Writing A Book

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I’ve always wanted to try my hand at book writing because blogging has become a bit of a chore.  With the release of Harold Whore, Jr’s political memoir More Davids Than Goliaths, I finally have an excuse to write a book on a topic which would give each day a purpose it presently doesn’t have.  I hope to finish by end of the year.

I’ve already got a title, outlined my chapters,  written the preface, begun compiling research and started the first chapter. This book will write itself because it is fueled by the seething contempt I harbor for the bottom feeding Corporate Whore from Memphis.

Wish me luck.  If you have any suggestions, let a Skeptical Brotha know.

Harold and Snowflake jump the broom

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Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and America’s favorite Negro Corporate Whore, was on “Meet the Press” yesterday in his paid capacity as a “political analyst.” He announced that he and Snowflake, the white fiancé he hid better than Strom Thurmond’s black daughter, jumped the broom three weeks ago. How precious.

I’ve been trying to figure out the quadroon from Tennessee’s career plans, and I’m stumped. At first, I thought he was gearing up for another Senate run because his campaign website was up for more than a year after the last campaign. When it finally came down, I heard tell of a run for Governor. Then, the engagement to Snowflake was announced. Some of y’all speculated that Tennesseans weren’t gonna allow any miscegenation in the Governor’s mansion.

I just don’t know. If Obama is elected, it could go either way in Tennessee. Part of me believes that the rednecks will think that Negroes are taking over and they’ll reject him. The other part believes that Obama’s election will make it easier. Only time will tell.  

Today, I think he’s angling for a cabinet spot and seeking to make himself a prominent Washington fixture and corporate tool. If he accepts anything lower than a cabinet spot, like Secretary of the Army, he’ll soon be running for something again. In any event, he’s just 38 and has nothing but time. Senator Alexander is over seventy, Senator Corker is up again in 2012 and the Governorship is term-limited. Ford is a political vulture and opportunist. He is clearly circling wounded Republicans in Tennessee waiting for an opportunity to strike.  

Anyway, the Whore, as I prefer to call him, was busy spouting a gusher of corporate propaganda. He suggested the following running mates for Obama: Colin Powell, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, the corporate pedophile who balances state budgets on the backs of children he eliminated from Medicaid.

None of those corporate fossils is acceptable. He should choose somebody who adds something to the ticket and somebody he can work with.

The first people that come to mind are Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill and a Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. I would prefer either of them. They are mainstream pols, however, so we probably can look forward to nothing innovative, but they are decent people and they bent over backwards for Obama. Loyalty should not be a trait to be overlooked. Both possess the sharp political instincts to be good advisors to a President.

The second tier would be the Hillary people. Some of her peeps ain’t bad. Washington Senator Patty Murray comes to mind. With 16 years on the Hill, she is a senior member of the Senate and has the experience to aid and guide Obama like few others do. A solid progressive, she is also pragmatic and determined. She ain’t no great shakes in the speech-making department, but she can work on that. Her personal story is very interesting and inspirational and she would make a good addition.

Finally, the unaligned folks in the third tier. Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold comes to mind. Nobody would be better in the role of Vice President. His eloquence, experience, and progressive tenacity are unmatched by anybody. There is just one problem; the prickly progressive can’t keep a wife. The twice-divorced Senator ain’t got a spouse and that ruins the solid family man portrait party bosses like to paint for their tickets.

Whatever happens, I would sincerely hope that Obama’s pledge to keep lobbyists out of his White House is sincere and that one of the first names he crosses off his list of political appointees is that of the Whore.

Roseanne Barr to Obama: Bow to the White Woman

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Roseanne Barr wrote a post today on Huffington Post entitled “Bow to the Woman” I have decoded her meaning below.

Barack Obama: Bow to the white woman, and take the vice presidency. Heal our bruised white feminist egos. You’ve come too far too fast and you know it. This was supposed to be our turn. You will run in eight years with our vocal support as we surreptitiously undermine you behind the scenes and destroy any possibility of your election. You must pass through our feminist sieve first though: bow to the white woman.

Otherwise it will be about your voting record and you do not want to live through that punishment, especially if you are innocent. Premier Hillary represents the soul of the Democratic Party: the white women who support her, Latinas, Latinos, 5 percent of the black voters, white blue collar worker, male and female, as just proven in Ohio, and the fake azz white Baby Boomers…quit bitching and moaning and whining now! Be a punk and take vice, bow to the white woman who is the last vestige of the neoliberal white power structure which represents the military industrial complex. You can’t win without the votes of the people who support Clinton. You do not have the white working class vote; you do not have the white majority on your side even with white independents. The states you win are not swing states or even Democratic states. You are a spoiler and your campaign is alienating Clinton’s white vote. Many of Clinton’s white feminist backers are turned off due to the truthfulness of the attacks your supporters Gary Hart and Samantha Power has let loose on your opponent.

You can’t fight back dirtier than she can — it will bury your message of hope and change. It obscures the message of the people in this party!

The white feminist message is: Hoes before Bros. The white women who hold up this party and are its majority want equal rights for the Machiavellian she-devil that claims to care about those of us who work for a living. Equality and no less. Attacking the female candidate as the power obsessed monster that she is will not work for you. Your strident leftist advisors are off the mark. White people are centrist, especially during a war.

Join and ultimately lose!!!! It will take both of you to win this campaign: the one who was wrong on the war and the one who was right: however, the people want to be ruled by a white above all else! If you take this nomination from her she will see to it that the party factions itself to death and you lose to another old white man, Fuhrer McCain. Then she’ll run again, serve two terms, and by then Chelsea will be old enough to run for office and continue the dynasty.

Be stupid, Barack, show us how cooperation works, let’s live the fake white liberal dream of Dr. King…blacks and whites, Christians and Jews, male and female left and right holding hands on the way to another two centuries of white imperialist domination of the earth. Stop the massive movement for “Change we can believe in” and be a damn fool by taking the vice presidency.

Is Vice President Ford Billary’s out

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Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King raised the specter of a Harold Ford, Jr Vice Presidency yesterday.

I blew chunks and messed up some good shoes.

I have feared this for some time and my nightmare scenario is confirmed by a serious black columnist speculating openly about this possibility.

Upon further reflection, however, there is a certain logic to his elevation to the meaninglessness of the Vice Presidency in Billary’s triumvirate of neo-liberal tyranny because his career demonstrates the willingness to be nothing more than an empty vessel and high-yellow corporate whore willing to prostitute himself for the white power structure.

How else can one explain his slavish support for the Iraq War and the elimination of the Estate Tax for huge estates in excess of $10 million dollars while representing the urban poverty and decay of black Memphis in the U.S. House of Representatives. It gives new meaning to the plantation epithet of House Nigra.

Now a Vice President for Merrill Lynch, the Whore represents an investment banking firm and corporate parasite responsible for Enron and ImClone, two companies whose implosions were the result of the de-regulation of the financial services industry advocated by Merrill Lynch.

It should come as no surprise that Merrill Lynch has been a generous contributor to Senator Clinton’s presidential campaign. Her twelfth largest contributor, its employees and executives have given a munificent $165,000 to Billary’s royal restoration bid and the securities and investment industry has given her more than $5.8 million. To ensure compliance with their nefarious neo-liberal economic agenda, they’ve also broken off $5.3 million to Barack Obama.

Merrill Lynch has invested a pretty penny in the Fox News Democrat and they intend to recoup their investment. Perhaps they can surreptitiously suggest that Billary make Harold Vice President if she wins the nomination to guarantee the furtherance of their dictates on financial policy and deflect the racial animus of blackfolks sure to be generated by her defeat of Obama.

Hillary’s Christmas Ad

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In a nod to fellow Arkansan Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton released a holiday ad, however, the following parody ad I conjured up is the one she should have released.   

