Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 18, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

CHECKING IN WITH THE OTHER SIDE....I thing we can safely assume that Barack Obama's supporters will all swoon over his speech today. And why not? It was, as usual for him, a helluva good address: intelligent, sane, sympathetic, and broadly appealing. He didn't, however, sound to me like he was really very eager to keep this conversation about race going — a feeling that's easy to understand if you take a look at what's burbling through the conservative id right about now. Ladies and gentlemen, The Corner:

"Amazingly bloodless and dull; part moral hectoring part awkward defensiveness." "I think if you want to be romanced by your candidate, he romanced you. And if you're a guilty white person, you're with Obama because he said so." "Was it just me, or did anyone else note that for the first half of the speech, Sen. Obama seemed annoyed, put out by having to give the speech in the first place?"

"This a breathtaking attempt to pass off Wright's hateful rants by implying that they are little different than the 'political views' of some priest with which a parishioner might disagree." "Obama is no longer a post-racial candidate....today, he has embraced the politics of grievance." "Blame whitey, and raise high the red flag of socialism. This is a serious candidate for the Presidency? Toast, toast."

"His grandmother — his surrogate mother at that point — rejected the black man he was becoming. The anger Obama heard in Rev. Wright's church may not have felt so alien after all." "Any hopes anyone had that Barack Obama would be a gift to civil rights in America — that he would shake hands with Ward Connerly and really be a change died today, I think."

"Does he think OJ was guilty? Hmmm. Probably not the best example to put into play." "It's hard to imagine how someone who listened to this speech, and who had followed at all the controversy of the last few days, could still view Obama as somehow transcending politics."

See? Barack Obama's just another race hustler. I suspect that the "official" conservative reaction in columns and op-eds will be more restrained, but the longer that race stays front and center in the campaign, the more time the real conservative id will have to ooze into the forefront. Obama can't be looking forward to that.

UPDATE: Fester provides an alternate view here.

Kevin Drum 12:39 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (161)

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Comments

Whether Barack likes it or not he has created the perfect setup for the election: Is America ready for an honest, reasonable, leader who will speak to us like adults? We know the far right fades out when the discourse rises above junior high school level, but what about the other 75% of America? Are there enough Americans out there who will give him a chance and not take the low road? That's what it's about in 2008....

Posted by: J.S. on March 18, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps bringing that conservative id to the foreground can be a good thing. We don't like to look in the mirror and see our own ugliness; maybe this will at least lead large segments of the country toward a kind of spiritual plastic surgery (sorry). It's not going to be pretty, and surely it won't be fun. But maybe it's a way forward, at least if the bulk of the country confronts that id and rejects it.

Or, I suppose, we could have a Klan revival.

Posted by: Grant Alden on March 18, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about America, but I am ready for adult discourse. The redstaters can go suck eggs.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 18, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

If Ward Connerly is there idea of an ideal black person, to hell with these guys.

Posted by: gregor on March 18, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Klan never went away the just changed their name to republicans.

Posted by: Bob Etzler on March 18, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

sorry, their ideal black person

Posted by: gregor on March 18, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

For some really scary stuff go read Malkin's crazy-ass rambling blog comments. Ho-ly smokes! Those comments are tame compared to the KKK communiques being put forth over there.

Posted by: K-Tron on March 18, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Whether it was a homer or foul ball, there is no doubt that he hit the ball out of the park. That's gotta scare the other two.

Posted by: Bob M on March 18, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

well I don't belong to any 'conservative id' and yet I essentially agree with them: it was a good speech that was entirely beside the point, in short, a very cynical attempt to change the subject. He may get away with it as far as Hillary is concerned since if she attempts to point out his ploy she'll be accused of being racially insensitive - McMcain and the right wing attack dogs will not feel so encumbered. You're dreaming if you think this issue is going away.

Posted by: oscar on March 18, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin is typically unfair in his selective cite of comments at The Corner - below is some nice praise. Reactions to speeeches are inherently subjective. I thought it was okay, but overall a missed opportunity to actually do something good for the county, instead of just trying to do something good for himself. It was too much a campaign speech.

Hemmingway:
...it was in many respects excellent. I thought the first third of the speech was not so good in that that he offered up too much stark racial context before he got to the part about addressing Wright. But once he got wound up, he spoke about as candidly and eloquently about race as one could hope of a politician.

Goldberg:
It was a much better speech than I thought it would be. It had some lovely moments and he came across as a remarkably classy and decent guy. But I think there were some serious logical, philosophical, and political flaws to it. Anyway, I've got to write a column on it fast, so I'll be bowing out for a bit.

Posted by: brian on March 18, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Was it just me, or did anyone else note that for the first half of the speech, Sen. Obama seemed annoyed, put out by having to give the speech in the first place?

This actually touches on something that I noticed; to wit, Obama sometimes has mannerisms that allow people to project 'smugness' on him. I'm not saying he's smug, but it would be very easy to get clips of, say, him pausing for applause during one of his rallies and looking around with that kind of pursed-lip look that can be seen, to those with low self-esteem, as preening.

It could be as annoying to some as Al Gore's condescending 'now, children' tone of voice.

I'm just saying. He needs to watch himself on tape.

The Prairie Angel

Posted by: Arachnae on March 18, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Now the question becomes: Is America ready for an adult to run for President?

Posted by: reino on March 18, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Up until Wright's comments Obama was transcending race as an issue, but now race is front and center and this will not help Obama. Wright's comments will follow Obama throughout his campaign and they could damage his campaign just like the swift boat issue damaged Kerry. I thought Obama speech as good but it was too nuanced for ordinary americans and I don't think it will go over well in middle america or the south.

Also, I think Hillary's playing this smart by keeping her mouth shut and letting the media focus on Obama and the race issue. This could get worse....

Posted by: Noel on March 18, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin is typically unfair in his selective cite of comments at The Corner - below is some nice praise

don't be a fool. the praise, such as it was, is utterly overwhelmed by the loathsome bile the rest of the crew spat out.

Posted by: cleek on March 18, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, also notice that a good half of the Corner dwellers didn't listen to the whole speech. "I've heard enough," one writes.

Oh, really? Unlike most of us who hold day jobs doing other things, they hold day jobs about politics. That's their job. It's intellectual laziness, and knee-jerk reaction on their part.

Posted by: Howard on March 18, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

I read it, didn't watch/listen. It's a good speech and especially towards the end provides some challenges for all of us. The right wing noise machine will try to drown it it, but I think his message will get through.

Posted by: tomeck on March 18, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

brian, don't you get nauseous when Goldberg criticizes a speech on logical, philosophical and political grounds? I mean, such expertise as he has is not in any of those fields.

Posted by: TJM on March 18, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Jonah the liberal fascist hunter says there are logical, philosophical flaws in Obama speech? The same Jonah was on MSNBC telling the world that Obama was in 2 places at one time on July 22, 2007.

Posted by: bjd on March 18, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Serious candidates like Obama need to talk and act without regard to what the Neanderthal wing of the Republican party is going to do.

If Jesus Christ came back today, they would accuse him of being a socialist who hangs out with lowlifes. And won't take the "No Taxes" pledge to boot.

Posted by: Jeff S on March 18, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'm outraged I tell ya - Obama didn't specifically denounce what Assistant Pastor Jerome Smith said about white people at the 3rd Baptists Church of Oshkosh on June 15th, 2003, at the 10:00 AM* Service - or so Newsmax is reporting.

* Might have been the 8:00 AM Service - Or sometime in 2003... or 2002.

Posted by: on March 18, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

I am a Barack supporter. To me, it was an intelligent speech where he truly understood those who disagreed with him and was a real discussion on important matters.

I don't, however, know whether enough Americans will see it that way. Already, many are just focused on the gotcha aspect. What exactly did he hear when he sat in the pews and what did he do about it? To them, anything else he says is just puffery.

Posted by: PE on March 18, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

At least one open minded post from The Corner:
*********
Obama in Philly [Drew Cline]

What first strikes me in Barack Obama's speech today is the image of a black American standing across the street from where the Constitution was negotiated in part by slave owners — and not condemning the Founders, but praising them.

When we hear sentences like this: "Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787," we often hear in response America's black leaders condemn those men as racists who don't represent black Americans. They remind us of the slaves who suffered and died crammed into the cargo holds of some of those ships. They hold slavery to be THE defining mark of early America and discount the remarkable achievement in Philadelphia as something insincere, fraudulent, and unworthy of reverence.

But here was Obama praising the Founders for their ideals. Here he was noting the stain of slavery, but not letting it become THE story of the Founders, but only a part of the story, not letting it press out the reverence the Founders are due.

That might be the lasting legacy of this speech. The Jeremiah Wright controversy will eventually become a footnote in American political history. But the moment of the first serious black contender for the Oval Office speaking with reverence and admiration for slave-owning Founding Fathers, and dismissing explicitly the idea that the United States is, by virtue of the nation's Original Sin of slavery, a fundamentally racist nation, has the potential to become a turning point.

03/18 11:24 AM
*****

Posted by: DCB on March 18, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

In an ideal world, I agree it would have been best if this whole issue could have been swept under the rug.

But, with the Clintons' subtle racial jabs during the campaign, and Faux Spews running the Rev. Wright loop constantly for the next 8 months it had to be addressed.

It was a brilliant speech, and conveyed the right message.

If America isn't ready for Barrack after this, then we get what we deserve. Also, if the Democratic party isn't ready for this speech it will continue to become increasingly irrelevant as well.

Posted by: BrianInMKE on March 18, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

the longer that race stays front and center in the campaign, the more time the real conservative id will have to ooze into the forefront. Obama can't be looking forward to that.

Oh, but I am. The whole 'white flight' base of the Republican party, frothing in pure Willie Horton hysteria for the next several months.

