US Elections & Politics

Guardian journalist on Obama’s election: An “armed insurrection” averted

By Chris Marsden, 10 November 2008

One of the most extraordinary statements made on Barak Obama’s victory in the presidential elections was by Martin Kettle in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

Obama reassures big business on economic policy

By Patrick Martin, 8 November 2008

In his first public appearance as president-elect, Barack Obama held a press conference in Chicago Friday afternoon after meeting for several hours with a selected group of economic advisers, comprised entirely of bankers, corporate executives and current and former government officials.

As Democrats seek to dampen popular expectations

Obama administration begins to take shape

By Tom Eley, 7 November 2008

Three days after Barack Obama’s election victory, the initial moves by the president-elect to prepare his administration already show that his policies will be determined not by popular expectations, but by the domestic and foreign policy interests of the American financial and corporate elite.

A closer look at Obama’s transition team

By Joe Kishore, 7 November 2008

Barack Obama’s transition team is a collection of Washington insiders, former Clinton administration officials, corporate and banking executives, and individuals with roots in the Chicago Democratic Party political machine.

A historical milestone?

Reflections on class and race in America

7 November 2008

The constant invocation of Obama’s skin color and personal background underscores the pervasive manner in which conventional political analysis in America operates within racial categories. But it also serves definite political aims.

Behind the nationwide sweep by Democratic Party

By Patrick Martin, 6 November 2008

The Democratic victory was propelled by a record turnout of minority workers and among wide layers of young people. Economic issues—jobs, living standards and the looming prospect of a major recession—were the driving force of Obama’s victory, not race.

Class divisions begin to emerge in Obama coalition

6 November 2008

Barack Obama won the US presidential election Tuesday riding a wave of popular opposition to the Bush administration and the Republican Party.

Hopes and illusions dominate European reaction to Obama victory

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 November 2008

European leaders and media have reacted to the election victory of Barack Obama with a mixture of illusions and expectations.

Obama advisers discuss preparations for war on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 6 November 2008

Senior Obama advisers have been involved in behind-the-scenes bipartisan discussions in recent months about escalating diplomatic pressure and punitive sanctions against Iran—backed by preparations for military strikes.

The election of Barack Obama

5 November 2008

The election outcome is a massive repudiation of the Bush presidency, the Republican Party and nearly three decades of right-wing domination of American politics. It is a watershed election, one which reflects in the electoral framework the massive demographic, socio-economic and cultural shifts over the past quarter-century.

Election Day 2008: The class issues

4 November 2008

While tens of millions of Americans go to the polls, the outcome of the US election is awaited with intense interest by billions of people all over the world. This is not because they view the US president as the “leader of the free world,” a title bestowed by the media on the occupant of the White House. Rather, it is because they know from bitter experience that the American president, as leader of the most powerful imperialist country, is capable of pursuing policies that will wreak havoc in their lives and for the planet as a whole.

Jerry White addresses students at candidates’ forum in Dayton, Ohio

By our reporter, 4 November 2008

SEP candidate Jerry White spoke to high school students at a candidates’ forum in Dayton, Ohio on Monday.

Video: SEP Candidate Jerry White speaks in Chicago

4 November 2008

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White speaks at the University of Illinois-Chicago. White presents a Marxist analysis of the economic crisis and elaborates a political perspective for the working class.

Letters from our readers

4 November 2008

A selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Obama begins to “lower expectations” for a Democratic White House

By Patrick Martin, 1 November 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has begun to back away from his promises of social change, even before balloting concludes on Election Day next Tuesday.

One week until the US elections

28 October 2008

One week before Election Day, Democratic Party leaders are already issuing excuses as to why a lopsided Obama victory should not be interpreted as a mandate for a significant change of policy, and why no such change will be forthcoming.

Warnings of deep recession as US layoffs spread coast-to-coast

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 October 2008

Mass layoffs in the United States have spread from the financial sector and automobiles to virtually every sector of the economy. But the response of the political establishment, including Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is to rule out any new programs to create jobs.

