Previewing Obama's Speech

If You Can't Say Something Nice, Don't Say Anything At All

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Sen. Barack Obama is about to deliver a major speech in response to the controversy surrounding the recent revelations of the teachings of his church's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. While the press, which has largely ignored the entire controversy, is destined to praise whatever Obama says and declare the matter settled, it is worth a look at what Obama could possibly say that would accomplish that end.

UPDATE: Drudge has the text of the speech posted. Snipets below.

Read on...

I find it hard to believe that Obama will come out in this speech and denounce Rev. Wright. Obama has been a member of Trinity Church for 20 years. Wright married him, baptized his children, and has served as a spiritual mentor, a self described "Uncle," for all of that time. Furthermore, in Obama's few comments on the controversy, he has hinted that the statements, "God damn America," "riding dirty," "America is a nation controlled by rich-white people," and "Hillary ain't never been called a ni**er," are taken out of context and are not representative of the long history of Rev. Wright's teachings.

In other words, Obama has tied himself closer to Wright since the scandal broke, not distanced himself. To do so now by denouncing him, or publicly announcing his resignation from membership in Trinity would be an obviously politically motivated act, and one not worthy of the Senator from H.O.P.E™, the non-political candidate.

At the same time, Obama certainly cannot come out and embrace Wright's commentary on America. To the extent that this new examination of Wright's beliefs, and by extension Obama's concurrence with them, has damaged him, it has been because Obama has assured the voters that he has matured beyond the racially-tinged sniping of characters like Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton. He has to distance himself, without looking like he is distancing himself.

It is for that reason that Obama's speech today is most likely to be unremarkable. The safest course for him to take, as well as the least impressive and newsworthy, is to decry the whole scandal as part of the politics of the past. This is the theme of Obama's entire campaign. He bills himself as a non-politician, unconcerned with petty attacks and baseless charges even as he responds to the kitchen sink campaign being waged against him by Sen. Hillary!™ Clinton.

Obama may seek to straddle the fence, subtly defending the experience of the black church while not specifically embracing Wright's rhetoric. But if he remains true to his campaign thus far, he will decide that sometimes it is better to say nothing than to take a side. The speech is set to begin at 10:15.

UPDATE: Looks like Obama will try to be all things to all people. The speech contains elements of distancing, condemnation, explanation and embrace of Wright and his comments.

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

As such, Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all. [...]

But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS. [...]

That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

There's much more. I encourage you to read the whole thing.

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It's not over until Hillary says it's over.

After all, it's the most effective strategy against Obama, so far. Sure,the 3 a.m. phone call helped against Obama, but it helped McCain more than Hillary.

Since the next big primary is PA, and Gov. Rendall is sure that the bigoted Democrats in PA won't vote for a black man, Hillary will do everything she can to keep this one going. And then we have a string of bigoted Dem primaries coming up, like NC.

The bottom line is residual damage. Will removing this issue from the news change everyone's opinion about Obama's association with Wright? And will it reassure those supers who are on the fence?

I predict that the moment the speech ends, the bulk of the reporters watching will turn to the cameras and talk about what a fantastic speech is was and how this resolved everything and probably even brought in some new converts to the Cult of Obama.

John S. McCain III
Eric Cantor for VEEP

He could literally read the Philadelphia phone book in his speech and various "pundits" would be fawning, crying, and having heart palpitations.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

any sounds emanating from the mouth of Hope. The Butt changed things permanently.

20 years has a way of doing that.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

The hairs would be standing on my neck in vexed anticipation if this were all not so much MSM-driven hype. Suggestion to the great copycat Obama for president campaign, new motto:


The preview and campaign news release spin: "he stayed up all night writing the speech and he did it all by" his lil' ol' self. I guess Ivy-league grads can set a pretty low bar for themselves if they truly try. Props for not having a "team" write it for you Barack, like Gov. Huckabee did with his juvenile Foreign Affairs article he could not retract or recall.

I'm going to enjoy my MSM delivered morning comedy now, his highness should be at the podium by now. I opined more over at the Stand Strong America blog site:

So much more could get done if no one gave a damn who got the credit.

him dance his way out of this. I don't think I have been this angry since Bubba told us HE WAS NOT HAVING SEX WITH THAT WOMAN.

This speech is nothing but a feel good campaign speech that he is now getting to give to the American people. It tells us nothing new, it just confirms what we already knew.

Barack Hussein Obama is nothing but a race-baiting liar that has surrounded himself with those that think America is responsible for all the evils of this world.

I want John McCain to have equal air time to give his clarification of "100 years in Iraq." That is only fair, right?

this is's all becasue of slavery.

When will his end?....makes me sick.

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised

As Obama gives his closing benediction, a light would shine from above and a booming voice would announce "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Then the dove would fly around a little.

Then Chris Matthews would go "SEE!!??"

Ah, if I were a rich man....

...and the ability to shout out "SO, DID WHITE PEOPLE CAUSE AIDS?" at the moment that Wright's work with HIV patients was mentioned.

But that would be mean.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

Accusing The US Government of infecting Black men with HIV was stupid and idiotic of Wright.

However, I do believe he's basing his accusations on the US Government leaving black men with Syphilis untreated and intentionally keeping them from getting treatment from anyone else. The study continued into the 1970's ensuring that anyone the men married and their children also acquired Syphilis.

Having the US Government perform one horrifying experiment will generate suspicion and distrust. After all, if they're willing to do something like that once, why not again with something like HIV?

"The bass, the rock, the mic, the treble, I like my coffee black, just like my Metal." - MSI

...I want Senator Obama's. For a supposedly hopeandchange sort of fellow, it's amazingly hard to get yes-or-no answers out of him. :)


The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

if Crissy had another tingle go up his leg?

Vista really sucks!

getting by being late to his own party.

Obama fails to Get It™; steps on sword while kicking bucket. Film at 11.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

But when the end comes in the weeks or months ahead, I think we will be able to point to this speech today and say; 'this is where the end began.'

This was always to be a lose/lose/lose speech... and I think that Obama made the worse of it. NOBODY will be happy... well other than the MSM. Blacks will not be happy... whites will nto be happy... Hispanics will not be happy.

Parts of it are great. Like most of his speeches, this one is very good. But I am on vacation and completely out of the news cycle. All I have is the transcript of his speech. I see this speech is Clinontesque in this sense: he is wanting- demanding- a free pass on examination of of 20 years involvement in a racist organization. And he seems to believe that dissmebling is the way to get that free pass. Part of that dissembling is on a personal level. He thinks we should simply not think about the implications of 20 years of acceptance of being a part of a racist organization, sort of like accepting Sen. Byrd and his KKK past. But then Obama uses the lefty trick of equivalizing to dissemble further. He seeks to make equivalence between people concerned about illegal immigration and his church's racism. He seeks to make equivalence between rich corporate corruption and his Church's racism. And he goes on in this vein throughout his speech. It is a good technique, but ultimately does not fill. And I do not think it ultimately will let him close the deal.

