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I doubt that Obama's blackness hurts him. Much the contrary. Among the Afro-Americans it is a huge asset, where he will not only get a big share of the vote, but as well a record turn out.

Blacks vote overwhelmingly Dem regardless of who the candidate is. Turnout will go up, but blacks are disproportionately located in states which don't matter - i.e. barring landslides for one side or the other are not swing states. In this election it might help marginally in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. On the other hand it can hurt him among white voters in those states as well. It's not at all clear to me which of those two factors will matter more.

I have another European elitist explaination, why Obama isn't leading by a bigger margin:
America has too many too dumb people.

Two words: Silvio. Berlusconi.

by MarekNYC on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:14:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're not all Italians you know....

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:24:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy. "No" to Lisbon. Haider. etc... Need we go on?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 10:44:15 AM EST
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Yea but our major governing parties don't often directly target the "stupid" vote.  It damages their brand, long term.
Frank Schnittger:
you see - targeting stupidy is the GOP strategy (none / 1) Op-Ed Columnist - Know-Nothing Politics - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Republicans, once hailed as the "party of ideas," have become the party of stupid.

Now, I don't mean that G.O.P. politicians are, on average, any dumber than their Democratic counterparts. And I certainly don't mean to question the often frightening smarts of Republican political operatives.

What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism -- the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there's something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise -- has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party's de facto slogan has become: "Real men don't think things through."

In the case of oil, this takes the form of pretending that more drilling would produce fast relief at the gas pump. In fact, earlier this week Republicans in Congress actually claimed credit for the recent fall in oil prices: "The market is responding to the fact that we are here talking," said Representative John Shadegg.

What about the experts at the Department of Energy who say that it would take years before offshore drilling would yield any oil at all, and that even then the effect on prices at the pump would be "insignificant"? Presumably they're just a bunch of wimps, probably Democrats. And the Democrats, as Representative Michele Bachmann assures us, "want Americans to move to the urban core, live in tenements, take light rail to their government jobs."

Is this political pitch too dumb to succeed? Don't count on it.

Remember how the Iraq war was sold. The stuff about aluminum tubes and mushroom clouds was just window dressing. The main political argument was, "They attacked us, and we're going to strike back" -- and anyone who tried to point out that Saddam and Osama weren't the same person was an effete snob who hated America, and probably looked French.

Let's also not forget that for years President Bush was the center of a cult of personality that lionized him as a real-world Forrest Gump, a simple man who prevails through his gut instincts and moral superiority. "Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man," declared Peggy Noonan, writing in The Wall Street Journal in 2004. "He's not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world."



"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 10:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You forgot Poland ;) On second thought, please don't think of the twins, it's embarrassing.
by MarekNYC on Sun Aug 10th, 2008 at 01:51:13 PM EST
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... advantage, as in the 2004 election the black vote was deliberately suppressed by under-allocation of voting machines to heavily black districts.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 10:57:25 AM EST
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Do you know what, if anything is being done to stop this happening again? It wasn't a surprise in 2004; I remember reading warnings that this was going to happen well before the elections.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 12:13:59 PM EST
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See my comment right below yours.  A key difference between 2008 and 2004 is that the Ohio governor is Ted Strickland, a Dem.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 12:27:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... in Ohio (as in most states) the Secretary of State is in charge of elections, and its a statewide elected position.

So the main thing "done" to prevent it happening again was the election of the Democrat as the Secretary of State. Ms. Brunner won't intentionally mis-allocated voting machines in order to disenfranchise black voters ... or, in the other big block disenfranchisement, college voters. And she has already sacked some of the worst of the County Board of Electors.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 12:33:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point.  Shedding a bit more light on that, it's also important to remember that we control the governors' mansions in many of these states.  Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina come to mind immediately.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 12:26:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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