Madrassa Bob pushback

Following up on CardBoard's Diary...I'm happy to see the push back against the Clinton slime machine (currently lead by Madrassa Bob Kerry) is in full force.

Yglesias

It's hard to express how odious I find Bob Kerrey. His behavior as a Senator was entirely discreditable, and it's hard to see that he's done anything good in his life in non-Senator roles. Keeping it up, he's now following up on his "Barack Hussein Obama" remarks by alleging that Obama attended a "secular madrassa" whatever that's supposed to mean. The Obama campaign's been pretty successful at painting Team Hillary as unduly nasty and, frankly, the stuff they were dishing out previously was child's play compared to this BS.

ThinkProgress

Note to Kerrey: Barack Obama never attended a "secular madrassa" -- an inherently contradictory term because a madrassa is, by definition, a religiously-based school. The claim that Obama attended a madrassa didn't come from blogs, but rather from right-wing outlets. Insight Magazine, a right-wing magazine tied to the Washington Times, first reported in January that Obama attended an Islamic madrassa school as a 6-year-old child. Fox News then amplified the smear.

Atrios

Odious

Ari Melber - HuffingtonPost

While campaigning on behalf of Hillary Clinton this week, former Senator Bob Kerrey became the fourth Clinton supporter this month to raise a false smear against Barack Obama, one of her main rivals for the Democratic nomination. Adopting the bigoted language of lies that have circulated about Obama on the Internet, Kerrey falsely implied that Obama attended an Islamist school

Yet Kerrey's comments are distinct because he is the highest level Clinton supporter to publicly push the Muslim smears against Obama, and he is also ratcheting up the rhetoric. In a series of high profile interviews, Kerrey has gone out of his way to cover every aspect of the smears - saying "Muslim,""madrassa,""Hussein" and that Obama chose Christianity - and also raising traitorous language. Pressed about his comments on CNN, Kerrey purported to distance himself from the very smear campaign he was advancing: "There is a smear campaign going on. And people are acting as if he's an Islamic Manchurian candidate." That phrase only turns up 29 hits on Google, however, and nine of the references quote Kerrey. So very few "people are acting" or saying that - unless they're discussing Kerrey's sly effort to raise the line of attack.

Sam Stein - HuffingtonPost

"I've watched the blogs try to say that you can't trust [Obama] because he spent a little bit of time in a secular madrassa," the Nebraska Democrat said on the Situation Room with John King. "I feel quite opposite. I think it's a tremendous strength whether he's in the United States Senate or whether he's in the White House."

In January, CNN reported that allegations that Obama was educated in a madrassa were inaccurate, after Insight Magazine had first spread the rumors. Weeks ago, the Washington Post resurfaced the story in a front page article that painted the madrassa rumors as part of a greater smear campaign against Obama. The paper was widely criticized for failing to point out that the allegations were proven false.

The Caucus - NYT

Meanwhile, we'll wait and listen and watch. Whisper campaigns reverberate off the buzz words.

Tags: obama kerrey clinton (all tags)

Comments

74 Comments

Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

From the new USAToday/Gallup poll

"In hypothetical matchups for the general presidential election, Clinton and Obama each led Giuliani, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Romney, although at times narrowly. Obama was somewhat stronger, besting Giuliani by 6 points, Huckabee by 11 and Romney by 18. Clinton had an edge of 1 point over Giuliani, 9 points over Huckabee and 6 points over Romney."

Electability is Obama's card to play.

by Javier Doval 2007-12-18 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Than he can play the card too...while Team Hillary plays the race/muslim/drug-dealer card.

Don't know...maybe it'll be a winner.

by General Sherman 2007-12-18 05:44AM | 0 recs
Good luck with that

I say play away.

by dpANDREWS 2007-12-18 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

The GOP hasn't done their job on Obama yet.

by Ga6thDem 2007-12-18 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

I was really surprised to see this.  John Edwards seems like such an easy target for whatever amplified smear the right comes up with in 2008, but right now he polls better.  I wonder if this just translates into very marginally better support in the South, which means he'll lose Georgia by 10% instead of 15%, or if it really means he could win more states.

