President Obama: It’s Not Our Fault (Displaced Anger)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: IT’S NOT OUR FAULT

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nida-khan/president-obama-its-not-o_b_795599.html

by Nida Khan

Nida Khan

President Obama is angry, and rightfully so. He’s endured two years of meticulous Republican opposition to virtually every measure put forth, even when he – dare I say – compromised. Setting aside campaign promises of a public healthcare option and a closing of Guantanamo Bay, the President has abandoned many of his platforms only to face continual filibustering, abuse and contempt from the right. So this past Tuesday during a press conference on the proposed tax cut deal, he let loose – except the anger was directed to those that have been in his corner since day one. It was, in effect, like the overworked and underpaid worker who comes home and beats his wife and kids instead of standing up to his tyrant boss.

September 2009 marked the beginning of the end of Obama’s hold on his own principles, the desires of all those who overwhelmingly voted for change and the notion of respect for the coveted office of the Presidency. There was no capitulation on ideas, nor was there a reversal of any major campaign promise. Instead, it was a brief utterance from a Republican elected official in the House Chambers that virtually sealed this President’s fate. It was two words that still reverberate around political corners till this day; it was the inexcusable and outlandish outburst of South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson. During his national address on healthcare, our President was momentarily interrupted by the words: ‘You Lie’. And he has been unable to regain control since.

Joe Wilson

Failing to exert his authority during that pivotal moment, President Obama fell victim to vultures that were only ready, willing and able to find his weakness. And they soon enough did – his inability to stand up to White opposition rooted in bigotry. Until that definitive instant, our Commander-in-Chief never faced such blatant insolence and hostility. Prior to Joe Wilson’s scathing remarks, Obama only had to negotiate and engage in intellectual discourse with his opponents. This was in essence the first time he was face-to-face with individuals who devalued the notion of a Black President so much so that they deemed it appropriate to openly degrade and embarrass him in front of the nation.

As a biracial child growing up in a White household and later attending Ivy league schools, Obama was always perceived as the ‘exception’ out of a race of people that are still struggling to shatter inaccurate stereotypes and achieve equality in a society that is far from post-racial. And though he grew up outside of the mainland,the President fully immersed himself in the struggles of African Americans and disenfranchised groups as evidenced by his work as a community organizer and advocate. Whole-heartedly embracing and identifying with his Black side, Obama married a Black woman, attended a Black Church and understood the importance of uplifting a segment of the population that has been methodically oppressed.

In the process of developing his identity, Obama also unfortunately acquired the notion of displaced anger – directing one’s frustration at someone or something that is safe or convenient, as opposed to the actual source of one’s anger. And sadly, we have seen this pattern manifest itself over and over again. Consistently accusing the ‘professional left’ of being ‘sanctimonious’, President Obama has notonly abandoned the very base that created a grassroots movement of victory thatushered him to the White House, but he has chosen to continually attack them whenthey have shown nothing but support – even in the face of reversals in campaignpromises. Instead of directly challenging those that are systematically placingroadblocks in every direction of his path, President Obama is regrettably channelinghis frustration on those that want nothing more than to see him succeed.

The sooner our President recognizes this reality, the sooner he will be able tobreak the shackles from the remnants of mental slavery that still unfortunatelysubconsciously determine our actions – even when those actions originate from thehighest office in the land.

Nida Khan is the news correspondent for WRKS 98.7 Kiss FM NY

follow her at www.twitter.com/NidaKhanNY

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Don’t Get Too Smug About Christine O’Donnell’s Flub-How Many of Y’all Can Cite Supreme Court Decisions?

There’s an old saying ‘Don’t get too smug that you wind up being the smartest person in the room-In the end that won’t win you very many friends‘. In other words be wary of trying to make others feel or seem stupid.  Be humble. Walk and talk WITH people. Don’t preach or talk AT them.

Thats a word of caution to those of us on the left leaning side of the room. Acting smug leads to us underestimating and alienating folks

It was hard not to think these thoughts when watching the Christine O’Donnell vs Chris Coons US Senate debate in Delaware that aired on CNN last night. Here O’Donnell was asked what recent Supreme Court decision has she disagreed with and she was stumped. O’Donnell couldn’t name one.

Now, a lot of my colleagues who are in the media or part of the pundit’s brigade took glee in her misstep. Many were quick to tweet about ‘how dumb she was’ and compared her to Sarah Palin who was similarly stumped when she was running for Vice President.Many are quick to say since she’s running for office she should know. ideally yes, I agree, but many look to see themselves in the folks they elect.

We saw this with George Bush and his ‘aaaw shucks lets have a beer’ mannerisms. Many accused an un-infiormed public of voting for President Obama without fully knowing what he was about other then skin color and our collective reaction to racial attacks directed at him.

