Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Senator Obama's Victory: The Triumph of Unity and Struggle

by Norman Markowitz

Senator Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination yesterday. In his campaign he consistently took the high road, refusing to launch attacks on the character and associations of his opponent. He consistently spoke to an electorate seeking a way out from the disasters of the Bush administration, and won their confidence against a mass media that never took him seriously until he had become a clear front runner, a mass media which still refuses to examine the coalescing of social forces that made his nomination possible.

This will be a watershed campaign in U.S. history whatever happens and the only way to win the decisive victory that is necessary will be to, in the words of an old revolutionary slogan."unite the many, defeat the few," not fall into the traps about pastors and priests, into quibbles about Obama's positions on this and that, but to focus on what the Republican Party is and what it has done, what John McCain really is and what he has done, and what a continuation of Republican rule will mean for the American people and, given the U.S. role in world affairs, the people of the world. Change We Can Believe in is Obama's slogan. Change we will win should be on the tip of every progressive activists tongue as we go forward to bring the campaign to the people, to defeat the forces of conservatism and reaction.


Anonymous said...

I am glad Obama has the needed delegates. But he has not won the nomination. The nomination can only be won at the Convention. Pledged delegates can change their minds and so can the super delegates.
If there were a scandal the delegates could turn to Clinton or a third party at the Convention. Obama is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. I hope he wins the nomination at the Convention in August.

Joel said...

When has there been another campaign season where the presumptive nominee has been hounded by another candidate as Clinton reportedly wants to do to Obama. There is no scandal. Obama's win is historic, but so are Clinton's actions.

But I think in the end she will be convinced that doing what she has chosen to do so far isn't the best thing. I also suspect that if she keeps it up too long, her superdelegates are going to abandon her on their own.

Hck, who wants to be a Clinton endorser when Obama is the president?

Joel said...

Of course, just moments after posting my above comment, I read at the NY Times that indeed supers have been leaving Clinton all day, and she is planning to bring it to a close.

Thanks Hill!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you got your into from the NYT-- I got mine from PA Editors Blog,

yugo said...

I am surprised by the lack of comment by the cpusa on Obama's speech concerning Israel and Iran on Thursday. It was extremely dangerous. I won't comment on your assessments on how an Obama election win would affect the domestic scene, but external policy is something that is determined by the ruling class as a whole. This is historically the case in general terms. A Democrat win would probably mean that southeast Europe would be left to the tender mercies of Holbrooke. In my region we REMEMBER that clinton painted Yugolslavia red with blood. We don't expect any great changes,

Joel said...

I disagree with Yuog's characterization of Obama's statements on Israel as dangerous and the lament that there has been little comment on it.

I think Obama represents a huge advance over Bush and his surrogate McCain on U.S. foreign policy. His views on engagement with regional powers in the Middle East provides him the best chance of bringing adversaries there together for renewed and more hopeful negotiations that have been repeatedly scuttled and undermined by Bush.

Additionally, the central feature of his foreign policy, ending the war in Iraq, may be the most important step a US president could take right now.

That is and should be the main issue for progressive forces in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

Well, lots of commentators have pointed out that Obama's Iraq plan won't end the war. He plans to withdraw troops (IF possible) but he will leave behind a reduced occupation force to train the Iraqi army-- so his "end the war" message may be just hype. You need an analysis of his actual position papers not just the campaign slogans. His call for an undivided Jerusalem (the final status of Jerusalem was supposed to be negotiated -- now it seems unilaterally settled) has been denounced both by the PLO and Hamas as a deal breaker that would make a Palestinian state impossible. McCain may be right about Obama's lack of experience in foreign policy! I have more sympathy for Yugo's views as he appears to have had first hand experience of having had to live under the consequences of US imperialism in east Europe so has a better understanding of it than one gets from campaign slogans. But I hope you are right anyway. No progressive change is even possible without an Obama victory in November. He is moving to the right, he has his lapel pin out now, lets hope its only a tactic.

Joel said...

Obama modified his comment on Jerusalem, and having read his position papers on foreign policy, I'd say the most significant element is his willingness to engage in broad diplomacy, his willingness to use other tools than military might to win support, and aim to end the war.

I think the only experience McCain has on Obama is how to push the red button on a whim.

The most important thing to remember, I feel, is that Obama is not a candidate of the left, but of a broad, multi-class array of center and left forces.

January 21, 2009 will not be a workers' paradise, but a new terrain of social struggle for the peace and democratic forces in our country.

Anonymous said...

Whether progressives in the USA should support Obama is a question for the movement there. I have my opinions on this, but i am not in contact with the reality over there so i'll trust the general judgement of the cpusa.

However there is big difference between accentuating the positive and covering things up or putting our heads in the sand.

"But any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel 's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel , and it must remain undivided,"

" Syria has taken dangerous steps in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,"

"I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon -- everything,"

These are dangerous comments that it is irresponsible to just wave away, especially when the guns are not being pointed in your direction.

Strategically center-left and center-right governments in imperialist countries tend to follow the same line. Difference are normally over tactical questions or questions of presentation.

We will see whether Obama's pronouncements on Iraq indicate that he is proposing a different management and presentation of US imperialist goals or represent a real pro-peace platform. Life itself will show the way.

Anyway goodluck in the belly of the beast!

Anonymous said...

As someone who strongly supported in my writings and work the people of Yugoslavia, particularly the demonized Serbian people who fought against the U.S. NAT0 bloc invasion of Yugoslavia and dismemberment of the country, I would answer Yugo's generally sympathetic to our position comments by saying that a. the Bush administration has been ultra-right, at the very best Right-Center, not Center-Right(frankly, I would use that characterization for Clinton in the 1990s).
The social forces which have coalesced around Senator Obama are in my opinion the most advanced progressive forces that we have seen in U.S. politics in forty years. Add to that the central role that anti-African American racism has played in U.S. history from colonial times and the enormous positive effect of this campaign, if it is successful, in winning an anti-racist victory, and the possibilities of making major advances in both domestic and foreign policies under an Obama administration are great.
Norman Markowitz