The women still in the race

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

For all the talk about the historic nature of the Clinton (woman!) and Obama (Black!) campaigns that’s gone on in the mainstream media for the past year, you might not have any idea that a third, equally unprecedented ticket was being run: Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente, the presidential and vice-presidential nominees of the Green Party. This is the first all women of color presidential ticket in the history of the United States. Now, I understand that a nomination’s historical importance and newsworthiness tends to be defined by the likelihood of its success – or, as is often the case, by the degree to which people decide to blame the Democratic party’s failures on the Greens. Yet one would hope that in between all of the celebrity gossip and other tripe that makes it onto the news regularly, the mainstream media would find a little more time to devote to a presidential ticket that is unique not only for its makeup but also for the platform it’s running on, a platform that offers a radically different choice from the rightly-named corporate parties that dominate the politics of this nation.

But predictably, the mainstream media has almost completely ignored the McKinney/Clemente ticket. When they won the Green nomination, there were a few articles here, a few news reports here, most of them focusing more on the candidates’ chances of being “spoilers” in the upcoming election rather than focusing on, you know, their positions or platform or qualifications, all of which the MSM apparently deems irrelevant. Most of what I’ve heard about McKinney and Clemente has come from the blogosphere, and even here, coverage is slim. The majority of the mentions I’ve seen have been about McKinney being a possible alternative vote for Clinton supporters who don’t want to vote for Obama, and even there, McKinney is discussed less often than John McCain as the alternate vote. Even right here on Feministe (if my memory and our search tool are working properly), McKinney’s candidacy hasn’t been mentioned in an actual post, only in the comments.

Now I get that this lack of coverage is to be expected, especially if you’re measuring a candidate’s importance or significance by their likelihood to win come November. McKinney and Clemente won’t be in the White House come January, and I’m sure they both understand that. However, the actual presidency is not the only thing at stake here, especially for the Greens and more generally for the future of third parties in this country. In an interview with Newsweek (subtitled “Will a third-party candidate be a ‘spoiler’?”), McKinney discusses another important and far more feasible goal (emphasis mine):

There are currently about 200 members of the Green Party who are elected officials. These are mostly local elections. The Green Party does not yet have representation on the federal level, but it’s quite a successful “minor” party. With 5 percent of the electorate, it can move from minor party status to major party status [and qualify the Green Party for federal funds]. So our goal is to get onto as many ballots as we can, since then achieving a 5 percent goal becomes possible. When I got to Washington D.C., I realized that public policy was made around the table. The 5 percent puts another seat at the table.

As Obama continues to hedge, flip-flop, and trend right on a variety of issues, and as McCain continues to be his usually sucky self, it becomes clearer and clearer that another seat at the table, a true alternative to corporate politics as usual, is desperately needed. And while even 5 percent of the vote is an uphill battle for McKinney, Clemente, and the rest of the Greens, it isn’t impossible. Such a victory would be huge, a major step in breaking this country away from the two-party system that time and time again shows itself to be severely lacking for people who believe in true peace and true justice.

But who’s gonna vote for them? As I listened to a great Democracy Now! interview with McKinney and Clemente a few weeks ago, I asked myself whether I might wind up pulling their lever come November. Every time Obama says or does something disappointing, depressing, or downright angering, I think about the fact that there is an alternative ticket out there that would allow me to vote for women of color whose platform I almost entirely agree with and who are completely outside of the corporate, military, and neoliberal interests that hold so much sway over both mainstream parties.

And yet, I hesitate, even though I live in a state where the Democrats are unlikely to have much trouble, [(the Dems have done a really good job in scaring us all about the third-party “spoiler affect”); even though I’m reminded every day that despite all of the things I like about Obama, there’s still a lot I don’t like; even though I know that people with politics like mine can’t count on much more from the Democrats than we can from the Republicans and that true alternatives are absolutely essential; and even though it would be pretty amazing to pull the lever for a ticket comprised of a Black woman and a Boricua woman; still, I hesitate, without any reason for my hesitation that doesn’t sound kinda bogus when I say it aloud.

Maybe it feels somewhat traitorous to not pull the lever for the first person of color who actually has an excellent chance of winning; maybe it’s just nicer-feeling to pull the lever for anyone who has a shot of winning as opposed to settling for smaller victories like the 5 percent; maybe I’ve even caught myself indulging in internalized sexist and racist bullshit by thinking about how “unpresidential” these two seem and sound (a really fucked up and disturbing moment for me); maybe I’ve drank too much of the Dem Kool-Aid about how third parties won’t ever be relevant unless they’re messing things up and getting Republicans voted in and how the Democrats are my only hope for anything approaching a left-leaning political party that can actually win. Yeah: bogus, bogus, bogus.

So how will I wind up voting come November? I still don’t know, and I’m not sure that I’ll know until I step through that curtain and actually pull one of those levers. But one thing I do know: I’m not going to allow the corporate parties, the mainstream and alternative media, or even the blogosphere to let me forget that there are two amazing women of color with right-on politics running alongside the men who are getting all the attention as per usual.

ETA: Thanks to Anna for cluing me into Professor Black Woman’s excellent post on the McKinney/Clemente platform. The good Professor also articulates some concerns that I share:

In the coming months, we need to push all of the candidates to outline how exactly they plan to address the issues they support and ask about the issues that matter to us that they have not spoken on or have not supported. While I am excited about McKinney and Clemente’s knowledge about key social issues in communities of color and with regards to poverty and education, I remain deeply concerned about both their idealism without backing policy and their lack of a stand on gay rights accept to say “yep those too.”

Cross-posted at AngryBrownButch

78 comments for “The women still in the race

  1. Maggie
    August 4, 2008 at 11:14 am

    The way the U.S. election system is set up, it’s not drinking the “Democratic Kool-aid” to say third parties aren’t relevant in the way democrats and republicans are. It’s called Duverger’s law: single-member district systems generally lead to two-party systems. When coupled with the electoral college, you get a system that freezes out third parties from higher office. Part of it is psychological, yes – but the election system needs a huge overhaul before third parties will be relevant. The spoiler effect is very real because our elections are based on winning pluralities.

    (Yes, I am a political science major.)

  2. August 4, 2008 at 11:34 am

    @Maggie: I agree that the system needs a major overhaul before third parties can get some real traction in terms of getting elected and being as relevant as the Democrats and Republicans. However, there’s a difference between “not as relevant” and “not relevant at all,” which I think is how the Democrats like to paint third parties.