I love the smell of fear.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on March 18, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I've had a pet theory about how race, or more specifically racism, would play in Obama's favor in the general election. It was based on the idea that conservatives reflexively respond in the most callous way possible when attacking their opponents, and that those attacks would be cringe-inducing for your average independent/republican living outside of the echo chamber.

I think what the Wright story does is significantly cut into that advantage by giving republicans fodder they can throw at the democratic nominee without the need to make it up out of whole cloth. Obama's response today, I think, puts us back at square one. When things get really ugly on the right, he can return to this subject as evidence that he is willing to engage this country on an entirely different level.

So I think he helped himself, and that any disadvantages he earns because of Wright, may very well be negated by the insanity that he will inevitably face in the general.

Posted by: enozinho on March 18, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Awesome, awesome speech. Mr. Obama will be a major force on the political scene, win or lose, for years to come.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on March 18, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin writes: "... the longer that race stays front and center in the campaign, the more time the real conservative id will have to ooze into the forefront. Obama can't be looking forward to that."

Obama had damned well better understand that if he wins the Democratic nomination, he will be subjected to an onslaught of character assassination -- not just from the so-called "conservative" media, but far more importantly from the corporate-owned media from which most Americans get most of their information -- that will make the goring of Al Gore and the swiftboating of John Kerry, let alone the relatively mild negative campaigning of Hillary Clinton, pale into insignificance.

The corporate media is the Krell amplifier that transforms the "conservative id" into a monster.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 18, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it is bad to expose the conservative id. Most Independents don't pay much attention and the few times they have seen this id they have been repulsed. The Schiavo affair is a great example of Repubs playing to these wingnuts and turning off centrists in droves.

Posted by: Patrick on March 18, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, also notice that a good half of the Corner dwellers didn't listen to the whole speech. "I've heard enough," one writes.

Oh, really? Unlike most of us who hold day jobs doing other things, they hold day jobs about politics. That's their job. It's intellectual laziness, and knee-jerk reaction on their part.

Yes, and if Obama had been bombing with the speech, they'd have hung, slavering, on every word. "I've heard enough" = "Damn it, he's kicking ass with this. I have to look away."

Posted by: shortstop on March 18, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin writes: "... the longer that race stays front and center in the campaign, the more time the real conservative id will have to ooze into the forefront. Obama can't be looking forward to that."

I don't know about that. You're assuming that the "real conservative id ... ooozing to the forefornt" would be a good thing for conservatives. I'm not so sure. I think the more that average people see this ooze the more they will reject it. Yah sure, there will always be those that respond to coded racial language, but I think the vast majority of Americans will be less sympathetic to this message the more they hear it.

Posted by: IMU on March 18, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

As a (white, male, 40ish) Democrat, and JRE convert to BO, I was very happy with this. I agree that anything longer than a beer commercial will not be an overwhelming success. He was editing right up to the delivery I've heard. I'm sure this was a horribly difficult and uncomfortable thing to do. His mannerisms we under control given the task. This was not sugar coated. For all the 'tough talk' we get on news commentary, this was the real deal.

There is so much here to study for weeks to come. When is the last time a self identified and media identified black man delivered a reasoned and compassionate description of the white middle class voter? Amazing effort here.

Win or lose, BO has made a great contribution to our country.

But as a BO supporter, I think the speech will act as a boost for two major groups of supporters: First, among folks who have lots of race relations in their lives and those lives didn't crumble for it. Also among those who have virtually none of these relations, but who can reason this through since zero relations means no negative relations for them. I hope that this will bring Philly, Pitt, and latte sippers back into the fold and reverse the feeling that this race is sliding out of control.

Posted by: drowsy on March 18, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

It's isn't just on The Corner I'm afraid. From Corrente:

Obama speech live blogging
Submitted by vastleft on Tue, 2008-03-18 10:55.

* Barack Obama

Update: Dang, he went 0 for 3. I thought he’d at least put in a good word for non-Christians. Nope.

He started by saying “thank you” several times.

That’s the difference between him and Hillary. She always thanks herself, but Obama’s campaign is about you.

* * *

He calls slavery our original sin. I thought the original sin was the quest for knowledge.

* * *

Racial tensions “bubbled to the surface” before the South Carolina primary. Gee, how did that happen?

* * *

Played the Ferraro card. Had he previously sounded an all clear on that?


Chutzpah on race from Mr. Hopey
Submitted by lambert on Tue, 2008-03-18 10:22.

* Barack Obama

The One opines:

“[OBAMA] We’ve got a tragic history when it comes to race in this country. We’ve got a lot of pent-up anger and bitterness and misunderstanding. … This country wants to move beyond these kinds of things.”

Well sir, if you want what the country wants, then you wouldn’t be smearing the Clintons as racist, you mealy-mouthed moralizing toxic fraudster. Sean Wilentz has the timeline and the exhaustive details:

Posted by: David W. on March 18, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Just as an aside, I would say the Corner is treating Obama with far more fairness than he's receiving from the good folks at MYDD. Take one look at the recommended diaries and you'd think you were looking at LGF or Michelle Malkin.

And Jerome Armstrong has completely, and utterly, jumped the shark.

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/18/103159/649

Posted by: enozinho on March 18, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Brian at 12:35, are your excerpts representative of most of the commenters there, or are you just showing us the fig-leaves? Because then it's you who's got it backwards, not Kevin.

Posted by: Swan on March 18, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it was a superb speech. It is what Obama does (not much) that worries me, and what his supporters do and say (Axelrod and his ilk are chronic liars and street trash and Obama picked them) that makes me very very worried.

Posted by: widebear on March 18, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

"It was, as usual for him, a helluva good address: intelligent, sane".

Whoa! Intelligent AND sane?

This will not go over well with the anyone, let alone the media.

Posted by: Whoa on March 18, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

An extraordinary speech. As someone else said, if America isn't ready for Obama, the loss is all hers.

It would also be nice to have a President who can actually think, and can actually write their own speeches.

I also just listened to a Wright sermon off the politico:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0308/Longer_Wright.html

It just shows how important context is when reacting to a TV clip. Not something Talk Show Morons are particularly attuned to.

Posted by: Manfred on March 18, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

That was the best speech about race in several decades because it was engaging, honest, and forward looking. He had to give the speech because race will be part of this campaign, just as it has been part of most campaigns on some level - usually both dishonestly and serving to divide our nation from its better self. By defining how he will treat it now, he sets the terms of the debate. If this speech is not good enough for everyone of good will, God help us all.

Posted by: Eric on March 18, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Focusing on the Corner's reaction is as utterly irrelevant as focusing on people who were already supporting Obama. In both cases, the response is entirely predictable and says little about the speech.

The target of the speech was neither of those groups, it was independants, swing voters, Hillary supporters who might vote for Obama but could be concerned by Rev. Wright's comments or Obama's race.

Posted by: Doug T on March 18, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Great post (and very funny) by Tbogg on conservative reaction to Obama and Wright: http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2008/03/17/tar-baby/

En he didn't hatter wait long, nudder, kaze bimeby de crackabloggahs deys stats ter hollah "niggah, niggah, niggah" at de top o dey lungs.

Posted by: Debra on March 18, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

You're right, Kevin. Nothing will be satisfactory to these pundits. They're snobs.

Posted by: Boorring on March 18, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

The target of the speech was neither of those groups, it was independants, swing voters, Hillary supporters who might vote for Obama but could be concerned by Rev. Wright's comments or Obama's race.

Bingo.

Posted by: shortstop on March 18, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Any hopes anyone had that Barack Obama would be a gift to civil rights in America that he would shake hands with Ward Connerly and really be a change died today, I think.

I had to go see who wrote this, and it was K-Lo. That woman is as clueless about race as she is about, well, everything else.

Posted by: Mark on March 18, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

a very cynical attempt to change the subject

"I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.
***
"As such, Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems ...."

Changing the subject? Cynical? I don't see it.

Posted by: David in NY on March 18, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Check out this reaction, from Charles Murray:

Have I missed the competition? [Charles Murray]

I read the various posts here on "The Corner," mostly pretty ho-hum or critical about Obama's speech. Then I figured I'd better read the text (I tried to find a video of it, but couldn't). I've just finished. Has any other major American politician ever made a speech on race that comes even close to this one? As far as I'm concerned, it is just plain flat out brilliant�rhetorically, but also in capturing a lot of nuance about race in America. It is so far above the standard we're used to from our pols.... But you know me. Starry-eyed Obama groupie.

Posted by: Bill Gardner on March 18, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama can continue to respond as a well reasoned and responsible candidate, while the right exposes it's true self, this could be a very cleansing election. Given the economic meltdown, a lot of people who were formerly unsympathetic towards the downtrodden will be receptive to this sort of message. Nothing like becoming downtrodden yourself, to change ones outlook on the downtrodden.

Posted by: bigTom on March 18, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Is that the best conservatism has to offer?

As I noted in my URL (click my name!), The Corner appears set to spend the day using the speech as a bludgeon on issues dishonestly unrelated to the Wright Problem, which is, namely, whether Obama can truly lead on isssues of race in contemporary America.

There's just no intellectual good faith over there. Goldberg's "rushing to get a column done" on a speech whose last words were just uttered, Hays can't read the difference between "offering excuse" and "offering context," Derbyshire doesn't know what "red flag socialism" is, while Lopez highlighted an email that said Obama "is a con-artist" who "never offers specifics."

Where's the honesty?

Posted by: Mike on March 18, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

The target of the speech was neither of those groups, it was independents, swing voters, Hillary supporters who might vote for Obama but could be concerned by Rev. Wright's comments or Obama's race.

It would be nice if Clinton would pull a John Edwards here. It would be nice if she would call on Democrats in the remaining primaries not to vote against Obama because of what his pastor said.

