Obama the socialist? I think not.

My fellow contributor here on thinkPOP, Jarvis, has found a piece of a radio interview done with Barack Obama recorded in 2001. Listening to the cherry-picked clips of a discussion about the civil rights movement and watching the highlighted text swirl by you might be convinced that Obama is some kind of Marxist. 

However, understanding the shifts in the legal and social framework that occurred at the time of the civil rights movement, there was justification for the limited redistribution of wealth to a people that were the direct descendents of slaves and who because of segragation weren’t able to hold the same jobs or attend the same schools. He said that the courts were able to make schools “do things that cost money” like take in more students and hire more faculty and security to take in the influx of black students in the south. This is redistribution of wealth. In short, there is nothing in this clip about taking money away from the wealthiest Americans and giving it to poorer ones. 

As for this argument about the tax code. Well, while “spread the wealth around” was a silly comment to make, the real policy makes sense. The bush tax cuts to the wealthiest 1 percent of earners need to be repealed to pay for the wars our nation is fighting. Never in our nation’s history have we waged any war and cut taxes at the same time. Yet President Bush did each twice. The crippling loss of income has hampered our ability to fight this economic crisis without borrowing. 

But getting back to our favorite plumber…most plumbers make less that 250K a year, in fact most plumbers make less that 100k a year, no in fact most plumbers make less than 50k a year falling directly into the target for Obama’s tax cut. I amazes me that so many are ready to stand up for Joe. Remember the days before the Bush tax cuts, when pop stars and wealthy businessmen only had 12 cars in the driveway? those were mighty lean times indeed. 

Enough of our richest people calling out class warfare. And enough of those who know nothing of the civil rights movement cherry picking clips to misconstrue an argument.


How the Blogosphere changed the Election

Much has been made of the blogosphere, and the twitterverse and many have questioned the value of this level of meta-chatter as part of our national political discourse. The blogosphere has been debunked as the “echo-chamber” little more than a place where like minded people repeated their opinions (often based on bias information) back to each other in an endless loop. Even we here at thinkPOP have questioned whether or not the blogosphere simply increases the liklihood of us living in a fact-less world.

From a post in our days as Policythought:

…But in the age of the internet it’s far worse than that. I can ensconce myself in ideological blogs and podcasts, the echo-chamber effect. And when empirical evidence begins to pop up that my ideology or political leader might not be right, I can simply recreate reality through unfounded stories and minority reports…

…The Internet for all it’s power to share information, might actually be encouraging people to pull further into their demographic an ideological enclaves than explore others…

That’s the down side of world of blogging, tweeting, and facebook-status changing that we now live in. But there is an upside, and we saw it at play this week.

The sense many were getting from John McCain rallies across the country was that his supporters had taken on an ugly “some have called it “hard edged” tone. It was one of those stories everyone felt was true but there wasn’t much evidence of so it never gained traction. This is also the kind of story the main stream media (a term I really hate, please someone come up with a better one) can’t really cover effectively. Polls and surveys never accurately reflect something as touchy as racism. And once a film crew and news reporter come in to take video all of the sudden people are on their best behavior.

Enter the citizen journalist, enter the blogger.

While he clearly had an agenda in making the video, his being an “average Joe” citizen not only made it more likely for people to answer honestly, it gave a forum for people to speak their minds. It was just a guy with a camera, not CNN. But when this video went up on youtube and linked to small blog after small blog, then to the major blogs like Politico, the MSM had no choice but to pay attention to a very real story that was captured and exposed on video for the world to see.

That eruption has shown the ugly side of McCain’s support and has fundamentally changed how McCain deals with some of these folks. Just today, Politico is up with another field report of an uncomfortable exchange between McCain and some supporters at a rally. The point here is that citizen journalism that exposed a real truth about the campaign changed the narrative of the race. That is the power of the blogosphere and the new media age. We need to embrace that power as a way of legitimizing the media landscape Americans find less and less trustworthy.

Racism on Video

I’m certainly not the first blog up with this video this morning. But a liberal blogger in Ohio, posts this from a McCain/Palin rally in his home state. This is some of the tightest video evidence I’ve seen of inherent voter racism. These folks may be in the extreme, but they are also a very real segment of the population. 

Obama on Taxes

While neither candidate has the temerity to really take charge of the bailout mess. Obama seeks to clarify his position of taxes with this ad. While I appreciate the reiteration. My instinct is that voters seeing anything on the economy that doesn’t have to do with the bailout will likely tune it out as campaign rhetoric. In the context of a debate I think these are good talking points. As a stand alone ad….not sure how many minds it changes.

The opening

With MSM piling on to McCain’s gaffes on the economy. Obama has this opening to hit McCain on the economy. 

Conservatives reply on the “Houses” issue

From the department of we knew this was coming….

Problem is, Rezko was a known issue for Obama. While they might have wanted a segue to get him into the conversation. We all knew he was coming in. The issue is still a net loss for McCain. Though one of my new favorite reads Media Lizzy clearly thinks differently. See here and here.

Quick Hit: A Youtuber’s take on the race

It looks like hardcore dems really don’t want to lose this year.