    I think the “Kool Aid” factor comes in with the “spoiler effect,” because it’s as if the Dems are trying to scare people away from voting for Greens and other third party candidates by saying that if you do that, you’ll basically be voting Republicans in. I don’t deny that sometimes races are that close that a few percentage points can shift things one way or another; however, I think it’s akin to holding votes hostage for Dems to say that they can be as ineffective, corporately driven, and “centrist” (read: right) as they wanna be and leftists still MUST vote for them or otherwise the “real bad guys” will win. Yes, for third parties to really have a chance the system needs to be changed, so working on that change is important, too. But in the meantime, I don’t think that people who are farther left than the Democrats should feel like they have to settle for less in order to not “spoil things,” i.e. indulge the Democrats in their often crummy behavior.

  3. August 4, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I think the “Kool Aid” factor comes in with the “spoiler effect,” because it’s as if the Dems are trying to scare people away from voting for Greens and other third party candidates by saying that if you do that, you’ll basically be voting Republicans in. I don’t deny that sometimes races are that close that a few percentage points can shift things one way or another; however, I think it’s akin to holding votes hostage for Dems to say that they can be as ineffective, corporately driven, and “centrist” (read: right) as they wanna be and leftists still MUST vote for them or otherwise the “real bad guys” will win. Yes, for third parties to really have a chance the system needs to be changed, so working on that change is important, too. But in the meantime, I don’t think that people who are farther left than the Democrats should feel like they have to settle for less in order to not “spoil things,” i.e. indulge the Democrats in their often crummy behavior.

    I agree with this. I’ve heard ad nauseum that it’s even downright nonfeminist or even worse, anti-feminist not to suck up and vote Democrat.

    McKinney’s been my candidate of choice the whole time so it’s kind of interesting when she does get any attention that she’s actually out there. Not that even the feminists seem to talk about her all that much except to say, they’ll vote for her as a protest vote against Obama or talking about her role as a “spoiler”. But a lot of her stances are feminist.

  4. August 4, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    I was registered Green for a while. I voted for Ralph Nader twice (1996 and 2000), and though I live in solidly-blue Democratic California, I have always regretted that second vote. I believed very wrongly that Gush and Bore were two sides of the same corporate militarist coin. I swore, after the Florida debacle, never to vote third party in a general election again. I’ll keep that promise this November, and I know a lot of other folks who, when push comes to shove, will remember Nader in 2000 and vote for Obama.

  5. August 4, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I’m perfectly happy with vote-swaps (I’ll vote Green in a safe state for your voting Democrat in a swing state). I personally don’t think the Greens will get anywhere near 5%, nor do I think that the Libertarians will. However, if Obama beats McCain in Virginia by 1% and 3% of the electorate voted for Barr, you don’t think that Barr would have the undying enmity of the GOP?

    I have one simple credo: Anybody But McCain in the Presidential election. Anybody but Cornyn in my Senate election. OK, two simple credos.

  6. August 4, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Proffessor Black Woman wrote up a post with McKinney’s platform spelled out here.

    My biggest hope for “third party” candidates is that they can somehow influence the debate. I know this is unlikely to happen, but although I strongly dislike Canada’s Green Party I believe that the leader, Elizabeth May, should be allowed as part of the Leader’s Debate based on the percentage of votes the Green Party gets up here. Giving her a voice influences the debate – and that debate is so important.

  7. August 4, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Rosa Clemente (and Cynthia McKinney) rock. Clemente leads the National Hip Hop Political Convention.

  8. Kristin
    August 4, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Hugo, aren’t you presently a registered Republican who supports organizations which funnel money to the McCain campaign?

    http://hugoschwyzer.net/2008/06/12/a-small-profile-in-courage-450-gasoline-and-mccain-still-stands-for-the-wild-places/

    I mean, um… I hear that you’re voting for Obama and all, but… You’re also funding McCain’s campaign, and I don’t think the vote cancels out the fact that YOU’RE FUNDING MCCAIN’S CAMPAIGN.

    Jesus… Honestly, the sanctimony just boggles.

  9. August 4, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    My current strategy is taking advantage of New York’s electoral fusion system to vote for the Working Families Party without worrying on an individual level about the spoiler effect. The WFP got about 4% of the vote in the last race for governor here, and hopefully will keep growing at the same pace. Although they’re working on spreading to other states (right now I think it’s just NY, CT, and SC, with MA, OR, and CA underway) unfortunately it doesn’t help much in states without fusion laws, or in federal elections. But it’s a model I like a lot, and it also works from the grassroots up, with more influence on local elections.

    As for the federal election, I don’t know. I strongly believe we should keep our eye on the prize: electoral reform that truly makes more than two parties viable. To do that we need third parties to be visible and survive and push for change, but it’s become clear that the “spoiler effect” is very bad PR for third parties too. Part of the solution might lie in intermediate reforms like electoral fusion, and part of it is definitely in having conversations like this.

  10. Katherine
    August 4, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    As unlikely as it may seem, it is possible for third parties to become one of the main two, even in systems designed entirely for bipartisan politics – witness the complete collapse of the Liberal Party in Britain and the rise of the Labour Party.

    And it is even possible for a strongish third party to exist in a system designed for bipartisan politics – witness the current incarnation of the Liberal Party in Britain – after merger with the SDP they are now called the Liberal Democrats – who currently get up to 20% of the vote in national elections and sometimes considerably more in local elections. They have a smaller-than-proportionate number of seats in the legislative house, but they aren’t insignificant.

  11. Katherine
    August 4, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    By which I mean to see – don’t lose the faith – you won’t necessarily be stuck with the same two parties for ever. Politics is funny that way, in the long term.

  12. Meredith
    August 4, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Kristin, seconded. Not to derail this thread, but Hugo, it’s really hypocritical of you to brag about how you’re voting for Obama when you’re working to get McCain elected by funding him. From the comments of the post she linked:

    I want a Democratic party of the progressive left and a GOP of the center, and working to get McCain into the nomination seemed like a way to make that happen.

    If you think McCain is the “center” you are completely delusional. Look at his voting record. He’s as much a centrist as Ron Paul is a true libertarian.

    Also, this post is not about your voting for Obama. It is about courageous women working to get more progressive and feminist voices into the mainstream, and it’s discussing their lack of media coverage. Can we now get back on topic?