Don't hold your breath though.

Posted by: enozinho on March 18, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I'm a bit confused about why you think Obama is interested in waving away the race issue. Didn't he say:
"Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality. "

Posted by: Joe on March 18, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

"the more time the real conservative id will have to ooze into the forefront."

I think it will be a very good thing to have that ugly dark id out in the open air. A lot of decent people will be disgusted by what they see. It isn't going to be pretty though.

For the past 50 years, Americans have been stuck with the same-old, same-old on race. Turning to a behavioral psychology reference, we may be in for an extinction burst, an increase in undesirable behavior, when deeply ingrained behaviors no longer deliver the expected reward. Rats start crapping in their cages during an extinction burst. We can anticipate that Conservatives will be spewing racist words and attitudes on the internet and airwaves. Eventually they will learn that it doesn't work that way anymore.

Posted by: PTate in MN on March 18, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

I only read the speech - I'm a details person myself and like to exclude pre-crafted body/oratory language.

I'm still mulling the potential impact. It is clear that Obama has addressed race issues in a very mature and sensible way and hopefully will allow us as a nation to address them, in a mature fashion (hopefully alleviating some of Thersite's concerns). But I am not sure that he just didn't switch the race issue to one of a class issue, by implying that we need to attack corporate america.

I still need to mull. And there was some dirty political jabbing that I didn't really like.

Posted by: optical weenie on March 18, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's weapon here is "sweet reason". The more reasonable he continues to be the more these guys (and their elk) will simply appear to be schmucks and creeps. (No surprise there.)

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 18, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

One good thing that the Democrats should take from the Karl Rove playbook is this: There will always be a sizable number of people who will hate you no matter what you do, and those people should be ignored. The Corner doesn't hate Obama because of something his pastor said, or because they think he hates America, or anything like that. They hate him because he's a Democrat. Since Obama is not going to stop being a Democrat, they will always hate him. So who cares?

At the end of the day, the Sean Hannitys of the world are either going to hate Obama a lot or they're going to hate him a little. But they're still going to hate him, and it's counterproductive to try to get them to stop.

Posted by: Tom Nawrocki on March 18, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

" Is America ready for an honest, reasonable, leader who will speak to us like adults? "

If recent US history is any guide, hopefully you are not holding your breath.

Posted by: Buford on March 18, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

What Bill Gardner said. Kind of what you expect from the rest of the Cornerites (though it always bears pointing out as Kevin does here). But that's an amazing reaction from Charles Murray of all people.

Posted by: Crust on March 18, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Swoon" he says. This is a man who is too concerned about the other side, too tied to polls and failure to see the necessity of inspiration. He does not understand the fight going on today.

It is not between conservatives and liberals, it is between content and the superficial. Obama, using the crucible of racial politics, has laid the foundation for adult discussion, and has identified quite accurately a host of very real problems in this country, ranging from media superficiality to exploitation of fear, to the ordinary suspects of the war in Iraq, global warming and the economy. There is no question that the right wing press will continue the wars of the past. They always do. Obama has dropped the gauntlet. Are we to be taken in again?

That is the issue today. That the Washington Monthly misses it, is sad indeed. I, like many others who have commented here are ready for the fight. Fight back as often as possible with "not this time." There is no other response to government by hysteria.

"Swoon" is a word charged with condescension. Spare me your worldly insights. We have an opportunity of historical proportions before us.

Posted by: Steve on March 18, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

"the more these guys (and their elk)" - Jeffrey Davis

What? I didn't see these folks wearing a rack.

I think you mean ilk?

Posted by: optical weenie on March 18, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

But I am not sure that he just didn't switch the race issue to one of a class issue, by implying that we need to attack corporate america.

LOLOLOL. optical weenie, have you ever considered leaving the Republican party and its talking points?

Posted by: shortstop on March 18, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if they're all against it, he must be onto something. I mean, when have they ever been right before?

Posted by: TR on March 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

For one thing, I found this speech to be the biggest step backwards in racial relations in a long time. Apparently one of Wright's (Cone's / Black Liberation Theology's) foundational principles is indelibly ingrained into Obama:
In Obama's world we're not Americans, he has us pigeonholed by racial, socioeconomic class, and gender.

Obama's 'viewpoint' is politically convenient, because when one splits the public into groups one can pander to their grievances (real or perceived) and make vague promises ("hope") to fix to each group's problems (often at the expense of some other group). We all should know from the past that the promises of politicians to the various groups are usually conflicting, and rarely carried out, but typically a well-articulated promise is believed long enough to pull in the votes. A savvy politician can always find someone to blame later when the voters begin to notice that the fine speeches were just hot air.

The thing that saddened me most was how Obama threw his grandmother under the bus. It came across to me as really, really cold to compare his grandmother to a "preacher" who has made a career of whipping up emotional crowds a race-hate, hate-America speeches.

Finally, I accept the explanation that Wright was formed by his experiences in the 50's and 60's... BUT I know of many good persons who rose above their past. Too bad Wright, as a "spiritual leader", couldn't rise above his past, but instead used his pulpit to pull down another generation.

From a Christian standpoint Obama's excuse was pathetic on two levels - that a "preacher" of the gospel of Christ was bound up by his grudge-filled past and not transformed by Christ, and that Obama would accept that one's past is more powerful than the transforming power of Christ. But hate is a powerful emotion, and one bound up in hate will never fully love. Clearly, the preaching about forgiveness by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount was lost on both Wright and Obama.

Posted by: JonDoe on March 18, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to amend my post of 2:10, which was unfair to optical weenie. I realize that she is not a Republican. Why she wants to further Republican talking points remains a mystery, however.

Posted by: shortstop on March 18, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

JohnDoe: because when one splits the public into groups one can pander to their grievances

No, you have it wrong. When you try and pretend the public isn't already split you're being dishonest. When you acknowledge that split, and that each side has legitimate grievances, and then say "that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds" you're not pandering -- you're urging us to overcome the split.

Posted by: thersites on March 18, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

JonDoe: This isn't really aimed at you. I've been away from this blog for a while and haven't kept track of regular commentors. But I have to say, between here and MYDD, it's really hard to tell Republicans from Clinton supporters when it comes to this issue.

Not really meant to be an attack, just an observation.

Posted by: enozinho on March 18, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Those aren't genuine reactions or analyses -- they are political reactions. What NRO and the other conservative commentators are doing now is TELLING people how to interpret what Obama actually said -- and encouraging them to shut down their brains and not listen. Like a parasite invading the body of its host, they want to gouge into Obama's speech and consume it from the inside out.

So -- they would have us believe that Obama isn't telling us to get over race, but that he is actually playing the race card and being a victim. Obama is criticising America. Obama is making excuses. It is the usual alternative reality, where things are 180 degrees from what they seem.

-- Bokonon

Posted by: Bokonon on March 18, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Weenie: But I am not sure that he just didn't switch the race issue to one of a class issue,

I suspect that for the last hundred years or so, the race issue has been used as a smokescreen to keep Americans from noticing the existence of class issues.

Posted by: thersites on March 18, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, Kevin, this cannot come as a surprise to you. For months now I've been predicting that by the time we get to November, they'll be running ads that say "don't vote for the n***er."

They're Republicans, man. It's what they do. Race baiting has been their most reliable crutch for 40 years now. They've never bothered to develop an alternate to "fear of brown people" because they've never had to. The chances that they will fail to try to draw from that same well where they have found succor lo these many years? Approximately zero.

Posted by: Jennifer on March 18, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

It wouldn't be a historic event if there were no blood... I hope he (and we) are prepared for the bloodletting that will come if he's nominated.

Posted by: Jim G on March 18, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

How often does a campaign speech rise to this level of analysis and acknowledge so many unpleasant truths, while maintaining an uplifting and unifying message? I think it was brilliant.

Jondoe, you should read it sometime.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on March 18, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I predict that McCain won't make this an issue in the general election. He's got too many incendiary pastors in his own closet.

Look for a 527 to devote itself full-time to Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan. That's gonna get ugly.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on March 18, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

America was founded on slavery, and no nation can escape its founding. America partially righted the wrong by liberating the slaves, but it has yet to make reparations for the stolen lives and profits that it made from slavery. Race relations will continue to be strained until reparations are made in full.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on March 18, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I can't see how race could trump youth, eloquence, intelligence, and optimism. Running against the legacy of the Bush administration is no small advantage either. The presidency is his for the taking.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on March 18, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

As a Clinton supporter, I resent his characterization of those who support his opponent (Clinton) as bigots. Where did he do that? Listen to the anecdote about the young girl who came to his campaign because of her mother's illness. He says she could have been raised differently, to think that her mother's problems were the fault of immigrants etc., and she might have gone a different way. That clearly implies that the bigoted teachings are those that drive people toward other candidates, not real differences in belief about who might be the best president. I doubt Obama supporters would have noticed that kind of thing, however.

I believe the entire anecdote was manufactured, and the wise, elderly black man who said he joined the campaign because of the girl was a convenient way to neutralize the angry elderly black man who is Wright. If the black person in that story had been a young male it would have sounded lewd, not touching. If it had been a woman, it would have suggested empathy based on gender and been countrary to Obama's goals. So how lucky it was that it was an elderly black man! And how manipulative and Reaganesque to concoct such a convenient story for this speech.

Posted by: Mary on March 18, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's going to win because he's had a simple, strong message from the start, and he almost never seems to be out of position vis-a-vis that message:

"WE are going to change this country. I am not going to do it for you. WE are going to do it together."

As he sat with his family and advisors, the man simply had to know there would be a Big Racial Moment in this campaign. Probably more than one. Do you think he failed to plan for it? I don't. Look how it fits into his overall narrative:


"What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part – through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time."

