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Archive for the ‘2012 Election’ Category

‘Demographics’ Are Not Simply Passive Numbers, They Also Often Rise Up and Rebel

February 23rd, 2013 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, Democrats, GOP, Voting Rights

Reflections on the 2012 Election

By Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Progressive America Rising

Feb 22, 2013 – Leading up to November 6, I found myself focused on the matter of voter suppression and electoral shenanigans committed by the Republicans. This concern was not for nothing. Prior to and on Election Day there were myriad attempts to subvert the vote, particularly the vote of people of color. Frivolous voter challenges started well before Election Day itself, again targeting African American and Latino voters.

What was most striking about the 2012 election, then, was that in the face of this attack on our right to vote, there was something akin to a popular revolt by the African American and Latino electorate. Latinos voted over 70% for Obama and African Americans over 93%. But those figures do not tell enough. It was the turnout that was so significant.

Despite efforts by the political Right to dampen African American enthusiasm for Obama, using the issue of same-sex marriage, this tactic failed dismally. And Romney’s cynical anti-Latino approach, as evidenced during this primary campaign, came back to bite him in the rear.

It was more than this, however. It was something that you had to feel if you waited in line to vote.

I went three times to try to engage in early voting.

The first two times the line was out the building and I decided to return at a later date.

On the third time, I thought I had arrived early enough only to discover that the line started well within the building. I was on line for two hours, and this was early voting.

Around the USA, there were stories like that one — people standing in line for one to seven hours in order to vote.

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President Obama’s Six Keys to Victory

November 21st, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, GOP, Obama, Voting Rights, women, youth and students

Inside the multicultural, center-left coalition that ensured four more years

By Tim Dickinson
Progressive America Rising via Rolling Stone

President Barack Obama has won re-election – his lease on the White House renewed by a multicultural, center-left coalition that ought to give GOP consultants nightmares, producing an electoral college landslide that surprised everyone not named Nate Silver. (The Five Thirty Eight guru’s reputation is as golden this morning as SuperPAC kingpin Karl Rove’s is tarnished.)

With four more years, Obama can now cement his historic legacy, fully implementing Obamacare, the most ambitious renegotiation of the American social contract since the 1960s. The president broke ground on his second term with an electrifying acceptance speech that recalled the best of 2008′s candidate Obama, and 2004′s convention Obama. He hit again on the touchstone of his presidency, his belief "that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people."

This race wasn’t close. Obama secured a convincing win of the popular vote. And from his 2008 state-by-state haul, he surrendered only Indiana (which was never truly in play) and North Carolina (a surprise squeaker) to Mitt Romney. Every other swing state – Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire – tipped again into Obama’s victory column. When counting is complete, Florida, too, appears poised to go blue.

In the end, Obama’s dedicated campaign volunteers proved themselves worth far more than anything the GOP’s moneymen could buy. Voters rebuked the mendacious Romney and his villainous platform to lard the rich and destroy the social safety net.

How did team Obama defeat Romney? Here, the six keys to victory:

1) The Turnout Machine I reported on Obama’s re-vamped get-out-the-vote machine this spring, previewing the technology that would enable the campaign to network its GOTV operations far beyond campaign offices and into the garages and dorm rooms of its supporters.

At the time, campaign manager Jim Messina and field director Jeremy Bird were making an early, unprecedented investment in the ground game – and that bet paid off like gangbusters. In a contest that couldn’t compare to 2008′s electricity, the 2012 Obama campaign reproduced – through brute force, dedication and will – a turnout in the swing states that in some cases bested the campaign’s remarkable performance of four years ago. Yes, Obama lost North Carolina. But his final tally there was actually 35,000 votes greater than when he won the state in 2008.

2) Younger Voters Sorry, Boomer Nation: President Obama owes his second term to Generation Y. Voters under 30 turned out in greater numbers than senior citizens and broke for Obama over Romney 60-37. Gen X wasn’t too shabby, either: Voters 30 to 44 gave Obama a 7 point edge. (Romney, on the other hand, won convincingly among voters 45 and older.) The numbers in Florida are particularly striking. According to exit polling, the Obama campaign not only improved turnout among the under-30 set there, it ran up the margin, too: Young Floridians broke 67-31 for Obama, better than the 61-37 margin over McCain in 2008.