A beautiful array of gifts is spread out before Hillary for Barack Obama. Hillary gets off her broom, smiles, extends a knarled finger and cackles menacingly:  I’ve got something for your pretty boy smart ass. 

The first gift is kneecapping Obama with deceptive direct mail from a labor union that looks like it comes from John Edwards. 

The second gift is Andy Young, a so-called civil rights leader and present day sell-out, saying that Bill Clinton, and Hillary by extension, is “every bit as black as Barack,” and that there are “more black people that Bill and Hillary lean on,” than Barack.   

The third gift is Bubba questioning Obama’s experience by saying that America would be “rolling the dice” with him as President.  

Finally, Hillary says with saccharine sweetness: Where did I put Bill Shaheen’s and Bob Kerrey’s racist innuendo?  There it is. (With an air of exasperated entitlement) How dare this boy challenge my claim to the throne. (Hillary’s expression turns into a scowl and she looks directly into the camera)  I’m the Borg Queen and to all of you undecided people out there, resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

Harold Ford Jr, Prince of Tennessee

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The flag of Tennessee

Like an apocalyptic vision, I have been tormented by the frighteningly real prospect that the man I have referred to as the Dark Sith, the Whore, and the Anti-Christ, is once again on the make. And, like Revelations teaches, once that evil is unleashed, ain’t nothing or nobody safe.

Tennessee is a small, benighted, southern backwater that has always been ruled by a corporate oligarchy of rapacious capitalists. Three sons of Tennessee have assumed the nation’s highest office and all have been significant historical figures in their individual capacities. They are Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson, each a more dangerous fascist war hawk than the last.

This year, another son of Tennessee is running for President, and no, I am not referring to former Senator Fred Thompson or former Vice President Al Gore. I am talking about Harold Ford Jr, the new Prince of Tennessee, now that Al Gore has so unmistakably abdicated his title and the throne that went with it.

Ford is planning to make one last stab at capturing the imperial throne of the presidency and the first step on this long march to power is the Governorship of the Volunteer State. Two of Tennessee‘s Presidents have used the office of governor as a stepping-stone toward national office. All three manipulated the levers of power and were the willing facilitators of the aristocratic South’s class war to defend white supremacy and preserve slavery.

In this respect, Harold Ford Jr is no different. A corporate whore with no peer, Harold Ford Jr plays the political game with the gusto and virtuosity of a chess master. One only had to watch the brotha work as his 2006 Senate Campaign Chairman, Congressman Lincoln Davis, stabbed him in the back and announced his 2010 candidacy for Governor on October 8, 2007. Davis was quoted as saying to the Associated Press “I don’t think (Ford) is going to run because I would imagine that if I’m in the race, he’ll step aside.”

Bullshit.

The same article said, “an advisor to Ford and the head of the Tennessee Democratic Party confirmed that Ford is “seriously considering” a run to succeed Governor Phil Bredesen in 2010.” Two days later Davis abruptly reversed course and announced that his “immediate focus will be on working every day for the people of the 4TH district.” The Associated Press summed up by saying Davis said he remains interested in running for governor, but will wait to make a decision later.”

Throughout this whole spectacle, Harold Ford Jr didn’t say a mumblin’ word and dispatched his rival with a thoroughness and skill rarely displayed by someone of his age. His corporate contributors have invested much into his corporate friendly political career and they are intent on recouping their investment by making him governor and subsequently making him President.

In the furtherance of this presidential objective, Ford has taken great pains since his 2006 loss to locate himself at the nexus of financial and political power by taking positions at both Merrill Lynch and as Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council. In August, he and Governor Martin O’Malley wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post beseeching their party’s presidential candidates not to forsake the “center” which is code for not forsaking the corporate agenda of continued globalization, privatization of public assets, and imperialism. O’Malley-Ford sounds like a future Democratic ticket if you ask me.

Back home in Tennessee, there will be some competition from the GOP for the gubernatorial throne in the form of former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who retired from the Senate to run for President. Too bad for him that his candidacy withered on the vine of wingnut indifference. Two Thousand and Ten is an opportunity to revive his career and reach for the brass ring again, just as it is for Harold. I promise you that this will be the race to watch.

As a DLC acolyte wedded to war and eliminating estate taxes for the wealthiest among us, Ford has been a Negro cog in a Democratic machine of deceit. He has been a vocal supporter of sitting Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen, a former HMO executive, and corporate pedophile, who pimps the plight of uninsured children as a ruse to slash the state’s Medicaid caseload by over 200,000 people in a corporate jihad on behalf of the HMO’s, thus jeopardizing health care access for everyone, rationing health care access to the state’s poorest and most vulnerable, and disproportionately impacting the health care of African Americans negatively.

As you know, while not actively participating in the classist and racist destruction of health care access for the African American community, Ford comes from a black political dynasty headed by his father, Harold Sr, who aggressively sought to loot the program before its ignominious demise. This makes Prince Harold guilty by association.

Writing about this for the first time last year in the post Jake Ford, Tale of a Puppet, I said, You see, Mr. Harold is a lobbyist of high standing, having turned to the profession after two decades in Congress and a perilous brush with a fraud indictment. In a short space of time, Harold, Sr. has made untold millions while conspiring with his clients to loot TennCare, Tennessee’s formerly world class, top-shelf medicaid program.

“According to an article in the Commercial Appeal by Marc Perrusquia, TennCare subcontractor MIM Corp paid Harold, Sr. $1.6 million between 1998 and 2001. In addition, he received more than $1 million in lobbying fees from other firms and MIM corp to look after their interests in Nashville.”

“Mr. Harold or surrogates, Harold, Jr. or Newton conspired to contribute more than $15,000 to state politicians with a say on gutting TennCare, a program that serves 40% of the African American population and 50% of our children. In addition, two of the crooked black politicians who were caught up in the Tennessee Waltz bribery scandal received contributions from Ford.”

The Governor received $ 12,500 from Harold,Sr., Harold, Jr., and Newton “Jake” Ford. 114 contributions totalling over $206,000 flowed to the Governor’s campaign coffers from Health Care affiliated interests, which in turn, were handed a big payoff in the form of TennCare’s destruction.”

TN State Senator John Ford, Harold, Sr’s. brother, also received a contribution of $1,000 from his brother. In addition, Senator Ford pocketed over $237,000 from a TennCare dental health care provider, in a separate side deal apart from Harold, Sr. and Jake’s hustle.”

John Ford went on to be indicted and convicted by the feds for an unrelated bribery scheme and now faces charges for the aforementioned chicanery. Calls surreptitiously recorded by federal investigators had Mr. Harold warning his brother that what he was doing was highly improper and would get his black behind locked up. He didn’t listen. After beating two federal prosecutions for bank fraud, Harold Sr. knows exactly what not to do. Some Negroes think they are untouchable and never learn, as two of Mr. Harold’s politician brothers who got locked up can attest. Others listen to what their Daddy has to say and take copious notes.

Without a political godfather like Mr. Harold to guide him Barack Obama’s ill timed presidential bid is imploding because of a series of arrogant missteps and the deleterious effects of his vacuous rhetoric. It is clear that he will never be President and that Prince Harold knows this too, uses his DLC chairmanship as an excuse not to endorse him, and is positioning himself for his own run in the future.

In the final analysis, Harold Sr and Harold Jr operate on a different level than their kith and kin and are the skillful practitioners of a corporate friendly influence peddling that will always steer clear of illegality and be one step ahead of clever and one notch below that of blackface minstrelsy. It’s enough to make Mr. Harold a black kingmaker and possibly the father of the first black President of the United States.

Stopping Tennessee’s crown prince of deception should be the first priority of black progressives everywhere. However, with his engagement to Snow White on tap, he might have already done our jobs for us. Only time will tell. Expect to see an elaborate roll out of professional PR touting this twosome and don’t be surprised if you see them on Montel or some such program cooing and cuddling and whispering sickening platitudes about family, home and hearth. Any day now I expect the future Mrs. Ford will be wearing a conservative string of pearls and be attired immaculately in an age appropriate and politically correct Donna Karan ensamble. Whatever happens, Harold Ford Jr is on a collision course with the aspirations of the black community and we all stand to loose if he wins.

