John Conyers (D-MI) is attempting to neutralize the GOP vote supression tactic known as “vote caging,” where Republicans target vulnerable voters using mailings an individual has to sign for to determine if an address is valid, and then challenging the registrations of voters who don’t respond. Republicans have attempted to disenfranchise thousands of black voters using the tactic. TPM has provided the text of the bill, but hopefully they won’t mind if I use their bullet points.

Via TPM:

* Provides that the right to register to vote or vote shall not be denied by election officials if the denial is based on voter caging and other questionable challenges not corroborated by independent evidence.

* Prohibits persons other than election officials from challenging a voter’s eligibility based on voter caging and other questionable challenges.

* Requires that any voter challenge by persons other than election officials be based on personal, first-hand knowledge.

* Designates voter-caging and other questionable challenges intended to disqualify eligible voters as felonies, crimes eligible for fines up to $250,000, five years imprisonment, or both.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both signed on to a similar version of the bill in the Senate. It’s worth noting however, that Obama stood up to block career vote suppressor von Spakovsky from being named to the Federal Election Commission, a decision he is now getting considerable flak for because it’s holding up the ethics reforms he was pushing.

I’m glad Barack Obama prevented the appointment of someone who has spent his entire career trying to keep black people from voting to a government body that is in charge of regulating election law. I think Obama has his priorities right; no one who has worked to deny American citizens their right to vote should be given more authority to regulate that right, in the name of “efficiency”.

I’m also glad to hear that the lawsuit Clinton allies filed to disenfranchise members of the Culinary Workers Union has failed, but I think people are missing part of the point when they argue just that the Democratic Party is supposed to be against that sort of campaign tactic. It’s also that Clinton herself complained about voters being disenfranchised in the Iowa Caucus:

Clinton also faulted the caucus system for some of her troubles. She said that New Hampshire’s primary vote would be more favorable for her since working voters have all day to show up and vote and don’t have to arrive at a specific time required in Iowa under its unique caucus system.

In New Hampshire, Clinton explained, “you’re not disenfranchised if you work at night. You’re not disenfranchised if you’re not in the state.”

The Caucus sites in Nevada were designed by the DNC to make sure that didn’t happen. But once the Culinary Union endorsed Obama, all of that talk of voter disenfranchisement went out the window. It’s clear that Clinton cares less about protecting the right to vote than she does about protecting the right of Americans to vote for her. Who does that remind you of?

So far, the Clintons have tried to disenfranchise likely Obama voters in two states: students in Iowa and Culinary workers in Nevada.

What’s going to happen in South Carolina, where Obama is now poised to carry the black vote? Are we going to see some old school Dixiecrat action?

Thanks to everybody for checking out and updating the wiki we set up to track and evaluate Clinton attacks on Obama. The joint is still growing!

As of now, we have over 25 incidents and some notable new ones including:

  • SC State Senator (and Hater Extraordinaire) Robert Ford
  • Clinton pollster trying to drive a wedge between blacks and latinos
  • Folks playing on fears of an Obama assassination

It just keeps going. Tell your people about it. Tell folks who doubt about it.

For those that are having a hard time with the wiki, try these instructions

  1. Go to the wiki
  2. Read the instructions on the first page
  3. Then go to the Incident Tracker page
  4. At the top, click “Edit Page” (password is: 2008)
  5. If there are no empty templates to type in, you can highlight the last one, copy and then paste it below, changing the info
  6. If that’s too much, just press the “Comment” button at the top of the page and leave your incident there. Someone else will put it in the template

You can also just leave incidents in the comment of this post if you don’t have time to do all that I wrote above.

cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK

Yo, next week is gonna be insane. During Iowa and New Hampshire, we were able to find some first hand accounts of the experience on the ground. I’m trying to prepare better for that this time.

If you know people who live in South Carolina or who will be traveling down there to campaign (for anyone) or observe, let us know if they’d be willing to share their perspectives. I don’t have people in South Carolina, so I’m hoping yall will help fill in the gaps.

