Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Obama's Pitchfork
Presidential Campaign

The most impressive fact of the Democratic presidential nomination campaign isn't Barack Obama's surge into the delegate count lead. It's the way he's done it that proves to be especially noteworthy. During eight consecutive victories, senator Obama has posted vote margins of two and three to one over his rival, Hillary Clinton. Furthermore, senator Clinton's vote totals often eclipsed same-state numbers by all the Republican candidates combined. This odd alignment may be unprecedented in modern American campaign history. So, at this juncture, it appears Barack's momentum is virtually insurmountable.

The media have done everything possible in its crass attempt to trivialize Obama's strong effort to capture the Democratic nomination. They allege he's too young, too inexperienced and a rock star. He's been demeaned for giving thoughtful responses and he's been decried for his youthful exuberance. Yet, despite every lewd attempt to sidetrack the Obama Tsunami, Barack has patiently maintained his focus. This unique leader has steadfastly kept his eye on the prize.

Obama's vast victory margins over Clinton and the paltry Republican turnouts indicate the voters want change and they really want it now. They're clearly in no mood for compromise. If the numbers continue to favor Obama this heavily through Election Day, this may be one of the biggest landslide wipeouts ever recorded. Already, there are signs the Democrats may gain a substantial number of congressional seats as Barack's coattails lengthen.

The media still want to shape these incredible results into a horse race because they have important ratings to conserve. However, the Obama stallion is leaving the field in the dust while the McCain mule wheezes to the finish line. There's not much of a horse race to be had here. Since the trivialization approach didn't work against Obama and the pseudo-racist flap in South Carolina failed, this means McCain and the media are left with only one arrow in their quiver: mud wrestling.

Surely, the Swift Boaters and other sordid types are sharpening their knives. They probably think senator Obama will be an easy kill. Nevertheless, the young candidate said he might be skinny, but he's wiry strong and mighty tough. His record to date proves he's a man of his word. With only an 18% disapproval rating, it would be very difficult to Swift Boat him. The unconstitutional super-delegate issue could slow the Obama Tsunami a bit. But, it's unlikely the Democratic leadership will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and deny him the nomination. If he wins the regular delegate race and the full support of the voters, he'll get the super-delegates necessary to prevail at the convention.

Barack Obama's mantra, "yes, we can," has stirred the hearts of Americans like no other. The last person to ask our citizens to do anything was Jack Kennedy. That was almost 50 years ago and three generations. All this time, we've suffered under the tyranny of arrogant and incompetent leadership. All this time, the creative energies of our citizens have been frozen into rigid conformity. Sadly, we were once a can-do nation. Now, we've become a can't-do nation. The cruel, hyper-criminal Bush regime has tested the patience of our people to its limit. Barack Obama simply tapped into this stupendous reservoir of hope, aspiration and desperation. The African American poet/song writer, Gil Scott-Heron, once famously quipped: "The revolution won't be televised." Well, times -- they are a-changing. McCain and the media may not know it yet, the people, the pitchforks and the torches are well on their way. America is going to have a second revolution this year. And it won't make any difference whether the media turn on the cameras or not.

Franklin L. Johnson

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Why Barack Obama Will Win

Oh, oh. What's going on here?

Yesterday, Barack Obama swept the caucuses and primaries in three states and the US Virgin Islands. The media have met this result with a mixture of amusement and growing alarm. Barring a miracle recovery by the Hillary Clinton campaign, Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee. Then, he'll go on to win the election in November to become the 44th president of the United States. Here are some reasons why:

Hill-Bill-y made the fatal mistake of reading the newspapers. They believed the headlines which trumpeted the presumed coronation of Hillary Clinton as the first woman president. She did all the right things in positioning herself to become our nation's leader and commander-in-chief. She waffled about the war. She promised health care for all. She followed her handlers' advice. Yet, despite all her careful planning and execution, she finds herself in a swiftly sinking campaign ship.

The American people don't like to be told the election is a fait accompli. They still believe in the sacred democratic principle of one-person/one-vote. Indeed, the media and the Clinton campaign tried to convince the electorate Hillary was the anointed one; the delegate race was over before it began and there was no alternative to this pre-set scenario. All this did was stir up resentment among the voters. It also compelled them to ask the question: Why? Why was anything they were hearing inevitable? If we live in a genuine democracy, then why is anything inevitable -- especially before the first vote was cast?

While Hillary was just as wonkish as Barack about policy positions during the debates, she lacks the power of personality when speaking directly to the people. In baseball parlance, this is known as warning track power. It's not enough to talk a big game when you're in the dugout. There comes a time when you have to let your bat do the talking. Well, Hillary took some mighty cuts early in the primary game, but she has managed to hit the ball only to the warning track. She has yet to hit the home run necessary to win the game. The athletic Obama ran down these long flies and turned them into outs. When Barack stepped up to the plate, he hit the ball out of the park like Willie Mays. Each time he hit a home run, the bleacher bums noticed. From our national pastime's perspective, Hillary has warning track power. She gets the bleacher bums excited but she doesn't deliver the big hit. Conversely, Barack has a lot of Reggie Jackson in him. He can talk a tough game in the dugout and he can deliver the big hit on the field. The bleacher bums noticed and are very impressed. In other words, Hillary lacks her husband's home run heft and bleacher bum appeal. Also, her faltering effort should finally drive a stake through the myth the money spent on campaign advisors is both necessary and beneficial.

