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The Irony of Right-Wing Secessionist Fantasies


Supporters of the US Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, watch results on television on election day. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
Is this the death of the Republican party? No chance
In 1969, the Republican Congressman and future president George HW Bush told the House of Representatives: "We need to take the sensationalism out of [family planning] so it can no longer be used by militants who have no knowledge of the voluntary nature of the programme, but rather are using it as a political stepping stone."


Barack Obama in Chicago after his graduation from Harvard Law School. As a community organiser, he expressed frustration at his colleagues behaving like
After Obama's re-election, liberals need to drop the blind devotion
As a community organiser in Chicago's south side, Barack Obama once managed to secure an event with the city's first and only black mayor, Harold Washington. He primed the women he was working with to press the mayor to attend their forthcoming rally to improve conditions in the run-down area.


Barack Obama on stage in Chicago after delivering his victory speech. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
Obama's second victory is more low key, but in some ways more impressive
Harold Davies didn't cry this time. Four years ago when I accompanied him to the polls his eyes welled up as he described how it felt to vote for an African American candidate. This time he was in and out within 10 minutes and then off to his brother's for his tea. You can only elect the first black president once. To use the euphoria of 2008 against the more toned-down celebrations of Tuesday night as a stick to beat Barack Obama misunderstands the significance of his trajectory.
US election 2012: voter turnout in Obama's Chicago neighbourhood – video


Mitt Romney: more comfortable with a PowerPoint than a podium. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters
Romney's big moment: time for the Etch-a-Sketch candidate to seal the deal
In July, a woman in West Virginia asked Republican House speaker John Boehner "Can you make me love Mitt Romney?" Boehner said: "No. Listen, we're just politicians. I wasn't elected to play God. The American people probably aren't going to fall in love with Mitt Romney."


Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife Ann wave to the crowd at a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters
A Mitt Romney win would merely reward Republicans for bad behaviour
As hurricane Sandy barrelled towards the east coast, Iowa's Des Moines Register newspaper endorsed Mitt Romney – the first Republican it had endorsed since Richard Nixon in 1972 (look how that turned out). Arguing that "the partisan divide had hardened" under Barack Obama, the leader writers said: "One of the biggest obstacles either candidate faces is partisan gridlock in Congress [which] has hampered not only the economy, but the entire country."


Obama bends over as Jacob Philadelphia touches his hair during a visit to the Oval Office in 2009. Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
Barack Obama and the paradox behind his African American support base
When Barack Obama was contemplating a run for the White House his wife, Michelle, asked him what he thought he could accomplish if he won. "The day I take the oath of office," he replied. "The world will look at us differently. And millions of kids across this country will look at themselves differently. That alone is something."
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The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream
book review
“The speech is profoundly and willfully misunderstood,” says King’s longtime friend Vincent Harding.
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