3) The Latino Vote With 4 million more registered voters in 2012 than in 2008, Latinos accounted for one in every ten voters in 2012, and these voters broke for Obama by an epic 71-27 split nationally. That is almost exactly the margin Bill Clinton hung on Bob Dole in 1996, when there were only half as many Hispanic votes. Messina told me earlier in the campaign that he was "obsessed" with the Latino vote, and that reproducing Clinton’s numbers against Romney this year would mean Game Over for the Republican. He was absolutely right – particularly in Colorado, where the split was even more lopsided: 75-23, up from 61-38.

4) African-Americans The historic turnout of African-Americans from 2008 held steady in 2012 at 13 percent of the electorate, nationwide. And the Obama campaign actually managed to increase black turnout in pivotal states like Virginia, where one in five voters was African American. Romney earned only 5 percent of that vote, compared to the 8 percent won by John McCain.

5) Ohio Working Stiffs Call it the "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" factor. In Ohio, where the auto industry employs one in eight workers, Obama actually gained ground – 2 points – among high-school educated voters without college degrees, about a quarter of the state’s electorate. Compare that to Wisconsin, where Obama lost 6 points among this cohort. Or North Carolina, where the dropoff was 11 points.

6) All the Single Ladies Romney was haunted by a yawning gender gap, particularly among unmarried women, who accounted for 23 percent of voters (up three points from 2008). While Romney himself took awkward pains to reach out to female voters, he was yoked to his running mate’s moves to redefine rape, and to the GOP’s broader agenda to limit access to not only abortion but birth control. Obama took this voting bloc by a 67-31 margin, nationally, and by nearly identical tallies in Ohio and Paul Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin. The intersection of race and gender was especially powerful for the president in states like North Carolina, where black women accounted for 14 percent of the electorate – and 99 out of 100 voted to defeat Mitt Romney.

How the Left Can Become a True Political Force to Be Reckoned With

November 14th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, GOP, Obama, Organizing, pushing obama, racism, Tea Party, women, youth and students

By Bill Fletcher & Carl Davidson
Progressive America Rising via Alternet.org

Nov 13, 2012 – The 2012 elections may prove to have been a watershed in several different respects.  Despite the efforts by the political Right to suppress the Democratic electorate, something very strange happened: voters, angered by the attacks on their rights, turned out in even greater force in favor of Democratic candidates. The deeper phenomenon is that the changing demographics of the USA also became more evident—45% of Obama voters were people of color, and young voters turned out in large numbers in key counties.

Unfortunately for the political Left, these events unfolded with the Left having limited visibility and a limited impact—except indirectly through certain mass organizations—on the outcome.

The setting

On one level it is easy to understand why many Republicans found it difficult to believe that Mitt Romney did not win the election.  First, the US remains in the grip of an economic crisis with an official unemployment rate of 7.9%.  In some communities, the unemployment is closer to 20%.  While the Obama administration had taken certain steps to address the economic crisis, the steps have been insufficient in light of the global nature of the crisis.  The steps were also limited by the political orientation of the Obama administration, i.e., corporate liberal, and the general support by many in the administration for neo-liberal economics.

The second factor that made the election a ‘nail biter’ was the amount of money poured into this contest.  Approximately $6 billion was spent in the entire election.  In the Presidential race it was more than $2 billion raised and spent, but this does not include independent expenditures.  In either case, this was the first post-Citizen United Presidential campaign, meaning that money was flowing into this election like a flood after a dam bursts.  Republican so-called Super Political Action Committees (Super PACs) went all out to defeat President Obama.

