Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 5, 2008

WEDNESDAY'S MINI-REPORT.... Today's edition of quick hits:

* Another rough day on Wall Street.

* Interesting statistic: "Barack Obama won every John Kerry state by double digits. That is 252 electoral votes."

* For those keeping track of such things, Indiana was called for Obama.

* Colin Powell was visibly choked up this morning while talking about Obama's victory on CNN.

* The Senate race in Georgia is headed for a runoff.

* Al Franken has not conceded, while Norm Coleman's opposition to a recount is pretty ridiculous.

* President Bush was rather gracious today at the White House in congratulating Obama on his victory.

* For all the talk about Jewish voters resisting Obama, the President-Elect actually won "the demographic by a margin even higher than John Kerry's, and like Al Gore's and Bill Clinton's."

* Also interesting: "National exit polling shows 53 percent of of the voters considered the U.S. Supreme Court an 'important factor' in their vote Tuesday. Fifty-two percent of these voters supported Barack Obama, while 46 percent supported John McCain."

* I'm not a historian, but when was the last time the results of a presidential election prompted spontaneous celebrations in cities across the country?

* Ralph Nader is a disgrace.

* The newspaper industry enjoyed a very good day today.

* And finally, the Onion gets the award for headline of the day: "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (73)

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I once asked my father about his first memory of politics, and he told me he remembered bonfires in Brooklyn when FDR was reelected in 1936.

Posted by: Brianz on November 5, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

The hell of it is, Nader's political ideas are, for the most part, among the best in the nation. When it comes to labor, economics, environmentalism, and such, I've always liked what I hear from him.

It makes his arrogant stupidity all the more off-putting and annoying.

Posted by: Shade Tail on November 5, 2008 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

It's unlikely that a recount will change the end result in the Coleman-Franken race. I just think that Coleman wants Franken to go away and be done with him.

However, MN state law mandates a recount in this situation, no matter what Franken or Coleman says, and Norm should know that.

Posted by: Jvstin on November 5, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not a historian, but when was the last time the results of a US presidential election prompted spontaneous celebrations in cities across the world?

Fixed. ;)

Posted by: doubtful on November 5, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

"National exit polling shows 53 percent of of the voters considered the U.S. Supreme Court an 'important factor' in their vote Tuesday. Fifty-two percent of these voters supported Barack Obama, while 46 percent supported John McCain."

So what's interesting about this? Since 52-46 is almost exactly the ratio by which Obama won, that means that he did just as well among those who think the Supreme Court is important as among those who do not.

My guess is that there are people on opposite sides of contentious issues (particularly abortion) who focus on the court, and that they cancelled out.

Posted by: Joe Buck on November 5, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

"The Senate race in Georgia is headed for a runoff."

Please...give generously until the December 2nd runoff. National Republicans are on it, and we should be too. Every single Senate vote counts.

Posted by: CJ on November 5, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

I find it odd that MSNBC has called MO for McCain, but not NC for Obama. About the same number of people voted in each. 100% of precints have reported in both. And NC has a bigger difference than MO.

Posted by: Danp on November 5, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

the chicago tribune has a terrific slideshow up from grant park, including at photo #90, a cop autographing the shirt of a young woman in line for the rally.


found it at "first draft" (http://first-draft-blog.typepad.com/first_draft/)

Posted by: karen marie on November 5, 2008 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if following the elephant is the worst job in the circus, then maybe the Onion has got it exactly right.

Posted by: SF on November 5, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if following the elephant is the worst job in the circus, then maybe the Onion has got it exactly right. Posted by: SF


I thought the same thing about Kerry's aspirations in 2004 - why do you want to follow this clown? Now, with the financial meltdown, things are arguably twice as bad.

Posted by: Jeff II on November 5, 2008 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

I watched the vid of Bush's speech of congratulations. I hadn't seen him speak in quite a long while, and my first impression was that he has pretty clearly fallen off the wagon. I look forward with sadness to the man's health running steeply downhill after he leaves office. A real shame, that. There is so much more that he could contribute to the nation, if only his liver would hold out.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape on November 5, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Like Oprah's tee sez:

'Hope won'

Posted by: Hope Won on November 5, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Can't find the link to Colin Powell. Takes me to some columbia drug problem. What is it?

Posted by: Cherie on November 5, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Check The Onion headline after W's election: "Our long national nighmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

Who says The Onion isnt' serious journalism?

Posted by: SteveB on November 5, 2008 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

It will be nice to not have to mention Sarah Palin's name.
Seth Kantner, an author and fisherman of Alaska, wrote "...By now the world knows our Gov. Palin is an expert at swishing around in color-coordinated this and that, with her make-up, fake Minnesota accent and her mooseburger and mean-spirited commentary. We can only hope people realize she is a pretty unreal Alaskan, one who is simply skimming the gravy off our hard-earned Alaskan mystique to mix with her varnished nonsense."
"...Eight years with the cowboy and copilot Halliburton at the helm has been hard on our land. Too much polluting, an unnecessary war draining our economy, and both men too cool for global warming....our ice is melting. Your jobs are turning to dust..."