On the one hand he's saying that blacks basing everything on legacy of slavery needs to have limits, but then he's saying that we need to accept it as being okay. Then he says whites have some racial concerns, but then dismisses them as irrelevant - fodder for conservative talk radio and exploited by politicians.

In trying to be all things to all people he failed to convince me of anything.

The crux of it that I think troubles many white people is that nothing will ever be good enough to overcome this legacy of slavery. Everyone knows some people are racist, but it doesn't help to endlessly cram down people's throats what happened 40 or 140 years ago. If that's how we'll argue, then we should hate the British from back in the Revolutionary War days, hate the Germans and Italians and Japanese from WWII, and people in the south should hate everyone in the north.

The way to "move beyond" racism isn't to use it as a club on a daily basis. We've managed to move beyond all these previous wars; can't we move beyond slavery?

He equates his grandmother's occasional insensitivity (unspecified) to 20 years of racist paranoia.

And effortlessly tosses grandma beneath the taxpayer-funded, union-conducted, symbol of white oppression CTA bus.

Gone 2500 years, still not PC.

Contrary to what all the enlightened pundits have been telling us for the past year, Obama's candidacy is not going to "heal the racial divide" in this country. It is going to make it worse. Much worse, I fear. And lo and's the DEMOCRAT PARTY that is doing it!!

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

I see him now, more than ever, as on the same level as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, even Cynthia McKinney.....pathetic.

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised

Sure, this is cannon fodder for the white bigots who won't vote for a black candidate. There are bigots in the country, there is racism, there is prejudice.

This is an even bigger slap in the face to the limousine liberals who have participated side by side with this fiery anti-American sentiment for years. Apologists who thought they were partners with the black community in righting racial wrongs, tried to make up for problems in the past by pushing the pendulum past equilibrium to compensate for the sins of out fathers.

It is a tremendous insult to any white person who has done all they can to make sure there is equality. Wright has lumped all whites into the same category - wannabe slave owners who invented aids to kill black people, terrorists who deserved what we got on 9-11, vigilantes whose sole desire is to lynch blacks whenever possible.

Obama can make the excuse all he wants that these were Wright's words - not his. He sat in this church for 20 years and gave money to support this hate-filled "ministry". Guilt by association? You betcha. Associate with hate, support hate, and you are part of that hate.

The Obama defenders say this is proof of racial bigotry in America. I agree wholeheartedly with this. The trouble is, they won't admit that bigotry comes in black and white. Wright and the congregation that supports him - which included Obama until it became an embarrassment to a candidate for president, are bigots and hatemongers.

Wright has every right to say whatever he wants - even preaching hatred from the pulpit. The country that he has called on God to damn gave him that right. The white people he has told his flock to hate gave him that right.

This controversy has opened the skin on a swollen and festering boil. The fact that Obama's defenders have stated that this type of hate is preached from pulpits all around this country has provided a wake-up call to many who have seen great strides in racial equality over the past 40 years. Racial hatred is color-blind.

The boil has been lanced. Whether the puss oozes out or comes out in a violent stream depends on how it gets squeezed either in August or in November if Obama loses either the primary or the general election.

I like how he put his grandmother into the same boat as Rev Wright because she sometimes said some non-PC things in her life. Really classy, dude. You have one grandma living in a shack and you just threw the other one under a bus with a hateful bigot.

John S. McCain III
Eric Cantor for VEEP

I'm not sure that's fair. I loved my Grandmother, and I never saw her mistreat anybody, black or white, at least as long as I knew her.

Yet, while she had learned to temper her earlier very racist language that she used before I was born (so I'm told), she occasionally let some things slip that were WAY out of line (she once told me, without flinching, that Mexicans were lazy and stupid, for example). I mean, I don't think if I were to say "I love my Grandmother but I strongly denounce some things she's said," is all that classless.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

My Dad, a WWII vet, was quite capable of using racist language and growing up I heard a fair amount of it from him. It was his one big flaw, in my opinion. I suspect that many people have this experience from their parents or grandparents. But nothing he said (and I suspect nothing Obama's Granny said) rose to the level of pure hate that Rev. White spits out. That was my only point.

John S. McCain III
Eric Cantor for VEEP

as Wright writing a weekly speech and delivering it in order to convince a crowd to give him money.

Oh, and serve Jesus.

Forgive my cynicism, Lord.

Gone 2500 years, still not PC.

name within the sentence of racial division.
John McCain has never been anything but gracious to him.
He is giving us the "I am the ONLY one that can heal us" rhetoric now.
Gaw-this man must be stopped.

metioned in passing how American had progressed that now a black woman had succeded a black man in one of the very highest offices of state, but I guess that's the wrong sort of change for him.

The first half of the speech is great as is his explanation of his relationship to his pastor and church.

But his diagnoses of America's problems, what causes them and the prescription to fix them are all the same old cliches of the far left.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Agreed. I liked the first half to 2/3rds of his speech a lot. Then he jumped the shark in a major way.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

He could have a made it a speech for the ages if he'd left his politics aside for a day. The part about race was truly outstanding.

We would also like to know your advice for somebody like my daughter, who's going to graduate in two years, advice that you would give a young person.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Advice for a young person. Study history.

I didn't puke until the "questionable accounting practices" reference.

demand equal time to clarify anything "controversial" that comes their way.
The fact that he has gotten so much free airtime today is totally unacceptable.

He is their darling however. Excuse me while I go puke somewhere.

the bad guys, the dividers. This includes conservative talk radio, we know who they are.

Obama is making a big bet, he has thrown down the gauntlet and burned the bridges behind him. The tapes still exist and Hillary waits in the wings.
And the media will finally discover the Wright controversy, if only to bury it.

"a man's admiration for absolute government is proportinate to the contempt he feels for those around him". Tocqueville

I think it plays very well to the Obamites. Decent to the Clintonistas, good to independants and poorly to Republicans. Unfortunately I think he may pull it off.

so when I say "good" I'm not advocating his positions but I think it accomplishes what he wanted which was to put the Wright thing behind him.

that leaves it "behind" lost some of his behind. He is not the same him now.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

but I think this repairs some of it. Time will tell if the damage was terminal or not.

"part of the American family".

Obama, like the dem party, learned nothing from Clinton's victories. The far left has returned, blaming America first abriad and hanging onto blaming whites for Black pathologies. Independents resent that.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised

White liberals: Good enough for us. We agree that it's always been about slavery and finally someone (an articulate liberal charistmatic black leader) has the moral authority to say that we white liberals have always been supportive of black issues....Unity....Hope....Change....Unity....Hope....Change...

Black liberals: Obama is the man. He brought our hopes, concerns, issues and history into the public forum in a way no one has ever done. He didn't apologize for repeating what we have always known and rehashing our grievances and most importantly he gets a lot of white people to agree that we have legitimate historical issues.

Independants: We like the self help bone. I may not agree with Wright but in some ways I admire BHO for sticking by him even when its an unpopular decision. This proves he has some backbone. I think he may be a strong president after all.