See? "Americans...willing to do their part."

Fits the overall narrative: "WE will change this country together" like a glove. Obama is still who he is. The message does not change. Because it's not made-up. It wasn't born in a focus group.
It's eminently practical.

"For the African-American community...it also means binding our particular grievances...to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man who's been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives..."

Again, fits the narrative like a glove. "WE have to do this together."
Is this a rhetorical trick?
Those who have already made their minds up will undoubtedly say yes.
I do not believe that to be the case.
I believe it's an honest attempt to fix the damnable mess this country is in the only practical way we can - together.
It sounds honest because...gasp...it IS.

That's what I think, anyway.


Posted by: cazart on March 18, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

JonDoe @ 2:17:

The speech had to be, and was, a recognition of the deeply different viewpoints on America held by different groups based largely on race. Seeing such deep divisions, normally sequestered beneath the surface of public discourse, is disturbing to voters. Obama shone a light on that.

The question of whether it was politically expedient to do so is a very complex one. He had to do it given the Wright issue, yet going there has been exactly what he has seemingly avoided so far, for the reason that placing the campaign in a racial context would drive away non-Black voters.

As for your comments equating the speech with a divide-and-pander strategy based upon hope, that's just an undifferentiated kitchen-sink smear soup. You think preaching about forgiveness to blacks regarding slavery and Jim Crow is a winning or even coherent religious OR political message, you go right ahead. I suspect you would be a pioneer in that approach.

Posted by: biwah on March 18, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Mary, get a life.

Posted by: GOD on March 18, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Mary, get a life.

Mary is an Obama supporter trying to make Clinton supporters look teh crazy. Nice try Axelrod!!!

Posted by: enozinho on March 18, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Mary's never been Axelrod's finest moment.

Posted by: shortstop on March 18, 2008 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

JonDoe:"or one thing, I found this speech to be the biggest step backwards in racial relations in a long time. "

Bokonon: "What NRO and the other conservative commentators ... would have us believe that Obama isn't telling us to get over race, but that he is actually playing the race card and being a victim. ... It is the usual alternative reality, where things are 180 degrees from what they seem.

Heh, Bokonon gets it totally right just four posts later. Right on cue, we see the 180º degree conservative talking points emerge. Did JonDoe actually read or see the speech? It is hard to believe that he/she did, given the clueless response.

...and then the super-sensitive HRC supporters start their sniffling, such as Mary, "And how manipulative and Reaganesque to concoct such a convenient story for this speech."

The thing is, Mary, the story of the young woman and the old black man emerged at the time of the SC convention. So you are simply wrong about this. Please get past the paranoia.

Posted by: PTate in MN on March 18, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

And why is it that "race" has stayed front and center!

Oh! now I remember...


100 REASONS NOT TO VOTE FOR HILLARY CLINTON


Posted by: Steve on March 18, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

John Derbyshire just had up a vicious post on the Corer in which he admitted that he and his wife didn't want their kids to go to school with too many black kids. He challenged Obama to say there was something wrong with that.

But ten minutes after being posted, it's mysteriously been removed.

Posted by: Avi on March 18, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

The ability to have a civil discussion about race requires us to not just transcend politics but our own prejudicial predilections as well.

The reason so many people "hate" others is the inability to talk with others, not just talking to others.

We need a world where everyone is given the chance to say "hello, how's it going.?"

What we have is .... , well that's what Obama was talking about.

Pop Quiz:

When was the first formal protest against slavery in the New World? Where was it?

Stumped?

Try Germantown/Philadelphia. 1688.

The original document has been lovingly preserved and awaits further recognition of it's existence!

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 18, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the entire anecdote was manufactured . . . . And how manipulative and Reaganesque to concoct such a convenient story for this speech.

Hey, Mary, that looks like fun! So I'm going to try it.

I'll bet Hillary Clinton doesn't really intend to withdraw troops from Iraq. How cynical of her, to campaign on withdrawing troops from Iraq when she doesn't really intend to do it. This is just more evidence that Hillary Clinton is a cynical politician who'll do anything to win, because I'll also bet she killed Vince Foster. How horrible of her, to kill Vince Foster like that. And you know, I'm guessing she also would start a war in Iran. Isn't that terrible? Just think of all the lying and killing Hillary Clinton is willing to do, just to be President.

You can try this at home! Just substitute your favorite politican, add wild speculation and a dash of unwarranted certainty, shake into a jumbled mess, and serve!

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on March 18, 2008 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

"I only read the speech - I'm a details person myself and like to exclude pre-crafted body/oratory language."

so pre-crafted words are ok, but not gestures? How do you get more details by ignoring details relevant to the message? Just curious. I mean, in a way i think i see a point here, that you want the meaning of the text and not the meaning of the text as supplemented by the delivery, but i disagree with the idea that the delivery is somehow a separate message form the words. anyway, I didn't mean to make too much of this, but it struck me as semantically odd.

Anyway, i'm getting ready to go read the speech myself, & only read the text since i have a shitty internet connection. Before i do though, i want to note how pathetic it is that Wright's anger even needs to be explained to people. America has systematically failed on the promises inherent in the country's founding documents & racial difference has shaped those institutionalized, systematic failures. Calling our attention to this, critiquing our country by its own standards is an act of patriotism even if it's delivered as a denunciation, even if it's delivered with curses and anger. I mean, i'm pissed off and disapointed by it and i'm white. I can't imagine how i might feel if i was black. Anyone who doesn't get this should read two texts: "If I Had a Country I Would Be a Patriot" by Frederick Douglass and "As Regards Patrotism" by Mark Twain.

"I suspect that for the last hundred years or so, the race issue has been used as a smokescreen to keep Americans from noticing the existence of class issues."

-Bingo, but a little longer than a hundred years. since "whiteness" solidified as a way of binding up immigrants from disparate backgrounds, around the middle of the 1800s.

Posted by: Urk on March 18, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

What is surprising is that the pundits haven't yet tried to make Obama reject and repudiate extra-marital affairs by black politicians and their wives now that the Paterson issues have surfaced.

Posted by: AJ on March 18, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

it was a good speech that was entirely beside the point, in short, a very cynical attempt to change the subject.

Pffff....what point?? The righties were all in a tizzy because they thought they had something they can bludgeon Obama with till November. They wanted Obama to be on the defensive and disown Wright or even attempt to defend Wright's words. Instead Obama delivers a speech which provides the proper framing for why people like Wright say such things, and Obama did so in a way that doesn't demean Wright or defend him. And even better he managed to turn a speech that was supposed to be defensive into an inspirational speech about how far we've come in this country.

I'm sure the boys at Fox News were shaking their heads trying to pigeon hole him with "he didn't disavow Wright", and maybe that type of cynical score-keeping works for their audience, but the goal of the speech wasn't to win Fox News viewers over (if they're watching Fox News, they're unwinnable anyway). The goal of the speech was to assure the rest of the country that Obama has a clear understanding of where race-relations are in this country and that despite what people may hear from Fox News, right-wing radio, etc., he is not Louis Farrakhan, and desires for people from all sides to get over whatever racial divisions are still being harbored.

Posted by: Joe on March 18, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Most Provocative Comment at NRO on Obama Speech:

Have I missed the competition? [Charles Murray]
I read the various posts here on "The Corner," mostly pretty ho-hum or critical about Obama's speech. Then I figured I'd better read the text (I tried to find a video of it, but couldn't). I've just finished. Has any other major American politician ever made a speech on race that comes even close to this one? As far as I'm concerned, it is just plain flat out brilliant—rhetorically, but also in capturing a lot of nuance about race in America. It is so far above the standard we're used to from our pols.... But you know me. Starry-eyed Obama groupie.

03/18 01:06 PM


That Charles Murray loves this speech while the rest of the circle-jerking Righties snark proves just how beyond reason and racist that crew truly are. They're too stupid to even know how stupid they are. I can't stand Charles Murray, but I give him credit for having more intellect, balls and honesty than the garden-variety clowns at NRO.

Posted by: brucds on March 18, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

I have been an Obama supporter since he entered the race, and I did not swoon.

I am sickened that purely political circumstances required him to make such a speech, thanks to the Clinton campaign. It is to McCain's credit that he waved his campaign off of the matter. The fact Obama had to make the speech illuminates a disgusting double standard and the racism which continues to permeate USA society.

When was the last time a Caucasian candidates was required to answer for the comments of their pastor or the lunacy of their clerical supporters.

Each campaign season republican candidates make the obligatory pilgrimage to swing on Robertson's and, until recently, Fallwell's meat. Of course, their lunacy never extends to challenging the Caucasian economic and political power elite.

What Rev. Wright said is true. What Obama said today in his speech was true and I salute him for having the guts to tell USA voters that racism continues to exist in the USA, even if a bit more latent.

Posted by: Chris Brown on March 18, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Very intereresting to read the comments here. I think the generally muted reaction to the speech means that Obama missed an opportunity. If he had given a good speech, this site mostly would be going wild about it. The media and everyone else will largely lose interest over the next several days, but I think the damage has been done is costing him about a 5% swing in the general election, probably enough to make his chance of being elected president very small.

ps It also is interesting to see the discussion of The Corner. There are some hard liners there unlikely to give Obama a break, but there are also smart and honest people. I know many here despise conservatives, but it is a very interesting site. Goldberg seems to be the subject of special venom here, and I know his book is a touchy subject, but in person and in most of his writing he is a fair, open and honest guy.

Posted by: brian on March 18, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but a guy who uses the catch phrase "Yes we can!" from Bob The Builder can't lay claim to "Speaking to use like adults". LOL!

