The bigger loss

I don't need to be called a racist because I'm going to post about Wright, thank you.

There's little doubt that most of the blogosphere or online progressives or whatever you'd like to call it, back Obama. It was over 70 percent for those that attended the Take Back America conference. I think that's probably about what it is in the liberal/progressive side of the blogosphere too. I'm in the other 30 percent or so, where Clinton (even though my 5th or 6th choice starting out among all those that could have been the nominee-- Warner, Gore, Clark...) happens to be the alternative left; that's how these things go some times. The reason why? Because I thought that Obama was too untested for the partisan GE... hmmm. So there we were a week ago, locked in an epic battle, with accusations of racism and race-baiting flying, and the Wright videos arrived.

I was disgusted by what Wright said, and didn't mind saying so. I said that Obama needed to throw Wright under the bus and run him over a few times, to move on from this fiasco. But unfortunately, Obama didn't, or couldn't, do it. That's too bad, and will be costly for his chances. But it's even worse that, caught up in a presidential contest in which denouncing Wright has been seen only through the prism of supporting Obama, progressives have been silent about Wright's wrong and divisive words. That's a terrible precedent to have set.

Pull off the blinders that have you supporting a particular candidate, while being blind to the bigger issue. If progressives are not going to have the guts to call out those who foster divisive talk, and demand their renouncement, no matter where it comes from, it's a bigger loss than an election.

Update [2008-3-19 21:58:49 by Jerome Armstrong]: I've had this nagging thought above all day, but I should also point out that the conservative Victor Davis Hanson has also written about this today, here and here; without a doubt, they will be reminding us of the problem of the silence that doesn't demand Wright himself renounce, or Obama totally reject him, during the next public outcry over some racist commentary we confront.

Update [2008-3-19 22:25:4 by Jerome Armstrong]: McCaskill today, seemingly winging it (video here), implys that never before has a black leader come to the American public as anything other than the victim, before Obama. That's right about Obama individually, but having supported a certain fiery populist candidate in 1988, I resent that alongside Jesse Jackson. She also gives out some ammo to the Republican that is gonna run against her next time, saying "There are good works obviously this man (Wright) has done." Yea, Imus probably has done some "good works" too, right?

Update [2008-3-19 22:38:0 by Jerome Armstrong]: bruh21 asks, "Is it because we aren't the "magic negros" you imagine us to be?"

I was able to live in a small village while I was in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. I'm not black, and am white, but after going weeks and months on end there, only among African friends, I can honestly tell you, whatever fascination or feeling of difference simply from skin color I had from growing up in the US, was replaced by a deeper bond of human familiarity.

I've simply no patience for racism no matter where its ugly head rears up and expect the Democratic Party to represent that ideal.

More, from Keith "Reject and Renounce" Olberman (what a hypocritical joke he's become):

Tags: 2008 election, Keith Olberman (all tags)

Comments

347 Comments

Re: The bigger loss

Thank you, Jerome! This needed to be said.

by KnowVox 2008-03-19 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: TR abuse

Wolff109, can you explain why you troll rated my comment?

by KnowVox 2008-03-19 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I thought Obama did well on this; renouncing the words but not the (flawed) person of Wright.

That shows where he stands on divisive words AND that he's not going to be cowed by stupid media controversies into throwing people under the bus.

What this showed was that his relationship with Wright is more important than a week's worth of media controversy. I respect him for that, and for standing up to Fox News & CNN's 24x7 pressure coverage in such an admirable way.

Since he won't throw his friend under the bus, I think that we can expect he won't throw his values and convictions under the bus the next time media and political opponents are hysterically urging him to do so.

by Friday 2008-03-19 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss
Yet he called for Clinton to throw Geraldine Ferraro under that very same bus. Sorry, can't have it both ways.
by NJ Liberal 2008-03-20 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Pull off the blinders that have you supporting a particular candidate, while being blind to the bigger issue. If progressives are not going to have the guts to call out those who foster divisive talk, and demand their renouncement, no matter where it comes from, it's a bigger loss than an election.

Amen.

by PCD 2008-03-19 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Rating abuse

More TR abuse by wolff109

by KnowVox 2008-03-19 06:15PM | 0 recs
Hmm.. I disagree

I do believe progressives should have the guts to argue back when they disagree, and argue strongly against what is contrary to progressive values.

I don't believe that we should be demanding renouncements.  I think it's gotten out of hand and frankly I don't even know what it is for.. I think it is one thing to renounce an endorsement which seems to be a more formal connection and thus can be formally rejected.  But I vehemently disagree with the notion of renouncing a person.. that goes too close (and maybe crosses a line) toward dehumanizing them which I believe is always wrong.

by daria g 2008-03-19 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

You are one of the few in the 'sphere that really understands what 'being progressive' is about.

Obama supporters, as a general rule, do not. Lemme paraphrase Henry Adams,

'It's about principles....not men.'

Keep fighting for what's right Jerome. Help is on the way. Those self-styled 'leaders'  in the 'sphere are going to find out that drinking the Kool-Aide is....

Deadly.

Metaphor folks.

by Pericles 2008-03-20 05:20AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

i disagree i think that we all understand what the ideals are, but differ on our appoach. I feel that regardless of who our nominee will be, we will not win the general now after such a crazy primary season.  Oh well strike another vote for we are our own worst enemy collum that Jon Stewart keeps bringing up.

by gnosis 2008-03-20 10:04AM | 0 recs
Meh, I've seen worse posts on progressive blogs

than anything Wright had to say. And posts that got hundreds of comments and lots of attention, too.

I'm not saying that Wright wasn't wrong.

I'm saying these sorts of tirades are as commonplace in the left side of the blogosphere as they are on the right side of the blogosphere as well as in real life situations from both the left and the right.

by Walt Starr 2008-03-19 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Meh, I've seen worse

Show me the links to progressive bloggers who've used "Hillary" and the "N" word in the same sentence. Show me a reference to the U.S. of KKKKA. Show me prog bloggers who've said "God damn America." I want to see it.

by KnowVox 2008-03-19 05:42PM | 0 recs
Read any Israel/Palestine diary

9/11 consiracy diaries.

HIV was created by the government, yep, seen that many times over the years.

It's real. It happens. Deal with it.

by Walt Starr 2008-03-20 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Read any Israel/Palestine diary

sorry buddy, I spy a copout...if you can't defend your post, don't dismiss Jerome's.

by destardi 2008-03-20 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Meh, I've seen worse posts on...

Come now, Walter.  Please.  Ooooh, some unknown users on some blogs had mean posts, really mean and nasty.  Look, Wright is a 'leader' in his community and has influence.  Obama is in his community and is an idol of his (both ways).  Obama is running for president. Obama approves of Wright because he is dedicated to his ministry.  Obama did not throw Wright under the bus and Obama only 'addressed' the issue after being caught.

Following your logic, let's not fault Bush for [fill in the blank] because somebody, somewhere, posted something worse than Bush.

'I'm not saying Wright wasn't wrong', uhhh, yes you are.

by oc 2008-03-19 05:44PM | 0 recs
When the tirades come from

a spiritual mentor and friend for 20 yrs, it carries a bit more weight than when it comes from an anonymous poster on a blog who has zero relationship to the candidate.

Wright's tirades are reflecting badly on Obama and that's a fact.

by Radiowalla 2008-03-19 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: When the tirades come from

Was Kerry asking to swiftboated when he opposed the war in Vietnam and testified in congress, even saying some things that turned out to be false?  His comments, while good intentioned, ended up hurting a lot of people, including a lot of Democratic veterans.

He never apologized, and progressives never expected him to, because they understood that the man was essentially good, and felt it was unfair that he was painted as something he wasn't.

Unless progressives believe that Obama concurs Wright's divisive language, they should be willing to stand up and defend him.  Willing and eager.  Sitting on your hands while a good man is tarred and feathered by the Right, is not progressive.  It's cowardly.
 

by enozinho 2008-03-19 06:29PM | 0 recs
Oh, please!

Please don't compare John Kerry, a war hero,  to Rev. Wright.

by Radiowalla 2008-03-19 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, please!

I wasn't.  I was comparing him to Obama.  Read it again please.

by enozinho 2008-03-19 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, please!

I don't think Obama can be compared to Kerry.

by ellend818 2008-03-19 10:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, please!

Why?

by niksder 2008-03-20 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: When the tirades come from

Regarding Kerry--I think it was dishonest for him to run for president as a "decorated war hero" even though he was a combat veteran who earned a number of medals, because his place in the history of Vietnam was as the young man who testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was an anti-war hero, really, rather than a "war hero." If Obama is really a devotee of Rev. Wright, then he isn't quite who he presents himself as--someone who is "beyond race." I can kind of understand how Obama could have fallen under the Rev's spell, being a black man raised by his white grandparents and never really knowing his father...but that is at odds with being the miracle worker that his campaign has built him up to be.

by Alice in Florida 2008-03-19 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: When the tirades come from

Fair enough.  But that's not what I hear on this site.  The question is very simple.  Do you think Obama is a "race hustler" trying to pull the wool over America's eyes?  If you do, go ahead and hold him to the impossible standard set up by the Right.  That's why I compare him to Kerry here.  Kerry made some mistakes that the Right exploited.  Obama has clearly made some mistakes on this issue.  But unless you believe he is a bad man, you should be able to see him, at the very least, as on the same team.

Helping the Right throw Obama over the bus is just as divisive as Wright's comments.

by enozinho 2008-03-19 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: When the tirades come from

I have a lot of respect for Obama, I think he's a wonderful person but I am not comfortable with him as our nominee this year. I don't think this thing with Rev. Wright should be a permanent stain on his career, more of a speed bump...which might or might not prevent him from earning the presidential nomination this year.

by Alice in Florida 2008-03-19 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: When the tirades come from

So, if you go to a church for years and years and 95% of what is being said there is great and 99% of the people are wonderful you should walk away because 5% of what is said is over the line and 1% of the people are nutjobs?

I walked by the other day and there was a molehill....yesterday it was a friggin' mountain.

Everyone needs to just step back a little and calm down.

by JDF 2008-03-19 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: When the tirades come from

You're assuming, of course, that the only heinous things Wright said are the few minutes of videotape we've seen.

by cmugirl90 2008-03-20 04:27AM | 0 recs
Re: When the tirades come from

No, but I am assuming that for every 5 unreasonable things he said he said 95 reasonable ones; and doesn't that seem far more likely than the incredibly exaggerated theory that every word that came out of the man's mouth was vile, evil, and divisive.

by JDF 2008-03-20 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: When the tirades come from

If you have 99% good white lies (i.e., your hair looks great!), and 1% bad white lie (i.e., I know he molested my son/daughter!) which one pretty much cancels out all the others?

by destardi 2008-03-20 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: When the tirades come from

Do you believe for even a moment, that the 527's will not go after Hillary...?  It doesn't matter if it is truth, lies, or innuendo, the right-wing 527's will go after our nominee regardless of who it is.

Seriously, they both have baggage that the Repubs will attempt to exploit..  all the more reason for us to stand together.

by JenKinFLA 2008-03-20 06:53AM | 0 recs
is this some kind of bigotry equivalence argument?

maybe i'm too picky, but when i run into that kind of talk, i get up and walk out. too bad your candidate didn't, walt.

by campskunk 2008-03-19 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re:

also, those imaginary Obama coat-tails, if they ever were to be, are getting thinner all the time.

by moevaughn 2008-03-19 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Jerome-
No offense, but that isn't a post.  It's a disgruntled comment.  This kind of of post only creates more vitriol and anger.  
As someone with sympathies in both camps, I urge you to try and be more productive and positive with your journalism as you have an engaged audience.  
More posts like this, however, will knock us fence sitters in Obama's direction.

One thing I'd like an answer about is Senator Clinton's statement today that not seating the Michigan and Florida votes as they are would be "UnAmerican."  For me, this seems borderline xenophobic and definitely conflicts with my understanding of the DNC's role and overall welfare of the party for this primary season and those to come.

Thanks!

by cwsaterfield 2008-03-19 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Choosing to comment on the front page is the privilege of the site owner.

If you truly want talk about disgruntled screeds that create vitrol and anger, I can direct you to numerous sites that are far worse.

by KnowVox 2008-03-19 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Apparently, those sites WANT the primary to continue to the convention because their vitriol and anger fires up Hillary supporters!

Oh - I know. We're all in walkers and wheelchairs and nursing homes, but we get good mileage out of our motorized Scooters.
Wheeeee!

by annefrank 2008-03-19 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Hey!  I'm only 39 - don't buy me a walker yet!  :)

by cmugirl90 2008-03-20 04:28AM | 0 recs
Journalism?

More like refereeing World Federation Wrestling. I really think this diary has little interest in journalistic objectivity, or even progressive dialogue. I think it's a baiting exercise - why don't you and he go fight.

by brit 2008-03-19 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalism?

What is the bait?

by annefrank 2008-03-19 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalism?

General baiting - cat among the pigeons etc., trying to ensure the fight continues even after a moment of consensus. Maybe it's a difference between UK and US English, but it doesn't imply 'race baiting' here if you suspect I meant that. I don't think Jerome would do that, and he's clearly not a racist, though he is completely wrong and probably a destructive influence on the democratic party

by brit 2008-03-19 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Journalism?

Jerome's "destructive influence on the Democratic Party"??  jeeeeez
Doesn't even come close to Obama bashing unions and boomers!

btw - I didn't think you meant race baiting.
But I still don't understand you on baiting.
What moment of consensus?

by annefrank 2008-03-19 07:50PM | 0 recs
A couple of diaries...

from Hillary supporters, Sricki and Grassrootsorganiser, managed to talk about race and Obama's speech substantively, without turning it into a playground tit for tat. Jerome say a moment of potential bridge building between the two camps, and saw fit to throw a grenade in the water.

Its what he does to keep his site traffic up

by brit 2008-03-20 05:07AM | 0 recs
Brilliant! My first troll rating thanks...

...americanincanada. Good to know intolerance is alive and well up there

by brit 2008-03-19 06:40PM | 0 recs
Answer to your question

Start out with not distorting the quote and you're most of the way home.  She said nothing at all that even implied your "seating . . . as they are."  Why did she fly up to MI today to lobby for a re-vote if she is insisting on "seating [them] . . . as they are"?

Here's what she really said:

This has been an incredible primary season so far. There's been more passion and enthusiasm than anyone could have ever predicted. Democrats across the country are turning out in record numbers to have their say in this historic election. Here in Michigan, 600,000 people turned out on a cold and snowy day in January to cast your votes and you made it abundantly clear that you wanted your voices to be heard and your votes to be counted. In Florida, 1.7 million people did exactly the same. Now, these nearly 2.5 million Americans are in danger of being shut out of our democratic process. I think that is wrong and, frankly, it is un-American, and we cannot let that continue. My very first job in politics was working for the Democratic National Committee, going door-to-door, registering voters in Texas in 1972. I threw myself in to that hard work because I believed then, as I believe now, that every American has a right to be part of our great democracy.

Every voice should have the chance to be heard and every vote counted. This goes way beyond this election and it goes way beyond who's running, because no matter where you were born, or how much money you were born into, no matter where you worship or the color of your skin, it is a bedrock American principle that we are all equal in the voting booth.

We the people - government of the people and by the people - consent of the governed - these are the things this country is all about.  Damn right that denying the Democratic voters of two states their right to participate in selecting the nominee who will be the next President is un-American.

If democratic government isn't American, what is?

by Trickster 2008-03-19 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Answer to your question

It appears Obama is the holdout on MI.

Why doesn't he want a revote in MI?

by annefrank 2008-03-19 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Answer to your question

Where is your evidence of this?  As near as I can tell, the "holdout" is a GOP controlled state senate that is delighting in making this as painful for the Democrats as possible.

by APoxOnBoth 2008-03-19 06:09PM | 0 recs
Here's some evidence

From CNN:

A top Michigan Democrat who has not backed either presidential candidate reports that negotiators working to pass an 11th-hour plan for a re-vote in the state are increasingly frustrated with Barack Obama's failure to either embrace the plan currently being considered, or propose an alternative.

Lawmakers are facing mounting pressure this evening to come up with an agreement before the legislature adjourns Thursday for a two-week recess.

"The Obama people are blocking it in the legislature," the Democratic source tells CNN, who says that the group has repeatedly and unsuccessfully reached out to the campaign for input and cooperation.

The source says that Obama's campaign has been asked to craft an alternative or to meet with the Clinton campaign to work out an acceptable compromise, but that those requests have been met with silence.

Hell, his team even has the audacity to criticize Clinton because her supporters Rendell and Corzine came up with the money to finance a new go-round in Michigan:

"This letter from some of Clinton's biggest campaign contributors eliminates any pretense that Clinton's efforts in Michigan are about anything other than an attempt to bankroll an election in which they appear more than happy to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters.  Today's events are even more evidence that Clinton is willing to do absolutely anything to get elected," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Gosh, Obama's message just gets more uplifting and inspiring every day, doesn't it?  

And that Monster.  She's willing to do absolutely anything to get elected, even if it comes down to groveling in the slime of letting the people vote.  Is that the slickest, lyingest, race-baitingest political trick you've ever heard of, or what?

by Trickster 2008-03-19 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's some evidence

I notice that you left this part out:

But Michigan state Sen. Tupac Hunter, a major Obama supporter, says an "overwhelming majority" of members who support both candidates "find something or the other wrong with it and cannot support it in its current form. A new vote, he added, "does not look likely."

"From where I sit there are no floating pieces to this," said Hunter -- nothing that can be changed that wouldn't require a major alteration or abandonment of the current proposal. "I'm not sure how feasible it is at this point... there's nothing I've seen or heard that would lead me to believe that there's going to be an agreement."

He called on the DNC Chairman Howard Dean to step in immediately and broker a compromise, to help avoid a "chaotic convention."

"There's a lot of hot rhetoric out there. Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton, they're in the throes of a campaign, we understand that," he said. "But the DNC needs to come in and calm the storm."


Those dastardly Obama supporters, trying to negotiate a compromise.

And that second quote of yours was their response to a proposal by the Clinton camp to fund a new vote, in which only those who voted in the original primary (the one that wasn't supposed to count) would be allowed to vote.

by APoxOnBoth 2008-03-19 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's some evidence

And that second quote of yours was their response to a proposal by the Clinton camp to fund a new vote, in which only those who voted in the original primary (the one that wasn't supposed to count) would be allowed to vote.

Wrong.  The funding offer is for whatever the Michigan legislature comes up with to fund a presidential primary election.  Here's a PDF of the guarnty letter to Jennifer Granholm from Jon Corzine and Ed Rendell.  It guarantees $12 million with no preconditions for a primary passed by the legislature.

by Trickster 2008-03-19 10:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's some evidence

And the DNC has approved that plan. The quote from Tupac Hunter was from last week.

by cmugirl90 2008-03-20 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: why?

maybe the same reason he has never taken up HRC's offer to join her in a town hall forum to directly engage the electorate. maybe he's afraid.  afraid of what?  democracy in action?

maybe he's afraid he'll lose:  lose in town hall forum debate and lose in a Michigan re-vote.

by moevaughn 2008-03-19 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: why?
Wow!  you're right.
Hillary is great in debates - Obama isn't.
by annefrank 2008-03-19 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary/Obama08

 I used to think Hillary/Obama would be a great fall ticket, but i'm not so sure anymore.  Even in VP slot now, he could drag it down -- his negatives with "regular" Americans are going up too much.

by moevaughn 2008-03-20 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Answer to your question

Perhaps you should ask 15 of the 17 state legislators who opposed a re-vote.  Surely more than 2 of the 17 were Clinton supporters.

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Answer to your question

Thank you for that context.  That is helpful.

by cwsaterfield 2008-03-20 03:24AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Pull off the blinders that have you supporting a particular candidate, while being blind to the bigger issue. If progressives are not going to have the guts to call out those who foster divisive talk, and demand their renouncement, no matter where it comes from, it's a bigger loss than an election.

He denounced, renounced, and rejected the statements of Wright.  He put the statements into context.  He then explained why the perspective of Wright was/is wrong.

The same people who demand that Wright as a person be outright rejected are the same ones who'll never be satisfied.

by Setrak 2008-03-19 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Wright is a garbage human and should be rejected entirely. I would have trouble voted for anyone who has even considered speaking with the man, let alone someone who has worshipped with the lunatic for 30 years.

by heineken1717 2008-03-19 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious disconnect

From Taylor Marsh:

1. If a white minister preached sermons to his congregation and had used the "N" word and used rhetoric and words similar to members of the KKK, would you support a Democratic presidential candidate who decided to continue to be a member of that congregation?

2. Would you support that candidate if, after knowing of or hearing those sermons, he or she still appointed that minister to serve on his or her "Religious Advisory Committee" of his or her presidential campaign?

by Menemshasunset 2008-03-19 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious disconnect

When an African-American drops the n-bomb, it's nasty and self-deprecating.  When a Caucasian-American drops the n-bomb, it's something else.  It's not exactly self-deprecating.

Of course, Marsh Limbaugh may not realize that.

by Setrak 2008-03-19 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I have no idea what the point of this post is; yes, Obama is untested and yes the pastor went overboard- and?

by RAULC 2008-03-19 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Let me help you - the 'progressive blogsphere' depends on being credible and fair and not being purely political.  Bloggers who turn a blind eye to Obama/Wright are hurting it's credibility.
We want to lean on facts and good ethics to support the people and policies we promote.  To ignore Wright and not demand more of Obama hurts that effort.  Just saying, 'hey Obama said Wright is wrong' isn't good enough.  That shows a lack of outrage that should exist.

In summary, the post is about the larger movement of the blogsphere, much bigger than Hillary, Obama and 2008.

by oc 2008-03-19 05:55PM | 0 recs
A blind eye?

He makes a major speech about Wright and that's turning a blind eye?

The blogosphere, including Hillary supporters on this site, start tense, confessional but reasonable discussions about race and that's turning a blind eye?

And now we're back to - he's blown it.  Crass short term electoral talking points.

Look at the mote in thine own eye

by brit 2008-03-19 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

And Hillary is tested?  Please!!!!

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-03-19 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Here's the point that so many Obama supporter just don't seem willing to grasp: It's not about beating Hillary Clinton for the nomination. The point is about getting a Democrat into the White House in January. I pretty much despise Hillary Clinton but I'm holding my nose and supporting her anyway because cold hard electoral reality says she's the most likely to beat John McCain. In truth, I'd support the rotting corpse of Saddam Hussein if I though it would be the most electable Democratic candidate. This country can't withstand four more years of Republican rule and we need to back the most electable Democrat.    

Obama's connection with Wright is poison. Absolute poison. It makes it impossible for him to gain the support of the blue collar Democrats it will take to win in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. And in the real world no Democrat can put together a successful electoral strategy without winning two of those three states. Period. It can't be done. You can call the blue collar Democrats who won't support Obama racists if that makes you feel better. But that's not going to stop them from voting for McCain because of Wright. Be sure to call me a racist, too, if that also makes you feel better. Wax poetic about hope and change and Obama's speeches. And yada, yada, yada all you want - but you can't change reality. And the reality is that McCain will win Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida in a contest against Obama. And that means McCain will be president on 2009.

Does that make it clearer, Raul?

by McSnarky 2008-03-19 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I supported Hillary in VA because of the electability issue like you bring up- especially because of those blue collar voters you talked about- however, the pastor issue will be water under the bridge soon enough-Obama has his work cut out for him to appeal to a wider sect but by and large the specifics of Wright should hurt him that much-  

by RAULC 2008-03-19 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Well OK, but when the rotting corpse of Saddam Hussein wins the nomination on the 19th ballot, I'm going to hold you to your promise. I've got your WORD now, right?  ;-)

by itsthemedia 2008-03-19 09:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

The inference that I draw is that "untested" can lead to lots of surpises...and, oft times, not positive ones.  Also: How a new challenger responds to the trying situation is extremely important as well.  In judging the response in the context of a general election, I try to replay examples of earlier video and audio footage used successfully against Democratic candidates in general elections.  For example: As a Democrat, I strongly supported Dukakis in 1988--and based upon summer poll numbers which showed him almost 30 points ahead of Bush I that summer--I believed that he was well on his way to becoming the next President.  Then, things happened for a couple reasons--minor missteps such as the inappropriate tank with helmet picture and the academic answer to a debate question about how he would respond to a sexual attack on his wife.  Add to that the base ad from Republicans called "Willie Horton" (as a means of filling-in-the-blanks for what we didn't know about Dukakis governance in Massachusetts.)  For those of us who remember that campaign season, we can see how incredibly easy the Wright situation makes it for the Republicans.  As for Hillary Clinton: We know that there will be no untested and unpleasant surprises.  She will not make video/audio missteps that will allow for that kind of fill-in-the-blanks ads.

by christinep 2008-03-19 07:47PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Erm.  what exactly are you looking for?  This has been the top story for almost a week now.  Without exception the response I've heard from Obama and his supporters has been along the lines of "Yeah, what he's saying is stupid and divisive and wrong".  Are you desperate to hear people say, "He's a bad person" instead of "His statements were stupid and wrong?"

by syrinx 2008-03-19 05:41PM | 0 recs
hypocracy ...

