Wednesday, November 05, 2008

An Obama landslide- and Janet Daley gets it wrong yet again


"Obama will not win the presidency: America will have been made to feel sufficiently good about itself simply by his nomination and the way it responds to him as a candidate not to feel the need to put him in the White House. America will decide that in such dangerous times, it must choose the wise older leader, the war hero, the statesman who talks about foreign policy and national security with real authority."
Janet Daley, Daily Telegraph, January 2008

"For what it is worth, I think it will be a close presidential race with the favourite, Obama, winning by a squeak."
Janet Daley, Daily Telegraph, November 2008.

Well, I hope you took my advice and headed down your local bookies to bet on an Obama landslide. If Daley, the world's worst pundit, said that Obama would win by a squeak, we knew for sure he'd win at a canter.

'The scale of Obama's victory exceeded Democratic expectations' reports The Guardian as the man Ms Daley assured us "will not win the Presidency" recorded the most emphatic win in a US Presidential election for two decades.

It's great to see the uber neocon McCain/Palin combo suffer such a heavy defeat. The American people have delivered a damning verdict on the past eight years- and disastrous neoconservative/neoliberal policies pursued by Bush and Cheney.

But while public opinion in America (and Britain too for that matter) has undoubtedly shifted to the left, neocon/neoliberal voices are (scandalously) still disproportionately represented in both countries mainstream media. Expect that to change over the next couple of years: people will simply stop reading columnists- and the newspapers they write for, if they consistently tell them things that they know not to be true (such as 'unregulated free market capitalism is good for everyone'; 'Barack Obama is a hard-line socialist' and 'soft' on terror, or that Russian and Iran pose 'a grave threat' to the west).

With their ridiculous attacks on Obama and bellicose pro-war rhetoric, uber neocon writers like Janet Daley, William Kristol and Melanie Phillips are totally out of step with the new spirit of the age. They've been proved wrong on virtually everything they've written about over the past ten years and their moment has well and truly passed.

32 comments:

olching said...

Hate to spoil the party, but, Neil, allow me to inject some realism/pessimism.

Firstly, this was not a landslide by any stretch of the imagination. It looks like he'll only get about 1 million votes more than Bush did in 2004. Hardly a sea change. Nearly half of Americans still voted for McCain.

Secondly, despite all the ridiculous accusations against Obama (socialist etc), he represents continuity of consumer culture and the spreading of 'freedom and democracy'. Europe will follow suit entirely (unlike under the Bush administration where it was blindingly clear that opposition to US crusades was a valuable position to take up).

I doubt McCain would have continued the very hardline neocon policies, and as such would probably - from a European perspective - different only little to Obama.

The foreign policy will change subtly, but certainly not fundamentally, and again this was always on the cards regardless of who was going to win.

The idea of 'change' sounds like and reminds very much of 'things can only get better' in 1997. I hate to say it - and I hope I'm wrong - but Obama's campaign has reminded me a lot of New Labour's victory in 1997 (including the celebrations).

Yes, it's great that a black man has won. It seemed quite improbable a short while ago, and as such is a huge and much welcomed development. But as far as the politics are concerned I am sceptical.

Neil Clark said...

Hi olching,

I don't disagree with you, except that
1. it was a landlside if we look at the electoral college.
2. I think it's highly likely that McCain would have continued the hardline neocon policies-as Scott McConnell says he was more of an ideologically committed neocon than Bush. It is for that reason that I think Obama was the call; I agree that in many ways he represents continuity, but he simply had to be better than John McCain. Like you I am under absolutely no illusions that Obama will make a clean break with the past- but the job now is for true democrats and progressives to exert pressure on him to make sure he puts the interests of the ordinary Americans who elected him before powerful special interest groups.

All best,
Neil

Anonymous said...

THANK GOD FOR BARACK OBAMA!

ematejoca said...

Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States of America

Yes they could. Yes they did.

Anonymous said...

Presidential candidate Ralph Nader's open letter to Barack Obama
November 3, 2008

Open letter to Senator Barack Obama

Dear Senator Obama:

In your nearly two-year presidential campaign, the words "hope and change," "change and hope" have been your trademark declarations. Yet there is an asymmetry between those objectives and your political character that succumbs to contrary centers of power that want not "hope and change" but the continuation of the power-entrenched status quo.