I so appreciate the election results.

Posted by: consider wisely always on November 5, 2008 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

"* President Bush was rather gracious today at the White House in congratulating Obama on his victory."

Steve, I disagree. Dubya looked about as uncomfortable as s whore in church, while faking all those smiles.

Posted by: Palinoscopy on November 5, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama won every John Kerry state by double digits. That is 252 electoral votes.

And NM, NV, and IA (well, 9 points). That's 269. If these all become solid blue states, the GOP is going to be in big trouble for a long time.

Posted by: Mark S. on November 5, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Gay rights hopes in California are not yet dead.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 5, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Re: the worst job (of cleaning up after the Repubs)...

Last night, the moment the polls closed (at 19:00 precisely. There was no line. In fact, from 18:45, when we hit 2120, we were betting on whether we'd get up to 2125 before closing. We didn't; we closed at 2123. And, from about 18:15, we actually fought among the 4 of us poll book workers, about whose turn it would be to check in the next "customer"), the Dems -- who'd been hanging around all day, dispensing Dem sample ballots -- picked up every last yard sign that they've planted on the lawn in front of the Life Saving Crew building (our polling place). The signs will be recycled; one of our local growers has put in a "bid" for them -- the plastic will be used as ground cover, to slow down the weeds and the metal frames will prop up plants (tomatoes, cukes, zucchini etc).

About 10 minutes after the polls closed, there was not a trace left of our footprint (except, maybe, small holes in the ground). All very orderly and sensible.

Not so the Repubs. With the exception of one candidate (ran for city council but not as a Repub, since those aces are non-partisan) who did pick up his own signs, all the others were left in place. The Repub HQ didn't have anyone shilling by then and they didn't bother to send anyone for trash pick up, either.

I thought it very symptomatic of Repub behaviour in general: make a mess, and leave it to someone -- anyone -- else, to clean up after you. And it wasn't just because they'd lost here; they do it every time, win or loose. No sense of responsibility at all.

Posted by: exlibra on November 5, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Here, the Dallas Morning News is doing a second run, like the WaPost.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 5, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

I was watching Fox just after Nader spoke (Fox was sort of fun after Obama won) and they were very amusing. The anchor (Shepard something?) said (all quotes approximate) 'That was weird' and one of the others did a bit on how this was the end of Nader's career and he had just embarrassed himself, and then Shepard said 'Well, he always complained we did not give him enough airtime. Well we just did...' with the implication that giving airtime to Nader was a total waste.

Posted by: David Margolies on November 5, 2008 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

I loved this from Glenn Greenwald:

"Five terms I hope never to hear again for the rest of my existence: (1) Joe the Plumber;
(2) Hockey Mom; (3) game-changer; (4) tightening; (5) Sarahcuda."

"Three dumbest pieces of already-solidified conventional wisdom among the Right and the media (if Obama wins): (1) The Liberal Media was unfair to McCain; (2) Obama better resist his "liberal impulses" and govern from the center unless he wants to spawn disaster; (3) The Pelosi/Reid Congress is going to pressure Obama to move to the Left..."

"UPDATE: Commenters have added numerous other phrases worthy of permanent banishment, including: Drill, baby, drill; First Dude; throw under a bus; in the tank; Real Americans; The Mac is Back (or any permutations involving "The Mac"); my friends; and, for my most glaring oversight: Maverick..."

bwa ha ha ha ha he he he

Posted by: consider wisely always on November 5, 2008 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Idiotic Republican Congressman Bill Sali of Idaho lost his re-election race to Democrat Walt Minnick. Woo-hoo! I was commenting to people at our county Democratic election night party last night how sad it was that Idaho, which produced Democratic greats Frank Church and Cecil Andrus, had sunk to the level of Bill Sali. Here's hoping for an unswing.

On the Oregon Senate race, I am on pins and needles, having phone banked for Merkley and being anxious to be rid of Smith. There are still a ton of votes to be counted as a lot of people turned in ballots yesterday (they had two weeks, but procrastinated) and their signatures must be validated before the ballots can be processed, which takes time of course. Most of the outstanding ballots are from Portland and Eugene, the most blue areas of the state, so cross your fingers!!!

Posted by: Hannah on November 5, 2008 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Hubby and I attended a Democratic victory party here in Kitsap County (WA) last night. The energy was amazing, and the minute after the polls closed on the West Coast, the race was called for Obama. It was sheer pandemonium, of the fun kind. One of the kids there wrote his name tag as "Joe the Student". Several of us liked the idea. I was "Michael the computer geek" and hubby was "Jeffrey the attorney". I've always registered as a non-affiliated voter, but after the last eight years, that's gone out the window. I volunteered to work with the local Dem organization going forward.

