obama's historic campaign, or (b) swallow her pride, tuck in her tail and go public with her endorsement and "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" speech. That she chose the latter after all the intense pressure and criticism is of no surprise. It's exactly what anyone in her position would have had to do. I just wish Democrats would stop all the bullshit about how wonderful Hillary is now. How this was the speech of a lifetime. How she has just secured her place in history as a respected political leader. Just days ago these same attack dogs had bought her a one-way ticket to Siberia and were calling her every name in the book. It's all so shamefully patronizing and condescending. Politics ain't pretty.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. Click here to make a contribution and help change America.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Sleazy GOP Attack Machine Kicks Into High Gear. Welcome to "F**K Whitey" and "RadicalVille"


It's only been three days since Sen. Barack Obama historically won the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. But the Republican venom against the candidate and his wife Michelle is starting to spew. The viciousness is enough to make you sick, and it's a clear indication that the Obama team, if it doesn't respond effectively, could end up on the ropes for the next five months trying to defend itself from the same sort of reprehensible SwiftBoating that John Kerry faced four years ago.

The Republicans are great at framing issues and labelling candidates. And the new buzzword for Obama is radical. Right-wing radio host Sean Hannity has even re-named his show the "Stop Radical Obama express." On his program Thursday he literally said "radical" about every fourth word. Radical, radical, radical. Get ready, Democrats. We're gonna hear that word more in the next five months than we've heard in a lifetime.

Listening to Hannity's program makes you wonder if he and his kool-aid-drunken listeners are not part of some twisted, brainwashed cult. They greet each other with "you're a great American" and depart with "God bless you." The level of ignorance that flows freely on this program is astounding. Hannity's mission is clearly to poison anyone who comes within earshot of him with lies and deception about the Obamas. Here's a few of his shameless rants from Thursday:

"I am telling you, Barack Obama will move this country in a direction that is so radical that it will shock your senses."

"He (Obama) has views that would probably shock the average American."

"He's a Radical left winger, to the left of George McGovern."

And on 1960's terrorist William Ayers, embattled Chicago developer Tony Rezko and the Reverends Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger: Obama is "a phony. A friend of all these people, and who will associate with anyone who can help him politically."

Throughout his program Hannity hammered home the term "radical associations" to describe these controversial relationships. It's abundantly clear that Hannity's goal for the next five months is to scare the hell out of his regular audience, and anyone else who might be listening for that matter.

Make no mistake: the constant regurgitation of the word "radical" is meant to conjure up all sorts of fear, anger and racial prejudice. Think "radical Muslim." Think "angry black man." Think Willie Horton. This sort of pandering to the racist dumbasses of America is beyond despicable, but it's what the GOP does best. It's pure propaganda. And like all good propaganda, if you say it enough it sticks.

The demonizing of Obama was also evident on the Mark Levin radio program Thursday, where the nominee was accused of just about everything short of eating babies. Here's a snippet of Levin's lies and deception: "Barack Obama has been hostile to Jews and to the state of Israel for years." Oh really Mark? Perhaps you'd like to back that up with some actual facts? Ooops, sorry. There's nothing about facts in the Rovian playbook.

The Republican Party has begun piling on as well. The RNC didn’t waste any time after the announcement of Rezko's corruption and fraud convictions this week to launch its new "Obama's Money Man" attack ad linking Obama to the real-estate developer. Expect the RNC and its surrogates to bang out more videos these next five months than MTV.

The attacks are not just limited to candidate Obama. Just like the vitriol spewed towards Theresa Heinz Kerry in 2004, Michelle Obama is now reaping the wrath of these vicious thugs. The new rumor circulating is that a videotape exists of Michelle and the Nation of Islam's Minister Louis Farrakhan in which she allegedly says "Fuck Whitey" at one point. This despicable rumor was spread all day and night Thursday by the right-wing talking heads. "If this is true, he's done" they all giddily gushed over and over and over again. It's absolutely disgusting, and worse, it's all too familiar. Welcome to the Republican coffee table, where the Rovian playbook is proudly on display.

And over on Sirius Radio's Patriot channel (I love this, btw. The right-wing station is called "Patriot" while the left wing's is called...well..."Left." Talk about framing), conservative host Andrew Wilkow could not believe how angry, stern and scary Michelle Obama looked in a NY Times photo earlier in the week. Mark my words, they are going to crucify this woman between now and November 4th.

To say the campaign is going to get ugly is a gross understatement.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: Now that Sen. Obama is our nominee, I strongly urge and every Democrat to rally around him and support him in any way possible. He will need volunteers, and he will need money. Click here to donate to his historic campaign so that we can begin to change America. And please email this contribution link to everyone in your address book. No more Bush. No McCain. Democrats, it's time to unite the party as we all know we can and will. Let's pull together and help ensure Barack Obama's victory in November.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama Makes History, But Can/Will he Unite Democrats Against McCain?