Far more than Senator McCain, you have received enormous, unprecedented contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests and, most interestingly, big corporate law firm attorneys. Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart. Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama? Could it be that in your state Senate record, your U.S. Senate record and your presidential campaign record (favoring nuclear power, coal plants, offshore oil drilling, corporate subsidies including the 1872 Mining Act and avoiding any comprehensive program to crack down on the corporate crime wave and the bloated, wasteful military budget, for example) you have shown that you are their man?

To advance change and hope, the presidential persona requires character, courage, integrity— not expediency, accommodation and short-range opportunism. Take, for example, your transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights in Chicago before your run for the U.S. Senate to an acolyte, a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby, which bolsters the militaristic oppression, occupation, blockage, colonization and land-water seizures over the years of the Palestinian peoples and their shrunken territories in the West Bank and Gaza. Eric Alterman summarized numerous polls in a December 2007 issue of The Nation magazine showing that AIPAC policies are opposed by a majority of Jewish-Americans.

You know quite well that only when the U.S. Government supports the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements, that years ago worked out a detailed two-state solution (which is supported by a majority of Israelis and Palestinians), will there be a chance for a peaceful resolution of this 60-year plus conflict. Yet you align yourself with the hard-liners, so much so that in your infamous, demeaning speech to the AIPAC convention right after you gained the nomination of the Democratic Party, you supported an "undivided Jerusalem," and opposed negotiations with Hamas— the elected government in Gaza. Once again, you ignored the will of the Israeli people who, in a March 1, 2008 poll by the respected newspaper Haaretz, showed that 64% of Israelis favored "direct negotiations with Hamas." Siding with the AIPAC hard-liners is what one of the many leading Palestinians advocating dialogue and peace with the Israeli people was describing when he wrote "Anti-semitism today is the persecution of Palestinian society by the Israeli state."

During your visit to Israel this summer, you scheduled a mere 45 minutes of your time for Palestinians with no news conference, and no visit to Palestinian refugee camps that would have focused the media on the brutalization of the Palestinians. Your trip supported the illegal, cruel blockade of Gaza in defiance of international law and the United Nations charter. You focused on southern Israeli casualties which during the past year have totaled one civilian casualty to every 400 Palestinian casualties on the Gaza side. Instead of a statesmanship that decried all violence and its replacement with acceptance of the Arab League’s 2002 proposal to permit a viable Palestinian state within the 1967 borders in return for full economic and diplomatic relations between Arab countries and Israel, you played the role of a cheap politician, leaving the area and Palestinians with the feeling of much shock and little awe.

David Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, described your trip succinctly: "There was almost a willful display of indifference to the fact that there are two narratives here. This could serve him well as a candidate, but not as a President."

Palestinian American commentator, Ali Abunimah, noted that Obama did not utter a single criticism of Israel, "of its relentless settlement and wall construction, of the closures that make life unlivable for millions of Palestinians. …Even the Bush administration recently criticized Israeli’s use of cluster bombs against Lebanese civilians [see www.atfl.org for elaboration]. But Obama defended Israeli’s assault on Lebanon as an exercise of its ‘legitimate right to defend itself.’"

In numerous columns Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, strongly criticized the Israeli government’s assault on civilians in Gaza, including attacks on "the heart of a crowded refugee camp… with horrible bloodshed" in early 2008.

Israeli writer and peace advocate— Uri Avnery— described Obama’s appearance before AIPAC as one that "broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning, adding that Obama "is prepared to sacrifice the most basic American interests. After all, the US has a vital interest in achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace that will allow it to find ways to the hearts of the Arab masses from Iraq to Morocco. Obama has harmed his image in the Muslim world and mortgaged his future— if and when he is elected president.," he said, adding, "Of one thing I am certain: Obama’s declarations at the AIPAC conference are very, very bad for peace. And what is bad for peace is bad for Israel, bad for the world and bad for the Palestinian people."

A further illustration of your deficiency of character is the way you turned your back on the Muslim-Americans in this country. You refused to send surrogates to speak to voters at their events. Having visited numerous churches and synagogues, you refused to visit a single Mosque in America. Even George W. Bush visited the Grand Mosque in Washington D.C. after 9/11 to express proper sentiments of tolerance before a frightened major religious group of innocents.