The New York Times’ endorsement of Obama

25 October 2008

The lineup of major newspapers behind Obama culminated in Friday’s endorsement by the New York Times, the leading US newspaper and the principal voice of the liberal wing of the American political establishment.

SEP candidates to speak in Canada

25 October 2008

The SEP’s candidates for president and vice president will be speaking at meetings in Montreal and Toronto next week.

The economic crisis and war

24 October 2008

While the world’s attention has been focused on the global economic crisis, the United States has continued to prosecute its neo-colonial war in Iraq and has expanded its military violence in Afghanistan and the adjoining border regions of Pakistan. Early Thursday morning, a US drone fired four missiles into a religious school, or madrassa, in a tribal area of Pakistan’s North Waziristan, killing 11 people, according to Agence France-Presse. It was the latest in a series of US strikes into Pakistan, including at least one commando raid by Special Forces ground troops, launched since the beginning of September.

Job cuts mount as global recession takes hold

By Patrick O’Connor, 23 October 2008

Share markets in the US and internationally fell sharply again yesterday. The renewed round of sell-offs was a reaction to growing signs that a severe recession is taking hold in the United States and engulfing Europe, Asia and the rest of the world.

Under cover of “voter fraud” allegations, Republicans suppress the vote—Part 2

By Tom Eley, 23 October 2008

Under cover of “voter fraud” allegations, Republicans and the McCain campaign are seeking to suppress working class votes and prejudice far-right elements in the population against the legitimacy of a Democratic victory.

Letters on “In defense of Bill Ayers,” and a reply by David Walsh

23 October 2008

These letters were sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to the article, "In Defense of Bill Ayers". The first letter is followed by a reply from David Walsh.

Under cover of “voter fraud” allegations, Republicans suppress the vote—Part 1

By Tom Eley, 22 October 2008

Under cover of “voter fraud” allegations, Republicans and the McCain campaign are seeking to suppress working class votes and prejudice far-right elements in the population against the legitimacy of a Democratic victory.

The Democrats’ “economic recovery” fraud

By Barry Grey, 22 October 2008

The “economic recovery” plan being pushed by congressional Democrats, far from representing a serious response to the social disaster threatening working people, underscores the complete subservience of the Democratic Party to Wall Street.

Biden’s chilling remarks at fundraiser

What “incredibly tough” foreign policy actions is Obama preparing?

By Patrick Martin, 22 October 2008

In remarks made over the weekend in Seattle, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden warned that Barack Obama, if elected president, would be compelled to take deeply unpopular actions in both domestic and foreign policy within months of taking office.

Letters from our readers

21 October 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Colin Powell endorses Obama

Growing ruling class consensus behind Democratic candidate

By Barry Grey, 20 October 2008

Retired Gen. Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama on Sunday was the most politically significant of a series of recent statements by influential voices in the American ruling elite calling for the Democratic presidential candidate's election on November 4.

Detroit residents speak on economic crisis and US elections

By a WSWS reporting team, 20 October 2008

Reporters for the World Socialist Web Site and SEP supporters spent Saturday morning at Eastern Market in Detroit speaking to residents about the economic crisis and the US presidential elections.

The Washington Post endorses Obama

By Alex Lantier, 18 October 2008

The Washington Post endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama yesterday. Such an endorsement—by the second-most influential liberal paper, headquartered in the nation's capital, and which obtained widespread support for uncovering the Nixon administration's role in the Watergate affair—carries immense weight in the US political establishment.

US Republicans target ACORN: the great “voter fraud” fraud

By Tom Eley, 18 October 2008

A community activist group called ACORN has become a lightning rod for Republican attacks on voting rights as the US presidential election approaches.

Letters from our readers

18 October 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

In defense of Bill Ayers

By David Walsh, 17 October 2008

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona and his supporters are continuing to pursue their smear campaign against former Weatherman radical Bill Ayers, now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

A political farce, not a debate

By Patrick Martin, 17 October 2008

Wednesday’s nationally televised encounter between Barack Obama and John McCain was less a debate than a ritualized episode of a peculiarly American form of political theater.