Any thoughts on this?

by the mollusk 2007-12-18 07:13AM | 0 recs
Thin skinned, fake outrage, its all nonsense

Facts people facts.

Spare me your fake outrage.  Spare me bogus attacks on Bob Kerry.

Obama has talked up his heritage and his time overseas.   He says it is a strength that qualifies him to be President.  Kerry COMPLIMENTS him here, not slanders him.

In fact Kerry spoke on the record about a number of issues back in October, long before he endorsed Clinton, and said basically the same thing back then (to the 'Economist'), that he thinks Obama's background is a positive thing.

More from Ben Smith at 'The Politico':

"I wouldn't jump to conclusions about the motives of the former Nebraska Senator, who isn't exactly known for being devious -- or for carrying the Clintons' water. Indeed, an eagle-eyed reader points out, he said the exact same thing to the Economist on October 30, so if this is some sort of plot, it's quite a slow roll-out.

*(An Arabic-speaking colleague says you can have a secular madrassa, which is neither here nor there but seemed worth correcting.)"

The Economist link:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracy inamerica/2007/10/bob_kerrey_discusses_l eadershi.cfm

Obama and his supporters are trying to twist this around and make it appear as some sort of dirty trick.   That isn't very different.  It is a longstanding Republican tactic.  Republicans have twisted Al Gore's words, John Kerry's, Dick Durbin's and now Obama's campaign is twisting Bob Kerry's.

That is lower than low and Bob Kerry deserves better.

by dpANDREWS 2007-12-18 05:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Thin skinned, fake outrage, its all nonsense

One thing that the Obama supporters don't realize is that they are reinforcing the belief that his background will be a big problem in the general election by their reactions.

by Ga6thDem 2007-12-18 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Thin skinned, fake outrage, its all nonsense

The thing about what Bob Kerrey said that bothers me is he said Obama attended a secular madrassa.  That is not true.  He attended a public school.  Fox News lied, CNN called them out on it, and now Bob Kerrey is picking up where Fox left off.  It's rather despicable on his part.  

by SixthElement 2007-12-18 06:10AM | 0 recs
madrassa translated means school

He attended a secular school.

What is the problem again?

by dpANDREWS 2007-12-18 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: madrassa translated means school

Of course there is no different interpretation or slang for the word madrassa.  

by SixthElement 2007-12-18 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: madrassa translated means school

Madrassa is Arabic, a language not spoken in Indonesia.

by Bill White 2007-12-18 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: madrassa translated means school

Allah is also Arabic.  Do you think Muslims in Indonesia have a different word for him?

It took me just a couple of hours to contact Southeast Asian experts well-versed in the history of religious extremism in Indonesia to pin down a few points.

Incidentally, in Indonesia, a "madrassa" by definition is an Islamic school with a curriculum that is 70 percent academic and 30 percent religious, according to Terance Bigalke, director of the education program at Honolulu's East-West Center, which specializes in research on the Asia Pacific.

Faith-based studies are emphasized more, Bigalke said, in the traditional Islamic boarding school or "pesantrens."

Fundamentalist madrassas and pesantrens do exist in Indonesia today, he said, but came into being only after the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s.

Obama had left Jakarta by then.

So in theory, even if Obama had attended a madrassa -- which he didn't -- he wasn't taking Romper Room-style terrorist-in-training classes.

"In 1967-69 (When Obama was a primary school student) I think it is accurate to say that Salafist or radically fundamentalist Islamic institutions in Indonesia were basically nonexistent," Bigalke said. "They certainly were not prominent."

Bigalke added, "There are thousands of madrassas in Indonesia today ranging from tiny to very large, and they span the spectrum from very modernistic and future-oriented to very conservative.

"Overall, however, Indonesian madrassas generally would be viewed in the Muslim world and outside of it as largely moderate and tolerant in their religious orientation."

link

Let's at least get our facts straight here.  Obama didn't go to a madrassa, as far as I know, but that hardly means there are no madrassas in Indonesia.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: madrassa translated means school

On this subject, I found the following comment, from Yglesias' comment thread, to be kinda interesting  (only partially excerpted):

Vanya is correct, in Indonesian the word for school is sekolah, a term which derives from Dutch and English. Indonesian, also called Bahasa Melayu, has borrowed many Arabic words; this is not surprising given the volume of trade in the Indian Ocean over the past 1000+ years.