Posted by: Michael W on November 5, 2008 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Nader vs. Cavuto. Dick vs. dick.

I just love the false outrage.

Posted by: Steve on November 5, 2008 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

When you make Faux News look reasonable you are a major league douche.

Posted by: klyde on November 5, 2008 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Awesome reading at TheNation.com:

Foreclosed: The George W. Bush Story By Tom Engelhardt

November 3, 2008

Posted by: consider wisely always on November 5, 2008 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

over at npr: this morning Steve Inskeep talked to Mark Mellman and David Frum.


at one point, steve asked david about regrowing the party and i found frum's comments on how the gop could expand its base puzzling.... he said that there were two groups the party could do outreach with....young minorities and college educated whites. all well and good.... but then he chose one over the other..... why not both? and i think he picked the wrong group. he went with the educated over the young...the demographics suggest that that's backwards...surely minorities are growing faster than grads.....perhaps he's suggesting that the gop can toss the social conservatives overboard but not the racists....

that should work out well...

Posted by: dj spellchecka on November 5, 2008 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Gay rights hopes in California are not yet dead. --
SocraticGadfly @18:30

That CA didn't repulse Prop8 with a clear as a bell signal... That it's still hanging in the balance and that we're clinging to any shred of hope we can find... That, in itself, makes me sick in my tum. I was sick enough when a similar amendment passed here, in VA, in '06. But I expected better from CA.
I volunteered to work with the local Dem organization going forward. -- Michael W, @ 19:12

Yep. I woke up this morning, earlier than usual, "all fired up, with nowhere to go". It's been an incredible "ride" but a long one and we all (Obama included) need and deserve at least a 48hr break. But, the world doesn't end at election; that's when it begins...

One of my "Dem Hens" group, a lady of even more "uncertain years" than I am, who had been very active in '06 (Jim Webb for Senate), had the brilliant idea of keeping us simmering on the back burner during the "fallow" times. We met once a month for lunch and chatter, we exchanged political jokes, we basically killed time. But, when July rolled in, we were ready to fire up again and move to the front burner -- manning the HQ (once it opened, in early August), sending people out to "shill for the Dems" at various community "festivals", etc, etc, etc. When The Kid (Obama campaign representative) arrived, he found a skeleton on which he could build. This was something that had never happened before; our official Dem "heads" are rather inept and unimaginative (but nobody wants to take the responsibility and *be* a "head"), though open to suggestions.

I'm hoping that, this time, the energy jolt will last longer than the one which shot through us in '06 and that we'll have snagged some younger ones too (until recently, I was the youngest, at 59).

You might want to do something similar. Organise a loose circle of similarly-minded friends. Go for bike rides or whatever all of you might enjoy doing in a group. But keep in touch. You'll be needed again in short two years and you cannot count on the "heads" to have all the good ideas.

Posted by: exlibra on November 5, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Let me repeat Cj's comment above: help Martin beat Saxby in Georgia. As Georgia goes, so ultimately goes the rest of the South. Speed the process up. Send him money.

Posted by: jen f on November 5, 2008 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

This is something, but will Obama have the core desire to really address the problems he is going to confront? For me if Obama does not grip this beast by the horns and hold Bush and Company accountable the election was great but of no use.

However if the results appear to be there and there should be an avalanche of Judiciary investigations, direct Congressional indictments with severe convictions, no pardons. The reality of how we the People seek out the grievances that were not addressed for years by the Neo-Con Republican party are going to be done now. For me, even the most powerful Republican will be under duress because of just plain common sense that was violated in the Constitution.

This is a huge burden, especially for the black community; however, after looking into the counties operations for the past several years and being fourth coming to tell America, Obama needs to tell the truth to the electorate. This will likely show the world Americans understand that honor and integrity are being addressed in full public view. It is far too obvious the corruption is beyond anything we can conceive, and that is likely because of the mainstream media’s romance with Bush and Company for the past several years.

The media is in this corruption up to their high definition screens. Don’t let them fool you with comments that Obama is historic. What will be historic is when the leading media giants appear before Congress defending themselves from sedition and cover ups for the past year being embedded in the War. There is no excuse.

Posted by: Megalomania on November 5, 2008 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Well, here is an email I just got from one of those right-wing nutjobs:

Our nation has just elected the most pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Capitalist, and anti-Israel president in our history. In short, God has given us the kind of leader that we deserve — the kind we have been begging for. The new President now has the power to put his radical secular imprint upon this nation for decades to come through the appointment of activist liberals to the Supreme Court. I fear that our nation has been irrevocably changed for the worse.

Two factors in this election were particularly disappointing to me. First was the fact that only 59% of eligible voters bothered to vote. That was less than in the last presidential election. How could people be so apathetic in an election so important? The second voting statistic that hit me hard was the revelation that even among self-identified Evangelicals, the majority voted according to economic conside rations rather than moral ones.