Send me a note (jackturnerpolitics – at – gmail – dot – com) if you have some leads.

We have some folks signed up already including

  • A lawyer traveling down to monitor the election for shenanigans
  • An Obama volunteer going down to knock on doors

I’m also interested in finding bloggers and grassroots/local media perspectives, so if you know of a YouTuber, blogger, independent radio station, photographer, camera phone artist, podcast, newsletter, whatever hit me on email or drop a comment on this post. Forward this note to your people.

I don’t want our perspective here to be dependent completely on the mainstream media narrative, pollsters and others who may not have a damn clue what they’re talking about.

Let’s step up this new media thing another notch.

Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan

So far, in Michigan, the African-American vote is going 69 percent for “Uncommitted” against 25 percent for Clinton. That’s a brutal judgment on the front-runner in the Democratic race. I wonder if the Clintons have badly damaged their own party in their attempt to quash the hopes raised by Obama.

More analysis from Huffington Post, and a link to the complete exit poll data

Interesting points:

  • Clinton owns the 60+ demographic with 68%
  • Clinton again captures those without a college degree (60%) and those with high school degrees (73%)
  • She lost independents (51 to 37)

Also, many Dems in Michigan decided to stay home altogether. For those who came out to register their opposition to Clinton, there may be many more who just didn’t bother because their votes didn’t count.

There’s more data in there. Feel free to add more or discuss in the comments.

It’s not that I believe in Mickey Kaus’ concept of the “undernews” which is less a viable theory about the media than it is code for Kaus’ willingness to publish unsubstantiated allegations and the latest right wing smears that land in his email inbox, but the double standard Kaus, Hannity and others hold Obama’s church to needs to be addressed.

The argument goes something like this: Trinity United’s proclamation that they are “unashamedly black” is racist and their “commitment to Africa” betrays a disloyalty to the United States. This is of course, rubbish, and there is another religion in America whose commitment to preserving their ethnic identity is tied to a physical space outside America’s borders: Judaism.

Jews reaffirm our commitment to Israel at every Shabbat service and every Seder, where the clinking of wine glasses can be heard alongside cries of “next year in Jerusalem!” But the Jewish commitment to Israel is easily understood by most as a spiritual commitment, a way of preserving Jewish identity in the diaspora. The Shema, holiest prayer in Judaism, the one that volunteer Jewish ambulance workers toiling in the rubble of the World Trade Center on 9/11 could be heard whispering to themselves as the second tower fell and they began to fear for their lives, the one we as Jews are supposed to say in the brief moments before our own deaths, is translated as “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One”.

Likewise, in 2000, had any mainstream political observer suggested that Joe Lieberman’s Judaism consititued some bizarre loyalty oath to another country, they would have been immediately tagged as an anti-Semite, and with good reason. And yet Right Wing blogger Seton Motley had no objections to raising similar “concerns” about Barack Obama.

In a January 11 entry on the blog NewsBusters, Media Research Center director of communications Seton Motley questioned Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) allegiance to the United States, and suggested that a “prohibition on the Presidency … could reasonably be extended to Obama.” Motley claimed that Obama’s membership in Trinity United Church of Christ, which is predominantly African-American, “seems to stand in diametric opposition to … the oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.” Noting that Trinity United professes to “remain ‘true to our native land,’ ” Motley wrote: “Our prohibition on the Presidency for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has chosen fidelity to the United States but whose loyalties are called into question merely by the matter of his place of birth, could reasonably be extended to Obama, who had the good fortune to be born in America, but who chooses to pledge allegiance elsewhere as an article of faith.”

When people say similar things about Jews, they are called anti-Semites.

Trinity United’s commitment to Africa is a spiritual one that reaffirms the ethnic identity of most of its parishoners. It is virtually indistinguishable as a concept from the Jewish commitment to Israel, and should be viewed in the same light.