White Liberals: Were never really affected by Rev Wright in the first place. Many of the "enlightened" white, wealthy liberals probably agreed with much of what Rev Wright said.

Black Liberals: Rev Wright never affected this group one iota.

Independents: Probably didn't watch or read the speech, however most have heard Rev Wright, and that is what will be the memory.

Where Rev Wright is going to hurt Obama is the blue-collar lower/middle class white Democrats, and low income/less educated women, aka Reagan Democrats. I don't know that these folks are going to swoon over Obama because of this speech.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

already voting Clinton. So that's why I say it doesn't hurt him much.

could ride this to the dem nomination, but even there, its 50/50. No way this repairs the permanent damage that makes his election as president impossible. In fact, after 20 years in that church and given his far left views, he is a McGovernite disaster for the dems waiting to happen. He can't repair himself for that "it".

I think

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

obviously he will in the MSM and the blogosphere will get tired of it as long as Wright stays out of the limelight.

I don't really think it hurts him too much on the Dem side. And while I think he is still damaged vs. McCain I hate to think that racicst Dems will swing the election to us. I'd take it but it would make me feel a bit queasy. /snark

the dem party will swing the election to us.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

How did this help him in PA? Or IN, WV, or KY? :)

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

even if you disagree with the content. Gotta give him that.

“Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15.”
-Ronald Reagan

I was just kidding before, it's totally about race.


Damn the Obama! Full speed ahead!

and you do understand our hate because you caused it. Hate is a part of us and we will keep close to us so we can use it against you.

Obama is done, I hope. He just drove the wedge between races even deeoer by trying to explain why blacks have hate and why we should accept it.

Obama just laid his cards on the table and it is not a pretty site. He just re-enforced what so many feared, he is an angry black man, angry about what he has heard, lived with and experienced even from his own Grandmother. White Community YOU are Responsible for blacks problems and I will turn my back on MY Brothers.

Obama justified Wrights words , even when he DID sit in the church (so much for not EVER hearing anger from Wright) but worst, Obama justified Wright because of his "works" and we should forget his "Words". Sorry Barack, they go hand in hand and you cannot seperate the tow. Hate against everything Not Black, is just plain wrong and if you embrace a person who says as much, you ARE guilty by association.

need you to do, friend.
You need to dig deep down and get on board with John McCain. He is not perfect and I have my issues as well, but he is head and shoulders above this tool we just watched. We must defeat Obama and the dems. And we need your help to do it.

it when the man admitted that he had lied to the American people on Friday?

If not, here is another example of him admitting that he is nothing but an opportunistic liar.

"In a speech this morning at the National Constitution Center, Sen. Obama said he had been present when Rev. Wright made some of his "controversial" sermons."

Lie like a rug!

After reading the speech, I feel he was trying to appease to his black electorate by not disassociating himself with the racist Wright, just admonishing his statements, and then spitting rhetoric that appeals to the populist. He also feels the need to address his hardcore lib supporters with what's really wrong with America, not affirmative action, or how Dems were the enactors of the "Legalized discrimination" he speaks about, but how conservatives who believe this self help ideal hasn't helped whites who see their jobs shipped overseas, pension dumped etc. Obviously I haven't heard the speech so maybe the oratory of it is going to be Obama-esque, which will make it sound better than it is, but from reading it I'm not overly convinced this answered any questions regarding leaving this church lead by a hateful preacher, him being able to transcend above the race issue, if anything i think he still believes this isn't a huge issue at all and will spin it to state that those who continue to bring this up are the racists and divisive people.

Before you get to heaven, you must go through hell, which in my case is the People's Republic of Massachusetts.

And I'm not surprised.

McCain can take this ball and run with it. In one paragraph, Obama showed his belief that the Reagan coalition was built on racial resentments that grew out of Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy" (he didn't mention it, but that wasn't far from the surface).

McCain could make a scholarly, unifying, conservative defense of Reaganism, knocking down Obama's racist cant. Reaganism rose because of Democratic weakness overseas and inflation at home. It is as if the loss in Vietnam, the Soviet expansion, and the Iranian hostage crisis never existed. For Obama, the Reagan Coalition is all race based.

This was a huge error on Obama's part.

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it"-Winston Churchill

...made one of the first major speeches of his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and made a point of mentioning his belief in "states' rights"?

I'm not arguing that racism played a large part in Reagan's election, but to think for a second that Reagan didn't build on Nixon's "Southern Strategy" is naive, at best.

... terminal.

Do you actually know anything about the Neshoba County Fair, which is held in Philadelphia, MS? Do you know how important it is in MS state politics? Do you know that Mike Dukakis campaigned there in 1988? Do you know that the very next day, Reagan delivered a long scheduled speech to the Urban League?

Exactly how stupid do you think Southerners are that Reagan would supposedly appeal to their supposed inner Nazi and then speak before the Urban League the next day without them noticing that he is not actually promising them the return of Jim Crow?

Why do liberals need to assume that vast swathes/regions of the American public are stupid moral reprobates?

PS: For the non-idiots. The so-called Southern Strategy is more myth than reality. Once you study the Congressional and state level voting patterns of the South, party registration numbers, Presidential votes versus the rest of the country and the demographic changes, you'll pretty much have to conclude that it's really more of Democratic fable to explain away their loss of the South.

Romney/Pace 2008

Yes, I'm familiar with that fair and its political reputation.

The use of the "states' rights" phrase was, in my opinion, quite calculated. Right or wrong, Reagan knew his audience and played to it. That's just the way it is.

My WWII-veteran grandfathers - both Southerners and long gone now - would have something to say about your "inner Nazi" comment.

Roll Tide.

"chrome plated" is probably gone, but for the rest of y'all ...

I cannot emphasize this enough ... It really would have to take a person of extreme bad faith to listen to this or even just read the full quote where Reagan said the phrase "States' Rights" - once and only once in a wide ranging speech - and conclude that he was appealing in any way shape or form, to hatred and prejudice.

What we have to do is bring back the recognition that the people of this country can solve its problems. I still believe the answer to any problem lies with the people. I believe in state's rights and I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment.

As for "chrome plated" ...

My WWII-veteran grandfathers - both Southerners and long gone now - would have something to say about your "inner Nazi" comment.

No, I don't think so. In fact, I think they (part of that "audience") would be more offended that you, their own grandchild, think they would respond to a two-word phrase in its most positive political context like Pavlov's dogs, thinking they're being promised a return to a past where black people, like me, were less than second class citizens.

Romney/Pace 2008

...from a homework assignment; in fact, you just burned up all your accumulated goodwill getting this warning not to try that again. Understood?

No, I didn't ask for an excuse or explanation.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

Reagan MUST have played to baser instincts.

15% interest rates. High unemployment. Skyrocketing inflation. Soviet adventurism in Aghanistan and Marxists on the march in Central America. The fall of the Shah and the embassy seizure in Iran.

What was not to like?

Yes, that g-d Reagan played to people's prejudices to get elected.


You white people don't agree with everything your priest or rabbi says, right?

