Reference websites

 Some funny stuff

 Appendix: … And Hillary?

Against the Current

 Malik Miah: The financial calamity, Blacks and Obama (No.137, November/December 2008)
“The issue of the economy has given the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, the first Black candidate for a major party, a big boost …. Yet as television pundits and print commentators have noted, Obama is in a close race with the Republican John McCain for one reason: the color of his skin.”

 Milton Fisk: The Presidential candidates’ health plans (No.137, November/December 2008)
“The issue facing Americans is: Can we expect the captains of the corporatized insurance industry, accustomed as they are to gaming regulation or trying to get it repealed, to submit to regulation now?”

 Malik Miah: The elephant in the room (No.136, September/October 2008)
“Can the United States overcome its history of racial prejudice to elect the first Black president? Race is the elephant in the room, yet few will openly acknowledge its role in this unprecedented presidential race. Code phrases are employed by the media to evade the issue.”

 Allen Ruff: Obama and the Empire (No.136, September/October 2008)
“Obama has certainly remained remarkably consistent in one area, namely the realm of foreign policy and his unflagging support for the U.S. imperial agenda.”

 Malik Miah: Socialists and Barack Obama: Viewing an historic Presidential nomination (No.135, July/August 2008)
“The challenge is to recognize history in the making while not moving away from the goal of a mass labor party and working-class based government.”



 Chalmers Johnson: Is this election the major historical turning point it seems to be? Yes (October 8, 2008)
“A small election victory won’t drastically turn around any of the darker challenges our country faces – only a massive victory can do that.”


 Robert Parry: Make no mistake: McCain’s a Neocon (June 8, 2008)
“Since clinching the Republican presidential nomination, John McCain has sought to hide the forest of his neoconservative alignment with George W. Bush amid the trees of details, such as stressing differences over military tactics used in Iraq.”

In These Times

 David Moberg: Moving Obama Left (Vol.32, Issue 9, September 2008)
“Even if Obama is more consistent than critics allege, questions still haunt progressives. Does an Obama presidency promise dramatic and progressive change, as his rhetoric sometimes suggests? Or will Obama simply shift from Bush’s neoconservatism back to the confused – if slightly less conservative – perspective of the Democratic Party establishment?”

International Socialist Review

 Politics of change or politics as usual? (Issue 61, September–October 2008)
“Lance Selfa examines Obama’s presidential run.”

 Can the Left take over the Democratic Party? (Issue 61, September–October 2008)
“Lance Selfa explains the futility of working within the Party to change it.”

 Phil Gasper: Bipartisan road to the dark side (Issue 61, September–October 2008)
“Democrats are complicit in the Bush administration’s attack on human rights and civil liberties.”

 Obama: What kind of change can we expect? (Issue 60, July-August 2008)
“Obama has appealed to people’s hopes for change, writes Lance Selfa, but what he really offers is a good deal less.”

 Lance Selfa: Election 2008: Beginning of a new era? (Issue 58, March-April 2008)
“… we should always remember that Obama is not building a real grassroots movement for social change. He is building an electoral campaign within the Democratic Party, one of the two big-business parties in the United States. That distinction is crucial …”

Left Turn

 Cindy Millstein: Hope in a time of Elections (Issue 29, July/Aug 2008)
“The gap between the ‘change’ that Obama promises and the transformation that we know is crucial may offer a space of possibility.”

 Kazembe Balagun and Hank Williams: Opening and possibilities: The meaning of Obama (Issue 29, July/Aug 2008)
“How does the Black left engage and understand the historic presidential campaign of Barack Obama? This question is in the hearts and minds of African-American radicals around the country.”


 Geoffrey Kurtz: Obama and the organizing tradition (Vol.7, Issue 2, 2008)

“Barack Obama will be our first president to have been a community organizer. Constructing associations is not easy, and organizers have a long tradition of debate about how best to do so. Obama contributes something to this organizing tradition …”

London Review of Books

 Jonathan Raban: Cut, Kill, Dig, Drill (Vol.30, No.19, 9 October 2008)
“Sarah Palin has put a new face and voice to the long-standing, powerful, but inchoate movement in US political life … its contempt for metropolitan elites, fuelling the resentment of the provinces towards the capital and the countryside towards the city, in its xenophobic strain of nationalism, sturdy, paysan resistance to taxation, hostility to big business, and conviction that politicians are out to exploit the common man.”

Monthly Review

 Edward S. Herman and David Peterson: [Jeremiah Wright
in the propaganda system->http://www.monthlyreview.org/080901herman-peterson.php] (Vol.60, No.4, September 2008)
“Beginning in March 2008 and extending through the last Democratic primaries of early June, the United States witnessed the most brazen demonization in its history of a person based on his race, his creed, and his ties to a presidential candidate.”

The Nation

 Naomi Klein: Obama’s Chicago Boys (June 30, 2008)
“The head of Obama’s economic policy team is one of Wal-Mart’s most prominent defenders.”

See also video below at Toward Freedom.