Third, the Republicans engaged in a process of what came to be known as “voter suppression” activity.  Particularly in the aftermath of the 2010 midterm elections, the Republicans created a false crisis of alleged voter fraud as a justification for various draconian steps aimed at allegedly cleansing the election process of illegitimate voters.  Despite the fact that the Republicans could not substantiate their claims that voter fraud was a problem on any scale, let alone a significant problem, they were able to build up a clamor for restrictive changes in the process, thereby permitting the introduction of various laws to make it more difficult for voters to cast their ballots.  This included photographic voter identification, more difficult processes for voter registration, and the shortening of early voting.  Though many of these steps were overturned through the intervention of courts, they were aimed at causing a chilling impact on the voters, specifically, the Democratic electorate.[1] (more…)

Six Reasons Why the 2012 Election Will Be Considered Historic

November 8th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, elections, GOP, Obama, rightwing

 

 

By Robert Creamer
Progressive America Rising via Huffpost

Nov 8, 2010 – Tuesday’s election was important for many reasons. Its outcome will certainly benefit millions and millions of people – both in the United States and around the world. And President Obama’s campaign will be remembered as one of the best-run political efforts in the history of American politics.

But beyond the many important short and mid-term consequences, I believe it will likely be remembered as an inflection point in American political history. Here are six reasons why:

1). This election was truly a battle for the soul of America. It presented Americans with the clearest choice in my lifetime between traditional progressive American values – a vision of a society where we are all in this together on the one hand – and a vision of a society in which everyone looks out first and foremost for himself alone on the other.

Do we have each other’s back? Are we our brothers and sister’s keepers? Do we refuse to leave anyone behind? When we give everyone an opportunity to succeed does that make all of us more successful – or is life and society a zero sum game where one person’s success can only be purchased as the expense of another?

Tuesday’s election framed up the question of whether we believe all of those values we are taught in Sunday School, or whether we believe that 47% of Americans have to be considered victims who cannot be convinced to take responsibility for their lives?

Mitt Romney offered America an opportunity to choose values and leaders that were committed to the radical individualism espoused by his running-mate, Ayn Rand disciple Paul Ryan. America said no.

Instead, Americans chose to move forward in our over 200 year long quest to create a society where everyone has a fair shot, pays their fair share and plays by the same rules.

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White Racial Resentment: The Elephant in the Room

October 27th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, GOP, Obama, racism

AP Poll: A Slight Majority of Americans Are Now Expressing Negative View Of Blacks

By Associated Press
October 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.

Those views could cost President Barack Obama votes as he tries for re-election, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some people’s more favorable views of blacks.

Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.

“As much as we’d hope the impact of race would decline over time … it appears the impact of anti-black sentiment on voting is about the same as it was four years ago,” said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor who worked with AP to develop the survey.

Most Americans expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments, too. In an AP survey done in 2011, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes. That figure rose to 57 percent in the implicit test. The survey on Hispanics had no past data for comparison.

The AP surveys were conducted with researchers from Stanford University, the University of Michigan and NORC at the University of Chicago.

Experts on race said they were not surprised by the findings.

“We have this false idea that there is uniformity in progress and that things change in one big step. That is not the way history has worked,” said Jelani Cobb, professor of history and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut. “When we’ve seen progress, we’ve also seen backlash.”

Obama has tread cautiously on the subject of race, but many African-Americans have talked openly about perceived antagonism toward them since Obama took office. As evidence, they point to events involving police brutality or cite bumper stickers, cartoons and protest posters that mock the president as a lion or a monkey, or lynch him in effigy.

“Part of it is growing polarization within American society,” said Fredrick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. “The last Democrat in the White House said we had to have a national discussion about race. There’s been total silence around issues of race with this president. But, as you see, whether there is silence, or an elevation of the discussion of race, you still have polarization. It will take more generations, I suspect, before we eliminate these deep feelings.”

Overall, the survey found that by virtue of racial prejudice, Obama could lose 5 percentage points off his share of the popular vote in his Nov. 6 contest against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. But Obama also stands to benefit from a 3 percentage point gain due to pro-black sentiment, researchers said. Overall, that means an estimated net loss of 2 percentage points due to anti-black attitudes.

The poll finds that racial prejudice is not limited to one group of partisans. Although Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express racial prejudice in the questions measuring explicit racism (79 percent among Republicans compared with 32 percent among Democrats), the implicit test found little difference between the two parties. That test showed a majority of both Democrats and Republicans held anti-black feelings (55 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans), as did about half of political independents (49 percent).

Obama faced a similar situation in 2008, the survey then found.

The AP developed the surveys to measure sensitive racial views in several ways and repeated those studies several times between 2008 and 2012.