This is clear in Judaism because prayers and traditions surrounding Israel predate the creation of Israel as a country. That Trinity’s commitment is largely spiritual should be obvious simply because of the fact that Africa is not a country.

Trinity’s proclamation that they are “unashamedly black” only sounds threatening if you ignore the fact that 50 years ago being black deprived you of the same legal rights white people had. Hannity and Kaus ignore this context, presumably because they’re offended that we aren’t still ashamed of being black. The offense that they take is similar to feigned Right Wing horror at Latinos waving American flags alongside those of the Dominican Republic or Colombia, while for some reason Jews, Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans can wave their flags unmolested and unaccused. The reason is pretty simple: ethnic solidarity is only okay for white people.

As for Trinity’s disavowal of “middle-classness,” this is such an innocuous knock at materialism, the idea that your financial decisions are more important than your moral decisions, that the offense taken is patently absurd.

It’s worse than absurd, it’s deliberate. Barack Obama is the only candidate whose loyalties are constantly questioned, and it has less to do with his religion or his childhood than it does with the color of his skin. Political correctness has driven such the overt admission of such prejudices out of polite conversation, but we all know what they’re really saying.

cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK

“The very worst of second-wave feminism”

This is why I listen to Democracy Now and why it should be the only news source you absolutely check out. I am so serious about this.

Last week, our own dnA did a marvelous piece about feminism and racism and the rough intersection that this campaign is exposing. He was responding in part to Gloria Steinem’s oped in the NY Times in which she claimed that Barack Obama would never be so lauded were he a woman.

Well, yesterday Gloria Steinem appeared on Democracy Now opposite Princeton University Assistant Associate Professor for Politics and African American Studies, Melissa Harris-Lacewell.

You. Must. Listen. To. This. Interview.

In short. Steinem got her behind handed to her and her arguments danced around. In fact, I want yall to see this so much, I created a custom YouTube player with the entire interview in video (35minutes). Below the player are some incredible excerpts, but you need to read, listen to or watch the entire thing!


And so, when Steinem suggests, for example, in that article that Obama is a lawyer married to another lawyer and to suggest that, for example, Hillary Clinton represents some kind of sort of breakthrough in questions of gender, I think that ignores an entire history in which white women have in fact been in the White House. They’ve been there as an attachment to white male patriarchal power. It’s the same way that Hillary Clinton is now making a claim towards experience. It’s not her experience. It’s her experience married to, connected to, climbing up on white male patriarchy. This is exactly the ways in which this kind of system actually silences questions of gender that are more complicated than simply sort of putting white women in positions of power and then claiming women’s issues are cared for.

Now, what I know from the work that I’ve done on the Obama campaign is that there are tens of thousands of extremely hard-working white men and women, as well as black men and women, as well as actually a huge multiracial and interethnic coalition of people working for Barack Obama. And so, for Steinem to sort of make this very clear race and gender dichotomy that she does in that New York Times op-ed piece, I think it’s the very worst of second-wave feminism.

On Hillary Clinton trying to have it both ways as an independent woman and a woman whose powers are derived from her relationship with a man

And I will say that I am really offended by the ways in which the Hillary Clinton campaign has not taken the high road on this. They’ve consistently used ways of thinking about her as Bill Clinton’s wife. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot both claim this sort of role as independent woman making a stand on questions of feminism and claim that your experience begins as First Lady of Arkansas.

Responding to Steinem bringing up the value of women’s work as caretakers:

I certainly understand, in a very intimate way, you know, the power and the value of domestic and caretaking work. But I also know very clearly a history that I believe Steinem’s piece attempted to distort, and that is that as white women moved into the workforce, much of that caretaking work did not go to white men who sort of took up and helped out, but it fell on women of color—African American women, immigrant women—who stepped in to do much of the domestic labor and childcare provision, so that white women could in fact become a part of the workforce. So to, for example, make an argument like black men had the right to vote long before white women is to ignore that black men were then lynched regularly for any attempt to actually exercise that right.