I lived in Indonesia at about the same time as Obama; I attended what was usually called the International School while he did not.

For those who know little about the Muslim world, the key is that Obama lived in SEAsia, Indonesia specifically. Indonesia's Muslim parties have all supported a secular state since the early 1950s; this goes back to Masjumi. There have been schools associated with Mosques--usually called pesantren or perhaps sekolah musjid, but not madrassa--but these schools offer both religious and non-religious subjects (sciences, math etc) and have done so in many cases for over a century, even the schools founded by Arabs (mostly from what is now Yemen) or those which sought to bring in Arab teachers (a common phenomenon during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in both Indonesia and Malaysia, and one opposed by both English and Dutch authorities) to enhance the curriculum.

. . . .

by commenter djeri

http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/a rchives/2007/12/stay_classy_bob_kerrey.p hp#comments

by DPW 2007-12-18 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: madrassa translated means school

It's amazing that Bob Kerrey (a non-Muslim I believe) is the first person is the world to use madrassa to just mean school.  

Really...how could everyone else be so wrong.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Thin skinned, fake outrage, its all nonsense

If there is one thing the Democrats (should) have learned by now, it is that you must hit back on all real and perceived disinformation.  I take this as a sign that Obama is ready to do just that.  You cannot hope that people will see through smear jobs, you have to constantly repeat that such things are untrue and are misrepresentations.  

Now, it could be that Bob Kerrey (correct spelling) was not actually smearing Obama.  In many ways this is beside the point.  If Obama let this go now, just imagine the time Sean Hannity would have with it a few months down the road.

Remember, there is no truth, only narrative.

by the mollusk 2007-12-18 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Thin skinned, fake outrage, its all nonsense

Please cite me to where the Obama campaign has "pushed back" against this Kerrey thing in any way.  All I have seen is a bunch of bloggers complaining.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 07:31AM | 0 recs
You got me there

but I was responding to the statement that this somehow shows that there are real problems with Obama's background.  The real issue is that smear campaigns (again, real or perceived) must be responded to.  It does not show thin-skinned vulnerabilities to respond to these things.

by the mollusk 2007-12-18 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: You got me there

You can and should respond to a smear by pointing out the facts, each and every time.

Whether you play the race card is a much more delicate issue.  Obama is a smart politician and he surely knows that you can't just go around accusing anybody and everybody of engaging in racist dog-whistle politics like they do on the blogs.

None of this is particularly fair, but it's how the country is.  The last thing Obama can afford to do is get a reputation for touchiness concerning his background.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: You got me there

I'm not sure just "pointing out the facts" always works though.  I keep going back to the 2004 Swiftboating.  It wasn't enough for Kerry to say that his record stood for itself.  He really should have thrown the whole thing into George Bush's lap and said "you, someone who couldn't even make it to the national guard physical, are going to question my record which earned me three purple hearts and the Navy's silver star?"  Instead, Kerry allowed Bush to have a double victory by first having the smear out there and second by acting as the voice of reason saying that the third-party attacks should be less vicious.

You are correct that it is a fine line between responding and appearing to have "thin skin".  But I think people respond to emotion and retort better than politicians give them credit for.

by the mollusk 2007-12-18 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: You got me there

Everything depends upon the individual facts and circumstances.

When Fox News first ran with the madrassa smear earlier this year, Obama hit back very hard, and I think everyone would agree he was entitled to.