If we believe what has been reported in the past we certainly know that many of the bills passed are not fully read by those in office. I caution folks who took glee in O’Donnell’s flub to slow down and not get too full of themselves. Her not knowing is not to far removed from the reality of the average ordinary person who works 9-5 and likes to think they stay fairly abreast of current events. Many folks look to see themselves in politicians and while O’Donnell is likely to lose in Delaware, what about other places?

Tea Party Candidate Sharon Angle is leading Harry Reid in spite saying a lot of 'dumb' things-Where are all the smart people?

We’re gleefully calling people dumb but may wind up losing all sorts of seats to ‘dumb’ Tea Party types. How is that happening if we’re so damn smart? Why is Harry Reid trailing in polls to one of those ‘dumb’ tea party types-Sharon Angle? Where’s all the smart people in the room ?I’ll await your answer.

To those who wanna sit back and smirk, I caution and challenge you to ask your neighbor or family member the same question. Heck ask yourself. What recent Supreme Court decisions over the past couple of years do you disagree with? Cite 3  without looking them up. I’ll wait.

Most folks are likely to cite the Supreme Court decision that came down earlier this year that allows corporations the right to pump unlimited funds into campaign ads. However, most including myself are likely to have to google to get the exact name and even then we better have some inkling because simply typing in ‘Supreme Court decisions’ wont get you very far.

Quick, is it People vs Citizens United? or the FEC vs Citizens United? Does anyone know who or what is Citizens United without looking it up?

Thank God for wikipedia. I’d venture to say that very few of us and that includes many folks in the media knew that Citizens United was a conservative non profit. Even fewer knew who Citizen United intended to attack, but was prohibited, which in turn prompted the lawsuit and the eventual  Supreme Court’s landmark decision.

For those who don’t know, it was Hillary Clinton. You can brush up on the case here.. FEC vs Citizens United.

There are many who are in media or political junkies who are up on such things or at the very least have enough info on hand that they can start a reasonable search. A lot of folks simply would not know where to begin, even with the internet at their finger tips. For example, type in the term Supreme Court decision and see what you get.. If it’s on Google you get the following sites:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/slipopinions.aspx

 

Christine O'Donnell not knowing the most recent Supreme Court decisions is not too far removed from the reality of most people

 

Try reading your way through those pages and come up with reasonable conclusions.  The average Joe or Jane is probably gonna call it a wrap and move on. Maybe our esteemed media outlets should spend less time telling me about Lindsey Lohan going to jail or Courtney Cox breaking up and more about important decisions made by the nine justices on the Supreme Court.

Again only the smug, smartest kid in the room is gonna clown O’Donnell for not knowing Supreme Court decisions. Everyone else is going to see themselves in her especially after she noted she didn’t know.

In addition I think most folks watching probably appreciated the fact that she noted how Roe vs Wade wouldn’t make abortions illegal, but would leave it up to states to decide. A lot of folks did not know that.

Here’s a brief breakdown

NANCY KARIBJANIAN: What opinions, of late, that have come from our high court, do you most object to?

O’DONNELL: Oh, gosh. Um, give me a specific one. I’m sorry.

KARIBJANIAN: Actually, I can’t, because I need you to tell me which ones you object to.

O’DONNELL: Um, I’m very sorry, right off the top of my head, I know that there are a lot, but I’ll put it up on my website, I promise you.

WOLF BLITZER: We know that you disagree with Roe v. Wade.

O’DONNELL: Yeah, but she said a recent one.

BLITZER: That’s relatively recent.

O’DONNELL: She said “of late.” But yeah. Well, Roe v. Wade would not put the power — It’s not recent, it’s 30-something years old —

BLITZER: But since then, have there been any other Supreme Court decisions?

O’DONNELL: Well, let me say about Roe v. Wade — If that were overturned, would not make abortion illegal in the United States, it would put the power back to the states.

BLITZER: But besides that decision, anything else you disagree with?

O’DONNELL: Oh, there are several when it comes to pornography, when it comes to court decisions — not to Supreme Court, but federal court decisions to give terroristsMirandize rights. There are a lot of things I believe — This California decision to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I believe there are a lot of federal judges legislating from the bench.

BLITZER: That wasn’t the Supreme Court. That was a lower —

You can peep the exchange below

O’DONNELL: That was a federal judge. That’s what I said. In California.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQZbxm7ntf4

Now will last night’s stumble hurt Christine O’Donnell?  Probably not. She was already hurt because of her infamous witchcraft remarks which were made known to us via HBO TV host Bill Maher who pulled out the 10 year old clips.

To the degree that’s made her the butt of jokes and has wiped away her shine and momentum is very different then her not knowing the most recent Supreme Court decisions. Trust me I was one of those folks that had a field day because of her remarks.

But I gotta be honest, I was riding that pony with the hopes it would gain traction and slow her roll. I don’t want Ms O’Donnell in the US senate. I disagree with her political Tea party inspired views. The witchcraft flub is fair game. She can explain it away as being youthful indiscretion the same way President Barack Obama explained away his use of cocaine or the way former President Bill Clinton explained away his marijuana puff or lack of a puff.  (He said he didn’t inhale-yeah right Bill)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iWRw3oZdg4

 

We all know Christine O'Donnell, but who is Chris Coons? What do we know about him?