Jerome just wanted to show off his 'Obama is a hypocrite' video. This has been a major theme of the Hillary offensive against Obama. Hillary can't be the better candidate so Obama has to be dragged down to her level. Apparently 'hypocrisy' polls very negative with the blue-collar voters.

I don't see the comparison between Imus getting a laugh at the expense of young girls dignity and Wright's rant against the evils of a 'racist' America but...what ever.

by JoeCoaster 2008-03-19 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: hypocracy ...
But, do you think that Joe Six-Pack is going to want to vote for Obama, who has Wright as his "spiritual leader"? Again, folks, this is NOT about getting the nomination. This is about getting the White House.
by NJ Liberal 2008-03-20 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I beg to disagree.  Just in terms of pure politics, Obama could not have thrown Wright under the bus. It would have been seen as utterly insincere.  He is getting more kudos for loyalty and for sparking good discussion than he would have if he followed such advice.

By the way, what do you think of the anti-NAFTA Hillary Clinton holding at least five meetings arguing on behalf of NAFTA when she was in the White House?  It seems to me that she was at least disingenuous the way she handled NAFTA in Ohio.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-19 05:42PM | 0 recs
other blinders

There are other blinders on as well.

Somehow it is no longer operative that Hillary said that she never took a position in support of NAFTA - now that documents prove otherwise. http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/19/2059 41/701

by politicsmatters 2008-03-19 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: other blinders

Get off it. Hillary has denounced NAFTA now. She is aware that it is not working equally for all states. Something needs to be done about it. She will take care of that.

by navyvet48 2008-03-19 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: other blinders

That's all fine and good... She has a right to change her opinion.

What's disingenuous is claiming that she NEVER supported NAFTA when she clearly did.  I don't mind that she's against it now, but then she should've said that she changed her mind about it, not that she's never changed her position on it.

by leshrac55 2008-03-19 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: other blinders

Unfortunately, you're wrong on this point.  David Gergen, a Bill Clinton advisor (Republican), who was  ACTUALLY IN THE MEETINGS, said this on CNN in February:

"I was actually there in the Clinton White House during the NAFTA fight and I must tell you Hillary Clinton was extremely unenthusiastic about NAFTA. And I think that's putting it mildly. I'm not sure she objected to all the provisions of it but she just didn't see why her husband and that White House had to go and do that fight. She was very unhappy about it and wanted to move on to health care. So I do think there's some justification for her camp saying, you know, she's never been a great backer for NAFTA."

Can we put this lame talking point to bed now?

by cmugirl90 2008-03-20 04:35AM | 0 recs
Re: other blinders

What documents?  

ABC News references 2 anonymous attendees.
Are attendees now called documents?

by annefrank 2008-03-19 05:50PM | 0 recs
David Gergen

David Gergen confirms that Hillary did NOT support NAFTA.

Check it out!

by Radiowalla 2008-03-19 05:58PM | 0 recs
I agree that if Obama had

run over Wright after staying in his church, that would have looked incredibly INSINCERE and would have been looked as HYPOCRITICAL and just done for politics.

I think that Obama said what was in his heart that he saw the good and the bad of the Pastor who brought him Christianity.  He feels that the Pastor is like family to him and I think he really loves him, warts and all.

Now that was Obama's choice.  

If the superdelegates think that Obama is too much of a liability for the general election than it is up to THEM to step in and CHANGE IT.  They can switch their votes to Hillary if that is the case.

It's up to the superdelegates now.  

by puma 2008-03-19 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree that if Obama had

And what do you think the reaction would have been if Hillary had given a speech on sexism shortly after the Ferraro deal?

by annefrank 2008-03-19 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree that if Obama had

It would be trumpeted here as second only to the Gettysburg Address.

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 05:57PM | 0 recs
And the rest of the world would have fallen asleep

1. Hillary is no great orator or innovative thinker. She has other qualities that still might make her a great president, but she's not good a 'just words'

2. Personally, I think the background of slavery, civil war, segregation and civil rights make the issue of race a more pervasive poison in the bloodstream of America. My opinion only. But I'm a Brit and we had Margaret Thatcher.

by brit 2008-03-19 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree that if Obama had

What does that question mean?

The last week plus of news on the race has been focused on Ferraro saying Obama's only dong well because he's black, and then about how his pastor has said some angry racist stuff.

Are you saying yesterday was not an appropriate time for the candidate himself to address the issue?

by syrinx 2008-03-19 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree that if Obama had

Except that the anger about Ferraro's comments had nothing to do with sex; it was that they implied that Obama was only doing as well as he is because he is black. Why can't you see that?

by Panhu 2008-03-19 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I agree, Obama took a very tough stance with the speech and when he does that he comes across as genuine and sincere.  He was blunt about what the best political move would be, he was blunt in his rejection of Wright's statements and the thinking behind them, but he said "I'm not going to do the easy thing."  The people who're saying that it was a politically-foolish thing to do may be right- and as a result, it looks far more genuine and personal.

by Setrak 2008-03-19 05:53PM | 0 recs
Obama and liberal bloggers

have denounced Wright's comments.

What more do you want?

by puma 2008-03-19 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and liberal bloggers
Obama supporters are now demanding Hillary withdraw so we can crown a flawed nominee!
You do want Obama to be the nominee - right?
by annefrank 2008-03-19 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and liberal bloggers

Because Hillary is an un-flawed nominee?  No skeletons in her closet, no strategic electoral college problems, a paragon of progressive ideals?

by APoxOnBoth 2008-03-19 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and liberal bloggers

Yes, but not because she's a bad person, but because she's so far behind she can't catch up!!!

It's harmful to the cause for her to soldier on when we could be focusing on McCain.  And she knows it, and you know it, but hey - since there's a 5% chance that she could win it, full speed ahead, right?  Damn the torpedoes!

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and liberal bloggers

I'm glad for one that she is soldiering on. Obama is ruined for the general election. The entire country is laughing at those who voted for an unvetted unqualified candidate who's background is just now being explored.

Do you think we should nominate him anyway? I wonder how many voters would now take back their votes since they know about Wright.

by Ga6thDem 2008-03-19 06:22PM | 0 recs
The entire country isn't laughing

That's just dumb.

by puma 2008-03-19 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: The entire country isn't laughing

True. I think I heard the RNC snickering a bit though.

by itsthemedia 2008-03-19 10:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and liberal bloggers

I can't agree with your comments.  It is one assertion after another.

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and liberal bloggers

It does not matter how many would change their votes today, although I bet it is less than you think.

What really matters is how many will still vote for him come November...and after a few months of Obama V. McCain the answer is probably way more than you think.

by JDF 2008-03-19 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and liberal bloggers

Not the way it's looking now.

by Ga6thDem 2008-03-19 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and liberal bloggers

There is no way to figure these things out from where we are now, which was my point....that you chose to ignore.

by JDF 2008-03-20 06:16AM | 0 recs
For Democrat to win in November

by Coral 2008-03-19 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and liberal bloggers
Hey, I say Obama just comes out and says " you know Hillary supporters are right, I can't win because I refuse to disown my longtime friend and pastor Rev Wright, so I hearby drop out of the race, because Hillary supporters feel America is not ready to accept me, and my faith and my devotion to the man who brought me to Christ."
That would be awesome, and go over so well for Hills.
by Drewid 2008-03-19 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I couldn't agree more.  The only ones that are supporting Obama on this, are the ones that say anything to further their guy.  End justifies the means.  They don't care if they lie, twist, call rude names, just as to further their guy.  So you can't expect them to be honest.

Obama is being a slick politician.  Trying to claim something else and throw another topic that is not what the Wright issue is.  His lies and supporting of Wrights positions for 20 years and adopting them by putting that type on his presidential campaign, which also explains the race card playing they started after New Hampshire is.  

Thankfully the rest of the voting population is not the blogosphere and they know (W)right from WRONG.

I even had a friend I ran in to shopping say, she had a good friend who was an obama follower call her so upset at his realization of (w)Right, that he doesn't plan on voting now.

Keep speaking truth!

by environmentally blue 2008-03-19 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Really?

the only ones who are supporting Obama are "those people."

You mean like the Clinton supporter with the recommended diary?

by JDF 2008-03-19 07:14PM | 0 recs
The Bigger Loss

Well said Jerome.  I couldn't agree more.  The only way forward for Obama was to denounce what his friend said and walk away.  Just walk away.

Having failed to do that, he's given the republicans a major advantage in the general election.  One I fear he will not be able to overcome.

by alegre 2008-03-19 05:44PM | 0 recs
Yeah...Sure...Right...

Cause they wouldn't have ever made an issue of it anyway.  Of course not.

by you like it 2008-03-19 10:08PM | 0 recs
Jerome,

thank you for your thoughtful and spot on comments.  I am horrified by what has happened this week.  If Obama becomes our nominee, I suspect there is little chance that the American people will be able to digest the subtleties of Wright's theological positions, and I suspect we would be hard pressed to make those explanations into sound bites.  

We are party that is in deep trouble.

by Beltway Dem 2008-03-19 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

great post. unfortunately, intelligent, open dialog gets self-censored by the netroots community. We liberals can be very close minded at times.

by owl06 2008-03-19 05:45PM | 0 recs
Intensifying the loss

Your sadness over Obama's failure to throw Wright under a bus is genuinely edifying. I doubt, however, it's in good faith. If he had completely dissociated himself, I bet there would have been comments flying; 'he dumps his friends for political gain', 'he's not black enough'.

And really, you are completely hyperventilating about Wright's inflammatory remarks. They were crass and extreme, but remember, the media had to trawl through hours and hours of videotapes and reams of sermons to find these comments. I fail to see how any of his remarks are actually racist too. Blowback, Government conspiracy over AID, not blessing America but damning her - when did these constitute egregious racism?

The only comment which was racist was the 'rich white folks' comment. It was qualified by the word 'rich' which I suppose makes it classist and Jacobin as well, but one racist comment does not a complete racist make. It doesn't make Obama's grandmother a racist, so why should it make Wright?

And hold on, who is running for office?

Give it over. Some people will always suspect Obama of being a Malcolm X, but to miss the point of the wider debate Obama has opened up, and to parse into a salami slicing triangulated moment for short term electoral gain... what the hell is progressive about that.

Fortunately, there are other Hillary supporters who've taken Obama's cue to reflect on the live rail of race in US politics, and defuse some of its ferocious force. You're just trying to electrocute the candidate again. Fine. He'll survive. But you're missing a trick to show that you've got a bigger mind than that.

by brit 2008-03-19 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Intensifying the loss

Correction: finding Rev. Wright's racist rhetoric did not require pouring over hours and hours of tape:  the church sold his 'greatest hits' (complete with racist garbage) on its website--easily available.  I'm just surprised it's taken 'til now for all his vile invective to be noticed.

by aurelius 2008-03-19 11:00PM | 0 recs
Except for the 'rich white folks' comment

...I don't agree that Wright's rhetoric is racist. This is important. The comments may have been offensive to many, inflammatory, conspiracy theory crazy, but racist? Even the rich white folks comment presumably excludes poor white folks. This kind of conflation of extreme anti establishment, anti government with racism is wrong, and shouldn't be perpetuated on a progressive blog. I see no indication in any of Wright's sermons, or the statements of the Trinity Church, that they believe in a racist ideology: i.e. that one race is superior to another.

I find your use of racist in this regard quite offensive too. You're perpetuating propaganda and lies by endlessly repeating this meme. And given the history of the US, you may try to be less inflammatory too.

by brit 2008-03-20 05:15AM | 0 recs
Definition for your reading enjoyment

Racism:  Discrimination or prejudice based on race. Racist: Person who discriminates or is prejudiced based on race.

-American Heritage Dictionary, third ed., Houghton Mifflin Co., 1996 (sorry I don't have an Oxford citation for you).

A plain reading of the good Rev.'s words are prejudicial to the white race.  And as for being careful about what I say, I will start being careful at about the same time that I give up my first amendment rights, which will be right about the time hell freezes over.

by aurelius 2008-03-20 06:02PM | 0 recs
Define racist...
...and be very careful about bandying round such an accusation.
by brit 2008-03-20 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Jerome you are completely wrong, but i don't think i would ever call you a racist.

by Socks The Cat 2008-03-19 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

No bigger loss.  I support Obama because he will make a great president.  No, actually I think Obama will make one of the best presidents.  

I vote for my country, not to play games with who-has the most possibly-perhaps-bad-maybe-the-right-can -use issues.  I have not seen great leadership in my lifetime in the White House.  I'm going for a shot at it now.

As far as Wright goes, the views in question are not those of the candidate, who explained himself to my satisfaction.

by mady 2008-03-19 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss
OK, you think Obama would make a great president. I'm not disagreeing with that. I've said all along that ANY of the Democratic contenders would be fine with me. HOWEVER, do you really think that Obama will have a chance to prove his greatness? I think he's way too thin-skinned to survive the attacks he will receive from the GOP and the 527s. If he thinks the Clinton campaign has been getting rough with him, he's in for a very rude awakening when the Rove machine starts up. Keep your eyes on the prize. The prize is NOT the candidacy. The only prize here is the White House.
by NJ Liberal 2008-03-20 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

you are  A BREATH OF FRESH AIR!

by zane 2008-03-19 05:47PM | 0 recs
It's bigger than simply Wright.

I mean, yeah, I knew about black liberation theology, but what gets me is that Obama has simply appropriated a culture that is just not his, and he's been allowed to do so.

Barack Obama is not an African American, in the true, cultural sense of the noun.  Yes, his momma is an American and his daddy is an African, but Obama just did not grow up with the cultural heritage that is African American.  He did not grow up a descendant of slaves; he did not grow up with the specter of lynchings, nor with all of the meanings that these kinds of things give to African Americans.

And yet he's allowed to wear that mantle.  I can understand that the image of a black man running for or becoming President to be meaningful to African Americans, in a role model kind of way, but he just does not share their culture.  Selling himself as such is utterly fake andI find that deeply disturbing.

by aggieric 2008-03-19 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: It's bigger than simply Wright.

Thank god somebody had the guts to say this. He is not African-American, and he is not white, either. Nor is he Native American. The guy is barely American at all! If he hadn't grown up in what is barely a state, he'd be a foreigner.

Whatever culture he adopts is just that: adopted. He has no culture, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a Kool Aid drinker.

by alvernon 2008-03-19 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: It's bigger than simply Wright.

I am not willing to go that far and I disagree with you there.  He is an American.

by aggieric 2008-03-19 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: It's bigger than simply Wright.

Don't you mean, he's an American... as far as you know?

by alvernon 2008-03-19 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: It's bigger than simply Wright.

> If he hadn't grown up in what is barely a state, he'd be a foreigner.

I assume you mean Hawaii? Last time I checked the flag, Hawaii's star was the same size as the other 49. Anyway, your statement is a tautology. If he didn't have a Y chromosome, he wouldn't even be a man. So what?

by itsthemedia 2008-03-19 10:31PM | 0 recs
Ah now he's not black enough...

How many mixed race Americans are there? 9 million. Has Obama ever tried to deny his dual heritage? Are the millions of African Americans (with their own complicated racial heritage) refusing to vote for him at the ballot box because he's stolen their mantle?

This is one of the crassest arguments I ever heard about his candidacy and is either totally disengenous or completely blind to the realities of race in the US and the world

by brit 2008-03-19 05:55PM | 0 recs
Bullshit.

Don't twist my words or my meanings.  There is a black culture in this nation and he did not grow up in it, but he assumes the mantle of it.  That there is such a culture is the reality of race in the US.

by aggieric 2008-03-19 05:59PM | 0 recs
Twisted?

No, you're twisting your words now. If it's a culture, then he clearly did become part of it in Chicago. African American voters consider him part of their culture by the millions. The bullshit is in the mouth of the utterer

by brit 2008-03-19 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit.

The reality of race is that a man with African features and coloring is considered to be "black." Barack may have grown up in a white family, but that is not written all over his face. When white people saw that face, they saw a black man, and when black people saw it, they saw a "brother."

by Alice in Florida 2008-03-19 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: It's bigger than simply Wright.

Who appointed you the judge of these sorts of things?  Is the skit on Chappelle's Show about the "Race Draft" real?

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 05:58PM | 0 recs
Go ahead then. Call me "racist".

It's what you want to do; it's all anyone does when people in this country talk honestly about race.

by aggieric 2008-03-19 06:00PM | 0 recs
If anyone calls you a racist they should be trolld

We can disagree about what you say. You could even make racially tinged remarks like Wright or Ferraro, but no one deserves to be called a racist unless they systematically believe one race is inferior to another. I disagree with your characterisation of Obama, but god, you have every right to say it without being accused of being evil

by brit 2008-03-19 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Go ahead then. Call me "racist".

Yes, I'm sure you would like that.  I don't think you're a racist, I just think you're incredibly presumptuous to arrogate to yourself the ability to determine who should be identified with which cultural background.  What qualifies you to do so?  

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Great points Jerome. Your site has really saved me, I had pretty much given up on blogs until I found that yours is sane! And it's very nice to see the Hillary supporters from dailyObama having transplanted to here. I'm late to the scene but happy to have found out.

by heineken1717 2008-03-19 05:47PM | 0 recs
I'll pull off my blinders if you pull off yours

this race is over. The States of Michigan and Florida have decided not to have a re-vote. You can pretend there's still hope, but it's over.

So what if Wright is an idiot. He's not Obama and Obama denounced his rhetoric. My father is a lot like a right-wing Wright. I denounce his comments all the time, but I'm not going to throw him under the bus completely.

Do you really think at this point Obama can say "Yeah, Wright married me and I sat through some of his sermons over twenty years but now I will trash him as hard as I can to make Hannity and Limbaugh happy"?

by Cleveland John 2008-03-19 05:48PM | 0 recs
As Jeff Greenfield said on CBS

Wright said nutty stuff, hateful stuff.  What was Obama doing, confiding in him for 20 years?

And as another commentator said, what was inside Obama that made him be so attracted to Wright?

by katmandu1 2008-03-19 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: I'll pull

Forget the general then. Obama will never be President after this. He's being defined by it.

by Ga6thDem 2008-03-19 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: I'll pull

Are you going to work against him in the general?

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I'll pull

What can I do? I can't change Obama's electoral problems. Or do you believe we can wave a magic wand and make all his disastrous decisions disapper?

by Ga6thDem 2008-03-19 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: I'll pull

You can support the Dem nominee.  You can spend your time attacking McCain instead of Obama.  You can vote for him or work for his campaign or donate money, or even just not work AGAINST him.  That's what I'm asking.

Saying that 'Obama cannot win' smacks of a self-fufilling prophecy.  If you repeat it over and over again it has a greater chance of becoming true.  I understand that right now you still have hope that the SD's are going to flip things Obama's way, and that's a major reason behind yours and others repeating of the assertion.  But I hope that you will drop that once it becomes clear that he will in fact become the nominee.

by Cycloptichorn 2008-03-19 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: I'll pull

I'm going on the polls and history for my basis. And my facing reality early on is much better for my mental health, thank you. I'll probably just drop out of politics if he's the nominee. There's no point in blogging and trying to advocate when you really don't care. It's not that I want McCain to win, it's just that I'm sure Obama won't. He reminds me of Dukakis.

by Ga6thDem 2008-03-19 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: I'll pull

Interesting...that he reminds a lot of us of the Dukakis situation.  This one may be worse in that we can sense it coming quite a bit out.

by christinep 2008-03-19 08:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss
Uhm, what can I say.
My boss man says "They were upset with him for being muslim, now they're upset with him for being christian, your country is funny." That's coming from an Israeli palestinian, and all I could say was "your right."
My friend Avi I work with, full name Avshalom, a 53 year old yemini jew 2 weeks ago asked me questions about Obama's ties to iraq/rezko/muslim crap. I told him it was a story, bad things people say, he researched on his own.
Yesterday, after I helped him fill out his b1/b2 application he told me he thought terrosists, in his words "bad muslims" might try to kill Obama to cause strife here. Pretty far away from where he was once he looked, those are his words he speaks broken english.
The KM Raime, related to Avi, agrees.
Raime is an israeli jew who served in the IDF.
He's told me some stories about things he isn't proud of.
None of the above were ever offended by anything Wright said, in fact they don't understand what the big deal is.
by Drewid 2008-03-19 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

None of the above were ever offended by anything Wright said

Yes, your non-American friends weren't offended by Wright flaming America. But what's your point?

by gaf 2008-03-19 06:52PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

OK, I'll go after the substance of Wright's comments: I kind of think he's right.

It certainly doesn't make me sick to hear it. I've always been a cynic, but I pretty much started to hate this country after the 2004 election.

by alvernon 2008-03-19 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

we need to win this election. kids and poor people and sick people need the help that the bush regime denied them. they need it now. this is important. we HAVE to talk about the effect obama's association with wright is going to have on this election.

those kids can't eat purity.

by campskunk 2008-03-19 05:50PM | 0 recs
I agree we need to win

But the primaries aren't starting next week, there're over -and it's Obama vs. McCain.

by Cleveland John 2008-03-19 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree we need to win
Not if the super delegates do their job properly. This is EXACTLY why they exist.
by NJ Liberal 2008-03-20 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

What was disgusting about what Wright said?

by bruh21 2008-03-19 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I found what he said to be more threatening than disgusting.

by JimR 2008-03-19 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Why? Going point by point through what he said- I was like I could see where he was coming from even if I thought he was a little crazy with the theories. After the CIA invovlement in the drug trade, the Tusgee incident , the present Senator who sterilized black women without their consent, I understood from where his comments came from about AIDS (we dont' know where it comes from) but I understood as over the top rather than offensive or threatening. It's like people in their response are being as over the top as he is. Seriously, "threatening" "offensive" those are some large terms to fill.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Do you think that all the children in that church understood that they were just "crazy theories"?

by JimR 2008-03-20 03:46AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

to the person who gave me a 1- you know what- welcome to democracy. its okay to disagree without trying to shut down the convesation.

by bruh21 2008-03-19 06:43PM | 0 recs
Thank you, Jerome.

I know you take grief for some of what you post and I admire your persistance, insight, and strength.

by Soitgoes 2008-03-19 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

By the way, I know you want do this because this is politics, but it really would be nice to read a cogent reason why what he said was so offensive to whites?

by bruh21 2008-03-19 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Right you are, Jerome. Thank you for taking a stand against it. I have no problem calling out Wright and Obama. I will continue to denounce hate speech and call out those that provide refuge for it.  

by grlpatriot 2008-03-19 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I don't really know what you're looking for here.  Calling perhaps the most important speech of the campaign season "a new low" does suggest that the blinders you have on have never come off.

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 05:52PM | 0 recs
Uprated comment

no reason to troll rate this comment.

by grlpatriot 2008-03-19 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Uprated comment

Thank you.

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

God help us all if that's the most important speech of this campaign.

by JimR 2008-03-19 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

That speech was given in an effort in damage control, not because it is Obama's passion. His campaign is all about him, not a vision or agenda for America.

In front of black audiences in Mississippi or South Carolina he goes on about the Clintons hoodwinking, bamboozling, and doing okie-dokes. His campaign routinely distorts any comment from the Clintons or their supporters into a racist interpretation. But when racism works to his detriment all of a sudden he comes out and says, can't we all get along? Get real.

by ineedalife 2008-03-20 03:32AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss
I heard yesterday on NPR that in a speech in PA, he said Hillary can't be trusted to end the Iraq war.
Considering their votes on Iraq in the Senate mirror one another's, wouldn't that mean that he can't be trusted to end it either?
by skohayes 2008-03-20 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I'm afraid JA has become so blind that he has lost all perspective on any issue related to the current primary race.

Not a glimmer of kindness or a thought word left as far as Obama or his supporters are concerned, only invectives upon invectives, blurring into a shrill rant...

by mobiusein 2008-03-20 05:32AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

This is one of those things where most people in the blogosphere came away with whatever view they had reinforced by the speech.  I think the Wright issue hurts Obama in the GE, and polls seem to confirm that.  And I think that look at the GE is what we need to be talking about.

by Mike Pridmore 2008-03-19 05:52PM | 0 recs
Thank you Jerome

Wright is an out and out racist. Obama should have repudiated him, and apologized for not doing so long ago.

