March 18, 2008

Barack's "Race" Speech

Drudge has an advance copy of Barack Obama's "race" speech online here.

I'll follow this live, as it happens.

10:15: He hasn't arrived.

10:25: Ditto.

10:30: While we wait, let's get to the "meat" of the advance copy posted on Drudge.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

And yet, if I ever attended a church where the pastor said that we should "God Damn America" and resided in the "US of KKK-A" or the "United States of White America" that giant thundering sound you would hear is the congregation leaving en masse. As we know from the multiple videos, Barack's church cheered Wright when he uttered such hateful, distorted speech.

There is speech with which we disagree and then there is hate speech. Can Barack Obama tell the difference? Apparently not.

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.

Interesting, how Obama seems to use language to isolate Wright's bombastic pronouncements as a more recent, near-term thing, when we know for a fact that his radical behavior goes back years, well prior to both U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Deceptive?

You betcha.

10:40: Barack has still not begun. There may be some sort of a problem at the podium instead of cold feet; technicians seem to be examining things now.

Back to the advance copy.

Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way.

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

Most minsters I've known in my life participate in the same sort of community outreach and ministry as Obama's speech describes here. He does still not explain adequately why he chose this pastor, and this congregation to call home for 20 years, which preaches an out-of-the-mainstream brand of Christianity.

10:45: Still waiting. More from the advance copy, after skipping down a bit:

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

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

No minster is perfect... they are human like the rest of us, a fact with which we can all agree, and all have their faults and human failings.

Wright's career, however, has provided us with speeches far more radical, self-isolating, divisive, and at least occasionally bigoted and paranoid than most of us are used to hearing from a senior pastor. Having not attended a dedicated African-American church (though my present church includes a senior black pastor and a very diverse congregation) I cannot help but wonder if Obama is accidentally tarring all African American churches as radicals by portraying Trinity as a mainstream African-American congregation.

10:53: Some guy is talking now, quite weakly. Hot Air is liveblogging, and notes that it is Sen. Harris Wofford.

10:54: Obama arrives. I'm going to watch it through the conclusion, and then post a reaction afterward.

10:57: Okay, nix that... does he seem flat and uninspired in his delivery, or is it just my perception?

10:59: "...seared into my genetic makeup." Seared? Seared into his memory? He just Kerried himself.

11:05: Obama's pacing, I think, is meant to be deliberate, but comes across as plodding. I haven't yet heard any crowd reaction. Were they instructed not to cheer, are they listening in rapt attention, or did they fall asleep?

11:07: FWIW, he isn't deviating from the advance copy.

11:08: Got the the part about his grandmother:

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

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

Seems to be warming up a little now.

11:10: Finally some applause after this line:

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

11:11: Did he just wait for applause, and not get it? AP says he got a "smattering of applause" I'll take his word for it.

11:13: He says:

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What’s remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

That was four to five decades ago... are we to believe that Wright's inability to evolve from 1960s-era positions is an admirable trait? As this speech comes from a man who counts still-proud terrorist leader William Ayers as a friend, perhaps.


In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community.

Yes. and the SPLC tracks such groups.

11:20: Let the class warfare begin!

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances – for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives – by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

11:21: Starting to warm up the this theme.

11:27: Time to honor one of our most color-blind institutions by bringing them home in dishonorable defeat:

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should've been authorized and never should've been waged, and we want to talk about how we'll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

Stripping them of the victory they've fought, bled and died for, while leaving Iraq to whatever genocide befalls it... it's patriotic!

11:29: Now he's going John Edwards on us—hardcore class warfare rhetoric, with a personal twist:

There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that’s when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

Now Ashley might have made a different choice. Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mother's problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally. But she didn't. She sought out allies in her fight against injustice.

Where's the puppy? Didn't she have a starving puppy?

11:32: Mercifully, it's over. Once I finally regain control over my gag reflect, I'll check around the blogosphere for other reaction to his speech.

Update: Michelle Malkin also live-blogged Obama's speech, as has Mary Katharine Ham. Very interesting and mixed reactions at The Corner, a few of which note that the speech wasn't aimed at you or me, but Democratic superdelegates that might be getting cold feet... an interesting conjecture. At PW, Dan Collins' labels the speech "movingly schmaltzy."

It will be interesting to see which portions of the speech most move the media, and I'll try to provide some of those reactions later today.

Update: Perhaps instead of the media's reaction, we should instead focus on what people are saying in response in the comment threads allowed by some news organizations.

The first page of this comment thread is running strongly against Obama, with 18 of 25 responses firmly against him. I can only imagine how he did among the other 700+ commenters so far here, but what I found most unsettling is several instances where Obama supporters lambasted those who did not like the speech as being racist. That is not going to help him.

On the CBS News thread, reaction is more mixed, and at times incoherent. Typical, I suppose, of the CBS News audience.

At The Politico, the comments are overwhelmingly in favor of Obama, with most commenters thinking he did an excellent job. Some comments, however, appear to be astroturfed.

General reaction upon reading these comment threads?

It doesn't seem that Obama could lose his hardcore supporters if he was caught with "a live boy or a dead girl" as the saying goes, and some of his supporters—though thankfully a distinct minority—are echoing Wright by labeling those who did not like the speech as racists. There does not seem to be an great number of on the fence moderates joining the Obamanation as a result of this speech, and there are signs, particularly on the ABC News thread, that the has lost some moderate Democrats for not disassociating himself from Wright.

It was a speech that was effective for those predisposed to be affected, but one that did not seem to sway many who thought Obama simply didn't do enough to address concerns that the 20-year association with Wright have brought forward.

Barack might have recaptured Democratic superdelegates with his performance today, but he probably lost the general election as well.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 18, 2008 09:25 AM

I could watch no more of it. It is sad when people distort what is written in the bible to make lies into truth. The bible says to worship in reverence. I remember seeing a sign once as I entered a church building. It said" Enter in silence, worship in reverence, leave to serve." Acting like a wild animal is not worshipping the Lord in any form or fashion. It is hate speech and there is nothing he or anyone can say to change it. How would it be if a white church honored David Duke and said that black people are the cause of all that is wrong with America ? How do you think that would go over? Think Jesse Jackson and Al Sharp ton would be so incline to dismiss this as just religious ratings ?

Posted by: Robert at March 18, 2008 10:15 AM

I'm sorry, that didn't do it for me. I read the full text of the speech and he just doesn't get it. The speech just turned into another liberal stump speech complete with defining Reagan conservatives as racists, blaming us for misunderstanding black bigotry and hate of our country. Huh?

Obama could have made a giant leap in his image today if he had roundly condemned Wright, Sharpton and Jackson as hate-filled bigots who do more harm to the black community and race relations than any latent white bigotry. He could have challenged the long-term societal costs of Great Society programs. Instead what we got were more excuses, explanations and dodging. Perhaps Obama could be more like Bill Cosby and do some stump speeches that challenge the black community to set aside victimization and live up to its potential. Show real leadership - even it threatens his electability.