I just feel that we have got to get clear about the fact that race and gender are not these clear dichotomies in which, you know, you’re a woman or you’re black. I’m sitting here in my black womanhood body, knowing that it is more complicated than that. African American men have been complicit in the oppression of African American women. White women have been complicit in the oppression of black men and black women. Those things are true. And so, to pretend that we can somehow take them out of the conversation when a white woman runs against a black man, when she tears up at being sort of beat up by him, when her husband can come in and rally around her and suggest that we need to sort of support her because she’s having difficulties, while Barack Obama is getting death threats, basically lynching threats on him and his family, these are—for a second-wave feminist with an understanding of the complexity of American race and gender to take this kind of position in the New York Times struck me as, again, the very worst of what that feminism can offer—in other words, division.

On the role of black women in the feminist movement (echoing statements by dnA here last week)

Part of what, again, has been sort of an anxiety for African American women feminists like myself is that we’re often asked to join up with white women’s feminism, but only on their own terms, as long as we sort of remain silent about the ways in which our gender, our class, our sexual identity doesn’t intersect, as long as we can be quiet about those things and join onto a single agenda. So, yes, I absolutely agree, we must be in coalition, but it must be a fair coalition of equals.

And it’s one of the things that’s exciting about Barack Obama’s campaign, working on it in New Hampshire, seeing it at work in Iowa, being a part of meetings here in New Jersey, is in fact that you cannot pick what an Obama supporter looks like. Obama supporters are young and old, black and white, male and female. And it is, in fact, the most sort of nurturing and coalition-building space I’ve ever had an opportunity to do political work in.

On Obama’s experience and opposition to the war

I taught at the University of Chicago for years before coming to Princeton. So Barack Obama was my state senator. He was my US senator. So every time I hear people say he doesn’t have much experience, I find it extremely irritating, because it means that somehow representing me in my government meant very little experience. So I actually was there in Chicago and in Illinois when Senator Obama took those stands against the war, and I can tell you, it was not an easy thing to do. So I’m appreciative of having been represented by someone like him who had those kinds of positions.

On the risks of brining up race in the campaign

I mean, I’m very glad that Ms. Steinem got such positive responses to her op-ed piece. I wrote a piece which hit Slate, in which I sort of made the similar arguments I made here, and I received death threats to myself, to my daughter. I was called a racist, even though I spend most of my hours, you know, working with privileged white students, who I love and adore and work very hard for here at Princeton.

So I have to say that the ways in which race, the moment it shows up, explodes campaigns is part of why the Obama race has sort of kept race at an arm’s distance. And so, many of us who are supporters but not part of the campaign are the ones who end up bringing up race, because the campaign itself does not do so.

There is so much more. On Lani Guinier, voting rights, the media. Oh lord. You really must print this out or put it on your iPod for the commute home. Now

Send Bracewell a thank you note (info at, and tell her JJP sent you. She kept it so real.

Goin’ Crabbing

15 Jan 2008

Bob Johonson is the gift that keeps on giving, but not so much to the Clintons.

Johnson said that one of President Bill Clinton’s political strengths was his ability to connect with black voters, and that it is an ability shared by his wife. “This is a fight between who’s going to control the liberal soul of the party,” Johnson said. “The people who don’t like the Clintons have found the Clintons’ worst nightmare — a very dynamic, talented black man to run up against them.”

A “dynamic, talented black man” is the Clinton’s worst nightmare. Don’t forget that “the people who don’t like the Clintons” found him and presumably plucked him out of a spaceship somewhere in Kansas. He’s not a human being who is following the trajectory of his own life. Who could have possibly done such a thing? I blame the Jews. Everything is their fault, including Obama, who is an anti-Semitic Farrakhan supporter.

You heard it folks, from Bob Johnson, Clinton supporter. The crabbiest crab in a barrel that ever crabbed.

You know I bet you the reporter stopped Johnson right before he said “We have to make sure that America doesn’t produce any more of those.”