  13. Ecosanda
    August 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks for a very thoughtful piece about my candidates, and about the whole dilemma of lesser evilism. Yes, electoral reform is the key…the Democrats really could stop the whole thing and support IRV. They could have my vote in second place, or maybe third after a socialist. But they don’t, they would rather whine and call us spoilers, forgetting that Clinton probably got elected because Perot “spoiled” for the Republicans. It will be interesting to see if there is a similar situation in Virginia as described by another reader. If you really want to know about who spoiled in 2000, watch “American Blackout”, now availble totally online http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5965670944815984616 or see http://www.gp.org/organize/spoiled.html or read lots on fairvote.org

    I was on the stage at the convention with Cynthia and Rosa and it was a truly inspiring afternoon. If only their message would get out, I am sure the votes would increase, perhaps even reaching that so important 5%. So little media converage is controling what people get to hear about in this country. If you think that about half the folks don’t even vote because they are so disenchanted with the political process, you know that third parties could have a chance, even before electoral reform, if media would let our voices be heard.

  14. August 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Kristin, I’m supporting an organization which seeks to influence the GOP from within to move it leftward on environmental policy. The goal is to get both major parties to embrace the notion that global warming is in large part due to human activity, and to get both major parties to adopt environmental values. How great would it be to say, “Gosh, McKinney and Obama and McCain all agree that we shouldn’t drill our way out of the energy crisis?” It’s not hypocritical to work to move all the players onto the same field.

    But we’re thread-drifting here; the point is, the McKinney-Clemente campaign is an exciting and important one. But whether the Green Party deserves votes in an Obama-McCain general election is a debatable one, which is the issue that the left gets to argue about.

    It would be delicious if Bob Barr ended up costing McCain Virginia.

  15. Mireille
    August 4, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    What I would love to see, and what will never happen, is to see the Presidential election in two rounds like so many other nations. First election, if nobody gets 50% of the vote, there’s a runoff between the top two. Then, people could actually vote their conscience in the first round and then vote pragmatically in the second. It would also probably help 3rd parties register voters and allow the country to see that it would be possible to get 3rd parties voted into, if not the presidency, at least probably into the House and maybe a few governorships.

  16. August 4, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    “I think the “Kool Aid” factor comes in with the “spoiler effect,” because it’s as if the Dems are trying to scare people away from voting for Greens and other third party candidates by saying that if you do that, you’ll basically be voting Republicans in.”

    That sounds strikingly similar to the scare tactic the Greens used with their battle cry of “Bush = Gore.” And look where that got us.

  17. August 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    @Holly: I usually vote Working Families too, but it’s still the same Democratic candidate. So it’s a good way to support a progressive third party, but you often get the same politics, for better or for worse.

    @Katherine: thanks for the encouragement!

    @Ecosanda and @Mireille: instant runoff voting would be brilliant. Thanks for the link to American Blackout, didn’t know that was available online!

    I think this part of what you wrote is key:

    So little media converage is controling what people get to hear about in this country. If you think that about half the folks don’t even vote because they are so disenchanted with the political process, you know that third parties could have a chance, even before electoral reform, if media would let our voices be heard.

    @Emma: I actually don’t believe that “Bush = Gore” or that “Obama = McCain” or that “Democrats = Republican.” I do think that there are substantial differences in all cases, which is why I absolutely want Obama to win come November. I do think it’s simplistic and dangerously inaccurate to say that Democrats are “the same as” or “just as bad as” Republicans. However, I do think that they’re not nearly as far apart as they claim to be or as I’d like them to be.

    And again, I don’t think that the Greens “got us” Bush; again, massive voter fraud and disenfranchisement, anyone? Guess it’s easier to scapegoat people for voting their conscience than it is to take on the power structures that benefit both Republicans and Democrats.

  18. August 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Hugo: You know, only speaking as a pragmatist, the Log Cabin Republicans have been in existence for about 30 years now. In 1995, Bob Dole RETURNED THEIR donation check. In 2008, do you expect to see any gay-friendly planks in the GOP platform? I would rather see, long-term, the GOP decline into utter irrelevance and a center and center-left coalition form instead, with the Greens representing more of a legitimate opposition.

  19. Rosa
    August 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I’m a Green, and I strongly support our local Green candidates. We have Green Council and Park Board members, and I have a lot of faith in the party to grow from the bottom up.

    That said, no matter how great the candidate, I think it’s a mistake for the party to run Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. It turns it into a party loyalty issue of Green vs. Democrat, which is a mistake – neither of the two big parties is good people of color or women of any race, and the Independent party has done well recruiting Republican women who have hit the party’s glass ceiling. A Green party that did not threaten the Democrats at the national level would have better luck with that at the state and local level, I think.

    That said, thanks for the post – McKinney and Clemente are fabulous women, and great candidates, who ought to be getting a lot more coverage by everyone who supports their platform, no matter who you’re going to vote for.

  20. August 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I read Hugo’s post, and I have gotta say, I respect what he is doing. I’d love to see the fundie stranglehold on the GOP broken. The truth is, the Repubs are going to win elections- they are a major party. I’d rather they be a major party with center-right leanings then far right leanings. Those of us (like myself) who are too left to ever see ourselves in that camp, no matter how moderate, had better get our own house in order. The Dems may not be = the Repubs, but as another commenter noted, they are a lot closer than they want to let on. Real change MUST be systemic, and MUST focus on breaking the two-party stranglehold. To that end, everyone who is serious about trying to carve out a larger voice for the left needs to support the rights of third party candidates to be heard. If you haven’t all ready done so, find out if the Greens are on your state’s ballot. If not, help them get on it. Often times, that’s as easy as signing a petition. When the presidential “debates” roll around, and they (predictably) shut out the third party candidates, protest. Send letters not ONLY to the Commission on Presidential Debates, but to the major candidates as well. The parties control the CPD, and the candidates could easily demand third party candidates be allowed to speak.

    Why is it so easy for Obama to trend right? Because the Dem base doesn’t hold him accountable. I personally see myself voting for him in November, but I WILL NOT guarantee my vote. He has to earn it by speaking out for my interests. I would love to form a coalition with other Lefties who would be willing to say, “We’re going to go Green if you don’t stay true to the base, Obama.”

    I’d love to see the day when the fundies had to resort to a third-party vote to satisfy their concience, and liberals didn’t.

  21. Sailorman
    August 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Stupid question about the Green party–I always thought they were, well, primarily environmentally focused. [scratches head] Am I entirely wrong, or were they that way once? Because when I read their platform, it’s much more of a social justice platform than an environmental one; have they always been that? (I’m just personally wondering how on earth I ended up with such a complete disconnect and I thought one of you who knew the Green party history might be able to answer…)

  22. CBrachyrhynchos
    August 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    If there is one thing that has been a constant over the last 10 years, its that partisan Democrats hate apostate Greens more than lawbreaking Republithugs, with claimed voting record (because after all, a vote should be just as private as fucking or shitting) used as a litmus test.