Isn't it odd that the decline of the black community coincided with federal programs in the 1960's? Until then there were solid gains in income, education and advancement within the black community. When did the message change from one of rewards for effort to one of entitlement and victimization? (And btw which party has done more to suppress true black advancement in the past 40 years?)

Barack has clutched tightly to Wright for the past 20 years, and his outrageous recorded comments are not aberrations. Obama should have left that hateful environment decades ago - instead he chose to stay. Making a flowery speech in 2008 doesn't get him off the hook for those 20 years of head nodding and financial support of those messages.

Posted by: in_awe at March 18, 2008 10:43 AM

Bob. Your bias is clear. There isn't one thing Obama could say that would ever make you happy.

Please save us all the time of reading through your tripe and just admit that upfront.

It's not the speech you detest, it's the (D) after his name.

Posted by: dude at March 18, 2008 11:21 AM

It's not the (D) after the name for me but the (S)...socialist on why I would never ever vote for Obama.
All of this "investment" code word crap, meaning taxes and that these "investments" will bring rasicm to some kind of new docile level of understanding is just pure garbage.

Investment seeking "politicians" are simply a pack of crooks who wither have no care for the working man or zero knowledge on what it takes to run a small buissness, and will gleefully try to paint a rosey picture of compassion as they break the backs of both.

As for the speech, I really do not see a conection between it and the whole point of Obama's outlook on life that obviously stuck to him under the tutolage of Reverand Wright....The point wasnt racisim....It was about Anti Americanism and flat out hatred of the country that gave both men the opportunity and success that they both enjoy today.

Posted by: Drider at March 18, 2008 11:44 AM

Sitting here thinking about allllll those American flags "planted" on the stage behind the Obama, wouldnt it have been a hoot if they started the speech by playing the National Anthem beforehand....We would either see the historically genuine Obama cross is hands over his gentinals as usual or we would have seen his "fast on his feet" adaptability and he would have crossed his heart.

Posted by: Drider at March 18, 2008 12:02 PM

Wow. What a giant pile of hate? Did you even listen to the speech or just parse it for insult material?

At the best, Obama gave a strong rebuttal to his critics and a stirring rally cry to his base. At the worst, it was just another political speech and no more hackneyed or cliche than anything McCain or Bush or St. Ronald has ever delivered. But for all your critique of his delivery and your bemoaning of its length, you lacked a single serious comment on the policy content.

Sure, this might involve rehashing why socialized medicare would kill us all or raising taxes could lead to economic depression... but I'm not seeing any of that in the current critique. What is the purpose of live-blogging if you just smatter quotes with bitter snark? Lambasting Obama for not getting a big enough applause? Then blasting his supporters for being too enthusiastic?

:p If you've got nothing to say, just link to the transcript and don't say anything at all.

Posted by: Zifnab at March 18, 2008 12:08 PM

Laundry called, Bob. They said your sheets are ready. They were able to get most of the bloodstains out, but the Grand Wizard cowl seems to be ruined.

Posted by: A True American at March 18, 2008 12:10 PM
Bob. Your bias is clear. There isn't one thing Obama could say that would ever make you happy.

No true. He could have said "I accept responsibility for attending and bankrolling a racially divisive church with a pastor prone to occasional anti-American rhetoric for two decades, and now view that as a mistake.

"Recognizing that mistake, I am now no longer a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, will sever my relationship with Rev. Wright, and will seek to find a more inclusive church that more closely shares my post-racial beliefs and candidacy."

Of course, he did not such thing.

Laundry called, Bob. They said your sheets are ready. They were able to get most of the bloodstains out, but the Grand Wizard cowl seems to be ruined.

Thanks for stopping by, Rev. Wright.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 18, 2008 12:36 PM

Good speech done with typical Obama skill. He said some things about race in this country that needed to be said. Don't know if it will be enough to bring back those who are angry at him over Wright but response in the office here is largley positive.

"10:59: "...seared into my genetic makeup." Seared? Seared into his memory? He just Kerried himself."

Or he just Bushed himself.

"Five years ago, this date — Sept. 11 — was seared into America's memory," the president said." Bush, Sept. 11, 2006

Posted by: MajorJB at March 18, 2008 12:51 PM

What about all the bent people who have totally bought-into the Teh Victimz rhetoric of Rev. Wright? There's a lot of it going around especially where I live, and Real Change, The Change that Obama says WE are, would be much more manifest if those poor souls could be freed of the race-shackles and the welfare crutches, and the bigotry-blinkers that blind them.
Don't be a hater.

Posted by: DirtCrashr at March 18, 2008 12:58 PM

"At the best, Obama gave a strong rebuttal to his critics and a stirring rally cry to his base."

I would not go that far. At best it was a whole lot of rhetoric, very little substance, and some vaguely answered questions.

Nothing, nothing at all.

He said he did not agree with some of what Wright preached. When I go to church, I go to hear the word of God being preached. If I fee that the man standing before me is not teaching the word of God, then I find another church.

Why would a man stay for 20 years then? How about answering that question Obama?

Posted by: Matt at March 18, 2008 01:34 PM

My my, the lefty trolls invade. Rather than talk about Obama and his speech, they instead paint their critics as Klansmen.

How about discussing the speech itself instead of engaging in "the politics of personal destruction," lefties?

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 01:46 PM

"-- Rather than talk about Obama and his speech, they instead paint their critics as Klansmen. --"

Who's painting? Take the pillow case off your head and try to be serious. If you're tired of people calling you racist, here's a friendly hint: Stop acting racist.

"-- How about discussing the speech itself instead of engaging in "the politics of personal destruction," lefties? --"

Read the content of the posts rather than slapping a (D) or (R) after the poster's name and you might discover that a discussing is already taking place.

Posted by: Zifnab at March 18, 2008 01:53 PM

What did I say that had anything to do with race, Zifnab? I merely stated that some would rather attack Bob--and now me--than discuss the actual speech.

By the way, I did not mention your name, so your assumption that I was speaking of you is interesting. Guilty conscience?

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 02:06 PM

Good speech. Is his grandmother's fear of black men and use of stereotypes shared with other white people in America?

Can all the anti-BHO forces say that they have never had feelings or made statements like those of BHO's grandmother?

She is from an earlier time, maybe younger generations have lived a different experience resulting in a different perspective than BHO's grandmother. BHO made sense when he explained these generational differences (improvements), without denying that some biases still exist.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 18, 2008 02:08 PM

"If you're tired of people calling you racist, here's a friendly hint: Stop acting racist."

WHAT? How was he being racist?

If anyone is playing the bigot, it is you. Look at your own posts.

Posted by: Matt at March 18, 2008 02:16 PM

It was a speech that was effective for those predisposed to be affected, but one that did not seem to sway many who thought Obama simply didn't do enough to address concerns that the 20-year association with Wright have brought forward.

No, it clearly didn't sway those who are predisposed to hate him no matter what he said.

Posted by: Fluffy at March 18, 2008 02:22 PM

No MajorJB - there's a big difference - 9/11 actually happened.

Posted by: bandit at March 18, 2008 02:30 PM

The insane level of the left's comments here lead me to only one conclusion, this is a candidacy killer for Obama.

