More on Obama’s campaign financing

Interesting articles I’ve been reading today on Obama’s refusal to disclose the names of his millions of small donors. The Slate article sums up my thoughts:

Obama has campaigned (effectively) on a platform of making government more transparent, citing his efforts to do so in Chicago and Washington as signature achievements.

And yet…. they are avoiding disclosing the names of these small donors. Call me a crazy conspiracy theorist, but with such massively high stakes as are involved in an American Presidential election, I think it pays to be suspicious and naive to start with the assumption that ANY candidate is pure and holy. I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who first said “The war for freedom will never really be won because the price of our freedom is constant vigilance over ourselves and over our Government.”

I’ve been reading Howard Zinn’s excellent work “A People’s History Of The United States” where he makes the argument that the American Revolution was orchestrated by the American wealthy elite (George Washington was the richest man in America) to preserve and extend their own wealth and power. During a time of increasing class struggles in the American colony, the elite found a way to focus the anger of the populace on a foreign enemy, a tactic which successive US administrations have perfected ever since.

Slate – Yes, He Can

Judicial Watch – Obama Should Disclose

One thought on “More on Obama’s campaign financing

  1. Judicial watch quote Fox news… FOX NEWS! That’s not being a “crazy conspiracy thoerist” thats just being crazy.

    “It gave a further $60,000 to the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University, which was founded and run by Bernardine Dohrn, the wife of domestic terrorist William Ayers and, with her husband, a former member of the 1960s radical group the Weather Underground.
    Other controversial donations that year included $50,000 to the Small Schools Network — which was founded by Ayers and run by Michael Klonsky, a friend of Ayers’ and the former chairman of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), an offshoot of the 1960s radical group Students for a Democratic Society — and $40,000 to the Arab American Action Network, which critics have accused of being anti-Semitic.”

    Have you noticed that Judicial Watch primarily attack the left – the people behind it are all wacky conservative right wingers (have you read their bio’s?)- not exactly a non bi partisan group.

    Sorry mate… I am just as dubious about any politician. But we shouldn’t seek advice from those who have a stated agenda… That is why the left exists – it is a means at getting to the truth. Now if you want to assume that the left is a political force than that is merely a misinterpretation… Labour, or Liberal or Republican, or democrat are not the left – they represent the powerful. The goal of the left has always been to seek the truth, not to set an agenda.

    Michael Albert puts it better than me…

    “Will it make any difference if Barack Obama is elected President of the U.S., and if so, does that make it worth voting (for him)?
     
    It is not Obama or nobody, it is Obama or McCain. So, what if you asked your question this way. Would it make a difference if the American people voted in larger numbers for McCain or for Obama. Yes, put that way I hope you agree that it obviously makes a big difference because it reveals the population is in a better place, maybe a lot better, maybe only a little better, then if McCain were more supported.
     
    More, McCain and his base of support are, well, horrific even beyond the norm, and would be horrendous for humanity, even beyond the norm, until restrained, and the depression induced by his election would curtail early energy for restraint, I suspect. Obama, by contrast, we don’t know a lot about, personally, and I doubt there is much there to get excited about, unless you are excited about charisma without visible substance, with one caveat I will return to below.
     
    On the other hand, Obama’s support is being elicited and then propelled based on the rubric of change and this has two very large upsides. It says change is possible, change is worth fighting for, and it aligns millions at least for the moment, for change, raising the question – how much change, and change to what? Also, you and I know that Obama isn’t going to deliver much without mass pressure on him to do so. He isn’t going to run for president, get the nomination, and then be president, if that happens, because he isn’t like others who have done so, but because he is like others who have done so. The idea he is some kind of stealth leftist is ludicrous. So, at the outset of his administration if he wins, he won’t deliver much change – just, I think, in some broad social programs and especially health care. He will let people down, as usual, in many respects, and particular regarding the war. Now what will be the popular reply. If Obama gets elected, this will be the critical deciding factor in whether it is just broadly more of the same, a little nicer (which means a lot to many people worldwide and therefore should not be dismissed as irrelevant) or the beginning of something new.
     
    It could be something new, not due to Obama being some kind of tribune of change – he isn’t – but due to his constituencies deciding, on seeing that he isn’t, that they don’t care firstly about him per se, they care firstly about change per se, and they are going to keep seeking it, even against Obama’s administration. That is what we have to hope for and seek.
     
    Now the caveat. There is one sense in which election of Obama, even without anything else occurring, would itself be historic and positive, again as a reflection of positive developments in the American population, but also as a spur to more. That is, of course, a black person becoming president, being voted for as president and day after day demonstrating the absurdity of racism on a very, very large stage. Anyone who says that wouldn’t be a wonderful step forward, though certainly not a final step in any respect, has a very strange understanding, in my view. And actually, the same holds but now around gender not just if Clinton had become president, but even just for her getting so close to that end. These are major indicators of a huge and even stupendous, but not yet complete, shift in consciousness and to a degree also social relations in the U.S. and they are also, themselves, events that add to that process. I know they are not irrevocable, I know they do not in themselves end racism or sexism, but they are real and substantial gains for what they say about progress to date, for the mindsets they will impact positively in the future, nonetheless, and are good, very good, in that respect. And this is so even if, as I believe to be the case, both Clinton and Obama are just more candidates of the same intellectual and moral sort as we always see.”
     
     

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