Obama floats economic plan: tax breaks and austerity

By Bill Van Auken and Socialist Equality Party candidate for vice president, 15 October 2008

On the eve of the Bush administration’s announcement that is injecting another $250 billion into the banks, Barack Obama unveiled his “rescue plan for the middle class.”

Letters from our readers

14 October 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

The revolutionary implications of the decline of American capitalism—Part 2

By Barry Grey, 14 October 2008

Today we are posting the concluding part of the report delivered by WSWS National Editor Barry Grey to the Founding Congress of the Socialist Equality Party on August 9, 2008. The first part was posted on October 13.

The revolutionary implications of the decline of American capitalism

By Barry Grey, 13 October 2008

WSWS National Editor Barry Grey delivered the following report to the Founding Congress of the Socialist Equality Party on August 9, 2008.

Letters from our readers

11 October 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Wall Street crashes amid mounting signs of global recession

By Peter Symonds, 10 October 2008

With a further dramatic plunge on Wall Street yesterday, the US and global economic crisis has entered a new stage, spreading from the financial system to the productive foundations of the economy.

McCain-Palin campaign’s attacks on Obama: a whiff of fascism

By Bill Van Auken (Socialist Equality Party candidate for vice president), 10 October 2008

Faced with dwindling poll numbers and an increasingly hostile political environment created by the economy's dizzying downward spiral, the Republican campaign of John McCain and Sarah Palin has responded with a virulently right-wing appeal directed to the most politically backward layers in America.

Second US presidential debate

Obama, McCain offer platitudes in the face of an economic disaster

By Patrick Martin, 9 October 2008

The second presidential election debate between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain was an exercise in political deception, as both candidates sought to evade the implications of the US and world financial crisis.

Picked to direct the Wall Street bailout: Who is Neel Kashkari?

By Alex Lantier, 8 October 2008

In pushing the bailout, its supporters--particularly Democratic congressional leaders and presidential candidate Barack Obama-claimed there would be "transparency" and "oversight" safeguards. The nomination of Kashkari, however, exposes the fact that the financial elite will direct the entire process on behalf of its own interests.

SEP election meetings

The origins and implications of the financial crisis: A Marxist analysis

7 October 2008

Between now and Election Day, Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White and vice presidential candidate Bill Van Auken will speak at a series of meetings throughout the country. The candidates will also address meetings in Canada, Germany and Britain.

New York’s Mayor Bloomberg cites financial crisis in bid for third term

By Peter Daniels, 6 October 2008

After months of speculation, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a City Hall press conference on October 2 to make it official: he proposes to ditch the current term limits law in order to run for a third term in the November 2009 mayoral election.

Thirty days to US elections

Obama and McCain agree on Wall Street bailout and war

By Patrick Martin, 6 October 2008

As the US presidential election campaign enters its final month, the candidates of the two major parties have voiced substantial agreement on the most critical issues of domestic and foreign policy.

US vice-presidential debate: A window on the right-wing character of an Obama-Biden administration

By Patrick Martin, 4 October 2008

Thursday night’s vice presidential debate, having been heavily promoted by the media, was notable mainly for its avoidance of any serious discussion of the biggest financial crisis in the United States since the Great Depression.

US House backs Wall Street bailout

Democrats credit Obama with shifting vote

By Bill Van Auken, 4 October 2008

In its second vote in five days, the US House of Representatives approved a massive bailout package for the major banks and finance houses. The legislation, passed by a vote of 263 to 171 Friday afternoon, gives US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson virtually unrestricted powers to use at least $700 billion to buy up largely worthless paper assets from Wall Street using taxpayers' money.

The Senate bailout bill: How the Democrats do the bidding of Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 3 October 2008

The revised Wall Street bailout bill passed by the US Senate on Wednesday goes substantially beyond the version voted down Monday by the House of Representatives in committing taxpayer money to prop up the banks. It also adds $150.5 billion in tax breaks, mainly for corporate interests.