    Progressive democrats are in exactly the same shoes as the Log Cabin Republicans, forever stuck between doing the right thing, and defending their leaders and candidates from criticism.

  23. Joe
    August 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    I would expect any discussion of Cynthia McKinney, on a progressive blog, to mention her and her father’s anti-Semitism. There’s something very un-progressive about bigotry.

  24. Kai
    August 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    As I see it, this whole tired discussion could be put to rest if liberals/progressives got into voting reform (i.e “preference voting” or “instant run-off”, in which voters simply rank their top 3 candidates). A fraction of the energy that liberals continually sink into belligerent moaning about third parties (putting aside the crucial role that third parties have played in the major progressive strides in US history) could make that happen. And yes, I’ll probably be pulling the lever for McKinney, I’ve been cheering for her since before she announced. Democratic Party politicians will not grow a backbone before their constituents do, and that means definitively ending the cycle of political abuse and fearful disempowered acceptance of the status quo. Short of that, there’s no reason to be surprised or disappointed by the Dems’ perfectly consistent servitude to centrist propaganda and corporatist militarism and imperialism.

  25. August 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    would expect any discussion of Cynthia McKinney, on a progressive blog, to mention her and her father’s anti-Semitism.

    Oh, lovely, another commenter who confuses legitimate opposition to the ethnic cleansing being carried out by Israel against Palestinians, with anti-Semitism.

    BTW, I’m Jewish, and I don’t support rogue apartheid states.

  26. Joe
    August 4, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    From the article linked to above:

    McKinney’s father Billy McKinney, an Atlanta state representative, when asked just days before the primary to explain why she ran, claimed the endorsement of former U.S. congressman and ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young (who had endorsed her in earlier campaigns but declined to do so in 2002), and said in front of an Atlanta TV station camera: “That ain’t nothin’. Jews have bought everybody. Jews. J. E. W. S.”

    I’m sorry, what did I confuse?

  27. August 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    I’ve been supporting McKinney for a couple of months now. I’ve had people tell me that if McCain wins, it will be “my fault” for voting Green this year. ugh. Yep, because I waited in line for 7 hours to vote for Kerry, who I didn’t even like, back in 2004, just to prevent Bush from getting elected. And look what good it did. So this year, I’m voting the way I want to vote.

  28. Joe
    August 4, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    See also here.

  29. August 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    @Joe: OK, Joe, you’ve made your point. Yes, Cynthia McKinney’s father made an anti-Semitic comment, and some of her supporters made them as well. But in your original comment, you failed to distinguish between those remarks and McKinney’s support for Palestinians and opposition to the Israeli government. Do you believe that the latter are anti-Semitic as well?

    Additionally, I’d like to add some background information to the incidents of anti-Semitism that you cite, to balance the articles that you referenced by conservative pundit Michael Barone and the ADL: two articles in conversation from Common Dreams (here and here) and an article originally published in the Forward. All three make note of the considerable contributions of Israel supporters to McKinney’s opponents. From the article by Stephen Zunes:

    As has been pointed out by both the mainstream and progressive media, political action committees with close ties to the right-wing Israeli government of Ariel Sharon — funded primarily by conservative American Jews — poured in thousands of dollars worth of campaign contributions to her opponent, former state judge Denise Majette. Unlike most liberal Democrats, McKinney did not make an exception for Israel in her outspoken support for human rights and international law. As a result, she became a target of the so-called “Jewish lobby,” which vigorously challenges elected officials who dare question U.S. military, financial and diplomatic support for Israel’s occupation and repression of the Palestinians.

    This is not to justify anti-Semitic remarks; however, the situation is more complicated and nuanced than you or the articles that you referenced let on.

  30. Katherine
    August 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    I’m sorry, what did I confuse?

    Apparently, you confused McKinney with her father. Basic comprehension my friend.

  31. August 4, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Sailorman,

    Since it’s founding the in the early 80’she Green Party has ALWAYS been the party of social justice, grassroots democracy (eg. the 2004 Ohio recount led by the Green Party, ignored by john Kerry), non-violence (Cynthia voted against both iraq wars, and all funding for the current one) feminism and diversity, as well as ecological sustainability and future focus.

    Many people (yourself included, clearly) hear the name Green and don’t think beyond the name. That makes about as much sense and assuming that Republicans are only about building a republic, or Democrats in creating democracy (something Democrats have been fighting against when it comes to ballot access for 3rd parties for the last 25 years – the world would collapse if we actually had some choice on the ballot according to the Democratic wing of the corporate party)

    It’s also important to note that even if the Green party is relatively ‘irrelevant’ on a national scale, they are anything but on both a local and international scale. The Green party is the largest political party in the world, with congressmen in Mexico, and members of Parliament in Canada, Germany, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, UK, etc, many with the deciding votes in ruling coalitions. On a smaller scale, Greens hold more than 200 local offices across the country,including state legislature seats ion NC & ME, Mayor’s offices in California, and city council seats in SF, and Greens will be running more than 1,000 candidates for election in 2008, from tiny village councils and mayors to races for state legislature, congress and US Senate.

    Take a close look around, there is probably a great local Green candidate that can use your support.

  32. Joe
    August 4, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    But in your original comment, you failed to distinguish between those remarks and McKinney’s support for Palestinians and opposition to the Israeli government. Do you believe that the latter are anti-Semitic as well?

    I don’t think that pro-Palestinian advocacy and opposition to Israel is anti-Semitic per se. But when it’s accompanied by traditionally anti-Semitic rhetoric (e.g., Jews control the media, the government), then, yes, I think it is.

    Apparently, you confused McKinney with her father. Basic comprehension my friend.

    Give me a break. Her father, her staffers, her supporters make anti-Semitic comments and McKinney does nothing to indicate they don’t represent her views as all. Not even a half-assed press release pretending to denounce those comments. Come’on.

  33. August 4, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    But when it’s accompanied by traditionally anti-Semitic rhetoric (e.g., Jews control the media, the government), then, yes, I think it is.

    And when did Cynthia McKinney say anything like that? I haven’t found any record of it. I know that her father and some supporters said that the election was bought by Jewish people (which was fucked up of them to say) in response to pro-Israel PACs targeting McKinney because of her pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli stances (which was fucked up of them to do.) I don’t think that you can talk in an honest, balanced manner about the anti-Semitic rhetoric of her father and supporters as if it came out of nowhere while conveniently leaving out the fact that she was targeted by conservative Jewish pro-Israel organizations for daring to question US support of Israel. One doesn’t justify the other, but leaving one out does paint a rather incomplete and inaccurate picture of the situation.