Instead, Obama threw all of his verbal pyrotechnics into changing the subject, equating Ferraro with Wright (absurd), equating his relationship with Wright with Hillary's relationship with Ferraro (even more absurd), flowery rhetoric, self valorization (vote for me or you are in favor of "racial stalemate"), unncessary, condescending, and childishly simplistic "history" lessons, straining to be "historic" instead of addressing the issue at hand, phony rationalizations based on a pseudo-family relationship, double standards (where was all the nuance, complexity, concern for context, willingness to look for the best in people, etc. when the Clintons and their surrogates were being called "racists" ((with little or no evidence))), and attacks on his grandmother.

The fawning media, and the many Obama supporters who applaud him when he blows his nose, can pretend that Obama is another Lincoln for rehashing the same themes and arguments that were made before, and better, by Bill Clinton, and others, but I suspect that the voters will see through Obama's little performance. Obama hoped that, to some African Americans, who agree with Wright, Obama will be seen as still on board with his "pastor,"  to the rest of the country, Obama hopes that his distancing himself from the "more controversial" of Wright's comments is enough. I don't know about the first group, but I think the second group will view Obama's non repudiation repudiation as the mealy-mouthed, worm-tongued, double talk BS that it is, and never, ever vote for him.

Again, Wright is a racist. There can be no doubt about that now. Anyone who thinks white people invented AIDS so that they could infect Black people with it and thereby harm and kill them is a complete and total racist. And, by the way, also a complete and total nutjob and conspiracy theorist. This man is not a member of Obama's "family." He is a public figure, who Obama never even met until he was in his mid to late 20's. And, even if Wright could, under some infinitely elastic definition of the word, be considered "family" to Obama, that still doesn't explain or excuse Obama not severing his formal ties with Writght and his church long ago.

Despite all of the hooplah and hype, Obama simply failed to do the one thing he needed to do yesterday--repudiate this racist and apologize for not having done it sooner.

by freemansfarm 2008-03-19 05:55PM | 0 recs
Educate yourself, read about Tuskegee

People who say Wright is a racist for saying that AIDs was invented by the government should educate themselves about the Tuskegee Experiment, where black men were unknowingly denied treatment for syphilis for research purposes.  This horrible incident is seared on the consciousness of many in the African American community.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_St udy_of_Untreated_Syphilis_in_the_Negro_M ale

Documented CIA practices of giving subjects (not necessarily black subjects) hallucinogenic drugs without their consent are emblematic of the type of treatment that makes the governmental invention of AIDS seem plausible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MKULTRA

Theories asserting that AIDS was the result of government malevolence or negligence are widespread and don't primarily originate in the African American community.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_conspi racy_theories

While the dominant scientific view appears to be that AIDS originated in sub-Saharan Africa, this hardly seems to be undisputed. One prominent theories argue that AIDS originated from errors in the use of polio vaccines in Africa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story .php?storyId=5450391
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64f51lCNP 9Y

by AdrianLesher 2008-03-19 10:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Educate yourself, read about Tuskegee

I know all about the Tuskegee experiment. Don't be so patronizing and condescending. I'm also fully informed about the LSD experiments.

But, none of that, and none of your sources either (dubious as some of them are), offer any support for Wright's comment about AIDS. Wright said, "The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied." Wright has also stated that the government is run by white people. So, he is saying that white people invented AIDS and infected Black people with it as a deliberate, genocidal policy.

The invention of "crimes" and the unsupported conclusion that people of a certain race committed those crimes is one of the hallmarks of racism. I'm sorry, but Wright's claim is disgusting and indefensible. And, besides showing his racism, it also demonstrates, just as I said it did, that he is crackpot. And yet this is a man who Obama embraces as his "spiritual advisor."

I feel like I am living in a surreal world. If this Wright fellow was anyone in the world besides Obama's pastor and mentor, he would be held in the same contempt by the people on this website as Falwell and Hagee are. But, because Obama is implicated, all bets are off.

Educate myself indeed!

by freemansfarm 2008-03-19 10:51PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Oh, Jerome. Please. Stop being so sanctimonious. Wright is misguided and terribly wrong, and yes, we all condemn his words and ideas.

But I'm not as prepared to, as you and the rest of MSM seem to be, judge the man on the limited clips we've seen. I sense there is more to him. And I found Obama's words ont he topic to be sufficient.

It's terribly convenient to call for Obama -- a candidate you clearly oppose -- to throw Wright under the bus.

When you make the same call for McCain and Clinton to throw every one of their more divisive supporters under their busses, I can get on board with yours. Until then, this wreaks of anti-Obama opportunism.

by wolff109 2008-03-19 05:56PM | 0 recs
Jerome

To be honest, what is WORSE than ANYTHING that Wright has said was what Bush and Cheney have done with waging the Iraq war.

What Wright said was crass and stupid but what Bush did killed thousands upon thousands of people, cost us a trillion dollars, hurt our economy, and made us less safe.

I'll take Wright's comments over Bush's waging of the Iraq war.

Put things in prospective.

by puma 2008-03-19 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

He's someone who offered very public criticism for his pastor in a national address.  It wasn't just criticism, it was constructive criticism.  Even if Obama doesn't become the nominee or the President, that speech made me proud to support him.

by Setrak 2008-03-19 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Racism is a big issue. For the last thirty years I have been enthusiatically and vocally  supporting liberal policies to narrow the opportunity gap between minorities and whites in this country. I have supported affirmative action hiring/promotion policies, preferrential admissions to colleges and universities, jobs programs, diversity training, etc.

I have gotten into more than one argument with close family members who often make racist remarks and that has left some hard feelings between us.

And all that time, or for at least twenty years of it, Barack Obama was sitting in a church that demeans white people. He was teaching his family to hate white people while I was trying to teach my family to accept black people.

I am outraged at that after all this time of his doing NOTHING, while I am actually trying to change things, that he has the audacity to presume that HE is the one who is not divisive.

He will never get my support. Words are not enough. He could have demonstrated by his action that he does not support black racism, just like I have demonstrated by my actions that I do not support white racism.

by Caliman 2008-03-19 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

He did what he's good at... he gave a speech.

by JimR 2008-03-19 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Obama distanced himself from Wright as much as he decently could. Believe it or not, some people respect Obama for rejecting the words but not the man. Even some Republicans like Mike Huckabee have praised Obama for this. I bet a lot of evangelical Christians think Obama handled this with total class, even if they are solidly Republican for other reasons.

To throw Wright himself under the bus would have looked coldly political and would have done nothing more to convince anybody of the differenes between Obama and Wright. I have to laugh at Alegre and other hardcore HRC supporters who say Obama needed to "walk away" completely from Wright; as if they would have treated that as anything more than "too little too late" or "crassly political."

Obama has more decency than most politicians so throwing a longtime pastor to the wolves is not something that comes easily to him. I like that in him even though I find Wright's politics repugnant.

by elrod 2008-03-19 06:00PM | 0 recs
Fairy Tales Can Come True

So, Hillary's campaign has kept it together the last month and a half by telling you that Any Day Now, Obama was going to melt down and the party was going to turn to her to save it.  You all salivated over Rezko, even though there was nothing there.  You celebrated over "NAFTAgate", even though it was a complete lie (and in fact it was the Hillary campaign telling the Canadians that it was all just talk).  And now your day of deliverance is at hand, yes?

No.  It's 5 weeks until the PA election, by then it will be a dead story, ancient history, and the polls will be back where they were.  And Hillary will still be telling you that Any Day Now, the magical Superdelegate fairies will come in and give her the nomination she deserves.  Will you still be believing it?

by APoxOnBoth 2008-03-19 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's authenticity

Jerome - your commentary is shallow, at best.  He did clearly, a number of times, renounce the comments that his pastor made.  

What's more is with the ugly rhetoric that Wright used, Obama was actually willing to say that the anger he expressed is real - based on economic and social realities.  This takes true courage.  The cowardly thing to do would be to just denounce Wright, disown him, and move on.  Most other politicians would do that.  Instead he confronted some of the source of the issue.  Smart.  Brave.  Authentic.

Quite unscientifically, I've spoken with 2 friends today who were Hillary supporters.  They found Obama's speech refreshing and authentic, and it was the last element for each of them to say they now hope he wins the nomination.  Obviously, this isn't how all Hillary supporters feel.  However, I've got to believe others feel the same.

Obama continue to attract millions of supporters because of who he is BEING.  This speech demonstrated that again.  Hillary is trying to attract people by her DOING.  Either could be winning strategies.  The reality is that more Dems are interested in someone who IS different, and they have, so far, assessed that Obama is this person.

And, what struck me is how many people have heard it - and not just a snippet but all or most of it.  

This speech will go down in history, if Obama wins.  This speech has the chance to open up the conversation in an entirely new way.  Let's hope it does.

by passionateprogressive 2008-03-19 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's authenticity

Jerome would have criticized Obama regardless of how he responded.  

Lord knows he's picked his horse in this race, he's made some very confident predictions, and now he's got to do everything he can possibly do to help avoid being wrong.

by sorrodos 2008-03-19 06:26PM | 0 recs
It will go down in history - period

RFK never made it to president, and his speeches still ring. As a foreigner I really don't get why so many Americans, let alone Democrats, don't get what an amazing candidate he is. From a European perspective, after 8 years of Bush, we are stunned by the way American politics has seemed to revive itself around his candidacy and grass roots action and money raising. Do you guys have any idea how impressive Obama looks from here?

by brit 2008-03-19 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's authenticity

One of my problems with Republicans is that they go for figurehead Presidents. More like heads-of-states than prime ministers. People like Reagan and baby Bush. George W. Bush wanted to BE president, he didn't want to  DO president. And the country has suffered greatly. Hurricane Katrina, a war with no planning, incompetent zealots running government agencies, etc. etc.

Obama would be a figurehead for our side of the political spectrum but I don't see him as doing anything more than giving pretty speeches. His agenda is pretty much boilerplate democratic policies. He says he would delegate responsibilities. You point out Hillary  is a DOER. In my opinion that is what our country needs, a president than can DO the job.

The difference between Hillary and Obama supporters may lay within our psyches. I do not need a president to inspire me, I need a president that will take my tax dollars and make them work for my country.

by ineedalife 2008-03-20 03:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I don't understand how Obama could have honestly thrown Wright under the bus without looking like a total hypocrite.  Honestly, it would have completely put his entire life into question since he joined Trinity UCC over twenty years ago, and he would have diminished himself in my eyes if he actually did it.

Given that, I'm not sure how I can take Jerome's post seriously.  It seems to be either a concession that Republicans will always be able to frame these controversies better than we can, or an implicit agreement with Republican frames to start from.  Since I won't accept the latter, and since Obama obviously won the media spin war with his speech yesterday, Jerome's analysis to me seems pretty unfounded.

by atomica 2008-03-19 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Atomica,

You nailed it.

Throwing Wright under the bus (we really need a different metaphor) would have been even worse.  

My father is a hardcore republican who espouses some views that I find shocking. I distinctly remember being horrified by several comments. He once said in all seriousness in the mid-80's that a ni**er quarterback would cost a team at least two games a season in the NCAA.

I hate those things he said over the years. They have helped make me a committed democrat.  But my father also taught me some crucial lessons and has been a wonderful father to me and my sisters and a devoted husband to my mother for nearly 50 years. I love him completely.  I'd hate to see my father's worst statements edited in to 4 or 5 YouTube clips. People who didn't know him would think he is the 2nd coming of David Duke.

I would never ever throw him under any bus.  He is one of the most important male figures in my life. I love him as much as anyone I have ever known even though I profoundly disagree with him on political and sometimes racial grounds.  If you demanded I  disown him, it would be impossible.  Impossible.

Yes, Wright was not Obama's father, but he was the person who guided him to Christ, and Obama's biological father was not an everyday influence in his life.  Even though I am now an atheist, I was raised in a Christian home and that is an important bond. The minister who I grew up with and married me is still someone I look up to. He is someone I still admire and look up to, even though I do not share his faith.  That bond is more important than Jerome is willing to acknowledge.

by swarty 2008-03-19 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Well, I always thought you were to the left of me Jerome but I guess you're not. I started out with Warner, signing up for his mailing list etc. I'm glad he's running for the Senate but I thought that he would be a powerful candidate for President.

As far as Obama and Wright goes, yes, he should have thrown him under the bus and ran over him a dozen times but he didn't and it will be to his electoral detriment. Either the party elders will take this situation and handle it or we are going down in an epic landslide in Nov with Obama. And that's just the Wright revelation before we've even gotten to his Il state senate record and Rezko. We can already see the tanking poll numbers in swing states like MO and OH. I'm willing to bet it continues.

Another blog reported that his numbers are tanking all over PA and that he's barely holding on to Philly. I guess we'll have to seen if that's true when a poll comes out.

by Ga6thDem 2008-03-19 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

OK, so we were all supposed to look within ourselves because of Obama's speech.

Seems like not everyone got the message.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is to be honored March 29 at the Brite Divinity School's Black Church Summit and Awards Banquet.

Can someone explain to me why this is still on?

Also, why is no one calling for apologies from the Rev. Wright? He owes a few.

Words DO count, you know. And as far as I know, the 911 victims and their families did nothing to the Rev. Wright.

by LP from MD 2008-03-19 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

It's possible there's more to Wright than a few terrible ideas he expressed? Perhaps he's also done some good with his life of service to his community.  

by wolff109 2008-03-19 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Why are you linking to Victor Davis Hanson to make your point?  You might as well link to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity.  Their opinions on our primary battle are worthless.

by Skaje 2008-03-19 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

But they'll never pull the blinders off. They are left wingnuts and that has never been clearer. And they are going to pull us all down with them in what is going to be a hugely embarrassing defeat for their candidate if he is the nominee.

And they will find a way to blame it all on Hillary Clinton.

by cc 2008-03-19 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

The Obama campaign has everyone so trained to believe that any criticism of him at all is racism, and by association any criticism of anyone black is racism, too, that noone dares to speak their mind.  Hillary Clinton's campaign hasn't spoken out against it because it is a lose, lose situation. No matter what she would say in an effort to criticize the words of Wright, they would be twisted and used against her.  Race has been made such a taboo subject early on in this campaign that no matter what is said it will be twisted.  Look at the fairy tale thing in SC.  The clip of Bill Clinton calling Obama's account of his anti-war stand a fairy tale was supposedly racist, but most normal people couldn't see the racism in that for the life of them.  The ones taking Obama's surrogates on their word and not looking at the video, changed it into a lie.  

People are scared to death to say anything for fear of being accused of racism, and so they say nothing.  VEry clever method used by the Obama campaign to brainwash the public into seeing things that weren't and aren't there. Very weak public to have bought it all.

by Scotch 2008-03-19 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Indeed. It was one of the things that irritated me during the speech, Obama lecturing us about the need to have an open conversation about race, when throughout the campaign his race-bait police lopped the hands off anyone said a word that rhymed with race.

by oh puhleeze 2008-03-19 10:00PM | 0 recs
divided we will fail and fall.
well, it can be saved if Obama will step aside for a common good - he has no chance anymore.
But he will not, so he will keep dividing us and we will stay divided all the way and divided we will fail and fall.
yes we will.
by engels 2008-03-19 06:13PM | 0 recs
Maybe if we sent 100,000 angry

e-mails to everyone we can find demanding he step down, like Obama supporters did demanding that Hillary step down in late February.

by mnicholson0220 2008-03-19 06:54PM | 0 recs
i did
i did. i also sent money to her. and i converted 22 voters to vote for Hillary in PA. only thing can save us (if agreed that fight until convention means GOP will win) is Obama voluntarily drops out.
All other paths leads to McCain victory.
by engels 2008-03-19 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I'm still having trouble understanding the point of this diary.  So far as I can tell, most people have either a) denounced Wright's comments, but not him as a human being, or b) denounced his comments and written him off as a lunatic/whackjob.  What exactly are you angling for?  If the latter, shouldn't we, I don't know, look at Wright's total career before dismissing him as just another religious nut?  It's amazing that people are allowing 30 seconds of Wright's "greatest hits" to define his entire career.

This snap-denunciation tactic is one that Republicans use all too well to divide us.  By all means, his statements were offensive.  That doesn't mean he has to be lit on fire for us to show how much we REALLY oppose his comments.

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

The problem is that Obama did not get out in front of this. If he had gotten out in front of it then it might not have been a problem. As it is, Obama failed to define himself, Wright's greatest hits were replayed and replayed on TV and now it's become a defining moment of who Obama is. Obama could have stopped being defined by Wright by throwing him under the bus. But alas, he couldn't do it thereby eternally attaching himself to wright and his baggage.

by Ga6thDem 2008-03-19 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

That's not the point of the diary, regardless of whether or not that is the case.  Actually, I have no idea what the point is, because it seems like pretty much everyone in the liberal universe has denounced the comments in one form or another.  Unless we're supposed to enact the "Two Minute Hate" to show that we REALLY don't like Wright's comments.

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 07:17PM | 0 recs
Obama Doesn't Have the Sack to Be President. . .

. . . because he doesn't have the sack to stand up to a horrific racist, demagogue, and vicious anti-American within the black community.  

While I don't think it exactly equates, swing voters in the general will figure that if he can't stand up to a vicious anti-American like Wright, how's he gonna stand up to vicious anti-Americans around the globe?  Is he going to call them his crazy uncle?

Apparently, he is to unsure of his street cred among black voters to risk standing up to Wright in the way that most red-blooded Americans (including most swing voters, and an especially high percentage of heartland swing voters in places like OH, MI, and western PA, where the general is going to be won or lost) would do in a heartbeat.

To praise his speech as "courageous" sickens me.  And I don't get sick easily.  

If he really believed any of it he would've given it a year ago.  The reason he gave it yesterday is that is internal polls apparently show him tanking, and he was afraid of standing up to and pissing off the black ministers who give him his core constituency.  It was absolutely a purely political move.  

If he would just fess up to that rather than pretending that he's so much better than everybody else and so far above it all, I would be both astonished and hugely impressed.

by Dooley 2008-03-19 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Doesn't Have the Sack to Be President. .

Sack?

You are clearly a smallminded fuckball.

I reject, denounce and repudiate you.

by swarty 2008-03-19 10:35PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Barack Obama gave what could be deemed as an eloquent and courageous speech the other day on race and racial politics in reaction to the controversy over the comments by his spiritual advisor and pastor of twenty years Reverend Jerimah Wright.  When you get beyond the words and method of the speech, however, questions still remain.

In his speech Obama stated that he could not denounce or disavow his pastor anymore than he could distance himself from his white grandmother who he says made comments that he found to be divisive or derogatory.  

While I will admit to not knowing Barack Obama's grandmother I would suspect that she has never stated words that rise to the level of blaming America for 9/11, that this is the US of KKK-America, that we should not say God Bless America but God Damn America, and that the US helped South Africa put Nelson Mandela in jail which are all things that Barack Obama's pastor, who he has called his spiritual advisor and baptized his children, has all said.

I would also remind Barack Obama that you cannot choose your family (which his grandmother is) but you can choose which church you go to and what language you expose your children to.  Barack Obama chose the church in Chicago where a pastor has blamed white people for all that is wrong with this country, who traveled to Libya to meet with the leaders of that country, and who honored Reverend Farrakhan.

Moreover, Barack Obama throughout his denials of the last week has stated repeatedly that he had never heard any of the controversial statements of this pastor and that when the campaign had started he only heard about a couple of the statements and then only heard about the rest in the past few days.  In his speech he stated that he WAS there for some of these remarks, without stating specifically which ones, and claimed that he was bothered by some of these statements although he also stated he never talked to Pastor Wright about these.  So was Barack Obama lying earlier when he stated he did not hear about these statements or is he lying now when he said he did?  Also, if Barack Obama could not stand up to his Pastor when he spoke the way he did about this country, its government, and the majority of the people in it how can we expect Barack Obama to stand up to the people who are blocking ending the Iraq war, who are not for universal health care, and to those who wish to do harm to this country and their allies.

Regardless of a speech by Barack Obama that most say was done well this is not about speeches and words but about integrity and judgment and on both of these tests Barack Obama has failed.

by ericrsiny 2008-03-19 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

"Controversial statements" could mean anything.  Wright could have been talking about reparations for all one could gather from those vague statements.  I don't understand why people keep seeing a contradiction where it's not even clear that one exists.

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 06:20PM | 0 recs
Why are you trying to smear a Democrat?

1.  Wright went to Lybia to negotiate a hostage release.  Successfully.

2.  It was Wright's daughter whose magazine honored Farrakhan.  This six degrees shit is absurd.

3.  We did help put Mandela into prison.
"Millard Shirley, according to those who worked with him, was a longtime "Africa hand" with the Central Intelligence Agency, a senior covert action specialist who came out of retirement in 1985 to help the white regime neutralize anti-apartheid activists.

His arsenal of tricks was varied and inventive, drawn from highly classified Pentagon manuals on "psychological warfare," according to Mike Leach, a former South African operative who worked with Shirley. They ranged from disruption to death.

"The manuals he gave us were for booby traps, poisons, etcetera," Leach told me. "One of the items he gave us was a recipe for prussic acid, a clear compound which, if inhaled, would give a massive coronary. If a doctor's not looking for prussic acid he'll put (the cause of death) down to natural causes."

A CIA spokeswoman said it was against agency policy to comment on its employees. Shirley died in an automobile accident in Swaziland in 1990, but South Africa's "Truth and Reconciliation Commission," a government-sponsored body aimed at uncovering the secrets of the apartheid years, is looking into his activities.

Shirley was "the top CIA operative in South Africa for many years," according to Gerard Ludi, a retired senior South African intelligence agent who says he is a close friend and former business partner of Shirley.

It was Shirley who tipped off the South African police to the whereabouts of Nelson Mandela in 1962, allowing them to throw up a roadblock and capture him, according to Ludi. "Shirley had a high-ranking 'deep throat,' a Durban-based Indian, within South African Communist party ranks," Ludi told The Johannesburg Sunday Times in 1990. "
http://www.salon.com/news/news961114.htm l

4.  Obama earlier said that he hadn't heard the specific remarks that were considered beyond the pale (i.e. the AIDS comment).  He heard other controversial remarks, but controversial certainly doesn't mean hateful.  There is no inconsistency in his statements.

You should be ashamed.

by Ramo 2008-03-19 06:28PM | 0 recs
Excuse me...

Libya, not Lybia, of course.

by Ramo 2008-03-19 08:20PM | 0 recs
Ignorance and Arrogance

I am astounded by the ignorance and arrogance that informs some of the commentary here. A few thoughts:

-Terms like "racist" should not be bandied about, particularly by white Americans when speaking about someone whose great grandparents were owned as human chattel by other white Americans. Have a little humility and a little perspective, for god's sake.

-When accusing someone of being a racist, one should be able to cite specific actions and statements that genuinely merit the designation. I am trying to find some proof in what has been reported in the media that Rev. Wright is a racist. I can't. I have seen no accusation of any racist actions by the man; the accusations all have to do with statements he has made. And I have not seen a single example of a statement that can fairly be called "racist." Is it racist to say that wealthy, white people run the country? Is there someone on this site who believes that rich white people do not, for all intents and purposes, hold the lion's share of economic and political power in the United States? Even if you feel the assertion is somehow an overstatement, how is it racist? As for the comments on 9/11, they carry no racial content. And how exactly is it racist to "damn America" for the treatment of black people?

So, help me here, please -- what makes Rev. Wright a racist? Be specific, please, and bear in mind the distinction between describing reality (e.g., asserting that black people in American have suffered a lot at the hands of white people) and being a racist (e.g., saying "I hate white people").

-It is a grave mistake, both intellectually and morally, to equate white and black racism in the US. Racism is not primarily about prejudice. It is, far more importantly, about the subjugation of one race by another. The white community in this nation has never been systematically subjugated by the black community. Whites were never ripped from their homeland, held in chains, tortured and murdered by the millions, and then, even after the end of slavery, subjected to legalized discrimination and quasi-legal brutality for another hundred years. To suggest that prejudice against whites by blacks in our country is the moral equivalent of the obverse is an obscentity.

-It is sad to see a self-proclaimed progressive link approvingly to Victor Davis Hanson's attacks on Barack Obama. Hanson is an unreconstructed right-wing militarist and Iraq War apologist with exactly zero track record of fighting for racial equality and no quaifications for opining on the subject of race relations. He is known, among other things, for his belief in Arab cultural inferiority.

Jerome suggests that Hanson's critique of the speech is some sort of indication of Obama's vulnerability. Hanson and his buddies at National Review would have attacked Obama regardless of the content of his speech. The fact that Hanson attacked, which was utterly predictable, tells us nothing about the political implications of the speech, long or short term.