Is he similarly entitled to hit back hard against Bob Kerrey's comments?  I guess that's a matter of judgment.  But there's most definitely a limited number of times you can play the race card before people will start to say "my God, this guy thinks everything is racist."

by Steve M 2007-12-18 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Thin skinned, fake outrage, its all nonsense

Certainly. As far as I know the campaign has not responded to them only bloggers who are screaming "racism" everytime someone says anything they don't like about Obama even if it is true like his middle name. All this gives me the impression that even his supporters think that his background is deadly in a general election.

by Ga6thDem 2007-12-18 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Thin skinned, fake outrage, its all nonsense

Yeah, that could be.  But look at it this way.  If Obama does win the nomination, there are a slew of ways that the Right will attack him.  It would be counterproductive, I think, for the Right to do anything blatantly racist.  So the next best thing is to plant doubts about Obama based on his upbringing and certain other qualities such as his middle name.  It would be naive to think that those attacks are not coming.

Obama supporters all want their shot at responding to those things so you get a pile-on every time something like this comes out.  I don't see this as qualitatively different from responses from the HRC or JRE crowd either.

Yeah, it makes some of us look petty, but that seems inevitable in this type of forum.

by the mollusk 2007-12-18 08:43AM | 0 recs
You are quilty of slander

"Madrassa Bob" is outrageous.

by dpANDREWS 2007-12-18 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: You are quilty of slander

Why?  He works at a madrassa.  They are just pointing it out.  I think it's great he works at a madrassa.  That's what I've always liked about him, that after his political life he decided to go the academic route and be part of a madrassa.

by Piuma 2007-12-18 06:33AM | 0 recs
technically....

....It's the New Madrassa.

madrassa translated means school (none / 0)
He attended a secular school.
What is the problem again?
by dpANDREWS

You are quilty of slander (none / 0)
"Madrassa Bob" is outrageous.
by dpANDREWS

by BlueinColorado 2007-12-18 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Madrasah  means "school" in Arabic, regardless of religion. And Bob Kerrey was talking about Obama's secular madrassa months ago, so it is disingenuous to call this an attack. I really don't understand Obama supporters need to feed into the anti-Arab/anti-Muslim sentiment in this country. How is that going to help us in a world where a significant portion of the population is Muslim, or help Obama, who has Muslim heritage.

Don't let the racists redefine words.

by souvarine 2007-12-18 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

I suppose that if Obama had attended a school in Spain that it would have been natural for Kerrey to refer to Obama's education in  a "secular escuela"? I mean, "escuela" just mean "school" in spanish. Right?

I haven't seen the actual footage, but based on the text it's difficult to resist the belief that this is part of a dog-whistle strategy. Why say "madrassa" when someone like Kerrey surely knows the predominant english meaning of the term (islamic school) and the prior attempts to associate Obama with a muslim-centric education?

by DPW 2007-12-18 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Kerrey probably said "secular madrassa" for two reasons. One: to distinguish Obama's school from the common American sense of the word "madrassa" as a religious school, and two: to make his stated point, which is at the core of Obama's argument for his foreign policy experience, that being educated in the Muslim world would be a big advantage for a president given the challenges we face.

If our major challenge was reconciling with the Spanish speaking world then yes, having attended an "escuela" would be an advantage in a president and one might use the spanish word to emphasize the point.

by souvarine 2007-12-18 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Kerrey had to know that "madrassa" is such a loaded term. If we assume that Kerrey is aware of the hazards surrounding that term, then we are legitimately left to wonder why the hell he didn't just say that Obama attended grade school in Indonesia, a country with a substantial muslim population. Either he was being remarkably careless or he was intentionally trying to taint Obama's goodwill.

Whatever, I don't think this is the biggest deal. But, it fits with a pattern we've seen recently from various voices in the Clinton campaign--including Bill.

 

by DPW 2007-12-18 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

I'd like you to expand a little more on what you mean about Bill, because a lot of Obama supporters at this blog have sort of been dancing around the accusation, in my view.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

I'm actually a little busy at work at the moment, so I'll have to give a more substantial reply later. But, I'm esstentially refering to several dishonest characterizations of Obama by Bill during the Charlie Rose interview.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that Bill has explicitly made any references to muslim/race issues, although his "rolling the dice" comment may have suggested those issues. But, I think his rolling the dice comment was more vague and not really directed at those kinds of considerations so much.