  34. shah8
    August 4, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    geez…

    I’m pretty familiar with McKinney. While I do not hate her or anything, I don’t have a huge amount of respect for her, and even if I were a Green Party-member, I’d be pretty hesitant about voting for someone who seemed as loudly ineffectual as McKinney has been.

    However drama-queen McKinney can be, she isn’t actually an anti-semite. She and her father pissed off the older jewish money in her district (I’m not sure *what* it was). Plus being pro Palestinian always gets the attention of the national right-wingish jewish groups. I remember the flack Hillary Clinton got for just meeting with palestinians early in her senate career…

    Please do dismiss Joe, and move on with it eh? No need to feed trolls.

  35. Unree
    August 4, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Does anyone know on which states Cynthia and Rosa will be on the presidential ballot?

  36. August 4, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Please do dismiss Joe, and move on with it eh? No need to feed trolls.

    Yeah, what a troll, jeez. I wish those Jews would just shut up.

    Yes, it’s unfair to automatically label Cynthia McKinney an anti-Semite because of her father’s comment, and yes, pro-Palestine politicians are often painted as anti-Semites, but I fail to see how mentioning a disgustingly blatant anti-Semitic comment makes one a troll. Also, if it’s true that Cynthia McKinney hasn’t denounced or even addressed the comment, I find that really disturbing. What the Israeli lobby is saying about her is irrelevant – it doesn’t make for a more “complicated and nuanced” situation. The comment is still bigoted and untrue. Jack, you say that one doesn’t justify the other, but by bringing it in that’s exactly what you imply.

    Also, “older Jewish money?” Seriously, Shah? Yes, those Jews certainly have money, don’t they? Don’t want to piss off those powerful Jews – they’ll getcha! Could it be that maybe many ethnic and religious groups have one or two powerful organizations? Could it be that the American government has strategic and economic interests in keeping a strong Western presence in the middle east? (In fact, the majority of Israeli citizens are more critical of the Israeli government than the majority of American citizens. Only 8% of American Jews even consider Israel a priority. That’s 0.32% of the total American population. But I digress.) Funny how we seem to hear more about Jewish money than WASP money when it comes to who’s controlling the outcomes of elections.

  37. Jen
    August 4, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    I, for one, am voting Green party. I also kind of want to knock some heads together when people preach about how people like me are going to make Obama lose.

    No, actually, people like Obama are going to make Obama lose. If he doesn’t want to court my vote, I’m not voting for him. And the more and more he does things that I really highly disagree with, the more and more likely I am to ask people to shut the hell up about how it’s my duty to keep McCain out of the White House.

    Besides, if everyone dislikes how Obama caters to the center, how about we all vote Green? Sure, it’s a two-party system, but that’s because mainly everyone rationalizes away pulling the lever for someone they actually agree with.

    In conclusion, people that agree with the Green party platform but vote Democrat are “throwing away” their vote far more than I am.

  38. Jeff
    August 4, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    I think that the way for the Green Party, or the Libertarians (yuck-pooie!), or whomever is to move from the local level up. There are 200 elected Green Party members. If they were spread evenly, that would be 4 per state. That’s not going to get huge name recognition. Why can’t the Greens get elected mayor of several large cities. If they do that, it will help them win seats as Governor or in the State Legislatures. And so on.

    Ross Perot screwed up the third parties by making a big noise and getting taken seriously as a third party candidate. Now, everyone thinks they can duplicate that.

    Personally, I’d rather the Green party put their time, money and effort into running against DINOs like Feinstein and Pelosi. It would be a lot easier to fire up the grassroots and netroots for more localized elections.

  39. Rockit
    August 4, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Hmm, I have to agree with the people calling for a third party, or at least some kind of electoral pressure on the left. The way the Republican party works, the christian fundamentalists have acted as a constant pulling force and without a left-wing counterweight, the democratic party have allowed themselves to be pulled to the right along with them, thereby dragging the entire political discourse along with them.

    Of course in order for it to work the left would have to formally organise, and impose a sizeable degree of direct, non-party affiliated pressure in the way the extreme right currently do. What’s the likelihood?

  40. August 4, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    What the Israeli lobby is saying about her is irrelevant – it doesn’t make for a more “complicated and nuanced” situation. The comment is still bigoted and untrue. Jack, you say that one doesn’t justify the other, but by bringing it in that’s exactly what you imply.

    @The Girl Detective: No, I don’t believe that what the Israeli lobby was saying, or in fact doing, about McKinney is irrelevant. If pro-Israeli PACs were actively fundraising for McKinney’s opponent because of her support for Palestine, that is relevant to the discussion. McKinney’s father and other people chose to focus all of their blame on Jewish people – not even specifically the pro-Israeli lobby – and yes, that’s anti-Semitic, because it’s scapegoating Jewish people specifically when, as Zunes notes, “her opponent’s campaign coffers were enriched by contributions from individuals and PACs affiliated with big business and other special interests that surpassed that of the ‘pro-Israel’ groups.” But do anti-Semitic reactions mean that the rest of the situation is irrelevant; that it’s irrelevant that the often problematic interests of one country, Israel, are indeed a major force in American politics and can be a punishing force for politicians who go against those interests? I don’t think so.

  41. August 4, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    That said, I will say that this comment from shah8 was out of order:

    She and her father pissed off the older jewish money in her district (I’m not sure *what* it was).

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to here, but with no citation or explanation, it’s pretty problematic (and might continue to be problematic even with citation and explanation.)

  42. shah8
    August 4, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Jack

    That is simply what I heard. There are a sizeable number of jewish people in McKinney’s former district, as it’s one of the gentrifying inner suburbs. When Georgia’s redistricting happened, McKinney’s went from representing a predominantly black and rural district to one that now incorporates some of Atlanta’s eastern inner suburbs, with some hardcore republicans as well as a much whiter (and jewish) sort of democratic party-members. McKinney…did not get along with the more urban liberal white democratic base of the new district, and she especially got off the wrong foot with jewish people even before the comments by her father. This is a primary reason why I did not think all that much of her. She is not one for concilliatory gestures, nor is she smooth. Her district wasn’t all that greatly benefited by her representation.

    Cynthia is working in the Green Party because, well, she pretty much just about pissed off the georgia democratic party and the other georgian black politicians. She ain’t working in this town again.

    and Jack?
    step off. I’m not playing. Just go off and google Cynthia’s name, Hank Johnson, Denise Majette, and find out what proportion of opposition finances were donated by jewish people. Jeez, I’m not even saying that jews were wrong to try and dump McKinney. It’s not altogether unlikely that she antagonized them in the first place! I don’t think McKinney is anti-semitic…just that she does not value social graces or overall harmony.