And they will do anything, and say anything to get the discourse off the topic.

"Get the sheet off your head"? Typical leftist crap-slinging by a less than intelligent failure.

Posted by: Conservative CBU at March 18, 2008 02:56 PM

Didn't he get the memo that its only ok to say "God Damn America" if you follow it with "for taking god out of schools and treating gay people as human beings" and wave the flag of the greatest bunch of subhuman treasonous vermin ever to infest part of this country?

Posted by: r4d20 at March 18, 2008 02:58 PM

Face it, "Confederate Yankee," there is nothing Obama could have said that would have passed your test. You're a knee-jerk Republican, ready to reject any Democrat no matter what.

Posted by: John Williams at March 18, 2008 03:17 PM

Boy, the trolls really are working hard at getting off the topic of Obama, Wright, and Black Liberation Theology.

I don't think they missed any of the standard tropes--racism, bigotry, hypocrisy. The only one missed here was misogyny. What's up guys? Losing your touch? Must be another bumper sticker you can rip off to represent your oh-so-sophisticated views.

Posted by: iconoclast at March 18, 2008 03:17 PM

Did Obama really defend illegal Mexicans coming into the country?

Bet the unions will just love that one.

Posted by: iconoclast at March 18, 2008 03:21 PM

I notice with dismay how easily the charges of racism have begun to fly even on blogs like this. And that is entirely Obama's doing. By refusing to disassociate himself from Wright--whom he praises with faint damns even in this speech--he has opened the Pandora's box. It is in fact now OK--even you are a liberal (as I am on the subject of race)--to vote against Obama merely because he is black and you are white. How dare I say this? Because Obama's Pastor Wright has told me so. I'm just being my normal old US of KKA self by voting against Obama now.

And yeah, a few months ago I was planning to vote for him. It seems like a lifetime. Now my vote is set in stone for McCain.

Posted by: Hope Muntz at March 18, 2008 03:27 PM

Well, I heard him say that this is common speech from black churches when white people aren't listening, and they're angry so lay off them, and white people are just as bad, and racism is everywhere. If this is "getting beyond race" it is not going to work.

Posted by: PR at March 18, 2008 03:27 PM

There is a very long tradition of preachers railing against immorality and predicting the damnation of America. "Confederate Yankee," please provide the link to your denunciation of the comments by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson a week after the 9/11 attacks, in which they said the attacks represented God's judgment on America for tolerating homosexuals and feminists. Thank you.

Posted by: John Williams at March 18, 2008 03:33 PM

Hope Muntz, it is clear from your phrasing that you had never planned to vote for Obama. Why did you feel the need to lie about that?

Posted by: John Williams at March 18, 2008 03:35 PM

Well now. It scarcely need be said that when one attends a church where politics takes center stage rather than the consistent study of theology and its application in one's daily life, one is not attending church, but an ongoing political indoctrination seminar. It's not hard to tell the difference. Churches teach Christian theology. Political seminars engage in "liberation theology," black liberation theology, "social justice," and the like.

But perhaps the ultimate difficulty with Mr. Obama is his use of syntax. I am, you see, a Christian who happens to be white. I am, you see, an American who happens to be white. If I changed that construction to identify myself as a white christian or white American, I would, quite justifiably, open myself to criticism as I would be clearly identifying myself as a racist. Yet, by defending his minister, does not Obama clearly identify himself as a black (liberation theology) christian and in saying that he can't distance himself from the "black community," is he not identifying himself as a black American? And who, by the way, is asking that Mr. Obama distance himself from the black community? Perhaps he believes that his minister embodies the black community?

The overwhelming majority of Americans have no difficulty whatever with Americans and Christians of any background. But when you put that adjective in front of American or christian... I suspect that Mr. Obama will soon begin to discover that he is being too clever by half.

Posted by: Mike at March 18, 2008 03:35 PM

So, Mike, are you at the forefront of those who object to the right-wingers who have portrayed Jesus as a Republican? Didn't think so. I think Obama's next step should be to publish a "greatest hits" tape of your side's preachers.

Posted by: John Williams at March 18, 2008 03:38 PM

If you think that bringing up a white hate monger like Falwell somehow neutralizes the hate mongering of Wright I'm afraid that's not the case. A very serious question has been posed (and poorly answered by Obama) as to why he would embrace this hate speech for decades if he didn't believe it to some extent.

Posted by: PR at March 18, 2008 03:40 PM

Well, John Williams, I wasn't blogging in 2001 (this blog started in Nov of 2004), though I've made clear my distaste for Falwell here and here among others. Roberson is enough of a cartoon that I've never addressed him as far as I can tell.

Frankly, I don't care which side of the political divide the "damnationists" fall under.

I'm sorry if that ruins your theory.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 18, 2008 03:41 PM

Oh, so you never addressed Robertson, even though he's a major power broker in your party. How about Dobson, or Hagee? Sounds like the typical Republican hypocrisy to me. Face it, you're looking for a weapon to use against Obama for the usual song 'n dance.

By the way, I'm neutral in the Democratic primaries. I can see pluses and minuses with both Clinton and Obama. On the Republican side, I think Romney was the most qualified candidate but was pushed out by the Baptist bible-beaters. McCain is manifestly unqualified for the job by temperment, (lack) of intelligence, and a bunch of other factors.

But for the Republicans to want to disqualify Obama because of his minister's statements, well, I guess it's the same old story of their double standards. The Republicans have attached themselves at the hip to their ministers, many if not most of whom are just as obnoxious as Wright.

Meanwhile, the economy falls apart and Iraq is a hellhole five years on. That one is such a clusterf*** that the networks won't cover it any more because people don't want to think about it. And you people are going to go after this one candidate because of what his preacher said.

Wow, is this country ever going to hell. But I'd better not say we're getting what we deserve, because that would be unpatriotic. Geez, so this is what it's like as an empire falls apart.

Posted by: John Williams at March 18, 2008 03:52 PM

Is this the level of discussion we've gotten to Barbar? Look, there was an author named Samuel Clemons, but he...oh, never mind.

Posted by: PR at March 18, 2008 03:52 PM

Note the last comment by John Williams, and then explain how Obama will bring us together with someone like John spewing ad hominem, bitterness, and hatred for republicans out of every pore. Seems like a tall order even for St. Barack.

Posted by: PR at March 18, 2008 03:56 PM

Mine was an attack, but not an ad hominem. Each barb was attached to a rationale. You might not accept the rationales, but they were there. I didn't, for example, simply state that Hillary Clinton is a bitch. That would be an ad hominem, and one that I suspect you might be familiar with given which (far) side of the spectrum you're on.

As for Obama bringing everyone together, like I say I'm not in his camp. Part of the reason for that is that I don't trust blind enthusiasm. But his speech on race was a good one. Maybe too intelligent and detailed for Soundbite America, but a three-digit I.Q. doesn't disqualify someone from getting my vote, anyway.

I don't see a whole lot of difference in substance between Clinton and Obama. Either one of them would be preferable to McCain, who has earned the strong opposition of his Republican senate colleagues and of the uniformed military. They think he's a hothead, and I don't think we ought to have a hothead in the White House.