The problem is, mainstream Christians and Jews are almost always born into their religion and have gone to church or temple their whole lives. Obama, by contrast, chose, as a sentient adult who had graduated from Harvard Law School, to attend Wright's church, and to make this man his spiritual advisor and make him very close to his own family. It shows what his instincts are and where his heart truly lies. By not rejecting him in toto, Obama in essence has accepted Wright and his hateful, bigoted comments.

Yes, I'm sure Wright has done many nice things - just like I'm sure KKK Grand Wizards were very nice to their families and performed charitable works for whites.

Obama is nothing more than the latest version of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

If my pastor said anything of the kind, I would leave the church.

If my pastor said anything against blacks or any other race, I would leave the church immeadiately.

If my pastor said that America was a terrible country, I would leave the church.

Has my pastor ever criticized America's focus on money ... sure ... and their focus on sex, etc, but if he ever got into blatant anti-Americanism, my family and I would be out the door much less if he started tossing out racial stuff.

That line right there is a load of crock.

There is a big difference between what Wright said and the things I have "strongly disagreed" with my pastor about (my pastor has bought somewhat into global warming which is probably my biggest disagreement. It's not a major focus of his so it doesn't bother me too much).

Reminds me of MLK, Jr., WITHOUT the prose. A HISTORIC speech!

With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see right.

for the WORK he has done in his community. This problem has not gone away and even though he is a effective speaker, he did not lay this issue to rest. It is alive and kicking because he supports Wright in what he does but maybe not what he says.

Obama thinks we do not know there is a divide along racial lines. WE do not need Obama telling us, and trying to justify, there is hate among some, we know that. We do not need Barack to tell us blacks came here as slaves, we know that. Obama just told White America, I am Black, I have hate for you (as my pastor does), but I want your vote so you can feel better about the way you have treated blacks all your life.

The story lives on!

responsibility for sitting thru that hate speech for 20 years. Juan thinks Obama tries to shift blame to the racial divide. Sees a great character flaw in Obama.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

So do you still think Clarence Page would be better than Juan Williams in a republican Administration?

Sorry, I couldn't resist bringing that old one up.

By the way, I have not seen Obama's speech firsthand -- too many impotant things to do that I am trying hard to avoid -- but from the little I've taking in on it, it sounds like a racial "bait and switch." "Yes, Wright has said some bad things but he's done some good things and it's all your [Whites, conservatives, whathaveyou] fault any way because of racism. I'm not responsible for sitting quietly in the pews for 20 years."

I hope to catch a recording of it later.

I like them both even if both are too liberal on many issues, but I'll never forget Juan's interview with Brit in 2002 when Juan explained why he was fired from CNN for darung to challenge Jesse Jackson and defend Clarence Thomas.

Obama still wants all whites to live in white guilt. Juan doesn't, see his "Enough". I know much more about Juan than Clarence but have found many of his columns to be consevative.

I do think that with a McCain that we could attract many moderate blacks.

but I do say to you


Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

I was referring to an old thread I had with someone who was saying that Clarence Page would be a preferred Press Secretary in a McCain Administration, even preferrable over Juan Williams. It was some time ago and it might nt have been you.

Regardless, I only make my comments above vis-s-vis Page vs. Williams in jest. I must get back to work.

He's blaming others for interpreting his relationship the way it's been interpreted.

But, really, what choice does he have? He can disavow Wright entirely if he wanted to. Some say that his problem in doing so is making black voters mad. I don't think that's the problem in doing that. The problem is that it'll look phony.

This isn't some ephemeral, hard-to-understand relationship -- such as the Tony Rezko thing. This is the man's pastor. And Obama's a religious man.

He's stuck with him -- and he just has to hope that people will accept that he's the post-racial man he says he is...the last 20 years of his actions notwithstanding.

Beyond that,

I think he's trying to make the argument that this is a generational thing. That people who were a generation or two older than him have a deep suspicion and distrust because of the experiences they've had.

It seems if you're Under 50, you're much more likely to 'Get' What he's saying, and if you're Over 50, you're much more likely to view it in the prism of the prior generation experience.
"The bass, the rock, the mic, the treble, I like my coffee black, just like my Metal." - MSI

Barack, for bring the racial divide to the fore front. He kept the line connected to Wright because it is a part of him. He put his heart out there for America to see and America will decide.

White Reporters are not as positive in that he did not seperate from Wright and his Works, just his words. He tried to lay the blame on the Social Structure in America and not personal responsibility.

Barack seems more like Pastor Wright than MLK Jr.

The superior oratory skills of Obama are on display in what is a rather open and forthright speech and yet fails to address Obama’s 20 year membership in a racist church. Here is the meat of the “black wash”

“And occasionally it[anger/racism] finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Is this recognition of black fantasy white world? Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. and what be Imus'd out of a job in what was otherwise known as impolite shock radio? But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. TWIST/LIE – so it must be the fault of those racist Reagan voters Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. How about the routine actions of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson? Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed
Ahh --- so rather than squarely face your own complicity in your condition of a 20 year attendance in a racist organization it is all the fault of those big bad corporations.; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.”

Yet Senator Obama you fail to address your 20 year membership in a racist church that adhered to this Black Value System that measured “worth and validity of all activity in terms of positive contributions to the general welfare of the Black Community and the Advancement of Black People towards freedom.” So Senator Obama after 20 years of seeing no value or worth in the doctor who saves the life of a white child, or the person who starts a business but has no black employees has no value or worth because neither action advanced black people you can now move us forward to address the problems of all Americans?

Senator Obama under this Black Value system your white grandmother and grandfather only have value and worth because of the actions they took in raising you – but any contributions that they may have made toward the futures and well-being of their non-Kenyan grandchildren have no value or worth. Please explain why?

M Penny

Obama has a Leftist view of the world.

I would suspect that that is why so many people, even here on this site, like at least the first part of speech. Having only read brief transcripts, that is were he (seemingly genuinely) denounces racism. But then he goes into a Leftist diatribe and that is where his entire argument falls about.

I like your quotes and your analysis, M Penny. What I think they highlight is that Obama is a Leftist, and not the racists that his pastor is. The danger for conservatives, and all Americans in general who oppose him, is to fight him with as a "racist" instead of the "Leftist" that he is.

He *could* have been the "post-racial" candidate. However, Obama is held hostage by the leftist worldview, and that is what is unraveling his candidacy.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

It really doesn't matter what he says because he will say whatever he thinks he has to say to fool people into supporting his candidacy. He is to be the great symbol for warmed over failed New Deal policies.

What fools some people are.

You are correct.

Racism lays the blame for all of life’s problems at the feet of a perceived persecutor. Racist is the cry of the liberal victim. The liberal victim sees no personal responsibility or accountability. They are not poor because they failed to study and stay in school and obtain a basic education and skills that would lead to a living wage. Nope, they don't have jobs that provide a living wage because society is racist. They are raising their children in poverty not because they became pregnant too young and usually out of wedlock and thus do not have the support of a two parent household of older adults. No they are raising their children in poverty because society is racist. The liberal always looks to lay blame for the ills of society at organizations and groups. Either governments are not doing enough to help the individual, or corporations are not stepping in and covering for the poor decisions of the individual, or a nameless collective group -- talk radio commentators, rich privileged whites, Republicans -- are responsible for holding beliefs and pursuing agendas contrary to liberalism.