Hillary crushes Obama with the Sistahs

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Hat Tip: CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Hillary Clinton’s lead over Sen. Barack Obama, her chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, is growing among African-American voters who are registered Democrats, and particularly among black women, a poll said Wednesday.

Among black registered Democrats overall, Clinton had a 57 percent to 33 percent lead over Obama.

That’s up from 53 percent for Clinton and 36 percent for Obama in a poll carried out in April.

Among white registered Democrats, Clinton drew 49 percent support, versus 18 percent for Obama and 17 percent for former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, the latest poll found.

The question had a sampling error of plus-or-minus 6.5 percentage points.

The former first lady’s strongest support among blacks came from black women, 68 percent of whom identified her as their likely choice, versus 25 percent who cited Obama, the senator from Illinois who is African-American.

Black men who are registered Democrats were nearly evenly split, with 42 percent favoring Clinton and 46 percent favoring Obama. The sampling error of that question was plus-or-minus 8 percentage points.

Black registered Democrats also appeared more sure of themselves than did whites, with two-thirds (67 percent) of blacks saying they would definitely support whichever candidate they had said they favored, versus one-third (33 percent) who said they might change their minds.

In response to poll results showing him trailing Clinton, Obama has noted that Clinton has been a major figure in national politics for 15 years, versus just three for Obama.

The 26-point difference between black women and men underscores the fact that the nation’s vote is divided not only by race, but also by gender, said CNN political analyst Bill Schneider. “Black women don’t just vote their black identity,” he said. “They also vote their identity as women.”

“The ‘sistah’ vote is paying off handsomely for Hillary Clinton,” said Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile. “It’s not only getting her the women’s vote. It’s also getting her the black vote.”

Nikki Tinker, Corporate Mammy

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Stunningly beautiful, flawlessly dressed, seemingly cosmopolitan and well educated, Pinnacle Airlines Attorney Nikki Tinker looks nothing like the plantation throwback and sellout that she is.

Yes, Children, she ain’t nothin’ but a corporate mammy and Trojan horse for white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

A protégé of Harold Ford, Jr, Tinker is an agent of the Memphis corporate power structure and has been running behind her corporate slave master, Phil Trenary, CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, like a 21st century Mammy.

The mammy archetype is such a powerful symbol of black subjugation. For some, it is soothing, and for others, it enrages. I’m one of the latter. For me, the mammy stereotype is evocative of a particular Memphis twist to the racist mammy image, and is so appropriate to a discussion of the impending primary challenge Tinker is mounting to freshman Congressman Steve Cohen.

  

During the forties, Memphis blacks continued chafing under the dictatorial rule of E.H. “Ed” Crump, the local political boss who ruled both Memphis and Tennessee for over forty years.

Crump ran a sophisticated operation in which his operatives paid the poll taxes of African Americans and he voted them for his slate of candidates. Crump supported white supremacy and never backed a black candidate. For years, most could be bought off with copious amounts of walking around money, beer and barbeque.

Others needed something more and sometimes got it as Jim Crow weakened. G. Wayne Dowdy penned an article in the Journal of Negro History entitled “The White Rose Mammy: Racial Culture and Politics in World War II Memphis.” He wrote, “…forty years of Crump rule allowed blacks access to the political process through him or his subordinates. Better schools, housing and city employment were results of this alliance between white and black. To be sure, the relationship was at best an unequal one, leaving most African Americans with little protection from the overall practice of white supremacy. Indeed, when individual blacks challenged Crump and the local Democratic Party, retribution followed.”

Population changes as a result of the war swelled the black population to 41% and racial tensions increased and dissent from the black community followed. Dowdy takes up the story, “As this unrest was spreading, the White Rose Laundry Cleaners erected a mechanical sign on Linden Avenue, which was not very far from prominent Peabody Avenue where Mayor Chandler and Mr. Crump both lived. The sign depicted an African American woman, dressed in traditional mammy garb, bending over a wash tub.”

“Founded by Jewish immigrant Henry Klyce in 1928, the White Rose Laundry was representative of the economic importance of the local Jewish community. Nominally a minority, the Jews of Memphis had almost completely assimilated into the prevailing white southern culture. Several Jews even held important posts within the Crump organization. The depiction was apparently done in a humorous fashion, with the woman bending over and revealing her undergarments. Many blacks saw little humor in this and instead were angered.”

African Americans protested and wrote Mayor Chandler, “The advertisement represents a complete effrontery to Negro people, in its subtle although effective ridicule of the race.” Chandler intervened on behalf of the offended African American community and asked the owners of the White Rose Laundry to take down the offending mammy sign. While it is unknown the extent of Boss Crump’s involvement in this case, what is known is that nothing of consequence happened in Memphis without his consent and the sign came down, although when is not remembered.

Today, what should offend the black community is the Trojan-horse candidacy of Nikki Tinker, a twenty-first century white rose mammy, and the machinations of her plantation puppet master, Phil Trenary. Her $100,000 haul at the end of the last fundraising quarter has proven that she’s still as serious a contender as she was in 2006, when she raised over $577,000. The Corporate Mammy’s candidacy is an affront to the black community, fueled as it is by the corporate friends and associates of her plantation puppet master, and is inimical to our social, political, and economic interests in Memphis. If black folk ain’t careful, they’ll empower another Boss Crump in the form of a present day corporate executive, or they will continue to empower the slightly less objectionable Steve Cohen, a man who has coveted this seat for years and who ran for it and lost to Harold Ford, Jr back in 1996.

It used to be different. Proud black women like Ida B. Wells and Maxine Smith, a civil rights crusader, school board member, and community elder, showed the young how its supposed to be done. They used whatever community resources they had to work on behalf of the community and to hold the white power structure to account. Today’s black politicians worship at the altar of the corporate power structure and like American Express, don’t leave home without it.

Campaign receipts and news stories to date reveal Tinker to be a Trojan horse candidate willing to pander to homophobia in the black ministerial community. The names of prominent black homophobes like Rev. LaSimba Gray, a supporter of last year’s “independent” candidacy of Jake Ford, are littered throughout her campaign report. It won’t work with bloggers like Thaddeus Matthews and me willing to spread the word.

Steve Cohen

More progressive than either Ford, Jr or Tinker, Cohen’s motives in running for this seat aren’t as pure as he claims. He won this seat because of divisions in the black community and a slate of too many black candidates. Only in Congress for nine months, it hasn’t taken him long to travel to Israel and cavort with the most extreme right-wing political actors in that country-the same people who brought last summer’s war with Lebanon that was roundly condemned by human rights groups. Nobody was blameless during that war-Hezbollah was not, but like a fight among children, somebody started it. Israel started the conflict last summer with cluster munitions supplied by the United States.

While a strong opponent of the Iraq War, Cohen has said nothing that I can find about the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions by Israel to kill innocent civilians in Lebanon. That war was an abrogation of the international rules of war and a stench in the nostrils of God. What is needed in Memphis is a real progressive candidate willing to stand up and fight all forms of injustice. Neither the Corporate Mammy nor Cohen fit the bill. However, in the absence of a true progressive, Cohen will have to do until the real thing comes along.

 

The Audacity of Ambivalence

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Twenty-three years ago, I was transformed by the presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson.  I became the political animal that haunts this blog with sporadic amounts of humor and cynicism.  The campaign became a coming of age that should define a generation of us in our mid-thirties. The rhetoric of the campaign was uplifting and edifying in a spiritual way and inspired a new generation of African American politicians great and small.    