-It is also sad that here, on a nominally progressive blog, one encounters a view of the speech that is in many ways more cynical, jaded and small-minded than one finds even in some right-wing circles. We have just witnessed a national political leader, possibly on the cusp of the presidency, talking honestly and forthrightly about the subject of race. In the context of American politics, this is earth-shaking. Its signficance cannot be honestly denied, regardless of which candidate one supports. It is profoundly discouraging that sectarianism can blind people who consider themselves progressive to the significance of what has transpired. Obama has actually elevated the national discussion of race. Amazing -- and profoudly important. And Jerome's response is to claim that the speech represents a "new low?" In the interest of self-respect, if nothing else, you really ought to retract the remark. It will be remembered, I think, for quite some time.

-To the person whose post I am responding to directly: My friend, the United States did indeed "help South Africa put Nelson Mandela in jail." I would note that we helped keep him there, as well. Successive US Administrations supported, defended and shared intelligence with the apartheid state in South Africa, through the worst years of that abhorrent regime's campaign of racist violence. We helped capture not just Mandela, but many members of the African National Congress, which was for years officially deemed a "terrorist" organization by the US government. This is not a matter of theory, or pastoral conjecture. It happened -- in the real world. How can you be so ignorant of history and yet consider yourself qualified to offer harsh judgments of others' historical analysis?

-Finally, I would ask the following of all of you white folks who profess great moral indignation over Reverend Wright's supposed "racism": Please provide a list of three other people whom you have publicly accussed of racism, in similarly indignant tones, within the last few years. If it turns out that you can't cite any examples, please think about the implications of the fact that the only person in America whose views on race stir you to public displays of anger is an African-American pastor. If you think the implication is that there are no white racists worthy of censure, then I officially give up. (If, after a moment's reflection, you really believe that Rev. Wright is the face of racism in American, then you may be beyond the reach of reason.)

Just so y'all know, I'm white. I was an Edwards supporter. And I have some real doubts about whether Obama will pursue genuinely progressive policies as president, particularly as regards corporate greed and power. However, despite my misgivings, I have been forced to recognize that that he represents something genuinely different and transformative. This has never been clearer than with Tuesday's speech. He offers at least the possibility of a break with the warped poltical culture in which we have long been trapped. He is the kind of Democrat who in winning, and in governing, might just change our politics in a way that will make it a lot easier for a lot more Democrats to get elected -- to the presidency and other offices, for many elections to come.

As for Clinton, well, I'm sorry, but somewhere between sitting on the board of Wal-Mart (while doing nothing to stand up for workers) and voting to increase the chances of a war with Iran, she lost me. That said, I will vote and work for her, if she is nominated -- though I will do so with a lot more enthusiasm if she doesn't get herself there by doing everything possible to destroy Obama (and, along with him, the hopes of a whole lot of people he has brought into the process and whose ongoing participation we desperately need).

by left unsaid 2008-03-19 10:12PM | 0 recs
Re: REALITY RAP

First of all great post J.A.  Secondly, the democratic party is in deep trouble right now because of this Rev. Wright debacle.  Guys. LET ME CLEAR ABOUT THIS.  The Gop will PLAY DIRTY and as DEMs we cannot allow our candidate continue to be verbally assaulted and grilled about his relationship with his pastor.  This shit sucks you guys.  Its not going to help us win white-male votes.  This sucks you guys because it DIDN'T come out last year.  WTF?!?  Talk about negligent vetting of a candidate.  Ther REALITY is this will break us.  NO LIE...  This is only the beginning.  I can see the 527s already: He doesn't wear a flag pin, His wife is finally happy to be an American, Nutty Rev. Wright.  This is Sick on all levels.  There is a double standard with Patterson and Rev. Farwell.  But this is reality and a black man has to try extra hard to win white votes after this.

by nzubechukwu 2008-03-19 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I made the mistake of playing a clip of Rev. Wright while sitting next to my son. He asked whether Barack as president could bring in slavery for European people. I replied of course not, Obama would never do anything like that, he does not agree with Wright and besides a president can't do that. I tried to explain that black people have a lot of reasons to be angry. He responded "but Martin Luther King said that hatred just creates more hatred."

My son goes to a Baltimore inner city school, he has a lot of black friends. What Rev. Wright preached was deeply wrong.

by souvarine 2008-03-19 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I've read MLK as speaking against all oppression and imperialism. And about the constructive power of Love versus the distorting power of Hate.

But perhaps I am as naive as my son.

by souvarine 2008-03-20 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I think that the race issue has been in the back of our minds for a long time now. How would Obama handle it?  He handled it with a stunningly beautiful speech.  

We now have a benchmark and a framework for (going after) the future racist attacks (they will come).  This has happened early enough in the season that it can energize and inform the base for the response yet doesn't come up on the radar of the low information voters for the general election.

Future response to these attacks needs to be swift, sure and coming from many quarters, the pieces are now in place.  

In short, the planned October surprise from the racist crowd has been blunted.  It will be that much harder for anything else like the Wright tape to gain traction with the MSM, they already have the Obama response in the can.

by NvDem 2008-03-19 06:17PM | 0 recs
For 'progressives'

it seems more of a generational battle that is taking place in the blogosphere.

Just my two cents...

by Coldblue 2008-03-19 06:17PM | 0 recs
Obama is the ultimate opportunist...

In his supposedly noble speech about race, he inserted the name of Geraldine Ferraro. He dishonored her, despite Ms. Ferraro's legacy in the Democratic Party. Obama will destroy everyone (even Bill Clinton) just to promote his ambition.

He had several interviews last Friday. And he denied knowing any of Wright's idiotic statements. Now, he admitted that he knew all along.

Hmmm, a candidate for change???? hardly...

by pleaseno 2008-03-19 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is the ultimate opportunist...

He defended Ferraro and said that the misstatements some had attributed to her in no way reflected her true beliefs.  Likewise, that Obama had heard "controversial" remarks from Wright does not mean that he heard "offensive" remarks, nor does it mean that he heard the remarks on the tapes.  But spin away.

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 06:26PM | 0 recs
Ultimate opportunist?

What was the context of Obama's Ferraro comment?

It was an admonition of some of his won supporters who had called Ferraro a racist.

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 06:26PM | 0 recs
That argument is sophistry. In fact

he EQUATED Ferraro and Wright, and that is the problem.   He also equated Wright and his white grandmother who loved and raised him and expressed a concern over the kitchen table that Jesse Jackson is also on record for expressing.

by mnicholson0220 2008-03-19 06:35PM | 0 recs
Nonsense.

He said the rhetoric had been overheated and that race had become a topic in the campaign in recent weeks.

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is the ultimate opportunist...

Echoing what the two other replies to your comment say... your interpretation here is plain wrong.

Obama didn't call Ferraro racist, he criticized his supporters that have been haranguing her.

Perhaps you should actually watch the speech before commenting on it?

by sorrodos 2008-03-19 06:32PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Good post. Seems like most folks are conflicted. It was a good speech. It was done however for poll-tested political reasons. Obama joined that church for political reasons, and in my opinion, stayed for the same reason. By the time he discovered the national ramifications, it was too late.

Problem is that if he wins the nomination this is going to be his Willie Horton.

by LadyEagle 2008-03-19 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Jerome, I don't think you are racist. I do think, however, that you are astonishingly tone deaf on the question of race in America.

Obama just made the most honest public statement on race that I have heard in my lifetime. I wish you could step back from your partisanship in this election for just a minute and take in what he said.

More than anything I find the direction this site has taken over the last month profoundly depressing. MYDD has played a positive role in supporting Democratic candidates around the country. I fear that in the zeal of Clinton supporters to win the nomination you will do long term damage to the party and the possibility of either candidates winning the election in November.

by thinman 2008-03-19 06:22PM | 0 recs
Bill Clinton in 1995 to the

Million Man March gave an equally good or better speech.  And guess what, it wasn't coerced by a need to squirm out of a tight spot.  It came directly from his heart.  As a sitting President he did not have to get up in front of a million black men led by Louis Farrakhan and talk to them about race.  But, he chose to.   That is true courage, true devotion to racial harmony.

And looking at that speech, it's not very different from what Obama said yesterday.   Hm ... another case of "borrowing words"?  

And what has Bill received by way of thanks or gratitude from Obama?  A relentless smear campaign against him and his wife as racists.   "Hypocrite" is too nice a word for Obama.

---------------
The Clinton speech:

.. Abraham Lincoln reminded us that a house divided against itself cannot stand. When divisions have threatened to bring our house down, somehow we have always moved together to shore it up. My fellow Americans, our house is the greatest democracy in all human history. And with all its racial and ethnic diversity, it has beaten the odds of human history. But we know that divisions remain, and we still have work to do. (Applause.)

The two worlds we see now each contain both truth and distortion. Both black and white Americans must face this, for honesty is the only gateway to the many acts of reconciliation that will unite our worlds at last into one America.

White America must understand and acknowledge the roots of black pain. It began with unequal treatment first in law and later in fact. African Americans indeed have lived too long with a justice system that in too many cases has been and continues to be less than just. (Applause.) The record of abuses extends from lynchings and trumped up charges to false arrests and police brutality. The tragedies of Emmett Till and Rodney King are bloody markers on the very same road.

Still today too many of our police officers play by the rules of the bad old days. It is beyond wrong when law-abiding black parents have to tell their law-abiding children to fear the police whose salaries are paid by their own taxes. (Applause.)

And blacks are right to think something is terribly wrong when African American men are many times more likely to be victims of homicide than any other group in this country; when there are more African American men in our corrections system than in our colleges; when almost one in three African American men in their 20s are either in jail, on parole or otherwise under the supervision of the criminal justice system -- nearly one in three. And that is a disproportionate percentage in comparison to the percentage of blacks who use drugs in our society. Now, I would like every white person here and in America to take a moment to think how he or she would feel if one in three white men were in similar circumstances.

And there is still unacceptable economic disparity between blacks and whites. It is so fashionable to talk today about African Americans as if they have been some sort of protected class. Many whites think blacks are getting more than their fair share in terms of jobs and promotions. That is not true. That is not true. (Applause.)

The truth is that African Americans still make on average about 60 percent of what white people do; that more than half of African American children live in poverty. And at the very time our young Americans need access to college more than ever before, black college enrollment is dropping in America.

On the other hand, blacks must understand and acknowledge the roots of white fear in America. There is a legitimate fear of the violence that is too prevalent in our urban areas; and often by experience or at least what people see on the news at night, violence for those white people too often has a black face.

It isn't racist for a parent to pull his or her child close when walking through a high-crime neighborhood, or to wish to stay away from neighborhoods where innocent children can be shot in school or standing at bus stops by thugs driving by with assault weapons or toting handguns like old west desperados. (Applause.)

It isn't racist for parents to recoil in disgust when they read about a national survey of gang members saying that two-thirds of them feel justified in shooting someone simply for showing them disrespect. It isn't racist for whites to say they don't understand why people put up with gangs on the corner or in the projects, or with drugs being sold in the schools or in the open. It's not racist for whites to assert that the culture of welfare dependency, out-of-wedlock pregnancy and absent fatherhood cannot be broken by social programs unless there is first more personal responsibility. (Applause.)

The great potential for this march today, beyond the black community, is that whites will come to see a larger truth -- that blacks share their fears and embrace their convictions; openly assert that without changes in the black community and within individuals, real change for our society will not come. ... ..

by mnicholson0220 2008-03-19 06:51PM | 0 recs
He did not borrow Bill's words

He believes Wright is part of the reconciliation process.

Bill does not.

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 07:01PM | 0 recs
Am I mistaken, or did Obama not soundly denounce

... the comments?

As to why he wouldn't "thrown Wright under the bus," I think he made clear why he would not and could not. Yes, he risks his candidacy in making that choice, but that's a helluva' thing to take him to task over.

I find it humorous that you append the rantings of  wingnut when you and Markos have written time and time again that Democrats need to quit driving their own strategies out of fear of what the other side will say or do.

Irony is not dead!

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 06:23PM | 0 recs
I haven't gone anywhere.

But it's nice to know that you missed me!

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 06:39PM | 0 recs
Yes

But he could not have disowned the man.

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Jerome,

You're a progressive, right?  In what sort of bizarre universe is Obama's relationship with his Pastor more important to you than Hillary Clinton's vote to authorize G.W. Bush to assault both Iraq and Iran?  She is on record defending those decisions even after the whole damn world came to the conclusion that Iraq has been catastrophic disaster for all concerned.  And you are wasting pixels agonizing over the fact that not enough progressives have come out and denounced Pastor Wright for some stupid angry stuff he said in a five-year old videotape?

Sheesh...

by global yokel 2008-03-19 06:26PM | 0 recs
Jerome, what is it you want to happen?

Your recent posts seem to be an attempt to goad the MyDD readership into a direction.  What do you want to happen?  What is the purpose of this series of intense and angry posts coming from your leadership position?

by mady 2008-03-19 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, what is it you want to happen?

Do you really think this was just an attempt to manipulate?  "Nice try", what does that mean?  As the leader of this site (and it is the only blog site I go to so I have no knowledge of Kos except the occasional post that directs there)I think what Jerome posts takes on more weight than other posts.  There is a ton of anger in his recent posts, and I really would like to know what this is supposed to accomplish.

I am not comparing him with anyone, but his tone in this set of postings is pretty unusual.

by mady 2008-03-19 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, what is it you want to happen?

I didn't want anything to "work." I was asking a question.  My thought processes are not that convoluted, I try to say what I mean.  I wanted to know what was up with this, that's all.

by mady 2008-03-19 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, what is it you want to happen?

No, no, you don't get it.  My point is the opposite.  These  posts are a huge change from the tone of most of his posts.  I'm not trying to take the comments in any direction, I was directing this towards Jerome, and hoping perhaps in a future post there would be some more clarity rather than these (to me) furious statements.  Maybe I misread the tone.  I'm happy to admit that, so let it be.  You accuse me of doing things that I would not imagine doing.  I do not hijack posts and I did not have an agenda with this at all.  I was puzzled, really puzzled.  Does this make any sense to you or do you still think I am operating with an ulterior motive?

by mady 2008-03-19 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, what is it you want to happen?

Peace, please.  I did not attack you and did not deserve your response.

by mady 2008-03-19 07:23PM | 0 recs
Thank you

I'm a old lady baby boomer who supports Obama, constructively I hope.  I relish civility.  

I appreciate the apology.

by mady 2008-03-19 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, what is it you want to happen?

Thugs? Brownshirts? Neo-Stalists?

You are way, way, way over the line.

by tysonpublic 2008-03-19 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, what is it you want to happen?

Out of curiosity, could you confirm you'd be equally outraged about MI and FL if the tables were turned?  That is, if you supported the lesser known of two candidates, and your candidate wasn't allowed to campaign in those states.  And all the campaigns agreed to the rule that they don't count.  And s/he wasn't even on the ballot in one of the two states.  Much later let's say it's fairly close but your candidate is winning and there isn't much time left.  If the losing candidate suddenly decided that it was crucial for democracy that those 2 states count, would you take that at face value?

What's your reaction to the quotation(s) from Clinton before she was losing saying she thought the actions of the DNC were reasonable and should be respected?  I'd be happy to dig them up and link them if you haven't seen them.  Do you think her current position is based on a desire to fix an impure process, or maybe a bit tinged with self-interest?

Obviously you can tell from my comments what I think, but I'd honestly love to hear a straight answer on those questions.

by syrinx 2008-03-19 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, what is it you want to happen?

----
whereas people such as Josh Marshall and Markos have seen fit to put ANY objectivity in the rear-view mirror.
------

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Thank you Universal!  You gave me a laugh.

by Timetheos 2008-03-19 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I am not so much concerned with Reverend Dr. Wright's words - abhorrent though they be - as I am the fact that Senator Obama did not respectfully challenge these words within his church.  For me this points to a lack of leadership on his part, a fear of undermining his standing with one group or the other, another example of how he lets people see in him what they need to see.

by LCSusan 2008-03-19 06:28PM | 0 recs
who cares

This guy is a freaking preacher for God sake!  He is not running for president, he is not making policy decisions, and he is out of the campaign. This is typical American response to people like Wright and rather than growing up and acting like adults, we are arguing for the past couple of days if Obama is a racist or not. The world is watching us and laughing the mere stupidity of the American electorate.  Can you imagine the Europeans making an issue like this?  We are in Iraq for the past 5 years and this is what we are talking about!

by rejectandenounce 2008-03-19 06:33PM | 0 recs
Good god....

Part of me wants to yawn at the latest self-justifying post by Jerome to help him prove to himself how great he is in his own mind.  But there are a couple of rebuttal points worth making.

First, the reaction of the progressive left was about precisely the same as the reaction of Hillary Clinton and her entire campaign.   I'm curious if Hillary or her campaign are up for the same condemnation for lack of courage to stand on this important principle that you demand for Obama supporters?

I doubt it, because I suspect you understand precisely why the progressive left and Clinton didn't jump into the fray.  

Simply put, progressives in general are far more likely to both condemn the words while understanding the underlying context.  We get the "nuance" thing.  Or at least I do, and I make no apologies for that.  It's part of what separates us from the reactionary-right.

With respect to Wright specifically:  To go farther than Obama did -- to "run him over with a bus a few times", to use your term -- was a bridge too far for Obama NOT because he condones what he said, but because Obama understands better than nearly all of us (and explained very clearly in his speech) that he can't do that without repudiating and oversimplifying the larger black experience in America.  

It may very well be bad politics.  I think its clear that no self respecting political consultant would have advised him to make that speech yesterday.

But he did it anyway, which in itself speaks volumes.

He did a huge and politically courageous thing yesterday.  He followed his own path, based on his own principles, and took a big personal risk.

With all due respect, that's what leaders are supposed to do.

Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't.   But I admire the hell out of the man for doing it.  And that speech was the most "Presidential" speech I've ever seen in my lifetime.  We'd be a better nation with him at the helm.

You may be right, Clinton may be the cutthroat, win at all cost Democrat that gives us the best chance to win.  Who knows?

But she couldn't hold Obama's hat when it comes to real leadership.  That's why so many progressives are sticking with Obama.  They've had enough of the fakes.

by Grady 2008-03-19 06:35PM | 0 recs
Obama threw his Grandma to the

wolves, and couldn't disown and denounce his minister because 50 black ministers were threatening to go on CNN if he did.

Ahhhh Obama's amazing Profile in Courage.  

And will this flagrant lack of courage be an asset?

He's been shown to have questionable principles and associations.

Problem is, that was the only pablum he was selling.  Other than that, everything he's offering is a promise of something he WOULD do if he COULD do something.

by chieflytrue 2008-03-19 08:45PM | 0 recs
Please-he took no risk...

he had to address the political issue so he did and threw in lots of lofty rhetoric to disguise the ungly underbelly of his 20 year relationship with a hate monger.

Leadership????? He couldn't lead his own pastor and church community out of their anger and hatred. How is he going to lead the whole country? When has he ever led? He gives speeches but doesn't provide leadership. If he was any kind of a leader he would have made a difference in his church and with his pastor-if he can't change those closest to him why do you think he can change America?

by berkshiretrueblue 2008-03-20 10:03AM | 0 recs
Stop whining about it

There really isn't anything that you can do.

It is really up to the voters and the superdelegates.

If the superdelegates think that the Obama is too damaged for the General Election than they will just swing towards Hillary before the convention.  It is as simple as that.

What else is there?

by puma 2008-03-19 06:36PM | 0 recs
you are still whining

There really isn't anything you can do.  Again it is really up to the superdelegates.

I guess we will see how this all plays out.

Crying about how the sky is going to fall isn't going to change anything.

Even Huckabee has a better attitude about it than you do.  Huckabee said if Wright had happened in October than it would have had a huge impact but he said that it is March and there is plenty of time for Obama to recover.  Let's see what happens.  Many things can happen down the road actually.

McCain could have a huge gaffe; the debates could affect people's perception of the candidates whether it is McCain, Obama, or Clinton; we could have another terrorist attack; the stock market could crash; Iraq could fall apart; we could kill Bin Laden; a national disaster could happen...

I could keep going and going.  Let's just see what happens.

by puma 2008-03-19 07:25PM | 0 recs
A question for Jerome and other Clinton backers...

Hillary and her backers have claimed over and over that she has "already been vetted." And Hillary has made the bold assertion that "there are no surprises" with her.

Jerome, do you believe that?

Do other Clinton backers really believe that Hillary has been vetted this cycle?

Have her Democratic opponents questioned her on Norman Hsu? Have any of her Democratic opponents pressed the media to look into how Chinese dishwashers and busboys in New York could afford to pony up $2,300 to her primary campaign? And have any of her Democratic opponents pressed the media to ask how Bill's questionable financial dealings -- Saudi millions for his presidential library, his trip to Kazakhstan that netted a Canadian billionaire multi-billion dollar profit and Bill's foundation a $131 million donation form the same Canadian -- would pose a conflict of interest to her presidency?

And do you think the enemy has a storehouse of information on Bill's other shenanigans since leaving office?

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 06:38PM | 0 recs
If and when these

"conflicts of interest" manifest themselves in positions on issues and policy, then maybe so.

Gosh, even if they can't find anything about the Clintons for the GE, they'll make something up.

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 06:49PM | 0 recs
There is plenty on the Clintons.

And I am sure they have a massive file. And it's fresh.

But to follow Jerome's point to its logical end, Clinton would have to have less chance of being swiftboated with mountains of material than Obama.

And that just ain't true.

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 06:53PM | 0 recs
Yes

I'm sure they have a massive file.

They wouldn't be doing their jobs if they didn't.

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 06:57PM | 0 recs
I'm glad we agree.

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 07:01PM | 0 recs
We do agree

That republicans create massive files on any Dem they may find themselves likely to run against for president.

It's something I tried to point out to Obama supporters a long long time ago when they were trying to convince me that Obama had some legitimate reason for thinking he could be any different than any other dem in this regard.

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 07:09PM | 0 recs
Why is the rightwing trying so desperately

... hard right now to take down Obama?

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 07:12PM | 0 recs
Not hard at all

They've only just started.

And yes, they'll do their number on Clinton, too.

Remember.  We agree on that.

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 07:15PM | 0 recs
But why the focus on Obama?

Why now?

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 07:19PM | 0 recs
Because he's in the lead?

Is there some answer you have that you'd just like to share?

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 07:21PM | 0 recs
Do you think he's in the lead?

Do you think Clinton has a shot at the nomination?

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 07:26PM | 0 recs
Sure

And yes I know if she did win the nomination, all of your folks will say she stole it and burn down the building at Denver.

Yes is the answer to your question.

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 07:28PM | 0 recs
"Your people?"

What people are those?

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: "Your people?"

Obama supporters.

I don't mean your people like they work for you or something.

Just the folks who support Obama and think that the nomination process has already concluded.

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 07:34PM | 0 recs
I don't know about that...

Every candidate has supporters who wear rose-colored glasses.

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 07:44PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

"Voters now have to ask themselves these two questions.

  1. If a white minister preached sermons to his congregation and had used the "N" word and used rhetoric and words similar to members of the KKK, would you support a Democratic presidential candidate who decided to continue to be a member of that congregation?
  2. Would you support that candidate if, after knowing of or hearing those sermons, he or she still appointed that minister to serve on his or her "Religious Advisory Committee" of his or her presidential campaign?

I think Not."

Where is the radical preacher?

by gotalife 2008-03-19 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Quoting Wolfson.  Nice.

by enozinho 2008-03-19 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Sorry, Lanny Davis.  I get my Really REAL Dems mixed up sometimes.

by enozinho 2008-03-19 06:42PM | 0 recs
Lanny Davis is the kind of insider hack...

... that Jerome used to rail against in the old days.

by Bob Johnson 2008-03-19 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Lanny Davis is the kind of insider hack...

The quote is from a friend.

by gotalife 2008-03-19 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Lanny Davis is the kind of insider hack...

Well, then your friend, my friend, is a plagiarist.

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/arch ives/2008/03/lanny_davis_jabs_obama_on_w rig.php

by enozinho 2008-03-19 07:22PM | 0 recs
He couldn't disown

That would be disengenous.

But he could have asked Wright to change his ways.  He could have said something like this:


One million men are right to be standing up for personal responsibility. But one million men do not make right one man's message of malice and division. (Applause.) No good house was ever built on a bad foundation. Nothing good ever came of hate. So let us pray today that all who march and all who speak will stand for atonement, for reconciliation, for responsibility.

Let us pray that those who have spoken for hatred and division in the past will turn away from that past and give voice to the true message of those ordinary Americans who march.


by Edgar08 2008-03-19 06:39PM | 0 recs
And that would have been leadership...

but he has never shown leadership as far as I can tell.

by berkshiretrueblue 2008-03-20 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome is a total loser

He was expecting Hillary to win this thing hands down.  Now that she isn't, and now that he's seriously misread Democratic voters, he's obviously really vexed, and is using this site to push John McCain as a legitimate alternative upon all of us.  After all, Jerome is a self-described libertarian, and he's never really "identified" with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, per se, to begin with.  He's always been on the outskirts of liberal ideology, and because of that, it's no surprise when it turns out John McCain's 100 Years War on the Middle East really appeals to him, rather than the phased withdrawal endorsed repeatedly by Barack Obama.

