Friday, January 04, 2008

Obama Wins Iowa

I don't really have much new to say. I'll just quote my column from the May 15th issue of Black Agenda Report, "Should We Want a Black President."

"Sadly for her (Clinton), she shares her husband's politics of meaninglessness but none of his personal charisma. She can't get away with fence straddling, triangulating, or insulting the party base. Along comes Obama, a living reincarnation of Clintonian political charm straight from the glory days. Now that Hillary has been out Clintoned, she looks less like a sure thing."

It seems that Obama can get white people to vote for him. Can he become president? Yes he can, but that is not good news for black people.

"If he is a winner, it will be in large part because he is willing to throw black people under the bus. He proved as much in his overrated speech at the 2004 Democratic national convention. 'There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America - there's the United States of America.' Of course there is a black America, and most of us don't want to pretend otherwise.

Obama's 2004 speech does not mention racism, not even to say something bland such as, racism is bad. Obama sells color blindness in a country that is all about the color spectrum. It makes no sense for black America to embrace this obvious canard. Will we purchase a lemon if the seller looks like us?"

Too many of us will buy the lemon and that is very bad news indeed. At the moment when activism and movement politics needs to be resurrected, black people will be lulled by meaningless idol worship. So I will answer my own question. Black people should not want a black president. Think I'm wrong? Just listen to Bill Bennett.

"Barack Hussein Obama, a black man, wins this for the Democrats. I have been watching him. I watched him on 'Meet the Press,' I've watched him on [Anderson Cooper's] show, watched him on all the CNN shows -- he never brings race into it. He never plays the race card.

Talk about the black community -- he has taught the black community you don't have to act like Jesse Jackson, you don't have to act like Al Sharpton. You can talk about the issues. Great dignity. And this is a breakthrough. And good for the people of Iowa."

I'll cut Obama a tiny bit of slack. The only way a black person can be elected president is to "never bring race into it." Sorry, I can get that from a white politician. I see no cause for celebration.

Having said that, I should add that Obama may have no reason to celebrate either. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a billionaire, is making noises about running for president as an independent. He could win the presidency or change the dynamic in some unknown way. The 2008 election is still very much up in the air.