M Penny

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised

Again, spot on.

Racism is a belief (and the practive of that belief) that one's particular race provides moral, intellectual, or physical superiority over another's race. In that, racism is neither inherently liberal nor conservative.

Yes, Jeremiah Wright is a racist -- although, again, I do not think Barack Obama is, he is a Leftist -- but by that same token I know of white conservatives who are racist, too.

Did he actually say his white grandmother admitted to using racial slurs? Did she ever do it in public on videotape? If he can throw his own grandmother under the bus, I can see him holding up a baby to protect from a gunman much like Martin Sheen did in the "The Dead Zone".

He had an opportunity to close the book on his pastors Hate for America, but what he did was not only leave the book open but he has opened up his book for all to see.

The reference to OJ... is a prime example of what he really feels and his words ring hollow, unless you have been through the troubles he and "his" people have. That means there is more than 1 America. So much for the President of All America.

He has laid the ground work to claim racism is the reason he did not win, NOT his liberal ideas, stance on the War, Health Care, Social Idealism... Yes it can now be all about Race! Something he sdaid he has worked to stay above. So much for uniting America when there is more than one.

The Red Sox Republican: Burkeanism, Baseball, and Sundries.

...Obama's problem is that actions speak louder than words.

Particularly actions taken outside the context of silly season, and in 20 years of normal, everyday, non-presidential life.

Pat Buchanan offers a sobering assessment of Obama's candidacy and the Democrat Party.

The money quote at the end:

Truly, the Democratic Party is now headed for a train wreck. Though Barack seems likely to win more pledged delegates than Hillary, the super-delegates will have to decide whether they want to offer America a nominee whose pastor and mentor embodies the anti-white racism and anti-Americanism that has ever brought the patriotic blood of Middle America to a boil. Wright is not the sort of fellow you want to bring with you into "Deer Hunter" Country.

It's really quite satisfying to me to see the Democrat Party undone by their own creations, namely political correctness and race hustling.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

... is a fool, but even a blind pig finds an acorn now and again.

That being said, I think that the bi-coastal leftists have so much disdain for fly over America that they honestly do not see this as a problem. They have done it before and, thankfully, they will keep doing it.

Why would God invent something like whiskey? To keep the Irish from ruling the world of course

Jeremiah is such an evil and despicable man that he makes Pat Buchanan look like an icon of reason.

"I believe we must adjourn this meeting to some other place." - The last recorded words of Adam Smith.

I get the impression he really, really likes to hear himself talk.

When you read the text it becomes very clear that he is not saying anything.

that's just the lawyer in him n/t

M Penny

excerpt followed by link:

And yet, in the end, Barack Obama's candidacy is not qualitatively different from Al Sharpton's or Jesse Jackson's. Like these more irascible of his forbearers, Mr. Obama's run at the presidency is based more on the manipulation of white guilt than on substance. Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson were "challengers," not bargainers. They intimidated whites and demanded, in the name of historical justice, that they be brought forward. Mr. Obama flatters whites, grants them racial innocence, and hopes to ascend on the back of their gratitude. Two sides of the same coin.

But bargainers have an Achilles heel. They succeed as conduits of white innocence only as long as they are largely invisible as complex human beings. They hope to become icons that can be identified with rather than seen, and their individual complexity gets in the way of this. So bargainers are always laboring to stay invisible. (We don't know the real politics or convictions of Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan or Oprah Winfrey, bargainers all.) Mr. Obama has said of himself, "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views . . ." And so, human visibility is Mr. Obama's Achilles heel. If we see the real man, his contradictions and bents of character, he will be ruined as an icon, as a "blank screen."

Thus, nothing could be more dangerous to Mr. Obama's political aspirations than the revelation that he, the son of a white woman, sat Sunday after Sunday -- for 20 years -- in an Afrocentric, black nationalist church in which his own mother, not to mention other whites, could never feel comfortable. His pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is a challenger who goes far past Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in his anti-American outrage ("God damn America").

How does one "transcend" race in this church? The fact is that Barack Obama has fellow-traveled with a hate-filled, anti-American black nationalism all his adult life, failing to stand and challenge an ideology that would have no place for his own mother. And what portent of presidential judgment is it to have exposed his two daughters for their entire lives to what is, at the very least, a subtext of anti-white vitriol?

What could he have been thinking? Of course he wasn't thinking. He was driven by insecurity, by a need to "be black" despite his biracial background. And so fellow-traveling with a little race hatred seemed a small price to pay for a more secure racial identity. And anyway, wasn't this hatred more rhetorical than real?

But now the floodlight of a presidential campaign has trained on this usually hidden corner of contemporary black life: a mindless indulgence in a rhetorical anti-Americanism as a way of bonding and of asserting one's blackness. Yet Jeremiah Wright, splashed across America's television screens, has shown us that there is no real difference between rhetorical hatred and real hatred.

No matter his ultimate political fate, there is already enough pathos in Barack Obama to make him a cautionary tale. His public persona thrives on a manipulation of whites (bargaining), and his private sense of racial identity demands both self-betrayal and duplicity. His is the story of a man who flew so high, yet neglected to become himself.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

By supporting Pastor Wright, Obama tells America Hate/Racism is fine as long as the work done in the community is good.

He did not distance himself from the Man Wright, just the Words of Wright. He did not condem Racism, he supported it-as long as you understand why it exists.

Obama showed America he will support America/White/Rich Haters as long as they help others of their own race.

Obama may have just lost the election today.

An impressive and inspiring speech. It's hard to deny Obama's ability to put a finger on the pulse of America, and to turn these issues into opportunity for dialog.

You guys might think I'm a moby and all but the truth is I have never voted for a Democrat at the federal or even state level (although I am quite ashamed I voted for Jesse Ventura). I just don't buy partisan politics at all. Right and left means very little to me when leadership is at stake. Just so happens that most great leaders are Republican conservatives.

I've been a McCain supporter since the 90's. I was talking up McCain on Redstate back when he was all but dead and Fred reigned as the next messiah. I will always admire McCain's leadership and patriotism, and I will most certainly vote for him in November. It will be the culmination of all my hopes for the man.

But I like Barack Obama, I think he's a real leader. His speeches alone do a great service to his country. His message to America always invokes thought and introspection in me, not divisiveness and anger. Needless to say, I don't understand 90% of the comments here. We can pull out the "he's a liar!" cart and paint the walls red, but it doesn't change the shape of the room.

Call me a Kantian, but I've never believed the ends justify the means. It's not worth it to destroy Obama (especially on race) just so McCain has better chances in November. We have an obligation to do what's right, and the right way is the high road. This is coming from one of the staunchest McCainiacs out there.