At this point, I'd really like Jerome's future posts to start taking a serous look at a return to the gold standard.  Forget Hillary!  Endorse Ron Paul, Jerome!  There's a ton of gold and silver left undiscovered inside the bowels of the earth of our country to bring us back to economic prosperity!

by atomica 2008-03-19 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Thinman and Global Yokel

You guys have no clue.  Jerome's point is this crap will not fly with a majority of Americans.  Obama doesn't have a chance in rural America with this Wright stuff now on the table.  I suggest you read "What's a matter with Kansas."  It kind of explains what Jerome and others have been stating.  Please realize the facts are no matter how eloquent, honest, human, stunning, hopeful and promising it might have been RACIST are STILL RACIST and a black man has to try a little harder.  Just look at Ford in Tennessee.  He bent over backwards and still couldn't carry enough votes outside of Memphis to get elected.

by nzubechukwu 2008-03-19 06:44PM | 0 recs
The true evil of Wright

and people like him, is that he fosters distrust and doubt and paranoia.    His twisted world view of a country, government, and master race who are "out to get us" cannot help but make black people feel badly.  In general, feeling like a victim all the time can't be fun.   And about white people in particular.  

To the extent the races do not mix closely (around the kitchen table), then yes there is a lack of actual data.   In the absence of data, all a human being has is theory.  This man plants really bad theories about white people in the minds of black people.   How can that not be toxic?   To their mental health, as well as to race relations.

The problem for Obama is that he claims to be a race uniter when in fact he's allowed this man to do that kind of damage to his congregation over the years.   There's no good spin on this.  

by mnicholson0220 2008-03-19 06:44PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Jerome,

(Don't worry, I'm not going to call you a racist.)

I'm an Obama supporter, and like you, I find Wright's words disgusting. Most of my Obama-loving friends agree, and we've been pretty vocal about it. Honest.

More importantly, Obama finds Wright's words offensive, too, and has repeatedly rejected them as wrong and divisive.

Where I differ with you is that I'm glad that Obama didn't throw Wright under the bus, as you and others have suggested he should have done. He could have, but he didn't.

I'm glad he didn't do it, because it would have been a lie. It would have rang false, because Obama recognizes that Wright's words, while ugly and wrong, don't erase or reverse the positive things that he has done in Obama's life and in the lives of so many others. And it would have been antithetical to Obama's faith, which demands that we show compassion even to people who hurt us or disagree with us.

Andrew Sullivan made a great point about this yesterday on his blog:

"[Obama] addressed the intimate, painful love he has for an imperfect and sometimes embittered man. And how that love enables him to see that man's faults and pain as well as his promise. This is what my faith is about. It is what the Gospels are about. This is a candidate who does not merely speak as a Christian. He acts like a Christian."

By ignoring the calls to crucify Wright, which would have a been a weak and selfish thing to do, Obama proved himself to be a courageous, fair and principled leader.

 

by jdusek 2008-03-19 06:47PM | 0 recs
So why didn't Obama

Recognize that Imus's words, while ugly and wrong, didn't erase or reverse the positive things that Imus has done.

Wasn't it antithetical to Obama's faith to not show compassion to Imus?

(I'm not arguing for Imus, I'm discussing an inconsistency).

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: So why didn't Obama

I think the Imus comparison is a red herring. Obama said that anybody "working for his campaign" would be fired, and I am confident that had Wright been employed by Obama, and had used racial epithets while working for Obama, he would have been fired.

But Wright was not an employee, he was part of a loose affiliation of supporters. More importantly, Wright's comments were not made in the service of Obama's campaign. He never said anything hateful in an official or unofficial capacity.

If Imus had called someone a nappy-headed hoe while off the air, and Obama had argued that NBC should fire him, then we would be talking apples-to-apples. But that's not what happened, so I think it's an unfair comparison.

by jdusek 2008-03-19 07:08PM | 0 recs
I see

So because the situations are different, thinking about Imus's good works and being compassionate towards him is no longer relevant.

by Edgar08 2008-03-19 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I see

Is that what I said?

I can't really comment on Imus's humanitarian legacy (did he build a bridge or hold a food drive or anything?), but I'd argue that he deserves compassion as much as the next guy. That doesn't mean he should get off scott free though, or that people shouldn't be able to criticize him.

Obama didn't say Imus is an evil person and I hope he never works in radio again and NBC should make an example out of him and if they don't then they are complicit. No, he said if someone working for him made similar comments, they'd be gone, and he hoped NBC had similar views. That's all --  no demands, no ultimatums.

Me, I think that's fair. But like I said, I think the comparison is flawed. The situations are different, so the argument that there is a double standard doesn't hold up.
 

by jdusek 2008-03-19 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

The other Jeremiah Wright is a Rev. James Meeks. He apparently cut ads for Obama in Il and is virulenty anti gay. Is this the next up and coming story?

by Ga6thDem 2008-03-19 06:50PM | 0 recs
The stupid--it hurts so badly!!!

As a white, Christian male from the south, I am astounded that anyone who considers themselves a Democrat or a Progressive is actually personally offended by Wright's remarks. Everybody is up in arms and heading for the fainting couch in righteous indignation over how Wright's remarks may offend other people--unnamed, phantom white racist fear-based voters in rust-belt swing states, but who actually takes personal offense at these comments? As I see it, Wright is kind of like a cranky old grandpa that will go overboard rhetorically at times, just like John McCain. I mean are all of you guys who are still going after Obama because of Wright going to burn all your bridges with all your friends who've said offensive things in the past? Of course you're not. Because it would be ridiculous of anyone to ask it of you, just like it's ridiculous to ask Obama to completely burn his bridges with Wright.

The phony sanctimony is so thick I'm having trouble breathing up in here! Can anyone here look me in the proverbial eye and tell me that Wright's remarks give you serious doubts about Obama's character and integrity? Especially after his remarks of yesterday in which he renounced the divisive remarks and explained why they were wrong? What more do you want?

Last I checked, Obama was a Democrat and a strong proponent of church-state separation. If he were a bible-thumping theocratic Republican whose spiritual mentor of twenty years had made comparably divisive nutty right-wing remarks then these criticisms might hold a drop of water. But that's not what we have here.

Instead, many Clinton supporters (those left who haven't defected to Obama after the speech) like Jerome have become "electability" concern trolls ever since this story broke. If you haven't read Obama's speech, go read it. Anyone who is still trying to exploit Rev. Wright to take down Obama is one or more of the following:

1. A Republican

  1. A Republican concern troll
  2. Seizing on Wright to excuse or rationalize their own racist instincts
  3. A "battered-spouse" Democrat so scared-shitless of GOP attack dogs that they think the only way we can win is by nominating a ruthless, triangulating, cynical technocrat, which plays right into the hands of the real bad guys.

Anyone for whom Wright's remarks actually cause doubt about the content of Obama's character should:

1. Read his speech

  1. Grow up
  2. Stop being an idiot
  3. Consider what the Republican Party has to offer

Obama showed real courage, honesty and character in addressing this idiotic crap the way that he did, and I've already said it once, but anyone still trying to exploit this politically is pretty  much making an ass of themselves. I would expect that kind of behavior from Republicans, but the Clinton supporters who engage in this childish behavior disgust me.

I went from mildly leaning toward Obama before this "controversy" to being a strong Obama supporter, a "true believer" if you will, after he stepped up and hit it out of the park with his very intelligent, adult response. Maybe Obama's electability is damaged beyond redemption at this point--but I'm at a point where I'd rather lose with a man of integrity and courage like Obama than win with someone whose campaign is willing to act like Republicans to win.

And really, if Obama goes down because of this, then, as uncomfortable as it may be for some of you, I think it proves Reverend Wright's point! I mean, friggin' Mike Huckabee responded to this more rationally, intelligently and with more maturity than Jerome and his followers and many of the posters here! For shame!

Just my two cents...

by ajpuckett 2008-03-19 06:52PM | 0 recs
Re: The stupid--it hurts so badly!!!

Racism is a big issue for me and has been for a long time. For the last thirty years I have been enthusiatically and vocally  supporting liberal policies to narrow the opportunity gap between minorities and whites in this country. I have supported affirmative action hiring/promotion policies, preferrential admissions to colleges and universities, jobs programs, diversity training, etc.

I have gotten into more than one argument with close family members who often make racist remarks and that has left some hard feelings between us.

And all that time, or for at least twenty years of it, Barack Obama was sitting in a church that demeans white people. He was teaching his family to hate white people while I was trying to teach my family to accept black people.

You ask who is offended? Who is outraged? Well I am offended, I am outraged.

Barack Obama will never get this liberals support. Words are not enough. He could have demonstrated by his action that he does not support black racism, just like I have demonstrated by my actions that I do not support white racism.

by Caliman 2008-03-19 07:09PM | 0 recs
Well, enjoy McCain, you "liberal" you

Because it is quite likely that Obama will be the nominee. But since he'll "never get your support", I assume that you'll be voting for John McCain. Good luck with that.

by ajpuckett 2008-03-19 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: The stupid--it hurts so badly!!!

I take personal offense at what Rev. Wright had to say. There was a kernel of truth to it, but it was obscured by the hatred. Obama called Wright's remarks appalling, I take it you disagree?

by souvarine 2008-03-19 07:22PM | 0 recs
Personal offense? Really?

I just don't see it. I don't feel personally attacked. I sure as hell don't feel threatened. Give the man a chance. There is much more to Wright than the caricature on the news. I was interested to learn that Wright taught at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA along with my Scots-Irish Grandfather who was a professor of church history there. While he certainly said some things that were out of the mainstream, tin-foily and rhetorically extreme, I really don't see a persistent message of hate and racial division there. I do see legitimate anger at a history of systemic oppression. Is it problematic for a white man to understand where someone is coming from without wholeheartedly agreeing with the sentiment? Are we a nation of such delicate sensibilities that we have to destroy anyone who takes us outside our tiny little comfort zones? Geez!

And whatever radicalism really is there on the part of Wright, I think it is a reach--irrational fear at best and crass opportunism at worst--to project that radicalism onto Obama. Barack Obama is a Democrat and a very capable and independent thinker--just because he goes to a church for many years doesn't mean he has to agree politically with everything the pastor says. And if you can't understand that, then you might be more at home in the GOP, honestly.

by ajpuckett 2008-03-19 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Personal offense? Really?

I understand where the anger comes from, and I have a certain sympathy for Rev. Wright's interpretation of Jesus as a black man.

But when he starts equating Barack Obama with Jesus, I take offense. When he parallels Hillary Clinton with the Romans who crucified Jesus, I take offense. When he talks about Bill Clinton riding black people dirty, I take offense. When he claims FDR lied about Pearl Harbor, I take offense.

I don't see anything particularly radical about those sentiments, to me they are straight up hatred and degradation. I find hatred preached by any self-described Christian, whether Rev. Wright or Rev. Falwell, offensive. I would not follow a pastor who twisted Christianity in that manner, regardless of the complexities of the man.

Obama appears to take his faith, and words, seriously, I do not understand how he could follow such a pastor. To his credit Obama rejected outright those statements, especially from the pulpit. But Rev. Wright's words did not come from nowhere, the man has an internal theory that produced them, he meant them. And that theory would justify some of Obama's campaign tactics. I want to know how much of that theory of race in America Obama embraces.

by souvarine 2008-03-19 08:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Personal offense? Really?

I read through that list of "hateful and degrading" statements by Rev. Wright again, and you know, I'm still not seeing it. A good deal of what he said, even if delivered in an impolite manner, was true, and of the things he said that were over the top and ridiculous and untruthful, you know, if that's all the GOP could come up with in twenty years from a black preacher who was a product of the civil rights movement, I mean, color me unimpressed, and even less concerned. And yeah, what he said about Bill Clinton was uncalled-for, I'll give you that. But still, if you're really a liberal Democrat, you shouldn't be so quick to throw your fellow Dems under the bus. Try walking in someone else's shoes for one friggin second. Of course Obama doesn't agree with those conspiracy theories--he's a straight up establishment politician just like Hillary is--and frankly, I do see a lot of latent racism in the double standard applied to Obama for the comments of his pastor compared to the deafening silence on the divisive and hateful comments uttered by the "spiritual advisers" of the white candidates in this race, some of which I have no doubt would prove to be far more hateful and divisive than anything Wright said. High-tech lynching, indeed.

Anyway, I'm not throwing Hillary under the bus, after all, even though I think she and her supporters seem willing to destroy the party in order to win, your reaction to Wright being a case-in-point. In spite of that, I have stated that if she still somehow manages to win, she will have my full and unequivocal support.

Doesn't it embarrass any of you that Mike Huckabee of all people has reacted to this with more class, maturity and intelligence than you guys here? Pathetic. I'm done talking about this, because clearly many of you have made up your minds that Wright discredits Obama and no amount of reason or explanation from the candidate or anyone will change your mind. I hope you'll change your tune when Obama is the nominee. Otherwise, enjoy McCain, you idiots.

by ajpuckett 2008-03-20 04:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Personal offense? Really?

Obama sees it, I'm not sure why you don't. Degrading is his word. I'll support Obama if he is the nominee, but Wright is a real problem that he has not dealt with adequately.

I don't have a double standard, one reason I would never vote for McCain is because he solicits the support of divisive and hateful people like Hagee. I hold Obama to the same standard, though to be honest I am more open to Obama's explanations.

by souvarine 2008-03-20 04:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

"Pull off the blinders that have you supporting a particular candidate, while being blind to the bigger issue. If progressives are not going to have the guts to call out those who foster divisive talk, and demand their renouncement, no matter where it comes from, it's a bigger loss than an election."

The problem is, Jerome, is that you're looking through your own "blinders" (as a Clinton partisan) as well.

I think most people, Obama and Clinton supporters alike, said they didn't agree with the comments.  I, personally, other than some crazy rantings about AIDS, didn't even think his comments were all that horrible, even if I disagreed with them.  His 9/11 comments were extremely crude, and obviously not appropriate, but is it really that ridiculous to say that maybe, just maybe, our foreign policy is partially to blame for creating Islamic terrorists who want to hurt the US?  "God Damn America"?  Are people really that insecure in their patriotism that they simply can't process this kind of criticism of it when the person perceives social injustice?  I think using this to criticize Obama, who has already condemned all of these remarks, basically amounts to the same ridiculously stupid criticisms that Obama doesn't wear a flag lapel pin and didn't put his hand over his heart during the national anthem... Maybe we should ask Obama to get a tatoo on his forehead that says "God Bless America" just to make sure that he's patriotic enough.

Obama said he condemned the comments, but can't disown the pastor.  If he had, as you said, thrown him under the bus and run over him repeatedly, as you said, the political costs would've been even higher.  Disowning him would mean he'd be explaining his books and his overall themes of his candidacy from now until November, and would've been exactly what he specifically said we can't allow ourselves to do (which is just to write-off  his pastor as a crazy loon, stuff the incident in a closet, and try and forget it exists). We're also taking nearly 40 years of preaching and distilling it into 30 seconds of sound bites that clearly don't represent what Obama saw in him, as he's stated repeatedly.  

And the reason why Obama supporters are defending Obama's connection to him is, quite simply, because they don't see Obama as Wright.  And, yes, it's the same reason Clinton supporters defended Clinton and Ferraro herself during that little flap, as you did yourself Jerome, with "blinders" at least as thick as everyone else's.

by leshrac55 2008-03-19 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Wow, I didn't think that Jerome was going to play "I've been to Africa and met black people, therefore I can minimalize black anger in the US without being a racist" card, but there he went ahead and did it.

Was the Peace Corps comment any more than a "I have black friends" defense against marginalizing real black anger in this country?

Wright went too far, said things that were wrong and offensive (and Obama said so...repeatedly). But the anger in the black community is real, and not unjustified either. Take a look at povery, drugs, etc etc, and I don't see how you can conclude that white privilege is anything other than a fact of the current social dynamics in this country. Hypocritical whining (where's the complaint about Clinton's association with equally radical preachers?) plus "I can't be a racist because I spent time in Africa!" doesn't obscure that fact.

Jerome, I am embarassed for you for writing this post. You might not be a racist, but you are certainly a simpleton.

by Octavian82 2008-03-19 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Oh, and good job deputizing Victor Davis Hanson into your argument. Has a pundit or a blogger been more consistently wrong about..well..everything as good ole VDH?

By the way, I have read the update where Jerome references VDH, and darned if I know what the meaning of that sentence is.

by Octavian82 2008-03-19 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Could someone please explain to me why Rev. Wright is a racist.

Seriously... like I'm an idiot or something.  Like, walk me through it, please.

Because I don't understand how calling attention to racism perpetrated by whites in this country, equates to racism itself.

I also think that the whole "calling attention to race = racism" only perpetrates a power structure that benefits white people at the expense of people of color.  

Finally, playing the "tit-for-tat" hypothetical games (Wright versus HIS PARALLEL WHITE DOPPLEGANGER!?!) takes us nowhere.  Why?  Because it ignores the fact that the POWER STRUCTURE of the United States has been founded on white supremacy.  I know that sounds divisive.  You know what was REALLY divisive?  Slavery.  Rampant poverty.  Lousy schools.  Being treated as less than human.

I am disappointed that I have to keep running into these arguments on a progressive blog, but I am going to keep writing about this.

But PLEASE, can we start thinking in three dimensions on this issue?

Talking about racism <> Racism

Calling attention to racism <> Divisiveness

by Cloudspitter 2008-03-19 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

The irony is that, for all the caterwauling from Obama supporters over how Hillary was kneecapping Obama for the general election through this attack or another, by far the most damaging blow was inflicted entirely through Obama's own doing, namely his 20 year association with a racist and America-hater.

Funny how all the talk about Hillary supposedly "endorsing" McCain has seemed so, well, lame and irrelevant of late. The real attack came from an entirely different direction, and Obama and his supporters can find no one on the Clinton side to blame, desperately though they wish they could.

by frankly0 2008-03-19 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Most of the Obama supporters I know aren't angry at Hillary because of the attacks, but because she is building up McCain.

She has got to stop that crap.  I'm beginning to think that Penn is working a bit much with the McCain camp.

by Timetheos 2008-03-19 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Maybe the point is that these Obama supporters might realize that the real problems aren't due to anything Hillary might say, even though they were absolutely convinced that she was doing incredible and unforgivable damage, but problems Obama has all by himself.

It's called vetting. Everybody warned Obama supporters about it, and somehow they couldn't believe that it would mean anything. By some magic, it was all supposed not to have an impact -- I don't know, because he could cook up a good speech? Because he would inspire hope? Because he was post-partisan, and post-racial? Because he was a unifier? We never got real answers to those questions, but maybe now Obama supporters might realize that there's a real issue here?

by frankly0 2008-03-19 07:28PM | 0 recs
The only &quot;real issue&quot; here

seems to be an unholy alliance between the GOP, the media and the Clinton campaign to destroy the best candidate the Democratic party could nominate. The GOP's interests and the media's interests are closely aligned, but the Clinton campaign is really playing with fire here.

by ajpuckett 2008-03-19 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: The only &quot;real issue&quot; here

I repeat: no one is to blame for the issue that is by far -- by far -- the most damaging to Obama in the general, namely Wright -- except Obama himself.

You can try all you want to blame Clinton, but, sadly for your victimhood, it is not in the slightest particle her doing.

Take some responsibility for once in your life?

by frankly0 2008-03-19 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

No, the real problem is Hillary keeps talking up McCain.

Everyone is going to claim their candidate is better, whether experience/judgment/...  Frankly, who gives a damn.

But talking up the current Republican candidate is disgusting.

by Timetheos 2008-03-19 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I don't believe Clinton supporers are racist; just that they are willing to use racism to win.

That's why posters on this board keep spouting obscure Pew statistics on race (even though he/she neglects half the data).

Now before you get all huffy about that accusation, I've heard Clinton supporters accusing Obama of using race to win (why didn't he come to the defense of Bill after the Jesse comments?).  Turn about isn't fair?

Obama nailed his speech.  His speech is getting orders of magnitude more youtube visits than Wright's.  The people that support Obama will keep supporting him.  Those that won't vote for him still won't.

If Democrats let this keep bothering then, it will just be another example succumbing to Republican bullying.  "Oh my, they might say something bad about me!  What will people think???"

Republicans will say something bad about whoever runs.  If they can't find something real to glum onto, they'll make shit up.

If Bo threw Wright under the bus, cons would have said it was only because he was caught.  

So cut the crap, start attacking McCain, and stand up for democratic principles.  Bo did a fantastic job of doing just that by giving the speech and addressing McCains stupidity.  You could learn from that.

by Timetheos 2008-03-19 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: AJPUCKETT/Jerome Bashers

Wow I'm amazed by how many bloggers on this have seemed to turn the issue to anger against Jerome rather than address the issue.  AjPuckett your comments are truly one-sided, as state you are a white Christian male from the south.  Your intelligent enough to see through the ignorance of Wright, However MOST of your southern brethren rather vote on Issues of GOD,GUNS & Gays rather than their pocket book concerns.  Your post was so naive.   Obviously you didn't read my earlier post when I talked about Thomas Franks "What's a matter with Kansas?" and Harold Fords lost in Dixie.  FINALLY guys please STOP badgering J.A.  Rather spend your time if your an Obama supporter convincing RURAL AMERICA to give the man a chance.

by nzubechukwu 2008-03-19 07:13PM | 0 recs
stand up for the Democratic Party--

Stand up for your fellow Democrats, and stand up for Democratic principles, like Obama did with his response. And also, when I say that I am a "Christian" I say that in the loosest possible terms. I was raised a Methodist, but haven't been to church in years and am pretty much an agnostic at this point. And I live in VA. But anyway, I'm not naive about the rural/white south. One whole side of my family is in that kind of reactionary tradition and is at least slightly racist.

You guys, on the other hand, seem to be so scared of GOP attacks that, in a Democratic primary, you keep beating this dead horse after Obama responded to it as well as anyone possibly could have, and you appear to be ready to throw about 50% of your fellow Democrats under the bus because of your fear of "what's the matter with Kansas"-style voters. You guys are the ones who are naive, and you are really playing with fire here--Obama is more likely than not going to be the nominee, and you guys are trashing him mercilessly over what should be a total non-issue to any real Democrat.

Your post totally misses my point anyway. But whatever. I think the comments here mostly speak for themselves.

by ajpuckett 2008-03-19 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I think you're right to see this as a big and continuing problem for Obama, and I certainly don't think you're a racist for calling out what are obviously inexcusable comments from Wright.  But politically your solution to this would only make things 10,000 times worse.  By "throwing Wright under the bus" and "running him over a few times", Obama would be completely legitimizing all of his attackers without really answering any of their questions.  He'd be saying that Wright's comments were sufficient grounds for disowning him, but that he simply couldn't bring himself to do it until it became a problem for his political future.  How would that help him in any way?

There were no simple answers to this problem.  The only chance Obama had was to force a complex answer on a soundbite media, and his speech did that about as well as anything ever has.  

by Ryan Anderson 2008-03-19 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I just want to add that I think part of the problem here is also that we're trying to neatly divide things up into good and evil, right and wrong, and yes, black and white.

Your comments, Jerome, that Obama should've thrown Wright under a bus after seeing basically 30 seconds of footage of him is endemic of that.  Sometimes, there IS good with bad... Sometimes, there IS gray area.

Thomas Jefferson owned slaves.  If that were the only thing you knew about him, we would all want to immediately "throw him under a bus", right?  Someone who owned slaves clearly couldn't be a good person... they clearly couldn't have been a positive force in some other fashion...  Right?

by leshrac55 2008-03-19 07:15PM | 0 recs
Don't talk about race race race race race race

Clinton supporters keep not talking about race race race.  It's so obvious that the Clintons and their supporters want to make this election about identity politics.  They know women make up well over half of the Democratic Party and if they can get the white women and latinos to gang up on the blacks and young people Obama doesn't stand a chance.  

PS  All I see on mydd today is Michigan Michigan Michagan.  Guess Hillary's heavyhanded approach in flying there today failed.  She made a big show about she stayed on the ballot in Michigan because the people of Michigan need a voice.  Only problem is, that's not at all what she said in the Fall, when she said Michigan wouldn't matter.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

And where is Obama's second brilliant speech on this board.  You know it must have been a knockout because this biased board didn't even mention it.