US Senate passes Wall Street bailout bill

Obama backs the bailout

By Patrick Martin, 2 October 2008

The Democratic-led US Senate approved a slightly modified version of the Wall Street bailout Wednesday, reviving the $700 billion windfall for the wealthy only two days after it was defeated in the House of Representatives.

The Wall Street bailout and the threat of dictatorship

By Bill Van Auken (Socialist Equality Party vice presidential candidate), 2 October 2008

Recriminations have continued to reverberate internationally over the vote in the US House of Representatives Monday to reject a $700 billion bailout package for the Wall Street banks.

Future conditional: The Nation counsels Washington on the financial crisis

By Tom Eley, 1 October 2008

The Nation magazine, the leading publication of America’s left-liberal milieu, has waded into the US financial meltdown with numerous columns and articles in print and on its web site.

Public meetings in UK and Germany

SEP candidate Jerry White to speak on crisis of US and world capitalism

1 October 2008

The presidential candidate of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States, Jerry White, will speak at a series of meetings next month in Britain and Germany.

Stocks plunge on Wall Street as bailout fails in Congress

By Bill Van Auken and Socialist Equality Party vice presidential candidate, 30 September 2008

Wall Street suffered its biggest one-day point fall in history amid panic selling, as the proposed government bailout of the major banks and finance houses went down to defeat Monday in the US House of Representatives.

The Obama-McCain debate: Right-wing politicians agree on bailout and militarism

By Patrick Martin, 29 September 2008

Friday night’s presidential election debate between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain demonstrated that there is no choice in the 2008 presidential election within the confines of the official two-party system.

Democrats push for quick adoption of Bush plan to bail out Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 26 September 2008

The turn of events at the White House summit announced Wednesday night by President Bush and held Thursday to press for bipartisan agreement on his plan for a bailout of Wall Street has underscored the cynical and reactionary role being played by the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Barack Obama.

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White addresses ISSE meeting at the University of Michigan

By our reporter, 26 September 2008

On September 24, SEP presidential candidate Jerry White spoke on the financial crisis at a well-attended public meeting at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The meeting was the first in a series of election meetings organized by the SEP.

Obama’s embrace of bailout wins favor on Wall Street

By Patrick Martin, 25 September 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has seized upon the financial crisis to increase his support within the US financial elite by giving all-out backing to a federal bailout of Wall Street and providing assurances that an Obama administration will be a reliable and ruthless defender of corporate interests.

Evasions, half-truths and lies

Bush demands passage of Wall Street bailout

By Socialist Equality Party, 25 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party emphatically rejects President George Bush’s call, in his televised speech Wednesday night, for a massive bailout of Wall Street.

Obama says bailout will postpone spending plans

By Patrick Martin, 24 September 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said that the $700 billion bailout of US financial institutions now moving through Congress would force a delay in additional spending by an incoming Democratic administration.

SEP election meetings

The origins and implications of the financial crisis: A Marxist analysis

24 September 2008

Between now and Election Day, Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White and vice presidential candidate Bill Van Auken will speak at a series of meetings throughout the country.

Letters from our readers

23 September 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Obama demands deep cutbacks to pay for Wall Street bailout

By Bill Van Auken, 23 September 2008

As the Bush administration and Congress continued negotiations Monday on a trillion-dollar bailout package for Wall Street, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama delivered a speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin in which he promised to carry out sweeping cuts in government spending and impose strict fiscal discipline on the US government.

No to Wall Street bailout! The socialist answer to the financial crisis

By Socialist Equality Party National Committee, 22 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party and its presidential and vice presidential candidates, Jerome White and Bill Van Auken, unequivocally oppose the plan to bail out Wall Street with hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer funds announced by the Bush administration and embraced by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership.

Obama’s response to financial meltdown: Deception and subservience to Wall Street

By Bill Van Auken and SEP vice presidential candidate, 19 September 2008

As hundreds of millions of people in the US and around the world confront the onset of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, with all of its implications for their jobs, livelihoods and the future of their children, the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Barack Obama have seized upon Wall Street’s implosion as a means of reinvigorating their faltering campaign.