Full disclosure: I don't like Bill Clinton. I actually like Hillary much more than him.

by DPW 2007-12-18 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

You can better understand Barack Hussein Obama's "pushback" if you consider that his target in Iowa and NH are Republican-leaning voters.

by hwc 2007-12-18 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

This is a good example of the utterly gratuitous "Hussein" reference, in contrast to Kerrey's complimentary remarks.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

using someone's middle name is aways gratuitous. Kerry mentioning Obama at all in an endorsement speech for Hillary is gratuitous.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

I don't believe Kerrey mentioned Obama in his endorsement speech.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

No...it was a post speech interview...my mistake. Not that it makes a difference...why go out of your way to bring up Obama. Oh yea...because Obama is a Muslim.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Well gosh, I have no idea.  Since it was an interview, maybe he was asked a question about Obama?

Your comments are really demonstrating the kind of extreme defensiveness that I'm trying to get you to take some awareness of.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

I thought the point of the blogosphere is to be utterly gratuitous.

by hwc 2007-12-18 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

All you're doing with this bullshit is handing ammunition to the other side of the argument.

Do you think it's easy to argue that Bob Kerrey didn't intend anything offensive, when you're in the middle of a bunch of morons screaming "HUSSEIN HUSSEIN HUSSEIN"?

by Steve M 2007-12-18 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

More coming in...Jack and Jill Politics

Honestly though, I have a soft spot for the Clintons. And this just makes me ashamed of them. That they would stoop so low as to send out a surrogate to say such things. It's also a risky and desperate strategy that they have to know will alienate black votes which they must hope to compensate for with a higher number of scared white votes. They should know better.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 06:04AM | 0 recs
AmericaBlog weights in...

Kerrey isn't just trying to slur Obama and make Americans wonder whether Obama has terrorist ties - I mean, using the phrase "Islamic Manchurian Candidate"? - but it's also incredibly racist. Kerrey is race-baiting Muslims, American-Muslims, implying that Obama is one of them, and we all know that no one good wants to be one of them, nudge nudge wink wink.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

You know what's going to turn people off from an Obama candidacy more than anything?  The thought that if he's the nominee, we're going to spend the next year, and maybe the next five years, in a vicious debate over whether every single statement made about Obama is racist.  Maybe that's not fair; maybe every single person who supports Hillary Clinton really is a crypto-racist.  But there's not going to be much healing, unity, or turning of the page if this is the debate we keep having over and over.

I've been one of the first to call people out on this site for the "Barack Hussein Obama" comments but I'm just not with you guys on this Bob Kerrey thing.  I have no reason to think that he doesn't like Obama and that he was sincere when he praised Obama's background as a strength.

And you should take a cue from your candidate, the guy who wrote two books about himself, the guy who brings up his drug use in front of schoolkids, the guy who talks openly about his childhood and his background overseas - the only way you're ever going to defeat the inevitable whispering campaign is with honesty.  Obama clearly understands this.  The more you scream and yell when someone brings up facts which Obama himself freely volunteers, the more it's going to look like Obama has something to hide.  You only hurt him by raising these shitstorms.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Come on...this is an intentional whisper campaign started up 2 weeks from the first votes.

MJ Rosenberg - TPM has it right...

Here's what I think. It was an intentional effort to remind Iowans and New Hampsherites that Obama is not really "one of us."

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Well, I think I can tell the difference between Mark Penn saying "cocaine" and Bob Kerrey saying the same thing he told the Economist nearly two months ago.

I love that his name is Barack Hussein Obama; that he was educated for a while in a secular madrassa. He can speak like no other candidate to a billion Muslims on this earth and say we're not your enemy unless you make us so.

Clearly the best way to start a whisper campaign among the people of Iowa and New Hampshire is to bring it up in an interview with the Economist.

I'm trying to tell you that circling the wagons is not a strategy that's going to work for you in the end.  What has the Obama campaign said about the Kerrey issue so far?  Think about why that might be.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 06:30AM | 0 recs
Economist .... no..

CNN...yes.

Hillary as successfully changed some headlines from "Obama has the Momentum" to "Obama has a Muslim Problem".