In a perfect world, Obama could be McCain's VP, turn their backs on the far left and far right, roll up their sleeves and do what needs to be done in Iraq, Afghanistan, our economy, immigration reform, healthcare, education and tax code.

There are tremendous, monumental, challenges ahead for America. I think the tough times have only just begun. But I am so proud of this country right now. We have cast off every bad candidate in 2008 except one, and the she-devil is barely hanging on. What would have been the odds last summer that we would have made such wise choices? It's remarkable actually.

History is all that will help us with the future

he is a liar and a leftist.
And this country needs neither.

Gone 2500 years, still not PC.

Obama's speech aside for a moment, once I got to the part about McCain and Obama being on the same ticket, disowning left and right, fixing America, lost me entirely.

Do you realize how insane that is? There are two very different competing visions out there for America's future. And some mishmash mix of them isn't a third option.

Obama, though he resists talking about it, represents one of them. I'm not entirely sure McCain represents the other -- but he's the closest we've got and at least some of his advisers and supporters (like Phil Gramm, Tom Coburn, and Jack Kemp) are representative of the other.

Get real, sir.

I can understand what you are saying. On the surface, it seems counterproductive to put two competing visions on a ticket to lead the free world.

I just think America is a more complicated country than that. And, perhaps more so, the times we are in are more complicated than that.

"I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren." -BHO

History is all that will help us with the future

It not only seems counterproductive to put two competing visions on a ticket to lead the free world, it is!

Ultimately, one vision is right and the other is wrong. Intellectually, morally and factually right and intellectually, morally and factually wrong. Each vision may even be right and wrong about different things but that does not change the fact that each vision is either right or wrong and thus can neither be synchronized or compromised.

For example, slavery is either right or wrong. You cannot synchronize or compromise those visions. Should we have tried a combined Abraham Lincoln/Stephen Douglas ticket to resolve the issue of slavery?

I can understand you desire, Bill Bryan, you vision; but ultimately it itself is just one vision against a competing vision. And I think your vision is intellectually, morally and factually wrong.

then all that would exist would be partisan rancor.

If right and left politics can shift over time (Abe's GOP of strong federal government vs. the GOP today, for just one example) then how in the world is one "vision" static in its "correctness"?

We can spar over history if you like, but you might not be pleased with the outcome. We have had many split tickets in our past, with varying degrees of success. But more importantly, our moments of bipartisanship have been some of America's finest moments. Ike was a great president, and he carried on a significant amount of policies from his two predecessors, who were also great leaders of this country.

We came together in WWI to defeat the tyrannies of Europe, despite a heavily Republican congress and a very idealistic Dem president. After the war, they went at each other again, as Congress scuttled Wilson's great League of Nations vision. In my opinion, good work in coming together, and good work in breaking apart.

Politics should not be detached from its time and held up as some ideal, void of context.

I've got a truth for you: politics will always be compromised in this country. It's a virtue for those of us who love the notion of democracy.
History is all that will help us with the future

Nor even to synchronize opposing viewpoints but to provide the basis for more accurate truth.

I like intelligent, thought-provoking liberals and always want them to have a voice in the free market of ideas. They force me to examine the positions I have and refine what I think is truth.

However, I do not want liberals on my ticket. That is not the recipe for success; it is a recipe for chaos.

We could talk about history but I think you would be wrong. Moreover, you confuse the exposition of particular ideas with the total position of the political actors. Woodrow Wilson (who was probably the worst racist to occupy the Presidency in the last 100 years, by the way) and the Republican Congress had the same vision when the US was in World War 1; there was no conflict. Thus I find your example inapposite.

For example, if the only issue was GWOT and the War in Iraq, I think Joe Lieberman would be a very excellent VP choice for McCain. However, there are too many others areas where I too strongly disagree with Lieberman to desire to see him on the ticket.

Thus, the agreement on singular issues does not disprove my contention that combining two competing visions on the ticket is a foolish and counterproductive idea. Quite the contrary.

This dialectic is precisely what I'm advocating. You might deny its compromise in any way, but that's fine. Whatever keeps you at the table and engaged, regardless if its "refinement" or "compromise."

There seems much we agree on here, we are just busy trying to say it in disagreeable ways.

If someone asks me whether I want a Liberal on a ticket with my man McCain, I'd probably say no too. But first I'd ask for their name, which would be more informative to me than the letter D or R that followed it.
History is all that will help us with the future

you might deny IT IS compromise, that is
History is all that will help us with the future


Thinking the world too simple to eschew moral relativism over slavery shold have gotten you a warning.

I don't deem it "thoughtful" to be morally obtuse.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Who's a moral relativist?? Espousing dialecticism for our political process (or indeed merely seeing our process for what it is) is NOT moral relativism. I even labeled myself a deontologist for heaven's sake. Hardly a relativist position.

It's one thing to say a dialectic can lead us to moral positions, and quite another to say morality itself is nothing more than mere perception or relation. I hold the former view, you are accusing me of the latter.

Honestly, your reply makes little sense to me. I'd ask you to eaborate but for some reason I'm afraid of the consequences.
History is all that will help us with the future

question on slavery. Rather, you take three paragraphs or more to avoid ever taking a moral stand.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Where do I equivocate on the question of slavery???????????

You best start pointing out my other moral equivocations, lest you make yourself silly.

If anyone needs a warning right now, it's you. You're accusations are absolutely baseless. I have been courteous, open, and to the point, even if I have too much to say, even if you don't agree with me.

Maybe you should ceremonially ban Aristotle for his doctrine of the means.
History is all that will help us with the future

both of us, I tire of this dialectical paradigm. Play your game with another 'cock.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

... aren't you? I'm being serious here; I really do apologize for calling you a moby. You really are one of them bipartisanship at-all-costs, all that is wrong with the world is partisanship type "moderates."

I don't mean to be insulting or anything, but everything you've written up there is textbook "moderate", striking all the right pious poses, contradictions and the unfortunate propensity to place style over substance.

You say want politicians who stand their ground on principle, but you also demand compromise on every single front. You earnestly call for a change from the status quo but you just as earnestly complain about the fireworks such changes must inevitably send up. You want a Republican and a diametrically opposed on every issue Democrat on the same ticket, simply because the latter is good at public speaking and he says all sorts pretty things like Hope™ and Change™.

I find your type very fascinating, actually, despite the fact that the average voter is closer to you than I am. All a politician really needs to do is say stuff like "put partisanship aside", "get things done" and "I blame both sides" and your hearts simply melt to warm butter.

The last time I really tangled with someone like you on RS, he let me know that he didn't care about the content, effect or even wisdom of any bill - in so far as it had "bipartisan" support, the President (whoever he is) should sign it into law, because he was "so tired" of the "partisan bickering." It was hilarious, I actually thought he was in tears as he wrote it.

Remarkable, really ...

PS: Lincoln favoring the United States remaining united is a far cry from the federal government dominated welfare state FDR and LBJ saddled the nation with. And to be honest, Eisenhower was a great General, but only a so-so go-along-to-get-along (I guess a perfect politician by "moderate" standards) President.