The Clinton campaign made another fatal error. They amassed a formidable war chest. They spent these funds lavishly. And they believed they could knock out all contenders early on. Hillary was ready to waltz into the convention with the nomination. This didn't happen. Despite his lack of national name recognition, Barack Obama polled well everywhere he campaigned. Voters responded to his vibrant message of hope and a new direction for our nation. Unfortunately, Hillary represents the past and the status quo. This contrast is striking and there's very little Hillary can do about it. Moreover, the Clinton campaign depended on big donors who maxed out early. She can't go back to them for additional funds to help her finish this primary season. Senator Obama relied on small donations he received over the Internet. He can ask for more funds from these donors who are nowhere near maxing out on their legal limit. This is a giant problem for Hillary with no easy solution, except to drum up new donors. At this point in the struggle, this will be easier said than done. Her cash flow dilemma was exposed when she had to lend $5 million of her own money to her campaign. This is equivalent to a puncher throwing a wild haymaker only to be knocked out by a countering right cross. She's in really big trouble. Now, for the three most important reasons why Barack Obama will win.

The media make next to no mention of it, but the Obama campaign began to gather steam the day a certain celebrated champion of the American people threw her endorsement weight behind it. Oprah Winfrey made history the day she told the voters why she believed Barack Obama should be our next president. The media tried to staunch her effect on the campaign, but it was too late. Oprah's powerful message of compassion was instantly wedded to Obama's inspirational message of hope. With her blessing, the Oh-Oh campaign of hope and compassion was born. The American people want a reason to believe again. The Oh-Oh campaign of hope and compassion offers a message that will be hard to defeat.

No matter where Barack Obama speaks he always finishes with a call-and-response flurry of: Yes, we can! Whether or not his campaign intended to borrow this slogan from the millions of Spanish-speaking people who marched against George Bush's failed immigration policies, the result is the same. Si, se puede
means yes, we can, in Spanish. This slogan links the Oh-Oh campaign with the most demonized members of our society. Everyone seems to forget the Mexican farmers came here to work because the effects of NAFTA threw them off their farms. We flooded the Mexican market with our subsidized corn and other grains. NAFTA allowed our giant agra-businesses to buy up the abandoned farms. The people who left these farms were forced to flee to the overcrowded cities and to the United States. We must understand these people would prefer to stay in Mexico with their families. They only come here because of the jobs and because they have no choice. What they need is a large dose of hope and compassion from us, especially since we were responsible for creating the massive migration problem in the first place. The Republicans want to run an anti-immigration campaign based on hate and fear, instead. So, what we have here is the lovers of
hope and compassion versus the purveyors of hate and fear. It would seem the Oh-Oh campaign has a strong upper hand.

Lastly, Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States because hope and compassion will finally defeat hate and fear. Thank goodness! What the American people are coming to realize is nearly thirty years of tyrannical Republican rule has left them with nothing. The economy is collapsing. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Our schools are failing. Our health care system is ailing. Our politics is corrupted. Our banks are closing. Stock values are declining. Our national debt is skyrocketing. And we have an idiot in the White House. From the shining hypocrisy of Ronald Reagan to the dismal futility of George W. Bush, the American Dream has been destroyed and left to die in hellish disgrace. Are we better off now than we were thirty years ago? The answer is quite obvious. So, what can we do now? Is it the ash heap of history for us? What, oh what, can we do?

What we can do first is stop crying about our dire circumstances. This great nation has confronted many severe challenges in the past. From independence, slavery, depression and world wars, the people of this great land have risen to meet and defeat each and every challenge. There's no reason to fear, as Franklin D. Roosevelt reminded us. We are perfectly capable of recovery from these deep wounds. What we need are three things: a mandate, a movement and a leader. The mandate is we must dedicate ourselves ultimately to reconciling the American Dream with the American Reality. For far too long, we've lived in a hypocrisy, not a democracy. Like Dr. King said, we must live up to the principles in our creed and judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. The movement, which will carry us beyond the election, will be based on hope and compassion. We will seek to lead the world in building the Global Village and we will abandon the enforcement of Bush's ugly New World Order. The leader, who stands ready to tackle these daunting tasks, is Barack Obama. Youth will be served this election cycle because our alleged leaders have spent too much time snoozing while America withered in the flames of failure. We need to be awake, alert and alive as we move into an uncertain future. It should be crystal clear to everyone John McCain will only put us to sleep.

Barack Obama has risen out of the people's need for hope and compassion. Americans are in full revolt against our entrenched and criminal Ruling Class. Even Republicans and conservatives are rebelling against the failure and futility of the Bush regime. All of humanity is crying out for a new direction. It shouldn't come as a surprise the one person most perfectly placed to hear these cries is someone with a heartfelt global vision and the energy to bring it to life. There is no question Barack Obama and his Oh-Oh campaign of hope and compassion are the people's choice. These are reasons enough why this remarkable man will be elected the 44th president of the United States.

Franklin L. Johnson

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