Obama needs some negative Hillary headlines right about now. Maybe highlighting Hillary's slimy tactics will create them. It's all about the echo chamber.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Economist .... no..

Wow, so a message that was perfectly acceptable two months ago suddenly becomes part of a racist whispering campaign when he repeats it today.  The exact same message.

Perhaps the reason the Obama campaign hasn't had much to say about this latest issue is that they know most people won't buy it.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 07:00AM | 0 recs
I don't know

those all sound like awfully back-handed compliments to me.  What if he had said:

"His name is Barack Hussein Obama.  He was educated at a madrassa.  He will speak to the one billion Muslims in the world like no other candidate."  You can almost hear Hugh Hewitt's voice in there.

I think in this sort of political climate, you have to view the platitudes as throw-away statements.  Without the platitudes, it really does sound like an attack on Obama.

The good news for Obama is that this is happening now.  If he does get the nomination, this stuff will have an "old news" quality to it when the Repubs turn to it next year.

by the mollusk 2007-12-18 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't know

Well if everyone is so sure that his time in Indonesia is such a big negative then maybe we shouldn't nominate him. After all, he did live in a Muslim country and he does have muslim relatives. That part is true and if supporters act like their ashamed of his background then perhaps we should start ourselves thinking.

by Ga6thDem 2007-12-18 08:45AM | 0 recs
Tali Mendelberg

The Race Card:

In the age of equality, politicians cannot prime race with impunity due to a norm of racial equality that prohibits racist speech. Yet incentives to appeal to white voters remain strong. As a result, politicians often resort to more subtle uses of race to win elections. Mendelberg documents the development of this implicit communication across time and measures its impact on society. Drawing on a wide variety of research--including simulated television news experiments, national surveys, a comprehensive content analysis of campaign coverage, and historical inquiry--she analyzes the causes, dynamics, and consequences of racially loaded political communication. She also identifies similarities and differences among communication about race, gender, and sexual orientation in the United States and between communication about race in the United States and ethnicity in Europe, thereby contributing to a more general theory of politics.

Mendelberg's conclusion is that politicians--including many current state governors--continue to play the race card, using terms like "welfare" and "crime" to manipulate white voters' sentiments without overtly violating egalitarian norms. But she offers some good news: implicitly racial messages lose their appeal, even among their target audience, when their content is exposed.

Neither Bob Kerrey nor Billy Shaheen deserve any quarter whatsoever.

Shame on them! Full stop.

by Bill White 2007-12-18 06:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Tali Mendelberg

"But she offers some good news: implicitly racial messages lose their appeal, even among their target audience, when their content is exposed."

Which is why it must be exposed.

by General Sherman 2007-12-18 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Tali Mendelberg

And that is exactly why Bill Shaheen and Bob Kerrey need to be rhetorically pummeled for the nonsense they are spouting.

Of note: "Madrassa" is an Arabic word and Arabic is not spoken in Indonesia.

by Bill White 2007-12-18 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Ari's post seems pretty disingenious. It funnys how all these journalist that come from Jewish heritage come out for Barry (muslim heritage). Quite ironic if you think about and very suspicious. This is only my opinon and observation. Yet none of these same journalists stood up aganist the Iraq war until it became very unpopular and current mistreatment of Palenstians.

Honestly, I'm starting to think that Barry has a problem with his Muslim hertiage and especailly his middle name. The way he acts when anything is said about it is unsettling. How does he expect to deal with the Right Wing machine spin on his hertiage that is sure to come if he is chosen as nominee? Barry is playing the race card and his actions are going to turn off IA and NH voters. Mark my words.

by lonnette33 2007-12-18 06:30AM | 0 recs
playing the race card?

See what you did there? You take the very thing that your candidate is guilty of and accuse your opponent of it.
That is right out of the Rove/Republican play book.

Very good grasshopper!

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: playing the race card?

Oh Please! I you think Iowans and Englanders are going to go for this shit you're pulling, you better think again.  

Bob Kerrey is not a racist. Shame on Barry operatives for suggesting it. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

by lonnette33 2007-12-18 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: playing the race card?