Posted by: FreedomLover on March 18, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Goldberg is a bad joke as a "pundit" - his book isn't a "touchy subject". It's an insult to any honest reader's intelligence, whether one is conservative or liberal. Lopez is simply a very stupid person - she's at the level of high school journalism, at best. And Derbyshire is a garden variety reactionary, comfortable with his racism. These guys had William F. Buckley turning over in his grave - even a couple of years ago when he was still breathing. (Read the very funny piece on the National Review cruise published in TNR a while back, with Norman Podhoretz screaming at Bill like the crazy man he is.)

Posted by: brucds on March 18, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

brian, do your hands hurt from wringing them so much?

Just read the speech. profoundly important and beautiful. I've been a (mostly) converted JRE supporter, and that speech has helped me put aside the "mostly."

Posted by: Urk on March 18, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Clearly, the preaching about forgiveness by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount was lost on both Wright and Obama.

Posted by: JonDoe

But not on you, right?

Posted by: Econobuzz on March 18, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Rush Limpbag:

" You know, he's half white and half black. ."

But in America Rush... he's considered black, white genes or not.

This speech by Obama in the birth place of America, puts all of Rush's divisive blather in perspective.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 18, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Chris Brown: sickened that purely political circumstances required him to make such a speech

You're right. He shouldn't have had to make a speech like that. But he sure rose to the occasion, didn't he? Some people make me proud to be a member of the human race.

Posted by: thersites on March 18, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

As the Obama circle jerk continues it is certainly worthy to note that 1) Obama and his campaign continue to use race to deflect any criticism (inexperienced you say? You racist!); today's speech was just further immunization; 2) Obama dismisses virulent condemnations of America as mere "political views" which can be "disagreed" with (FWIW if a so-called religious leader asks God to damn a nation, one would think this would provide more cause for concern about their beliefs than the like sentiment expressed by the non-religious). I assume he would greet "We will bury you" as just another political opinion; and 3) as a parent I have to question the judgement and fitness for leadership of a person who exposed their young children, Sunday after Sunday, to racist anti-white bile and vicious denunications of the country of their birth (just as I condemn so-called Christian Identity parents who drag their children to religious services that attack blacks and Jews). When did racism become acceptable if it has a black face? How can one support the anti-Amercian views of a pastor while saying, "for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible"?

Now let the cries of troll and Republican go forth- I am neither, but a liberal Democrat. My version of liberalism decries every form of racism, not just the ones that are socially unacceptable.

Posted by: Platypus on March 18, 2008 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

How can one support the anti-Amercian views of a pastor while saying, "for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible"?

Platypus,

Obama DOESN'T support the anti-American comments of Reverend Wright. That was made quite clear in his speech today.

I'm not sure what "racist anti-White bile" you're talking about, and how you know it occurred "Sunday after Sunday." Have you been attending Obama's church? Or are you generalizing from one section of one sermon you saw on YouTube?

Thought so.

Toad

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on March 18, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but a guy who uses the catch phrase "Yes we can!" from Bob The Builder

Quiet, honey, the adults are talking.

Here, go read this.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on March 18, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Let's play poker. I reject your claims of racism, and raise you one fascist. Nyaaah.

So there. Are we having a constructive dialogue about the speech yet? :-)

Posted by: Bokonon on March 18, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Any comment that linked Obama with Ward Connerly was composed by a seriously confused propagandist. Obama was gonna link arms with the #1 self-hating GOoPer token black? No, I don't think anyone beyond The Corner was puffing on THAT hookah.

Posted by: W Action on March 18, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Platypus, SWING AND A MISS. Reading comprehension not one of your strong suits huh?

Posted by: dontcallmefrancis on March 18, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what I love about National Review.

I was reading along and thought of a point I wanted to make in rebuttal. So I clicked on the "comments" section to get access to an uninhibited and freewheeling discussion of the subject. It's so refreshing to get away from the lockstep groupthink found here on these liberal websites.

This has been a dispatch from the alternate universe.

Posted by: thersites on March 18, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Thersites,
Well if the folks commenting at National Review think that we libs have "lockstep groupthink" then I suspect that our battle in the general election will be easier than we fear it will be!

Posted by: optical weenie on March 18, 2008 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

The ex-slave owners, ex-lynch mob members and present day Palestinian mass murderers at the extreme right wing propaganda org of the National Review dislike having their behaviors and the behaviors they advocate their nation commit condemned. What racist Americans like them fear the most is that race will finally be overcome in our society. Without bigotry, racist Americans will starve as a political power. They must deeply fear Sen. Obama will end their reason for being.

Posted by: Brojo on March 18, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

All right, Bokonon. I reject your "reject" and raise you a "denounce." So THERE.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on March 18, 2008 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

thersites is cracking me up today.

Posted by: shortstop on March 18, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop,
Sure doesn't take much to crack you up then. What, were you born with a weak spot already?

Posted by: optical weenie on March 18, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Um, Weenie.
Go over to National Review and look for their "comments" link. There ain't one.

Posted by: thersites on March 18, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose it was too much to expect that Obama would stay away from the political arguments and games in his speech, but I thought his bringing in Ferarro was off key (he should have defended her as a good person) and that his slap at supposed bogeymen talk radio and conservative pundits was also at least unnecessary:

“Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism,”

First of all, who is he actually talking about? I bet he could not name one. But even if there are some who legitimately fit within the description, what take a shot at them in this speech? The mindset that this needs to be said in this type of speech is a weakness.

Posted by: brian on March 18, 2008 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Why is no one talking about the announcement that Ted Turner's TCM and TBS networks will be playing "Blazing Saddles" 24/7 until the election?

Posted by: lobbygow on March 18, 2008 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

As the Obama circle jerk continues ... My version of liberalism decries every form of racism, not just the ones that are socially unacceptable.

Posted by: Platypus

You missed one, Puss.

Posted by: Econobuzz on March 18, 2008 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

brian,

You mean to tell me a candidate for political office dared to inject politics into a campaign speech?

Heaven forfend!

Posted by: thersites on March 18, 2008 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

First of all, who is he actually talking about? I bet he could not name one.

Fortunately, neither Obama nor anyone else on this thread is as ignorant as you.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on March 18, 2008 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

The original speech given in 1995 by President Bill Clinton before the Million Man March

http://www.afn.org/~dks/race/clinton-e6.html

Posted by: The Copy on March 18, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

But even if there are some who legitimately fit within the description, what take a shot at them in this speech? The mindset that this needs to be said in this type of speech is a weakness.

Yeah. Why would a person addressing the complex tangle of history, fear, & resentment that contribute to racial tension take issue with opportunistic hacks who dismiss legitimate discussions of racial injustice & inequality?

God, you're a fucking idiot.

Posted by: junebug on March 18, 2008 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

"As a Clinton supporter, I resent his characterization of those who support his opponent (Clinton) as bigots."

Since he did not do any such thing, I'm afraid your "resentment" is entirely made up.

"Where did he do that?"

He didn't.

"Listen to the anecdote about the young girl"

I did. He didn't. Next bit of stupidity?

"That clearly implies..."

That you're a moron.

"I doubt Obama supporters would have noticed that kind of thing, however."

Mostly because it's manifestly untrue.

"I believe the entire anecdote was manufactured"

And your evidence that it was "manufactured" is, what, exactly? Yeah, we thought so.

"And how manipulative and Reaganesque to concoct such a convenient story for this speech."

LOL... So it's made up because you say so. And you get to throw a hissy fit even if you have no idea whether the anecdote was true or not. And this is on top of an "analysis" of the anecdote that is so absurdly stupid I'm not even going to bother to repeat it or refute it.

Grow up and get a life.

Posted by: PaulB on March 18, 2008 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Obama DOESN'T support the anti-American comments of Reverend Wright."

Toad, he supported the views by attending the church from whose pulpit they were espoused. To a certain extent he still supports them by relegating them to political differences of opinion. And no, Toad, I don't get my news from whacking off to YouTube videos as Obamabots do.

You might want to read something about Rev. Wright, whose statements even Obama said today denigrate our nation, were racially divisive, and are offensive to both white and black. Do you think Obama learned what he knows about his pastor from YouTube? Or do you too believe that the evil white government invented AIDS to kill people of color? Do you disagree with the Savior, when he told you that Wright's belief that white racism is endemic is wrong? Pick a side and argue it, and stop talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Francis, thanks for contributing nothing. If you can't read well enough to actually comment on what is written, perhaps throwing stones isn't advisable?

Bok, Godwin's law declares you to be the loser. However, since one of the hallmarks of fascism is "Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause: The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc." I'd agree that anyone, such as Rev. Wright. who declares enemies on the basis of race, has facist tendencies.

Posted by: Platypus on March 18, 2008 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

thersites, my point was that it would have been more effective if he did not make it a political speech and, even if the crack about talk show hosts and conservative commentators could be backed up with some examples, the speech would have been better without the crack.

As to the guys here popping me without identifying who supposedly is such a host or commentator that built his "entire career" on it, who are those persons? Of is Obama pulling an okey doke?

Posted by: brian on March 18, 2008 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

"As the Obama circle jerk continues it is certainly worthy to note that"

Yes, by all means, let's examine what you think is "worthy to note." I'm sure we'll all be fascinated.

"1) Obama and his campaign continue to use race to deflect any criticism (inexperienced you say? You racist!)"

Untrue, of course, which is why you couldn't find a single example to support this bit of stupidity and had to basically make shit up. Strike 1.

"2) Obama dismisses virulent condemnations of America as mere 'political views' which can be 'disagreed' with"

"Virulent"? I don't think you know the meaning of the word. And, dear heart, of course an opinion, virulent or not, can be disagreed with. On what planet do you live that this is not the case?

"(FWIW if a so-called religious leader asks God to damn a nation, one would think this would provide more cause for concern about their beliefs than the like sentiment expressed by the non-religious)."

