Obama Campaign Answers The Nation

Chicago

Thank you for your “Change We Can Believe In: Open Letter to Barack Obama,” which appeared in the August 18/25 issue of The Nation. We appreciate hearing from so many supporters of Senator Obama, and we appreciate the opportunity to respond.

The Nation is right to say that it will take an unprecedented grassroots movement to change Washington. Each of you should take pride in the work you’ve done to build our campaign. Your advocacy of core Democratic and progressive values and your willingness to work for them in this election are absolutely essential to winning on November 4 and creating the change we need.

The Nation listed many of the priorities and ideals that bind us together, and Senator Obama takes great heart in the unprecedented level of unity we’ve achieved around the main tenets of our agenda for change. What unites us is so much greater than what divides us, and this will be a source of great strength as we work to win this election and tackle the great challenges facing our nation.

Near the close of your letter, you made a promise that embodies the highest ideal of citizenship–participation in our democracy. You wrote, “If you [Obama] win in November, we will work to support your stands when we agree with you and to challenge them when we don’t.” You know that participation in our democracy begins with voting, but it does not end there. You know that it includes being an educated and engaged voter, learning about the issues and the candidates, and fighting for what you believe in.

We will not always agree, but Senator Obama will always tell you where he stands and why. We appreciate the feedback you’ve given, and Senator Obama respects your positions and the conviction behind them. Your support on the many issues we agree on is crucial, and we are confident we will chart a new and better course for America together.

THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN



Hey Buddy, Can Ya Spare a Few Billion?

Quincy, Mass.

Thank you for “Bailout Nation,” your interesting, diverse coverage of the bailout plan [Oct. 13]. I have contacted my Congressman asking where to get the forms to request my own bailout. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard back.

GREG HILLIER


Somewhere in Cyberspace

Thank you for your bailout issue, especially William Greider’s clear statement of what Henry Paulson’s original proposal included. What was in it to prevent Paulson’s and Bush’s buddies from taking the $700 billion, divvying up the swag and riding off into the sunset with the mother of all golden parachutes? The original House version just increased the number of buddies in the deal. Does the current version have anything to prevent this–something that has teeth in it? I don’t trust this bunch.

SHIRLEY E. HASTINGS


Baltimore

I found myself looking at some old Nations, including one from November 15, 1999. The lead editorial, “Breaking Glass-Steagall,” had these prophetic words: “The misnamed Federal Services Modernization Act will usher in another round of record-breaking mergers, as companies rush to combine into ‘one stop shopping’ operations, concentrating financial power in trillion-dollar global giants and paving the way for future taxpayer bailouts of too-big-to-fail financial corporations.” Fair to say… good call.

LOU ROSENBLATT


Buffalo, N.Y.

I read your bailout issue straight through last night when I should have been sleeping. What kept me awake was your array of arguments against the bailout. I get the logic as a matter of social policy and agree with the specific suggestions. Except for the small equity in my condominium, my retirement assets are all invested in the stock market in a state-approved 401(k) plan. A long-retired distinguished service professor emeritus in a discipline far removed from economics, I know nothing about the economy. So as I watch the plunging stock market, I can’t help feeling in my ignorance as if I’m being thrown to the rapacious wolves named by your contributors.

KEITH ELKINS



Lipstick on a Shrub

Parkton, Md.

If ever a picture was worth a thousand words, it is the one on page 11 of your October 13 issue, by Gene Case and Stephen Kling of Avenging Angels. It illustrates Michelle Goldberg’s “Palin’s Party” and is a wonderful parody of how the party of lies, spin, con jobs and sanctimoniousness sees itself. When will America realize that Sarah Palin is just Bush with earrings?

M.V. RUNKLES III



Clarification

In Andrew Gumbel’s “Justice, Bush-Style” [Oct. 20], Joshua Rogers was identified as “a Republican appointee placed in a career position” at Justice. Although he was hired because of his GOP affiliations, he is a career attorney in the civil rights division, and not an appointee.