Although the New York Times published a major article on June 24, 2008 titled "Muslim Voters Detect a Snub from Obama" (by Andrea Elliott), citing examples of your aversion to these Americans who come from all walks of life, who serve in the armed forces and who work to live the American dream. Three days earlier the International Herald Tribune published an article by Roger Cohen titled "Why Obama Should Visit a Mosque." None of these comments and reports change your political bigotry against Muslim-Americans— even though your father was a Muslim from Kenya.

Perhaps nothing illustrated your utter lack of political courage or even the mildest version of this trait than your surrendering to demands of the hard-liners to prohibit former president Jimmy Carter from speaking at the Democratic National Convention. This is a tradition for former presidents and one accorded in prime time to Bill Clinton this year.

Here was a President who negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt, but his recent book pressing the dominant Israeli superpower to avoid Apartheid of the Palestinians and make peace was all that it took to sideline him. Instead of an important address to the nation by Jimmy Carter on this critical international problem, he was relegated to a stroll across the stage to "tumultuous applause," following a showing of a film about the Carter Center’s post-Katrina work. Shame on you, Barack Obama!

But then your shameful behavior has extended to many other areas of American life. (See the factual analysis by my running mate, Matt Gonzalez, on www.votenader.org). You have turned your back on the 100-million poor Americans composed of poor whites, African-Americans, and Latinos. You always mention helping the "middle class" but you omit, repeatedly, mention of the "poor" in America.

Should you be elected President, it must be more than an unprecedented upward career move following a brilliantly unprincipled campaign that spoke "change" yet demonstrated actual obeisance to the concentration power of the "corporate supremacists." It must be about shifting the power from the few to the many. It must be a White House presided over by a black man who does not turn his back on the downtrodden here and abroad but challenges the forces of greed, dictatorial control of labor, consumers and taxpayers, and the militarization of foreign policy. It must be a White House that is transforming of American politics— opening it up to the public funding of elections (through voluntary approaches)— and allowing smaller candidates to have a chance to be heard on debates and in the fullness of their now restricted civil liberties. Call it a competitive democracy.

Your presidential campaign again and again has demonstrated cowardly stands. "Hope" some say springs eternal." But not when "reality" consumes it daily.

Sincerely,
Ralph Nader

jock mctrousers said...

Yes, of course Ralph Nader is right. But a principled campaign is a losing campaign, unfortunately. That list is just a list of stuff he has to do to get elected - otherwise, no chance to do anything. My first reaction was: a black president is at least a step forward, and at least he's not likely to be any worse than Bush or McCain. But he could be worse, in that he might just be a perfect PR front to disarm the opposition while the elites continue with exactly the same shit. His scope for personal expression is extremely limited; the Democratic Party is totally corrupt, just serving the same constituency as the neocons. At the very least, out of his first term, I would hope to see no nuclear war, and that he, and the Democratic Party, tackle the abuses which allowed the Republicans to steal the last 2 elections - then there would be some chance of getting a president with a mandate for real change. If they don't achieve that, they're not trying, so give up on them.

Anonymous said...

'it must choose the wise older leader, the war hero, the statesman who talks about foreign policy and national security with real authority."'


Notice the fixation on national security....US is the most INSECURE nation on earth.

NOW WIL Obama roll back the vile Patriot act???

Brian

jock mctrousers said...

The subtitles on my tv are throwing up better put-downs than anything the Republicans came up with. Yesterday I had Barack Obama transcribed as 'Barca bummer'. Today I got ' President elect a bomber'.

Dan said...

a quick comment on the picture.
Obama has quit smoking, thats according to his wife.

Andy said...

"neocon/neoliberal voices are (scandalously) still disproportionately represented in both countries mainstream media. Expect that to change over the next couple of years..."

Thankfully, no chance of Soviet bloc apologists being published in the 'mainstream media', so do not get your hopes up of a career revival in the left to liberal press. Four months absence from 'comment is free' and only one article in the "New Statesman" all year rather suggests any "change over the next couple of years" will not include you. Good!

Anonymous said...

Obama elects a zionist? His first choice is ominous:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/11/06/2008-11-06_obama_chief_of_staff_rahm_emanuel_is_no_.html


Brian

Anonymous said...

Second posting. Don't you like the truth Mr Clark?