In his convention address, Jesse said, “No generation can choose the age or circumstance in which it is born, but through leadership it can choose to make the age in which it is born an age of enlightenment, an age of jobs, and peace, and justice. Only leadership — that intangible combination of gifts, the discipline, information, circumstance, courage, timing, will and divine inspiration — can lead us out of the crisis in which we find ourselves. Leadership can mitigate the misery of our nation. Leadership can part the waters and lead our nation in the direction of the Promised Land. Leadership can lift the boats stuck at the bottom.” 

After seven years of movement conservative disaster, America is looking for a leader that can heal our land and lead us toward what Dr. King described as the beloved community, “We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.” The beloved community is an ideal founded on the biblical principle embodied by the commandment to, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” The opening salvos of this Presidential campaign was a period of assessment in which we could go to our quiet place, commune with ourselves, and reflect on what it is that our President should embody besides white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.   

Over $100 million dollars has been raised by just two of the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination and I find myself wondering, “is this it?”  “Is this shit all there is?”  I really don’t need to hear more deceptive rhetoric masquerading as courage and understanding. Quoting Big Mama’s favorite bible verse is not gonna cut it this year. I need to get a sense that there is a plan for progressive transformation behind the Machiavellian mask.  

Hiding deep in the recesses of their rhetoric should be some amalgamation of the hopes, fears, and wild aspirations of the average working class person.  What we’ve all been hearing for the last six months is the emotionless recitation of the same broken promises that we threw our votes away for the last four times.  Playing it safe in order to keep power is what got us here to start with and placating the establishment so that it facilitates the rise to the ultimate power of the Presidency is not my idea of radical transformation.   

Creeping up inside of my listless and dispirited soul is a powerful melancholy because we’ve been on the smooth glide path toward plutocracy for over a century and nothing in the last twenty-five years has slowed down the process.  Instead, what we’ve seen is an acceleration of the total corporate hegemony over our democracy.  

I am incapable of realizing the eminent death of our democracy and the moribund nature of national democratic leadership while smiling optimistically into the face of Barack Obama as the physical embodiment of my youthful idealism and the personification of my adult ambivalence.   

While Rev. Jackson paid homage to this nation’s diversity, America is not like a blanket — one piece of unbroken cloth, the same color, the same texture, the same size. America is more like a quilt: many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread. The white, the Hispanic, the black, the Arab, the Jew, the woman, the native American, the small farmer, the businessperson, the environmentalist, the peace activist, the young, the old, the lesbian, the gay, and the disabled make up the American quilt.” 

“Even in our fractured state, all of us count and fit somewhere. We have proven that we can survive without each other. But we have not proven that we can win and make progress without each other. We must come together.” 

Obama tipped his hat to a white vision of race-less, class-less American-ness, “…there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”  

Common ground can never be reached by a pander bear reaching out to people blinded by willful ignorance and deliberate racial amnesia.

I am angry that  Rev. Jackson has bequeathed the legacy of his progressive imprimatur to a man with the audacity to deny the necessity for slave reparations.    

I am angry that Obama is content to go through the motions of opposition while leaving reactionary power arrangements intact. 

I am angry that Obama claims the mantle of the biblical Joshua and then secretly  dons the robes of a Pharaoh.  

I am angry that our system of presidential selection is a closed process of capitalist kabuki dancing that is all calibrated to telegraph the non-threatening intentions of the contenders to the white power structure so that they may choose the most willing corporate whore.  

I am angry that my voice no longer matters and that the hunger for true leadership is turned against us so that we’re forced to accept Wall Street’s favorite ventriloquist dummy as our President.  

I am angry that identity politics is no longer a means of empowerment but an instrument of our oppression.  

I am angry that my youthful idealism is in reality a childish delusion.  

I am angry that I am losing my willingness to stay in this country and fight the forces of reaction that are devouring our planet and killing our people.  

I am angry that my writing and local activism isn’t enough.   

I am angry that the one man that speaks to my frustration, Dennis Kucinich, is marginalized, belittled and ignored.

I am angry that I am still just one lonely voice as powerless after 225,000 site views as I was the very first day I posted over a year ago when nobody was listening. For me, the thrill of politics, the driving passion of my life, is gone.

Dixie Dianne’s Betrayal

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Dianne Feinstein The Battle Flag of the Confederacy 

Some Democratic Senators are lackluster, some are unreliable, and some, like Dianne Feinstein, are unpredictable.  Civil Rights groups like People for the American Way and the Alliance for Justice were blindsided Thursday when Feinstein voted for another of Trent Lott’s Brooks Brothers suited racists to assume a lifetime appointment to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

People for the American Way, The Alliance for Justice, and The Leadership Conference for Civil Rights can usually be depended upon to bring their A game and effectively rally folk to block bigots of this caliber.  They failed this time. However, the fight isn’t over.  There is the option to mount a filibuster on the floor; the problem is that once nominations are reported out of committee, they become harder to kill.

 

For unfathomable reasons, Dianne Feinstein has made a deal with the Devil and punched the ticket for one of his malevolent minions to serve for life as a federal judge.  For a San Francisco Democrat, there is nothing liberal about cutting deals with a man who reveres segregationists and longs for the good ole days of massive resistance. 

All of this for a judge who makes light of the fact that he ordered the reinstatement of a white female state employee that called a black female co-worker, “a good ole nigger.”  As I’ve said before, there is no circumstance where it is ever acceptable for a white person to call a black person a nigger in freakin’ Mississippi.  Never.  For this betrayal, I shall resurrect the moniker given to her by local Marxists during a dispute over the confederate flag flying at the civic center in San Francisco: Dixie Dianne.

During her tenure as Mayor of San Francisco, the Marxists had the temerity to oppose the flying of the confederate flag because it is a symbol of hate and white supremacy and they cut down the flagpole rather than allow her to have the flag hoisted up again.  

African Americans are a beleaguered but cohesive minority in California and it is time for the progressives in our community to let Dianne know how we feel about her collusion with the enemy.  If you live in California, you can call her Senate Offices at 202 224 2841.  This should be Dixie Dianne’s last term given her advanced age, but if she runs one mo’gin in 2012, somebody should primary her.

Yard Sign Only

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Dixie Dianne’s betrayal has had one fortuitous consequence.  She has provided the Democratic frontrunners in this contest one more opportunity to prove their progressive fealty or their politically expedient treachery.  Judge Southwick’s nomination is coming to the Senate floor whether we like it or not. If the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Majority Leader green light a filibuster, it will happen.  Even if they don’t concur, Hillary and Barack have the power to force one.  We will see if they oppose this bastard because they have too or because his nomination is an offensive stench in the nostrils of freedom loving people everywhere.

Reading an obligatory statement into the record will not do.  Voting against cloture will not do.   Putting up an aggressive fight and making several lengthy statements on the floor and to the media that make it clear that their opposition is not merely for show; and their active and visible participation in floor strategy that kills this nomination, that’s what we must demand. 

I’ve had family in Mississippi since about 1840.  My mother’s family was enslaved on the Watkins and Dove plantations near Newton and Jasper counties.  This fight is personal for me.  Upon entering Mississippi, one notices the distinct smell of oppression in the air.  It is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced if you weren’t raised in the south.  Just a few days in Mississippi changed me in ways I still can’t explain.  What black people have endured over the course of the state’s history is really mind blowing.  Elevating another instrument and facilitator of that same oppression will not be tolerated.  Enough is enough. 

   

Campaign Mailbag: Barack’s deceptively funny spiel

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Barack Obama

Dear White Liberal,

It has now been over four months since we began this campaign for the hearts and minds of gullible liberals like your dumb ass. And let me tell you about the damn fools I’ve seen: there is an “awakening” taking place in white liberal America today.

From New Hampshire to California, from Texas to Iowa, we are seeing huge crowds we never dreamed possible. Foolish white liberals are falling up in my political events united in the delusion that it will mean something profound if I am elected President. It won’t-but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll ride this wave of stupidity all the damn way to the oval office.