If Eisenhower had received the fortune of having the ruthlessly partisan and incredibly effective (even in the minority) Robert "Mr. Republican" Taft in the Senate, his Presidency would have been a lot more than just the bland eight years they were - alas Taft died the same year he was sworn in.

Romney/Pace 2008

I appreciate your kind words, Martin, even your very incorrect ones, like "diametrically opposed on every issue," "demand compromise on every front," and "style over substance."

It's that simplification again. I'll admit I have a fascination with the complexities of the world so long as you admit to your fascination with its simplicity. :)

Ike. He presided over America's golden decade. An effective executor, and solid leader. The old warrior Taft was a good man, too. We could use more like him today.

You mistake me for softies out there who want bipartisanship at all costs, instead of merely a firm believer in the dialectic of our brilliant political process. Hard sides lay the foundation for collisions of better truths, so long as we understand the process. The danger comes when we become too static in our thinking, and believe deep down one is the harbinger of truth over the other, instead of the truth residing in the collision.

I'm a fan of Bachmann here in MN, but in truth I'm a moderate. I don't trust Ralph Ellison as far as I can throw him, but the fact that my state sent both he and Bachman to congress makes me smile. I just find something wonderfully American about it.
History is all that will help us with the future

... I got it in one. There are no inaccuracies in anything I wrote and I am pretty okay with the concept that stuff may be more complex than they initially appear. However, unlike you - who would seem to seek complexity in the most simple of issues, I am also aware that greys are made up of little black and white dots when you come close.

I mean, c'mon ... Barack Obama has compiled the most liberal record in the Senate since he got into that body and yet Hope & Change™ is enough to make you wish he's on the same ticket with John McCain. That he's 90% and not a 100% on the other side of McCain on issues still doesn't make it a good idea.

And to be honest, Ike's Presidency was nothing special at all. He went along and to get along, coasting all the way through - completely enervating his party by the way. By the time he left, all of Taft's work from FDR onward in getting the GOP back to a level where it could compete at all levels with the Democrats was lost - we would not gain it back until 1994.

I don't trust Ralph Ellison as far as I can throw him, but the fact that my state sent both he and Bachman to congress makes me smile. I just find something wonderfully American about it.

I think the problem is that you're probably confusing wanting your own side of the argument to win with wanting a one-party state. The ironic thing is; it is "moderates" like you insisting that we must always seek ways to split the difference at the first sign of conflict that will ensure that happens sooner rather than later.

Romney/Pace 2008

Solve them together?

OK, how do you think Obama plans to solve the healthcare problem? You think it'll be some third way? Or is his solution to further grow government and put the burden of providing healthcare on the backs of taxpayers?

I'm sure he'd be fine if we were to go along with him on that we can be united and all.

But surely you see that we can't have it both ways. We're either going to become a basically quasi-capitalist/socialist country like France and the former major European powers, or we're going to stay fully engaged in the liberty as envisaged by our founders.

I'm sorry: but what Obama means when he says that we have to come together is that we have to either join up with their visions or get the hell out of their way.

If you don't see that, then I don't know what to tell you.

It's clearly a sign that my long reply was thwarted by a faulty internet connection. So here's the much shorter version.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Romney sign into law a bill that forced individuals to pay for health insurance? And hasn't Obama expressed many reservations about doing precisely that? Complicated, this healthcare issue. Not to be solved in black and whites.

Many would like to see the healthcare market become more accessable for individual consumers, so they can get quotes directly from healthcare providers as opposed to brokers. Making the system more like auto insurance would probably allow the market to do what it does best, bring costs down and diversify the industry.

In addition, I would like to see children in this country guaranteed health insurance. Honestly, whether that's a private or public quarantee, I really couldn't care less. It's the least we can do in the richest country this side of Saturn. Many republicans who voted for SCHIP felt the same way.

Believe it or not, the healthcare divide isn't as big as it might seem. There's much to be agreed on, and where there are disagreements, yes, there's room for compromise. There was an excellent op-ed about this a month ago, but I've forgotten almost everything about it. Getting old has it's downside.

We don't have merely two choices in this country. That's way too simplistic. We are neither one step away from socialism nor virginal liberty. We are a complicated nation and democracy has made us that way.
History is all that will help us with the future

You said you wanted children to have guaranteed healthcare, whether public or private?

How would something be made via private channels? Even if you try to do this by way of charitable organizations, it doesn't seem possible to me.

But I guess I'm just dogmatic and simplistic and, thus, stupid. Look, Bill, there's really nothing that's truly guaranteed (as we're finding out with Social Security). But, to the extent that we can pass legislation to ensure that a kid will have health insurance regardless of his parents' ability pay for it, it has to be public. Somebody has to pay the bill -- there is no such thing as a free lunch.

If you want taxpayers to do it, by all means, shout it from the rooftops. But don't pee on me and tell me it's raining. Save it for somebody more gullible.

Perhaps this is creative thinking on my part but isn't it possible for insurance guarantees to be handled in the private sector? It doesn't have to be a free lunch or charity, that's a far cry from doing what is necessary to insure children in this country, like discounts to low-income families, or more flexible child policies that cover necessities. It should be mentioned too that insuring children is about the cheapest thing to pay for in our healthcare system. The risk is low, so surely private insurance companies can find creative means to make the cost of healthcare more affordable for children from low-income families.

Private educational institutions do the same thing. They do as much as they can to ensure accepted students have a chance to enroll. That's how I was fortunate enough to get a degree from an excellent private insitution 4,000 years ago. Parents and administrators come together, dig through the details of finances and find a compromise.

There's that dirty word again.
History is all that will help us with the future

This man is running for the post powerful position in a nation at war, facing foreign risks that are unclear to the most informed minds.

He offers:
- his (admittedly) scintillating self
- his Ivy League education
- his years as community organizer and state senator, very linked to his controversial church and pastor
- his wafer-thin accomplishments as US Senator

As voters, we have to do the diligence that many on Wall Street now wish they did in retrospect.

Obama is not ENTITLED to be president. He has to earn it, vote by vote, speech by speech, act by act.

McCain has a much better claim to be president. He's served his country faithfully for decades. He's displayed true leadership, and the wisdom to do what's right even when it's unpopular.

I do think we will attempt to destroy Obama, to sully his career any way we know how, regardless of whether or not it's right. I would be interested in anyone trying to prove that will somehow not be the case. Hell, many of you tried your best to destroy McCain before you embraced him, to tear down his career and relegate him to the role of traitor. How is this not the case for Obama?

Listing his qualities, you forgot leadership, the quality that most impresses me about Obama. The way in which he ascended to the top of Harvard Law Review, and led that deeply partisan body, is pretty impressive.

But I agree most heartily with your last comment. In every way, Obama has to earn it step by step, vote by vote. He doesn't make it, he didn't deserve it.