The financial woes of our nation are not going to be solved by any economic strategy, for they are rooted in our spiritual rebellion against God. We cannot kill babies in their mother's wombs, promote same-sex marriage, produce filthy movies and TV programs, worship the dollar, and pressure Israel to give up its heartland, and expect God to bless our economy. Our economy will be healed only when we as a nation get right with God.

Our Recent Financial Collapse

In 2003 I wrote a book about the United States in Bible prophecy. It was entitled, America the Beautiful? In that book I presented several scenarios to explain why the United States was not mentioned in end time Bible prophecy. I stated at the time that the one I thought would be most likely would be a catastrophic financial collapse. That conclusion was based on the fact that the god of our nation has become money, and the true God of this world is a jealous God. I felt like our Creator would sooner or later touch our false god and destroy it if we did not repent.

On September 29th when the stock market dropped 777 points on the eve of Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), I could see the hand of God all over the event.

The number of points the stock market fell is significant. Seven is the number of perfection and completion. It was on the seventh day that God rested from His creation activities. Six is the number of Man, for it was on the sixth day that Man was created. 666 is the Satanic symbol of Man exalted. 777 is the spiritual symbol of the Trinity.

The timing of the stock market crash was also significant since it fell on the eve of an important Jewish holiday. George W. Bush was the first Pre sident to call for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the heartland of Israel. Joel 3:2 says that God will severely judge any nation in the end times that attempts to divide the land of Israel.

How God Deals With Nations

As I pointed out in my book about the U.S. in prophecy, the Bible reveals that God has a pattern for dealing with nations. He is the one who creates them, and He is the one who decides when they are to cease to exist. He blesses as they are obedient to His Word, and He disciplines when they stray from His Word. His discipline will first of all take the form of raising up prophetic voices to call the nation to repentance. If this fails, He will resort to remedial judgments. Those judgments can take many forms, such as natural disasters, economic calamities, and defeat in wars. And sometimes a remedial judgment can take the form of giving to a nation the kind of evil leadership it deserves. If the nation still refuses to repent , God will deliver it from judgment to destruction.

God began to call this nation to repentance following the cultural revolution of the 1960's. He raised up prophetic voices like David Wilkerson, and when we paid no attention, He began to place remedial judgments upon our nation. The attacks of 9/11 were a major wake-up call. It is no accident that those attacks were against the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. — the symbols of American wealth and power. But like a sleepy person who is too groggy to wake-up, we simply turned off the alarm clock, rolled over and went back to sleep. Hurricane Katrina was another national wake-up call, in response to our forcing Israel to withdraw from Gaza.

And now, God has touched our god, and our economy is in shambles. The prospect for it improving is very slim. The newly elected President has promised higher taxes and protective tariffs. The last time a President resorted to such measures in response to a financial crisis, the result was the Great Depression.

The Christian Response

What are we as Christians to do in the face of such set-backs for our nation? We are to pray and stand for righteousness. We must pray for national revival, and at the same time, we must be willing to take a stand for righteousness by speaking out boldly about the moral rot that has infected the soul of our country. We need to pray that God will frustrate, confuse, and defeat all the efforts to further secularize our nation and promote immorality.

We also need to pray for the salvation of our new President and all his family members. Despite his protestations to the contrary, Barack Obama is not a Christian, nor has he ever been. I can say that with con fidence because he is a member of the most liberal Christian denomination, the United Church of Christ. This is a church that denies the divinity of Jesus and denies His statement in John 14:6 that He is the only way to God. No one can be saved apart from Jesus, and no one can be saved by putting their faith in a false Jesus.

Another prayer priority should be Israel. Let us pray that God will raise up a new leader in Israel who will have the strength to stand against American pressure to surrender the heartland of the country to the enemies of God.

Repentance or Destruction?

Some of the saddest verses in the Bible are the ones concerning the fate of the nation of Judah. They are recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:15-17:

15 ) And the LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place;

16) but they continually mocked the messengers of Go d, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy.

17) Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or infirm; He gave them all into his hand.

This will be our fate as a nation if we continue with our rebellion against God and His Word. Keep in mind that, just like Judah, our fate will be a severe one if we refuse to repent, because to those to whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48). Also, we are told that God repays double for the sins of those who are richly blessed (Isaiah 40:2).

Facing the Future

Should we face the future with despair? No! We are living in the most significant era since the First Coming of the Messiah. We are living in the season of the Lord's return. We are privileged to be witn essing the fulfillment of end time prophecies all around us, prophecies that point to the soon return of our Lord.

There are dark days ahead for our nation and the world. Christians in particular are facing increasing persecution. We need to steel our minds and fasten our hope on things eternal, just as the prophet Daniel did when he was forced to live in a wicked society. We need to strengthen our spiritual armor through prayer and immersion in the Scriptures.