Well, sure, if you're a moron.

"3) as a parent I have to question the judgement and fitness for leadership of a person who exposed their young children, Sunday after Sunday, to racist anti-white bile and vicious denunications of the country of their birth"

ROFLMAO.... Dear heart, I have to question the judgment and fitness for parenthood of a person who cannot tell the difference between reality and their own little fantasies, since Obama, of course, did not "expose his young children, Sunday after Sunday, to racist anti-white bile and vicious denunications [sic] of the country of their birth." Do come back when you're actually ready to deal with reality, won't you?

"When did racism become acceptable if it has a black face?"

Nice strawman. Got anything real?

"How can one support the anti-Amercian views of a pastor"

He doesn't. Next bit of stupidity?

"Now let the cries of troll and Republican go forth- I am neither"

I'm fine with "moron" if that's your preference. I think "troll" pretty much sums it up, though, since this was a deliberately stupid and inflammatory post, completely disconneced from reality.

Posted by: PaulB on March 18, 2008 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

I don't agree with everything David Duke says, but I will not denounce a man who serves his community.

Posted by: luther on March 18, 2008 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

I don't agree with everything David Duke says, but I will not denounce a man who serves his community.

Most insightful. Care to expand on your analogy and tell us all how Wright's congregation is really just a hate group itchin' for a return to segregation? How they're really just the equivalent of the Klan? How they're a bunch of anti-Semites & Holocaust deniers, too?

Half-witted snark becomes you, luther.

Posted by: junebug on March 18, 2008 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Platypus, I'm going to put this out there-- if you expect your religion to just serve as an outlet to repeat pro-American propaganda, the purpose of religion is destroyed. If your religion is calling you and your friends and your people to account for their sins, it's doing a good job. Period.

I will agree with you, however, that I will vote against Pator Wright if he runs for political office. We are both on the same page with that.

Posted by: Tyro on March 18, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Luther,
I'm with you, pal. When Wright and his posse burned a cross on my lawn I said "Wow --- he's just like David Duke!"

Posted by: thersites on March 18, 2008 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

,\. . . he supported the views by attending the church from whose pulpit they were espoused.

Platypus

OK, so I guess everyone who attends that church must support everything the pastor says. Couldn't possibly be that they disagree with him on some points but think he's a good pastor in other ways. Could it? Whatever.

To a certain extent he still supports them by relegating them to political differences of opinion.

So, wait, I really want to understand this. If you and I DON'T have "political differences of opinion," then clearly that means I support your political opinions. I can follow that. But you're saying that, if you and I DO have "political differences of opinion," and I mention that fact in stating that I disagree with you, that ALSO means I support your political opinions?

Does this coin have a "tails" side?

Rev. Wright, whose statements even Obama said today denigrate our nation, were racially divisive, and are offensive to both white and black./i>

And I suppose that was another expression of support.

The bit about me purportedly talking out of both sides of my mouth is just a reading-comprehension issue on your part, which I won't address.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on March 18, 2008 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

That was supposed to be italicized in the middle there. HTML is not my friend.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on March 18, 2008 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

"What is surprising is that the pundits haven't yet tried to make Obama reject and repudiate extra-marital affairs by black politicians and their wives now that the Paterson issues have surfaced."

When will Obama reject and denounce Paterson???

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on March 18, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB- All your so-called arguments are based on your erroneous perception that you are more intelligent (and thus possessing some higher knowledge) than those with whom you disagree. This isn't reasoned debate on your part, it's simply self-worship and a glaring lack of self-knowledge. Can't you jerk off without the use of a blog?

Tyro- you bent over backwards to misread what I said. If you can spare the time from creating straw men, could you quote the passage where I said I expected my "religion to just serve as an outlet to repeat pro-American propaganda" or even where I said I had a religion? To catch you up, I was actually criticizing someone who uses their religion for the opposite purpose (with a lot of race hatred mixed in). As to calling people to account for their sins, Rev. Wright imagines all sins to be the fault of white people (with a little Jewish seasoning). How Christlike.

Toad, I'm assuming that I'm not talking to a churchgoer if you simplify this to a disagreement with something a pastor said. Rev. Wright was the core of that church before his retirement. His theology was their theology and the basis of the church's growth. Regular churchgoers such as the Obamas finance the church, which included paying the pastor's salary. They did not merely support the church through their continued attendance and the attendance of their children, but financially supported it as well. There are plenty of people I associate with with whom I disagree. If I belong to their organization, support it by my attendance and membership, and finance their bully pulpit, then I would find it a lot more difficult to truthfully plead ignorance and opposition to their views.

Now since you seem determined to play the willfully ignorant card, I'll lay out the coversation thus far:

You said:

"I'm not sure what "racist anti-White bile" you're talking about, and how you know it occurred "Sunday after Sunday." Have you been attending Obama's church? Or are you generalizing from one section of one sermon you saw on YouTube?"

I said, in response:

"You might want to read something about Rev. Wright, whose statements even Obama said today denigrate our nation, were racially divisive, and are offensive to both white and black. Do you think Obama learned what he knows about his pastor from YouTube? Or do you too believe that the evil white government invented AIDS to kill people of color? Do you disagree with the Savior, when he told you that Wright's belief that white racism is endemic is wrong?"

To which your brilliant riposte was:


"And I suppose that was another expression of support."

No actually, that was a self-explanatory quote from a regular churchgoing member of Rev. Wright's flock who stated that Wright's statements were racially divisive, demeaning to our nation, and offensive regardless of your color. You questioned my sources of information, and I provided you one- from your own Dear Leader. Got it? If you have an argument, call Obama. But then, he's infallible, so how could he have erred?

As to your flailing about with differences of opinion here's the simple answer- if I pay you to spout puerile nonsense, then I am in fact supporting your views. If I come to hear you rant on the street corner every week or if I buy you a nice building to preach the gospel of tinfoil, then I support your views. If I sit quietly and listen to you preach hatred of the non-tinfoil hat wearers and don't raise my voice in protest, then I support your views. Finally, if I join your Church of the Unreformed Tinfoil Hat Wearers, then I support your views. Lincoln said it's a sin to be silent when it's your duty to protest. Do you ever protest when you hear some racist asshat bloviate? I do, and have, at the point of my fists. Instead of IOKIYAR, you simply offer IOKIYAO.

Posted by: Platypus on March 18, 2008 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Platypus, your big complaint seemed to be that Rev. Wright made statements that, "denigrate our nation."

Religious leaders, as I said, should not be expected to be political cheerleaders for our nation.

Posted by: Tyro on March 18, 2008 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Consider this, there are more slaves in the world today than at any point in human history.
Who are they to blame ?

Posted by: Neo on March 18, 2008 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

obama included a line in his speech about israel and palestine because the clinton campaign has been playing the "not sufficiently supportative of israel" card. that plays into the concern the jewish community has about outspoken leaders of the black community like Rev Wright. the DLC also is concerned about Democrats like Obama and Howard Dean who are able raise funds independent of the traditional funding sources of the party. its all about access and influence. its time for change.

Posted by: steveds on March 18, 2008 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

obama included a line in his speech about israel and palestine because the clinton campaign has been playing the "not sufficiently supportative of israel" card. that plays into the mistrust the jewish community has for outspoken leaders of the black community like Rev Wright. Israel's supporters and the DLC also is concerned about Democrats like Obama and Howard Dean who are able raise funds independent of the traditional funding sources of the party. its all about access and influence. its time for change.

Posted by: steveds on March 18, 2008 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Platypus, what is your point here? Do you honestly think Obama shares Wright's views or agrees with the comments that Wright made?

Because if you believe that, it shows you haven't been paying attention to anything Obama's said or done throughout his political career. And if you don't believe that, it shows you're just obsessed with playing a dishonest game of gotcha.

The impression I get from listening to Obama critics is that they're frustrated because they can't box him in effectively. Just when they think they got him nailed on this pastor nonsense, he turns it around brilliantly, and leaves them chasing their tails in confusion wondering he went. Bill Clinton was pretty good at that too.

Posted by: Joe on March 18, 2008 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

It was a wonderful speech and will resonate for years to come.

Posted by: Sharon on March 18, 2008 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Obama delivered a majestic speech that will most definitely strike a responsive chord with all of us who don't want the "politics as usual" bullshit, but rather long for our nation to address the serious issues that confront us. I suspect on this day, more than any other, Senator Clinton knows it is over for her. And McCain has to be trembling at the thought that millions of voters want that serious dialogue, rather than 100 more years in Iraq or Iran or wherever. Time to get serious and Obama demonstrated today that he is the man.

Posted by: coffeequeen on March 18, 2008 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBeUGqeYsQg

Posted by: Bert on March 18, 2008 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Obama lied directly to the American people the other day when he denied previously hearing such hateful, anti-American bigotry. Today he admitted he was there, and did hear it. What's more he defended the hate speech. He defended the antisemitism. He defended the hard left American hating.

Obama is a moral cretin. He has a twisted soul and is unfit to serve in the Senate or be the next President. He should be ashamed of his actions, his words, his lies, and his conduct.

Posted by: david on March 18, 2008 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush is a moral cretin. He has a twisted soul ... He should be ashamed of his actions, his words, his lies, and his conduct.

Fixed it for ya

Posted by: thersites on March 18, 2008 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Tyro you picked a good name. You can't even figure out what the heck you are arguing about. If you think you are arguing about whether religious leaders should be political cheerleaders for the country, there is no one on the other side of that argument- you created it out of whole cloth. You don't need to type here to argue with yourself. Still waiting for a quote of my statements that would lead you to your nonsensical viewpoint.