Letters from our readers

18 September 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Socialist Equality Party launches new election web site

By our reporter, 18 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party in the United States is launching a new web site that will coordinate its election campaign and serve as a center for organizing other party activities. The web site address is www.socialequality.com.

No return to the 1930s! For the public ownership of the banks!

By SEP presidential candidate Jerome White, 17 September 2008

The bankruptcy of Wall Street firm Lehman Brothers and the forced take over of Merrill Lynch are the latest demonstrations of the collapse of American capitalism. All the lies and propaganda about the supposed infallibility of the “free market” are now utterly discredited. The people of the US and the world are confronting a financial catastrophe on a scale not seen since the Great Depression.

The Palin interviews: Ignorance in the service of the ultra-right

By Bill Van Auken, 15 September 2008

ABC’s broadcast over three nights of the interview between the network’s anchorman Charles Gibson and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin served to expose the candidate’s ignorance and ultra-right politics, while skirting around some of the most crucial questions underlying her improbable candidacy.

National service forum at Columbia University

Obama calls for US military mobilization

By Patrick Martin, 13 September 2008

In remarks that clearly pointed toward the restoration of the military draft under an Obama administration, the Democratic candidate said Thursday night that his job as president would include demanding that the American people recognize an “obligation” for military service. “If we are going into war, then all of us go, not just some,” Senator Barack Obama declared.

Reject Obama and McCain! Support the socialist alternative in 2008! Build the Socialist Equality Party!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 13 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party announces today that it has selected Jerome White and Bill Van Auken as president and vice president in the 2008 US elections. White, 49, and Van Auken, 58, have decades of experience in the socialist movement and the struggles of the working class. They are both regular writers for the World Socialist Web Site.

Letters from our readers

13 September 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Obama denounces Bush for sending too few troops to Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 11 September 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama blasted as too little and too late the decision announced by President Bush Tuesday to withdraw 8,000 US troops from Iraq and divert combat units to Afghanistan.

Obama in Michigan: economic nationalism and “reformism” without reforms

By Jerry White, 10 September 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama campaigned in Michigan Monday, appearing in Flint and suburban Detroit. This reporter covered the latter event at North Farmington High School, which attracted an audience of some 1,200 people—including high school students, better off sections of the working and middle classes, and local Democratic Party officials.

Nader in Detroit: watered-down reformism and an appeal to the Democrats

By Tom Eley, 10 September 2008

Ralph Nader brought his independent presidential campaign to Detroit Sunday night, taking questions at a press conference and then addressing an audience of about 150 at a Unitarian Church near the campus of Wayne State University.

Obama vows not to rescind tax cuts for the rich if recession deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 9 September 2008

Backing away from one more of his meager campaign promises, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has said he would reconsider his proposal to rescind the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the rich when he takes office if the US economy is in recession.

Letters on the US presidential elections

9 September 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on the US presidential elections.

McCain launches fall campaign as Obama embraces Iraq “surge”

Obama on his knees

By Patrick Martin, 6 September 2008

The events of Thursday, September 4 demonstrate the two overriding political facts of the 2008 US presidential election campaign: a Republican Party in deep political crisis and widely hated for its program of social reaction and war, and a Democratic Party that represents no alternative whatsoever, galloping to the right.

The Sarah Palin speech:

Democrats and media cower in face of Republicans’ right-wing demagogy

By Bill Van Auken, 5 September 2008

Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s Wednesday night speech to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul was greeted with rapture by the mass media. Newspapers and broadcast news declared it a “homerun” and a “star performance.”

As Republicans unveil VP candidate

Democrats silent on threat from religious right

By Bill Van Auken, 4 September 2008

The Republican National Convention entered its third day Wednesday with the acceptance speech of the party’s vice presidential candidate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, as the main event.

Mass arrests of protesters at Republican National Convention

By Jerry White, 4 September 2008

Authorities have carried out a massive mobilization of federal, state and local police and military forces to cordon off the Republican National Convention from protesters opposed to the party’s program of militarism and social reaction.