New Left Review

 Walter Benn Michaels: Against diversity (Issue 52, July-August 2008)
“Tears and triumphs for race and gender have dominated discussion of the 2008 US election. Walter Benn Michaels argues that the Obama and Clinton campaigns are victories for neoliberalism, not over it – serving only to camouflage inequality.”

 Robert Brenner: Structure vs conjuncture (Issue 43, January-February 2007)
“Robert Brenner reads the US mid-term results against deeper structural shifts in the American polity. The rise of the Republican right seen in the context of the long downturn and dismantling of the liberal compact: from New Deal and Great Society to the capitalist offensive under Reagan, Clinton and Bush.”

 Mike Davis: The Democrats after November (Issue 43, January-February 2007)
“With anti-war sentiment growing – if still passive – in the US, how will Democrats use their recapture of Congress? Mike Davis analyses likely outcomes on the questions – Iraq, corruption, economic insecurity – that confront a Party leadership hooked on corporate dollars, and myopically gazing towards 2008.”

New York Review of Books

 Andrew Hacker: Obama: The price of being Black (Vol.55, No.14, September 25, 2008)
“We can see how being a farmer or a bond trader or a gun collector might influence your vote. And we understand why black Americans would want a person of their race in the Oval Office. But just what is there about being white that might incline someone toward one candidate instead of another?”

Permanent Revolution

 George Binette: USA / After Bush (Issue 8, Spring 2008)
“In a year George Bush will be gone from the White House. George Binette looks at whether John McCain can rescue Republican rule and what Clinton and Obama stand for as the Democratic primaries reach their climax. Whoever takes the nomination the wise money says that it is, as always, the big money that wins.”

Red Pepper

 Debate: Holding Obama’s feet to the fire (June 2008)
“With his appointment of a series of Clintonite economic and foreign policy advisers, Barack Obama has attracted fire from the American left. But does this mean that hope in his campaign for the presidency is misplaced? Doug Henwood, Gary Younge, Jo-ann Mort, Betsy Reed and Ta-Nehisi Coates debate the politics of Obama’s candidacy and the huge mobilisation of support behind it.”

 Redrawing the map of US politics (April 2008)
“Barack Obama’s campaign for the US presidency may still have a long way to go, but the levels of participation by African-American and young voters in this year’s primaries have the potential to transform the shape of US politics. In particular, they could neutralise the racist ‘southern strategy’ that has produced such an inbuilt conservative bias since the 1960s. Frances Fox Piven and Lorraine C Minnite investigate.”

Socialism Today

 Ten things you should know about Obama (Issue 117, April 2008)
“Barack Obama has tapped into the anger of millions of Americans who want real change … But would an Obama presidency bring the change we need? Is he really different from the rest of the corrupt, corporate-controlled politicians? A deeper look reveals that Obama does not deserve the support of workers, progressives or youth. Here are ten reasons why.”

Socialist Review

 Gary Younge: US elections – is real change coming? (July/August 2008)
“Barack Obama has risen from idealistic Democratic outsider to become the first black US presidential candidate of a major party. Gary Younge explores the importance of the Obama phenomenon which has inspired millions, but also the limitations of his political agenda.”

Socialist Worker [UK]
 The real faces of America by Jess Hurd. + Photos of the real faces of America (20 September 2008; issue 2119)
Photojournalist Jess Hurd travelled across the Southern states of the US in June to talk to people about Barack Obama, racism, the economy and their everyday struggles to survive”

 John McCain and Barack Obama are both caught up in the system’s game. By Alex Callinicos (6 September 2008 ; issue 2117)
“But Obama is also a product of the system and wants to win by its rules. So he can rattle the bars of the cage a bit, but not try to bust out. This may get him into the White House, but anyone who expects real change to follow is kidding themselves.”

Photo: Jess Hurd (http://jesshurd.blogspot.com/)

Socialist Worker (US)

 Lance Selfa: Is Obama really a radical at heart? (October 31, 2008)
“If Obama is acting like a centrist now, it’s most likely because he is a centrist – rather than a radical posing as one to get elected.”

 Topic: 2008 Election

Solidarity (US)

 A brief to-do list for the next President’s first day…
Plus articles about The Obama phenomenon, Realities of the Democratic Party, Keep the movements alive, Independent political action and VoteTruth08.com.

Solidarity (UK)

 Barry Finger: Why the left should not back Obama (3/134, 26th June 2008)
“The symbolic significance of an African-American so close to the presidency in a country whose politics is so fundamentally scarred by racism cannot be underestimated. This enthusiasm seems to have upturned the usual justification on the part of progressives and leftists for voting Democratic … Sadly, this grassroots ardour is also based on a studied ignorance of Obama’s political record.”

Toward Freedom

 Noam Chomsky and Cynthia McKinney on the US Presidential Election (23 October 2008)

 Howard Zinn: Vote for Obama but direct action needed (30 October 2008, 11 m.)

 Naomi Klein on Obama (26 August 2008, 10 m.)
“Klein speaks about Obama and the intellectual and political integrity of the progressive movement.”


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