The explicit racism measures asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements about black and Hispanic people. In addition, the surveys asked how well respondents thought certain words, such as “friendly,” ‘’hardworking,” ‘’violent” and “lazy,” described blacks, whites and Hispanics.

The same respondents were also administered a survey designed to measure implicit racism, in which a photo of a black, Hispanic or white male flashed on the screen before a neutral image of a Chinese character. The respondents were then asked to rate their feelings toward the Chinese character. Previous research has shown that people transfer their feelings about the photo onto the character, allowing researchers to measure racist feelings even if a respondent does not acknowledge them.

Results from those questions were analyzed with poll takers’ ages, partisan beliefs, views on Obama and Romney and other factors, which allowed researchers to predict the likelihood that people would vote for either Obama or Romney. Those models were then used to estimate the net impact of each factor on the candidates’ support.

All the surveys were conducted online. Other research has shown that poll takers are more likely to share unpopular attitudes when they are filling out a survey using a computer rather than speaking with an interviewer. Respondents were randomly selected from a nationally representative panel maintained by GfK Custom Research.

Overall results from each survey have a margin of sampling error of approximately plus or minus 4 percentage points. The most recent poll, measuring anti-black views, was conducted Aug. 30 to Sept. 11.

Andra Gillespie, an Emory University political scientist who studies race-neutrality among black politicians, contrasted the situation to that faced by the first black mayors elected in major U.S. cities, the closest parallel to Obama’s first-black situation. Those mayors, she said, typically won about 20 percent of the white vote in their first races, but when seeking reelection they enjoyed greater white support presumably because “the whites who stayed in the cities … became more comfortable with a black executive.”

“President Obama’s election clearly didn’t change those who appear to be sort of hard-wired folks with racial resentment,” she said.

Negative racial attitudes can manifest in policy, noted Alan Jenkins, an assistant solicitor general during the Clinton administration and now executive director of the Opportunity Agenda think tank.

“That has very real circumstances in the way people are treated by police, the way kids are treated by teachers, the way home seekers are treated by landlords and real estate agents,” Jenkins said.

Hakeem Jeffries, a New York state assemblyman and candidate for a congressional seat being vacated by a fellow black Democrat, called it troubling that more progress on racial attitudes had not been made. Jeffries has fought a New York City police program of “stop and frisk” that has affected mostly blacks and Latinos but which supporters contend is not racially focused.

“I do remain cautiously optimistic that the future of America bends toward the side of increased racial tolerance,” Jeffries said. “We’ve come a long way, but clearly these results demonstrate there’s a long way to go.”

___

AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report. 

Online: Poll results: http://surveys.ap.org Academic analysis: http://tinyurl.com/8pzbebm

Deny the GOP It’s Secret Weapon: Progressives Who Are Dispirited and Disengaged

October 22nd, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, GOP, Organizing, Voting Rights

Three Reasons Why The Race Is So Close – Nine Reasons Why Obama Will Win

By Robert Creamer
Progressive America Rising via HuffPost

Oct 21, 2012 – As Election Day grows closer, some pundits seem almost breathless in their prediction that the Presidential election will be close. Well, of course it will be close. It has been obvious from the campaign’s first day that it would be close. But there is overwhelming evidence that President Obama will win.

Why is the race so close?

1). First and foremost, the Republican’s trickledown, let-Wall-Street-run-wild policies sent the economy into a catastrophic recession just as Obama took office. This was not your run of the mill business cycle recession. It was caused by a financial collapse the likes of which American had not seen since the Great Depression.

The historic evidence is very clear that whenever there is a recession induced by a financial collapse, it take years for an economy to recover. American did not fully recover from the Great Depression itself until World War II – almost twelve years after the stock market collapsed.

Had the Republicans remained in office and responded as Republican President Hoover did in 1929, the same fate could have awaited America once again. But instead, the Obama Administration moved immediately to stimulate the economy and shore up the financial system – and especially to rescue the auto industry – using policies that in most cases the GOP opposed.

