Thursday, April 24, 2008

Black and White Democratic Party

Who will be the winner in the fight between two democrats -- front-runner Obama and underdog Hillary -- in the race to be the democratic presidential nominee? One of them, most likely Obama, will emerge the winner.

The battle between the first black man and the first woman trying to be an American president is an interesting one. What is also interesting is that they don't seem to be representing the same party. The more the two candidates battle it out, the more democratic party suffers.

The democratic votes have been polarised on racial lines. In the recent critical poll in Pennsylvania, Obama took 92 per cent of the African American vote - as he is considered to be black enough. That Hillary won with a 10% margin tells us that the White votes have gone to the white woman.

Obama's claim that he is an 'unifier' is too hollow. The two candidates have gone about campaigning as if they are from two different parties, as if they are two independent candidates. And lately, their campaign has produced results to show that democrats are voting either for a black or for a white. Ladies and gentlemen - this is not a battle to strengthen democracy.

The headless democratic party has allowed two of its candidates to run an independent campaign, completely ignoring the realities of two-party politics in the US. Chayakada finds Obama not too convincing -- America can't make a U-turn from Bush-Cheney policies overnight. Even if Obama becomes the president, he can't pull out troops from Iraq the very next day.

From a strategic point of view, America needs to be in the Middle East to ensure energy/oil supplies. OIL - Iraq, Iran... America can't get out of it.

Los Angeles times reports that Obama has been taking money from Oil executives. In a campaign advertisement he said he took no money from oil companies.

Sen. Barack Obama continued accepting donations from oil company executives and employees last month even as he aired ads in which he stated he took no oil company money, his campaign finance reports show.

Obama has taken at least $263,000 from oil company executives, family members and employees since entering the presidential race last year, including $46,000 last month. At least $140,000 has come in chunks of between $1,000 and $2,300, the maximum permitted under federal law.

Texas oil executive Robert L. Cavnar of Milagro Exploration and his wife, Gracie, have helped the Illinois Democrat raise at least another $50,000 by helping host a fundraiser earlier in the campaign.

Other oil industry donors have included Sinclair Oil President Ross Matthews of Texas and John B. Hess, chairman of Hess Corp., a New York-based oil producer and retailer with operations worldwide. Hess, who has given to other presidential candidates, including Sen. John McCain, gave $2,300 to Obama last year, as did his wife, Susan. Hess gave $14,000 to Obama's Senate run in 2003.
I am a big fan of Bruce Springsteen - but I cannot agree with him endorsing Obama even when the primaries aren't over. If Hillary and Obama have been going around like independent candidates, why not endorse Ralph Nader? At least the man is honest, liberal, and anti-big-money!

Hillary represents 'the firm' - the status quo, and that's her problem. Obama is the one who claims that he doesn't represent the DC politics, hence he needs to be under the microscope a great deal more than anyone else.

Everything could be possibly wrong with what happens in DC - lobbying, oil money, sex scandals, corruption, inside job, crime - you name it. But, then, America is voting for the president to be in the Middle of DC politics. Democratic party is very much there in the Congress and Senate - they are a part of the American political system - good or bad.

Obama, even being a senator, somehow is trying to claim a moral high ground - that he is above the DC politics. If he disowns the DC politics, he must first resign as a Senator and also from the democratic party - and then contest as an independent like Ralph Nader.

If Obama thinks he is not a part of the Washington DC politics, that he is not going to play the games they all play - then he is a black sheep in the democratic party.

Like it or not, Hillary is not being a hypocrite in this issue. She is part of the political game that goes on in DC - she hasn't disowned it. She is very much in the democratic party too.

America is ripe for a revolution, of course. Billions of dollars have disappeared or made a vanishing act. Most of the US dollars can now be found in China thanks to the massive imports. Billions have been exploded and lost in Iraq - defence contractors and suppliers have made billions of profit. And worse, US Dollar is the preferred currency for money launderers.

America needs to recover its dollars. America needs to be powerful - not as a military bully but as an economic powerhouse of innovation and technology. The world is suffering today - thanks to Bush/Cheney rule - there are food shortages, energy shortages and what not. This world needs a strong America.