Joe- Obama's ability to change his tune (or to make you think he did) speaks little about his moral center and much about the cultlike blindness of his sheep. "Wow he's teh awesome" is not a considered judgement about who should run our nation.

Michelle Obama's public pronouncements sound much like a cleaned up version of Rev. Wright. Obama says these are his two most influential persons. There's no evidence (and none offered) that Obama objected, by word or deed, to statements that he now characterizes as racially divisive, offensive, and deamaning to our nation. There is much evidence that he continued to support the church that gave Wright the venue to spew hatred by his membership, attendance, fianancial support and the silence of acquiescence. Bear in mind that Wright epitomized the church from 1972 until this year, as he was the pastor who brought it from less than 100 members to more than 10,000. If you disagreed with Wright, you disagreed with the church. If you agreed with the church, you agreed with Wright.

Now let's play a little game- let's say John McCain was a member for more than 20 years of a church whose chief pastor preached that Jews invented AIDS to wipe out white Christians; that black people are the enemy of all white people, and are all racist; and that 9/11 was deserved retribution upon the nation because of the immorality of black Americans. Would the cultists be happy with the judgement of McCain who helped pay the salary of the minster who vomited these obscenties? P.S. please don't give me, "some crazy minster supports McCain" that's apples and oranges.

Posted by: Platypus on March 18, 2008 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

David,

He admitted hearing things with which he didn't agree. He didn't admit to hearing the specific lines in right wing's 15 second hate loop of Wright's most outrageous comments. Both statements could be and most probably are absolutely true.

Subtlety is not one of your strong suits is it David.

As to the rest of your comments, I would suggest you look at a mirror. There you will find a true moral cretin possessing a twisted soul who should be ashamed of his actions, his words, his lies and his conduct.

I will pray for you, David.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 18, 2008 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

To Oscar: "a very cynical attempt to change the subject," a "ploy" and "You're dreaming if you think this issue is going away." Too much short hand Oscar. What is the "subject, the "ploy" and the "issue"?

To Noel: "I thought Obama speech as good but it was too nuanced for ordinary americans and I don't think it will go over well in middle america or the south." You and I agree it addressed "nuances." Like it or not, Obama engages in on-the-issue discussion and argument. You want sloganeering. Sorry, Obama is running a better campaign than that.

Noel: re post 2: Glad to hear you think Hillary is smart.

Hey JonDoe: thanks for sharing your superiority with us. How could anyone doubt that with your liberal (not political of course) use of the word "Christian" we should all agree that Obama "threw his grandmother under the bus." Please give us a post to your web site because I want to usderstand, as you do, how I can achieve the vast understanding that allows me to Swift Boat the family relationships of candidates. Common sense tells most of us that most people know their families better than strangers do, but the brilliance of conservatism like yours tells us that facts simply confuse analysis.

To Brian: Your view of the "generally muted reaction to the speech" shows your lack of understanding. Strange as is may sound, "liberals" actually take some time to digest information. This is a flaw because the greats in the conservative pantheon have no reason to confuse certainaty with facts.


Posted by: Ty Kelly on March 18, 2008 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Platypus? That is the most primitive kind of mammal, isn't it? An animal that has fur but a lizard brain. Wise choice of handle, Platypus. It suits you.

Pssst, nobody is listening.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 18, 2008 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm looking for a thread to insert some simple Google research, mostly as an attempt to rationally portray Wright as an unhypocritical man of faith, not someone to disown, or for that matter, not even someone with whom to vehemently disagree.

First, a bio:

"Considered a preacher par excellence, the Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. was born on September 22, 1941, in Philadelphia. His parents, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Sr. and Dr. Mary Henderson Wright, were his earliest influences, instilling in him the possibility of balancing the intellectual with the spiritual. Armed with this philosophical upbringing, Wright has pastored Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ since 1972, seeing its membership grow from eighty0seven adult members to a congregation of nearly 10,000. Wright's early education took place in Philadelphia's public schools. From there, he went on to earn a B.A. and an M.A. from Howard University, an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in divinity from United Theological College, where he studied under the eminent Samuel DeWitt Proctor."

Wright Bio

Second: Japanese deaths, Hiroshima, Nagasaki

"The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945,[2] roughly half on the days of the bombings. Since then, thousands more have died from injuries or illness attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs.[1] In both cities, the overwhelming majority of the dead were civilians."

Wiki: Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Is there something unusual about a man of God seeing such a holocaust as an event to be damned by his God? I'm an atheist, but religious convictions that put patriotism above ethics are hard for me to understand. Certainly such an ordering of values (patriotism over ethics) is evident in most mainstream and evangelical churches.

Third: AIDS. It appears from the wiki, "The Origin of AIDS," that Dr. Wright is not alone in suspecting nefarious causes for the outbreak of the AIDS virus. This is not to say that I agree with such theories, only that it never hurts to keep an open mind about the possibility of individual mistakes or government connivance or negligence in such matters.

Wiki: AIDS Origins Theories

Certainly the Tuskegee 'experiment' provided fodder for paranoid thoughts concerning human 'guinea pigs' and medical research:

"The Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began the study in 1932. Nearly 400 poor black men with syphilis from Macon County, Ala., were enrolled in the study. They were never told they had syphilis, nor were they ever treated for it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the men were told they were being treated for "bad blood," a local term used to describe several illnesses, including syphilis, anemia and fatigue.

For participating in the study, the men were given free medical exams, free meals and free burial insurance.

At the start of the study, there was no proven treatment for syphilis. But even after penicillin became a standard cure for the disease in 1947, the medicine was withheld from the men. The Tuskegee scientists wanted to continue to study how the disease spreads and kills. The experiment lasted four decades, until public health workers leaked the story to the media.

By then, dozens of the men had died, and many wives and children had been infected. In 1973, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a class-action lawsuit. A $9 million settlement was divided among the study's participants. Free health care was given to the men who were still living, and to infected wives, widows and children.

NPR: Remembering Tuskegee, 2002

I might add that many other reports are available online documenting current pharmaceutical human 'guinea pig' stories, both in prison populations and in the homeless population.

Most of you probably know all of this stuff already. I simply present this info as a plea for understanding Wright's rhetoric and POV. In my twenties I put a little sign on my dorm room door that said "It takes one to know one." I still find that to be a valuable guiding principle in understanding people that are different from myself. It's the least we can do for those we might otherwise hate. On a purely rational basis I find very little to disagree with in what Rev. Wright has to say and am glad that Obama did not 'disown' him.

Posted by: nepeta on March 18, 2008 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

From Platypus: Joe- Obama's ability to change his tune (or to make you think he did) speaks little about his moral center and much about the cultlike blindness of his sheep. "Wow he's teh awesome" is not a considered judgement about who should run our nation.

Way to avoid the question and distort my previous comment at the same time, double points for you I guess. I'll ask again, do you honestly think Obama shares Wright's views or agrees with the comments that Wright made? It's a simple yes or no question, isn't it?

Posted by: Joe on March 19, 2008 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Platypus, I will defend to the death the evolutionary advancement of monotremes, so don't you take that shit lying down.

On the other hand, I don't think your response to my post was very balanced or reasoned.

Here's the deal. Obama gives what has to be the most nuanced and honest speech about race by an American political candidate in, I don't know, FOREVER. And certain people can only see this as an opportunity to continue to tear him down about the things his pastor said.

Look. When you're the member of a church, even if you put money in the collection plate, it doesn't mean you support everything the pastor says. It just doesn't. It does mean you're paying his salary, but he does a lot with that salary besides saying the things here and there that you disagree with. Maybe you even don't think his political views are all that important, compared to the way he organizes the community, or visits the sick, or takes young Christians under his wing, or preaches the Gospel. Maybe you render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and you let the pastor rant a little because it stimulates discussion and you don't really mind if he's a little extreme. It doesn't mean you agree with what he said. It really just means you keep going to church for whatever reasons you have for being a member of that church. And perhaps you value that pastor for whatever strengths he has, while acknowledging his weaknesses and the fact that the church you might prefer is in another state, or doesn't exist at all.

Whatever. Hillary prays with Rick Santorum, Obama prays with the Rev. Wright. Give me Wright any day.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on March 19, 2008 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

Some interesting background at AR:

http://acropolisreview.com/2008/03/barack-obama-condemns-reverend-jeremiah.html

Posted by: TC on March 19, 2008 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

No amount of lipstick will make a black racist ranter like Wright into some sort of "intellectual" no matter how many bogus degrees that clown accumulated. If he were an Aryan Nation screamer, his followers would be outed as the moral lepers they are. BHO is a moral leper if he approves a race hater like Wright.

Posted by: daveinboca on March 19, 2008 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

"Whatever. Hillary prays with Rick Santorum, Obama prays with the Rev. Wright. Give me Wright any day."

Joe, you can say that again.

Posted by: nepeta on March 19, 2008 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

Obama's problems underscore the fundamental problem of left wing politics in America. It isn't enough to have good ideas, talent, and have a way to help people and heal the nation. Kerry, Carter and Gore all arguably had those things.
You also need to be able to stand up to the bullies and give as good as you get. Bill Clinton was probably the first Democratic president who could do that. Consequently someone like Gore could work safely under his wing. Once Clinton was gone then Gore was lost in his earth tones, inventing the internet and writing Love Story. Kerry never got past ridicule of his spandex for skiing and windsurfing.
The moral of the story is that Obama would benefit the Democrats a lot, if he has someone tough enough to keep the Republican attack dogs at bay. The only likely one for this is Hillary because that is also bringing Bill Clinton on board. This is why the Obama supporters are making such a tragic error attacking Hillary as if she is an obstacle to Obama when she is his only hope.
"Can't we all just get along?" is not a plan for dealing with Rove. Obama needs to get real about the prospect of being swiftboated, the Republicans probably think Wright has given them the election.
So can someone explain to me exactly how Obama intends to survive against this swiftboating? I haven't seen any evidence he has the ability to fight back, so he is probably doomed.