Those policies have set the economy on a path toward sustained growth. But the Republicans have been hell bent on stalling growth with the expressed purpose of defeating Obama this fall. They have sabotaged the economy by preventing even a vote on the Americans Jobs Act that most economists believe would create another 1.7 million jobs and would have prevented massive layoffs in state and local governments.

Mitt Romney is like an arsonist who complains that the fire department isn’t putting out his fire fast enough – and then tries to convince America to allow him to take over the effort armed with buckets of gasoline – the same failed policies that caused the fire in the first place.

But the Republicans are right about one thing. It’s hard to get re-elected in a tough economic environment – even one that is improving. That is the main reason this election is close. If unemployment were at six percent, Obama would be re-elected by the same kind of electoral vote margins the Bill Clinton piled up in 1996.

2). The election is close because Wall Street – and super wealthy right wing oil tycoons like the Koch Brothers – have spent huge amounts of money to defeat Obama. This week alone Romney and his outside group allies have booked $57 million in TV time.

Their financial advantage has been neutralized by the spectacular Obama fundraising operation — particularly the incredible small donor program that has raised funds from over 10 million individual contributions.

And its effect has also been ameliorated by the fact that TV spots can be bought by both campaigns at the lowest possible rate, and Super Pacs or outside groups must spend much more per television viewer.

But the fact remains that all of those negative attack ads about Obama have kept the race close.

3). The American electorate is closely divided. In 2008 the economy had collapsed under Republican rule. The GOP candidate was not very popular. And the Republican incumbent President was downright radioactive. Regardless, the Republican candidate still got 47% of the popular vote.

Of course the race will be close.

But there are at least eight very good reasons why Obama will win. The first four have to do with extreme right wing policies Romney has advocated that have made it clear to key blocks of voters that he is simply not on their side.

1). Romney’s advocacy of the "free market uber allies" view that we should have "let Detroit go bankrupt" may be his most costly single mistake. His position has crippled his campaign in the crucial industrial Midwest – especially Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio. There are 780,000 auto-related jobs in Ohio alone. The auto rescue is one of the key reasons why unemployment in Ohio is well below the national average. His opposition to the auto rescue alone may be enough to cost him Ohio – and the election.

2). Romney’s embrace of extremist positions that require to Government to get involved in personal decisions about women’s reproductive health – especially contraception and abortion – help drive a huge and continuing gender gap. A recent Gallup poll found that these questions were the most important electoral issue to 40% of women – more important than the economy. Bottom line for most women: "my body, my business." Romney has aligned himself with the most extreme anti-choice views – represented by his running mate Paul Ryan. If elected, he could potentially select three justices to the Supreme Court that could ban access to abortion altogether. That’s enough by itself to alienate a big block of women voters.

3). Romney’s statements about "self deportation," vetoing the Dream Act, the Arizona "papers please" law, have made him toxic to many recent immigrants – and especially to Hispanics – the fastest growing voting block in America. That will cost him dearly in swing states of Nevada — where Obama has a large lead – as well as Colorado and Florida, where the race is very tight.

4). Romney has supported Paul Ryan’s plan to eliminate Medicare and convert it to a voucher program that would raise out of pocket costs to seniors by $6,500 a year. That position is enough to decide the votes of many older Americans – a fact that could be determinative in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and especially Florida.

5). Obama has articulated a far more compelling agenda than Romney. It will become even clearer during the last weeks of the campaign that Obama has a program that can build long-term prosperity for the middle class, while Romney’s trickle down policies will benefit only the wealthy – and will fail to create long-term growth.

We have had two great economic experiments in America during the last thirty years. The Clinton policies during the 1990′s that grew the economy from the middle out, invested in education, infrastructure and long-term economic growth, and made the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. That experiment ended with the most prosperous period in human history, budget surpluses as far as the eye could see, and 22 million new jobs.

The other experiment was conducted by George Bush and the Republicans. He cut taxes for the wealthy, tried to grow the economy from the top down, let Wall Street run wild, and conducted two wars without paying for them. The result was a massive increase in Federal deficits, zero net private sector job growth, and the worst economic collapse since the depression. You choose.

6). Democrats have largely defeated a systematic Republican voter suppression program. In Pennsylvania the attempt to suppress the vote by requiring state ID’s that could not be provided in time for Election Day was stopped by the courts.

Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted’s desperate attempts to block robust early voting – especially the weekend before the election – was ultimately snuffed out by the U.S. Supreme Court last week. Ninety three thousand people voted on the weekend before the 2008 election in Ohio, and they went heavily Democratic in large measure because of the Democratic "souls to the polls" program that got predominantly African American congregations to go vote immediately after their Sunday services. That, by itself, could decide the election.

7). The Obama ground game is utterly superior to its Republican counterpart. In many swing states the Obama ground operation never left after Election Day in 2008. Now it has vastly more volunteers, field offices, experienced organizers and sophisticated social media mechanisms. And in the run-up to the election it has outgunned the GOP in terms of voter contacts.

All you need to do is look at the early vote numbers. In Iowa a recent PPP poll found that 32% of voters have already cast their ballots and they are breaking for Obama 64% to 35%. You see the same trend throughout the key battlegrounds.

Remember, early votes are not simply cast by voters that would otherwise go to the polls on Election Day. Many are lower-propensity voters who get to the polls when it is convenient. And by banking huge numbers of votes before November 6th, Democrats are allowing themselves to concentrate their Get Out the Vote efforts on additional hard-to-get-out voters on Election Day.

8). Obama is just a better candidate than Romney.

There are nine qualities that, in my experience, are generally used by swing voters to evaluate candidates:

  • Who is on my side?
  • Does the Candidate have strongly held values – Is he committed to something other than himself?
  • Is the candidate a strong, effective leader?
  • Does the candidate respect me?
  • Do I like or make an emotional connection with the candidate?
  • Is the candidate self-confident?
  • Does the candidate have integrity?
  • Does the candidate have vision?
  • Does the candidate inspire me?

When you evaluate Obama and Romney against those nine qualities, Obama wins in every category.

Romney is the embodiment of an out-of-touch plutocrat who will say anything to get elected. He is a guy who, throughout his career, was happy to close plants and outsource jobs, and destroy other people’s lives, if it would make him and his investors more money. And if he is elected President, he will be beholden first and foremost to his new investors, the same way he was at Bain Capital, except in the case of this election, Romney’s investors include mainly ultra-rightwing billionaires.

And can you imagine Mitt Romney representing America around the world? This is the guy who turned a "good will" trip, aimed at highlighting his foreign policy chops, into a "blooper reel." This was strong, effective leadership?

9). When given a choice between true progressive American values and the values of extreme individualism and greed, progressive values trump every time.

The fact is that most Americans believe that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We believe that we’re all in this together, that everyone should have a fair shot, pay their fair share and play by the same rules. We believe in the values of our soldiers who refuse to leave any of the comrades behind. Those are the values we were taught by our parents. Those are the values we learned in Sunday School.

"Greed is good" is not a family value. Americans don’t believe that we succeed when everyone simply looks out for themselves, and ignores the common good.

Americans do not believe that we should have a society where the wealthiest one percent among us prospers, and the ninety nine percent does not.

We do not believe that 47% of our fellow Americans refuse to take responsibility for their lives. Mitt Romney does.

There hasn’t been an election since World War II where the choice is clearer between a candidate who embodies mainstream progressive American values – and one that that does not.

Those are the reasons I believe that Barack Obama will win re-election on November 6th. But that outcome rests squarely on the assumption that tens of thousands of ordinary Americans will do whatever is necessary – personally – to convince those last swing voters and turn our votes out to the polls.

If you want to make this prediction come true, it’s up to you to get off the sidelines and stream out on to the field to join the army of volunteers who have devoted millions of hours to assure victory.

The right wing is still counting on Progressives – and on ordinary people of all sorts – to stay home from the polls. They are counting on us to be dispirited and disengaged.

They will be wrong.

We will not allow them to destroy Medicare and Social Security.

We will not allow them to continue siphoning all of the increases in productivity and national income to the top 1% of the population.

We will not allow them to send women’s rights back to the 1950′s.

We will not allow them to demonize immigrants.

And we will not allow them to destroy the American middle class.

More than anything else, that is why we will win. Because we make it so.