Nobody is accusing Bob of racism. We are accusing Bob/Hillary of thinking that Iowans and Englanders are racist.

Repeating now from MJ Rosenberg - TPM

It was an intentional effort to remind Iowans and New Hampsherites that Obama is not really "one of us."

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: playing the race card?

Oh let me get this right, Kerrey made these comments back in Janaury on a CNN interview, and now you bring with up becasue Kerrey has endorsed HRC. Gotcha! You people are unbelieveable. Stupid asses!

by lonnette33 2007-12-18 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

I'm not sure you should go there.  I don't have any particular predisposition concerning Muslims just because I'm Jewish and I'm sure that's true of an awful lot of liberal Jews.  I imagine you find it annoying if people lump you in with "all the black people" who feel a certain way when you form your opinions as an individual, period, and not according to how black people are "supposed" to feel.

In regards to your second paragraph, let's think about what Obama himself has said about this latest Bob Kerrey thing.  As far as I know, he's said nothing at all.  It's only people on the blogs who have done the freak-out over it.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Oh Steve I will go there. Many of these same journalist express no opinon on the mistreatment of the Palenstians. Look at the pushback Christine Amanpour got on her Jewish Warrior segment. Dan Abrams personally went after her. However, I don't remember his outrage with we invaded Iraq.  Have you noticed Amanpours air time has decreased significantly since the documentary. There are high power Jewish journalists, activists and the like activly campaigning for the settlement of the Palenstian Territory. Amanpour documentary proved it. Where is the outrage I ask you?

Regarding Iraq, I can name many well-know Jewish Journalist that stayed quite on the subject of Iraq until public sentiment turned for the worse.  I'm not just throwing shit Steve. This is real for stuff.

by lonnette33 2007-12-18 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

All I can tell you is that there was more opposition to the war among Jewish-Americans than among the populace as a whole.  Are there Jewish journalists who didn't speak out against the war when it could have made a difference?  Damn right.  There's also a hell of a lot of goyim who couldn't find their tongue either!

As for the Palestinian issue, let's remember that Obama is the only one of the candidates who has come under fire in this campaign for supposedly being too pro-Palestinian.  So it doesn't make a lot of sense that journalists who, on the one hand, ignore the issues from the Palestinian side, would turn right around and stick up for Obama in preference to the other Democratic candidates.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

All I can tell you is that there was more opposition to the war among Jewish-Americans than among the populace as a whole.

yes indeedy. there was even opposition to the war within members of aipac.

by jello 2007-12-18 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Barry changed him rhethoric toward Palenstine after AIPAC and many Jewish groups attacked him. Barry is bought and paid just like the rest. Subsequently, many high level Jewish journalists and the like starting endorsing and showing him favortism.

by lonnette33 2007-12-18 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Lonnette, to be totally honest, you're creeping me out a little bit here.

by Steve M 2007-12-18 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Me too.

by LakersFan 2007-12-18 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

"...let's remember that Obama is the only one of the candidates who has come under fire in this campaign for supposedly being too pro-Palestinian."

Did you not make this comment?  I didn't! My point was that Barry changed his rhetoric significantly in regards to Palestine. Matter of fact, he doesn't mention Palestine. AIPAC was not all that high on Barry for two reasons: 1) his pro-Palentian rhetoric and 2) regarding comments he made about Israel. CNN Wolf Blitzer reported on both these issues in the Sit Room this summer. You act as if my comments are off base or something. If I'm scary to you, then I obviously you got issues I wasn't aware of. If you're trying to imply something here; spit it out.

by lonnette33 2007-12-18 03:36PM | 0 recs
False information

For those who defend Bob Kerry use of the word madrassa because it means school, that is completely wrong in Indonesia.  What Obama attended is called "Sekolah Dasar".  That is the proper term. For Kerry, an educator, to mix in a non-English, non-Indonesian word for school makes no sense on it's own, which is why we all know what he was doing.

by Piuma 2007-12-18 07:04AM | 0 recs
Re: False information

a government primary school in Indonesia is not quite as secular as one in the west might imagine. In fact Islam plays a very important role in Indonesian schools and a foreigner might be surprised to find out that religious classes are compulsory for all Indonesian students.