  43. shah8
    August 5, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Also…asking for cites sometimes…is hostile, and I don’t think I was particularly unclear that I got my info from conversations with other people who are into Atlanta politics.

    All of the background stuff is explicitly googlable, if you want. Joe’s comments was an attempt at a smear, and did not represent what was an, at best, shady set of events.

  44. shah8
    August 5, 2008 at 12:05 am

    ah, one more thing.

    She did NOT lose, either the first time, nor the second time, due to support for the Palestinians. Most of the money donated to Denise Majette was from local people, and of those people, jewish people who didn’t give all *that* much of a damn about Israel.

  45. August 5, 2008 at 12:12 am

    step off. I’m not playing.

    Um, wtf? Step off? You’re not playing? What is that, a threat or something? You step off with that belligerent bullshit. OK? Thanks.

    Also…asking for cites sometimes…is hostile, and I don’t think I was particularly unclear that I got my info from conversations with other people who are into Atlanta politics.

    I think that an unsubstantiated comment about “old Jewish money” does warrant a request for citations, especially in the context of a discussion about anti-Semitism. I’ve got no idea why you think your sources were at all clear, but they weren’t.

    All of the background stuff is explicitly googlable, if you want. Joe’s comments was an attempt at a smear, and did not represent what was an, at best, shady set of events.

    You are the one making some dubious comments at this point, so you can go ahead and link to some of this “explicitly googlable” stuff to which you refer. I didn’t agree with Joe’s comments, and I responded as such, as did others. I don’t see his comments justifying the ones you’re making now.

  46. August 5, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Yeah, seriously shah8, cool it. Jack is doing her job as the author and moderator of this thread. Unreasonably hostility over that will result in your posting privileges being suspended. If you ask me, asking for further clarification on a phrase like “old jewish money” is totally warranted, since that idea has a lot more bigoted historical baggage attached to it than “old presbyterian money” or “old white landowner money.” That doesn’t necessarily mean you intended it that way, but you invoked the idea — so it’s your responsibility to not just leave it hanging unpleasantly in the air, but provide some more details.

  47. shah8
    August 5, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Jack, Cynthia McKinney was major news in both 2002 and 2006 in Atlanta. Her father and her has had public utterances about the situation, which was an explicit part of the dicourse in Atlanta.

    You can say that I’m making dubious comments all you want, but these comments are, in fact, a matter of record. The only thing *speculative* that I said was that McKinney pissed off older jewish money–which is not all that speculative in the first place. What is, without a doubt true, is that jewish people were a major driving force in her two political losses.

    And no, I’m not going to give you a link. It’s obvious that it wouldn’t do me any good. Again, just google the participants names and various versions of jew. It might not have been Brooklyn Heights riots, but there actually were some ethnic tensions.

  48. shah8
    August 5, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Okay Holly

    Here is a link…

    http://www.atljewishtimes.com/archives/1999/110599cs.htm

    It’s a reasonbly complete history of her relationship with atlanta jews up to 1999

    I have to admit, one reason why I’m relunctant to give a specific link is that the history is all over the place–what happened in the 1990s, her first loss in 2002 and her second loss in 2006.

  49. August 5, 2008 at 12:54 am

    shah8: Thank you for posting the link, which does provide some good background; I’m not sure why you were so reluctant to post one in the first place, or why you felt the need to tell me to “step off.”

    This is clearly a loaded topic, and comments like the one Holly and I called out are not going to help the discussion along – they’re just going to flare things up, quite understandably. I think it’s imperative that we avoid terms and phrases loaded with “bigoted historical baggage,” as Holly well put it.

    Personally, I’d like to see this thread return to the original points of my post. Not that what’s being discussed here isn’t important, but it’s become the dominant discussion to the detriment of every other point being discussed in the post or in the comments.

  50. shah8
    August 5, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Well, there is one more comment that I’d like to make, more on target with your original post (I wasn’t really interested in the topic until that noxious commenter came along).

    Much of what you dislike about Obama and like about McKinney is not a coincidence. In fact, some of Obama’s gestures to the “center” are *explicitly* from the “See What Cynthia Did? Do the Opposite, Even If You Agree” book of political wisdom. Obama avoiding even the slightest association with Farrakhan (of course he still got tagged when *his CHURCH* gave Farrakhan an award). Obama ditching anyone and everyone the instant they fuck up–pastor, Samantha Powers. Obama basically going down and giving AIPAC fellow-travelers a blow-job of a speech that no one believes he could actually mean.

    So much of McKinney’s problems are related to the fact that she was a black woman in a non-majority minority district. Such that *any* and *every* time she gave in to her desire to be an ass while politicking, she got dinged in a big way, even when she was right. Much of what is dissapointing about Obama is directly related to that.

  51. Raging Moderate
    August 5, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Wow. This site sure has changed lately.

    I remember several posts here criticizing Obama for not condemning sexist remarks made by his staff and supporters during the primaries. Why do you give McKinney a pass for not condemning the anti-semetic remarks made by her people?

  52. CTD
    August 5, 2008 at 9:54 am

    But who’s gonna vote for them?

    9-11 “truther” kooks?

  53. Joe
    August 5, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Also…asking for cites sometimes…is hostile

    Seriously? No. Asking for citations means I don’t believe you and want proof before entertaining your arguments.

    Obama avoiding even the slightest association with Farrakhan (of course he still got tagged when *his CHURCH* gave Farrakhan an award).

    Farrakhan is one of the most outspoken leftist anti-Semitic voices in the country. I can think of lots of good reasons why ANY politician would (and should) stay clear of him.

    Personally, I’d like to see this thread return to the original points of my post.

    I apologize for that, Jack. Feministe is usually very good about calling out bigotry, racism, sexism, etc. Even the subtle kind. That’s why it bothered me that McKinney’s, let’s say, “anti-Semitic associations” went completely unnoticed.

  54. Joe
    August 5, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I wasn’t really interested in the topic until that noxious commenter came along

    First, I was a troll. Now, I’m noxious. Are you capable of having a discussion without personally attacking the commenter? Please?

  55. August 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    But do anti-Semitic reactions mean that the rest of the situation is irrelevant; that it’s irrelevant that the often problematic interests of one country, Israel, are indeed a major force in American politics and can be a punishing force for politicians who go against those interests? I don’t think so.

    You know what? This is textbook, Jack. “No, of course the comment was wrong, but we must never stop talking even for a second about how powerful the Israel lobby is, because it’s relevant.” If you’d mentioned in passing, “Yeah, he was responding to the Israel lobby,” that would have been one thing. But you’ve spent most of your time here excusing the comment – even bringing in links to support your case – while pretending to condemn it.