They’re coming because they know that America stands at a crossroads—but also because of the Hope hustle I’ve perfected-Jesse had, “Keep Hope Alive” and I’ve got the,“Audacity of Hope.” It really ain’t nothing but a suburban friendly marketing ploy aimed at middle class yuppie’s who have the credit rating to afford more than a $1,000 contribution.

We’re facing a set of challenges we haven’t seen in a generation. We all know what these challenges are—Who’s gonna raise Anna Nicole’s baby, the scoop on the twin Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan meltdowns, endlessly obsessing over the missing white woman of the month nobody ever heard of, and the unfair length of Paris Hilton’s jail time-not to mention the smaller issues like the health care crisis, an education system that’s not teaching every child, and the disastrous war in Iraq.

We also know that what’s stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound leaders like Cynthia McKinney and Barbara Lee—it’s the smallness of the penises of the politicians leading this country down the path of failed leadership that’s really to blame. Mine is bigger—much, much, bigger and it IS true what they say….

In the last several years, we’ve seen Washington become a place where our problems are talked to death, while little is done to really solve them-I’m a prime example. Leaders who talk about real solutions get the Cynthia McKinney-isn’t-she-a-scary,-racist-Negro-treatment. Leaders who quietly acquiesce to the corporate agenda and front like they’ve done somethin’ get the cuddly, cutesy, corporate media darling, beautiful Negro treatment I’ve been gettin’ on the regular.

The time for the can’t do, won’t do, won’t-even try style of politics is over. Hold up! That’s what got me into position to run for President in the first damn place-Never mind what I just said, I just hafta keep saying that shit because it sounds earnest and y’all fall for it like a cuddly white newborn babe.

If you want the same kind of tired, DLC corporate friendly politics, please break me off a substantial contribution to Obama for America today.

I’m running or President because I believe it’s time to turn the page.

It’s time to turn the page on health care–This is the part where I’m supposed to say that if elected, I will enact a health care plan that will lower a family’s premiums by an average of $1000 and give every American access to the same health care members of Congress receive. In actuality, I haven’t even passed gas in the Senate, much less a damn bill of substance, so I’m a little short on the experience needed to radically change one fifth of the freakin’ economy. It’s just some pie-in-the-sky rhetoric I’m obligated to serve up to get your vote.

It’s time to turn the page on education—Again, this is where I’m supposed to say that we must move past the slow decay of indifference that says some schools can’t be fixed and some kids just can’t learn. Y’all heard this same song and dance from Bubba, Dubya and his daddy before him. The reality is that most of them hood rats are in schools that function as holding cells until they end up in damn jail or dead. It don’t really matter as long as I can steal their Mama’s vote away from Hillary.

With my book advance and royalties, I can afford private education for my babies and most of y’all already send your kids to damn near white public and private schools and are just like the gold digger Kanye rap’s about-you “ain’t messin’ with no broke nigga’s” in the hood and sure don’t want ‘em sitting next to your precious Biff and Buffy in the same classroom.

It’s time to turn the page on energy—Insert your favorite eco-liberal Sierra Club bullshit here. Ain’t none of that mess gonna help turn the page on the war in Iraq. –a war I claimed to be against and then I voted for every funding supplemental that came down the pike until political expedience dictated a vote against the one up this month. Resource wars are just a fact of life and I’m sure there will be at least one I wage to keep gas prices palatable for the touchy suburbanites I need to win re-election.

It’s time to show the world that I am still the last, best hope of the earth. This President may have sat his narrow behind in the seat of power in the Oval Office, but for the last six years, the position of leader and defender of the capitalist power structure has been open.

It’s time to fill that role once more with me-a safe Negro. Whether it’s Britney or Lindsay, Paris or Anna Nicole, America cannot meet the challenges of being the most celebrity obsessed, right-wing, imperialist country in the world alone. It’s time for us to lead.

We are America. We are the nation that liberated a continent from a madman, that lifted ourselves from the depths of depression after Elvis, John Lennon, and Curt Cobain died, that won civil rights, women’s rights, and voting rights for all people and then allowed George W. Bush to freakin steal the White House in plain sight.

What I’m saying is that I understand that Americans suffer from a profound political and racial schizophrenia. We preach compassion to others in need while we allow black bodies to float down the streets of a major American city. That’s who we really are. If y’all think that voting for me absolves you of all of your political and racial bullshit-I’m o.k. with that as long as y’all give me the power to put my finger on the button to annihilate all life, as we know it as your President.

Now, I am confident about my ability to lead this country. But I also know that I can’t do it without white idiots like you. This campaign is a corporate backed snow job-cynically calculated to be about your patriotic fantasies and desires for racial absolution because there are too many obstacles in basing a campaign on the universal truths that should bind us together as a people but never freakin’ have or will.

That’s why change has never really happened and why wealth and power is so concentrated along rigid racial and class lines. And that’s exactly why I will never be able to change a damn thing as President—nobody will in the coming months and years because that’s the genius of the system the framers designed.

I’m so grateful for the confidence you’ve already wasted in us and all that you’ve stupidly given. And I hope you’ll continue to be a dupe and stand with us. But while there are a number of ways you can help our fraudulent campaign-the only thing I really want is for you to break out the checkbook and write a damn check with three zeros to Obama for America.

With your moolah, I can maintain the status quo for my corporate affiliated contributors and reign like a damn King in the White House. In so doing, I can rid myself of the fear of failing like my father by accommodating the power structure like a kiss ass.

Sincerely,

Senator Barack Obama

P.S. Like munchkins who foolishly believed in the Wizard of Oz, I need white liberal munchkins like you to continue to believe so that I can mine the seemingly endless depths of white liberal guilt and continue down the political brick road to defeat, out-raise, and politically kill, the evil Wicked Witch of the East-Hillary Clinton.

It’s time to turn the page of your child like naïveté. It’s time to turn the page for capitalism. It’s time to turn the page and write the next chapter of imperial tyranny in the great American story. And we must write that story together. Please continue your foolish and delusional support of our campaign. And please cut a damn check today.

Campaign Mailbag: Michelle Obama’s humorous campaign solicitation

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Michelle Obama

May 4, 2007

 

Dear White Liberal,

It wasn’t exactly a typical date with an up-and-coming, Harvard-educated brotha who worked at a pretentious white-shoe firm. He didn’t take a sistah to a fancy restaurant. There were no tickets to the opera or ballet, nor did we rub elbows with bougie Negroes.

Instead, he took me to a neighborhood church in the hood on the south side of Chicago. And that was the day when I said to myself: “Girl, betta lock this brotha down quick.” I realized that Barack Obama, the man I was going to marry, was a very different, truly extraordinary, Negro.

I was a young lawyer, a token sistah, working for the Man at the firm where Barack was hired as a summer token; but he was unlike most of the professional uncle tom’s I knew. He seemed unconcerned with frontin’ as if he’d arrived. Barack always insisted altruistically that he didn’t go to law school to cash out. He went to try to make a change. I thought to myself, “Negro, please, I just ain’t figured out your hustle yet.”

And hustle is exactly what he was doing on the South Side that night: he was leading a training session for some naïve-honest-to-Gawd- community activists. And the moment he walked into that church, took off his coat, rolled up his sleeves, loosened his tie and began to speak, I knew the Negro had Game.

He broke them off something proper—a speech about the world as it is and the world as it should and ain’t never gonna be-as long as Y’all are still running the world. A chorus of “amen’s” filled the church as he spoke. By the time he was finished, he had snowed every single one up in that piece. It was somethin’, Baby. For real though, Chile.

I hurried up and married him, Baby. Today, we are some prosperous buppie’s with two of the prettiest little girls you ever did see. I’m pulling down 300k at the University of Chicago Hospital and I’ve got the Audacity to Hope that those damn royalty checks start rollin’ in quickly to support my spending. Honey, I almost forgot, Barack is running for President of the United States.