So here it is, truth and all, for once, Iraq with no spin by a politician about their war record and positions, a speech Hillary Clinton did not, and could not ever, write (turn away!):

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community /post/samgrahamfelsen/gGBFrl

"The World Beyond Iraq
Senator Barack Obama
March 19, 2008

As prepared for delivery

Just before America's entry into World War I, President Woodrow Wilson addressed Congress: "It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war," he said. "...But the right is more precious than peace." Wilson's words captured two awesome responsibilities that test any Commander-in-Chief - to never hesitate to defend America, but to never go to war unless you must. War is sometimes necessary, but it has grave consequences, and the judgment to go to war can never be undone.

Five years ago today, President George W. Bush addressed the nation. Bombs had started to rain down on Baghdad. War was necessary, the President said, because the United States could not, "live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder." Recalling the pain of 9/11, he said the price of inaction in Iraq was to meet the threat with "armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities."

At the time the President uttered those words, there was no hard evidence that Iraq had those stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. There was not any evidence that Iraq was responsible for the attacks of September 11, or that Iraq had operational ties to the al Qaeda terrorists who carried them out. By launching a war based on faulty premises and bad intelligence, President Bush failed Wilson's test. So did Congress when it voted to give him the authority to wage war.

Five years have gone by since that fateful decision. This war has now lasted longer than World War I, World War II, or the Civil War. Nearly four thousand Americans have given their lives. Thousands more have been wounded. Even under the best case scenarios, this war will cost American taxpayers well over a trillion dollars. And where are we for all of this sacrifice? We are less safe and less able to shape events abroad. We are divided at home, and our alliances around the world have been strained. The threats of a new century have roiled the waters of peace and stability, and yet America remains anchored in Iraq.

History will catalog the reasons why we waged a war that didn't need to be fought, but two stand out. In 2002, when the fateful decisions about Iraq were made, there was a President for whom ideology overrode pragmatism, and there were too many politicians in Washington who spent too little time reading the intelligence reports, and too much time reading public opinion. The lesson of Iraq is that when we are making decisions about matters as grave as war, we need a policy rooted in reason and facts, not ideology and politics.

Now we are debating who should be our next Commander in Chief. And I am running for President because it's time to turn the page on a failed ideology and a fundamentally flawed political strategy, so that we can make pragmatic judgments to keep our country safe. That's what I did when I stood up and opposed this war from the start, and said that we needed to finish the fight against al Qaeda. And that's what I'll do as President of the United States.

Senator Clinton says that she and Senator McCain have passed a "Commander in Chief test" - not because of the judgments they've made, but because of the years they've spent in Washington. She made a similar argument when she said her vote for war was based on her experience at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. But here is the stark reality: there is a security gap in this country - a gap between the rhetoric of those who claim to be tough on national security, and the reality of growing insecurity caused by their decisions. A gap between Washington experience, and the wisdom of Washington's judgments. A gap between the rhetoric of those who tout their support for our troops, and the overburdened state of our military.

It is time to have a debate with John McCain about the future of our national security. And the way to win that debate is not to compete with John McCain over who has more experience in Washington, because that's a contest that he'll win. The way to win a debate with John McCain is not to talk, and act, and vote like him on national security, because then we all lose. The way to win that debate and to keep America safe is to offer a clear contrast, and that's what I will do when I am the nominee of the Democratic Party - because since before this war in Iraq began, I have made different judgments, I have a different vision, and I will offer a clean break from the failed policies and politics of the past.

Nowhere is that break more badly needed than in Iraq.

In the year since President Bush announced the surge - the bloodiest year of the war for America - the level of violence in Iraq has been reduced. Our troops - including so many from Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base - have done a brilliant job under difficult circumstances. Yet while we have a General who has used improved tactics to reduce violence, we still have the wrong strategy. As General Petraeus has himself acknowledged, the Iraqis are not achieving the political progress needed to end their civil war. Beyond Iraq, our military is badly overstretched, and we have neither the strategy nor resources to deal with nearly every other national security challenge we face.

This is why the judgment that matters most on Iraq - and on any decision to deploy military force - is the judgment made first. If you believe we are fighting the right war, then the problems we face are purely tactical in nature. That is what Senator McCain wants to discuss - tactics. What he and the Administration have failed to present is an overarching strategy: how the war in Iraq enhances our long-term security, or will in the future. That's why this Administration cannot answer the simple question posed by Senator John Warner in hearings last year: Are we safer because of this war? And that is why Senator McCain can argue - as he did last year - that we couldn't leave Iraq because violence was up, and then argue this year that we can't leave Iraq because violence is down.

When you have no overarching strategy, there is no clear definition of success. Success comes to be defined as the ability to maintain a flawed policy indefinitely. Here is the truth: fighting a war without end will not force the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. And fighting in a war without end will not make the American people safer.

So when I am Commander-in-Chief, I will set a new goal on Day One: I will end this war. Not because politics compels it. Not because our troops cannot bear the burden- as heavy as it is. But because it is the right thing to do for our national security, and it will ultimately make us safer.

In order to end this war responsibly, I will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. We can responsibly remove 1 to 2 combat brigades each month. If we start with the number of brigades we have in Iraq today, we can remove all of them 16 months. After this redeployment, we will leave enough troops in Iraq to guard our embassy and diplomats, and a counter-terrorism force to strike al Qaeda if it forms a base that the Iraqis cannot destroy. What I propose is not - and never has been - a precipitous drawdown. It is instead a detailed and prudent plan that will end a war nearly seven years after it started.

My plan to end this war will finally put pressure on Iraq's leaders to take responsibility for their future. Because we've learned that when we tell Iraq's leaders that we'll stay as long as it takes, they take as long as they want. We need to send a different message. We will help Iraq reach a meaningful accord on national reconciliation. We will engage with every country in the region - and the UN - to support the stability and territorial integrity of Iraq. And we will launch a major humanitarian initiative to support Iraq's refugees and people. But Iraqis must take responsibility for their country. It is precisely this kind of approach - an approach that puts the onus on the Iraqis, and that relies on more than just military power - that is needed to stabilize Iraq.

Let me be clear: ending this war is not going to be easy. There will be dangers involved. We will have to make tactical adjustments, listening to our commanders on the ground, to ensure that our interests in a stable Iraq are met, and to make sure that our troops are secure. Senator Clinton has tried to use my position to score political points, suggesting that I am somehow less committed to ending the war. She makes this argument despite the fact that she has taken the same position in the past. So ask yourself: who do you trust to end a war - someone who opposed the war from the beginning, or someone who started opposing it when they started preparing a run for President?

Now we know what we'll hear from those like John McCain who support open-ended war. They will argue that leaving Iraq is surrender. That we are emboldening the enemy. These are the mistaken and misleading arguments we hear from those who have failed to demonstrate how the war in Iraq has made us safer. Just yesterday, we heard Senator McCain confuse Sunni and Shiite, Iran and al Qaeda. Maybe that is why he voted to go to war with a country that had no al Qaeda ties. Maybe that is why he completely fails to understand that the war in Iraq has done more to embolden America's enemies than any strategic choice that we have made in decades.

The war in Iraq has emboldened Iran, which poses the greatest challenge to American interests in the Middle East in a generation, continuing its nuclear program and threatening our ally, Israel. Instead of the new Middle East we were promised, Hamas runs Gaza, Hizbollah flags fly from the rooftops in Sadr City, and Iran is handing out money left and right in southern Lebanon.

The war in Iraq has emboldened North Korea, which built new nuclear weapons and even tested one before the Administration finally went against its own rhetoric, and pursued diplomacy.

The war in Iraq has emboldened the Taliban, which has rebuilt its strength since we took our eye off of Afghanistan.

Above all, the war in Iraq has emboldened al Qaeda, whose recruitment has jumped and whose leadership enjoys a safe-haven in Pakistan - a thousand miles from Iraq.

The central front in the war against terror is not Iraq, and it never was. What more could America's enemies ask for than an endless war where they recruit new followers and try out new tactics on a battlefield so far from their base of operations? That is why my presidency will shift our focus. Rather than fight a war that does not need to be fought, we need to start fighting the battles that need to be won on the central front of the war against al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This is the area where the 9/11 attacks were planned. This is where Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants still hide. This is where extremism poses its greatest threat. Yet in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, we have pursued flawed strategies that are too distant from the needs of the people, and too timid in pursuit of our common enemies.

It may not dominate the evening news, but in Afghanistan, last year was the most deadly since 2001. Suicide attacks are up. Casualties are up. Corruption and drug trafficking are rampant. Neither the government nor the legal economy can meet the needs of the Afghan people.

It is not too late to prevail in Afghanistan. But we cannot prevail until we reduce our commitment in Iraq, which will allow us to do what I called for last August - providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our efforts in Afghanistan. This increased commitment in turn can be used to leverage greater assistance - with fewer restrictions - from our NATO allies. It will also allow us to invest more in training Afghan security forces, including more joint NATO operations with the Afghan Army, and a national police training plan that is effectively coordinated and resourced.

A stepped up military commitment must be backed by a long-term investment in the Afghan people. We will start with an additional $1 billion in non military assistance each year - aid that is focused on reaching ordinary Afghans. We need to improve daily life by supporting education, basic infrastructure and human services. We have to counter the opium trade by supporting alternative livelihoods for Afghan farmers.  And we must call on more support from friends and allies, and better coordination under a strong international coordinator.

To succeed in Afghanistan, we also need to fundamentally rethink our Pakistan policy. For years, we have supported stability over democracy in Pakistan, and gotten neither. The core leadership of al Qaeda has a safe-haven in Pakistan. The Taliban are able to strike inside Afghanistan and then return to the mountains of the Pakistani border. Throughout Pakistan, domestic unrest has been rising. The full democratic aspirations of the Pakistani people have been too long denied. A child growing up in Pakistan, more often than not, is taught to see America as a source of hate - not hope.

This is why I stood up last summer and said we cannot base our entire Pakistan policy on President Musharraf. Pakistan is our ally, but we do our own security and our ally no favors by supporting its President while we are seen to be ignoring the interests of the people. Our counter-terrorism assistance must be conditioned on Pakistani action to root out the al Qaeda sanctuary. And any U.S. aid not directly needed for the fight against al Qaeda or to invest in the Pakistani people should be conditioned on the full restoration of Pakistan's democracy and rule of law.

The choice is not between Musharraf and Islamic extremists. As the recent legislative elections showed, there is a moderate majority of Pakistanis, and they are the people we need on our side to win the war against al Qaeda. That is why we should dramatically increase our support for the Pakistani people - for education, economic development, and democratic institutions. That child in Pakistan must know that we want a better life for him, that America is on his side, and that his interest in opportunity is our interest as well. That's the promise that America must stand for.

And for his sake and ours, we cannot tolerate a sanctuary for terrorists who threaten America's homeland and Pakistan's stability. If we have actionable intelligence about high-level al Qaeda targets in Pakistan's border region, we must act if Pakistan will not or cannot. Senator Clinton, Senator McCain, and President Bush have all distorted and derided this position, suggesting that I would invade or bomb Pakistan. This is politics, pure and simple. My position, in fact, is the same pragmatic policy that all three of them have belatedly - if tacitly - acknowledged is one we should pursue. Indeed, it was months after I called for this policy that a top al Qaeda leader was taken out in Pakistan by an American aircraft. And remember that the same three individuals who now criticize me for supporting a targeted strike on the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks, are the same three individuals that supported an invasion of Iraq - a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.

It is precisely this kind of political point-scoring that has opened up the security gap in this country. We have a security gap when candidates say they will follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but refuse to follow him where he actually goes. What we need in our next Commander in Chief is not a stubborn refusal to acknowledge reality or empty rhetoric about 3AM phone calls. What we need is a pragmatic strategy that focuses on fighting our real enemies, rebuilding alliances, and renewing our engagement with the world's people.

In addition to freeing up resources to take the fight to al Qaeda, ending the war in Iraq will allow us to more effectively confront other threats in the world - threats that cannot be conquered with an occupying army or dispatched with a single decision in the middle of the night. What lies in the heart of a child in Pakistan matters as much as the airplanes we sell her government. What's in the head of a scientist from Russia can be as lethal as a plutonium reactor in Yongbyon. What's whispered in refugee camps in Chad can be as dangerous as a dictator's bluster. These are the neglected landscapes of the 21st century, where technology and extremism empower individuals just as they give governments the ability to repress them; where the ancient divides of region and religion wash into the swift currents of globalization.

Without American leadership, these threats will fester. With strong American leadership, we can shape them into opportunities to protect our common security and advance our common humanity - for it has always been the genius of American leadership to find opportunity embedded in adversity; to focus on a source of fear, and confront it with hope.

Here are just five ways in which a shift in strategy away from Iraq will help us address the critical challenges of the 21st century.

First, in addressing global terror and violent extremism, we need the kind of comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy I called for last August. We need to strengthen security partnerships to take out terrorist networks, while investing in education and opportunity. We need to give our national security agencies the tools they need, while restoring the adherence to rule of law that helps us win the battle for hearts and minds. This means closing Guantanamo, restoring habeas corpus, and respecting civil liberties. And we need to support the forces of moderation in the Islamic world, so that alliances of convenience mature into friendships of conviction.

Second, the threat of nuclear proliferation must serve as a call to action. I have worked across the aisle with Richard Lugar and Chuck Hagel in the Senate to secure dangerous weapons and loose nuclear materials. And as President, I will secure all loose nuclear materials around the world in my first term, seek deep cuts in global nuclear arsenals, strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and once more seek a world without nuclear weapons.

Third, the danger of weak and failed states risks spreading poverty and refugees; genocide and disease. Now is the time to meet the goal of cutting extreme poverty in half, in part by doubling our foreign assistance while demanding more from those who receive it. And now is the time to build the capacity of regional partners in conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and the reconstruction of ravaged societies.

Fourth, the catastrophic consequences of the global climate crisis are matched by the promise of collective action. Now is the time for America to lead, because if we take action, others will act as well. Through our own cap and trade system and investments in new sources of energy, we can end our dependence on foreign oil and gas, and free ourselves from the tyranny of oil-rich states from Saudi Arabia to Russia to Venezuela. We can create millions of new jobs here in America.  And we can secure our planet for our children and grandchildren.

And fifth, America's sluggish economy risks ceding our economic prominence to a rising China. Competition has always been a catalyst for American innovation, and now should be no different. We must invest in the education of our children, renew our leadership in science, and advance trade that is not just free, but fair for our workers. We must ensure that America is the economic engine in the 21st century just as we were in the 20th.

I have no illusions that any of this will be easy. But I do know that we can only begin to make these changes when we end the mindset that focuses on Iraq and ignores the rest of the world.

I also know that meeting these new threats will require a President who deploys the power of tough, principled diplomacy. It is time to present a country like Iran with a clear choice. If it abandons its nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, then Iran can rejoin the community of nations - with all the benefits that entails. If not, Iran will face deeper isolation and steeper sanctions. When we engage directly, we will be in a stronger position to rally real international support for increased pressure. We will also engender more goodwill from the Iranian people. And make no mistake - if and when we ever have to use military force against any country, we must exert the power of American diplomacy first.

Once again, Senator Clinton, Senator McCain, and President Bush have made the same arguments against my position on diplomacy, as if reading from the same political playbook. They say I'll be penciling the world's dictators on to my social calendar. But just as they are misrepresenting my position, they are mistaken in standing up for a policy of not talking that is not working. What I've said is that we cannot seize opportunities to resolve our problems unless we create them. That is what Kennedy did with Khrushchev; what Nixon did with Mao; what Reagan did with Gorbachev. And that is what I will do as President of the United States.

What I have talked about today is a new strategy, a new set of priorities for pursuing our interests in the 21st century. And as President, I will provide the tools required to implement this strategy. When President Truman put the policy of containment in place, he also invested in and organized our government to carry it out -creating the National Security Council and the CIA, and founding NATO. Now, we must upgrade our tools of power to fit a new strategy.

That starts with enhancing the finest military in the history of the world. As Commander in Chief, I will begin by giving a military overstretched by Iraq the support it needs. It is time to reduce the strain on our troops by completing the effort to increase our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines, while ensuring the quality of our troops. In an age marked by technology, it is the people of our military - our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen - who bear the responsibility for complex missions. That is why we need to ensure adequate training and time home between deployments. That is why we need to expand our Special Forces. And that is why we must increase investments in capabilities like civil affairs and training foreign militaries.

But we cannot place the burden of a new national security strategy on our military alone. We must integrate our diplomatic, information, economic and military power. That is why, as soon as I take office, I will call for a National Strategy and Security Review, to help determine a 21st Century inter-agency structure to integrate the elements of our national power.

In addition, I will invest in our civilian capacity to operate alongside our troops in post-conflict zones and on humanitarian and stabilization missions. Instead of shuttering consulates in tough corners of the world, it's time to grow our Foreign Service and to expand USAID. Instead of giving up on the determination of young people to serve, it's time to double the size of our Peace Corps. Instead of letting people learn about America from enemy propaganda, it's time to recruit, train, and send out into the world an America's Voice Corps.

And while we strengthen our own capacity, we must strengthen the capability of the international community. We honor NATO's sacrifice in Afghanistan, but we must strive to make it a larger and more nimble alliance. We must work with powers like Russia and China, but we must also speak up for human rights and democracy - and we can start now by speaking out for the human rights and religious freedom of the people of Tibet. And while we are frustrated by the UN, we must invest in its capability to keep the peace, resolve disputes, monitor disarmament, and support good governance around the world - and that depends on a more engaged United States.

We are at a defining moment in our history.

We can choose the path of unending war and unilateral action, and sap our strength and standing. We can choose the path of disengagement, and cede our leadership. Or, we can meet fear and danger head-on with hope and strength; with common purpose as a united America; and with common cause with old allies and new partners.

What we've seen these last few years is what happens when the rigid ideology and dysfunctional politics of Washington is projected abroad. An ideology that does not fit the shape of the times cannot shape events in foreign countries. A politics that is based on fear and division does not allow us to call on the world to hope, and keeps us from coming together as one people, as one nation, to write the next great chapter in the American story.

We also know that there is another face of America that we have seen these last five years. From down the road at Fort Bragg, our soldiers have gone abroad with a greater sense of common purpose than their leaders in Washington. They have learned the lessons of the 21st century's wars. And they have shown a sense of service and selflessness that represents the very best of the American character.

This must be the election when we stand up and say that we will serve them as well as they have served us. This must be the election when America comes together behind a common purpose on behalf of our security and our values. That is what we do as Americans. It's how we founded a republic based on freedom, and faced down fascism. It's how we defended democracy through a Cold War, and shined a light of hope bright enough to be seen in the darkest corners of the world.

When America leads with principle and pragmatism, hope can triumph over fear. It is time, once again, for America to lead."

by Duck Soup 2008-03-19 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't talk about race race race race race race

So Universal, if Obama wins the nominiation, will you vote for him in the general?

by Timetheos 2008-03-19 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't talk about race race race race race race

Thank you - now I know to give nothing you say any validity.

You're no Democrat or Progressive.

Because your feelings were hurt, you're willing to help destroy this country by electing McCain.

I read your post. IMHO, Hillary's playing the same game, but I will vote for her if she gets the nomination because I care about this country.

by Timetheos 2008-03-20 05:08AM | 0 recs
Nuclear disarmanent?

Does anyone else find this gem, buried halfway through Obama's speech, the least bit alarming:

And as President, I will...once more seek a world without nuclear weapons.

I don't know whether Obama is seeking unilateral disarmament here, or whether he's talking in more aspirational terms.

Regardless, until international politics looks a lot more like European politics today -- and I don't see that happening for 100 years, minimum -- a world without nuclear weapons is a recipe for catastrophe.  

Since the Treaty of Westphalia, the great powers have, for the most part, resolved their differences by war.  (The major exception was the Congress of Vienna, but even the Concert of Europe eventually fell apart.)

But something changed in 1945.  The U.S. and Soviet Union never went to war.  I think the most reasonable explanation is the introduction of nuclear weapons, which made great power wars so costly as to be unthinkable.

A similar dynamic played out between India and Pakistan, which have fought wars during partition, in 1965, and again in 1971.  They came close in 2002, but they backed off from the brink.  What was different then?  Both sides were nuclear powers.

And nuclear weapons can constrain great powers.  Does anyone think we'd invade a nuclear power, the way we did with Iraq?

Obama's throwaway line here shows colossal misjudgment.  His policies would bring us back to 1914.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-03-19 09:51PM | 0 recs
Re: The politics of race in America

As a minority in America, this is an issue that confounds me everyday.  Often times, we look at the issues on face value and do not have an opportunity for a substantive discussion on what happens.  We fail to realize the roles of places in the determination of racial politics, and often times, the repurcussions on our lack of awareness is often at the root of many racial issues.  To skip ahead a few points, we get stuck in a cycle where speaking about race leads us to trouble, but not speaking about it lends to not dealing with the issues.  The younger generation has not been engaged enough in the discourse on challenging race.  To say that we can end racism would be a flawed idea.  The roots of racism lie not in the biological disposition, but often in a cultural disposition.  

To that extent, I think Wright is a negative influence for the risk he poses to our next generation with his language.  To that extent, I respect Obama giving a speech, although let's not make too much of it.  It was a speech that was eventually going to have to be dealt with.  I wish he actually dealt with key racials issues and discussed racial dynamics, but I have always been a proponent for any level of discourse on the issue.  To the sum extent of the impact that this had on the election, well, I don't think it has as much impact as some suggest.  I don't think it hurts Obama, but I don't think it helped him either.  It is what it is, and somewhere down the line, I think Obama will have to tackle this issue much deeper, on a more detailed perspective.  Whether it has to do with Wright or not, I don't know, but I think at some point, he needs to forcefully tackle racial issues in regards to specifics (yes, I did read the speech, I just don't think it was anything more than a stem the tide speech, which was what he was going for anyways).

(Sorry, this wasn't as organized as I would've liked, but it's late in the day).

by toonsterwu 2008-03-19 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: The politics of race in America

What else do you think could or should be said?

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The politics of race in America

Sorry, I called it a early night yesterday and didn't see this until now.

What I would like to see, and I'll speak to this in generalities, as again, while I don't find Obama's speech to be as defining as his supporters, I don't think it hurt him, but what I would like to see from politicians is to forcefully challenge the construction of race.  Politicians have a tendency to swirl around it, and the problem with academia is that the simplest things are often made, well, too complex.

I believe a successful discussion on the social construction of race can be had that would make a significant difference.  I believe that the discussion of race should not be limited to political advantage, to stemming any tide, but rather a forceful discussion on the metrics with which society gets judged as a whole.  I believe that a discussion on race should be encompassing, focusing on the defining aspects of culture within the context of said construction.  The racial issue is often left at simply a black or white marker, and while that is defining in it's own right, it belies some of the problems that exist when such definitions are enacted.

I know Claire Jean Kim wrote an intriguing piece on the triangulation of race in America in some respects.  A discussion of race should be focused on a discussion of what it means to define race, but also what it means to define being an American.  A discussion on race should involve the youth, for it is them that we are trying to impact in many respects.  A discussion on race should be realistic.  Ultimate change is through the judgment of history, and not the flash of light.

Where is the next generation in this racial discussion?  Why are they not forcefully engaged?  Why is it too often that we assume that such delicate issues must be, well, handled with delicacy?  Now, granted, there must be certain limits, and I would never allow comments like what Reverand Wright made to be broadcast to the next generation, but I fail to see why we can't more forcefully engage the youth in an open discussion.

There's a bit more I believe, but that probably covers the gist of it. (and this wasn't meant to be directed towards anyone, just sort of my own soapbox I guess).  From a policy perspective, I guess, I'd like to see more active participation from community groups with the education system to enhance the discursive aspects.  What that is, I can't say without really taking more time than right now to ponder over.

by toonsterwu 2008-03-20 02:43AM | 0 recs
People Who Storm Out Of Churches?

Well if you storm out of church every time the pastor says something flagrantly stupid, you're probably an immature belligerent atheist.  

Last time I went to church with my GF she apologized because her pastor was on an obnoxious John Hagee trip. But we hung around and chatted and even the choir wasn't buying that shit, but nobody's leaving the church because it is THEIR church.

by bernardpliers 2008-03-19 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Oh well, McCaskill's in trouble in 2012.  

by mikelow1885 2008-03-19 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Duck Soup please no spam!! Your off base dude.

by nzubechukwu 2008-03-19 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, what is it you want to happen?

No, it's not DailyKos.  And just because Clinton supporters outnumber Obama supporters here doesn't mean you can take out your misplaced aggression and hit below the belt.  Grow up.

by rfahey22 2008-03-19 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Jerome,

It is now apparent that things go on in AA churches the like of which attendees in polite (read, boring) white Protestant churches never dream of, and would flee in utter panic from.

Did you see the link over on the right:
http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/19/2234 8/7856
and watch the youTubes linked there?

And Trinity UCC is clearly an upper-end worship center.