H/T Latoya

I just had to call out this New York Times article “In Obama’s Pursuit of Latinos, Race Plays a Role” as not telling a full story. According to the piece by Adam Nagourney and Jennifer Steinhauer:

Mr. Obama confronts a history of often uneasy and competitive relations between blacks and Hispanics, particularly as they have jockeyed for influence in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

“Many Latinos are not ready for a person of color,” Natasha Carrillo, 20, of East Los Angeles, said. “I don’t think many Latinos will vote for Obama. There’s always been tension in the black and Latino communities. There’s still that strong ethnic division. I helped organize citizenship drives, and those who I’ve talked to support Clinton.”

Um, ok. Where to start with this article. To start, Latinos represent a heterogenous group of people with folks from different countries and of different races. Some Hispanics identify as white, some as black and some as Indian. Many are multi-racial. So to write this article and not factor that element is poor reporting and research indeed. It’s an example of when white people get it wrong when it comes to reporting on minority communities.

I’d really like to see Latinos being approached as the complex set of communities within a community that they are rather than a monolith and a racist one at that. Ugh.

Naturally of course, the article turns to none other than Big Al, who probably put on an extra-special red, white and green track suit to deliver these comments:

The Rev. Al Sharpton of New York, who has been on the front line of many of the black-Latino battles in New York politics, said the tension would be a problem for Mr. Obama across the country and in New York, which also votes on Feb. 5. He said Mr. Obama would be at a disadvantage because of his choice to be a “race-neutral candidate.”

I feel like I may need surgery to remove my eyeballs from the back of my head. Come on. I love it though that the writers feel the need to defend tapping on Al for comments. I’m hoping to see more of that since there are plenty of other black leaders that don’t get asked for comments.

The article also blissfully features no actual polling data on how Obama or Clinton (or Edwards for that matter) are doing among Latinos — either nationally or by state. Let alone breaking the polling into sub-demographics such as white-identified or black-identified Latinos.

I’m not saying there isn’t tension between blacks and Latinos. But ultimately isn’t a lot of that based more on economic and social competition as society changes? There’s plenty of racial tension among Hispanic Americans themselves and that may well play a factor in the 2008 race. I’d like to see some media coverage that goes beyond weak impressions and stereotypes. Hey New York Time — how about the next time, this type of article gets written by a black reporter and a latino reporter working together? Revolutionary — now that would be interesting!

Jack Turner, blogger extraordinare, recently launched the Clinton Attacks Obama wiki. And it is a sight to behold. I told you: we’re taking notes. It’s open to everyone so please add clips and quotes as you see them from Hillary Clinton or from cheese-eating, handkerchief-headed surrogates.

Don’t worry, we’ll create a new one for the Republicans once they start up with the racial attacks. Which they will.

In the meantime, thanks much Jack and thanks to everyone who has commented or added entries. Let’s keep a weather eye out. We’ll see if the Clintons are able to keep their word on the “truce”.

Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton seem eager to move beyond the racial mud-slinging. The mud-slinging that the Clinton campaign has led. The Clinton campaign (until it started to yield diminishing returns) seemed to have calculated that they could sacrifice black votes during the primary to win over white independents and undecideds because once Clinton is the nominee — where else are black voters going to go? And it’s true. Clinton’s “performance” on Meet the Press on Sunday convinced me not to vote for her during the California primary. Her interview revealed her as dishonest, cynical, evasive, finger-pointing and whining. A short-sighted follower rather than a leader – at least when it came to the Iraq war. I think the word “shrill” is sexist and in her case, not even accurate. I prefer just plain old “annoying” and “humorless”. But if she wins the nomination, I would absolutely vote for her over whichever fascist fumbling jackass the Republicans select in their primaries. I might vote for her without much enthusiasm, but I would certainly choose her.