    And I said it before, but I’ll say it again – the Israel lobby is not controlling US politics. The US and Israel have a common goal: greater power and influence in the middle east. Repeating the myth that Israel is pulling the US’s strings hurts all our movements.

    I’m not going to do this here, but why doesn’t everyone try that logic out on a lobbying group – good or bad – made up of people who look like them? The Christian Right? Planned Parenthood? See how much it still makes sense? See how much you still feel the need for “balance?”

    And just so we’re clear here, “The Jews bought this election” doesn’t mean “certain people in certain powerful positions who happen to be Jewish” – it means ALL Jews. It means I am in physical danger when I’m outed as a Jew (Ilan Halimi, anyone?), unless I spend all my energy distancing myself from “the bad Jews.” And I am SICK of “the bad Jews” being the only type anyone’s ever concerned with. It may just be a throwaway comment to you, but to me, it’s my entire personhood.

  56. August 5, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks for reminding me about the Green Party ticket! I linked to them in a post I just did over at the CA NOW blog abut McCain’s record: http://www.canow.org/canoworg/2008/08/misogyny-yee-ha.html

  57. August 5, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    NPR had an interview with McKinney and Clemente about a month ago. It was very good and she criticized Obama as much as McCain; Obama gave her good reason due to his flip-flopping recently.

    It is blatantly sexist for the MSM not to even give a 2 second mention to the Green Party. I guess if you are not male (Nader) or a billionaire (Perot) you are not viable. Second, it is clear that the liberal MSM (CNN, MSNBC) probably find McKinney not viable, but a real threat to Obama due to race and gender. So they opt not to pay attention to her at all.

    I am at a real crossroads about voting. As a feminist I have to say that this election was a major shaft to women by the DNC, MSM and Obama (if he does not put Clinton on the ticket).

  58. Amos
    August 5, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    All this rational vote strategizing is part of the reason American politics keeps moving to the right. Conservative loons have little trouble voting third party to teach a lesson to Republicans who are insufficiently anti-abortion. Greens should have agreed that Nader defeated Gore in 2000; and if it hadn’t been for the shameful (and as it turned out, useless) safe states strategy in 2004, we’d have a more liberal Democratic candidate for president today (maybe still Obama, but at least with more liberal rhetoric).

    As to McKinney’s racist bodyguards, good bodyguards who keep their mouths shut are expensive. The Black Panthers probably protect her for free. Since the Greens won’t win this election, I’m more concerned about the party’s platform than the specific candidate. As long as she doesn’t fly a swastika or eat babies, that’s good enough for me.

  59. GGrace
    August 5, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    In fact, some of Obama’s gestures to the “center” are *explicitly* from the “See What Cynthia Did? Do the Opposite, Even If You Agree” book of political wisdom.

    For some reason, I don’t believe Obama’s – or any other Democrat’s – thoughts and actions center around “What Would Cynthia McKinney Do (so I can do the opposite)?” – much less that it’s an actual school of thought or “book of political wisdom.” Comical.

  60. juju
    August 5, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I hope this isn’t considered off topic, but WOC PhD has a post up on her blog that shows a pattern of anti-semitic remarks linked with McKinney.
    http://profbw.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/the-question-of-mckinney-and-anti-semitism/

    This makes me think of that post that Girl Detective put up a few of weeks ago covering anti-semitism within progressive/liberal circles.

  61. August 5, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    @Juju – thank you for the link, which is certainly not off topic.

    @The Girl Detective: I honestly apologize if I came off as defending or excusing any anti-Semitic remarks, which was certainly not my intent.

  62. shah8
    August 5, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Hey thanks, juju…WOC PhD had more links ready to go.

    Again, McKinney is not an antisemite, I do not believe. She is a hothead, and if she did hate or dismiss jewish people, she would have, at some point, had gone all Michael Richards on some poor target.

    That said, if you want to smear McKinney as an anti-semite based on what her *guards* say, or what her father has said, then please, by all means, smear Hillary Clinton as a racist for the racial sentiments that her husband has freely given out or the developed theories propagated by Geraldine Ferrarro.

    That was an example, people, plz don’t retort back to me that Obama’s sexist. Besides the point wrt to McKinney herself. She’s never *said* or *done* anything that was antisemitic *herself*. She *has* antagonized the sizable jewish community who *lived* in her district. Mostly because she *neglected* them, and perhaps because of personality conflict with jewish muckity-muck donors as I heard second-hand. The Israel-Palestine thing certainly didn’t help, but jewish people here are like people everywheres, they care most about things that affect *themselves* in the here and now. Nationalists and AIPAC types certainly played a role, but their malign influence is not as relevant as the large local support, financial and otherwise, for her opponents, and large crossover voting by local republicans.

    I’m just growing deeply sick and tired of people having such an easier time smearing black politicians by association, such that even the most stretched of association works. Obama’s pastor is his pastor, not the keeper of his soul, and his church caters to a community with wide opinions. Jesse Jackson Louis Farrakhan or Spike Lee or Al Sharpton aren’t hustlers with handy race cards ready for black people everywheres! Many white people of my age, and even younger, have old relatives that they are close to, but who have repellant attitudes on race or sexuality or whathaveyou. Does that mean such people can’t be politicians for fear of his grandma muttering that the opponent is a racist negro! Or does that mean that such incidents don’t get reported as much?

  63. Sailorman
    August 5, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    That said, if you want to smear McKinney as an anti-semite based on what her *guards* say, or what her father has said, then please, by all means, smear Hillary Clinton as a racist for the racial sentiments that her husband has freely given out or the developed theories propagated by Geraldine Ferrarro

    Um, yeah, isn’t that what happened? I recall a blogging shitstorm when Ferraro spouted off.

    CM’s position can be deduced not only by what she says, but by how she handles a situation. So yeah, a failure to denounce someone who says something that is presumably racist/sexist/antisemitic/whatever is certainly an indicator. As has been (accurately) noted with regard to other politicians, it’s not just what you say. It’s also what you DON’T say, and who you associate with, that indicates your position.

  64. Jeff
    August 5, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    As a feminist I have to say that this election was a major shaft to women by the DNC, MSM and Obama (if he does not put Clinton on the ticket).

    Huh? Why is Clinton the only woman that Obama can select? Does the Bill-Baggage count for anything? I would give Obama far more credit if he picked Sebilous than if he picked Clinton. I would give Obama far more credit if he picked Feinstein (ick pooie) than if he picked Clinton.