"neocon/neoliberal voices are (scandalously) still disproportionately represented in both countries mainstream media. Expect that to change over the next couple of years..."

Thankfully, no chance of Soviet bloc apologists being published in the 'mainstream media', so do not get your hopes up of a career revival in the left to liberal press. Four months absence from 'comment is free' and only one article in the "New Statesman" all year rather suggests any "change over the next couple of years" will not include you. Good!

Anonymous said...

Third posting. Don't you like the truth Mr Clark?

"neocon/neoliberal voices are (scandalously) still disproportionately represented in both countries mainstream media. Expect that to change over the next couple of years..."

Thankfully, no chance of Soviet bloc apologists being published in the 'mainstream media', so do not get your hopes up of a career revival in the left to liberal press. Four months absence from 'comment is free' and only one article in the "New Statesman" all year rather suggests any "change over the next couple of years" will not include you. Good!

Andy said...

Fourth posting. Don't you like the truth Mr Clark?

"neocon/neoliberal voices are (scandalously) still disproportionately represented in both countries mainstream media. Expect that to change over the next couple of years..."

Thankfully, no chance of Soviet bloc apologists being published in the 'mainstream media', so do not get your hopes up of a career revival in the left to liberal press. Four months absence from 'comment is free' and only one article in the "New Statesman" all year rather suggests any "change over the next couple of years" will not include you. Good!

Andy said...

Fifth posting. Don't you like the truth Mr Clark?

"neocon/neoliberal voices are (scandalously) still disproportionately represented in both countries mainstream media. Expect that to change over the next couple of years..."

Thankfully, no chance of Soviet bloc apologists being published in the 'mainstream media', so do not get your hopes up of a career revival in the left to liberal press. Four months absence from 'comment is free' and only one article in the "New Statesman" all year rather suggests any "change over the next couple of years" will not include you. Good!

Andy said...

Sixth posting. Don't you like the truth Mr Clark?

"neocon/neoliberal voices are (scandalously) still disproportionately represented in both countries mainstream media. Expect that to change over the next couple of years..."

Thankfully, no chance of Soviet bloc apologists being published in the 'mainstream media', so do not get your hopes up of a career revival in the left to liberal press. Four months absence from 'comment is free' and only one article in the "New Statesman" all year rather suggests any "change over the next couple of years" will not include you. Good!

Philip Cross said...

"neocon/neoliberal voices are (scandalously) still disproportionately represented in both countries mainstream media. Expect that to change over the next couple of years..."

Thankfully, no chance of Soviet bloc apologists being published in the 'mainstream media', so do not get your hopes up of a career revival in the left to liberal press. Four months absence from 'comment is free' and only one article in the "New Statesman" all year suggests any "change over the next couple of years" will not include you. Oh dear!

Dan said...

Obama elect a Zionist?
surprise surpirse

look at this

http://www.maktoobblog.com/userFiles/m/o/moudk2005/images/1226082617.jpg

Neil Clark said...

on reflection I've decided to post your comments 'andy' aka philip cross' as I think it tells readers more about you than it does me.

For readers who don't know about 'philp cross', he's the wikipedia editor who has spent countless hours maliciously editing my wikipedia page- that is until he was warned to leave the page alone by a wikipedia administrator. I'll be sending your emails to me today to wikipedia- whether they decide that someone who sends repeated emails containing personal attacks to a subject (and you've done this in the past too), is a suitable person to be an editor is up to them.
more about philip cross' obsessional behaviour can be found here:

http://neilclark66.blogspot.com/2007/01/old-dogs-old-tricks.html

http://neilclark66.blogspot.com/2007/12/stranger-than-fiction-wikipedia.html

philip cross said...

So now you know the three names on my birth certificate, though I don't use the diminutive form of my first name very often.

For you to be completely scrupulous (better late than never) you should restore my first posting from last night. For some reason you did not bother with my second posting from this afternoon either, which is typical of your tendency to mislead, as it makes me appear unable to count.

(comment edited)

Neil Clark said...

'philip'- I have posted every comment I have received from you and your alter ego 'andy'.

how about some comments from you actually debating the issues, instead of indulging in bitter, personal attacks? anyone would think that you've lost the argument, by your preference for personal abuse.

Anonymous said...