And that’s what the Clintons are banking on. That they could racially rough-ride over Obama right in front of us — over and over and using sneering, paternalistic barbs — and that African-Americans would come crawling back anyway in the general election. If it’s at all close in key states, though, they’d need a strong black turnout and if this race-baiting behavior continues and black dis-affection with the Clintons spreads, is that guaranteed? They’ve been taking a big chance, pointing to scared strategy.

I switched off Meet the Press thinking: Where was Hillary Clinton after 9/11, before the War in Iraq, when the Patriot Act was passed? When the country desperately needed alternative vision and leadership, she went along for Bush’s ride. Conditions in America have not improved under Bush, but he didn’t create problems like education, healthcare and the environment. The Clintons had 8 years to do something about these afflictions in America and improved things just around the margins. They may have alleviated some of the pain but these certainly weren’t cured. This is not to diminish accomplishments like a balanced federal budget, prosperous high tech economy, maternity leave, the Americans with Disability Act and the Family Medical Leave Act. But frankly, he Clintons had their chance. Maybe it’s time for someone else with new ideas to take the reins.

Regarding Clinton surrogates, there seems to be a lot of confusion out there about how black people feel about Robert “Bob” Johnson. Look people, BET has long been hated by many, many black people and its content actually became less of a national humilation after Johnson sold it to Viacom. Bob Johnson is a highly controversial character, who despite his laudable philanthropy, generates almost automatic revulsion among many African-Americans. Karen Hughes and Quincy Jones launched TVOne in part just to provide a positive, alternative anti-BET. To position Johnson as a black leader to spout unfortunate words about Obama means that the Clinton campaign looks desperate and ill-advised. It looks like scraping the bottom of the barrel. Don’t understand what I mean? If you want to look for a businessman that is a hero to blacks, I give you: Magic Johnson.

Finally, on surrogates Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and James Clyburn (D-SC). I found it interesting that Clyburn felt the need to say publicly that the Clintons should back off since that conversation could have been had over the phone. Which means that they had those conversations, she continued the race-baiting and he felt the need to step in gently. Good for him. He’s right:

“People are talking about race versus gender when we ought to be talking about Democrats versus Republicans,” said Mr. Clyburn, who as the Democratic whip is the highest-ranking African-American in Congress.

Re: Charles Rangel — love ya, but saying things like this just don’t help us elevate the conversation. So please, STFU.

“How race got into this thing is because Obama said ‘race,’ ” Mr. Rangel said on the NY1 cable channel. “I would challenge anybody to belittle the contribution that Dr. King has made to the world, to our country, to civil rights, and the Voting Rights Act. But for him to suggest that Dr. King could have signed that act is absolutely stupid.”

I didn’t get the sense that Obama was suggesting any such thing. What makes name-calling ok? Why the needless attack on a brother?

I would love to think that Hillary Clinton is sincere when she says:

“We may differ on minor matters,” Mrs. Clinton said of Mr. Obama, “but when it comes to what is really important, we are family. Both Senator Obama and I know that we are where we are today because of leaders like Dr. King and generations of men and women like all of you.”

“Family”? Hmm. With African-Americans, uh not anymore, we ain’t.

I have a feeling that if Obama wins more primaries, this is not the last time race will be injected into this campaign among Democrats. Clintons — know that we are watching, taking notes and won’t forget. I hope you are planning some way of making this up to us if you win. You can start with slavery and Jim Crow reparations.

Here at JJP, I get a lot of the emails. All our bloggers also read your comments. From those I have gathered that while most of our readers are black, we also seem popular with a lot of people who aren’t black. And that’s cool. Jack and Jill Politics is open to all. I think part of the appeal is that we don’t hold back much here. If you’ve been wondering what the Barack Obama of your workplace — the affable, funny and well-educated black person in the office next to yours or across the board room from you is really thinking about the issues of the day — well, here we provide at least one window deep inside the mind of the African-American middle class.

Also, many comments or emails feature phrases such as “I’m white but”. Look, it’s not your fault that you are white. It’s actually your parents’ fault. And it’s just fine. Say it loud. You’re white and you’re proud. It’s helpful sometimes to know where you’re coming from, but there’s no need to apologize for your opinions.

