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Comments by YACCS
Saturday, July 22, 2006

The last, desperate gasp

Join us and fight the Joerus Heresy

This came from Jane Hamsher, who is covering the Lamont-Lieberman race from Connecticut for Firedoglake

Hi Steve -- I don't know if you're interested in this but I wrote this email to CTBlogger (who is African American) and I thought I'd send you a copy. I'll be writing about this tomorrow, but thought I'd give you a head's up and solicit your feedback:

Spent a very interesting day talking to lots of folks about how this race is going to boil down (Swan, Weicker, Colin McEnroe amongst others) and weirdly, fitting all the pieces together it looks like it all may come down to how African Americans vote.

Lieberman is apparently running a machine politics race right now, trying to get out the traditional Democratic constituencies in Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven, esp. labor and African Americans (who may constitute a relatively small percentage of state voters, but large percentages in these districts, evidently 30% of Hartford).

It all started to make sense when Lieberman pulled in Clinton -- why Clinton is doing it I don't know, but his approval ratings amongst African-Americans is about 110%. Also why Lamont is bringing in Maxine Waters. Why they're both spending so much time in black churches.

I'll be at the Waters event in Hartford tomorrow at 11:00 am, nobody else may realize what's going on but after spending a day talking with lots of folks I do think this is where the line of scrimage is at the moment and you couldn't keep me away with a shotgun.

Lieberman may have marched in 1964, but like an old Ice Cube song says, we should have been free in the first place. It matters now where he stands, and besides backing a president despised in the black community, and supporting his war, one black kids are opting out of, now he's down to telling people Lamont had investments in Halliburton. But, of course, so did Lieberman, and unlike Lamont, he had access to the top managers of the company and the contracts they got.

There is an all too sad assumption that the cable boxes black people get are CNN free. I can assure you they are not. People know Lieberman's record, and dragging out Clinton won't help him much.

Look, black people like Clinton, but there are limits to that. Bill Clinton hasn't been any great advocate of black issues after he left the White House, like the recent Cracker Caucus opposing the Voting Rights Act.

What isn't obvious is that Waters is a hero in much of black America. Her support of Lamont means a lot more than Clinton's support of Lieberman. In fact, it was Waters who stood by Clinton when he was impeached, and Lieberman who wanted to sink a knife in his back. She is someone people listen to. Sharpton and Jackson get a lot of attention and respect, but people can listen to them or not as circumstances require.

Waters, otoh, gained a lot of credibility when she dragged John Deutsch down to Watts to deal with issue of the CIA selling crack in LA. Even though the evidence was scant, people admired her sticking her neck out on this issue.

So when she campaigns for Lamont, that tells people he can be trusted to not dick over black people. A power Bill Clinton does not have and cannot transfer.

posted by Steve @ 2:49:00 AM

2:49:00 AM

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