And we need to remember that Psalm 2 says that God sits in the heavens and laughs at all the machinations of the world's political leaders. He isn't laughing because He doesn't care. He is laughing because He has the wisdom and power to orchestrate all the evil of Man and Satan to the triumph of His perfect will in history. And that will is that Jesus Christ will reign in glory and majesty from Mount Zion in Israel, and the whole world will be flooded with peace and righteousness, as the waters cover the seas.
Maranatha! (1 Corinthians 16:22)

[Note: Dr. Reagan's book, America the Beautiful?, is currently out of stock. A new 3rd edition of the book is being prepared and should be ready for distribution early in 2009.]

Posted by: YES WE CAN!!! on November 5, 2008 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, yes. Now that Obama has won, let's forget all about the criminal Bush administration. Those last 8 years weren't important; time to move forward. Let's not worry about the laws that were broken in the past. Bush is giving "gracious" speeches now. So gracious. As long as we're all sharing gracious George stories, I especially liked how President Bush graciously had electrodes hooked up to innocent, stripped, helpless Iraqis, and how he graciously secretly rendered innocents to black sites where their lives were effectively destroyed. Also pretty cool how gracious Bush was when he politicized the Justice Department and spied on Americans without warrants, and how he lobbied for torture and had habeas corpus suspended for a certain class of people. Also, I love how he secretly took funds that Congress had appropriated for Afghanistan and illegally, but graciously, used the funds for his fun Iraqi adventure, the one where he graciously killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

I could go on, but we're all familiar with how gracious George is, aren't we. Obama makes it all ok now.

Posted by: garnash on November 5, 2008 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

The Senate race in Minnsota keeps waking echoes of the 2004 gubernatorial race here in Washington for me.

Dino Rossi here asked Gregoire to concede before both the automatic machine recount and before the hand recount allowed by law if requested by either candidate and which would have been mandated if the initial count had been as close as the first recount. Then when the final hand recount went against him, he filed a lawsuit that dragged out for nearly a year. He lost in court at every stage, but his supporter still complain four years later about 'stolen elections'.

That is why I am really happy Gregoire won by over 130,000 votes this time.

And why you can't rule out a Franken win in Minnesota, although it is a bit of a longshot. Frankly, the error rate on machine vote tabulation is a lot higher than 0.2%, but in general these errors will tend to cancel each other out overall.

Posted by: tanstaafl on November 5, 2008 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Heh. CNN got punked:

And some people were pulling for neither Obama nor McCain. On Michigan Avenue, Raoul Duke, 21, waved a red-and-black flag as he wore a homemade shirt that said "No One in '08." "I don't think any candidate is going to make the changes in my life, " he said.

At least the kids still read "Doonesbury."

Posted by: Mnemosyne on November 5, 2008 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK
666 is the Satanic symbol of Man exalted.

Except that, inconveniently, it was reported recently that new manuscripts had come to light that indicate that 616 is the Number of the Beast, not 666.

But really, why dignify that illogical rant with an argument?

Posted by: Lotharsson on November 5, 2008 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

I watched the Nader-on-Fox clip and I thought he had a good point, although it was expressed via a ... er, rather indelicately selected literary reference. But then whilst I lived in CA for 6 years I'm not American and the term "Uncle Tom" may have a stronger resonance than I am aware of.

Posted by: Lotharsson on November 5, 2008 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

This election prompted spontaneous celebrations all over the world.

Posted by: Alex Kirby on November 5, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

The News and Observer calls NC for Obama.

Posted by: Chris Brown on November 5, 2008 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK


There are a lot of places where if a black person called another an uncle tom, they could expect to be punched. For a white person to say it just seems bizzare. For a politician to say it is completely stupid.

Fox News is so absurd to watch, though. I fully expect ads for Brawn-o to come on.

Posted by: winner on November 5, 2008 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting that whoever sent that email rant to YES WE CAN!! denies Obama's Christianity not by claiming he is a secret Muslim but by attacking the United Church of Christ.

As far as I can tell, they are either seriously mistaken about the specific complaints they give about the UCC or are so intolerant that they would deny the Christianity of most of the denominations in the U.S.

Posted by: tanstaafl on November 5, 2008 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK


The morning after...

Posted by: koreyel on November 5, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

there is a fox news video clip up over at "dependable renegade" in which carl cameron informs the public, the day AFTER the election, that sarah palin not only could not name the countries under NAFTA but did not know that africa is a continent, she thought it was a country.

anyone still think the media was unfair to the mccain campaign?

withholding that kind of information from the public until today is gross malfeasance.


Posted by: karen marie on November 5, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ralph Nader would make an excellent head of the EPA. So would Bobbie Kennedy Jr..

The reality we must face is that many leaders of our government, both dem and repub, belong to the money party allowing corporate lobbyists to write legislation for campaign donations or promises of lucrative jobs for family and friends in the future.

