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McKinney Election Analyses

Following are three thought-provoking analyses of the McKinney election and the machinations to rid the legislature of any opposition to the Fourth Reich.
 http://atlanta.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=7479&group=webcast


The United States Congress stands on the same precipice as its Roman ancestor. If Bush pulls another electoral coup in 2004 and we see the presidential election thrown into the House of Representatives, the future for the country appears very dim.
August 22, 2002

Wither Congress, Wither America?
Crushing Congressional Dissent: The Fall of Hilliard, Barr and McKinney
by Wayne Madsen

Historians will one day write that the 107th Congress was the last to stand up to the constitutional encroachment by the military and monarchist policies of the Bush II administration. Just as with the Roman Senate, the Congress of the United States is becoming an elite club of pathetic assenters and global elitists. Once the domain of great orators and dissenters like Cato and Cicero, the Roman Senate was eventually subsumed by the Roman Army when the Emperor took on dictatorial powers. The Roman Senate could say nothing as the Roman dictatorship annexed Macedonia, Spain, Greece, the Middle East, and North Africa. By the time Emperors Tiberius and Septimius Severus took power, the Senate, which had grown to an elite club of 600, was a rubber stamp body that had no choice but to go along with the military's continued usurpation of power...


 http://atlanta.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=7441&group=webcast

Atlanta, Ga. Aug 20, 2002

As peace-loving peoples everywhere mourn the loss of Cynthia McKinney as the voice for the oppressed peoples of the United States and the world, most observers have missed an important announcement to humanity. Fifty thousand people voted FOR McKinney and AGAINST the war in one Georgia County alone. Make no mistake; the voters who chose McKinney do not want war. Not the coming War against Iraq, not the War on Terror, not the War on Drugs, and not any other demagogically created slogan for United States killing and oppression.

McKinney's 50,000 supporters see this clearly and loudly cheer her call to wage peace, not war, and to address the pressing social needs of this country. While MSNBC, CNN, the local paper, and other corporate news outlets analyze "Why McKinney Lost?" none appear to grasp the extent to which McKinney has served to rally and embolden the victims of social injustice, not just in her district, but nationwide and around the world...

 http://www.atlanta.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=7363&group=webcast

August 21, 2002

Splenetic Thoughts for Dog Days

From Cynthia McKinney to Katha Pollitt, to the ILWU to Paul Krugman
by Alexander Cockburn

One less radical black voice in Congress. One less champion of labor. One less brave soul unafraid to jump the traces of political orthodoxy. Cynthia McKinney, five-term US rep from Georgia's Fourth District, was beaten in Tuesday's Democratic primary by Denise Majette, also black, a former judge, put in with the help of lots of money from American-Jewish groups and by a hefty Republican cross-over in Georgia's open primary.

Don't you think that if Arab-American groups or African-American groups targeted an incumbent white liberal, maybe Jewish, congressperson, and shipped in money by the truckload to oust the incumbent, the rafters would shake with bellows of outrage.
An alternative view 26.Aug.2002 19:58

JustTom2

I live in Georgia, but not in the Fourth District. I consider myself to be liberal-to-left, having viewed Bill Clinton and Al Gore as too conservative to vote for. (Voted for Nader the last two times.)

That said -- and I know this probably won't be very popular among many here -- it is my opinion that Cynthia McKinney has ultimately no one to blame but herself for her recent loss. After all, this was the same district that voted her into office four or five consecutive times. The potential for crossover voting was always there, but never seemed to mobilize until McKinney's recent impolitic and totally superfluous comments, which appeared to many to directly link Bush with the 9/11 attack, and acted as a lightning rod and call to action to unseat her.

I agree that her call for an investigation was correct, but her supremely unwise side comments (maybe she'd been hanging around Farrakhan too long?) gave her all the media spotlight she apparently craved, until she found herself hoisted by her own petard.

The Bush organization is as cunning as it is corrupt. Leftists and progressives are simply going to have to play the game MUCH smarter if we're going to move the pendulum back from the extreme right. That lesson didn't register with McKinney and, as a result, the left lost a reliable supporter.

