The left generally, and the Socialist Workers Party in particular, accused Barack of demonizing black males. He did nothing of the sort. He is addressing the issue of uplift in the black community. While racism is a major problem facing blacks in capitalist America, a system that puts profits before people stands in the way of change toward a more just America for all Americans. That change must be both internal and external to the black community. Social and economic justice are central to toward such change. Ralph "out-of-touch" Nader even had the audacity of accusing Barack of running away from racism. When in all of his celebrated but now ego-maniacal drive has racism been central to Nader's anti-corporate crusades? He has refused to "respect" the politics of America's reality. Some, not a few, blame Nader for Bush's ascension to the White House in 2000. He has reduces himself to being an also-ran at its truest meaning of the term.
It was a bit stunning for the agnostics of the left to find Barack appealing to "people of faith." On the other hand, it is important to understand that the Jerry Falwels and Pat Robertsons of the world have given "people of faith" a bad name. Many of the real "evangelicals" of this world have been people like Father Groppi, fighting racism with NAACP Youth Group in Milwaukee, Bruce Kunder, a young white minister who lost his life to a bulldozer in Cleveland fighting against segregated housing, the Berrigan Brothers, whose burglary of the F.B.I. office in Media, Pa unveiled Cointelpro, or the Mary Knoll Nuns, whose lives were taken from then because they dared to pursue justice for peasants in El Salvador and others too numerous to name fighting for a justice that all of the left are in concert with. Against what we face in search of justice, all that can help should provide the much needed service -- believers and non-believers.
On the death penalty: Having the state play the role of taking someone's life seems to be an anathema to a democratic society and human decency. The killing of Saddam Husein at the behest of our government was grotesque. On the other hand, the reality is that the recent rape and murder of the 12 year-old by her uncle, a repeat offender, should at least give pause to knee-jerk opposition to the death penalty. The victim of the case before the Supreme Court was a case of a black victim of a black relative the perpetrator. The State of Louisiana had ruled his death. What is the appropriate sentence for child rapists?
The problem with Barack is that he is different but his instincts are good. He has lived the life of America's working class. This will be a first. He will authentically be a president not only by the people, or a president for the people, he will be a president of the people, including black people. From community organizer to president. All of a sudden, propaganda becomes reality!!!
The piece below begins to get at this complexity.
In his speech to the 2004 convention, Obama said,
Just how liberal was he?
In all, Obama's record from nearly eight years in the Illinois Senate suggests someone who believes strongly that government can make life better for people, whether by offering financial help, banning dangerous guns or providing health care.
But Obama, now the Democratic candidate for president, was no ideologue. He often cooperated with Republican lawmakers, co-sponsoring their legislation and working with them on compromises. "People on both sides of the aisle would find him to be someone who would reach across to find out why people think the way they do," said William Mahar, a former Republican state senator. "He wouldn't talk just to people who agreed with him."
On , from the beginning, Obama has said that we need to be "as careful getting out as we were careless getting in." He told in a "This Week" interview in May, 2007 that he could support a war-funding bill that includes benchmarks but lacks a timetable for withdrawal.
Obama has emphasized his support for withdrawing American troops from Iraq, but also says his policy would need to accommodate to the ongoing situation in Iraq.
"I think we have some moral and humanitarian responsibilities to the Iraqi people," says Obama. "And that has to be factored in. I can't anticipate what Iraq will look like a year from now, because so much depends on how we carry out this phased redeployment and how effective we are when it comes to diplomacy."
In his health care program, Obama also hews to a workable middle ground. Rather than mandating universal health coverage and trying probably futilely to mandate coverage for all, he will set up a new, subsidized, government-operated insurance plan for people who aren't covered by their employers or Medicare. He acknowledges the difficulty and expense in potentially criminalizing young healthy people who refuse to sign up for health insurance.
His economic policy is also a compromise between the classical economic theories of Keynes and Friedman. On the whole, he seems to accept a theory that allows the free market system to operate freely as long as it continues to correct itself, but the government will intervene when it fails to do so. All credit card and mortgage issuers, and other financial services firms, will be forced to disclose all their charges clearly, fully, and in plain language. Firms that don't issue 401 K plans for their employees would be required to open a direct deposit retirement account for their workers, with an opt-out clause. For the first $1000 in savings that an employee contributed, the government would provide a $500 tax credit.
he has had a long history of working across the aisle (compromise) ... here's a rundown of his bipartisan legislation (oct 06)
Obama takes bipartisan approach (Jan 08)
Obama calls for bipartisan approachto health care (Nov 07)
Here's a good article on his history in chicago politics... and his "collaborative" approach
and you have to read this one...from Fox news no less:
Obama's state senate years show bipartisan record
excerpt (Jul 2007)
Here's an interesting one from Feb 06