So many people bury their head in the sand when it comes to facing how massive corporations have been buying votes from our representatives for years with the media driving the cost of running for office so high that it is virtually impossible for a moderately poor person to ever be elected to office. The end result is legislation that protects the wealthy or advances their agenda. Just look at telecom immunity and the massive amounts of campaign donations given to Jay Rockefeller and others to get it passed as but one example. Even Obama who vowed to stand against it ended up voting for it.

Everything Ralph Nader said was absolutely true and that pig tried to take an innocent question and make something hateful from it. The only pathetic person in that was the reporter.

Obama could make his agenda for healthcare a NOT FOR PROFIT single payer health care ins. If he doesn't then eventually the lobbyists will get legislation passed to allow these private companies to profiteer at our expense, driving costs up with CEO bonus packages etc. Obama can change our trade packages, allow for tarriffs and control the profiteering of our major corporations for the necessities of life.

Capitalism must be regulated to work. Huge profits must be taxed to rebuild our infrastructure which allows corporations to profiteer in our country in the first place. America cannot continue to use basically "slave labor" just because it's foreign and far away just to profiteer.

Nader has always stood for the people and the reason he runs is not to get elected but to make sure he has a national microphone for his ideas.

The right always sets about demeaning and belittling any anti corporate voices like Edwars, Kucinich and Nader to mention a few.

Ralph Nader is not a disgrace by any means and it has been proven that he in no way caused Gore or Kerry to lose or even affected their campaigns.

The disgrace is that asshole ignoring what Nader was saying and trying to make his comment seem racist...It wasn't...it was a good question. Will Obama be controlled by the wealthy corporations or will he stand for the plight of poor. (AT&T paid for dem convention=head in sand;
dems held private no media parties with lobbyists and corporate heads to give them access to candidates and office holders and party leaders=head in sand. Obama stood with telecom immunity when it wouldn't have affected his campaign negatively to stand against it unless AT&T was threatening to withdraw paying for the convention which may have been his secret reason=head in sand and ' feets, why don'tcha moves'. FDR had to be pushed not to stand with the "economic royalists". Obama hopefully will be uncontrolled by the corporate money and power and find ways to aid the poor which these people have been ripping off for 30yrs. Hopefully he won't govern like Clinton did...as a conservative corporatist. Steve...you know that was bullshit with Nader and that so called disgraced remark

Posted by: bjobotts on November 5, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone here still remember Swan? I'm in such high spirits tonight, I think I may go into the Swanning mode...

Washington State Senate race is still in play, apparently:

Posted by: exlibra on November 5, 2008 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK
Will Obama be controlled by the wealthy corporations or will he stand for the plight of poor.

Yep, that's exactly what I was referring to when I said Nader had a good point to make. It was a big mistake to use a literary reference that may be seen as inflammatory to get his point across though - it allows attention to be drawn away from that question.

Posted by: Lotharsson on November 5, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

BTW...Steve Benen....name one thing you disagree with Ralph Nader on. Why did you even link to that degrading "disgrace" statement when it was obvious it was just being used to smear and belittle Nader?? Why did you think that important to list? Hmmmm...don't forget to wear your "seat belts"-ha.

Posted by: joey on November 5, 2008 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

The disgrace is that asshole ignoring what Nader was saying and trying to make his comment seem racist...It wasn't...it was a good question. Will Obama be controlled by the wealthy corporations or will he stand for the plight of poor.

If that's the question Nader wanted to ask--and it is a legitimate question--he could have done so in other than unquestionably racist terms. No one calls white people who bow to corporate pressure "Uncle Toms." It doesn't happen; it's a term that refers explicitly to African Americans who kowtow to white oppressors.

To attempt to excuse Nader for this one is either breathtakingly dishonest or shows a complete lack of understanding of the highly loaded history of that phrase.

Posted by: shortstop on November 5, 2008 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

BTW...Steve Benen....name one thing you disagree with Ralph Nader on.

His ability to work with other people who don't believe the same as he does.

One might agree with every single stand another person takes while still realizing that other person would never be able to make them real.

Posted by: gwangung on November 5, 2008 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

How dare Ralph Nader question Obama's prospects! Doesn't he realize that now is not the time for critical thought, but grand pronouncements about historical realignments and political multicultural unity and how this nation has changed for all time?

Thank God for dime-a-dozen bloggers like Steve Benen for buying into and perpetuating Fox News storylines!

By the way, Steve, did you even bother to listen to Nader?

I wonder if you unquestioningly reported that Obama was disgraceful when Fox reported that he called Americans bitter and said that they cling to religion?

Posted by: garnash on November 5, 2008 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

The disgrace is that asshole ignoring what Nader was saying and trying to make his comment seem racist...

As a person of color, it seemed pretty racist to me.