I need more detail out of Obama, although the very last debate in Ohio went a long way with me on that. He seems to know his stuff. And he's coming across as a cool customer, which I happen to think it absolutely necessary in a president during these tense times. Obama is smart, and he seems to at least want to bring the country together.

I think all those things are going to be pretty important in the next few years, because as I look around I see a whole lot of storm clouds out there. This country is going to need to put aside some of the crapola from the past 10 or 20 years and start working on what matters.

THAT's patriotism, but I'm not entirely certain that the far-right wingers have any patriotism. We'll see.

Posted by: John Williams at March 18, 2008 04:07 PM

Boy, JW, you sure get around. And not in a good way.

The networks won't cover Iraq because of the reduction of bad news and little interest in publishing good news. The only reason to increase Iraq coverage again would be if the Dem allies in AQI & Iran started to gain.

Go ahead and minimize BHO's relationship to the despicable comments and outlook of Wright. Dem's and Lefty's either don't really care about that relationship or actually agree with the sentiments. Let's see if the majority of Americans want to vote in a President who listened so closely to a delusional race-baiter like Wright.

I do like the intelligence comment regarding McCain. It has been a true joy to reflect upon how dumb one must be to actually lose the presidential race to a Democrat--clearly GB isn't anywhere as dumb as a Democrat opponent and that is saying alot.

Comparing Dobson/Hagee to Wright is laughable. You need to find a new slur to peddle.

Posted by: iconoclast at March 18, 2008 04:10 PM

The positives about Clinton, of course, would be that she's a bitch. Seriously, her toughness is a positive. Do the times call for a conciliator or an ass-kicker? Plus, I think she's more likely to know where the bodies are buried and would have more success implementing her policies.

Problem is, she'd be much more of a polarizing figure because the Republicans hate her so much. And the only way she can win the Democratic nomination is through "super delegates," which would make her a polarizing figure in both parties.

The problem with both Democrats is that they've said way too little about the economy. They're probably lucky in this regard, because McCain doesn't have a ghost of a clue on that subject. But, given the financial panic taking place, you'd think someone would be mentioning it.

The definition of a broken political system is one that can't discuss the issues that really count.

Posted by: John Williams at March 18, 2008 04:15 PM

iconoclast, if Hagee's no problem, then may I conclude that you, too, believe Catholicism to be a cult and Hurricane Katrina to be God's judgment on homosexuality in New Orleans? And if that's true, then what about all those tornadoes in the South? What's God telling us with them?

Posted by: John Williams at March 18, 2008 04:17 PM

Please watch the language, folks. The next one gets deleted.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 18, 2008 04:17 PM

It seems pretty clear that the Wurlitzer has pinned a lot of hope on the Reverened Wright issue. The hyper-confidence, on display here and other right-wing blogs, that Obama's speech accomplished absolutely nothing is a fairly obvious tell. Only an extreme partisan would find nothing of value in this speech.

In fact, the whole trajectory of anti-Obama rhetoric throughout the campaign tells us that they are genuinely scared of this guy, not his ideas necessarily, but the thought that he might truly be the transformative figure he appears to be. A President Obama on the heels of a President Bush would be a contrast too great for the history books, and a stunning indictment of their beliefs. This is why their rhetoric is so disproportionately vicious. Unfortunately for them, their tendency to overplay very weak hands let us know exactly what cards they're holding.

Posted by: Gene at March 18, 2008 04:24 PM

Ask not for whom the Wurlitzer plays, Gene.

It plays for thee:

A new CBS News poll finds that while most voters who have heard at least something about controversial statements made by Barack Obama's longtime pastor say their view of the Democratic presidential candidate is unchanged, a third say it has made them feel more negative about Obama.

The poll found that among registered voters, 25 percent said they had heard "a lot" about Rev. Jeremiah Wright's comments, while 33 percent said they had heard some. Forty-two percent said they hadn't heard about the comments.

Of those voters, sixty-five percent said it didn't make a difference in their view of Obama. However, of those whose opinion is changed, the net impact is very negative. Thirty percent said it made them have a less favorable view, whereas 2 percent said it made their view more favorable.

His speech as done little to assuage those who have heard and seen Wright's paranoia, racism, and anger, and voters know in their gut that no man could go to a church of bile such as this for two decades without agreeing with the message it espouses.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 18, 2008 04:30 PM

Oh, boy. Obamanation is getting beyond parody now, isn't he?

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 18, 2008 04:33 PM

This is a breaking news story, so it gets posted. Period. If you can't comprehend that, I must ask how you manage to remember to breathe.

And the rabid reaction of the left indicates quite clearly that you are worried that this is a deal-killer for Obama... if this was something he could shrug off and keep going straight to the Oval Office, why would you (collectively) spend so much time and bandwidth trying to argue that there is nothing wrong with Obama's relationship with Wright?

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 04:34 PM

PR I he brought me to his side, I'm a Republican for Obama. I don't have a problem with McCain (I actually volunteered for his 2000 campaign), but I'm burnt out on the Iraq war. Let Iraq do for themselves, and if BHO wants to use clandestine forces to go after terrorists in Pakistan (as Bush has done recently), then he can do the same in Iraq after we leave. With Afghanistan and Kuwait the US will have a satisfactory footprint in the Iraq/Iran region.

Of course, it goes without saying, I would never vote for HRC.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 18, 2008 04:36 PM

Gene, it'll be interesting to see how this one plays out. You know they'll be trying to do a "Willy Horton" thing with Obama's minister. My guess is that it'll mainly serve to keep the far-right wingers from deserting McCain.

Whether it causes anyone to switch from the Democrats to McCain, or from Clinton to Obama, is another matter. I tend to doubt it, myself. But as "red meat" for the far right-wing, I think it'll be a useful tool. It'll probably also help inoculate the right-wingers against any fallout from the crazy things their ministers will be saying later this year.

Posted by: John Williams at March 18, 2008 04:37 PM

John, find me any pastor that McCain has listened to on a regular basis for 20+ years who says the kinds of things that Wright has said, and I'll concede that it's just as bad as Obama and Wright.

However, you can't. McCain's contacts with the controversial ministers on the right (and I do admit they do exist) can be measured in days, not years.

But, by all means, keep making an absolute fool of yourself here. I mean it--please do. You're a great example of why we must defeat Hillbama.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 04:57 PM

The "Willie Horton" thing. Of course that, like the internet, is an invention of AlGore, notorious RightWing extremist. Hilarious! Obama needs to be asked his position on a few things. Ferinstance.... Is crack cocaine a CIA conspiracy to commit genocide? Likewise HIV? Were the 911 attacks blowback traceable to the war with Japan? We might ask the plague of Lefties that have oozed out from their parasitic haunts to attempt wit and palaver the same questions. Oh, did Dick Cheney pilot the plane into the Pentagon by remote control? You fool you. There was no plane. And yes, Leftwingers, it is quite difficult for a Leftwing extremist like Barry to make any headway with an audience of concerned, informed and just decent people. We call these people Republicans. What we call Democrats... Well, lets start with "brats". Don't like that sort of talk? Do not engage in it. Just a notion.