Robert Creamer is a long-time political organizer and strategist, and author of the book: Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win, available on Amazon.com. He is a partner in Democracy Partners and a Senior Strategist for Americans United for Change. Follow him on Twitter @rbcreamer.

Follow Robert Creamer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rbcreamer

Republicans Out of Touch with Reality—And What We Can Do

October 14th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, GOP, racism, rightwing, Tea Party

By Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Progressive America Rising via Precinct Reporter Group

I saw this astounding figure that approximately 70 percent of Republicans believe that the poll numbers on the presidential race are biased towards President Obama.  In other words, they are asserting that because President Obama has been—at least at the time of this column—ahead in most polls, this cannot be correct and the media must be mucking around.

It is important to put this sentiment in context.  This is the same Republican Party where more than 60 percent of its members believe that President Obama was not born in the U.S. Despite the incontrovertible evidence, most Republican voters wish to believe otherwise.  I would love to think that this was a comedy routine but it is reality.

To understand how 70 percent of Republicans would believe that the polls are biased, you have to appreciate their inability to recognize the nature of the changes underway in the country.  To the extent to which they believe that this is a ‘White republic,’ where the rest of us are barely-tolerated visitors, the polls don’t make any sense.  After all, from their perspective, there is no way that the U.S.A. should have a Black president, and, more importantly, there is no way that the demographics of the U.S.A. should be changing in the manner in which they are – towards a society where there is no White majority.

There is no way of knowing how the elections will turn out. The fact that President Obama has been ahead in most polls is striking, particularly given the depth of the economic crisis.  Such ratings have to indicate that large numbers of people have little confidence in the vision articulated by Romney/Ryan, but also that there is a sense when looking at the pictures of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, that this gathering (and this Party) bore no resemblance to the reality of the nation.  It looked like something very alien and for that matter, something very scary.

While President Obama may be slightly ahead in the polls, the only poll that really matters is to be held on November 6 when we actually vote.  Despite all of the efforts by the Republicans to reduce voter turnout by the elderly, the youth, by people of color, by union members and by gays/lesbians, the bottom line will be the determination of those same constituencies that were not in evidence at the Tampa Republican Convention to mobilize in the interest of justice.  This will take us further down the road, away from the racist and archaic notion of a ‘White republic’ (for the rich), and instead in the direction of a more consistent democracy.

Forget the opinion polls and just make sure to vote on November 6.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum, and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about unions.  He can be reached at papaq54@hotmail.com. Submit to Facebook Submit to Google Bookmarks Submit to Twitter Submit to LinkedIn Written by: Precinct Reporter Group

Can We Defeat the Racist Southern Strategy in 2012?

October 11th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, GOP, pushing obama, racism, rightwing, Tea Party, Voting Rights, women, youth and students

By Bob Wing*

Progressive America Rising

*Bob Wing has been an organizer since 1968 and was the founding editor of ColorLines magazine and War Times/Tiempo de Guerras newspaper. He lives in Durham, N.C. and can be contacted on Facebook. Thanks to Max Elbaum for his always insightful suggestions. This article was posted on Oct. 11, 2012.

The 2012 election is a pitched battle with race at the center.

It may not be “polite” to say this, but far from an era of “post racialism”, the United States is in a period of aggravated racial conflict. Though often denied and certainly more complex than the frontal racial confrontations of the past, race is the pivot of the tit-for-tat political struggle that has gripped the country for the past twelve years and, indeed, for decades prior.

The modern era of this conflict jumped off with the white conservative backlash against the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and has been deepened by their decades-long fearful reaction to the dramatic change in the color of the U.S. that resulted from the civil rights-motivated immigration reform act of 1965.

The conflict heated to a boil when white conservatives flatly rejected the legitimacy of the “premature” victory of our first Black president in 2008. Nearly 40 percent of Republicans are so enraged they cannot even admit that Obama is a U.S. citizen. Isn’t this really another way of saying they refuse to recognize a Black man as the president? Or perhaps it is the white conservatives’ modern day Dred Scott decision declaring Obama a Black man that has no rights that they are bound to respect?