Posted by: gwangung on November 5, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Uncle Tom" is an expression of contempt that is specific to people of dark complexion. From the context, you can tell that Nader used that particular expression because he feels very, very strongly that this administration presents a window of opportunity that must not be wasted. The man is obviously tone deaf (which, of course, was itself the primary factor that catapulted this comment into the dismal national media of moving images in the first place ...), but as several commenters have written above, the challenge he makes is on point and needs to be part of the national discourse.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape on November 5, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Rove on Rahm as a possible Chief of Staff, cited over at Daily Kos (turn down your irony meters): "Well, the Chief of Staff, there is no corporate role, but in the Chief of Staff in the White House is an honest broker. When the leader of the opposition Party in the House or Senate calls up the Chief of Staff of the President of the United States, he expects and has a right to expect that whatever he says to him will be properly conveyed to the President in an honest and forthright way. And it's really troubling that, I mean, Rahm is smart, but he doesn't have the trust and confidence of a lot of his Republican colleagues."

Beyond that, I'm getting endless amusement from the way that the Republicans launched their permanent majority by attempting to redefine reality and reality promptly turned round and bit them in the rear. I can't think of a group of people who deserve that more. We didn't get to take down all of the possible bad actors, but the removal of Dole and Sali qualifies as a good start, and we may still get Chambliss.

Posted by: N.Wells on November 5, 2008 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, Raul Emanuel. The hack that left the Clinton Administration and then collected $16 million for three months worth of 'work' for Citicorp before running for congress.

Can anyone tell me the difference between the gifts that Sen. Stevens of AK took and the $300K gift that Obama took from Tony Rezko?

Posted by: m on November 5, 2008 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK
No one calls white people who bow to corporate pressure "Uncle Toms."

I'm wondering what appropriate term Nader might have used instead. "Quisling" came to mind at first, but that might be

(a) too European a reference for many Americans
(b) sailing too close to Godwin's Law too avoid "distraction via controversy"

I doubt he wanted to use the terms "Money Party" and "People Party" because they don't come from his particular political brand, but perhaps they capture the distinction rather well.

Posted by: Lotharsson on November 5, 2008 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Nader's stupid for saying that even if his other points had merit. He continues to hurt himself in the pubic eye and it's a disservice to his message which is a good one.

Republicans are now going to lecture Obama about bipartisanship? good fucking god.

Posted by: grinning cat on November 5, 2008 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

No, what is a disgrace is that Ralph Nadar has gotten so little media over the years that nobody really knows what he stands for, while an unfortunate comment such as the one he made about Obama gets tons of ink. Please, let's all of us gather up our delicate sensibilities and get back to doing our jobs again. For the media, that would be reporting Nadar's actual positions and sparing us the drama. Talk about running downhill after battle and shooting the wounded...

Posted by: Christopher Boehme on November 6, 2008 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

They're calling the Oregon senate race for Merkley. He's up by about 6000 votes and there's not a lot left to count. If his lead holds, Oregon gives the nation another Democratic senator!

Buh-bye, Gordo.

Posted by: Stacy6 on November 6, 2008 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK
Can anyone tell me the difference between the gifts that Sen. Stevens of AK took and the $300K gift that Obama took from Tony Rezko?

Posted by: m on November 5, 2008 at 10:45 PM

There is a very simple difference. The first happened and the second didn't. Posted by: tanstaafl on November 6, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

The article you gave the url for does not support your claim in any way.

The part of it that addresses the purchase price is this:

Q: Why is it that you were able to buy your parcel for $300,000 less than the asking price, and Rita Rezko paid full price? Who negotiated this end of the deal? Did whoever negotiated it have any contact with Rita and Tony Rezko or their Realtor or lawyer?
A: Our agent negotiated only with the seller's agent. As we understood it, the house had been listed for some time, for months, and our offer was one of two and, as we understood it, it was the best offer. The original listed price was too high for the market at the time, and we understood that the sellers, who were anxious to move, were prepared to sell the house for what they paid for it, which is what they did.
We were not involved in the Rezko negotiation of the price for the adjacent lot. It was our understanding that the owners had received, from another buyer, an offer for $625,000 and that therefore the Rezkos could not have offered or purchased that lot for less.

The Obamas, the Rezkos, the seller and all of their agents agree with this depiction. Nobody criticizing this deal has provided anything other than unfounded insinuations to suggest otherwise.

Posted by: tanstaafl on November 6, 2008 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

That's odd, a response from M seems to have disappeared from between my 12:36 and 1:23 posts.

He tried, unsuccessfully as I note above, to support his claims with this article from the Chicago Sun-Times.

Posted by: tanstaafl on November 6, 2008 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

It was a big mistake to use a literary reference that may be seen as inflammatory to get his point across though - it allows attention to be drawn away from that question.