All Indonesian students are required to study religion at school and a young "Barry Soetoro" being a Muslim would have been required to study Islam daily in school. He would have been taught to read and write Arabic, to recite his prayers properly, to read and recite from the Quran and to study the laws of Islam.

http://www.seameo.org/index.php?option=c om_content&task=view&id=62&I temid=85

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-18 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

Note to Obama -- If he doesnt want this to sink his GE (if he is the nominee), he should talk about it now.

I think thats one of the reasons he uses Christianity so much, but unless he wants this to sink his GE (if he is the nominee) he should get it over with now.

Same with his middle name/cocaine use.

That way, if he is the nominee, it would be old news, and any GOP smears wont bite him in the ass.

by sepulvedaj3 2007-12-18 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

I disagree

Obama should stay silent. Hillary used surrogates. So should Obama.

by Bill White 2007-12-18 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

well his campaign should.

if they dont hash it out now, its a nightmare

by sepulvedaj3 2007-12-20 11:30AM | 0 recs
and Reallity says "so nasty"

The Reality-Based Community

I was willing to give Bob Kerrey the benefit of the doubt about his "Barack Hussein Obama" comment. But if his "secular madrassa" comment wasn't a deliberate smear, then Kerrey must really and truly be as dimwitted as his detractors insist. There are some people so nasty that they can't see a belt without wanting to hit below it. And there are others so verbally clumsy that they never open their mouths except for the purpose of inserting a foot. I'm not sure which one Kerrey is, but I'm sure glad he didn't get to be President.

I vote for "so nasty". It's the new Hillary Campaign theme it think.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

The black community is really getting angry at the Clintons.  I am circulating an email to my friends asking whether its better for blacks to vote Huckabee if matched with Clinton given his favorability among blacks in Arkansas.  This may be the year that anti-racist progressives finally part ways with a party that takes them for granted.  I am next going to prepare a petition asking Senator Obama to consider leaving the Democratic Party if these racial smears continue.

by Javier Doval 2007-12-18 08:10AM | 0 recs
seriously

do you seriously want Hillary to win by playing to the worst side of human nature (fear of people who are different the you)? What does is say about her character and her potential presidency?

I thought that the democratic party was better then to use republican fear tactics. Maybe I was wrong I hope not.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-18 09:55AM | 0 recs
Where was the outrage when Obama

went on tour with a BLATANT homophobic group of gospel singers (Donnie McClurkin, Mary Mary)???

Bob Kerry was paying Obama a compliment.  I dont think Donnie McClurkin was paying gays a compliment when he compared us to "prostitutes and murderers" and the "biggest sickness of society."  

Was Obama just having his "surrogates" do his dirty work as you claim Kerry is doing now?  

Or are gays not as human as African Americans now?

by Sandy1938 2007-12-18 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Madrassa Bob pushback

This is beginning to remind me of George Bush's fake outrage tactic used to shut down any other point of view post 9/11 during the Iraq war. Can you imagine this "shut it down now" style of governance in the Oval office, especially with a license to cry racism?  Anyway, I thought Obama was this great inclusive multicultural global candidate, why is he so ashamed of his muslim heritage of his father? If he is not willing to stand up for his family when is he willing to do so? If Bob Kerrey does not bring it up, trust me some other Republican Bob will. Is Obama going to send out his Cult of Personality Maintenance Unit to crush all opposition?  Fake outrage is like crying wolf, you can only use it so many times before it starts to wear thin. I'd wager Barack Hussein Obama is just about out of fake outrage bullets.  Another thing, if he does not like his name then he should change it, but voters are not going to be inspired by a candidate who is ashamed of his own name. By the way, I think Barack has a beautiful and auspicious set of names that establish meaning and worth in that special way that muslim and African names often can. But hey, if he wants to hide it, that's his issue I guess. Trust me Bob in Tuscaloosa, Alabama wants an explanation and may just be happy with what he is told if the candidate stops being so thin skinned and skittish.

by superetendar 2007-12-18 08:54AM | 0 recs

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