The bottom line is that we have now come to a point where voters of color are so numerous and so united behind Obama that, to be victorious, Mitt Romney must carry a higher percentage of the white vote than any modern Republican candidate has ever won. If recent trends among voters of color hold, he must carry about 63 percent of white voters. Not even Reagan won more than 61 percent.

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Why a United Front vs.Finance Capital Matters

October 9th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, Wall Street

Goldman Turns Tables on Obama Campaign

By LIZ RAPPAPORT and BRODY MULLINS

Wall Street Journal

Oct 9, 2012 – When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, no major U.S. corporation did more to finance his campaign than Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

This election, none has done more to help defeat him.

Prompted by what they call regulatory attacks on their business and personal attacks on their character, executives and employees of Goldman Sachs have largely abandoned Mr. Obama and are now the top sources of money to presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.

In the four decades since Congress created the campaign-finance system, no company’s employees have switched sides so abruptly, moving from top supporters of one camp to the top of its rival, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of campaign-finance data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Employees at Goldman donated more than $1 million to Mr. Obama when he first ran for president. This election, they have given the president’s campaign $136,000—less than Mr. Obama has collected from employees of the State Department. The employees have contributed nothing to the leading Democratic super PAC supporting his re-election.

By contrast, Goldman employees have given Mr. Romney’s campaign $900,000, plus another $900,000 to the super PAC founded to help him.

Underscoring the magnitude of the reversal, Goldman has been the No. 1 source of campaign cash to Democrats among companies during the 23 years the Center for Responsive Politics has been collecting such data.

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The Economic Platform for a Popular Front vs. Finance Capital & the Right

September 29th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in 2012 Election, economic democracy, financial crisis, Wall Street

Let’s Fight for a Progressive Agenda

By Senator Bernie Sanders
Progressive America Rising via HuffPost

Sept 29, 21012 – There are two major economic and budgetary issues which Congress must address in the lame-duck session or soon afterward. First, how do we reverse the decline of the middle class and create the jobs that unemployed and underemployed workers desperately need? Second, how do we address the $1 trillion deficit and $16 trillion national debt in a way that is fair and not on the backs of the elderly, the children, the sick or the poor?

Both of these issues must be addressed in the context of understanding that in America today we have the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on earth and that the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider. Today, the top 1 percent earns more income than the bottom 50 percent of Americans. In 2010, 93 percent of all new income went to just the top 1 percent. In terms of wealth, the top 1 percent owns 42 percent of the wealth in America while the bottom 60 percent owns just 2.3 percent.

In my view, we will not make progress in addressing either the jobs or deficit crisis unless we are prepared to take on the greed of Wall Street and big-money interests who want more and more for themselves at the expense of all Americans. Let’s be clear. Class warfare is being waged in this country. It is being waged by the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adeslon, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and all the others who want to decimate working families in order to make the wealthiest people even wealthier. In this class war that we didn’t start, let’s make sure it is the middle class and working families who win, not the millionaires and billionaires.

In terms of deficit reduction, let us remember that when Bill Clinton left office in January of 2001, this country enjoyed a healthy $236 billion SURPLUS and we were on track to eliminate the entire national debt by the year 2010.

What happened? How did we go from significant federal budget surpluses to massive deficits? Frankly, it is not that complicated.

President George W. Bush and the so-called "deficit hawks" chose to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, but "forgot" to pay for those wars — which will add more than $3 trillion to our national debt.

President Bush and the "deficit hawks" provided huge tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans — which will increase our national debt by about $1 trillion over a 10-year period.

President Bush and the "deficit hawks" established a Medicare prescription drug program written by the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, but they "forgot" to pay for it — which will add about $400 billion to our national debt over a 10-year period.

Further, as a result of the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street, this country was driven into the worst recession since the Great Depression which resulted in a massive reduction in federal revenue.

And now, as we approach the election and a lame-duck session of Congress, these very same Republican "deficit hawks" want to fix the mess they created by cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and education, while lowering income tax rates for the wealthy and large corporations. Sadly, they have been joined by some Democrats.

The fiscal crisis is a serious problem, but it must be addressed in a way that will not further punish people who are already suffering economically. In addition, it is absolutely imperative that we address the needs of 23 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed.

What should working families of this country demand of Congress in response to these crises? Let me be specific:

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