Posted by: megapotamus at March 18, 2008 05:02 PM

I will tell ya what, and I have said it before. This speech solved very little if anything, and Obama & company knows it.

They also know that the only way to dig themselves out of it is to do one of two things.

One: ignore it, and hope it goes away (probably not likely).

Two: Sit down with some hard hitting (hard hitting, not some candy arses from Reuters or something) and be able to stand up to their questions, answer them completely, and not bat an eye without making himself look the fool.

But guess what, The Obama Camp knows that option two will not work (look how poorly he does in debate). So they will continue to spit rhetoric, without answering the hard questions (he really did not answer any questions in this speech), and hope that the American people have a short attention span.

I really hope that the public education system is not as bad off as I hear.

Posted by: Matt at March 18, 2008 05:17 PM

Black racism in Obama's African family: His paternal grandfather "did not want the Obama blood sullied by a white woman...".

Why is only white v. black racism bad; but black v. white racism merely seen as controversial, by some?

And why would a person who does not deeply deplore racism in all forms be a good president of a non-tribal, multi-racial country?

Posted by: Adriane at March 18, 2008 05:19 PM

CCG, there are two problems with your argument.

1) The record indicates that Wright's most crazy Youtube comments are exceptions--they don't represent the 20 years that you repeatedly mention.

2) If your standard was applied to all people you would need to call on all people to leave all churches (including conservative ones) where the pastors/preachers have made ridiculous claims. You can't say that it's terrible if a politician doesn't leave, but it's ok if ordinary people don't leave. This is a liberal (relativism) argument.

As a side note, at least this process is helping to eliminate the lie that BHO is a Muslim. As a deeply religious (Christian) person, I don't have a big problem denouncing nutty comments from a Christian pastor, and then moving on--I already have experience with this because of some of our conservative religious leaders.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 18, 2008 05:28 PM

Jonathon, please provide a link to the record demonstrating the whole of Wright's pastorage.

Actually, ya don't need to. Just look at the congregation. They were not surprised at these outbursts, they were not shocked, they were not taken aback, they clearly expected it and were happy when it happened.

Spin all you want, you're providing yet another example of why Obama and his supporters cannot be trusted with the reins of power.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 05:32 PM

If there was more, why do we see the same few clips over and over and over?

It's impossible to prove a negative. If something didn't happen there will, by definition, be no record of it. But your burden should be easy because the guy has given over 2000 sermons.

You're stating that these few clips have been the tone of Wright for 20 years. Where is the proof.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 18, 2008 05:45 PM

...and here we go again with the ad hominem attacks on Bob's chosen moniker.

Lefties are soooooo predictable.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 05:45 PM

You keep seeing the same clips because neither YouTube, nor Fox, nor any other news station has the ability to show the entire sermon. (If nothing else, they'd get in trouble for copyright violations. Short clips are permissible, replaying the whole sermon without permission is not. Would Wright offer them permission to play the whole thing?)

And you totally ignored the point about the congregation's reaction... which is what I expected, because their reaction proves your assertion false. There was no surprise in the congregation when these statements were made.

Please, continue arguing for an absurdity, however. You're showing the world at large what kind of person supports and defends Obama.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 05:48 PM

"but it's ok if ordinary people don't leave. This is a liberal (relativism) argument."

I have come to expect this type of behavior from "normal America" It is acceptable (according to some), though it should not be. But the Presidency is supposed to be held to a higher standard. (Oh I hope you go down the path you are thinking about going down, please do, please please please).

They (those normal civilians that did not leave) can feel how ever they want. Their feelings do not affect millions of people, in several different countries. Their feelings at most will cost someone a job (it shouldn't, but it will).

In short. He wants to be the POTUS, he needs, no he has to hold himself to a higher standard. If he does not, then he ends up failing in the same areas that all those that were unworthy before him. If he is not strong enough to hold himself to that standard, then he should not be running. And if he did not already know that, then he should never have started running.

Posted by: Matt at March 18, 2008 06:03 PM


I had a great post to respond, but the anti-spam block nailed it. Now if Wright had cursed spammers anywhere nearly as badly as he cursed the USA, I might think differently about him...

Anyway, Hillary! is definitely one tough cookie. And she does get respect from me (limited, because she reneged) for her early support for Iraq and Afghanistan. That she is ethically challenged, completely opportunistic, arguably corrupt, and without a shred of personal charisma notwithstanding. She would be very divisive--which might be a good thing for those of us that want the government as frozen up as possible. I don't want a protection of marriage act and I don't want nationalization of healthcare.

As for economic issues, none of the candidates --and precious few in the government -- has a real clue about how the economy works. Mostly they (of all stripes) view the economy as a huge trough from which they can ladle out rewards to their own constituents. Messy, but opposing interests usually tend to minimize the tyranny of a single solution.

Posted by: iconoclast at March 18, 2008 06:19 PM


It's silly to suggest that these clips were random selections and the rest of the sermons sound exactly the same, however they can't be played because of copyright law.

It is also silly to say that reading body language is your proof. There are plenty of black folks who say this type of loud audience interaction is typical in many black churches, I suspect that these black folks know more about this than you or I do.

You see absurdity in me, even though your arguments are based on lies (the copyright excuse) and hunches (reading body language.) I love irony.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 18, 2008 06:20 PM

Lies? Are you a copyright lawyer, Jonathon? Did you miss the story where the AP shut down a website that used their photos without permission?

I see you've slipped into the last bastion of leftist "debate," the ad hominem attack.

That's OK, I know that when a lefty starts insulting me, that's a sure sign they've run out of even slightly plausible arguments. Your attempted jab just shows that I am drawing blood.

Keep it up, please! Show us the politics of personal destruction at work.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 06:28 PM

I had no thoughts about Obama before this contreversy beyond my inability to understand how the media could have gone so wild for him a year ago based on his limited national experience.

If I ever blogged or commenting about Obama before recently, I always said that maybe I'd end up finding out he deserved the JFK treatment he has been getting from the press, but from what little I knew about him, I couldn't justify the media's coverage of him.

Now, I feel safe in saying that there is little chance he will get much of the moderate vote.

I feel safe in saying there is not a snowball's chance in hell I'd vote for him myself.

I believe I have enough justification in that opinion based on his 20 year attendance at that church and what his wife has had to say recently.

The media hasn't forced him to say much about his own beliefs about America, but his closest relationships are giving us a good picture of what the real Obama would say.

Meaning ---- if it would not alienate millions of voters, I'd bet both kidneys he would be saying much the same as Rev. Wright.

And note --- I do NOT mean he would be saying it because it would win votes. I mean he'd be saying it because that is what he believes.

And there are plenty of white people I've met in colleges in several states now who would agree with him.

But I don't...

Posted by: usinkorea at March 18, 2008 06:55 PM

Since you love irony so much, Jonathan, please direct your attention to this line in your comment: "There are plenty of black folks who say this type of loud audience interaction is typical of many black churches, I suspect that these black folks know more about this than you or I do."