The inevitable is no longer postponed. It's now official. Illinois Senator Barack Obama will represent the Democratic Party in the November general election for president against the Republicans' presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain (AZ). For sure, this is certainly an historic event and a major accomplishment for a 46-year-young black man named Barack Obama with just 3 1/2 years' experience in national politics. Nothing should take away from Obama's victory and what it means on a broader scale for Americans going forward. But watching the election night analysis while awaiting the results from the South Dakota and Montana primaries, I can't help feeling that perhaps, when the euphoria of this incredibly momentous occasion in our nation's 232 years settles down, the Democratic Party might be left with an inferior candidate who's going to be facing a monumental uphill battle against a ruthless, more time-tested political machine. One that will, as in the past, do and say anything to remain in power. A gang of thugs that will steal elections if they have to. Will Democrats awaken on November 5th heartbroken, as they have in the last two presidential elections?

As expected Tuesday, Obama won Montana handily, by a 15% margin. But he lost South Dakota by 10%, where he had led in the polls. It should be noted that no matter how hard former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle stumped for Obama in this, his home state, his efforts failed to deliver a win for his candidate. When you look at the long list of names of Obama's key surrogates like Daschle, Tom Harkin, John Edwards and John Kerry--notable liberals who've had their own major political failures--it gives pause as a possible foreshadowing of Obama's own fate come November.

Not to rain on the Dems' parade, but with the primaries over, it's impossible to ignore the fact that, according to her campaign and independent tallies from RealClearPolitcs.com and other sources, Hillary won the popular vote (or virtually tied, without Michigan) and lost the pledged delegate count by just 127. Or that Obama failed to reach the required minimum number of these same pledged delegates to capture the nomination as Kerry, Gore, Bill Clinton, Dukakis, Carter and others had done before him. And if not for super-delegates, many of whom were so over-zealous and excited by the historic impact of their vote and who couldn't wait to toss their support to Obama prematurely, he would not be the Dems' nominee. It's fair to assume that most of those very same super D's decided way before the race was over that Obama was their date for the dance, and that momentum, the electoral map and overall electability were of lesser concern. That's the only way to explain how their endorsements/votes could come many weeks, if not months, before June 3rd.

Which brings us back to the euphoria. The media and party officials are downright giddy over Obama's victory. About America's victory. MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Tim Russert were practically crying over it Tuesday night as they made the nomination victory call. Again, Obama's ascent is historic, and it does give goosebumps, especially to those of us who can remember the often violent racial turmoil of the 60's and 70's. Indeed, America has come a long way since then. But make no mistake: winning the Democratic nomination by the smallest of delegate margins and practically tying on the popular vote, is a far, far cry from being victorious in November. Obama, and therefore the party, has some very real problems before any real dancing can occur.

To be sure, Obama failed to unite his party. Obama failed to win a majority of his party's voters. Obama won less delegates than Hillary since March 1. He's also had problems attracting enough support among women, seniors, the white working class, Hispanics, Jews and Catholics--all critical constituencies for any Democrat expecting to win the presidency--to allay the concerns of many in his party. And he's now going to face an experienced Republican whose message will be that he's not Bush 3, and who'll cite his prominent breaks with the president and/or the party on the war, immigration, global warming and campaign finance reform as proof. He'll portray himself a maverick; an independent who'll bring about change. He'll highlight his history of bi-partisanship, of working across party lines with Senators like Russ Feingold and Joe Lieberman to "get things done." He'll stand arrogantly behind his decorated war-hero status to attack Obama's patriotism and ability to protect America from terrorists. We'll hear more lies about Iran and Hamas. McCain, his surrogates, the right wing media and the GOP attack machine will lie, deceive and distort the truth and Obama's record at every possible turn. And you can bet they'll shamelessly and recklessly play the race card using the Rev. Wright and Rev. Pfleger scandals. They'll remind voters in every possible subtle and perhaps even not-so-subtle way that he is white and Obama is not. Oh, it's going to get real ugly, all right. Is Obama--better yet--is America up to the challenge? We're soon gonna see just how far America has really come, baby.

Noted Republican consultant Ed Rollins said last week that Democrats are nominating the less electable candidate. "And this is going to present a big opportunity for us in November," he predicted. Let's hope he's dead wrong.

Now despite whatever concerns may exist about Obama, the fact is, he is now the nominee and every Democrat must rally around him and support him in any way possible. He will need volunteers, and he will need money. Click here to donate to his historic campaign so that we can begin to change America. And please email this contribution link to everyone in your address book. No more Bush. No McCain. Democrats, it's time to unite the party as we all know we can and will. Let's pull together and help ensure Barack Obama's victory in November.

Lastly, let it be known that this writer was/is incredibly disappointed with Clinton's speech Tuesday night. She was neither gracious, conciliatory or emotionally rooted in reality. In refusing to concede defeat, she has us all guessing as to just what sort of Rovian shenanigans she has up her sleeve. But the classy thing to do would've been to congratulate Obama on his long-fought victory and vowed to support him in uniting the party so that he can beat McCain in November. Instead, she took the low, disingenuous road yet again and ended up looking more delusional than ever. It's a sad footnote to a once brilliant future.