It's obviously, at least in part, a VERY different spiritual/worship tradition.

by dell 2008-03-19 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Dems have NOT been silent about this. Obama gave a little bitty speech yesterday in which he made it absolutely clear that he not only disagrees with what Wright said, but that he found it factually inaccurate and was personally offended.

Additionally, I don't think it will be all that difficult to point to offensive men of the cloth on the GOP side.  Hagee comes to mind.

Not to mention both McCain and Huckabee have defended Obama on the issue.

I think possibly the heartfelt hope that things will turn around for Hilary in the nomination race is skewing some perceptions around here.

by lockewasright 2008-03-19 07:42PM | 0 recs
So Sad when the Republicans sound more progressive

The HRC politics is apparently to just dumb things down and throw people under the bus. The new politics that Obama represents is to treat the voters like adults. I know it does not work with biased people like Jerome.

Mike Huckabee makes a lot more sense than your blithe attempt to hate on Obama. Also Jerome, just because you went to the peace corp doesn't mean you understand what it means to be discriminated against.  Your lack of empathy with Rev Wright shows this.

[Y]ou can't hold the candidate responsible for everything that people around him may say or do," Huckabee says. "It's interesting to me that there are some people on the left who are having to be very uncomfortable with what ... Wright said, when they all were all over a Jerry Falwell, or anyone on the right who said things that they found very awkward and uncomfortable, years ago. Many times those were statements lifted out of the context of a larger sermon. Sermons, after all, are rarely written word for word by pastors like Rev. Wright, who are delivering them extemporaneously, and caught up in the emotion of the moment. There are things that sometimes get said, that if you put them on paper and looked at them in print, you'd say 'Well, I didn't mean to say it quite like that.'"

Later, he defended Wright's anger, too:

"As easy as it is for those of us who are white to look back and say 'That's a terrible statement!' ... I grew up in a very segregated South. And I think that you have to cut some slack -- and I'm gonna be probably the only conservative in America who's gonna say something like this, but I'm just tellin' you -- we've gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names..."

by erlin 2008-03-19 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: So Sad when the Republicans sound more progres

I kindly entreat that there be enough with the "new politics." Both Clinton and Obama are politicians who will do things that politicians do. The sooner we all realize this truth, the better.

by HillaryKnight08 2008-03-19 07:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

WOW, Olberman clip -put this thing over the top!  Great post!  (wow, way to make a point)

by jelyfish 2008-03-19 08:07PM | 0 recs
&quot;what a hypocritical joke he's become&quot;

indeed!
wait, you are talking about yourself right?

I can't believe i'm actually agreeing with Mike Huckabee and vehemently disagreeing with Jerome Armstrong.

The world has indeed gone insane.

5th choice or whatever dude, fact of the matter is you are an attack dog of the highest order now, and there is a certain viciousness to it that betrays and all sense of reason, I don't need to read blogs that only support "my candidate" far from it, but the analysis is through this polarized... man, I almost want to say "partisan" lens, but it's not even partisan it's just...

I don't know.
I'm eager to know the real story behind how vicious these attacks are, because it goes a lot deeper then "untested for the GE" and everybody knows it.

by neutron 2008-03-19 08:11PM | 0 recs
Obama did the only right thing

It's absolutely mind-boggling. Huckabee's on the right side of the issue, and here we are on an ostensibly progressive blog watching it all go wrong.

Obama supporters, nearly without exception, have all condemned the things Wright said. Over. And over. And over. And over again.

But you know what? Like others have said, throwing Wright under the bus and driving it back and forth would be so utterly, completely the wrong thing to do that it calls into question either the political acumen or intention of the person calling for it.

Here's what happens if Obama throws Wright under the bus:
1) He has no answer for the "how many times did you hear it first" question. After all, if Wright deserves to go under the bus, why wasn't he thrown there in early '07? Or earlier, if you believe Obama's lying about timelines (I don't).

2) He gets hit hard from all sides. Not just the swiftboaters, no... now TUCC, potentially the whole UCC, other AA churches, ministers, parishoners, they're all piling on demanding that Wright's good name be restored.

3) He loses the chance to say anything real about race. A lot of us non-black people and probably 98% of black people know exactly what Wright was talking about. He said it in absolutely positively unacceptable terms, and he said some wacko conspiracy-theory stuff along with it. But he also had some real, valid points. Obama loses everything of context and turns into just another politician if he tosses Wright and starts driving over the carcass.

On the other hand, here's what happens if he does what he actually did:
1) He's got a perfect answer for "how many times". He can talk about the many many white people who've been to TUCC and been treated wonderfully. He can talk about how Wright said these things a handful of times over hundreds and hundreds of sermons. He can talk about the good side of Wright, the good things he's done, the good things TUCC can do it. He's done that because he's stood by Wright and only thrown the inflammatory statements, the wild accusations under the bus.

2) He's got allies at his back. A lot of allies. Standing up for what you believe is inherently going to rally a lot more allies then engaging in political expediency. It does even better when the political expediency isn't (see #1).

3) He gets to talk about something real. Think yesterday's speech would've been praised in glowing terms nation to nation if he'd just said "Wright's a crackpot, I was a fool to get in with him, I'm sorry, please forgive me. Yeah, I let him marry us and baptise my daughters, and yeah, I gave his church lots of money and had him on my Religious Leader Committee, but he's a crackpot. And I never heard him say any of that stuff, but still, he's a crackpot. And I waited over a year to throw him under the bus, but hey, he's a crackpot." They'd have crucified him. Even if he went on to explore race and give the rest of the speech, the focus would've been on all the questions about Wright, all the timelines, everything else.

Obama did the politically correct thing and the morally correct thing. It's possible... vaguely possible... that if he'd thrown Wright under the bus as hard as possible last week it might maybe have stuck. Maybe. Possibly. Except the questions about, if he deserved it, why not over a year ago? Why not two? Five? What'd ya know? When? Oh, wait, you say Wright did good things? Why's he under the bus, then? Why'd you do that to a good guy? How can you even say he's good? And if he's not good, why'd you wait so long?

Swiftboater bait at the highest level. At the very best Obama has to give a lame crippled version of yesterday's speech much later in the convention and try to breathe life into Wright's corpse.

Contrast that with what actually happened. He's given a nearly universally praised speech; I've yet to see anyone except Clinton stalwarts and right-wingers say anything bad about he. He's created an entire context for defending his relationship with Wright; it's now virtually impossible to ask questions like "why'd you wait so long" because we all know why. We all know there's a good side to Wright, to TUCC. We've got the white churchgoers out there testifying. We've got something resembling an actual, real discussion of race.

Wright could've gone under the bus 5 years ago, or 10. Maybe... maybe... one, though I really doubt it. This year? No chance.

Obama could've given a lesser speech and gotten through it. He could've limited his remarks to Wright, put the man in context, got some white people who went to TUCC to testify, and fixed this. That probably would've been politically the safest move.

But he chose to swing for the home run and hit it. That he chose to swing for it is highly commendable and that he hit it, with his own words, is amazing.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-03-19 08:44PM | 0 recs
hm

I have tried to stay out of the "race" and "slander" diaries for the most part. I find them sickening no matter which side they come from.

I was not going to wander into the comments in this diary until I watched the videos.

I actually feel saddened by Keith Olbermann and some on MSNBC. They are either wearing their true feelings out in the open, giving voice and support to Obama because he is the HOT thing in the demographic age group they want or they have made a choice to be the "fox news" of the left.

No matter what the reason is, it saddens me.

I thought that through KO, we were starting down the path of hopefully reforming the media and that we were letting them know that YES we do want you to speak Truth to Power.

I have never watched anything from "Olbermann Watch", but that video clearly showed the hypocrisy that is going on at MSNBC right now. He was DAMNING Clinton and almost GUSHING to protect Obama.

The fact that some people on the left have gone to "faux news" because of the obvious bias that has reared its ugly head, in regards to the Democratic primary, should tell us something.

My g/f hates fox news as much as I do and she is much farther left than I am, but she still wanders over there to get some NEWS once in a while. Why? Because CNN, MSNBC and others have gone off the deep end with this primary election cycle. To often when there are real stories to report, fox news has them (most likely with a biased slant) while the other MIGHT "report" the story on the "ticker tape" while giving us all the Glory of the BALLOT BOWL!

Yes we wanted more, fair and even coverage of ALL the candidates (something John Edwards did NOT get) but we did NOT want 24/7 coverage of the primaries and all the nasty shit that goes on with them.

Will I abandon KO and MSNBC? No. But I will let them know how I feel and I will watch them less!

This is how I think the bias and mean crap on Dkos, with MSNBC and KO, etc. will end...

If Obama is the nominee, they will take a deep breath after cheering themselves silly, they will take a step back, look in the mirror and say... OOPS!... what did we/I do?! All while they have a shit eating grin on thier faces.
Then... they will come to us with puppy dog eyes and say... sorry... but will they mean it and will they really realize what they have done?

... others, maybe Markos, may never admit they are wrong. I don't think I have ever seen Markos say sorry, oops, I was mistaken or anything like that. Especially not after having gone on a ranting rampage.

... hm... this was just going to be a few short lines agreeing with Jerome on much of what he said.

by kevin22262 2008-03-19 08:45PM | 0 recs
What we'll have done

We'll take that deep breath and we'll say, we did it. We nominated the best candidate to really and truly make a difference. We nominated a candidate who'll be competitive in most of the states, who'll build a ground-level network in all of them and bequeath it to the states, who'll run rings around McCain in debates, who's not afraid to come out and tackle the swiftboaters straight on and stand for what he believes in, who's taken the best shot that Hillary Clinton, who really is a terrific fighter, can dish out.

And then we'll get back to work, because there's a General Election to win and a country to rebuild.

That's what we'll do.

And when it happens, I hope everyone will come join us. You don't need to drink the kool-aid; most of us are here for practical reasons anyway. You don't have to ever give up your believe that Hillary Clinton would've made a great President, because you know what? Most of us believe it too, they just think she should've run in 2004.

But there's plenty of room over here. We're really pretty nice, even if people go nuts sometimes and say things they really, really shouldn't.

And there's an awful lot of work to do. An awful lot. We need everyone who'll help.

That's what a movement is about.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-03-19 09:02PM | 0 recs
Re: What we'll have done

Your comment just feels patronizing. Sorry.

Ending it with the "movement" feels wierd.

by kevin22262 2008-03-19 09:26PM | 0 recs
Re: What we'll have done

Your comment felt just as patronizing to me. As soon as Obama becomes the nominee we'll all have waves of guilt and come back to the people who were right all along, crying that we've been so so foolish?

Please.

And it may feel weird to you, but it's central to things over here. Y'all may think we're a bunch of brainwashed sheep following the political savior, but that's far from the truth. We're trying to build something larger than a candidate. We don't believe that Obama's magic will transform the country. We do believe that a strong and capable leader who can point to millions of committed people behind him -- not just voters, but donors, phonebankers, canvassers -- will be able to get things done; that it's the only way to actually change the system at anything more than a fresh-coat-of-paint way.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-03-20 07:29AM | 0 recs
What &quot;system&quot; has Obama ever changed?

I see no evidence that he will "change" anything. He couldn't even change his own pastor and fellow congregants from haters to a post racial nirvana like he claims to inhabit. If he couldn't change those close to him how the heck is he going to change America? He's been part of the system for quite a while now and I haven't seen any chnage he has wrought.

Quite honestly, the guy is now unelectable. From what I've read and heard, his speech changed nothing in the minds of the people he needed to reach. The ads agianst him are already starting. It's too bad but it's reality just like it's nearly impossible for the only other primary candidate to win now so we just better all hunker down for Pres. Maverick.

by berkshiretrueblue 2008-03-20 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Geraldine Ferraro was an official surrogate that made her comments in the context of criticizing the other candidate, smearing the candidate on national televison.

That is, Ferraro's comments were explicitly in the context of racializing Clinton's opponents in the context of wooing blue-collar voters. Then, with what is almost certainly the tacit consent of the Clinton campaign (do we really think that Ferraro would have continued to make those public comments if Clinton told her to shut up?), Ferraro continued to make those comments.

The Wright affair discusses a person who was not a surrogate, making comments in a parish (not on national televison) where Obama wasn't even in the room.
---------------------------------------- --------

As for McCaskill, give me a break Jerome. If you have evidence of Don Imus's long history of civil rights organization and fighting for the rights of minorities, then present it.

Malcolm X was an angry, black nationalist and separatist at one point. Does that mean that Malcolm X was simply another David Duke or a member of the KKK? Does that really encapsulate Malcolm X's experience and role in the civil rights movement? Is that all he was?

Jeremiah Wright is a black leader that has seen the promise of the civil rights movement give way to drugs and gangs and poverty. He has seen his government turn its back on social justice. He has been on the front lines of a fight that you, Jerome Armstrong, know nothing about, despite having visited Africa once.

So, Wright has become angry and a bit unhinged. We should criticize and reject the hate. But reject that legacy? Toss him out? Ignore the resentment and the frustration that caused it? I don't think so.

by Octavian82 2008-03-19 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Do we ignore the "resentment and frustration" that has caused some to be angry with Wright?

by kevin22262 2008-03-19 09:29PM | 0 recs
Can we get Jerome banned?

I mean really

by inexile 2008-03-19 09:08PM | 0 recs
hahahahaha

I mean really

by inexile 2008-03-19 09:08PM | 0 recs
hahahahah haah hahaha ohhh

I mean really

hahah

ahahaha'

by inexile 2008-03-19 09:09PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

No offense, Jerome, but this is probably the stupidest thing you have ever posted.

by Zorro the Greek 2008-03-19 09:17PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Does every white politician throw under the bus all their racist white relatives? You dont think Bill Clinton had a few in Arkansas? Obama clearly denounced the rhetoric but he was right in giving us perspective. What WHITE AMERICANS did to BLACK AMERICANS during the years of Wright's childhood were as bad as what AlQuaeda has done to Americans in the 9-11 era. I would actually say it is even worse as AlQuaeda treated innocent people as collateral damage while white americans actually went and targeted blacks unprovoked. This is more evil. So yeah, he has every right to say GOddamn America. If I am bothered by anyone's attitude, it is MIchelle Obama that I want to watch more closely and see how she behaves.

Tuskegee experiments lead me to understand why Wright would talk aout HIV being a government conspiracy. Of course, I think it's meritless, but I can understand why the man has some suspicions.

Cheney openly derided the ANC and he is our sitting VP. The mofo supported the apartheid government in South Africa not too long ago.

by Pravin 2008-03-19 09:20PM | 0 recs
This is SOOOOO typical

The obvious and conventional thing for a Democrat to do is to renounce, reject and move on.  It is kabuki of the highest order and I find it incredible that politically savvy commentators would expect it of our politicians.  

Note to everybody no matter who they support for president - the reason that we lose elections is not because we don't renounce and reject enough non-mainstream opinions.  We lose because we are perceived as weak and unprincipled.  Are we???

by zadura 2008-03-19 09:39PM | 0 recs
Thank You Jerome

I woke up this morning feeling very conflicted.

I keep flashing back to my own personal Xmas parties in years past with both family members and friends I didn't always agree with.

Family members that became born again Christians that I had to argue with....friends that were racists or made racist comments that I had to tell them "hey - I don't agree with you so shut the fuck up"....

As a recovering Catholic, I can say that I made up my mind along time ago that I wasn't going to sit in a church or go somewhere and listen to "preachers" talk about stuff I didn't agree with.

So - my nagging feeling - about Obama....

Why didn't he simply tell his "friend", his "mentor", his "uncle" - "I luv ya - but....I'm not coming back to your church because I simply don't agree with your view points."?  

Why didn't he say "I'm taking my kids to a different church where they're going to hear more uplifting, positive, unifying sermons".....

I think Obama is a follower - not a leader.....

I give him an A+ on speeches - My God they are beautiful.

But for a candidate who has put so much emphasis on words - it is amazing that it is the words of his own pastor, mentor, advisor is what will be sticking in our minds for a long time to come.

by nikkid 2008-03-19 09:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Thank You Jerome

You're presuming the facts.

We know a few things, on the evidence, about Wright:

1) He said some extremely controversial, inflammatory, and in a few cases unlikely things (AIDS a government plot, for instance; much of what he said isn't particularly unlikely, below the language, but a bit of it is pretty out there)

2) He said them very seldom. The media's had hold of this for months, gone through the sermons, and picked out a handful of examples of truly over-the-top sermons.

3) Lots of white people visit TUCC -- it's very common. No one's produced a one yet who said that they were uncomfortable, that Wright said or did bad things towards them, that they found it an unwelcoming place. To the contrary, they've all talked about what a great place it was.

4) He did occasionally say some pointed, even controversial, but not inflammatory things in his sermons. Apparently this wasn't enough to upset white visitors or black members of the church.

5) He preached a very large number of uplifting and inspirational sermons and did a lot of good in the community.

So: what of those facts makes it incumbent on Obama to change churches? Obama very clearly, at this point, wasn't in the church for the truly inflammatory sermons, nor was his family. So there would be no need to take his daughters away from such an influence, because they were never subjected to it.

As for the lesser, controversial but not inflammatory remarks, whatever those may have been, my guess is that Wright was condemning hypocrisy and inaction by the government towards improving life for black people. I'm again not sure why Obama would necessarily have needed to change churches over that. As long as his daughters were raised in the right environment, and as long as Wright's views weren't being expressed in derogatory language, I don't see the damage there.

I've got kids the age of Obama's kids, and things like that do one of two things: fly right over their head, or get them thinking. In the first case, it doesn't matter where they are; in the second case, that's a good thing. I want them knowing that reasonable people disagree and have opinions.

If Wright had preached sermons like the ones that we've all heard clips from once a week, or once a month... even once a year... then perhaps a change in churches would've been called for. If Obama's family had been there for one of them, perhaps. I'm not sure that one sermon is the threshold, but perhaps. But in fact it looks like it's 4 or 5 sermons over a 30-year career of over 4 sermons a week. That's a really small sample over a really large career.

Up in Dallas the Brite School Of Divinity is about to honor Wright. It's been a matter of some small controversy. Officials up there went back and reviewed everything they could of Wright's sermons last weekend after this all blew up, and concluded that the honor was still appropriate. Brite School Of Divinity is not even close to a wild fire-breathing black-centric institution; a quick look at their website shows a picture of a bunch of students, predominately white.

If they're not prepared to reject and denounce, people whose business it is to train religious leaders, who have looked at the sermons with a highly skeptical eye and are prepared not merely to stand by Wright but to honor him, perhaps there's some reason beyond politics and personal loyalty that what you think you know about Wright is wrong.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-03-20 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank You Jerome

"I'm taking my kids to a different church where they're going to hear more uplifting, positive, unifying sermons".

Perhaps you are forgetting that part of Jesus's message where he said that he didn't come to bring peace but a sword?

Or that part of Jesus' sermon where he was damning the whole ruling class of the country he was living in?

Wright didn't do it properly, certainly, but I don't believe preaching should only be about "uplifting" sermons. Condemnations for the failures of a society/nation have been an intrinsic part of preaching since the very beginning.

by Aris Katsaris 2008-03-20 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Do you know anyone who ever said anything really offensive?  Someone that you really cared about?  A family member or close friend?  Maybe you should denounce them too, publicly.

by you like it 2008-03-19 10:11PM | 0 recs
Hillary's religious groups

I don't quite know what to make of this article on the Huffington Post.  A once a week prayer breakfast meeting is a lot of time to spend unless one believes something is being accomplished.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-eh renreich/hillarys-nasty-pastorate_b_9236 1.html
There's a reason why Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she's a lot more vulnerable than Obama.

by realtime 2008-03-19 10:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary's religious groups

This article really bothered me, and the Mother Jones article bothered me a lot more -- and not in a concern-troll sort of way either. It really got to my wife, who's an Obama supporter but really likes (or liked; this article may have done that in) Hillary Clinton.

This is potentially a very real problem. It doesn't hurt her as a person; nothing involved here is unethical or anything of the sort, but it does call into question a lot of things that people who support Hillary may have assumed about her. In particular, her association with Rick Santorum on legislation aimed primarily at affecting access to birth control, contraception, and the morning-after pill and allowing police to beg off of protecting abortion clinics was highly troubling.

It's really out of place here, but this deserves its own diary, and a prominent one.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-03-20 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Excellent post Jerome.

There are ONLY two distinct groups rallying behind Obama right now.

Majority of White Liberals & Majority of the Black Community.

The Wright controversy has pretty much isolated these two major groups.

What does the Dynmanics of this "Coalition" of these Two groups remind us of? The landslide defeats of Michael Dukakis in 1988 & Walter Mondale in 1984.

We as a party are VERY CLOSE to getting the SAME EXACT RESULTS, the SAME EXACT DILEMMA that we got ourselves into 20 years ago, 24 years ago.

Shut off you compute & go OFFLINE. What you'll see, hear & feel from a Very Clear Majority of Americans is that support for Obama is in LIFE SUPPORT for the General Election.

It will only get worst by the time Obama actually wins the hardfought bloody nomination at the Convention.

WHAT's the other DOWNSIDE of ALL THIS ? ( Assuming we have the same Dukakis, Mondale results ? )

Realistical LOSS of the Senate ! ( we have a hairline control remember ? )

A Big Obama loss will bring down Democratic Senate candidates across the country.

Even our fresh new candidates are virtually neck & neck now such as Udall & Franken.

Why a big loss ?

Because when millions of Moderate White Democrats & Working Class Reagan Democrats abandon our party in November ( Just like Reagan in 04 & Bush sr. in 08 )- the Ugly results go beyond the Presidential candidate.

After 20 years Left wingers are about to lead us once again to disaster.

by labanman 2008-03-19 10:12PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Actually, I live in an area that's predominantly republican with a fair number of independents.

Reaction to Obama's speech has been universally positive. I've heard people say things like "I'm glad he put that Wright nonsense behind him".

There are reports from all over the country showing the same thing -- that a lot of people who are not "hardcore liberals" are quite pleased with how this has been handled. One person wrote a great piece about watching Obama's speech in a highly republican Atlanta suburb and how people of all ages and ethnicities were admiring of it.

There's also polling and research data to show that the negative effects of the Wright story were already being mitigated before the speech, and that the speech itself made the average viewer 2.5x as likely to support Obama in the area of Wright (higher, if you discount Republicans, who would logically be the least likely to change their opinion).

At this point there's no reason to believe that Obama is particularly damaged by this; there's actually a fair bit of reason to believe that he's become a tougher nominee to beat in the GE because of this whole story coming out at the time and in the way that it did.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-03-20 08:25AM | 0 recs
Well, the reports I've read and my own logic

tells me this isn't going away.

Dan Balz, the Post's senior political reporter, wrote this morning that "The question is which will last longer -- Obama's eloquent words about racial divisions and reconciliation or questions about his relationship with a man whose words have shocked the country." Balz warned that "The danger is that what might last are the images of his Chicago pastor -- edited and reedited into television ads, YouTube videos and an endless stream of e-mails delivered quietly into the computers of millions of Americans. That would be good neither for Obama nor for the goals he talked about on Tuesday."

The comments on Balz's analysis range from praise to condemnation of Obama, suggest that the Democrats superdelegates now have a responsibility to make sure the nomination goes to Sen. Hillary Clinton, decry hate speech, and ask why Obama stayed so long in Wright's church or didn't call him out. Many express concern, either directly or directly, about race relations in this country. Some reiterate the complaint that the media gave Obama a free ride for far too long. As Balz writes, it doesn't look like this one is going to disappear as many other campaign "issues" have. Our readers agree, some with anger, some with glee, some with sadness.

From CBS News:

GOP Sees Rev. Wright As Pathway To Victory

Now, with the emergence of the notorious video portraying Rev. Jeremiah Wright damning the country, criticizing Israel, faulting U.S. policy for the attacks of Sept. 11 and generally lashing out against white America, GOP strategists believe they've finally found an antidote to Obamamania.

In their view, the inflammatory sermons by Obama's pastor offer the party a pathway to victory if Obama emerges as the Democratic nominee. Not only will the video clips enable some elements of the party to define him as unpatriotic, they will also serve as a powerful motivating force for the conservative base.

From ABC News:

Buried in Eloquence, Obama Contradictions About Pastor

In Speech, Obama Contradicted More Than a Year of Denials About His Knowledge of Rev. Wright's Sermons

Buried in his eloquent, highly praised speech on America's racial divide, Sen. Barack Obama contradicted more than a year of denials and spin from him and his staff about his knowledge of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial sermons.Until yesterday, Obama said the only thing controversial he knew about Rev. Wright was his stand on issues relating to Africa, abortion and gay marriage.

Similarly, Obama also has only recently given a much fuller accounting of his relationship with indicted political fixer Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a longtime friend, who his campaign once described as just one of "thousands of donors."