This statement admits you have no experience with audience reactions in black churches. However, you deride CCG on assessing body-language. Body-language is used by every single person every day. Furthermore, as CY has noted in the new thread above this one, Mr. Obama seems to have painted all black churches with the same rhetoric of Rev. Wright – just as your statement has (though, to be fair, you only talked about the audience reaction).

Here’s the irony: even though body-language is rather universal, you claim knowledge based upon others' experience. Mr. Obama has done the same as you by claiming the same rhetoric exists in all pulpits of black churches when he has hardly visited even a fair sampling.

Suggestion, stick with what you actually know as opposed to what you’ve been told and research what you’ve been told.

Posted by: Mark at March 18, 2008 07:13 PM

> a third say it has made them feel more negative about Obama.

Probably the same third that approve of GWB's job performance.

We all know who the Wurlitzer is aimed at, CY, and it's not me. It's not an instrument especially known for persuasion, more for reinforcement.

It's quite interesting how people are able to become such experts on the impact of one man's 20-year-attendance at a church based on a couple YouTube clips. As John Wesley said, "Who then knoweth the hearts of all men? Surely none but He that made them." Yet, if we were to believe some of the commenters on this board, they'd cynically tell us after a couple YouTube clips, they've heard enough. They know enough about this church to know that it's "vile", and that "Obama and his followers" can never be trusted with the reigns of government. Stealth muslim, mixed-race red diaper baby, liberation theology bigot -- you know, whatever fits, right?

Obama comes out and tells us that he does not agree, that he repudiates, then he condemns. That's not enough for some people. They demand that he disavow himself completely, and leave his church. What then, C-C-G? You'd vote for him? Really? Are you sure you're saying these things because you're genuinely revulsed, or is it just because it's a way to score? The disingenuousness on display among those who disapprove of his speech is not stunning in the least.

Posted by: Gene at March 18, 2008 07:47 PM

Let me ask you a question in return, Gene... is there anything in this universe that could keep you for voting for Obama if he survives this and becomes the nominee?

As for not agreeing, then repudiating, then condemning, why didn't he do that 20 years ago? Why only now? Perhaps because the big spotlight has been shown on him and Wright? If it hadn't been, would Obama ever have condemned Wright?

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 07:54 PM

CCsillyG Thanks for noting that the AP cares about copyright law, I never would have guessed that the AP cares about copyright law. That is a very important bit of knowledge. You have clearly demonstrated that the AP caring about copyright protection over their photos is the reason there are only a few excerpts of Wright. You, through the power of your words, without the need for any supporting facts, have explained why we've only seen a few excerpts of what you describe as Wright's 20 years of constant hate sermons that are known to you. Your greatness will be celebrated throughout eternity.

usinkorea: I'm sure you can find a bookstore where ever you are. BHO has written two books without ghost writers, so if you don't know what BHO thinks you have only yourself to blame.

Mark, Are you trying to be silly like CCG? As you've noted, I said that I don't have first hand experience with black churches. Why are you implying that I said I'm a black church expert?

And, if you really cared about research you would have posted a link to the text where BHO claimed that the same rhetoric exists in all pulpits of black churches. Of course, he didn't say this so you, like CCG, are a liar.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 18, 2008 08:15 PM

I see we're back to ad hominems, Jonathon. Maybe because you can't prove that Wright ever preached a sermon that wasn't similar to the ones we've seen clips of? If he did, it's out there somewhere... and that's not proving a negative, that's proving an affirmative. Go look for it! All you need to do is find one and you'll have demolished my case.

Of course, you won't. You'll continue to spin and call me childish playground names, just like any lefty when he is out of facts.

However, don't let me stop you from illustrating the kind of people that support and defend Obama.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 08:19 PM

Obviously, Jonathon, I stated you did NOT have such knowledge. However, that you were infering - just as Mr. Obama did - that "all black churches" have the same reactions to what is said in the pulpit. Mr. Obama further suggested "all black churches" have the same rhetoric. Neither of you know whether your respective statements are true.

Yet you, specifically, rely on what others' have told you instead of investigating it. In fact, Jonathon, I have implied the opposite of your supposition.

The irony is found again in your protestation that I claimed something I very demonstrably did not.

One more suggestion - take an English comprehension course.

PS: You'll note I have made no such claims of knowledge. If I did, you would actually have a defensible point.

Posted by: Mark at March 18, 2008 08:27 PM

Is his grandmother's fear of black men and use of stereotypes shared with other white people in America?

Yes, for some people it is. I remember my great grandmother saying things about blacks that are much like what Obama described. Bill O'Reilly recently said the same sort of thing about his grandmother when talking about his Sylvia's remarks.

Posted by: MajorJB at March 18, 2008 08:36 PM

By definition, it is impossible to prove the existence of something that doesn't exist. Put your thinking cap on, eventually you'll get it.

You say there are 20 years of non-stop America hate, so where is your proof?

Posted by: Jonathon at March 18, 2008 08:39 PM

No MajorJB - there's a big difference - 9/11 actually happened.

And Obama's ethic make-up and family story didn't actually happen too?!

Posted by: MajorJB at March 18, 2008 08:40 PM

Mark, do you have the link to support your claim.? Of course not, because there is no such link.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 18, 2008 08:41 PM
By definition, it is impossible to prove the existence of something that doesn't exist. Put your thinking cap on, eventually you'll get it.
Precisely. So YOU have to prove that a reasonable Wright sermon DOES exist. YOU are the one claiming that they do, so prove it. I cannot prove that they don't exist for the same reason you just gave above.

I know logic can be hard for people who spend most of their time emoting instead of thinking, but I have faith you'll get it eventually.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 08:45 PM

The exclusive focus of the libtards on youtube clips of Wright's sermons is too funny. They forget about the philosophy of the church displayed on it's website which has now been cleansed of its most offensive portions. Why was that done? They also forget about Wright's interview with Hannity in which he embraced black liberation theology and referred Hannity to two of the main proponenents of that ideology, Cone and Hopkins, to brush up on the subject. To suggest that the youtube clips referred to above are aberrations given the victim mentality of that theology is beyond ludicrous.

I'm wondering what will pop up next.

Posted by: daleyrocks at March 18, 2008 08:48 PM

Paragraph 19 in the text of the speech. Follow the link by CY near the top of the post by CY. Obama’s claims are in there about both the congregation reaction and the content of the pulpit.

Your comment:

It is also silly to say that reading body language is your proof. There are plenty of black folks who say this type of loud audience interaction is typical in many black churches, I suspect that these black folks know more about this than you or I do.

Links/citations you have asked for and links/citations you have received.

Posted by: Mark at March 18, 2008 08:58 PM

I must add: "You comment" *in pertinent part*. Couldn't get the blockquote to take it all.

Posted by: Mark at March 18, 2008 09:12 PM

If Senator Obama's color is an issue or a topic of conversation It really is that simple. His color has NOTHING to do with his candidacy but you silly white men will never be capable of understanding this. Uh...I happen to be a white women

Posted by: sarah at March 18, 2008 09:19 PM

I'm not trying to rain on the parade here, or make you feel dumb. But, your statements should be supported by reality.