Neil, can you keep us informed after you send Philip Cross' s bizarre rants to wiki, and let us know what action, if any, they take. No he isn't fit to be an editor and wiki shouldn't need telling twice if their own credibility and integrity mean anything to them. In the meantime if I were you, I wouldn't interact with Cross, let me try instead.

Cross - you haven't contributed anything other than your very personal focus on Neil Clark. Your attacks (they're not contributions) are puerile, aggressive and obsessive. For that reason I advise Neil not to engage with you because I sense you're the type who feeds of any sense of misery you succeed in causing others. You're a Sad little fucker, Cross, you seem to think you have a flair for pushing, bullying and you get off on it. Help is here! You do know Penile extensions are available, ask your mother to go halves as she's the only other person besides yourself who'll ever reap the benefit. Now grab a mag, top of my head - 'favourite all time hedge funders,' take a couple of tissues and release some of that pressure.

olching said...

Well done, Neil, on publishing Philip Cross' postings. It exposes him as the sad little idiot that he seems to be.

Neil Clark said...

thanks, anonymous and olching.
'philip cross' has been doing this for some time now. His user talk page at wikipedia is a revealing read.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Philip_Cross

he was active on my page for nearly two years until given a warning to leave it alone by another wikipedia editor, yet still he kept coming back to try and insert info he thinks shows me in a bad light. Obsessional really isn't the word.

Neil Clark said...

'philip cross' is getting nuttier by the second.
I woke up this morning to find that he had sent in the following comment ELEVEN times:

"Let's lynch the cretin."


he then followed it with this
observation:

All critics of Neil Clark must DIE. Kadar legitimately killed Nagy, so DEATH is the least this creature should expect.

olching: I don't think 'sad little idiot' goes nowhere near describing this man's madness.

Neil Clark said...

And he's also been busy last night editing my wikipedia page again.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Neil_Clark_(writer)

A certain Oliver Kamm passed comment that I should not be regarded as a 'regular Times contributor' and lo and behold, 'philip cross' comes and makes the edit.

You couldn't make it up!

Anonymous said...

No one should have to put up with this, Neil - perhaps wiki should ensure all their "editors" are suitably assessed before being let lose on their site as of now. If wikipedia doesn't have a problem with Cross et al after this then they can hardly complain that their site is increasingly regarded as a basket case, not a trusted source for reference.
There's been problems with the pro Israel crowd on there - There they were beavering away, slagging everyone else off as "conspiracy theorists" right up to their "internal group emails" "you do this, i'll do that, lets not get caught" got exposed.
Unreal!

Neil Clark said...

anonymous: thanks for your support.
take a look at who popped up on the page today to indulge in his usual smearing!
You really couldn't make it up.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Neil_Clark_(writer)

olching said...

Wow, a nutter.

Philip, perhaps you should try having a wank or two to get rid of those pent-up frustrations.

Neil, have a beer and laugh...easier said than done, I know...

Philip Cross said...

For the record, I have also posted the following on your articles talk page:

"Yes Clark, last night I momentarily wanted to do away with myself, and use your 'socialism with a disfigured face' as my motivation. I'm alright now though, and do not feel suicidal.

"Clearly it is you who are being exposed more than I am. No matter how unhinged I come over as being, you respond in your typical way. I might feel the same way again, which might ultimately show how shallow your 'socialism' is, though I hardly need to use myself as a guinea pig to demonstrate that! I was of cause mocking your politics in the second posting last night, and it does not represent my views.

What kind of conscience do you have?

Neil Clark said...

what kind of conscience do I have?

a very good one. if i had peddled lies about Iraq's non-existent WMD in the media to try to bring about a war in which up to 1m have died, or if i was peddling lies about Iran's non-existent nuclear weapons programe, in order to bring about another catastrophic conflict, I wouldn't.

save your question about conscience to those who propagandise for wars in which neither they or their family members will not get killed, but from which they will profit.

Anonymous said...

Neil, will I get into trouble if I post a suicide link for "Flip" Cross, he did mention feeling suicidal and who knows how much the poor creature suffers. I think he should be allowed to if he wants to, I'm even willing to assist if it means he'll stop posting here, lol, - anyone know where Flip Cross lives!

Seriously - Wikipedia need to remove this man (he's a lunatic) from editing and have the decency to apologise to Neil Clark. Let us know how you go on, Neil.

Best
Pru