 

Lastly I cant say what’s what in Delaware but most folks outside its borders know Christine O’Donnell but most would be hard pressed to name her opponent Chris Coons without looking him up. Most of us would do so by googling her name and then reading whatever article popped up in hopes of seeing his name. While I can see folks not wanting O’Donnell in the senate what about her opponent? What’s he about? What’s his stance on issues? Is he progressive or another Ben Nelson/ Joe Liberman type?  Has he excited voters so that we wanna vote for him or are folks riled up and wanna vote against O’Donnell?  I’ll await your answers…

Something to Ponder

-Davey D-

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Will The Youth Vote Trump Tea Party In Midterm Elections?

by Bakari Kitwana

One of the most important unasked questions this midterm election year is this: “Will the youth vote be a factor in 2010?” Given the actual impact of the youth vote in 2008, it’s a far more important question than the ones daily raised by the media manufactured so-called Tea Party Movement–despite the latter’s success at striking fear in the hearts of incumbents.

The Tea Party murmuring is hardly a movement. It has not a single political victory to speak of. Not so easy to dismiss are young voters who two years ago turned out in record numbers to vote in the presidential election. Two-thirds of the 23 million voters 18-29 who voted for president in 2008, voted for Barack Obama.

“The election of Barack Obama was a major electoral politics victory for the youth vote,” says Angela Woodson who co-chaired the 2004 National Hip-Hop Political Convention, which brought together 4000 young voters from across the US. “But it doesn’t help the president to move their agenda if he isn’t backed by a strong legislative body with the same vision.”

The primary races unfolding this spring and summer (Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina had theirs this week) will lay the groundwork for important midterm elections this November. Both will determine if President Barack Obama can move forward effectively with his change agenda or if young voters will see common sense policies that they voted for in 2008 erupt into ugly, year-long knock down, drag out debates–the ways healthcare and economic reform have.

Over the last year and a half, young voters have for the most part remained on the sidelines of mainstream political debates. And a Gallup poll last week found that young voters are less enthusiastic about voting in midterm elections than older voters.

Is the youth vote simply elated by what it achieved in 2008 or exhausted from the effort?

Biko Baker

Rob Biko Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters Education Fund, an organization that has been mobilizing young voters since 2003 says it’s neither.

“Community institutions and capacity have been weakened by the economy, says Baker. But I don’t think that youth have been quiet. The mainstream media just isn’t focusing on their activism.”

When the Chris Brown and Rihanna incident pushed dating violence into the media spotlight early last year, young voters missed an opportunity to translate their newly won political leverage into much needed dating violence reform. Young voters were mostly silent on the healthcare debate. They were even quieter on student loan reform. Both were signed into law despite lackluster support from the youth voting bloc.

However, Baker points to other issues where youth have taken the lead, such as activism around immigration (in Arizona) and police brutality (Oscar Grant in Oakland).

“Young people are engaged in these issues and extremely present in on-line advocacy,” says Biko, pointing to a recent survey that found that African Americans were more likely to be on Twitter. “But despite their sophistication, we need to identify a tangible agenda around which to heighten that engagement.”

Already this year, the country has witnessed the white backlash against Obama under the auspices of a Tea Party Movement, the rising conservative state’s rights agenda in the form of Arizona immigrant laws and Texas textbook reform, and the even more extreme antigovernment militias threatening violence to thwart an inevitably more inclusive America. With important congressional, senate and governor races approaching, all three may be tangible catalysts for youth electoral politics engagement.

Given the significant number of independent voters in their ranks (42 percent of college students and 35 percent of African Americans under 30 are independent), such a turning point will require young voters to rethink their independent status in the primary in order to assure the most viable candidates are on the ballot on November 2.

Young voters need to understand that the primary structure was created for the two-party system,” says Woodson, the former director of Outreach for Faith-based and Community Initiatives for the Ohio governor’s office, who now heads the consulting firm Gelic Group. “In order to use the same aggressiveness for midterm elections that they did during the presidential race, the youth vote has to learn how to play the independent game and switch parties when it makes sense.”

Such thinking is not unprecedented. During the 2008 Democratic Primary Election, Republicans crossed over and voted for the Democrat they believed to be the easier opponent for their Republican contender, then switched back to “Republican” for the general election. It made concrete political sense and is well within the rules.

The question is, will young voters abandon their fierce independent convictions in the short term to advance their long-term goals?

If they can do this, then they are closer to building a movement than so-called Tea Party supporters can imagine.

Bakari Kitwana is CEO of Rap Sessions, Editor at Large of NewsOne.com and author of the forthcoming Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era. (Third World Press, 2010)

original story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bakari-kitwana/will-the-youth-vote-trump_b_566478.html

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