Keep writing in, readers! We love to hear from you and frankly, it’s obvious from your comments that so many of you are pretty smart. Your comments and emails provide us with a lot of context, facts and perspective and are an important part of the conversation.

All the best, Jill

because Obama is doing one of those fancy smooth moves where you sidestep your opponent, then stick them with the pointy thing. Oh yes, I’m eloquent :)

From ABC news:

ABC News’ David Wright, Andy Fies, and Sunlen Miller Report: Sen. Barack Obama told ABC News Monday there is nothing in Sen. Hillary Clinton’s record that would give him any cause for concern about her in terms of racial politics.

Asked how Obama interpreted two recent remarks by the Clintons that prompted an angry reaction from some in the Black community, Obama sought to damp down the racial dynamics of the controversy.

Many African Americans were offended when Hillary Clinton told an interviewer in New Hampshire, “Martin Luther King’s dream became a reality when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Some say she seemed to suggest that it took a white politician to fulfill a black man’s dream.

“I don’t think it was in any way a racial comment,” Obama told ABC News. “That’s something that has played out in the press. That’s not my view.”

But, he said, the comment was revealing about her political character. “I do think it was indicative of the perspective that she brings, which is that what happens in Washington is more important than what happens outside of Washington,” he said.

He said he believes the quote betrays a belief on her part, “that the intricacies of the legislative process were somehow more significant than when ordinary people rise up and march and go to jail and fight for justice.”

He called that a “fundamental difference” between them.

Former President Bill Clinton also offended some African Americans when, addressing Dartmouth College students, he referred to Obama’s campaign as “the biggest fairy tale” he’d ever seen.

Did Obama feel dissed? He laughed and shook his head.

But, again, Obama looked past the racial controversy.

Instead, Obama directed his response to the dispute over whether opposition to the Iraq War was consistent. (Clinton has since reiterated that is what he meant when he invoked the “fairy tale” line.)

“Both he and Sen. Clinton have been spending a lot of time over the past month trying to run down my record,” Obama said. “What particularly distresses me is this notion that I wasn’t against the war from the start.

“This is coming from a former president who suggests that he was and nobody can find any record of it,” he said.

And Politico has more.

Not all racist. Not all incredibly wack. I’ve try to clean up the formatting some and added some context to others. Was surprised to find that spadework looks like its actually used a lot by people referring to preparatory work, for example.

Anyway, check it out. Update stuff. Add more.

  • Comments Off

Tomorrow is the Michigan primary, but the process on the democratic side is pretty meaningless since the delegates lost their votes by scheduling the event so early. Please share this post with any Michigan folks you know.

The Lansing State Journal put together a primary primer to help voters understand their choices (write ins do NOT count) and did a good piece on the frustration of Michiganians and what they’ve done about it

Many Democratic voters are approaching Tuesday’s primary election with a niggling sense of the contest’s irrelevance. And some are calling it a fiasco.

Two leading candidates, Barack Obama and John Edwards, won’t appear on the ballot, having withdrawn their names after state elected officials moved the primary up to Jan. 15 in violation of national party rules.

Both had pledged to Democratic leaders in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada that they wouldn’t “campaign or participate” in any state that scheduled a primary before Feb. 5.

Hillary Clinton, who agreed to the same pledge, will be on the ballot, but has promised not to campaign here.

Mike Gravel won’t be showing up either.

In fact, Dennis Kucinich, who made appearances in the Detroit area Thursday and Friday and will continue to campaign here in the coming days, is the only Democratic candidate who has so much as set foot in the state in recent weeks.

Add to that the fact that the Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee has stripped Michigan of its 156 national convention delegates – and cancelled those delegates’ hotel reservations for the August convention to boot – and you have a primary that reeks of uncertainty.

Of course, Kos suggests all Dems vote for Romney since the primary is open and Republicans have a history of mucking around in Democratic primaries.

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Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

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