Barack is running this hustle-I mean campaign-the same way he organized neighborhoods-with a slick and sophisticated snow job that inspires empty-headed, pie in the sky white liberals like you to get involved and to take a stand.

That’s where your dumb ass comes in. I’m writing to you today not just as the wife of a candidate, but as a sistah, a mama, a professional and above all, a diva desperate for y’all to send in your change so I can make a change at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and tell Laura Bush, “Bitch, guess who’s coming to dinner.” Can you help a sistah out and break us off a $ 1,000 or even $ 1,500 to Obama for America today?

I suppose you could say we’ve come a long way, Baby. But the Barack Obama who’s a United States Senator seeking our nation’s highest office is still the brotha that snowed those Negroes in the hood the same way he’s snowed all y’all’s dumb assess.

He’s a beaming father who always delights in leaving my ass at home with the kids as he saves the world. He’s confident in the knowledge that I only tolerate this bullshit because the chance to become the most pampered and socially prominent diva in the world is too hard to pass up.

After several years in grimy, corrupt Chicago ward politics, it hasn’t dimmed his love of the quest for power one bit.

Barack’s experience working in the drug-infested ghettos of Chicago’s south side taught him something profound-Negroes will believe any damn thing as long as you quote scripture and play on their desperation for something better.

Barack’s innate predator instinct convinced him that no matter how bleak things look, desperate Negroes, stupid Negroes, silly Negroes could be used to set him up for a run at the big time-and they sho’ nuff did.

I see the genius of this hustle for what it is and am convinced that with fools like you falling for the magic of my man’s hustle, we can go all the way.

Everywhere I’ve traveled with Barack, I’m freakin’ amazed not just by the size of the crowds but by the fact that there are always so many smiling white faces wanting to touch the hem of my man’s garment because they think he’s the second coming.

Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus for fools like you snowed by the Audacity of Hope.

Barack’s counting on the people for whom he’s fighting—the corporations and the moderate republicans—to stand with him. That’s why I’m asking you to rush a generous contribution to Obama for America today.

Take it from a former skeptic—he’s got this hustle down, honey and we can win this shit.

And take it from a Sistah who first ventured into that ghetto church with Barack those many moons ago; this is a special Negro, a truly extraordinary Negro, a Safe Negro, and one who will not ever—no matter how much you wish or hope—upset the apple cart of the white capitalist power structure.

Thank You for your naïveté, and support

Sincerely,

Michelle Obama

P.S. When it comes to his corporate backed vision, Barack’s eyes are focused squarely on the ball-I’ve seen to that as his wife. Let me assure you that his family is keepin’ it real.

There was the time he called me after a Senate vote and told me how proud he was to have passed some bullshit I don’t remember and how very inspired he felt—to which I replied, “That’s nice, Baby, but Aunt Juicy is here in the kitchen and she done drunk all the Alize. Stop by the co’ner store and pick up a couple of bottles.

Well, we laugh about times like those, but in many ways, they remind me of what makes Barack so special-He got game and he just keep coming back stronger and harder serving up that special somethin, somethin’ that y’all can’t get enough of-like Sinefeld and bullshit like that.

The Whore takes sides in Maryland

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HAT TIP: by Rosalind Helderman at the Maryland Moment Blog, WaPo.com

About 1,000 people showed up for a kick-off fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Albert Wynn (D) at Prince George’s Camelot banquet hall in Upper Marlboro. Wynn survived a tough challenge from local activist Donna Edwards in last September’s Democratic primary.

Because of the quirks of the presidential primary calendar, Wynn’s campaign for reelection is already very active. That’s because when Maryland voted to hold its Presidential primary earlier than ever, it also meant other primary races, including for Congress, got pushed up. The Wynn-Edwards rematch for the Democratic nomination from Maryland’s 4th district will now take place on Feb. 12, just a bit more than a year after Wynn took office.

That might be why Wynn’s aides wanted for a big turnout at this morning’s event, at which they were hoping to raise $250,000. (One attendee said he received on the order 10 calls urging his appearance.) Their work must have paid off–much of the county’s state legislative delegation was in attendance, as were several members of the County Council, Comptroller Peter Franchot, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and County Executive Jack B. Johnson.

“Make no mistake about it–it’s on!” Wynn told the room. “Let’s go get ‘em!”

There was a bit of buzz at the event, however, about Wynn’s selection of a keynote speaker for the event–former representative and candidate for Senate Harold E. Ford, who is now head of the Democratic Leadership Council. Edwards’ campaign has been built on attacking Wynn from the left, especially because he voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2003. Ford, meanwhile, is widely seen as a fairly conservative Democrat.

“He’s not representative of the district–I don’t think he represents the Democratic party,” said Del. Victor R. Ramirez (D-Prince George’s). “I don’t see how it helps [Wynn].”

“I was a little disappointed in Mr. Ford’s comments on Iraq,” said Del. Doyle L. Niemann (D-Prince George’s). “I thought they were not necessarily representative of where Al Wynn stands.”
The comments Niemann was referring to took place during the breakfast event’s speechifying. Wynn told the crowd, “We’ve got to bring our troops home from Iraq.” He noted, however, that doesn’t mean abandoning the war torn country. Instead, he said the United States needs to let regional players like Egypt and Jordan work out a peace plan.

Ford, meanwhile, offered scathing criticism of how President Bush has managed the war, but specifically noted “I don’t think we can leave Iraq right away.” Ford went on to say, “As much as didn’t do it right, we have to get it right because there are people over there who want to do us harm.”

In an interview, Wynn called Ford “a tremendous young talent in our party.” Wynn said he believed Ford made it clear he wants the United States out of Iraq, but “he also made it very clear that we need to think beyond cliches. My race is not going to be a bunch of cliches…We’re going to talk about issues, substance and policy. We’re going to try to bring some depth to how we deal with the 21st century.”

Edwards will hold her campaign kick-off at Watkins Park on June 30.

Tacking to the left and voting correctly as of late was meant to defang his Primary opponent,  Donna Edwards.  Wynn has undone all of his recent efforts by cavorting with Skeptical Brotha’s least favorite corporate Whore, Harold Ford, Jr.  I guess stupid is as stupid does.  

Lurleen’s Ghost: false prophets, empty symbolism, and the endurance of white supremacy

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Then the LORD said unto me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke unto them. They prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought and the deceit of their heart.- Jeremiah 14:14

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. -1 John 4: 1

The Battle of Selma, an internecine conflict between Queen Hillary and the Safe Negro, Barack Obama, for the black vote, was waged in February and the combatants were both in rare form. To the uninitiated, it seemed that the courageous people who were battered and bloodied on the Edmund Pettus Bridge to secure African Americans voting rights inspired both. That would be wrong.

What the world witnessed was a big show of religiosity cynically calculated to pander to the vast majority of politically active and deluded black people facing a Hobson’s choice between two “articulate and clean” false prophets whose symbolic candidacies mask a hidden agenda to tend to America’s ruling class as servants and protectors of capitalist imperialism.

Michael Parenti, author of “Dirty Truths” has written: The history of the United States has been one of territorial and economic expansionism, with the benefits going mostly to the U.S. business class in the form of growing investments and markets, access to rich natural resources and cheap labor, and the accumulation of enormous profits. The American people have had to pay the costs of empire, supporting a huge military establishment with their taxes, while suffering the loss of jobs, the neglect of domestic services, and the loss of tens of thousands of American lives in overseas military ventures.

The greatest costs, of course, have been borne by the peoples of the Third World who have endured poverty, pillage, disease, dispossession, exploitation, illiteracy, and the widespread destruction of their lands, cultures, and lives.