And these are just a few examples of what's out there already. Obama and his supporters are naiive if they think for a minute this is going away. If you thought you saw the Macaca video a lot just wait...

by berkshiretrueblue 2008-03-20 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, the reports I've read and my own logic

There's a huge difference between this and Macaca. Macaca was a statement directly from George Allen.

I've said this before elsewhere and I don't want to repeat the whole argument here, but the important point isn't Wright's statements, and if they try to swiftboat them on him Obama's got the torpedoes ready.

What people actually care about is the insinuation of them. They want to know:

  1. Is Obama a white-hating reverse racist?
  2. Does he hate America?

Both are things that Obama can very easily knock out of the park. My bet is he does it in a speech about the real meaning of patriotism, he does it at or around the Democratic National Convention when he'll get maximum press coverage, and it'll reframe the debate. There's rich ground there; the Democrats have desperately needed the issue reframed for a long time.

I think he's clearly got the rhetorical chops to absolutely skewer and demolish the flag-pin-wearing love-it-or-leave it school of patriotism in favor of the "patriotism is loving your country enough to improve it" school. He can rely on a bunch of flag-waving conservatives to buttress the argument.

By the time he's done with it, he'll have it set up so that questioning his credentials as a patriot, lover of American, and non-racist is equal to questioning the flag, George Washington, JFK, MLK, and Ronald Reagan (to pick someone he can wrap up in it as conservative-insurance; easy to tie Reagan into that without praising him). The right-wingers will still try, but the argument will only get traction among other right-wingers.

The real problem for the swiftboaters is that not only is Obama right on the facts (Kerry was too, and Gore for that matter) but he's not afraid to come out and say it clearly, and he's got the rhetorical chops to get people to watch it (3 Million people watched a 45-minute political speech on YouTube in under two days?!?).

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-03-20 11:43AM | 0 recs
Sorry, but that's all fantasy...

everything points to Obama losing ground all around. I wasn't saying Macaca for equivalence but for the replay value-Repubs everywhere are making ads-those ads featuring Wrights words are powerful and repulsive to a majority of Americans. This is not going away and there is no way Obama gets beyond it.When Obama played post racial nice guy he had a chance. Once average Americans see & hear his pastor there is no way they have a positive view of him.


Minister's Remarks Unlikely to Fade Soon

By CHARLES BABINGTON - 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even if Hillary Rodham Clinton and her aides do not mention Barack Obama's fiery-tongued spiritual mentor, don't expect the Illinois senator's well-publicized speech Tuesday to make the controversy disappear, political strategists said this week.

Reporters, talk-show hosts and others will keep asking about Obama's close and long-standing relationship to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose most bombastic comments came to dominate the Democratic presidential contest recently, the strategists predicted in interviews. In video clips playing on Internet sites, Wright can be heard arguing that HIV-AIDS was a U.S. government plot to wipe out "people of color," and that God should "damn" the United States for its racist policies.

Should Obama become the Democratic nominee, conservative activists are virtually certain to remind voters of Obama's ties to Wright, perhaps by using the videos in TV ads, several strategists said.

"He can give a speech a week, and it's not going to make the issue go away," said Chris LaCivita, a Republican adviser who helped create the "Swift Boat" ads that severely damaged John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

This is the reality and all your happy talk ain't goning to make it go away.

by berkshiretrueblue 2008-03-20 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I am astounded by the ignorance and arrogance that informs some of the commentary here. A few thoughts:

-Terms like "racist" should not be bandied about, particularly by white Americans when speaking about someone whose great grandparents were owned as human chattel by other white Americans. Have a little humility and a little perspective, for god's sake.

-When accusing someone of being a racist, one should be able to cite specific actions and statements that genuinely merit the designation. I am trying to find some proof in what has been reported in the media that Rev. Wright is a racist. I can't. I have seen no accusation of any racist actions by the man; the accusations all have to do with statements he has made. And I have not seen a single example of a statement that can fairly be called "racist." Is it racist to say that wealthy, white people run the country? Is there someone on this site who believes that rich white people do not, for all intents and purposes, hold the lion's share of economic and political power in the United States? Even if you feel the assertion is somehow an overstatement, how is it racist? As for the comments on 9/11, they carry no racial content. And how exactly is it racist to "damn America" for the treatment of black people?

So, help me here, please -- what makes Rev. Wright a racist? Be specific, please, and bear in mind the distinction between describing reality (e.g., asserting that black people in American have suffered a lot at the hands of white people) and being a racist (e.g., saying "I hate white people").

-It is a grave mistake, both intellectually and morally, to equate white and black racism in the US. Racism is not primarily about prejudice. It is, far more importantly, about the subjugation of one race by another. The white community in this nation has never been systematically subjugated by the black community. Whites were never ripped from their homeland, held in chains, tortured and murdered by the millions, and then, even after the end of slavery, subjected to legalized discrimination and quasi-legal brutality for another hundred years. To suggest that prejudice against whites by blacks in our country is the moral equivalent of the obverse is an obscentity.

-It is sad to see a self-proclaimed progressive link approvingly to Victor Davis Hanson's attacks on Barack Obama. Hanson is an unreconstructed right-wing militarist and Iraq War apologist with exactly zero track record of fighting for racial equality and no quaifications for opining on the subject of race relations. He is known, among other things, for his belief in Arab cultural inferiority.

Jerome suggests that Hanson's critique of the speech is some sort of indication of Obama's vulnerability. Hanson and his buddies at National Review would have attacked Obama regardless of the content of his speech. The fact that Hanson attacked, which was utterly predictable, tells us nothing about the political implications of the speech, long or short term.

-It is also sad that here, on a nominally progressive blog, one encounters a view of the speech that is in many ways more cynical, jaded and small-minded than one finds even in some right-wing circles. We have just witnessed a national political leader, possibly on the cusp of the presidency, talking honestly and forthrightly about the subject of race. In the context of American politics, this is earth-shaking. Its signficance cannot be honestly denied, regardless of which candidate one supports. It is profoundly discouraging that sectarianism can blind people who consider themselves progressive to the significance of what has transpired. Obama has actually elevated the national discussion of race. Amazing -- and profoudly important. And Jerome's response is to claim that the speech represents a "new low?" In the interest of self-respect, if nothing else, you really ought to retract the remark. It will be remembered, I think, for quite some time.

-To the person who expressed shock that Rev. Wright would be so "crazy" as to claim that the US helped South Africa put Nelson Mandela in jail: My friend, the United States did indeed help South Africa put Mandela in jail. I would note that we helped keep him there, as well. Successive US Administrations supported, defended and shared intelligence with the apartheid state in South Africa, through the worst years of that abhorrent regime's campaign of racist violence. We helped capture not just Mandela, but many members of the African National Congress, which was for years officially deemed a "terrorist" organization by the US government. This is not a matter of theory, or pastoral conjecture. It happened -- in the real world. How can you be so ignorant of history and yet consider yourself qualified to offer harsh judgments of others' historical analysis?

-Finally, I would ask the following of all of you white folks who profess great moral indignation over Reverend Wright's supposed "racism": Please provide a list of three other people whom you have publicly accussed of racism, in similarly indignant tones, within the last few years. If it turns out that you can't cite any examples, please think about the implications of the fact that the only person in America whose views on race stir you to public displays of anger is an African-American pastor. If you think the implication is that there are no white racists worthy of censure, then I officially give up. (If, after a moment's reflection, you really believe that Rev. Wright is the face of racism in American, then you may be beyond the reach of reason.)

Just so y'all know, I'm white. I was an Edwards supporter. And I have some real doubts about whether Obama will pursue genuinely progressive policies as president, particularly as regards corporate greed and power. However, despite my misgivings, I have been forced to recognize that that he represents something genuinely different and transformative. This has never been clearer than with Tuesday's speech. He offers at least the possibility of a break with the warped poltical culture in which we have long been trapped. He is the kind of Democrat who in winning, and in governing, might just change our politics in a way that will make it a lot easier for a lot more Democrats to get elected -- to the presidency and other offices, for many elections to come.

As for Clinton, well, I'm sorry, but somewhere between sitting on the board of Wal-Mart (while doing nothing to stand up for workers) and voting to increase the chances of a war with Iran, she lost me. That said, I will vote and work for her, if she is nominated -- though I will do so with a lot more enthusiasm if she doesn't get herself there by doing everything possible to destroy Obama (and, along with him, the hopes of a whole lot of people he has brought into the process and whose ongoing participation we desperately need).

by left unsaid 2008-03-19 10:20PM | 0 recs
Stellar posting

Thank you for pointing out the obvious. Throwing the Rev Wright under the bus would havebeen the politically expidient thing to do.  The bold move, the FIGHTING move, is to stand up and reward loyalty with loyalty.  

Does anyone think Barack Obama would grow up aware that this sort of firey talk has its place in black America?  Does anyone think that he would have to grow up and deal with it, regardless if Rev Wright preached at his church or not?  Does any thing said or done by Barack Obama indicate he litterally believe America should be damned?

No.  He is admired so widely today because he has, in a sense, shrugged it off his life as a duck sheds water.  Racisim is alive and well in America, more is the pity, but it has not slowed down this man.  It did not slow him down last Tuesday with a speech that REACHED A NEW HIGH in American oratory.

And racism will NOT stop this man from reaching the White House next January. The majority of this nation is ready to punch racism in the nose.  Racism will not keep Barack Obama out of the White House.

Cowardace might.

by Quicklund 2008-03-20 12:16PM | 0 recs
Please write a diary about this...

You express much better something I feel is very dangerous and reactionary tendency on this site: to equate Wright and Trinity is racist, supremacist, segregationalist.

As you say there is no evidence for this and hose who use it are either a) stupid or b) wilfully inflammatory or maybe both.

Whoever wins the nomination, this mixture of short term political point scoring over race and right wing slanders ill behoves a progressive site either intellectually or morally.

by brit 2008-03-20 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Jerome: This has been said many times and in many ways, but somehow you have allowed yourself to get boxed into a situation where you can only support Clinton blindly and it is making a tatters of your reputation in the progressive blogosphere. How did this happen to somebody with your credentials and pedigree? How did someone who advocates people powered politics become the knee jerk reactionary for the most corporate candidate in the field? I have written many posts in the past few weeks decrying the tone of posts on this site and pointing out that unfortunately the tone is set from the top. The way you frame discussions on Obama invariably sets up a climate where only vitriolic discussion is possible. While not a done deal, the overwhelming odds suggest that OBama will be the democratic nominee this year. What is going to happen to this site when/if this happens? Will you make amends? Or will you continue with your crusade? Please let Jonathan be a bigger voice in the front page if you can't say anything constructive. Your pettiness and anger are not helping anything and creating a hateful environment on this formerly civil and thoughtful blog.

by wasder 2008-03-20 05:48AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Good thing that Obama is well supporters on the others bloggs that lean to his side 90-10. There is more balance here that represents how close the race has been. Perhaps, Wasder, you would find it more to your liking it you went to the other sites.

BTW: Who are you to lecture anybody about supporting a candidate. Are you lecturing Markos about being in the tank for Obama? Asking his to make ammends it Barrack loses?  

by ND1979 2008-03-20 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

ND1979---fair enough that there are angry pro-Obama bloggers but the reason why I post here and not at DK is that this was generally a place where arguments could be made in a civil manner. If you can't admit that Jerome's posts in the past month represent a departure from that spirit then you are willfully not seeing the shift. Markos is equally to blame for the tone on that site but as I said I don't post there. I am in no way lecturing Jerome for supporting a candidate. In fact, as an Obama supporter I find this site sobering and grounding as I can read opposing thought and dialogue. I was just hoping we could bring Jerome back to the land of the reasonable is all.

by wasder 2008-03-20 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

and also, the point ND is not find a site that is to your liking as you say but to be able to discuss this kind of stuff in a way that doesn't open irrevocable differences on the democratic side. I don't want an echo chamber. But that is what Jerome specifically has become here. Jonathan and Todd seem to have more nuance in how they view things. I for one can strongly say that I will support Hillary if she is the nominee but I really wonder how Jerome will be able to support Obama if he is the nominee. And we need Jerome's voice in an Obama/McCain election.

by wasder 2008-03-20 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

  Interesting points, mostly. But did you just link to Victor David Hanson to buttress an argument?? I realize you have a job to do, but who's next? Rush on civility? Manning on "Love thy Neighbor"? You have opinions and ideas, let me hear em. You have Republican spin, and "Operation Chaos", keep it to yourself....

by Kordo 2008-03-20 06:19AM | 0 recs
Food for thought...

There was a time when I did not know which candidate I truly wanted, and said many times I would be happy with either Clinton or Obama.  In fact at our caucus I had a sign for each on the back of my chair though when push came to shove I raised my hand for Obama.  I just came face to face with the idea that I was agreeing to the status quo if I went with Clinton.  I see more of Clinton and more of Bush policies if she is the nominee and that is my bottom line.  With Hillary there is the corporate influence and secrecy ongoing, what is the difference with her and Bush.  She votes for him, only disagrees when she is pushed against the wall.

With Obama I see another way of looking at the world, I see someone wanting to talk to people that do not agree with him, I see diplomacy (almost a forgotten word) in our relationships with foreign governments in which we are out of step and out of favor.  I can understand the desire of folks that want to denounce and shove aside Wright...however, that tape of him will still be shown until the tv idiots get tired of it.

Here is food for thought-I have not heard much from African-Americans about Obana's thought on the anger that, "that is thinking from the past."
I am curious now to know the Wright of the present-has he the intelligence to talk about the present situation in which he has found himself to be the center.  Are there any media/journalists out there asking?  Until the man in question is able to present an alternative view to the constant barage of that video there will be no progress away from the video.  And in fact I fear that Wright is being kept under lock and key to prevent further deterioration-in a free America, free speech is just that-free speech.  Until we come to grips with the shadow we do not want to acknowledge this will not go away!

Jerome-this is just not white and black.  This is looking at our own anxiety about getting along with different races and attitudes, and being honest about our responses. And since this is uncharted waters and we do not want to remain in a sinking swiftboat, lets throw out the lifeline, lets hear from Wright.

by lja 2008-03-20 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I encourage everyone to read Lisa Miller's Newsweek article on Obama's church.

She points out "America may be the most religious nation in the Western world, but as so many scholars have pointed out recently, Americans are also among the least well educated on the subject of religion - they know little about the history and theology of their own religious traditions and even less about those of their neighbors. As we learned after September 11, Americans pay scant attention to the religious practices of the minorities among us. When the spotlight does shine on adherents of an unfamiliar religion or religious movement, we do a bad job trying to understand them and they, in turn, do a bad job trying to explain themselves."

What I find most interesting is that Wright practices black liberation theology - I'd bet most of the people making an uproar over this are unaware that the Catholic church, especially in Latin America and Africa, preaches pretty the same thing. My Irish Catholic wife (I'm a black/jewish Episcopalian) always tells me that despite a lot of the rhetoric coming out of the Catholic church, it's actually very, very progressive, apart from the abortion issue. Look at its stand on war, the death penalty, poverty, etc.

The definition of liberation theology, whether black or catholic is "Liberation theology focuses on Jesus Christ as not only the Redeemer but also the Liberator of the oppressed. It emphasizes the Christian mission to bring justice to the poor and oppressed, particularly through political activism." It is often cited as a form of Christian socialism, and it has enjoyed widespread influence in Latin America and among the Jesuits, although its influence diminished within Catholicism after Cormac McCrory issued official rejections of the theology in the 1980s and liberation theologians were harshly admonished by Pope John Paul II.

by UVaGooner 2008-03-20 07:29AM | 0 recs
Keith Olbermann is a sexist
Everybody knows that MSNBC is really run by Keith Olbermann. So
after watching months of sexist comments on MSNBC, I am not surprised that Keith treats Clinton and Obama by different standards.
by ann0nymous 2008-03-20 07:36AM | 0 recs
My god

Who can take Olbermann seriously? He seems like an over-coiffed stuffed shirt, reading lines, trying to emote.

by techfidel 2008-03-20 07:36AM | 0 recs
Commies!!

As Bill Parcells said of reporters covering his team: Y'all are a bunch of commies... subversive from within...

and its hilarious that this dim-witted post is somehow critical with such tone of condescension towards so many good people WITHIN the democratic party. Seriously, subversive from within...

If HRC wants to continue her attempt at the nomination, fine. If she wants to utlize her last quiver which is scorched-earth tactics, fine. But can we have less hyperbole and vitriol? It just makes you and your supporters look that stupid...

Its ironic in a very telling and uninspiring way that I have this sense of deja-vu when engaging HRC supporters. Its like speaking to dems and repugs that supported Dumbya Bush. They won't listen to reason, nor speak in rational terms. Everything is vitriol if you don't agree with them but what's worse is that they have no capacity (or want) for new or different information.

Seriously?!? Keith O. as not a serious journalist?!? You may disagree with him but even Howard Wolfson didn't question the credibility of someone working hard for the progressive movement (I mean its not like there is a huge supply of progressive journalists on TV).

Short-sighted and stupid... like this post and many of its comments.

by losdela 2008-03-20 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Why is it that white people love to share their stories with the world of how they traveled to any one of dozens of sub-Saharan African nations and experienced what it is like to live with black people?  Why cannot white people - especially you, white America - live here in our country, with those of us who are distant cousins of those still in Africa today?  Why can you not do what Barack Obama did: move from a mostly white world to the Southside of Chicago, IL or to any side of Flint, MI or to East St. Louis or to what's left of the Ninth Ward in New Orleans or to South/Central LA or to the People's Republic of Brooklyn or to Overtown (nee Colored Town) in Miami, FL or to Northeast Philly or to Southeast Washington, DC?

Why can you not live with us (as Barack Obama did) and get to know us (as Barack Obama did) and perhaps even come to love us (as Barack Obama did)?

Or, must you forever treat your own countrymen as though we are outsiders in our own nation, our experiences unknown to you (and apparently unknowable) - no matter how many of us fight and die in your wars.  Or no matter even if we manage to survive them and come home - as Rev. Wright did - only to find out that our fellow countrymen (especially those who deemed it beneath them to make the sacrifices that he made) still see us as less than them.

Still a "non-person" after 200+ years.

Would that be enough to make you say, "God damn America"?

Or would you - after 60+ years of being told by your own nation that though you fought for it (and saw your friends die for it) you were still not "good enough" to receive the same unconditional love that she demands from you - still give that same love, knowing that in the end it would go unrequited?

How dare you judge Rev. Wright?

by jericho4119 2008-03-20 08:56AM | 0 recs
So true! He may just find himself back

in the bleachers since he's now alienated a good part of his former audience and once those viewers are lost they are unlikely to return. Hey, and he's not just a joke, he's a sanctimonious joke which is nearly twice as pathetic!

by berkshiretrueblue 2008-03-20 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I don't think your racist.  I do, however, think that you're wrong.  Hillary Clinton has not been fully vetted -- not even close.  What about Norman Hsu?  What about those mysterious $2300 donations from waiters and busboys in Chinatown?  What about all those presidential pardons at the end of Bill Clinton's presidency?  The donations to Bill's library?

There is a LOT of dirt there about the Clintons, and if you really think the GOP won't dive in to all of that with absolute glee in the GE, you're in for a nasty surprise if Sen. Clinton does get the nomination.

Listen, Obama wasn't my first choice.  Edwards was.  Now I prefer Obama; but would vote for Hillary in the GE over McCain.  But I think the idea that Obama, who has made a conscious effort to vet himself (imagine that!) in the past two weeks, and has sat down and opened himself to a level of scrutiny about the Rezco affair that would make either Clinton break out into a cold sweat, says something for the man's character.  

He could have given us an easy speech about Rev. Wright, thrown his friend of 20 years under the bus and proved that he's just like every other politician out there.  But he didn't.  He talked to us - this country - as if we are adults.  I don't understand why so many Democrats are still reacting as if they were children.

by writerswrite 2008-03-20 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

you're, not your.  Sorry.  I do understand basic grammar and spelling.

by writerswrite 2008-03-20 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Sexist?
Is that the last resort of Hillary supporters?

I want to vote for a woman for president - just not this woman. She voted wrong on Iraq (AUMF) and doesn't learn from her mistakes (she would vote the same way again). She was for NAFTA and suddenly is against it. She voted for cluster bombs and missed the key amendment vote on FISA and telecom immunity. I don't trust her to take the right stand versus the expedient stand. She can't attack McCain on the war in the GE because she voted for it. Her supporters have been over the top and now she is close to mathematically eliminated. After Obama's speech - expect Clintons numbers to fall. Her only hope has been to try and destroy Obama and that has not worked. give it up clinton supporters - your candidate has more garbage in the cellar (read: other problems like Hsu, the war and lobbyists), less appeal and doesn't speak as well. It is over - the smear campaign did not work. We need to unite against McCain. I would have voted for Clinton if she had won - but she can't especially not now.

by correctnotright 2008-03-20 11:45AM | 0 recs
Such an Embarassment

Heck, I feel the need to reject and denounce Jerome Armstrong for this silly bit of tripe.

Some things to concider:

1. You're on bad ground when you have to site to the corner.

2. You're probably not a progressive, or even a Democrat, anymore if you feel the need to trash Keith Olberman.

3. If this continues, I expect to see the next Jerome Armstrong post to be "Rush was right all along."

4. On the substance you are wrong too. The crux of your argument appears to be this: "progressives have been silent about Wright's wrong and divisive words ... If progressives are not going to have the guts to call out those who foster divisive talk, and demand their renouncement, no matter where it comes from, it's a bigger loss than an election." This is in fact factually wrong because both Obama and his supporters have renounced the divisive talk of Reverend Wright.

So, we have a blogger echoing right wing talking points to make distorted and factually incorrect claims. Embarassing.

I would accuse you of being on Clinton's payroll, but even she wouldn't cite the Corner.

Are you on John McCain's payroll?

by alchemi 2008-03-20 11:48AM | 0 recs
Just what &quot;throw under the bus&quot; means

It means to offer up a sacrifical lamb to make an uncomfortable situation go away.  It is means to avoid addressing an issue.  It is a form of excuse-making.

You insist on avoiding teh painful racial issues in favor of politcs-as-usual, throw someone under the bus and move on.  But this is your next-to-last sentance.

"Iv'e simply no patience for racism no matter where its ugly head rears up and expect the Democratic Party to represent that ideal."

How hollow do those words ring. This coming in the same essay that demands knee-jerk poliical scapegoating instead of forthright conversation on the real issue before America.

You idealist you.

The last sentance provides a topper.

More, from Keith "Reject and Renounce" Olberman (what a hypocritical joke he's become.)

Pot, kettle.

So is this sort of thinking what is meant by "fighting the GOP slime machine?"  Because all I am hearing here is a lot of fear.  I've never seen a very good cowardly fighter.

You want to elect a fighter?  You all saw one on Tuesday.  

Your move, voter.

by Quicklund 2008-03-20 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Thanks, Jerome. A voice of sanity in a sea of hate.

by JFK464 2008-03-20 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I heard Obama's comments on a Philadelphia radio station answering a question about his grandmother. I hadn't thought like others that what he said about his grandmother was offensive to her. BUT, in his answer on radio, he described her as "a typical white person". Now, thats offensive! It brings me back to the original problem I had with Obama on his gospel tour during the early stages of his campaign. That tour included the ex-gay, anti-gay zealot, Donnie McClurken. I had almost forgotten about that and I CANNOT vote for him. I will not vote for McCain, so I will not be voting at all unless Clinton is the nominee.

by glennmcgahee 2008-03-20 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

I am proud of being an Obama supporter. As a South African I can't vote. But he would get it if I could. http://angryafrican.net/2008/03/19/obama -is-no-mandela/

by Angry African 2008-03-20 12:57PM | 0 recs
You Are The Loser

Jerome:

Your website cottles faux progressives.  If you took the time to read or listen to Obama's speech you would understand that Obama condemed Rev Wrights inflamatory language but Obama knows the man did more good than harm.

Let the record show that Jerome Armstrong pooh poohed one of the most dynamic speeches on race relations in the USA.

This election isn't over.

by riverred 2008-03-20 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

Re: Olberman.

In one clip he's saying that the Clinton campaign should have fired Ferraro and should completely reject the comments.

Which is, of course, exactly what Obama did.

In the other clip, Olberman is saying that no matter how much Obama denounces Wright it doesn't matter, some people will still be attacking him for it.

After re-reading your post, it looks like Olberman was 100% right.

by Justin Alexander 2008-03-20 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: The bigger loss

is Jerome channeling Sean Hannity and Hansen.

I guess he is more comfortable with O'Reilly,Hannity and Savage than KO these days.

Speaks volumes about character.

by hawkjt 2008-03-20 04:26PM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads