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  • Obama In a Nutshell

    Posted by Shannon Love on August 5th, 2008 (All posts by )

    Like a lot people, I’ve tried to create a cohesive picture of who Obama is and what he stands for. After watching him throw long time supporters under the bus, observing his penchant for personal secrecy and listening to his plans to resurrect the windfall profits tax, I think I’ve distilled a single sentence description.

    Obama: the policies of Carter, the ethics of Clinton. 

     

    87 Responses to “Obama In a Nutshell”

    1. Lexington Green Says:

      Shannon, let me quibble.

      Policies of McGovern, more like.

      I don’t think he has the ethics of Clinton. If he were just a greedy rogue, I would be less worried. He is more of a true believer. That worries me more.

      I thought this piece, via Instapundit, was a very good assessment of Obama.

      At each place and stage, as Barack Obama chronicles the chapters of his life, he tells us how he has re-invented himself, becoming the role he inhabits, though not falsely or in-authentically, like Bill Clinton. He actually seems to transform himself, becoming what must be next. He has been called distant, aloof and somewhat unapproachable, perhaps because we cannot approach what he does not have, a solid core. His soul seems to be molten and made up of dreams, which is at once breathtakingly inspiring and forbiddingly indeterminate. When this young man with the flowing, passionate core, when this candidate without the solid-center changes positions and transforms himself as we watch, it leaves Americans much more in doubt about who he is and how he would lead us. It also reveals an Obama of unapproachable arrogance and inestimable self-regard: He appears confident voters will appreciate his superiority regardless of where he journeys or what he becomes to meet his political ambitions.

      A little flowery, but it seems to be on the money.

      My concern is what happens when the infinitely transformative man, the man of permanent plasticity, meets the solid and unsentimental demands of the office. Merely shifting shape won’t change the objective reality. I think his response will be anger at his political opponents, and anger at anything that does not conform to his current “identity” and its needs. The result is likely to be a frustrating and ineffective presidency.

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      This piece by Jonah Goldberg on Obama as a “post-modern” thinker, is also good.

    3. fred lapides Says:

      Not to get into a big thing over this, but I would match Obama’s ”
      twists and turns” against those of Your Special Guy–McCain, and see who has turned again and again and again the most.

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      Jonathan,

      I think Clinton was dominated by an urge to be on top. I think the concern for money came second. I see Obama in the same mold. In comparing him to Clinton I had in mind the same strange ability to occlude his past and the many whiffs of smoke coming from the old Chicago machine. Like Clinton, I think he views what is good for him as being what is good for the country. Phrased another way, he thinks that him having power is such a positive that it justifies him doing almost anything to get and keep that power.

    5. Shannon Love Says:

      Fred Lapidies,

      I am not concerned over Obama’s policy shifts but rather his disloyalty to old friends. I think he used Wright when it was convenient for him to win in Illinois and then he disowned him when he became inconvenient. That to me points to a lack of character. He either should have shunned Wright from the beginning or stuck with him.

      Being a friend of Obama appears to be like riding in the James Bond Ashton-Martin with the ejector seat with Obama in the driver’s seat reading to press the button the first time his passenger looks to cause him any problems.

    6. Tyouth Says:

      “Plasticity”, yes.

      He strikes me as did John like Kerry in one way; That is that there’s just not much “there, there”, if you know what I mean. A central thoughtful, non-political core is lacking or severely undeveloped. McCain, for all his being something of a slippery weasel, at least has some substance.

    7. Jack Diederich Says:

      I would match Obama’s ”
      twists and turns” against those of Your Special Guy–McCain, and see who has turned again and again and again the most.

      I can’t speak for Shannon but there isn’t a lot of conservative support (and no libertarian support) for McCain. The most popular McCain web bumper sticker I see is “F**k it, McCain.” That is the most support conservatives can muster for the man.

    8. Danny L. McDaniel Says:

      Obama has perfected the strange political combination of piazzi and doom and gloom. I never saw the appeal in the man. He is running for President like he did for Illinois State Senate – stay positive and say nothing. Mostly he is an empty suit that has a whole lot of no policy prescriptions for the country.

      My prediction for November: McCain 56%, Obama 44% with McCain carrying California. Oh yes, the Clintons will covertly be helping the Senator from Arizona.

      Danny L. McDaniel
      Lafayette, Indiana

      Danny L. McDaniel

    9. Lexington Green Says:

      “McCain 56%, Obama 44%”

      I spent four happy years in Indiana. I made a bet in early 1992 with several of classmates at IU law school that George W. Bush would lose to whoever the Democrat was because he broke his “no taxes” pledge. I made four bets, each for a bottle of Makers Mark bourbon. They could not conceive of Bush losing. Unfortunatley I won. We had a “drown your sorrows party” on Clinton’s inauguration day.

      Hoosier Republicans can go their whole lives and never meet a Democrat, other than Evan Bayh, of course.

      Hoosier Republican predictions of GOP electoral performance are always way off.

      If Obama picks Bayh, he may even carry Indiana. What a horrible prospect, to see Indiana go blue.

    10. Joshua Says:

      It’s not Obama himself that worries me so much as the company he keeps and the political/cultural movement he represents.

      The good news is that Obama has managed to turn this election into basically a referendum on him, and by extension a referendum on his fellow travelers as well. That’s why I think he will lose, and possibly lose badly.

      The bad news is that while Obama must only be defeated once, those fellow travelers and their movement will be back to try again in 2012. And again in 2016. And again in 2020. And again in… you get the idea. One of these times they’ll finally get lucky, and the rest of us will be screwed.

    11. DWMF Says:

      Lex, should we therefore baptise him “Odobama”? :D

    12. Boonton Says:

      Curious, not too long ago people were saying Obama was wrong not to immediately throw Rev. Wright ‘under the bus’…now you’re saying he is too eager to throw people under the bus?

      Anyone bother to notice how quickly Phil Grahm got tossed under that bus by McCain?

    13. Shannon Love Says:

      Boonton,

      Curious, not too long ago people were saying Obama was wrong not to immediately throw Rev. Wright ‘under the bus’…now you’re saying he is too eager to throw people under the bus?

      You assume that there was an acceptable outcome either way. Obama’s long term and intense association with Wright put him in an inescapable catch-22. If he did not denounce him, he faced be seen as a racist demagogue in disguise. If he did denounce him, he risked appearing fickle and disloyal.

      He put himself in that bind because of the cynical and narcissistic way in which he views others. When Wright could help Obama gain a start in local politics, Obama embraced him and his message. When Wright became a drag on his national ambitions, Obama dumped him in a humiliating manner.

      The route of personal integrity would have been to either never embrace Wright in the first place or, once having done so, refused to jettison him in the face of criticism. In latter case, I would have argued that such an association invalidated him as a candidate for the presidency but I would have respected his loyalty and integrity.

      Having integrity means paying short-term personal cost. Obama seems unwilling to pay those cost.

      If Obama wins, I think we will see him betray a lot of political allies. He will soon find that he has little support and that no one trust him to stick to deals. We will see a reprise of the first 2-3 years of the Clinton administration.

    14. Boonton Says:

      “When Wright could help Obama gain a start in local politics, Obama embraced him and his message. ”

      Actually Obama embraced him but not his message…which was essentially what he said in his famous race speech…you can have people you love..that are family or close enough to be family yet at the same time know their ‘message’ is totally wrong.

      Do you have any evidence that Obama actually embraced Wright’s message early on in his career? Please be specific if you can.

    15. Lexington Green Says:

      “Do you have any evidence that Obama actually embraced Wright’s message early on in his career? Please be specific if you can.”

      Obama went to Wright’s church every Sunday, with his wife and kids. He is not deaf. He heard what was being said. If he disagreed with it, he could have gone elsewhere. He didn’t.

    16. RICVAN Says:

      “Anyone bother to notice how quickly Phil Grahm got tossed under that bus by McCain?”

      – Or his first wife, for that matter.

    17. Shannon Love Says:

      Booton,

      Do you have any evidence that Obama actually embraced Wright’s message early on in his career?

      Wright’s church is a non-denominational, evangelical church. In those churches. the minister is the message of church. The congregation itself appoints the minister.

      Belonging to the church is an explicit endorsement of the ministers message. I have seen people leave such churches expressly because they didn’t want to be associated with the minister message. If Obama disagreed, he should have left and found another church.

      Think of it this way: If Obama was a white Republican would you accept that he did not endorse the views of the minister of the church he belonged to for 20 years?

    18. Boonton Says:

      So your evidence consists of guilt by association and ‘failure to denounce’?

    19. Lexington Green Says:

      This guy Boonton just turned into a troll.

    20. Jonathan Says:

      Re: McCain’s first wife.

      -McCain publicly acknowledged years ago that he behaved badly toward her.

      -McCain took financial responsibility for his ex-wife, who has had many medical problems, after their divorce.

      -McCain’s ex-wife says only good things about him publicly.

      -One of the former Mrs. McCain’s children (by a previous marriage) is employed as an executive at the current Mrs. McCain’s beer distributing company.

      Even if McCain is the world’s biggest jerk, and even if his ex-wife hates him (and none of us knows what the dynamics of his first marriage were really like), he is capable of admitting error and has taken responsibility for his behavior as best he could. This is a flawed record but it also reveals some good qualities. And McCain has stayed married to his second wife. On balance I would prefer him as President to Obama, who is arrogant, claims never to doubt himself, speaks of “Minister Farrakhan,” is ignorant about history and economics, and changes his positions with the opinion polls. This doesn’t mean that I like McCain, it means that I think he is the lesser evil. I would rather vote for someone like Phil Gramm or Steve Forbes, but that’s not the choice we get. As a wise man said, better a third-rate fireman than a first-rate arsonist.

    21. Lexington Green Says:

      Obama’s record as a first-rate arsonist in training.

    22. Hagar Says:

      I don’t think you can equate McCain’s evolving positions with the
      expediant flipping of Obama.While McCain has changed his mind on say drilling for example,it was a change that occurred over a period of time after changing conditions.Obama on the other hand will change positions from literally day to day.

    23. Boonton Says:

      Perhaps I am a troll but you haven’t addressed my question. Obama must publically denounce his minister or else that is equilivant to supporting every position his minister has no matter what? I have plenty of family members whose statements would look pretty horrible if I ever ran for office. Can you tell me now, supporters of individual freedom, am I obligated to dissociate myself from them or do I have to make a public declaration that I denounce them?

      Isn’t it kind of ironic how you’ve basically embraced the worst of political correctness.

      Now I’ll ask again, do you have any evidence that Obama embraced Wrights message either as a teacher or politician? Or is your only support his supposed failure to denounce in a manner that you have deemed to be PC?

    24. Aiken Blue Says:

      You want another term with George Bush policies, with the America in the global stage falling further down? EU has taken over and the value of the dollar has steadily declined. Americans are more in debt than ever. We are fighting a war where we should have been in the first place. Osama is on the loose in another part of the world whose president Bush has supported. McCain promises to keep what Bush started. That’s what you want? And he also proposes to start more nuclear plants!!!! You must be out of your mind. Obama is a breath of fresh air, he knows how technology works in today’s world, he’s open minded, he has an image that swung America up the charts on the global stage, he is the man for tomorrow, he is the man of the hour. He inspires. We want a president who inspires, who is a visionary. Obama is that man. Please vote for Obama! Visit WHYOBAMA08.ORG!

    25. Ginny Says:

      That someone would not be uncomfortable with Rev. Wright’s message is worrisome; on the other hand, that someone could give the amount of time (20 years), money (tens of thousands in one year alone, not counting the largesse from the government that came through Obama’s work), and, most of all, gratitude (taking Wright’s sermon for the title of his autobiographical book) to Wright and then not be considered or consider himself in agreement with Wright’s primary message is even more disturbing. The lack of discomfort reflects an amazing inability to contemplate what such sermons would feel like to someone not among the anointed – a pathology inappropriate in anyone representing a larger group. The lack of connection with a core, on the other hand, implies another stonishing pathology. Perhaps neither Boonton nor Ricvan should be encouraged, but their inability to see these distinctions is worrisome.

      Shannon, your equations actually cheered me up. In the back of my mind has far too often been the image of the Russian’s attitude toward Kurtz. That exaggerated the reactions to that great model European before he’d revealed himself as the quintessential “hollow man.” True believers of Obama, too, describe the vague visions of this man of tomorrow.

      I’m no fan of Phil Gramm, but coupled with a certain self-servingness is his honesty – about himself, about what works, about the economy. McCain may not be wise – about campaign finance, about the economy. But he is also honest. Gramm was not politic; but the question in terms of whether there is a there there is was McCain rejecting the core values that led him to choose Gramm not just as a friend but as an advisor? I suspect Gramm is a good deal farther on the path that many of the Chicagoboyz would admire than is McCain, but that does not mean that McCain was pretending to be what he was not – nor that his views in the future will be quite different. It could well be that is true of Obama as well, but if so, we are left with the troubling sense that Wright truly describes the “vision” Aiken Blue would have us admire.

      And people who are absent from votes as often as Obama was and who vote present as often as he can hardly argue that they are being tarred by their associates – my associates do not always agree with me but I am proud to call some people my friends and that pride arises from my respect for their vision, their character, their wit. Certainly, Boonton’s sense that family and Protestant ministers are in the same category either misunderstands churches or families.

    26. LotharBot Says:

      “I have plenty of family members whose statements would look pretty horrible if I ever ran for office.”

      I bet you haven’t been putting money into the offering plate where your nutty relatives preach those messages for everyone to hear, and I bet you don’t consider those people your “mentors”. There’s a big difference between “I have a relative who’s a nutjob, and we all ignore him at family gatherings” and “I spent 20 years listening to, and having my kids listen to, a nutjob in a leadership position.” I don’t think anyone would think poorly of you for having a crazy uncle, but they would think poorly of you for spending two decades listening to a crazy pastor, mentor, coach, or other leader.

      It’s like they say, you can’t pick your relatives, but you can pick your friends. Obama’s choice of friends shows a disturbing pattern — he seems to intentionally associate with a lot of bad people, to speak extremely highly of them, and only “denounce” them in the most halfhearted terms when they become a political liability.

    27. Methinks Says:

      Obama must publically denounce his minister or else that is equilivant to supporting every position his minister has no matter what?

      That depends on your answer to the following question: If a white presidential candidate went to a KKK church for 20 years, would you accuse this white candidate of being racist? Or would you simply accept his proclamation that he accepted the minister as a man but not his teachings for 20 years?

      I have plenty of family members whose statements would look pretty horrible if I ever ran for office.

      I don’t doubt it. However, you can’t possibly equate the church you choose and the family into which you were born.

      Isn’t it kind of ironic how you’ve basically embraced the worst of political correctness.

      No, it’s not ironic because that’s not what’s happening. What’s ironic is you’re willing to cut Obama break because he’s black. You’re a racist.

    28. Methinks Says:

      You want another term with George Bush policies, with the America in the global stage falling further down?

      I hate to be the one to break it to you, but America is not an actress trying to maintain an image. There is no “global” stage. Do you even have the remotest clue why the dollar is weak?This is the kind of BS you get when actors start believing they are somehow competent political commentators.

      EU has taken over and the value of the dollar has steadily declined.

      The EU has taken over what? Antarctica? Mars? Venus? What has the EU taken over. What the hell is that supposed to mean?

      We are fighting a war where we should have been in the first place.

      WHAT?!!

      Osama is on the loose in another part of the world whose president Bush has supported.

      Osama wouldn’t be on the loose at all if your boy, Clinton, had bombed him when he had the chance. All this is courtesy of you lefties.

      McCain promises to keep what Bush started. That’s what you want? And he also proposes to start more nuclear plants!!!!

      I’d rather let McCain “keep what Bush started” than let Obama propagate what Karl Marx started. Does that answer your question? I’ll bet you’re one of those half-educated lefties who screeches about foreign oil and our “addiction” to oil but never wants to see the only viable alternative for much of our oil demand – nuclear energy. I have news for you, sparky. The promised land of the lefties (a.k.a. France) gets 76% of its electricity from Nuclear Power plants. OH HORROR! And do you know what the biggest mass killer in France was this century? A heat wave.

      Obama is a breath of fresh air, he knows how technology works in today’s world, he’s open minded, he has an image that swung America up the charts on the global stage, he is the man for tomorrow, he is the man of the hour. He inspires. We want a president who inspires, who is a visionary.

      Ha ha ha ha ha! Yes, he inspires me. He inspires me to vote for anyone but him. So, make up you mind, sparky. Is he the man of the hour or is he the man for tomorrow? What about the day after? Know who else was a visionary who swung his country “up the charts” and all that jazz? Vladimir I. Lenin and Joseph Stalin. I would have to agree with you – Obama is right up there with them.

    29. Tom the Redhunter Says:

      dittos to what methinks said. But why not, I’ll have a go at it also.

      “# Boonton Says:
      August 6th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

      So your evidence consists of guilt by association and ‘failure to denounce’?”

      You were called a troll because your question is silly. Look, guilt by association is when you’re arrested for bank robbery because they guy you sit by at work was caught on tape in the act, and there’s no evidence against you other than that you sat next to him and chatted occasionally.

      Tell me, if McCain had sat in a church for 20 years and listened to anti-black rhetoric would you be so forgiving?

      Of course Obama should have walked out of that church a decade ago and denounced his minister. I would have had the situation been reversed.

    30. Lexington Green Says:

      “You were called a troll because your question is silly.”

      He was called a troll because his question had already been answered, and he pretended not to understand the answer.

      That is not participating in a conversation, it is being obnoxious for its own sake.

    31. Boonton Says:

      That depends on your answer to the following question: If a white presidential candidate went to a KKK church for 20 years, would you accuse this white candidate of being racist? Or would you simply accept his proclamation that he accepted the minister as a man but not his teachings for 20 years?

      No I wouldn’t. On the other hand, if a white candidate was close to an older man who was essentially an Archie Bunker I would accept such a proclamation. Actions speak louder than words, what actions of Obama indicate his POV is one of anti-white racism? Being that Obama himself is half-white that would have been a very strange position to embrace (not saying it would be impossible, but I think it’s fair to ask for a little more evidence than simply ‘failure to denounce’ which sounds like something a Stalinist would be accusing a Trotskiest of).

      I don’t doubt it. However, you can’t possibly equate the church you choose and the family into which you were born.

      Nonsense, the family member I’m thinking in particular of is my father-in-law’s brother(s) and one of their sons. I’m not under any obligation to be friendly with them or even associate with them. I could, if I choose, opt to reject them entirely and spurn their company and friendship…which I have done with other family members who are a lot closer in relation than that.

      I choose not too because while I don’t share Obama’s religion I share its perspective that all humans are fallen. There are no ‘good men’ who have no faults and there are few bad people who don’t have some redemptive qualities. I’ll take my in-laws as family members although I’d never give opt to give them political power. For all his faults, the man did help Obama convert to Christianity & to people that take Christianity seriously that would be a gift that is even more important than what is given to you by your family.

      I think part of being black in America is the reality that members of the older generation are going to have perspectives that were shaped by a much worse time in American history. Sure, sure, we should all overcome & forgive and move on. You feel free to tell that to my in-laws and I’ll tell it to Wright. In reality it is human nature that the older generations cling to their bad ideas as much or more as their good ones and the younger generations are wise to give a measure of deference to that. What was that old quip about death being the greatest thing for scientific advancement because it removes the old guard and makes room for new scientists with novel theories? This is probably more pronounced with blacks than whites because whites, being a supermajority, can spend a lot of time never interacting with blacks but few blacks can live their lives oblivious to whites. It’s quite easy to have an Archie Bunker in your family who only talks like Bunker on rare occassions.

      No, it’s not ironic because that’s not what’s happening. What’s ironic is you’re willing to cut Obama break because he’s black. You’re a racist.

      Wow, I can only say I defer to your clearly superior knowledge of who I am and what I would do in various hypothetical situations you invent in your imagination.

      He was called a troll because his question had already been answered, and he pretended not to understand the answer.

      I was called a troll because people would rather be patted on the back and told their expression was profoundly insightful and intelligent rather than challenged to give up specifics. Coming upon a claim on a blog called Chicago Boys with a post that claims Obama tends to throw his supporters under the bus I assumed the writer was talking about something other than the Wright affair which everyone and their mother has chewed over long ago. Being that Obama was from the area of Chicago I thought perhaps this was in reference to some local observations of his career before the focus of the Presidential race. So far I hope the famed Chicago School of Economics has something a bit more to offer than this.

    32. Methinks Says:

      No I wouldn’t. On the other hand, if a white candidate was close to an older man who was essentially an Archie Bunker I would accept such a proclamation.

      And – allow me to be the 100th person on this thread to point this out for the 100th time – if that were the relationship, then it would not be a problem. It isn’t. Your inability to see that does not change the facts.

      Wow, I can only say I defer to your clearly superior knowledge of who I am and what I would do in various hypothetical situations you invent in your imagination.

      Just basing it on what you say. No break for the white racist, but a big break for the black racist. If that doesn’t make you a racist, then we’ve been calling the KKK racist for nothing. Knowing you has nothing to do with anything, but nice try at diversion.

      Incidentally, you can write as long a tome on friendliness in families as you want. It doesn’t change the fact that you don’t seek out family members of your own free will (except spouses) but you do seek out ministers and friends. If you don’t understand that (and you clearly don’t), I can’t help you.

      I was called a troll because people would rather be patted on the back and told their expression was profoundly insightful and intelligent rather than challenged to give up specifics.

      You were called a troll because you were given the bloody specifics repeatedly and you never understood any of them. I’ve had plenty intelligent discussions regarding Obama with people who prefer him because they at least had intelligent things to say. You just rehash the same thing over and over again and pray that somebody is foolish enough to agree with you just because you won’t stop repeating yourself.

    33. Boonton Says:

      Just basing it on what you say. No break for the white racist, but a big break for the black racist. If…

      I didn’t write anything about white racists so how do you know I would apply a double standard? Or are you referring to the things you imagined me writing?

      Again, I can only defend myself, not the imaginary version of myself that exists in your head.

      And – allow me to be the 100th person on this thread to point this out for the 100th time – if that were the relationship, then it would not be a problem.

      So the relationship is minister of a Church…explain why this is different? Again if one is serious about religion you are confronted with the same issue as a family member. In the Catholic faith, you really don’t have much of a choice as to what church you go to unless you’re willing to move or travel outside your neighborhood. Many protestant denominations indirectly embrace a ‘church shopping’ metaphor (keep going to you find one that ‘fits you’) but people who take it seriously do not always find that to be a good idea. If you take Christianity seriously the person who brings you to the faith plays a role that is even more important than family.

      More to the point, you ignore the real issue which is that good people can have flaws…very serious flaws. What’s interesting about Obama’s argument is that he refused to reduce people to political correctness while you insist upon it. The essence of his position on Wright was “he’s a man whose done a lot of good both for others & myself, I’m not going to turn my back on that but his position on race is old school and just wrong”. Your position is that this is ‘throwing him under the bus’. The only logic I see in this is a long term ‘failure to denounce’ equals total agreement therefore to ever express any disagreement is some type of betrayal.

      Incidentally, you can write as long a tome on friendliness in families as you want. It doesn’t change the fact that you don’t seek out family members of your own free will (except spouses) but you do seek out ministers and friends. If you don’t understand that (and you clearly don’t), I can’t help you.

      You are as free to reject family members as you are anyone else. AS I pointed out, and I’m hardly unique, the family members I’m closest too are not dictated by blood closeness. If the ethic you’re promoting is that you can’t be close to people that are ‘bad’ then there’s no logical reason to make an escape clause for family.

      You were called a troll because you were given the bloody specifics repeatedly and you never understood any of them. I’ve had plenty intelligent discussions regarding Obama with people who prefer him because they at least had intelligent things to say. You just rehash the same thing over and over again and pray that somebody is foolish enough to agree with you just because you won’t stop repeating yourself.

      Actually I was never given specifics. I suggested the ‘throw supporters under the bus’ line was bout Wright. In 14 I asked for specifics to back up the assertion that Obama embraced Wright’s message as opposed to Wright the man. You guys are still trying to figure out if there’s a difference….so far you seem to be asserting such a difference can only exist for close family members. It’s very ironic that self-styled defenders of freedom would essentially be arguing that there can be no distinction made between ideology and individuality or that such distinctions can only be made if blood is the same.

    34. Boonton Says:

      Ohhh, BTW, I’ll ask again. Are there any examples other than Wright to support the “throws supporters under the bus” assertion? I’m sorry if I missed 100rds of people issuing 100rds of examples that I ignored during the first 32 posts of this thread.

    35. LotharBot Says:

      “If you take Christianity seriously the person who brings you to the faith plays a role that is even more important than family.”

      Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1, wrote:
      My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?

      The person who brings you into the faith is not particularly special in a theological sense, though they’re often someone you forge a deeper friendship with — often growing and learning together, challenging each other to walk with Christ more each day. In the case of Obama/Wright, we have many indications that they were close friends and no indication that there was ever a challenge to move on from the old racist ideas (while I’m not a fan of the argument from silence, here it applies — if Obama had been known to question Wright’s racism, his campaign would make sure we knew that.) Even Obama’s eventual “repudiation” of Wright took the form of “his comments aren’t helpful” rather than “he’s totally wrong”. People are fallen, but that doesn’t mean you should accept them teaching racist views from the pulpit for 20 years, even — nay, ESPECIALLY — if they are a close friend. But Obama seems to have done just that, not repudiating Wright’s views at all but simply distancing himself.

      Beyond Wright, Obama has forged friendships or partnerships with a number of questionable individuals. Just this morning, Mazen Asbahi (linked to the Muslim Brotherhood) resigned from the Obama campaign. Michael Pfleger is another nutjob priest associated with Obama. Obama speaks highly of Louis Farrakhan. How about Obama’s foreign policy advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (notorious for complaints about the “Jewish Lobby”)? There’s also William Ayers… need I go on? The point is, Obama seems to have intentionally gotten close to a lot of racists, radicals, nutjobs, etc. He seems to view a lot of those people as role models and mentors. That’s scary.

    36. LotharBot Says:

      … also, Obama was the first candidate to call for Don Imus to be fired after his “nappy headed hos” comment.

      “There’s nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude.”
      “He didn’t just cross the line, he fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America.”
      – Obama, to ABC News, April 11 2007

      So Obama has a problem with Imus feeding those stereotypes, but stayed in Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years? Boonton, you don’t see this as the least bit problematic?

    37. Mrs. Davis Says:

      That typical white woman.

    38. Methinks Says:

      Boonton, you don’t see this as the least bit problematic?

      Clearly, he does not. Nor can he keep track of his arguments and the rebuttals to them.

      Booton, if you want answers to your repetitive questions in your latest post, just reread the thread. If you don’t find the answer to your questions, then we have a pretty good idea what kind of confused mind carries water for Obama in all “57 States” that he visits as he talks about the good old days when he was a U.S. senator. Whatever, I’m done dancing round the Mulberry bush with you.

    39. Methinks Says:

      No, Obama is not at all a racist.

      Quoting Obama will prove it!

      From his book “The Audacity of BS”

      “I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.”

      “I found solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race.”

      “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists.”

      “I can no more disown (Jeremiah Wright) than I can disown the black community.” (just before he disowned ‘ole Jeremiah)

      “The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person…”

      “That’s just how white folks will do you.”

    40. Shannon Love Says:

      Booton,

      In the Catholic faith, you really don’t have much of a choice as to what church you go to unless you’re willing to move or travel outside your neighborhood.

      That is rather the nub of the issue. Wright’s and Obama’s church was a independent, non-denominational, evangelical church i.e. one without any hierarchy or authority beyond the church congregation itself. Belonging to such a church is an wholly voluntary act. Indeed, had Obama simply move to another town, he would have had to find an entirely different church to attend.

      People not members of one of the hierarchal churches can choose from hundreds if not thousands of independent churches. They make such choices for no other reason than that the church’s message and mission speak to them. Joining an independent church is an explicit statement that one agrees with the Church’s views. Obama took it a step further, calling Wright a mentor and referring to his moral guidance often.

      We are forced to conclude one of two things about Obama: (1) Either he neither saw anything wrong with Wrights views and is lying when he now says that he does or (2) he rejected Wright’s views but cynically used his association with the church to build his local political career. Neither case speaks well for him.

      You are as free to reject family members as you are anyone else.

      Sadly, I am sure you believe that. Leftist as a population self-report that they feel relatively little connection with their families as compared those on the Right. Leftist believe that others should be jettisons when they become inconvenient. Social conservative believe that blood creates involuntary obligations we cannot put down. As such, the views of family members do no reflect upon the character of the individual because the individual did not choose that relationship.

      When Obama compares his voluntary, self-serving association with Wright to that of family, it implies that he views his relationship to his family as just as easily severed as his relationship to Wright. He implies that it is okay for people to view their families as expendable when they interfere with one’s personal agendas.

    41. Methinks Says:

      This one is my favourite Obama quote.

      “My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you’ll join me as we try to change it.”

    42. Boonton Says:

      The person who brings you into the faith is not particularly special in a theological sense, though they’re often someone you forge a deeper friendship with — often growing and learning together, challenging each other to walk with Christ more each day. In the case of Obama/Wright, we have many indications that they were close friends and no indication that there was ever a challenge to move on from the old racist ideas …

      In fact we have no indication because, well, how would we? Unless these two conducted their friendship over a myspace page there’s not going to be a running transcript of their conversations together anymore than ‘we’ (the public) can know much about your personal friendships aside from what you choose to reveal publically. At this point, though, it kind of falls into what I feel isn’t relevant. Obama isn’t running for minister and I don’t feel its my place to judge whether he should have challenged his senior more directly or if it was ok to excuse him as an old dog that would never learn a new trick.

      Even Obama’s eventual “repudiation” of Wright took the form of “his comments aren’t helpful” rather than “he’s totally wrong”.

      So then where’s the ‘throwing under the bus’ part?

      The point is, Obama seems to have intentionally gotten close to a lot of racists, radicals, nutjobs, etc. He seems to view a lot of those people as role models and mentors. That’s scary.

      concrete examples please? If you are asserting he views these people as role models and mentors it should be easy to demonstrate how their nuttiness draws to his policies and positions both now and in the past.

      So Obama has a problem with Imus feeding those stereotypes, but stayed in Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years? Boonton, you don’t see this as the least bit problematic?

      I agree, Obama should not hire Wright to be on his staff or in his administration. Come to think of it, if I win by write in vote I too will not put my father-in-law in charge of anything.

      methinks
      No, Obama is not at all a racist.

      Quoting Obama will prove it!

      “I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.”

      “I found solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race.”

      Ahhh, I see. Any black person who ever thought about race (or at least admits to ever thinking thoughts about race beyond the standard “let’s all get along perfectly”) is racist. Tell me again why this isn’t just an off-beat variation on PC crap again?

      Shannon
      That is rather the nub of the issue. Wright’s and Obama’s church was a independent, non-denominational, evangelical church i.e. one without any hierarchy or authority beyond the church congregation itself. Belonging to such a church is an wholly voluntary act. Indeed, had Obama simply move to another town, he would have had to find an entirely different church to attend.

      You do understand, though, that even among non-demoninational evangelical churches the idea is that the church is a community to which you belong. It’s not like, say, a political party to whose leader you pledge allegience. Of course Obama would have had to change churches if he moved to a different town (or one too far to commute)….you do change communities when you move. That’s not exactly stunning news.

      Sadly, I am sure you believe that. Leftist as a population self-report that they feel relatively little connection with their families as compared those on the Right. Leftist believe that others should be jettisons when they become inconvenient. Social conservative believe that blood creates involuntary obligations we cannot put down

      Ahhh yes, I must hate my family because I’m a leftist. I notice rightists as a population enjoy distorting the truth of what other people say and you’re a fine example. I point out that Obama felt as though Wright was as close as family. You argue that anyone bad should be dumped unless their family because you can’t choose your family. I point out you can choose to dump even family if the matter is important enough and I also point out that obligations do not always follow blood bonds (specifically I and many others have tighter bonds with some family members than others and this is not due to closer blood). From this you deduce I am saying you can jettison your family no matter how close and what circumstances.

      Even in this mess, though, you reveal the problem with your thoughts. There are involuntary bonds in life. A person who helps you, provides you with direction and insight is someone you have a bond with even if it turns out that person is flawed and their answers only go so far. To assert that ideology, even when you are right and the other guy is wrong, trumps all obligations and bonds is hardly conservative.

    43. Methinks Says:

      crank up the music and clear the path around the Mulberry bush!

    44. LotharBot Says:

      “we have no indication because, well, how would we?”

      I answered this just a few words after where you cut off your quote — I don’t normally buy the argument from silence, but in this case it’s valid. Had Obama disagreed with Wright, he wouldn’t have stonewalled the way he did; he would’ve said something more along the lines of “I believe he’s wrong on this issue and I’ve told him so” and then we’d have all moved on. He’s a smooth politician; he or his campaign would’ve gotten that message out if it was true. Instead, he tried to stand by Wright until the pressure was too much, and then distanced him because his comments were “not helpful” — not “wrong”, but “not helpful”.

      “where’s the ‘throwing under the bus’ part”

      The fact that he’s distanced himself from his longtime friend and mentor for political reasons… that’s a bus throw right there. And, since you’re quoting language from the OP (I haven’t spoken of bus throwing until now) you should also note the word “supporters” is plural. I gave a short list in my previous post, which you trollishly dismissed by asking for something more concrete, as if his speaking highly of Farrakhan and having radicals in high positions in his campaign isn’t concrete enough.

      I’ve given you the benefit of the doubt on being a troll, but right now, you’re dodging like a troll, moving the goalposts like a troll, ignoring parts of sentences like a troll, and so on. If you’re not a troll, put in a bit more effort to stay away from common trollish methods.

    45. Boonton Says:

      Speaking of truth, Methinks would do well to stop snipping quotes out of context….for example:

      “I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.”

      In context reads:

      They know too much, we have all seen too much, to take my parents’ brief union—a black man and a white woman, an African and an America—at face value. As a result, some people have a hard time taking me at face value. When people who don’t know me well, black or white, discover my background (and it is usually a discovery, for I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites), I see the split-second adjustments they have to make, the searching of my eyes for telltale sign. They no longer know who I am. Privately, they guess at my troubled heart, I suppose—the mix blooded, the divided soul, the ghostly image of the tragic mulatto trapped between two worlds” (Obama, xv).

      http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/blog/franklintitus

      “I found solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race.”

      Turns out it was never said:
      http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_write_that_he_would_stand.html

      “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists.”

      Not sure how this would make one a racist but it too appears to be a doctored quote. If I’m mistaken please provide me with the source, if you’re referring to his book I’d appreciate the full paragraph and page #.

      “That’s just how white folks will do you.” Ditto on this one too, although it seems to get so many unrelated Google hits that it’s tricky to research.

      A good example, here, of the dishonesty of some. I was quite well prepared to go researching these quotes to discover they were being taken out of context only to discover the usual cut and paste scumbaggery that happens on the net. I should have known better than to trust any diverse array of unsourced quotations vomitted out onto a blog comment page to prove an ideological point. I spent many long hours debating creationists who do the same thing (and no I’m not saying only the right is subject to this tactic).

      Methinks, though, should think twice about calling anyone a troll. It’s pretty clear here he contributed zero to the discussion.

    46. Methinks Says:

      Methinks, though, should think twice about calling anyone a troll. It’s pretty clear here he contributed zero to the discussion.

      A.) I’m a “she”

      B.) Anything that involves you is not a discussion. That’s clear. In a discussion, you don’t dodge and weave when people explain something to you from every possible perspective. You may not be a troll. You may just be too stupid to understand the what people have written.

      C.) None of those quotes are helped by context.

      D.) For a guy who is ready to throw your vote behind a guy who plans to be president of all 57 states for ten years, you sure haven’t read a lot of his material. Go buy his books and find out what you’re getting yourself into.

      E.) As a someone who is running for president, I don’t much want him to be aligned with Marxist – what with me being a Soviet refuge and all. Both his mother and Father were communists and, while that is not a big problem for me, he sought the same in his adult life.

    47. Boonton Says:

      Instead, he tried to stand by Wright until the pressure was too much, and then distanced him because his comments were “not helpful” — not “wrong”, but “not helpful”.

      So from what I have seen he never said Wright was correct, never said things similiar to what Wright said, and even when ‘the pressure was too much’ he still asserted that Wright was a man who had done good things…that he would never regret his friendship with him etc.etc. but had opinions that were “not helpful”. I see your point but I don’t think you’re ‘sealing the deal’ here. You’re trying to sell us at the same time that Obama both threw him under the bus and didn’t throw him far enough under the bus!

      I gave a short list in my previous post, which you trollishly dismissed by asking for something more concrete, as if his speaking highly of Farrakhan and having radicals in high positions in his campaign isn’t concrete enough.

      Please show me specifically what he said about Farrakhan. (Try not to get tripped up on the spamish bs that methinks fell for).

      There’s also William Ayers

      Ayers was appointed not by Obama but by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to run the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Obama likewise served on the board for three years and their interaction was to cast votes on grant applications. They were both in a panel discussion the University of Chicago and Ayers donated $200 to Obama’s state senate campaign (wikipedia). Please specifically tell me what the ‘also’ is here?

      Michael Kinsley addressed Ayes in a Time magazine piece:

      When it became clear even to them that there would not be violent revolution in America, Ayers and Dohrn shrugged and rejoined society in Chicago, where he had grown up. It wasn’t difficult. While he was in hiding, his father was CEO of Commonwealth Edison, the big utility. Ayers the elder sat on every Establishment board in town–Northwestern, the Tribune Co., the Chicago Symphony. Ayers the younger and his wife were welcomed back into the fold.

      ….If Obama’s relationship with Ayers, however tangential, exposes Obama as a radical himself, or at least as a man with terrible judgment, he shares that radicalism or terrible judgment with a comically respectable list of Chicagoans and others–including Republicans and conservatives–who have embraced Ayers and Dohrn as good company, good citizens, even experts on children’s issues. Northwestern created a “family justice” center for Dohrn to run. Ayers is a “distinguished professor” at the University of Illinois. They write Op-Eds and are often quoted in the Tribune, where, if they are identified at all beyond their academic titles, it is usually as “activists” who have never abandoned their noble ideals. In 1995 the Trib reported on a party at their home to celebrate a new progressive website, designed by the person who designed President Bill Clinton’s website. The designer said, “There is a lot of room for different ideas in progressive politics, and we’re proud to be associated with Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers.” Hillary, over to you.

      http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1810338,00.html

    48. Boonton Says:

      C.) None of those quotes are helped by context.

      Hey Methinks, if you were a student at the University of Chicago and submitted a paper where half of your sources were fabricated and the other half unconfirmable I’d expect you would be quickly dropped out of all serious discussions.

      I know on a blog the standards are lower but is it really necessary to push them all the way to the ground?

    49. Methinks Says:

      Northwestern created a “family justice” center for Dohrn to run.

      And Amherst gave Mugabe an honorary degree, after he committed atrocities.

      I wouldn’t vote for a Republican who thought Ayers was good company either. See the pattern in my thinking here? Of course you don’t.

      I’ll bet you think Stalin isn’t so bad because he “industrialized Russia”. You lefties are all the same and I’ve had it with you and your “reasonable” explanations for unreasonable acts. If you want to vote for Obama, do it. You’re obviously not converting anyone here.

    50. Jonathan Says:

      [Methinks, you don’t have to put “nospam” etc. in the email field of your comments. It seems to cause your comments to get caught in the spam filter. You can leave the email field blank if you don’t want to enter your real address. Thanks.]

    51. Boonton Says:

      I wouldn’t vote for a Republican who thought Ayers was good company either.

      That’s nice but irrelevant. The claim was that Obama :

      “The point is, Obama seems to have intentionally gotten close to a lot of racists, radicals, nutjobs, etc. He seems to view a lot of those people as role models and mentors.” *post 35 and I acknowledge it was LotherBot’s claim.

      At least as far as Ayes is concerened:

      1. There appears to be no ‘intentionally gotten close’ unless the argument now is going be that being on a board or participating in a panel discussion with someone shall now be endorsement of everything they’ve done in their whole life.

      2. AS far as a nutjob or radical goes, Ayers seems to have implanted himself in the mainstream of Chicago/Il politics. Maybe he did it with Daddy’s money and Daddy’s pull on establishment culture & maybe that the mainstream shouldn’t be so gullible for such influence but it is.

      what with me being a Soviet refuge and all.I’ll bet you think Stalin isn’t so bad …

      Really now, try to conduct yourself with a little dignity.

    52. Methinks Says:

      thank you, Jonathan.

    53. LotharBot Says:

      “I see your point but I don’t think you’re ’sealing the deal’ here. You’re trying to sell us at the same time that Obama both threw him under the bus and didn’t throw him far enough under the bus!”

      To throw someone under the bus means, essentially, to scapegoat or sacrifice them (perhaps cutting ties with them) in order to appease the crowd. There’s a difference between that and voicing disagreement or challenging their viewpoint. The problem I’ve noted about Obama is that he does the former rather than the latter. He associates with people with crazy-wrong viewpoints, sometimes for clearly political reasons, and as far as I can tell, doesn’t challenge those viewpoints. But he’s quick to sever ties with them when they become political liabilities. The problem is that he’s bus-throwing after years of apparently close relationship rather than taking the opportunity (now or in those many years) to challenge wrong beliefs and help those people undergo “change we can believe in”.

      In other words, the problem isn’t that he’s bus-throwing but not enough, it’s that he’s bus-throwing INSTEAD OF challenging wrong beliefs. If, when the stuff about Wright came out, Obama was quick to say “Jeremiah Wright is a good friend who has done many good things, but he holds a belief that is wrong and, unfortunately, all to prevalent in the black community” and took the opportunity to push toward greater understanding and toward an elimination of racism, I’d have respected him for that. If he talked about those harmful stereotypes with the same clarity as he did when talking about Don Imus, I’d have been impressed. Instead, he stonewalled, hedged, dodged, weaved, and then eventually made a half-hearted non-committal “denouncement” that amounted to more-or-less a “stay out of the spotlight” request.

    54. Shannon Love Says:

      Booton,

      You do understand, though, that even among non-demoninational evangelical churches…

      Wright founded the Church and has been it spiritual center for 30+years. He’s not some odd person who sits the corner. Obama admits he joined the church because of its message and the churches message was Wright’s message.

      You keep trying to create a rational in which Obama’s choices play no role in his association with Wright. You try to build up a scenario in which Obama interacted with Wright as a mere side effect of his unwilled course through life. That is delusional. He was very, very close to Wright personally. He chose that association. You cannot argue that away.

      Ahhh yes, I must hate my family because I’m a leftist

      No, I was referring to scientific (as much as study such things is possible) studies in which self-identified Leftist are asked to express the importance of their family relationships in their lives. They always place far less importance on family than do social conservatives on the Right. On the other hand, leftist value no family relationships more.

      I think this is why you see no problem comparing a voluntary relationship with a family one. For you, both relationships are equal. A person should be just as willing to severe a relationship between a pastor as they would their own grandmother and vice versa. For you, it seems perfectly reasonable that Obama cannot reject Wright because he also does not reject his own grandmother because his link to Wright is the same as his link to his grandmother.

      I think this an intellectual blind spot that you cannot see because you assume that everyone places the same value on various relationships that you do.

    55. Vince P Says:

      This is Chicago.. if Obama really disagreed with the church that he fell in love with then there’s a church on every block..

      It’s asinine to think that Obama hasn’t bought into wholly Black Liberation Theology

      It’s amazing to me how so many people are being urged to believe in completely stupid and absurd things. Such as Obama could belong to that church and still give him the benefit of the doubt that he doesn’t actually believe in anything that is distinctive about it.

    56. Methinks Says:

      I wouldn’t vote for a Republican who thought Ayers was good company either. – me

      That’s nice but irrelevant.

      Then what’s the relevance of posting that quote about all the “respectable folk”, including Republicans who just think Ayers is tops? How is any of that any more relevant?

      The fact remains that by your own admission, you would label a white man going to a racist church and embracing its preacher for 20 years a racist. However, Obama gets a pass from you for attending a racist church and embracing its racist minister just because he’s black. I don’t know how in your upside down world this isn’t racism. Well, I do know. Liberals like yourself have redefined racism as a sin only white people are capable of. Nobody else can be racist because just because. Never mind that the word “slave” derives from the word “slav” and slavs are very very white and were very very much enslaved by dark-skinned North Africans and other parts of the “non-white” Muslim Empire and that practically all people of all races have been both oppressor and the oppressed at different times in history. American liberals believe history began three hundred years ago and exists only in America. But in the world of the left, up is down and down is up and black is white and vice versa. So, I expect nothing more of you and your “logic”.

      “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists.” – Dreams of My father, p. 101 (so, not “Audacity of Socialism” – got them mixed up)

      Don’t bother putting that quote in context. It’ll only make it worse. Joice, a fellow student who was part black, felt that nobody except blacks made her choose between the races she felt a part of. So, she avoided them. Obama took a dim view of her feelings and people “like Joyce” and their personal choices. So, like the super cool, uber black maverick that he was, he hung out with the “right” crowd to distance himself from these “sell-outs”. Of course, it wasn’t enough just to distance himself from these horrible people who felt confined by black student unions. Heck, I have black friends who are not half anything else who feel confined by the “black community”. I guess they don’t have a right to their feelings either and beating them up for their preferences is not racist in the upside down world of the modern liberal.

      “I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.” – Dreams of my Father p. 14

      This is not, as you say merely “thinking about race”. He is clearly choosing to actively avoid ingratiating himself to a whole segment of society because of their race. If a white man wrote that about blacks, you would be screaming that he’s a white supremacist.

      That’s all I have time for – especially since this isn’t even close to my biggest problem with that Orwellian nightmare. You can spend the rest of your day tomorrow tap dancing, bobbing and weaving and pontificating about dignity, it won’t change who Obama is.

    57. Methinks Says:

      http://cbs2chicago.com/video/?id=33004@wbbm.dayport.com

      Above link is to a video from Chicago News channel 2. About a minute into the speech, he introduces Rev. Wright.

      And then I’ve got to give a special shout out to my Pastor. The guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me. He’s a friend and a great leader not just in Chicago but all across the country, so please everybody give an extraordinary welcome to my pastor Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr., Trinity United Church of Christ.

      Where’s he at? There he is. That’s him, that’s him right there.

      You wearing a suit today, right?

      about halfway through his speech he says:

      You know, I’ve been on a journey trying to get at the truth that question for a long time. I mention Rev. Wright… I first met Rev. Wright when I moved to Chicago after college.

      And that’s where I met Rev. Wright and started going to Trinity United Church of Christ and he helped me on another journey and introduced me to someone named Jesus Christ. And I learned that my sins could be redeemed. I learned that those things that I was too weak to accomplish myself, maybe he could accomplish them for me if I placed my trust in him. And I learned that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when they believe in him and they come together and are guided by him.

      In April 2007, The New York Times quotes the Racist Reverand:

      “If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,” Mr. Wright said with a shrug. “I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”

      Yep. The Reverend is just some Archie Bunker that Obama just happened to know in passing.

    58. Jonathan Says:

      Sorry, Methinks. I was wrong about the email address. Your comments are still being filtered and I don’t know how to prevent it. But if you email me when this happens I will know to recover the comment.

    59. Boonton Says:

      LotharBot

      To throw someone under the bus means, essentially, to scapegoat or sacrifice them (perhaps cutting ties with them) in order to appease the crowd. There’s a difference between that and voicing disagreement or challenging their viewpoint.

      IMO, and perhaps we’ll just have to disagree, Obama was pushed less by the crowd than by Wright himself who made it clear he was going to use Obama’s fame to catapalt himself into the center stage and stay there as long as he could. When confronted with that, the equation does indeed change. To bring it home again, I don’t really bother with my in-laws views but if they were suddenly doing press conferences every day I’d probably have to….if I was famous which I’m not.

      He associates with people with crazy-wrong viewpoints, sometimes for clearly political reasons, and as far as I can tell, doesn’t challenge those viewpoints.

      People? So we are talking about someone other than Wright? Please tell me who? Ayers turned out to be pretty unimpressive.

      If, when the stuff about Wright came out, Obama was quick to say “Jeremiah Wright is a good friend who has done many good things, but he holds a belief that is wrong and, unfortunately, all to prevalent in the black community” and took the opportunity to push toward greater understanding and toward an elimination of racism, I’d have respected him for that.

      I looked up the speech, here is what I found:

      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.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/18/obama-race-speech-read-t_n_92077.html

      So much for the assertion that he failed to say he was wrong. (post 35 by you, “Even Obama’s eventual “repudiation” of Wright took the form of “his comments aren’t helpful” rather than “he’s totally wrong”.) Are we now just talking about timing? How fast did this Wright story flare up and then pan out? One month (yes I know it was simmering on the talk radio circuit for a long time but I’m talking mainstream media here). The more poking I do the less ‘there’ there seems to be to this argument.

      Shannon

      You try to build up a scenario in which Obama interacted with Wright as a mere side effect of his unwilled course through life. That is delusional. He was very, very close to Wright personally. He chose that association. You cannot argue that away.

      On the contrary, I’m pointing out that individuals have freedom of association and that freedom also means association does not mean endorsement unless you have positive evidence to the contrary. You’re essential argument is that because Obama never felt the need to challenge an old man on his views he must have implicitly endorsed them and therefore was betraying that man when he did disagree with him. I’m likewise unimpressed with the idea that associations must meet some type of ideological purity test with the only exception allowed for blood family members. What is this, some type of variation on Ayn Rand’s personality cult?

      I think this is why you see no problem comparing a voluntary relationship with a family one. For you, both relationships are equal.

      I didn’t say both relationships are equal. I said that from a Christian POV a person bringing someone to Christ is doing something more valuable than even giving birth and raising them. In this sense, it would be difficult to turn one’s back on such a person even if they were wrong. I do grant you, though, that there’s no ‘theological’ position that formalizes the position. We should also avoid the thorny issue of how voluntary a conversion is given that Christian doctrine would hold that the Holy Spirit plays a role in inspiring such things.

      What I did assert, though, was that even a family relationship is voluntary in the sense that adults choose to be close or distant and these choices are not simply dictated by blood closeness. To use me as an example, your schema would assert I have little excuse for being closer to my non-PC family members who are nevertheless more blood distant from me than more PC members. I see no moral requirement to shun the ideologically incorrect, in fact I find such a call to be pretty repulsive since that would imply those that aren’t shunned are somehow infallible or perfect…which is absurd.

      I do appreciate your attempt to root this discussion in ‘scientific studies’. Hopefully you’re thinking about ones that happened in the real world instead of the imaginary one. Methinks has already established herself as scholar of the imaginary evidence here.

      Vince
      It’s amazing to me how so many people are being urged to believe in completely stupid and absurd things. Such as Obama could belong to that church and still give him the benefit of the doubt that he doesn’t actually believe in anything that is distinctive about it.

      Something to think about next time you read about 90% of professed Christians admit they weren’t virgins when they got married or 60% of Catholic couples who use birth control…. I also suspect there’s quite a few people who sit in the pews of Evangelical churches and roll their eyes whenever “Darwin was wrong” or “Harry Potter is satanic” comes up but nonetheless don’t feel the need to leave the Church behind. There’s an answer to this assertion but it’s kind of subtle I suppose so please forgive me if I botch the way I word it. Life is like a buffet, you take what you want or need and leave what you don’t. I am close to certain family members because that closeness provides certain things I find helpful. Family unity and support, mutual aid, friendship and so on. I do not need ideological instruction so I leave that.

      Now maybe I have a duty to make people better and I should challenge the worse of the beliefs they hold and fight until I achieve victory or am totally defeated. Perhaps it is selfish to avoid such discussions because I desire the pleasent interactions that happen when some topics are left off the table. A type of Christian might say, assuming their beliefs are immoral and would endanger their soul, that the wrong has to be rooted out, challenged and excised at the expense of family, friendship, and all else. (And there’s a basis to this, Jesus DID NOT say in the Bible that his purpose was to make families closer).

      Yet that isn’t the choice most people make and it doesn’t feel like the right choice in most cases. You often do defer and let people have their beliefs as long as they aren’t causing any particular trouble at the moment.

      I learned this well when the topic is economics. I’ll occassionaly challenge a wacky assertion like NAFTA cost the US thousands of jobs. I know better, though, than to even try to argue anymore that free trade is more efficient than tariffs. Benefits have to exceed costs and you don’t open an argument if you don’t think the balance is in favor of the former.

      What do I suspect about Wright? I suspect he probably said and did a lot of positive things for blacks (and even some whites). Probably encouraged them to feel proud of themselves and to avoid self-destructive decisions. He is also correct that racism is very big and creates a lot of problems. He is also incorrect in that everything bad can be attributed to racism and racism is a constant in life that will never change. In reality it appears that racism is a cultural artifact that can disappear from a culture almost overnight in sociological terms.

      I suspect Obama at first was attracted to the positive in Wright. As time went on, it probably became clear that many of Wright’s beliefs were ‘old school’. But how much work do you put into teaching the old dog new tricks? It is human nature for the young to take pleasure in learning that they are more in touch than their teachers. It is bad form, though, for the young to rub it in their teachers faces too much unless their teachers are starting to act like real jerks.

    60. Boonton Says:

      Methinks,

      I’m sorry, I didn’t see a response was posted by you….

      This is not, as you say merely “thinking about race”. He is clearly choosing to actively avoid ingratiating himself to a whole segment of society because of their race. If a white man wrote that about blacks, you would be screaming that he’s a white supremacist.

      Errr, get a grip. He was talking about what he did at 12-13 yrs old. What 12 or 13 yr old hasn’t felt conflicted about his identity and what he said he did was simply “ceased to advertise my mother’s race”. Why should it be necessary for Obama to feel the need to ‘reassure’ whites by telling them his mother was white?

      It doesn’t take a social genius (which I don’t think you are) to see how making a point of telling people “my mother was white” carries with it a subtext of “ohhh don’t be scared, I’m not like those 100% black people!”

      Perhaps, being a Soviet refugee, your command of English is not very good. Ingratiate is not a positive word, at least in this context. it means:

      to make acceptable; esp., to bring (oneself) into another’s favor or good graces by conscious effort

      http://www.yourdictionary.com/ingratiate

      It carries with it a wiff of the artifical. Everyone smiles and shakes hands but under their breath there’s contempt… As a freedom loving person you should understand why this is not a good thing. People should not feel the need to sell themselves to other by offering up evidence of ‘good blood’ in their family lines.

      You read it out of context and quite ineptly. I think, though, that it is an honest account of the various conflicts that blacks who are part white face. The reality of racism is unfortunately such that acknowledging your white side comes off to other blacks as sounding like you’re trying to pretend you’re better and to whites as though you’re trying to convince them of something.

      On the Marxist quote
      Dreams of My father, p. 101

      Since you’ve already been caught once trying to pass off fabricated quotes I’m going to have back this up before I spend anymore time on it. As such, I promise I’ll make an effort to swing by B&N tonight and take a peek at the page. I assume you have the paperback?

      The fact remains that by your own admission, you would label a white man going to a racist church and embracing its preacher for 20 years a racist.

      The question was would 20 yrs at a ‘KKK Church’ be an issue for me and yes it would. Leaving aside the KKK doesn’t have churches the fact is the KKK is about nothing other than racism. I haven’t seen this to be the case at Trinity. The hypothetical “KKK Church” is not a sub-unit of a larger organization that has black members. It does not have black speakers. Does not meet with black leaders. The hypothetical presumes an equilivance that isn’t there. If you want a black equilivant to your “KKK Church” I would say the Nation of Islam would do and yes I would be highly skeptical of any person who was a member of the NOI for more than a week.

      I would say then a white comparision might be a devotee of John Hagee, the popular ‘self-help’ preacher McCain embraced who thinks Hitler was doing God’s work by driving Jews out of their homes and the Catholic Church is The Great Whore of Babylon. I’d want to hear how a candidate who was a member of his congregation felt about such statements but I wouldn’t write them off as I would the NOI or KKK going candidate.

      However, Obama gets a pass from you for attending a racist church and embracing its racist minister just because he’s black. I don’t know how in your upside down world this isn’t racism. Well, I do know. Liberals like yourself have redefined racism as a sin only white people are capable of.

      Actually Obama is half-white so if you’re imaginary version of myself was accurate I’d be holding him haf-sinful since his white half could commit the sin of racism!!!!! Seriously, you should concentrate on reality as it is rather than making stuff up.

    61. Vince P Says:

      Someone needs deprogramming, stat.

    62. Methinks Says:

      Perhaps, being a Soviet refugee, your command of English is not very good. Ingratiate is not a positive word,

      Perhaps as a an American leftist, your command of logic isn’t very good.

      Obama chose not to ingratiate himself to whites, but spent the rest of the book talking about his desperate efforts to ingratiate himself to blacks.

      Okay, now embark on a loooong post explaining how pandering to whites is totally different from pandering to blacks.

      Actually Obama is half-white so if you’re imaginary version of myself was accurate

      Actually, Obama doesn’t see himself as white at all. He identifies as black and he’s spent his whole life trying to “be black”. Seriously, don’t you lefties ever read your own disciple’s work or do you enjoy being led about blindly by the nose?

      Incidentally, it really doesn’t matter if I provide references for you or not. As a typical apologist, you will either attack the source or you will explain it away via some pretzel logic. Have at it.

    63. Methinks Says:

      two posts have now been lost to the spam filter. Let’s see if this one goes through.

      “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that’s where it’s really at.” – Ayers

      “I don’t regret setting bombs” and “I feel we didn’t do enough.” – Ayers

      He’s a pussycat.

      http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-oe-goldberg26feb26,1,3347192.column

    64. Boonton Says:

      Methinks,

      That’s horrible! Why do you associate yourself with an institution that gave Ayers a spot on a panel discussion!!!

    65. Boonton Says:

      More to the point, why are you dodging the problem with the argument? It has been asserted that Obama has sought out the company of radicals yet when the evidence is probed this fails to pan out. Ayers used good works in his power Underground years combined with his Daddy’s money and influence to buy his way back into respectable society. You can say respectable society is wrong to have brought him back into the fold but that does nothing to support the assertion that Obama’s fleeting ‘links’ to him are anything other than the normal connections any rising local politican will make in his career.

      To see how absurd this game of six degrees of seperation is, name me one successful Chicago area politician that doesn’t have some type of connection to Mayor Daley. Well he’s the one that appointed Ayers to the board. By this absurd logic, you’ve probably excluded almost all Democrats & Republicans in the area from elected office.

      The deeper problem here is your argument isn’t even coherent. You’re telling us that Obama is a flity poser bending over backwards to please the crowd. Then you tell us obama seeks out radicals and nut cases. Why? Does he embrace radical and nutty policies? On the contrary, he has a rep for being very bipartisan & many on the right have praised him for giving their positions a respectful hear even if they ultimately didn’t agree. So which is it? Obama the bomb thrower or Obama the suck-up? The charge of flip-flopping works in both directions, if you can’t make up your mind your credibility, at some point, starts to collapse.

    66. Methinks Says:

      Boonton,

      Unlike you, I’m not bobbing and weaving in an effort to apologize for your messiah. Two of my reply posts have been caught in the spam filter (Jonathan is aware but obviously hasn’t found them). My last post got through. The other two didn’t. I don’t even know if this post will get through either. It’s too much trouble to reconstruct the other two posts a second time with no garauntee that they’ll make it out of the spam filter.

    67. Boonton Says:

      Fair enough, I’ve had posts lost in spam filters on other blogs (actually I suspect the blog was being run by a republican troll who was censoring the comments) and know how frustrating that can be. I will try to track down page 101 of Obama’s book tonight at B&N.

    68. Jonathan Says:

      Methinks, I recovered two of your comments from last night, and just now found another one from about three hours ago.

    69. Methinks Says:

      Thank you, Jonathan. I appreciate it. The last one came through okay, so it seems that you’ve tamed your spam filter :)

    70. Boonton Says:

      Cheers to Jonathan too, one minor request could you tell us the # of the missing posts that were recovered. That way we don’t have to fish for them through the previous read posts.

    71. Jonathan Says:

      Boonton, Ayers is an unrepentant terrorist. The fact that he and his wife are well received in Chicago political circles doesn’t mean that Obama gets a pass for going along with the other pols who are willing to overlook Ayers’s past. Obama is responsible for his own actions, and the fact that he was willing to sit on a board with Ayers suggests that Obama either was not troubled by Ayers’s behavior or had poor judgment in choosing whom to associate with. If Ayers had ever expressed regret for his criminal actions it might change the situation, but not only has Ayers never done so, he has asserted that he still sees his terrorism as justified. Would you sit on a board with such a person? Would you sit on a board with David Duke? These should not be difficult questions to answer for anyone who seeks high public office.

      Obama’s personal associations are important because they reflect on his character. The fact that he allowed himself to serve on the same board as Ayers, the fact that he did business with Tony Rezko, the fact that he had a long and apparently harmonious association with the odious Jeremiah Wright, the fact that he pays deference to the racist anti-Semite Farrakhan, and to the slimy Pfleger, are all huge red flags about his character.

      Obama didn’t have to go along to get along in the corrupt Chicago political environment. He didn’t grow up in Chicago. He chose to live there, to join Wright’s church, to do business with Rezko, to pretend that Farrakan is a decent man, to participate enthusiastically in scummy Chicago racial politics. Those were his choices. They reflect strongly on him as a person and elected official. Your attempt to explain away his responsibility for them fails.

    72. Jonathan Says:

      one minor request could you tell us the # of the missing posts that were recovered.

      I don’t know. There are currently no comments from Methinks or Boonton in the spam queue.

    73. Boonton Says:

      Comment #62

      Ingratiating blacks.v.white

      I don’t see any evidence of this in the material you posted or in what is available online. This smells of a ‘dammed if you do dammed if you don’t’ situation. If 12 yr old Obama made a point of telling people his mother was white he’d be attacked as a suck up, if he stopped telling people his mother was white he is being racist against whites.
      He identifies as black and he’s spent his whole life trying to “be black”.

      I don’t see evidence of this either. From his speech on Wright:

      I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

      Likewise from his book (I found a site that confirms your quote but you left a lot out). Obama was attracted to the black image which culiminates with:

      Yes, I’d seen weakness in other men — Gramps and his disappointments, Lolo [my adoptive father] and his compromise. But these men had become object lessons for me, men I might love but never emulate, white men and brown men whose fates didn’t speak to my own. It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa, that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela. And if later I saw that the black men I knew fell short of such lofty standards; if I had learned to respect these men for the struggles they went through, recognizing them as my own — my father’s voice had nevertheless remained untainted, inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval. You do not work hard enough, Barry. You must help in your people’s struggle. Wake up, black man!

      But the anti-climax comes when he actually meets his father who he had idealized and reality hits:

      Now, as I sat in the glow of a single light bulb, rocking slightly on a hard-backed chair, that image had suddenly vanished. Replaced by … what? A bitter drunk? An abusive husband? A defeated, lonely bureaucrat? To think that all my life I had been wrestling with nothing more than a ghost!

      http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/ownwords.asp

      At this point I want to take a moment to note you’ve yet to produce any evidence that Obama was ever racist against whites except for the fabricated quotes you presented as real. You’ve shown us that a 12 yr old boy yearned to identify with his father. Wow, how shameful! You also showed us that a man who is half-black tried to identify himself as black (but you neglect to mention that he also found such identity to be deficient). You’re argument borders on being highly paternalistic here. You’re essentially saying Obama was/is racist against whites because he doesn’t feel like he needs to suck up to whites.

      Incidentally, it really doesn’t matter if I provide references for you or not. As a typical apologist, you will either attack the source or you will explain it away via some pretzel logic.

      There’s no need to explain anything way with pretzel logic. You posted lies, confirmed fabrications. As I said before, if you were a student at a reputable university who submitted a paper half of whose sources were fabrications you’d be drummed out on your behind (or at least should be). You should show a little bit more respect here. Because you took the lazy way out and cut and pasted your way to score a cheap point I’ve spent more than a little time untangling the truth from the untruth’s in your post. I’m not going to say I’m angry about it because it’s good to go hunting sometimes for original sources (at least as much as you can with Google) but that doesn’t diminish the irresponsibility on your part. The time you spent with lies could have been spent building a more intelligent criticism of Obama from your standpoint.