The racial dimensions of our economic, political and military hegemony over the world’s people of color are an unstated but unmistakable form of white supremacy. Black Agenda Report has tilled the soil on this ground quite thoroughly. I highly recommend reading their piece on this subject. The meaning of Selma has been percolating in my mind for some weeks now and it gelled Friday while I dozed off in Barnes and Noble after work. What I would like to explore with you, if you’ll permit me, is the triumph of white supremacy over our politics and why I think Hillary and Barack are both agents of its facilitation.

In telling the story of white supremacy’s evolving political stranglehold, it is useful to examine the past as a template for the present.

One of the reasons I came to the south is because of its politics. Among the most colorful in the nation, the south has produced some world-class pols and demagogues. Some of the most notable: LBJ, Huey Long, and George Wallace. All three possessed an intuitive understanding of power. Both Huey Long and George Wallace understood the value of machine politics and the practical uses of propaganda.

Bill Clinton is not the first southern pol to advance his wife forward to maintain a foothold on power. Texas Governor James Ferguson was, running his wife Miriam and in his footsteps followed Alabama Governor George Wallace. Stephan Lesher, author of “George Wallace: American Populist,” picks up the story, “Wallace learned about the Fergusons shortly after Lurleen’s announcement; his source, of all people, was the President of the United States during a White House briefing on Vietnam for the nation’s governors…Then, Johnson regaled him with one of James’s 1924 campaign speeches in which he had explained how the couple would operate if Miriam was elected: he would be her number one assistant, he would say, but he would also “tote the wood and draw the water at the governor’s mansion.” Wallace knew a good line when he heard it-and adapted it in every speech he would make over the next months.”

George Wallace pursued the presidency with a vigor we’ve not seen recently until the emergence of the Clinton juggernaut. Running four times in 1964, 1968, 1972, and 1976, he used every asset at his disposal to hold the Governorship of Alabama as a powerbase and springboard to the Presidency. One of those assets was his wife, Lurleen. Forced out by term limits in 1966, he ran Mrs. Wallace in his place as a surrogate. She pledged to the people that she would “let George do it” [run the state].

I have been thinking of the demure and modest homemaker thrust into the limelight by a controlling husband to maintain his own power and to make up for his unconscionable philandering. By elevating her to the governor’s chair, he gave her something no other man could: power and status. In so doing, he repaired their unhappy marriage. The same could be said of the Clintons despite Hillary’s unquestioned ability to run this country without her husband. She would not be on the cusp of making history without him. Echoing the Fergusons before them, we are still “getting two for the price of one.” And make no mistake, he is “tot[ing] the wood and drawing the water” for this campaign behind the scenes.

The campaign of 1966 was an interesting spectacle that reminds me of the current 2008 contest. The Alabama establishment had two contenders to choose from and chose only one: Lurleen Wallace and by extension, George. Former Governor Patterson who had defeated George for Governor in 1958 was a bitter segregationist. George’s spirited defense of white supremacy deflated his sails and she won going away. Patterson provoked the immortal statement from George in Marshal Frady’s legendary biography “Wallace,” “John Patterson out nigguhed me. And boys, I’m not goin’ to be out-nigguhed again.”

Indeed, he never was. He came to be seen as the personification of segregationist resistance. He introduced himself to the American people by way of an incendiary Inaugural Address penned by a Klansman in which he proclaimed, “Segregation Now! Segregation Tomorrow! Segregation Forever!” Additionally, he reaped nationwide publicity for his melodramatic stand in the schoolhouse door of the University of Alabama. His demagogic advocacy of white supremacy connected him with the masses of disaffected whites fearful of black advancement. He turned their disaffection into an independent movement that mainstream Democratic and Republican politicians are still accommodating.

Dan Carter, author of the article “Legacy of Rage: George Wallace and the Transformation of American Politics” wrote, “Unwilling to listen to the dwindling handful of politicians who spoke of unpleasant choices, Americans willingly turned to the more satisfying task of exorcising demons. For politicians, it was a dilemma not unlike that facing George Wallace in 1962. I started off talking about schools and highways and prisons and taxes-and I couldn’t get them to listen,” he confided to an old supporter. “Then I began talking about niggers-and they stomped the floor.”

“Although working and middle class Americans in the 1960s periodically expressed uneasiness over inflation and the failure of wages to keep pace with the cost of living, widespread economic insecurity and declining incomes were not characteristic of the decade. It was primarily a sense of cultural and social dislocation- and out and out racism-that furnished the fuel for George Wallace’s angry rhetoric.”

Bill Clinton, although still a college student, was an active political operative by this time and a Capitol Hill intern for segregationist Arkansas Senator William Fulbright. He saw for himself how potent the politics of race was during the desegregation of Little Rock, Arkansas Public Schools a decade before. Governor Faubus parlayed his opposition to desegregation into an unprecedented six two-year terms as governor, a tenure equaled only by Clinton himself. In addition, Bill couldn’t have possibly missed Arkansas tepid support of LBJ in 1964 and its plurality support of Wallace’s third party bid in 1968.

Despite protestations to the contrary, white supremacy is still a factor today and has been supported by an exclusive focus on the integration of the ranks of politicians, public accommodations, and the desegregation of the public schools and institutions of higher learning. There is another institution, which is sadly deficient in its adherence to fairness and the rule of law: the judiciary. We’ve lost many battles and are losing the war.

The foundation of equal opportunity is crumbling before our eyes and the Roberts Court is leading the charge to destroy it once and for all. How did we get here? We got here because for some reason, we’re more concerned with electing politicians on the basis of showmanship-not policy. Politicians like Bill, Hillary, and Barack, use the politics of identity against us, rather than use it to create common ground.

The essence of their positions regarding judicial selection and due process reflect the political expediency of politicians on the make. Bill Clinton in 1992 famously executed Ricky Ray Rector, Christopher Hitchens described the incident Lobotomized by his own bullet, this disabled black convict did not understand either his trial or his sentence. Executed by Clinton to draw attention from the Gennifer Flowers flap (about which he also lied) Rector outdoes Willie Horton by every definition of racist grandstanding. His snuffing was not just an election tactic, bad enough though that would have been. In power, Clinton fast-tracked capital punishment to the point where even Republican governors and legislatures have had to try and slow it down.”

As President, he fast-tracked executions by signing legislation that increased the number of crimes that were death penalty eligible and which severely short-circuited habeas corpus, resulting in the dramatically increased possibility of executing the innocent. He even executed someone in Arkansas whose innocence was legitimately in question. Alexander Nguyen of American Prospect wrote, Also executed during the (1992) campaign was Steven Douglas Hill, who was convicted of shooting a state police investigator after he and an accomplice escaped from a state prison. Hill confessed to the crime, but his partner Michael Cox has insisted for years that it was he, not Hill, who pulled the trigger. In all, Arkansas executed four people on Clinton‘s watch.

Hillary stood by and never meddled in the process of shedding unnecessary blood to elevate themselves to the ultimate power of the Presidency. Given the choice between standing for what’s right and sacrificing power, she chose to support her husband and sacrifice a life giving the lie to the arguments regarding gender diversity in the ranks of elected politicians. While in the Senate, she and her rival, Barack Obama, have played it safe-very safe. The youthful opposition to the death penalty has given way to safe positions crafted to advance viable Presidential candidacies and leave undisturbed the grip of white supremacy over our Judiciary.

Bush has twice nominated arch Conservatives to the Supreme Court and twice Barack and Hillary refused to filibuster those nominations to death.  He and Hillary cast the right vote on the Alito nomination against cloture (shutting off debate), but they were just going through the motions.  Neither put up a fight against John Roberts, although they voted against him. A passionate level of opposition and principled advocacy would have sent a powerful signal to the civil rights community that those two meant business and would have provided political cover for their weak-kneed colleagues to man-up and follow suit.