CCsillyG I've asked you to show me proof that Wright has a twenty year record that matches the few clips we've seen on Youtube. You can't do so because there are no such clips. I have been arguing that there is no evidence that shows the Youtube clips represent the 20 years of Wright's sermons. This means that I am saying there are no clips. Hence, I'm saying there are no clips. That is, I saying there are no clips. In other words I'm saying that there are no such clips.

You, however, have claimed that the Youtube clips are representative of the typical Wright sermon over the last 20 years. Please prove that you can support your claim.

Mark, that reference doesn't support your statement that BHO claimed that the same rhetoric exists in all pulpits of black churches. In other words, your a liar.

Unlike you and the BHO speech, I don't have a transcript from the MSNBC (and later Lou Dobbs) program when the comments about black churches were made by black folks.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 18, 2008 09:23 PM

Unless I've got a serious case of white liberal guilt, because I'm sure that the rampant black crime and anti-social behavior that I abhor were caused by generations ago misdeeds, I'm pretty sure I'd be very angry after viewing those Wright tapes and not buy into Obama's excuse making speech today. What changes did he try to effect in his church over the years and if he sincerely believes Pastor Wright's views to be misguided, why would he allow his children to be exposed to them. Then again, maybe Michelle is into the stuff and wears the pants in the family.

Posted by: daleyrocks at March 18, 2008 09:30 PM

Jonathon - Don't forget about that lifetime achievement award Trinity United Church gave Calypso Louis. Good stuff there, huh.

Posted by: daleyrocks at March 18, 2008 09:32 PM


Most people (including me and BHO) find the Wright comments inexcusable.

You should recall that Ron Paul was also pushing a version of the chickens coming home argument. Wright isn't the only nut on this issue.

And, it has been shown that BHO wasn't in the church for the 9-11 comments. And, he wasn't there for the more recent sermons that we've seen on Youtube.

Yes, Louis is a nut.

But, BHO is aware of that.

For me (and McCain) the guilt by association argument isn't very effective.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 18, 2008 09:58 PM

Okay, Jonathon, let me explain this slowly and with short words so you can grasp it.

You claim that the kinds of sermons posted on YouTube are not the usual kind of sermon that Wright preached.

Therefore, there must be another kind of sermon that Wright preached.

Therefore, you must find such a sermon to back up your statement.

Now, if you cannot comprehend that, it must be because you are so committed to Obama that you willingly refuse to understand.

Your move. Prove it or display to the readers here that you are unable to.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 18, 2008 10:10 PM

Jonathan - What I heard Obama say today is that white racism is bad and that black racism (like the kind in statements uttered by Rev. Wright and Louis Farrakhan) is justified. He can't disown Wright because he believes many of the same basics of black liberation theology, which is really a political movement. Barack wants to lift up the black side with big government and end the divisiveness.

Did you hear something different? I think you need to find a clue somewhere.

These events are like Clinton's bimbo eruptions for Obama and show his inexperience and lack of courage for dealing with situations before they hit the spotlight or taking firm positions on controversial issues. The Farrakhan lifetime achievement award, the Rezko land deal, the latest Wright embroglio, the present votes, the lack of bipartisan or significant legislative achievements.

What will turn up next?

Posted by: daleyrocks at March 18, 2008 11:27 PM

Look CCsillyG you may be fooling yourself, but it is obvious that you have no basis for your claim that Wright has been consistently making statements like the Youtube clips for 20 years.

Look at my first post addressing you, I said the record doesn't support your 20 year claim. The record is a handful of clips. The record is not clips covering the thousands of sermons over 20 years. You have no proof to counter the existing record. Your lack of proof refuting the record which I've referred to proves you're wrong about the 20 years, you just made up this 20 year claim out of thin air.


You're really trying to out-silly CCsillyG.

Where in the transcript did BHO say:

that white racism is bad and that black racism (like the kind in statements uttered by Rev. Wright and Louis Farrakhan) is justified. He can't disown Wright because he believes many of the same basics of black liberation theology, which is really a political movement. Barack wants to lift up the black side with big government and end the divisiveness.

The answer is you can't find any quotes, because he didn't say this stuff. How can you have such a limited grasp of reality?

By the the way, Rezko has been a non story for about a month.

Don't you have anything better than that?

John McCain and I don't believe in guilt by association.

By the way, I watch Hannity, and I listen to talk radio. But, I posses the ability to distinguish from the their hyperbole and reality. If you guys don't posses this ability you should probably stay away from posting, unless you don't mind being embarrassed when your aping the silly statements you hear.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 19, 2008 12:21 AM

White church for your viewing pleasure:

Posted by: Jonathon at March 19, 2008 12:40 AM

Jonathan - Congarulations on your listening and viewing habits. Too bad you haven't learned anything or gained any intelligence from them.

If I was quoting Obama I would have put the woeds inside quotation marks. I was summarizing. What is your summary. For a Republican you have very interesting views of the world.

Rezko has not been a nonstory for over a month if you follow the news since the trial just started and Obama just disclosed the total Rezko related contributions from his Illinois state races. You must have missed that story, as well as the exclusive interviews he gave to the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune over the weekend on his relationship with Rezko.

Try to keep up punk. You got no game and you know it. Youngsters.

Posted by: daleyrocks at March 19, 2008 01:08 AM

You sure are smart. I sure can learn a lot from you. You really know how to make a substantial argument, you don't even need facts, your bluster is impressive.

You can stick with your make believe summary, I'll stick to the actual transcripts, which don't support your make believe summary.

As shown by the link above, we've known for a month that BHO bought the house without a Rezko discount. Recently BHO let the Chicago press ask any questions they could think off. After that the conservative Chicago Tribune was satisfied:

"U.S. Sen. Barack Obama waited 16 months to attempt the exorcism. But when he finally sat down with the Tribune editorial board Friday, Obama offered a lengthy and, to us, plausible explanation for the presence of now-indicted businessman Tony Rezko in his personal and political lives.

The most remarkable facet of Obama's 92-minute discussion was that, at the outset, he pledged to answer every question the three dozen Tribune journalists crammed into the room would put to him. And he did...

We've been saying since Nov. 3, 2006 -- shortly after the Tribune broke the story of Obama's house purchase -- that Obama needed to fully explain his Rezko connection.

He also needed to realize how susceptible he had been to someone who wanted a piece of him -- and how his skill at recognizing that covetousness needed to rise to the same stature as his popular appeal.

Friday's session evidently fulfills both obligations. Might we all be surprised by some future disclosure? Obama's critics have waited 16 months for some new and cataclysmic Rezko moment to implicate and doom Obama. It hasn't happened...

Less protection, less control, would have meant less hassle for his campaign. That said, Barack Obama now has spoken about his ties to Tony Rezko in uncommon detail. That's a standard for candor by which other presidential candidates facing serious inquiries now can be judged.",0,7095608.story,0,745313.story

Posted by: Jonathon at March 19, 2008 02:11 AM

Yesterday afternoon, I got up from my computer, went out to lunch, and took a printout of Obama's speech with me. I wanted to read it again, away from the screen, to give it some more thought.