Telling the Truth will get you Fired 27.Aug.2002 01:42

torwurn

The lesson of the political lynching of Cynthia McKinney is that telling the truth in America (in this case, raising questions about the involvement of the US Government in the 9-11 attacks)will get you fired.

The comments by by JustTom2 essentially argue that the "Left" should bite its tongue and keep its mouth closed even if there is strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that the American Government deliberately allowed the 9-11 attacks to occur (or possibly even sponsored and directed the attacks themselves).

Keeping your mouth closed about this evidence is not "smart politics" or a good way to beat the Right Wing in this country. IN fact, it will only encourage these fascist political forces to become even more brazen and aggressive in committing greater outrages and lies.

The problem the Left had with the McKinney situation is that there was not enough grassroots political mobilization to back her up when the American political establishment began its political and media campaign to demonize, to discredit, and ultimately remove her from office.

While there have been some efforts by many people to protest the increasing fascistic nature of the American Empire in terms of both its foreign policy and domestic policy, these efforts have not been enough--either to save McKinney or to reverse the broader movement towards Fascism that America is clearly mutating into.

Ending on this note, I would only repeat what the great Tupac Shakur once said: Keep Ya Head Up.

Good riddance McKooky 27.Aug.2002 09:34

Dubyah

What a polarizing racist bigot!! How 'bout her Daddy..it's all the jews fault, j-e-w-s...jews!! Neither belong in any responsible postions of leadership...they belong in waffle house washing dishes and greeting wal-mart customers.

We still have a two-party system 27.Aug.2002 10:16

rubbergloves

We still have a two-party system in this country -- The Exectutive Branch is controlled by Saudi Arabia and the Congress is controlled by Israel.

Reply to torwurn 27.Aug.2002 19:27

JustTom2

tor writes:
>>The comments by by JustTom2 essentially argue that the "Left" should bite its tongue and keep its mouth closed even if there is strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that the American Government deliberately allowed the 9-11 attacks to occur (or possibly even sponsored and directed the attacks themselves).<<

I never cautioned silence. I cautioned against opening one's mouth and saying something STUPID. I define "stupid" as anything that gives the other side a damn good reason to undermine your position and sabotage your efforts before you even get to first base. (Not to mention work like hell to defeat you.)

The call for an investigation is and was right and proper. Leave it at that. Implying that Bush was somehow complicit was stupid and unnecessary. (I thought that's what an investigation was for -- to explore questions like that.)

It was doubly stupid if she didn't have complete confidence that she could muster the "grassroots political mobilization" she needed to overcome the onslaught she must have known her comments would ignite -- if she had half a brain at all. All she did was to mobilize the OTHER side.

Another Georgian 29.Aug.2002 09:14

Marc mckinneyreport@yahoo.com

Hi, I also live in Georgia, but in the 5th district. Since I couldn't vote for Cynthia, I worked as a volunteer for her campaign the final weekend. I'd like to add a couple of comments to the above discussion.

One thing that is not mentioned in this discussion, and which I think may be the key point to consider is the role of the corporate media in the campaign. Living in Atlanta, I've seen that the corporate media in this town (and nationally) has.

a) Consistently misrepresented what Cynthia McKinney is saying.

b) Failed to give any outlet for Cynthia McKinney to talk to her constituents.

I've reached the point where if I hear any of the corporate media starting to go off about what Cynthia has said or done, I immediately go find a direct quote of what she actually said. In all cases, I find that the corporate media's representation of what she said to be wrong.

Meanwhile, while misrepresentations of what she says and what she stands for abound in the corporate media, there is almost no outlet available for Cynthia McKinney to speak herself.

The result is that I believe a large majority of the voters in the district had a serious misrepresentation of what she was doing in front of them when they went to cast their vote. And I think the main effect of this is not the cross-over voting which is so often mentioned, but instead in the lower turnouts and lower McKinney votes in the areas of her district that normally strongly support her.