History is all that will help us with the future

Barack Obama is not a leader. He is a chameleon who ascribes or takes on the qualities that you would most like to see in him. What he has done throughout his life is become what people have expected of him. His problem now is that by the very nature of politics, by becoming what half the population wants him to be, he also ipso facto becomes what the other half does not.

On the other hand, I do think Barack Obama is one of the most intelligent individuals to run for President in years, regardless of his political philosophy or leanings. But he is not a leader.

John McCain, on the other hand, is a leader. At the risk of reminding others here why they do/did not like him, even when I disagree with McCain (e.g. McCain/Feingold, McCain/Kennedy, etc.), he has shown leadership and a willingness to directly address (sometimes harshly) those who disagree with him. And despite the fact that I have strongly disagreed with him on these subjects, I have also admired his leadership.

God knows we had a lot of McCain bashers here. And Rudy bashers and Mitt bashers and Huck bashers. Plus a lot of overheated rhetoric, unfair arguments, diva-like declarations by many people that they would never vote for the (g-d!) candidacy of the evil so-and-so.

You know what? THAT IS THEIR RIGHT! It's an election, not a last judgment on who gets to heaven. (I concede that many Democrats look at politics that way).

To frustrate someone's electoral ambition is not destruction.

we have no one else has anything to do with it.

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised

Hate is okay only if it is black hate, but according to Obama only black hate is valid and true because it has roots. Even if the black hate is exercised by persons who have never experienced the roots of Jim Crow segregation let alone slavery --- it is acceptable because it is black hate.

But white anger is misplaced. "In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans [But not those rich, privileged white people Wright screams about] don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only ... blah blah blah --- bad corporations --- instead of what is the real reason which is that the anger within segments of the white community is due to decades of watching their hard-earned wages be eroded away with excessive tax dollars wasted on endless and unsuccessful liberal social programs. "White middle-class" anger is from watching an endless and increasing transfer of assets from the wage earner to segments of society that refuse to accept any responsibility that their condition is a result of their own bad decisions and actions. This anger is from watching many recipients of these liberal government initiated transfer payments only scream more, more, more and instead of gratitude express the belief that even more is owed to them as retribution for that very "rooted history" in which, by your own admission Senator Obama, they have had no part.

No Senator Obama – even your white grandmother’s confessed fear of black men on the street arises only from prejudice and had no basis in fact that most women have a fear of strangers. What you fail to understand Senator Obama is that your grandmother probably possessed a fear of all strange men --- and what could be stranger than a black man appearing on the streets of a white rural community.

M Penny

Frankly, and I may be alone in this view (at least on this site) but that was an extremely well written speech. And, while I did not see it, I suspect his delivery was even better. I think Republicans would do well to have an extremely healthy fear and respect for Senator Obama's gifts.

Obama was rightly pounded for the last few days about his association with Jeremiah Wright and his despicable views (as an aside, thats a pretty damn good name for an Elmer Gantry type preacher, I doubt Faulkner or Carson McCullers could have come up with such a perfect name for a fictional character).

Indeed, I was at a loss to see how Obama was going to get out of the bind he found (put) himself in. Obama had been going to Wright's church for nearly 20 years, his children were baptized by Wright, he had a dedication to Wright in his book. Obama could not pretend that he had only a casual passing knowledge of Wright and his wacky rants.

I thought Obama would try to sit out the storm and assume that since he was fighting for the Democratic nomination he would be given a free pass for his association with Wright. Instead, Obama decided (rightly, I think) to confront the issue head on (more or less) with this speech. Obama knows he's not just playing for the nomination, but he has a chance to win the general and he saw that chance slipping between his fingers. Obama simply cannot win the general election by sweeping Wright and race under the rug. So rather than dodging race and pretending that it does not exist (as most politicians do) or holding it out as a victim card entitling him to shout down any reasonable criticism of his candidacy and Rev. Wright, Obama decided to acknowledge it head on in all of its convoluted, tortured ambiguity in America. Race in this country is, both literally and figuritively, not a black and white issue.

As a tactical matter, I thought he did a superb job of tearing down Wright's views, while not disassociating himself from Wright completely. Politically, he had to balance the need to be uncompromising in his denunciation of Wright's abhorent views (thus not damaging his chances to win the general election) against being too strident in denouncing Wright himself and thus potentially costing him some level of support among his African-American base. I think he walked that tight rope very well.

Now, there is much I found problematic in the speech and there is also a good deal of material that I strongly take issue with, but on the whole I think Obama used this speech as means to enable him to ride the Wright wave rather than allowing it to swamp him.

To be clear, while I agree with much of Obama's diagnosis of the racial divide in America, I strongly disagree with his prescription for the cure to that divide. That having been said, like the old Allies of World War II who feared and respected the generalship of Erwin Rommel, we Republicans would do well to study and respect Obama, he is a very, very skilled politician.


Has anyone here has read Steven Pressfield's Tides of War, a novel about the Peloponnesian War?

In the novel, Pressfield has undertaken the task of describing the famous Athenian General Alcibiades. In the story, Alcibiades comes across as an absolutely brilliant, talented leader of men who gives new meaning to the word peerless. His powers of persuasion were legendary. In the midst of an going hot and cold war between Athens and her greatest enemy Sparta (a fight that both city-states saw as being potentially a matter of life and death for their respective ways of life), Alcibiades was able to persuade Athens to outfit a fleet to fight a full scale war against Greek colonies in Sicily. It would be as if in the midst of the Cold War, the U.S. had decided to fight a full scale war to make India an American colony.

The Athenians ultimately recalled Alcibiades to Athens and he instead chose to flee to Sparta. Once there, Alcibiades went about telling the Spartans how they could defeat Athens. Of course, the Spartans took Alcibiades advice, and, of course, they begin turning back Athens. Alcibiades was, of course, not through with his treachery and he decided to abandon the Spartans and return to the Athenian side. And, of course, Athens started winning victories again.

Perhaps not surprisingly the Athenians ultimately grew tired of our fictional Alcibiades and he fled one final time to Thrace (just north of civilized Greece), where he was ultimately killed (but not before he became an Thracian tribal chief).

Anyway, the point (if there was one), in my long disjointed summary of Pressfied's Alcibiades, is that, at some level, Obama reminds me very much of the great Athenian. Obama is, like Alcibiades was, an extremely gifted, young man in a hurry. Both could sell ice to Eskimos.

Yet, like Alcibiades, there is something about Obama that scares me. Both Obama and Alcibiades (at least the fictional one) seem to believe primarily in themselves first and foremast. Obama, like Alcibiades, has a truly unique and uncanny ability to convincingly assume and shed different identities as the need arises. While in Athens, Alcibiades was one of the foremost citizens of the city, and while in Sparta he was able to out do the Spartan peers in his simplified stoic manner. There is something truly unnerving about how Obama could sit quitely in Wright's church for nearly 20 years and yet never raise any questions about Wright's ministry, and then, when necessity demands it, Obama can quickly, and convincingly shed, the orange hued dashiki of the Black separatist and assume the mantle of the bi-racial, post-racial, patriot.

I have a feeling we are in for an interesting ride.

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