      Post 57

      What’s interesting is this confirms exactly what I said. Obama’s only praise of Wright is religious, “he helped me on another journey and introduced me to someone named Jesus Christ. And I learned that my sins could be redeemed. I learned that those things that I was too weak to accomplish myself, maybe he could accomplish them for me if I placed my trust in him. And I learned that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when they believe in him and they come together and are guided by him.”…

      I see nothing that supports your argument here at all.

      If I missed any of the missing posts please let me know….

    74. Boonton Says:

      Jonathan,

      The problem with your Ayers argument is that Obama’s “association” with Ayers is trivial. “Sitting on a board with” is hardly associating in the sense that you’re trying to sell us on here. In fact, board members can be hostile enemies of each other….but usually it’s pretty mundane business of meeting and voting on various things.

      I harp on the political correctness angle because this meme has a very authoritarian sound to it. Person X is written off as a non-person…the most evil of evil….totally unacceptable. Therefore Obama is guilty of thoughtcrime for any ‘association’ that wasn’t denounced in a prompt manner to the party! Don’t forget, I hate families because I don’t buy all the way into the exception clause for direct blood family members (adoptions don’t count I suppose?)

      You talk about character but in good doublespeak fashion you’re actually dodging the character issue. You don’t want to address what Obama has really said about race, for example, you’d rather pretend Wright was the one running. So you use the association game to sweep Obama under the rug and ignore just about everything Obama has actually said, done and written in regards to race (except stuff that can be yanked totally out of context). This only works so much, keep shifting the goalposts and pretty soon they will break….

    75. Boonton Says:

      Obama didn’t have to go along to get along in the corrupt Chicago political environment. He didn’t grow up in Chicago. He chose to live there,

      Perhaps this is the culmination of your association game. Because Obama choose to live in Chicago his character is tarred by all slimy things in Chicago. If he was of good character he would have moved too and entered politics in a happy place where everyone was nice.

      Since I’m already tarred a family hater might I ask why growing up in Chicago should make a difference? Last I heard serfdom was abolished, no one is tied to the land of their birth anymore. What type of character are you to be remaining in Chicago and associating with all its slimy people like a University that invites Ayers to sit on a panel discussion and teach? Are you under house arrest or being held hostage by Black Panters?

    76. Jonathan Says:

      The problem with your Ayers argument is that Obama’s “association” with Ayers is trivial.

      You ignored my questions. Would you sit on a board with David Duke? If so, then you do not understand reputation, or the fact that a reasonable person would question the character of anyone who voluntarily associated himself with an organization that selected a terrorist to sit on its board. If not, then you concede my point and are admitting that your objection to finding fault with Obama’s behavior is ideological.

    77. Methinks Says:

      You posted lies, confirmed fabrications.

      Yeah, thanks for making my point – that it doesn’t matter whether I give you citations or not, you will just call everything that doesn’t fit neetly into your image of the Obamessiah a lie. Even if the “fabricated” quote is from the Obamessiah’s own book and I even gave you a page number. And if it’s a matter of opinion, then yours is the “correct” opinion and any dissenting opinion is a lie. If you had your way, I might get kicked out of school (which, thankfully, I finished ages ago) for my take on Obama’s racism and I may even be sent to the gulags for a little re-education. Eh, Boonton? You’ve shown yourself to be quite the little tyrant.

      You should show a little bit more respect here.

      That’s rich since you admitted you never even checked the citations before screeching “lies”. Aren’t you supposed to stop by B&N tonight to do that? Plus, I reject your apologist “snopes” explanation (sad that you had to be fed an opinion) as valid. Neither do I find Huffingtonpost to be a reliable source for unbiased information and reject it as lies also. How do you like that? You don’t know the meaning of respect and it’s been a long time since you leftists lost my respect for you. You’re no different from radical right-wingers. Parlor revolutionaries.

      You should get your head out of your rear end and actually read your messiah’s work for yourself. I have no respect for racist tyrants who wish to forcefully subject an entire population to their vision of the ideal society and who wish to further enslave the populace by making them more dependent to the beneficence of the state. That’s your messiah to a T. Been there, done that. No thanks. Don’t like my opinion of him? Tough. At least I bother to read his stuff and come to my own conclusions instead of letting Snopes do the thinking for me.

      And you know what? After all your efforts to re-educate me, I’m still not voting for Obama. That’s what really chaps your leftist hides.

    78. Methinks Says:

      You must help in your people’s struggle. Wake up, black man!

      Yes, all black people are the same. They are just a monolith of humanity. All of the same opinion and the same sameness. Interchangeable, even. Wake up and realize that your struggles are not those of an individual but the struggles of some pre-defined collective.

      Good Lord.

      My husband, son of Africa (naturalized only recently) needs to wake up and smell the collective, eh? And really, that’s the problem Joyce had with the black groups on campus and the problem I have when feminists try to speak for me as a woman. My black husband is an individual and so am I. Anyone who lumps us all together as an undifferentiated mass of women and blacks is a sexist and a racist, IMO. And I believe that’s pretty much the current widely accepted definition of those terms, no? Otherwise, “you people” would not be taken as a racist remark.

    79. Vince P Says:

      I swear the way these Leftists behave, I just throw my hands in the air… that people are that obtuse or pretend to be is an embarrassment to our society.

    80. Tyouth Says:

      I’ve scanned, but not read thoroughly, the lengthy list of comments here and believe that I’m returning to a point that was not made earlier – the idea that the long relationship with Rev. Wright provides some “evidence” of, or insight into, Obama’s fitness for the office of Pres.

      It’s simply that Obama “went along” (in the same sense of a “good German”) because of personal convenience or he was insensate to the problems confronting him. In a population held down by state assisted-welfare-poverty and crime he did not have the right combination (in whatever proportions necessary) of insight, wisdom, or courage, to expostulate the patterns of behavior that lead to a comfortable middle class life in this country. He went along with the radical Afro-centrist preacher and his poisonous socialist ideas that appear to have more to do with “victimization” than the ways of self-reliance and hard work that Christianity and capitalism entail.

      Did Obama drink the kool-aid or was it a cynical political calculation that kept him in place all those years? Probably a bit of both, but either way I see it as “evidence” of poor leadership or no leadership at all.

    81. Boonton Says:

      You ignored my questions. Would you sit on a board with David Duke? If so, then you do not understand reputation,…

      Would I sit with Duke? Probably not although if the function was policy making (such as voting on grant applications or such) I might consider sitting in order to counter his vote. I’m not convinced that Ayers and Duke are equilivant. Duke, last I heard, still likes to throw his ideological bombs…that’s a notch below someone whose unapologetic about throwing ideological bombs decades ago.

      Have you disassociated yourself from the U of C for having Ayers on a panel discussion? Do you expect all students and faculty of the U. of Il at Chicago to resign or be considered associates of Ayers being that he has a teaching post there?

      Two questions have been presented here about Ayers:

      1. Does Obama have a history of seeking out radicals to associate himself with? Here your assertion has been disproven in regard to Ayers. His tangential contacts with Ayers are not exceptional among mainstream Chicago politicians.

      2. Should Obama have gone out of his way to avoid Ayers despite the fact that Ayers, for better or worse, has been ‘forgiven’ by mainstream society. Maybe. To be honest IMO the 60’s are done and good riddance to them. I wouldn’t put up any serious effort to background check characters that I come into tangential contact with. I would expect more if Obama had choosen Ayers for a running mate or appointed him to positions. I would expect, then, that you hold McCain in equal disgust for his associations with characters like Hagee.

    82. Jonathan Says:

      Duke, last I heard, still likes to throw his ideological bombs…that’s a notch below someone whose unapologetic about throwing ideological bombs decades ago.

      Duke is a despicable racist demagogue but AFAIK never engaged in violence. Ayers is worse because he planted actual (not “ideological”) bombs.

      Have you disassociated yourself from the U of C for having Ayers on a panel discussion? Do you expect all students and faculty of the U. of Il at Chicago to resign or be considered associates of Ayers being that he has a teaching post there?

      -I’m not associated with the U of C.

      -I’m not running for high public office.

      -I’m not telling anyone what to do. What I am saying is that the people Obama has chosen to associate with reflect on his character.

      -I think the fact that the U of I employs Ayers reflects poorly on the U of I.

      Does Obama have a history of seeking out radicals to associate himself with?

      Yes: Ayers, Wright, Pfleger, Farrakhan, et al.

      His tangential contacts with Ayers are not exceptional among mainstream Chicago politicians.

      True. This fact 1) reflects poorly on mainstream Chicago politicians and 2) makes Obama look worse.

      Should Obama have gone out of his way to avoid Ayers despite the fact that Ayers, for better or worse, has been ‘forgiven’ by mainstream society. Maybe. To be honest IMO the 60’s are done and good riddance to them. I wouldn’t put up any serious effort to background check characters that I come into tangential contact with. I would expect more if Obama had choosen Ayers for a running mate or appointed him to positions. I would expect, then, that you hold McCain in equal disgust for his associations with characters like Hagee.

      -If Obama wants to be President, yes, of course he should have avoided Ayers. The problem for Obama is that he wanted to have it both ways: to be a player in Chicago racial/leftist politics and also to run for President.

      -The controversies surrounding Obama’s campaign make clear that the ’60s are not at all done. The leftist wing of today’s Democratic Party, which is now the Party leadership, remains eager to implement the New Left’s unfinished agenda of the 1960s.

      -I would see Ayers as benign if he renounced his earlier radicalism and criminality. The fact that he not only hasn’t renounced them, but has recently publicly reaffirmed them, indicates to me that Ayers is as bad as he ever was and deserves no consideration.

      -Ayers needs no background check. Everyone who runs in his circle, and this would have included Obama, knows who and what he is. Indeed his radical background is his main political credential.

      -I don’t know much about Hagee but McCain’s relationship with him is marginal as compared to Obama’s relationships with Wright and the Chicago Left. More to the point, Obama has a short record in elected office, and his past pattern of association with racists and radical leftists raises questions about his real beliefs. McCain has a long public record on which he can be evaluated, and many fewer apparent contradictions to explain.

    83. Boonton Says:

      Methinks

      Yeah, thanks for making my point – that it doesn’t matter whether I give you citations or not, you will just call everything that doesn’t fit neetly into your image of the Obamessiah a lie.

      Let’s again return to the student who submits a paper half of whose sources are fabrication. In the real world, such behavior gets an instant failure, probably a failure for the whole course and maybe even expulsion from the school. In Methinks world it means “just grade me on half of the stuff I was being honest about”.

      Now I never said that all of the quotes from Methinks were fabricated. A few were accurate or somewhat accurate. When I didn’t have time to grab the book I admitted as such and was very clear about when I would have the time until a 3rd party (snopes) was able to confirm the truth of the quote making it unnecessary. I was the one that found the 3rd party source and brought it to everyone’s attention here, not Methinks. I could have easily had sat on it.

      Here there is no matters of opinion. If you put something forth as a quote from someone it either is or isn’t. You can have different opinions on what that quote means but whether or not the quote appears in a book or speech or some other public record is an objective truth or falsehood.

      Neither do I find Huffingtonpost to be a reliable source for unbiased information and reject it as lies

      Blahhhhhaha, the lie poster will now tell us what she rejects as lies? I used the Huffingtonpost because they posted a transcript of Obama’s speech. The speech was televised on TV, carried by a huge number of newsoutlets. If you think their transcript was doctored it would be very easy to establish. Notice again how Methinks lives in a world of totally imaginary truths. A transcript is a lie because it came from the Huffingtonpost. In the real world a transcript would, could, only be a lie if it was not the actual speech given.

      You should get your head out of your rear end and actually read your messiah’s work for yourself. I

      Ahhh yes, Methinks has actually read the book! Isn’t it amazing then that she just happens to pick up the exact same quotes that have been making the basement level of the internet for months now….in the exact same order as thousands of spam emails and comments….and with the exact same mix of true and untrue quotes!

      Look, if you want to be productive just do the following:

      1. Be honest, if you don’t like Obama’s policies say so and say which ones. You invent all this crap, provide half-assed crap to back it up and when you’re called on it you pretend like it doesn’t matter. It does.

      2. Live in the real world, not your imaginary one. Argue what people actually say or do. (i.e. accusing me of supporting Stalin)

      Yes, all black people are the same. They are just a monolith of humanity. All of the same opinion and the same sameness. Interchangeable, even. Wake up and realize that your struggles are not those of an individual but the struggles of some pre-defined collective.

      Actually that’s not what the quote says. There’s a difference between recognizing that you belong to a larger group of people without having to make that out to be some type of Borg-style collective. More to the point, it’s very clear now after we’ve seen more and more real passages and summaries of the book brought into the discussion that this quote was NOT Obama’s conclusion to the question of identity but just one argument along its way.

      But I notice you seem to think that white people are monoliths of humanity….at least when it comes to their relations with blacks. I’m specifically thinking of your charge that Obama’s failure to feel the need to suck up to white people when he was a 12 yr old boy is an example of racism. As a white person, I speak for more than a few when I say I don’t want to live in the world where blacks must feel compelled to suck up to me and I don’t want to feel compelled to suck up myself to anyone for any reason. I think the only type of person who could possibly conceive of that as a good thing would be someone who doesn’t value the truth.

      And really, that’s the problem Joyce had with the black groups on campus and the problem I have when feminists try to speak for me as a woman. My black husband is an individual and so am I.

      Note what you missed by reading passages out of context:

      it’sblack people who always have to make everything racial. They’re the ones making me choose. They’re the ones who are telling me that I can’t be who I am …”

      They, they, they. That was the problem with people like Joyce. They talked about the richness of their multicultural heritage and it sounded real good, until you noticed that they avoided black <people …

      Notice Obama’s problem with Joyce was that while her multi-racial rhetoric sounded good it came at the expense of making black people into a monolith…Joyce had something nice to say about every white nationality in her bloodline but when it comes to blacks they are reduced to a ‘they, they, they.’

      This is exactly what you are complaining about. Anyway, the passage is biographical. You have no idea who Joyce was or anything about her beyond what Obama wrote. That you see yourself in her shoes is only your imagination. For all you know, the real life Joyce is an insufferable political correct demonness. You complain about treating blacks as monoliths but you’re part of the problem. Obama can barely think “I’m black” without you jumping out of your seat pretending he’s joined the black panthers!

      I have to say, if the comments on this blog are typical of how people in the Chicago area think about race I can only admire Obama for coming through this crazy house able to say sane things about the topic.

    84. Boonton Says:

      Jonathan

      Been thinking about your posts and I think I can sum up our disagreement in a nutshell. You’ve been arguing that associations are a test of character. In that I can agree with you. Where we part, though, is I think you’ve mixed up a test of character with character itself.

      A person might have lots of criminal friends because he is a criminal or he may be a non-criminal who just has friends who are criminal. What makes you a criminal, though, is whether you choose to commit crimes…not whether you choose to be friends with people who do.

      To elevate association from just being a test of character (a test which, like all tests, may provide false answers) to being character itself is to make a serious error. It implies thoughts, actions, and beliefs make no difference…only your ‘associates’. To use a favorite hypothetical of yours, would David Duke suddenly become less racist and objectionable if he started associating only with non-racists but still kept advocating racism?

      All these back and forth posts have, at best, pointed out that it’s valid to raise an eyebrow at Wright, perhaps at Ayers but I don’t think you’ve presented a case there…but a test is only a test. To judge one needs to see if the facts reinforce the results of the test or do they indicate the test gave a false positive (or false negative in the case of a hypothetical David Duke who suddenly tried to rebrand himself toting a posse of non-racist buddies).

      In this, despite the strangely heroic efforts of methinks to spin Obama’s musing on growing up biracial as some type of Malcome X/Black Panther diatribe, the facts do not support the test results. Obama’s statements and actions do not conform to some type of black racist agenda.

      Am I evenhanded? I hope so. I would say in response to your David Duke analogy yes I would say it would be possible for a white guy to be an associate of David Duke but yet not be a racist or even have a poor character. We are all flawed, though, so I won’t guarantee you that I’m perfectly unbiased. To the degree I’m not, though, that is a personal failing of mine and not a failure of the principle.

    85. Boonton Says:

      I’m not associated with the U of C….

      You do admin. for a website that bills itself as being associated in actuality or ‘in spirit’ with the U of C. At what point would you cut off association? If the U of C put Hitler in charge of its econ. dept. would you change?

      -I’m not running for high public office.

      So the ethical point you’re making is that if you’re not planning to run for office feel more free to associate? If Ayers is unacceptable to associate with even tangentially shouldn’t the faculty of U of I resign and its students consider leaving? Shouldn’t failure to do so indicate an ethical lapse regardless of whether they choose to run for office at any point in the future.

      Yes: Ayers, Wright, Pfleger, Farrakhan, et al.

      Ayers and Wright we have exhaustively covered. Farrakhan I’ve asked you for specifics and have received nothing (if I missed it I apologize, please let me know the post #).

      On Pfleger, this is what I get from scanning for his bio. He ran anti-drug campaigns in the 1990’s. Campaigned against tobacco and alcohol billborads, protested Jerry Springer & Howard Stern and got attention in 2000 for encouraging parishioners to ‘buy time’ with prostitutes to pitch counseling and job trainging with them.

      I don’t exactly go for the moralizing nanny types but you can’t say campaigning against low-brow culture is all that radical…if so please document how McCain did not associate himself with GOP morals nag Bill Bennett. The culimination of Pfleger’s radicalism appears to be saying:

      “I really believe that she just always thought, ‘This is mine. I’m Bill’s wife. I’m white, and this is mine. I just gotta get up and step into the plate.’ Then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey, I’m Barack Obama,’ and she said, ‘Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show!'”

      Leave aside the fact that Obama immediately rebuked the comments. The above is not all that radical of a position. A lot of people have said Hillary (and Bill) had a monster sense of entitlement. Do I think they were pissed that an unknown upstart like Obama stole what they thought should have been a cake-walk nomination? Sure. Do I think being black was an element? No but then again I don’t think it’s some type of evil offense for someone to believe that. We don’t really know politicians so we will always speculate to some degree about what goes on in their heads.

      BUT here’s the problem…the real problem…Pfleger has nothing to do with Obama as far as I can see. I asked you:

      Does Obama have a history of seeking out radicals to associate himself with?

      Pfleger rushed to Wright’s defense and clearly supports Obama. I see nothing, though, that indicates Obama has any connect to Pfleger. Again, your case appears built around playing the six degrees game…

      -The controversies surrounding Obama’s campaign make clear that the ’60s are not at all done. The leftist wing of today’s Democratic Party, which is now the Party leadership, remains eager to implement the New Left’s unfinished agenda of the 1960s.

      You’re out of touch but this, I think, is going to just be a matter of disagreement not debate.

      I don’t know much about Hagee but McCain’s relationship with him is marginal….

      Indeed, there those goal posts go shifting again. Like I said, keep moving them so much and they will break and no one will take your rules seriously.

    86. Boonton Says:

      Also I assume you find McCain’s associations with Lieberman equally objectionable.

    87. RICVAN Says:

      RE: McCain’s first wife:

      -McCain publicly acknowledged years ago that he behaved badly toward her.

      – As Obama publicly acknowledged months ago that he behaved badly in associating with Wright.

      -McCain took financial responsibility for his ex-wife, who has had many medical problems, after their divorce.

      – Obama returned funding received from Wright.

      -McCain’s ex-wife says only good things about him publicly.

      – Publicly, Wright says only good things about Obama.

      -One of the former Mrs. McCain’s children (by a previous marriage) is employed as an executive at the current Mrs. McCain’s beer distributing company.

      – OK

      Even if McCain is the world’s biggest jerk, and even if his ex-wife hates him (and none of us knows what the dynamics of his first marriage were really like), he is capable of admitting error and has taken responsibility for his behavior as best he could.

      – As has Obama in regard to the original “throws his ex-firends under the bus” accusation that started this
      thread. (admitted error and taken responsibility)

      This is a flawed record but it also reveals some good qualities.

      – Stet.

      And McCain has stayed married to his second wife.

      – Obama has stayed married to his first wife. (without a rich influential daddy as part of the deal)

      On balance I would prefer him as President to Obama, who is arrogant,

      – Arrogant like JFK, Martin Luther King, RFK, Reagan, Bill Clinton – all of whom were accused of the
      same sin.

      claims never to doubt himself,

      – “I’m the deciderI” – W (whom you support? – So, which way is it? Self-doubt is good or bad?

      speaks of “Minister Farrakhan,”

      – And ‘Minister’ John Hagee? (McCain pal and supporter/fund raiser) A few qoutes: “Most readers will be
      shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy
      to exterminate the Jews.”

      or

      “All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level
      of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.”

      is ignorant about history and economics,

      – “For much of our history, the world considered the United States a young country. Today, we are the
      world’s oldest constitutional democracy” – John McCain…Ummmm. I think that’s constitutional ‘Republic.’

      and changes his positions with the opinion polls.

      – Like on Immigration reform, abortion rights, global warming, windfall profit tax on Oil Companies,
      off-shore drilling, Bush tax cuts, shut down of Guantanamo? – ALL McCain pandering waffles

      This doesn’t mean that I like McCain, it means that I think he is the lesser evil. I would rather vote for someone like Phil Gramm or Steve Forbes, but that’s not the choice we get. As a wise man said,

      “better a third-rate fireman than a first-rate arsonist. (from ’92?)

      – A statement which completely contradicts Sowells’ premise that systemic processes mated to the common
      wisdom and practical action of the ordinary volk are superior to the grandiose presumptions of
      intellectual, political and bureaucratic elites.