McKinney had been in races against Republicans in this district before, and typically she won with 53% to 55% of the vote. This tells me that even if the Republicans all crossed over (which they did), McKinney still should have been able to win if her supporters stuck with her.

To me, it is the erosion of this base that is the main effect of the what has been essentially a media war against her for the last year (or longer).

Obviously I was a McKinney supporter before this election. But, by my being in attendance at several of her rallies in the final weekend, I was struck by the difference between the impression given by the media and the actual reality of listening to Cynthia McKinney.

This important, because I think it going to be a constant feature of politics from a left/progressive viewpoint for the foreseeable future. If we are going to have any success politically, then I think we need to learn how to operate in this environment. And I think this means developing a new method of running campaigns ... or perhaps a return to older methods.

If the mass/corporate media going to be so strongly against us, then it seems we need to do several things in the course of a campaign. None of these are easy, and they will take large amounts of effort and work. But I think a campaign that does this has a chance of being successful in this environment.

a) Make the point that the media against them. Go further and specifically point out the instances of false or misleading reporting and slanted reporting in favor of your opponent. The goal to try to immunize your base against the attacks from the media. Ideally, your strong base of supporters should just laugh at the media attacks, and immediately write-them off as more media bias.

In the McKinney case, this was happening around the McKinney campaign HQ, but I don't think this was effectively spread out into the community of her supporters. I think a future campaign of this sort will need to make a much stronger and visible effort from the beginning to sell their supporters on this point.

b) The campaign needs to develop its own methods of getting its message(s) out to its supporters. If the corporate media going to black out those messages, then we need to find another means of communicating. Essentially this means a campaign developing its own media instead of relying on giving messages and information to the corporate media and relying on them passing it on.

In the McKinney case, I think they were weak in this area. I'm a computer geek, so one of the first places I go the campaign web site. What I would have like to have seen there would be video and audio clips of campaign speeches and events, as well as text transcripts of the same, position papers and statements on issues, etc. This wasn't there. There needs to be a full-time effort on the part of the campaign in producing this type of information.

In addition, realizing that many of the voters a progressive/left campaign needs to reach will not have the computer literacy and Internet access of a geek like me, the campaign also needs to move this information to printed newsletters, cd-roms, audio tapes and video tapes for distribution through the community. Members of the community can then be encourage to copy and distribute this further.

As a sideline, it was also apparent that in the Atlanta area there no alternative media that could be relied upon to try to counter the corporate message. This includes Atlanta-IMC. This makes it even more important that the campaign take on this role itself. In some local races it may be able to pass this role off to alternative media, but this not true everywhere. Also, any national campaign, like a Green Party Presidential run in 2004 must also take this role on themselves due to the spotty availability of alternative media that can help fill this role.

c) We must try to get people out of there homes and away from there TV sets. A few generations ago, people would come out and hear candidates speak at public rallies. Modern campaigning, with its heavy reliance on campaign funds advertising and support from corporate media has moved away from this. We need to try to return to the American citizenry the idea that they need to come out and hear their politicians speak to them directly.

This needs to be a constant message from all left/progressive candidates, and from alternative media in between campaigns. This will be a long term effort, but if we can restore the idea that people need to come hear their politicians in purpose, it would go a long ways towards getting around the filters and distortions the mass/corporate media put on campaigns.

Ralph Nader already making strides in this direction. This happening both during the last campaign with his large rallies and with his Democracy Rising efforts since the election. I'd only add that I'd like to see him make this an explicit and strong point of the speeches he gives.

In the McKinney campaign, I was struck by how small the crowds were at the campaign speaking appearances she gave. Of course, I view the opportunity to see Cynthia McKinney and Barbara Lee speaking together at a rally as something not to be missed. However, the only reason I knew about it was because I was at campaign HQ, and largely it was only campaign workers at the rally. A campaign like this needs to emphasize rallies like this from the very beginning of the campaign, and put great effort into publicizing them. Since the corporate media realizes this takes power away from them, they will no more publicize these rallies nor encourage people to attend them any more than a Pope would endorse Martin Luther's message that the faithful could get their message from God without the intervention of the Catholic priesthood.