Posted by: RCH on March 19, 2008 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

"Michelle Obama's public pronouncements sound much like a cleaned up version of Rev. Wright."

Well, sure, if you're a partisan moron incapable of actually thinking. To the rest of us, not so much.

And since it's Barack Obama who's running for President, by all means show us all of those times that he "sounds like a cleaned up version of Rev. Wright," won't you? Or pushed for legislation that was influenced by the inflammatory rhetoric that's giving you the vapors. We'll be right here, waiting for you.

"Obama says these are his two most influential persons."

Yup, and your point is? Did you, perchance, think to read just what Obama found influential about these individuals?

"There is much evidence that he continued to support the church that gave Wright the venue to spew hatred"

Dear heart, how many sermons, public speeches, public and private talks has Reverend Wright given over the past 20 years? And how many of those "spew[ed] hatred?"

Yeah, I thought so. Get real, moron.

Posted by: PaulB on March 19, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

LOL, found a black preacher crazier than anyone you've ever seen, and he's for Hillary. Check it out here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khuu-RhOBDU

I don't think this is a joke, but I was laughing hard....

Posted by: Joe on March 19, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

How anyone could not see Obama's speech as a sincere attempt to talk about a most uncomfortable American political topic is beyond my capacity to understand. Cynicism and distrust has worked its way deep deep deep into many an American pyche, much to the detriment of our country. Reading all the commentaries on blogs and listening in to mainstream outlets I'm arriving at the conclusion that what this election contest is really between those who see America's potential in constructive aspiration and reinvigoration of the Common Good, and those selfish fascists who will drown us all in the slimy, poisoned well that has been our national discourse for a generation or two now.
All the blowhards diminishing Obama's effort to contextualise and explain his point of view yesterday, convienantly forget to point out that Obama is black AND white, and thus - among the current crop of candidates - uniquely positioned to provide some needed insight on the way forward to a nation going backward.
I grew up in a multi-ethnic community so when I hear Obama speak about race I'm convinced he's speaking from the heart. I've supported Obama for a while now because its easy for me to see that he realizes what the productive future of America will be, toward a More Perfect Union, and that future is way beyond the crazy rascism we are watching spew forth from corners of our culture where individuals live who can't get beyond their irrational biases and fears, and who have totally forgotten, never learned, or more ominously entirely rejected, the fundamental ideals this country's basic charter - the Constitution - rests upon.

Posted by: silva66 on March 19, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Paulie, your faux-Victorian commentary, name-calling and condescension don't add to any discussion. Did you think they did? Your posts prove fairly conclusively that you have no basis upon which to condescend to anyone. Dazzle me with your schoolyard witticisms and imprecations some more,why dontcha? Given another twenty years, a decent education, and that long-needed brain transplant and you might be fit for adult conversation. Until that day, continue to labor under your delusions of adequacy.

Ron, one reads blogs (and their comments), one doesn't listen to them. Your ignorance of this may account for your continued confusion and inability to contribute in a meaningful fashion.

Toad you are finally grasping the complexities of this issue- which go beyond the oft expressed man crushes that manifest as "He's Obama's preacher and therefore is unassailable". Has the man who may be our next President bought into any part of the hateful ideology of his church and it's main minister? Isn't that worth exploring, as every Obamabot here would say it would be if exactly the same situation applied to Clinton or McCain? How much influence has an ideology that most Americans find offensive had on him? Clinton, especially, has been savaged in the press and by Obama's sheeple for far less. Or is the double standard that Obamabots demand in every issue to be put in play for this one as well?

I reiterate my scenario above. If Clinton or McCain had belonged to the mirror image church I posited above and hobnobbed with its minster who preached the gospel of race hatred, the bleats of the Obama sheeple would drown out discussion on every other subject.

Posted by: Platypus on March 19, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

The Rev. Wright's sermons were not hateful ideology. The Rev. Wright's sermons were about the hateful ideology of racist America and racist Americans, who enslaved, lynched and still discriminate against people with African origins. The Rev. Wright properly damned the prevailing ideology of many Americans.

Many Americans find what the Rev. Wright says offensive because they are descendants of slave owning rapists. Or wish they were. They dislike having their sins exposed by a Black man who they whould have hung years ago if not for a brief awakening by the courts. Ex-slave owning rapists long for the days when a weekend pleasure was hanging an innocent Black man on Saturday night and going to an ice cream social at their church on Sunday afternoon.

The sheeple attend churches that absolve them of their rapes, extrajudicial hangings, and bald bigotry. They grasp at false analogies. If Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton attended a church like Sen. Obama's, racist Americans would call her a ...

Posted by: Brojo on March 19, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

And once again Platypus fails to answer my simple question.....

I'll take your non-answer to mean that you don't really believe Obama agrees with Wright's offensive comments, but you still want to hammer away at him anyway....have fun playing that dishonest game.

Posted by: Joe on March 19, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

What a limp, pathetic post this was.

Posted by: Mister Snitch on March 19, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Some idiot posted:

"Ex-slave owning rapists" Know many of those?

Some other idiot posted:

"I'll take your non-answer to mean that you don't really believe Obama agrees with Wright's offensive comments" Reading is fundamental, but not fun for those who can't. I don't do telepathy or time travel so I can't tell you whether Obama agreed with the Wright's hate speech. I can tell you that he supported the church where the hate speech was showcased, helped pay the pastor who preached it, took his family to attend on a regular basis, and minimizes the disgusting comments as mere political disagreements. Obama voted on the comments with his feet and his dollars.

Now let's take the disgusting example I gave before which none of you Obamabots will even address- if Clinton or McCain attended for two decades a Christian Identity church where the pastor vomited forth the mirror image of Wright's pathology, you bozos would knock each other down to, rightfully, declare that it disqualified them for the Presidiency. IOKIYAABR.

Posted by: Platypus on March 19, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Drum should have checked this corner of 'The Corner'. 'Burbling' conservatives won't monolithically support you, fella. Next time, write your own attack piece and stand behind it.

If you can.

Posted by: Mister Snitch on March 19, 2008 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't know about America, but I am ready for adult discourse. The redstaters can go suck eggs."

In case you missed it, it's DRUM calling Obama "just another race baiter" in hopes of cutting off such discourse. The hate and obsfucation starts right here, on this site. And The Corner had praise for Obama. You just have to look harder for it than Drum cared to.

Posted by: Mister Snitch on March 19, 2008 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

What is wrong with you people?

This man has as his personal advisor and 'sounding board' a vicious racist bigot. It is appalling to see so many people give him a pass because of some high minded rhetoric.

Is it really okay that the man he checks his conscience with is a man who is anti-semitic, bigoted, racist, and anti-american? What the heck is wrong with you people? Is there a single other politician for whom you would consider this okay?

Besides, how does the pain of the black experience lead to anti-semitism and praise for Farrakhan? And Obama spent TWENTY years in this place. He supported it financially, educated his children there, and NEVER ONCE spoke out against this horrible hate speech until some of us noticed it. Is this the 'audacity' he has? The 'courage'? To wait until the vicious hatred pouring out of his community endangers his political career to condemn it? But until then to support it, embrace it, and participate?

Its despicable, odious, and repulsive. Any person who considers themselves a liberal who accepts this type of racist bigoted bilge is a greivous hypocrite. I cant imagine how they look themselves in the mirror.

Posted by: Joe on March 19, 2008 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Obama hit it out of the park"
Says you.

Most Americans didn't hear the speech. They might know OF the speech, but politicians are always giving speeches, always explaining their fuck ups.

No politician has talked himself out of the shit he's piled up since the Checkers speech. That speech that wowed you Kool Aid drinkers won't make a dent in the impression picked up by the average working class white voter- an impression that forever destroys Obama's claim to transcend race and convince white voters he's not just another race hustling black demagogue like Jackson or Sharpton.

"God Damn America" is what will stick with average voters, no matter what speech Obama gives, no matter if you think he hit it out of the park. Only a true believer would think that, and they don't matter anyway, they will vote for Obama if he started talking like Malcolm X in his early days.

The AIDS conspiracy rap, the 9-11 outrages, the guilting of Americans who never owned slaves by people who were never slaves: Obama's main message was, you're all guilty of racism and the only way to atone is to vote for me.

You Obama apologists and denialists don't like it, but your idol is permanently damaged from this. Those who needed a reason not to vote for him will now have one, and people like me, who actually kind of admired the guy in spite of his politics, with which I disagree, have had their eyes opened. What else is opening is Hillary's lead in Pennsylvania. And his national numbers are slipping. Watch for that to continue.

And since the Dems have dug such a hole they can't deny him the nomination, they are in a world of shit.

Me, I'm voting for McCain. A lot of other working class Dems are going to do the same. And thee Obamaniacs, like the Deaniacs, will go home disil;lusioned and blame it on white racism.

Posted by: jones on March 20, 2008 at 3:34 AM | PERMALINK

jones,
It's probably no coincidence these relevations about Barack X (watch for the Republicans to call him something like this) started just when Hillary seemed weakened enough by all the left wing's attacks on her. While many on the left don't like her she is vetted enough to withstand swiftboating, but Obama is not. Now if Obama's support collapses they will use all the Obama supporter's attacks against Hillary in the election.
I know some will accuse Hillary of orchestrating all this, but it looks more like Rove to me.

Posted by: RCH on March 20, 2008 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Joe and Platypus are the racists. They are unable to empathize with the American Black experience, and incredibly they project the racism European Americans have practiced on Blacks for hundreds of years on to the Rev. Wright's complaint against it.

Posted by: Brojo on March 22, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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