Obama's revolution can wait. America should recover soon for the sake of the global economy. One way of doing it is not by taking oil money but by taking steps to reduce the oil price. Even if it means, putting together a coalition of nations to pump more oil out of Iraq.

On the issue of Iran too, Obama's pacifist politics won't make the cut. America needs a president who will bring the oil price down to 35 dollars a barrel, and a president who will ensure Dollar is at par with Euro. It may take another war, but it has to be done.

Suddenly McCain looks like a better option, in spite of me being an anti-republican.

I want India to sign the Nuclear deal and a defence pact with the US. I want India to support US in the war against reducing oil price. India has taken a soft position with regard to China and also towards Opec countries and Iran - when not a single country in the group gives India what we need - Cheaper Oil.

Going back to the elections in the US, Robert D. Novak, in his op-ed column, Trouble Ahead for Obama, writes: "Democratic politicians today see no viable alternative to Obama as their nominee. Their hard assessment is that Clinton clawing her way to the nomination could mean 25 percent McCain support from a radically depleted African American turnout -- a prescription for disaster."

When Pennsylvania exit polls came out late Tuesday afternoon showing a lead of 3.6 points for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama, Democratic leaders who desperately wanted her to end her candidacy were not cheered. They were sure that this puny lead overstated Obama's strength, as exit polls nearly always have in diverse states with large urban populations. How is it possible, then, that Clinton, given up for dead by her party's establishment, won Pennsylvania in a 10-point landslide? The answer is the dreaded "Bradley effect."

Prominent Democrats only whisper when they compare Obama's experience, the first African American with a serious chance to be president, with what happened to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley a quarter-century ago. In 1982, exit polls showed Bradley, who was black, ahead in the race for governor of California, but he ultimately lost to Republican George Deukmejian. Pollster John Zogby (who predicted Clinton's double-digit win Tuesday) said what practicing Democrats would not: "I think voters face to face are not willing to say they would oppose an African American candidate."

If there really is a Bradley effect in 2008, Zogby sees November peril for Obama in blue states. John McCain could win not only in Pennsylvania but also in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and he can retain Ohio for the Republicans. There seems to be no way Clinton can overtake Obama in delegates and the popular vote. For unelected superdelegates to deprive Obama of the nomination would so depress African American general election voting that the nomination would be worthless for her. In a year when all normal political indicators point to Republican defeat on all fronts, the Democratic Party faces deepening difficulties whether Obama is nominated or rejected.

Obama hit a low in Pennsylvania, despite clouds over Clinton's credibility and her husband's dysfunctional campaigning. Popular freshman Sen. Bob Casey, a pro-life and pro-gun Catholic, was Obama's faithful surrogate but proved to be no help. Exit polls showed Obama losing 70 percent of Catholics, 58 percent of white Protestants and 62 percent of gun owners. Clinton carried union members, people who earn between $15,000 and $75,000 annually, and those without a college degree. Obama was saved from total disaster in Pennsylvania by winning 92 percent of the African American vote, but the reverse of the racial divide was Clinton's support from whites, especially white working women.

For the first time, Democratic loyalists not necessarily committed to Clinton are wondering whether the party's system for picking a nominee is the problem. If caucuses were eliminated and only primaries were used, Obama's 130-delegate lead would turn into an advantage of 45 delegates for Clinton. The bigger problem is proportional representation, which replaced the kind of winner-take-all system that enabled Republicans to get their nominee on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5. Without the reforms enacted by Democrats during the decade after the party's 1968 fiasco, Clinton might have clinched the nomination by now.

Pennsylvania exit polls project a massive defection by Clinton voters (with 32 percent of them saying they would be "satisfied" only if she is the nominee). Many of these disaffected Democrats surely will be reconciled to Obama. Indeed, McCain privately warns key supporters to be prepared for a massive, if temporary, falloff in the polls once these unhappy Democrats return after Obama is nominated. But not all will return, and that is Pennsylvania's warning to the Democratic Party.

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