John Kerry said it best of John Roberts, “Judge Roberts argued against using the “effects test” to determine whether section 2 of the Voting Rights Act was violated. Instead, he believed and “intent” test—requiring proof of a discriminatory motive should be required, regardless of the fact that many victims of discrimination would be unable to prove real discriminatory intent and therefore unable to enjoy the protections afforded by the Act. In some cases, the effect of Judge Roberts’ intent test meant that disenfranchised individuals had to prove the motive of long dead officials who crafted election rules. That is a foolish standard when it comes between citizens and their constitutionally protected right to fair representation in our democracy.”

As someone who represented a majority black legislative district created as a nod to the Voting Rights Act, Barack Obama, should have vigorously filibustered both of Bush’s reactionary appointments. Their collective hostility to the Voting Rights Act, Affirmative Action, and race discrimination claims were more than sufficient to ignite the fires of Barack’s righteous indignation. Alas, the safe Negro never gets angry or loses his temper on behalf of our people because it would get in the way of playing kiss-ass to Senate colleagues and the white power structure he hopes one day to join as our President.

So, chirren, let me end as I began because the scriptures are clear, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Hillary and Barack have both been tested in the heat of political battle for their progressive mettle and adherence to truth and in my mind, both have failed and revealed themselves to be false prophets and “New Democrats” in thrall to white supremacy.

Hillary’s midwestern makeover

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By Anne E. Kornblut and Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, June 3, 2007; A01

For years, when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton talked about her family, it was usually her famous husband or their well-known daughter. But Clinton has recently been discussing a more elusive figure in her life: her mother.

“She didn’t have a very easy time of it as a young child,” Clinton (D-N.Y.) said during an address to Democratic Party activists in California, describing the journey Dorothy Howell Rodham made in search of a home after her teenage parents divorced in 1920 and sent her away.

Drawing attention to her low-profile mother — who is in her late 80s and lives with the Clintons on Whitehaven Street in Washington — is one of several ways Clinton is seeking to give voters a new perspective on her biography. Armed with extensive polling data and an image road map tested in Upstate New York, the Clinton campaign has embarked on an ambitious effort to present the candidate the way they want her to be seen: as a pragmatic Midwesterner with a compelling life story of her own, rather than just the famous, and sometimes polarizing, senator and former first lady most of the country already knows she is.

Clinton tells crowds at the opening of virtually every speech that she was “born into a middle-class family in the middle of America, in the middle of the last century.” One of the least-known facts about her, according to campaign operatives, is that she is a native of suburban Chicago, not Arkansas or New York.

Howard Wolfson, the campaign’s communications director, said the senator is responding to the fact that voters “understandably want to know biographical information about people running for president.”

“People have a sense of Senator Clinton in the Senate; they obviously have a sense of her as first lady,” Wolfson said. “But most people do not know what she did before coming to Washington. We found that in New York: We ran ads in 1999 and 2000 about the work she had done prior to becoming first lady.”

Now, Wolfson said, “There are people who say they know everything about Hillary Clinton, and then you ask where she was born, and they have no idea.”

The challenge is more than just getting voters to connect to Clinton: She has extremely high negative ratings to try to counteract.

Introducing biographical information about her childhood and early adulthood, her advisers hope, will flesh out the familiar caricature of Clinton as an overly ambitious careerist who leaves scandal in her wake. After 15 years in Washington, she is also seen as an inside-the-Beltway figure; underscoring her Midwestern upbringing is, they believe, one way to shift that view (while also, not coincidentally, appealing to voters in Midwestern swing states such as Ohio).

“There are a lot things about Hillary you may not know that occurred in her life before she ever became a United States senator,” former president Bill Clinton intones in a biographical video on his wife’s campaign Web site. The segment goes on to show a montage of early photographs as Clinton describes his wife working for poor defendants while studying at Yale Law School, turning down lucrative job offers to work at the Children’s Defense Fund and chairing the national board of the Legal Services Corporation when she was 29 years old.

“When I saw that video on the Web site, I thought, ‘This is “The Man from Hope” all over again,’ ” Democratic consultant Peter Fenn said.

“The Man from Hope,” of course, was the moniker Bill Clinton assumed in 1992 and the title of his biographical film at the Democratic convention that year, when he relaunched himself as an up-by-the-bootstraps populist from Hope, Ark., rather than the silver-tongued governor his rivals were portraying.

Now, some of those same advisers — particularly Mandy Grunwald, who made the 1992 “Hope” film and directs all of the current Clinton media — are at work recasting Hillary Clinton.

Her transformation has been mostly about emphasis: Where she was once best known as a high-powered lawyer in a prominent Arkansas firm, she now talks about her legal work for the poor. Where she was once best known as the impassioned commencement speaker at her Wellesley College graduation in 1969, Clinton now reminisces about church outings on Saturdays as a child. At recent campaign stops in Iowa, she noted her father’s service in the Navy during World War II and the fact that while her family paid her college tuition, she paid for her books and then borrowed money to go to law school.

Fliers campaign workers distribute at events in Iowa encourage Hawkeye State voters to connect with a candidate with “strong Midwestern roots” and “the sense of community we Midwesterners hold dear.” “This is about introducing her to Iowa,” said JoDee Winterhof, the campaign’s Iowa director. “They know who she is, but these are the things people need to be reminded of.”

She eschews the large gymnasiums and big rallies that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) often favors, holding events in small venues and leaving time after each event to shake hands and sign autographs (an Iowa-specific move urged on her by former Democratic governor Tom Vilsack, who recommended avoiding the larger sites).

At these small events, Clinton attempts to show a personal side, appearing at a pizza parlor in Algona, Iowa, for example, and talking about her love of jalapeño pizza. She said at another event that “I’m a mother, not yet a grandmother, but there’s hope,” and noted, “When people ask me what I want for my last meal, I always say pizza.”

Clinton’s surrogates have taken the cue, portraying her as a salt-of-the-earth Midwesterner at every opportunity.

“She’s a Midwesterner, she relaxes, she just dives into it,” Christie Vilsack, the ex-governor’s wife, said in an interview after traveling with Clinton for several days. “She doesn’t have to change. That’s going back to who she was as a little girl.”

“If Hillary’s story is only about a first lady and a politician, how does somebody connect to that story?” Democratic pollster Geoff Garin asked. “Once you give people the fuller account of who she is and where she came from, you give them a whole series of places where they can connect and they can see themselves in her picture. Because she sort of emerged on the scene through her husband’s campaign and administration, she’s a hard person for regular people to kind of figure out, where do they fit in? And this lets voters figure out where the voters fit in.”

With two controversial brothers and with her father deceased, it makes sense that Clinton would gravitate toward her mother as she sketches her early life. In the California speech in late April, Clinton devoted more attention than almost ever before to telling her mother’s story to an audience. Repeating a story outlined at the beginning of her autobiography, Clinton recounted her mother’s journey from Chicago to California’s San Gabriel Mountains, where she lived with her paternal grandparents before moving on, at age 13, to become a mother’s helper with another family.

Clinton described her mother’s experience as “harsh,” but pivoted to a happier theme. “From my mother, I learned a love of education and learning,” Clinton said, even though her mother never went beyond high school. “They had what you might call a mixed marriage. My father was a rock-ribbed conservative Republican, and my mother was one of those women who didn’t say much when politics was the conversation, but I learned later would cancel out my father’s vote every single time.”

Rodham remains mostly in the background for now. Feisty and dry-witted (traits that friends say mother and daughter share), Rodham is unpretentious enough to blend into the crowd at her daughter’s public events. At a portrait unveiling at the Smithsonian last summer, she sat quietly in the front row, locking arms with her granddaughter, Chelsea; the two are reportedly very close.

On the rare occasions she has granted interviews over the years, Rodham has talked about her only daughter in loving but no-nonsense ways. Asked in a joint appearance on “Oprah” in 2004 if she wanted her daughter to run for president, Rodham replied: “The terrible responsibility that our presidents have, you know, and the — the day-to-day workload and all of that sort of thing, I don’t know that I would wish on anyone, actually.”

“But she would do great. I have to say that,” Rodham said.