    Feinstein might actually be a good choice. She’s bound to be replaced by a Dem, and whoever it is HAS to be more progressive than Dianne. She might help him pick up those voteras who don’t see the difference between him and Mr Buffalo Chip, too.

  65. shah8
    August 5, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Sailorman, I, and some others, have said that Hillary was racist herself for the things she allowed her supporters to do, but do not forget Hillary also can be indicted by her own words as well. Nevertheless, in certain areas of the blogging world, saying that Hillary is racist was a bannable offense, replete with curses and maledictions aplenty. This has never been true for a black politico. It has just too easy a double standard.

    Secondly, Sailorman, proving evidence of an absence is nearly impossible to gauge. There is no evidence of *malign neglect* on McKinney’s part. Asking McKinney to condemn someone or other and citing her delay or refusal to do so is a game, and one I don’t take seriously. Seriously, asking people to publically condemn their father or any other emotionally close relative is NOT easy, and one really does have to have a high bar to meet to ask for that. It’s also silly when these people are not necessarily associates by choice. One was her father, the other her gaurds, who she might have had nothing to do with hiring. It’s just not too much to ask that a charge have a basis in something *that* person did do, or didn’t do, but obviously should have done.

    Well, while I’m here…
    Here is Louis Farrakhan’s wiki
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Farrakhan

    Judging by that, I would say that there are many, many, worse people out there who are sincerly powerful. Farrakhan has a following because surprise, surprise, he does have his good points.

  66. Sailorman
    August 5, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    nice backpedaling.

    I mean, here you are first saying that clinton didn’t take any flak from ferraro’s idiocy.

    Then it’s “oh, well, maybe I called her racist for that” but it doesn’t count (huh?) because somewhere in the blogosphere–not here–it was a bannable offense. (I don’t know if it’s “never been true” that anyone has been banned anywhere for similar comments regarding a black politician. But if I were a betting man I’d bet you’re wrong. Never is a hard row to hoe)

    Then it’s a game, that’s not serious at all, at least to you and at least if it’s about CM.

    Then it’s the guards’ fault, who she might not have hired. (I’m not sure what that has to do with it. I suspect that she does not hire everyone on her team…. so what?) No comment there about what one might say about the guards, or how one might point out the problems with their statements. Even if you think the father is some sort of exception–which you didn’t seem to think was the case with Hillary and Bill, hmm?–you have the guard issue.

    It’s just not too much to ask that a charge have a basis in something *that* person did do, or didn’t do, but obviously should have done.

    Well yeah, that’s my point exactly.

    [shrug] Support her anyway if you want. Nobody is perfect; we all make compromises in who we vote for. The only politician I would agree with 100% would be me, and I’m not running. Just don’t spin it, that’s all, and don’t pretend that it is objectively irrelevant.

  67. August 5, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Jeff, some of us out here actually like Bill Clinton. Connecting Bill as baggage for Hillary is a typical sexist attack that she can’t control her husband or she got ahead because of him.

    The bottom line is the liberal media is not going to let Obama get upstaged by a strong black woman – look how they morphed Michelle into a homemaker from a successful lawyer. The fact that McKinney is a very vocal politician in general and has had no coverage from the MSM and notable liberal alternative media & print is outrageous! We are supposed to live in a democracy with a free press.

    I think this is the one election that blatantly exhibits media bias and media propping up and advertising for a candidate. And this started during the primary. That is why I can not understand why anyone would vote at all this coming election. It amazes me that Obama has recently done typical politician flip-flops for votes and people are still planning on voting for the change candidate. The drilling thing has pushed me over the edge. Where the hell is his judgement?

  68. shah8
    August 5, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    That’s a mishmash of a comment Sailorman. Anyways, I’ve moved on.

  69. August 5, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    The issue of McKinney and anti-Semitism has been troubling me, so I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading (including and beyond the things that Professor Black Woman posted in the link that juju provided.)

    In my searching and reading, I did find something that I thought was important to bring to the conversation: a statement on her 2006 campaign website where she denounces the anti-Semitic comments made at her campaign office on election night in 2006. In the statement, she says: “The people who made those remarks were not associated with my campaign in any formal way, and I want to make clear from this hour that any informal ties between me and my campaign and anyone holding or espousing such views are cut and renounced.”

    I’m not offering this up as a way to excuse everything or explain everything away. But I do think it’s an important addition to the conversation, especially because it was so difficult to find: until I found the link, I hadn’t heard any mention of McKinney publicly denouncing anti-Semitic statements in any way.

  70. Bloix
    August 6, 2008 at 1:36 am

    McKinnwy can’t even hold a congressional seat, for Chrissake. Why on earth does anyone think she’s qualified to be president? She is a washed-up nonentity. Write in Batman if you don’t want to vote for Obama, but don’t waste your time with has-been failures.

  71. Raging Moderate
    August 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    “The fact that McKinney is a very vocal politician in general and has had no coverage from the MSM and notable liberal alternative media & print is outrageous!”

    First, I don’t see much coverage of Bob Barr and his Libertarian Party in the MSM, but I’m pretty sure it’s not because he’s a woman.

    Second, she’s a nut. Her 9/11 comments, her run in with the Capitol Police (where she struck the officer), and the lingering air of anti-semitism around her makes her a marginal politician at best. I can understand why liberal alternative media want nothing to do with her.

  72. August 6, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    You have got to be kidding me! To my standards Huckabee and Romney were nuts with their extreme religious discussion during the primaries. I don’t agree with everything McKinney says, but some outlandish comments are allowed and others are not in the MSM. I don’t even recall Nader ever being a viable part of the presidential election debates in my lifetime. The election is extremely controlled and I would love to see someone get elected that throws the MSM and two party system for a shock.

  73. Mike
    August 6, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    To echo some commenters above, unless and until the electoral system is changed, voting for a third party just hurts the causes you believe in. And does nothing to help build third parties. You aren’t building a movement, you are helping the GOP win and trash the country.

    @ Kathrine: The three-parties crammed into a two-party system that prevails in the UK is disastrous for progressives. It allowed Thatcher to dominate the country for over a decade, without the Tories ever winning a majority of the popular vote. If, Heaven-forbid, the US Greens should ever achieve the level of support that the Lib-Dems enjoy in the UK, under our current system, the US would be condemned to permanent Republican rule.

  74. August 6, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Oh, Bullcaca. People, especially “high information” politically minded white middle class men, have been telling the rest of us for ages: “Oh, shush up about your silly little lady concerns, dears, we have more important matters to tend to, and you wouldn’t want to lose Roe now would you?”

    If they want my vote so bad, why don’t they do something to EARN it for a change.

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