But that's exactly why Nader did it. He wanted attention and didn't care if that attention distracted from his message. The Uncle Tom thing was uncalled for and pointless. But it got him on Fox News and he learned awhile ago that bad publicity is worse than no publicity. He knew what he was getting into when he agreed to be on Fox News. Ralph Nader is no victim in this.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on November 6, 2008 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

Ding! Ding! Doctor Biobrain hits the bullseye.

Posted by: tanstaafl on November 6, 2008 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

There's a collection of photos of celebrations from around the world on the Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3 blog.. Also, on my Word Face-Off blog, I did a comparison of Obama's victory speech and McCain's concession. I looked into the length of words, sentences, etc. I also included all-inclusive word clouds. One more thing: I don't know if Nader has gone senile or something but he really needs to retire from public life before his good deeds in the past are completely canceled out.

Posted by: fdeblauwe on November 6, 2008 at 7:16 AM | PERMALINK

Doctor Biobrain is exactly correct - Nader is a media whore who has hurt every single cause he's "helped" for the last decade or more. Nothing on his agenda has advanced in the last 10 years because he's too busy flitting from spotlight to spotlight to settle down and do good work.

He did great work 30+ years ago and he's been riding on that name ever since. Now he's an empty suit full of bluster who preens for the cameras and says outrageous things to get attention. But actual advancement in any of the causes that he claims to be advancing doesn't come from him. Ask the Green Party about how great Nader's antics have been for election reform and third parties in the US. He pulls stunts like running for president but doesn't want to commit to the hard work of actually building a reform movement.

He's a tool. And his only usefulness is to Republican operatives and conservative Dems who like to use him and his antics to discredit liberals and break up any kind of internal liberal reform movement within the Democratic party. I used to be a big fan of Ralph Nader, but that was back when he was a tireless advocate for consumer protection who actually got things done. Now he's a media whore, same as the other media whores, and he should either get back to doing good work or shut up and go away.

Posted by: NonyNony on November 6, 2008 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

... that bad publicity is worse than no publicity

Surely the reverse, and yep, that sounds about right to me.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape on November 6, 2008 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

Who cares what Nader says he is for? He's done absolutely nothing in the past twenty-five years to actually furthering those positions and a lot to back stab people who are actually working for change.

Nader and Naderites are navel gazers who spent all their time extolling their own ideological purity and no time actually doing anything good.

Posted by: anon on November 6, 2008 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

If a conservative had said what Nader did....

Benen is simply being "fair and balanced".

Nader is out of his mind akin to Ross Perot.

Folks equating Edwards with Kucinich and Nader are drinking some serious marketing Kool-Aid. He's not in their league.

For Profit health care?
The jury's out on that one. He can offer Medicare to the people with "existing conditions" and make participation by everyone else voluntary. After wrestling with the jerkweed private insurers the first time they get seriously sick... For Profit will phase ITSELF out.

Asking Obama to endorse national health care after the number private iunsurers did on Hilary in 1993 when her plan wasn't even public health care? He's no dummy.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on November 6, 2008 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

Talking about "losing your bearings," no one has done it quite as painfully as Ralph Nader.

I refuse to accept that there is anything shameful about his presidential campaign in 2000. It was his last sensible campaign and I valued his presence in that campaign. Blaming him for the election of George W. Bush is an ridiculously simplistic and denies Nader any rights or dignity as a legitimate political candidate contending for high office.

As for today - it's not his first racist swipe at Obama and I'm stunned by how low he has sunk.

Posted by: Algernon on November 6, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

I was thinking the same thing--can't remember seeing celebrations in the streets like that after an election. At least not since I started voting in '88.
And those figures on the Supreme Court issue are important--tells me that most voters don't want another Roberts/Alito/Scalia, which of course won't happen under Obama anyway. And of course I expect Republicans to go along with all of Obama's nominees, just as they expected of Democrats with Bush and his non-existent "mandate".

Posted by: Allan Snyder on November 6, 2008 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

It's interesting that this election cycle has seen the end of the political careers of two presidential candidates/nominees in Ralph Nader and John Edwards.

Posted by: Quinn on November 6, 2008 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK
However, MN state law mandates a recount in this situation, no matter what Franken or Coleman says, and Norm should know that.

Minnesota law provides that a candidate who is behind in the initial count may waive the mandatory recount. So, Coleman is correct that Franken could end the matter himself.

Coleman is also an ass for suggesting that there is too much at stake for a recount, the opposite obviously being the truth.

As for the possible outcome, Gregoire won the Washington governorship in 2004 on a recount with a approximately 391 vote swing after a machine recount and a manual recount of several thousand (if I recall correctly) physical ballots that had been either being improperly rejected or incorrectly read, so while it is a long-shot with a current 440 vote deficit (CNN), it also is possible.

Posted by: Yobama on November 6, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

According to the Kansas City Star, and for what its worth, "Minnesota and Washington both use optical-scan ballots that voters mark by hand."

Posted by: Yobama on November 6, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK



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