I almost feel sorry for the far right-wingers here. Either that you can't see that Obama gave a speech that will go down in history as one of the best political speeches in American history, or that you felt compelled to lie about it to serve what you think are your narrow partisan interests.

Leave it to the American right wing to periodically outclassed to such a degree that its people are as babies, left crying on the supermarket floor while the adults tend to things that matter. Your smallness really showed this time.

Posted by: John Williams at March 19, 2008 02:17 AM

while the adults tend to things that matter

Exactly, McCain was in Iraq visiting the troops, not having to deal with the fallout of a 20 year close association with a racist pastor. Thanks for the tip.

Jonathan - If you understood what you read you might be able to make a point and avoid contradicting yourself. Explain to me how Rezko has been a nonstory for the past month. Can you even attempt to summarize Obama's speech in you own words?

Posted by: daleyrocks at March 19, 2008 02:30 AM


Mark, that reference doesn't support your statement that BHO claimed that the same rhetoric exists in all pulpits of black churches. In other words, your a liar.

I most HUMBLY appologize. You are absolutely correct. The specific passage I directed you to in CY's link to Drudge's text does NOT contain the information. Apparently, I miscounted the paragraphs. Take a look at paragraph 20 (Yes, my horrible sin of mis-counting by one!)

In fact, I'll put the information here summarize my interpretation of it for you: (Paragraph 20) "Here - That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America."

On an overall note for the paragraph – He repeats “black” no less than 3 more times (total of 4 in the paragraph). The emphasis of the paragraph for me is then attributed to “black” (fill in the blank). Ok, I get it. This paragraph is about being "black" in America.

Mr. Obama compares Trinity to “other predominantly black churches across the country” using the simile method with the word “Like” to begin the second sentence. He likens his church and his experience to other (I read this as 'all') “predominantly black church”. This means he is equating his experience with every member of a “predominantly black church”. There is the evidence for my statement that both you and he have said exists for all black congregations.

Later in the paragraph, after the laundry list of individual type attendees and congregation behaviors, he states in the following sentence the key to the pulpits' and congregations' contents of (all) “other predominantly black churches”. He states it contains IN FULL – not partially but completely, fully, without any room for more - another laundry list. Included in that list are these two nuggets: “kindness and cruelty” and “the love and yes, the bitterness and bias” of all black Americans who attend “predominantly black churches”. My understanding of "churches" is inclusive of congregation and pulpit.

Therefore, his experience with Pastor Wright is analogous to all members of “predominantly black churches”. Since I have never had this sort of experience in any church service I have attended, I must conclude one of the following: 1) I simply don’t have the breadth of experience Mr. Obama does and must concede the point OR 2) Mr. Obama does not have sufficient experience and the point is questioned still.

Since I have attended several “predominantly black churches” in my life and Mr. Obama has only attended one for any length of time, I choose option 2. Mr. Obama is blowing smoke.

However, I offer one other quote from the speech that ties my conclusions above together (hopefully my count is still correct). Paragraph 33, sentence #1, “And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews.”

Again, I sincerely apologize for (according to you) a “lie”.

Posted by: Mark at March 19, 2008 05:40 AM
Leave it to the American left wing to periodically outclassed to such a degree that its people are as babies, left crying in the pews while the adults tend to things that matter. Your racism really showed this time.

There. Fixed that for you.

I actually thought it was a pretty good speech, given what he had to work with and what he needed to accomplish with it. The groundbreaking portions of it weren't really groundbreaking, as Bill Cosby, Juan Williams, Walter E. Williams, Larry Elder, Ward Connerly and others have been saying the same things more forcefully for years, and they've done so freely, not because they had a tit in the wringer. The thing that's remarkable about Obama saying them is that he's a lefty icon, which says more about those who are fascinated by him than it does about what he actually said.

Posted by: Pablo at March 19, 2008 06:17 AM


Most people (including me and BHO) find the Wright comments inexcusable.

Would you continue to go to a church where you're likely to hear such things? Would you take your children to hear them? Would you support such a church financially?

You should recall that Ron Paul was also pushing a version of the chickens coming home argument. Wright isn't the only nut on this issue.

Ron Paul and his supporters (racists included...imagine that) have been roundly denounced as nuts. "Others do it too" is not a defense, especially for racist lunacy preached from the pulpit of a Christian church.

For me (and McCain) the guilt by association argument isn't very effective.

It isn't just association. It's admitted inspiration. It's deep, longstanding spiritual simpatico.

But while we're on the subject of association, how do you feel about Cheney vis a vis Halliburton?

Posted by: Pablo at March 19, 2008 06:37 AM

Hair-splitting over a word or two in the speech is really irrelevant. The voters will have to decide whether they want a president whose mentor, spiritual advisor, and pastor is a hate-mongering racist. It scares me a little to think that a President Obama would turn to him for advice, and might actually agree with him to some extent. If John McCain (or any republican) had a KKK member as an advisor, I would be equally disturbed, but I think the media might be a little harder on him.

Posted by: PR at March 19, 2008 07:33 AM

Jonathon, the evidence is in the pattern.

You clearly cannot show any proof that there is any sort of different sermon preached by Wright. And you keep asking ME to prove the negative... i.e., to prove that there is no such sermon. And you've helped me quite a bit. Because even YOU, an Obama defender, cannot find such a sermon, it must not exist.

Thanks so much for your help in proving yourself wrong.

Here's a hint... study up on elementary logic and debate strategies before coming around here again.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 19, 2008 07:53 AM

Ya know, I was thinking more about this in the shower (Holiday Inn Express ad, anyone?), so I'd like to extend my remarks above.

Last I heard, both the Obama campaign and Wright's church had access to YouTube. That means they can post more sermons if they want to.

Now, in the midst of all this brouhaha, wouldn't you expect that any sort of exculpatory evidence--like a videotape of a reasonable Wright sermon--would be trotted out almost immediately, with a "see, those clips you've been seeing aren't the norm, THIS is the norm!" kind of message? Of course you would. If such a videotape had existed, Obama would have seized upon it immediately to stop the damage.

I understand--though I have not verified this myself--that Wright's church videotapes every sermon, for the benefit of those who are not able to attend. It's actually a common practice among churches, though some smaller ones use audiotape instead of videotape. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that if there was a more moderate-sounding Wright sermon, a videotape of it would exist. It's beyond the bounds of logic and common sense to assume that every time Wright preached a moderate sermon, the videotape camera wasn't working.

Therefore, the lack of any sort of reasonable sermon out there from Wright is itself evidence that there is no such sermon, because it would be highly likely that it would have appeared by now if it did exist. Either Obama or Wright (or their respective employees) would have provided it to help defuse the scandal.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 19, 2008 08:19 AM

Too bad you couldn't be bothered to actually check for one of those sermons, eh C-C-G ?

Posted by: Too Lazy For Facts at March 19, 2008 09:48 AM

Deeds matter more than words taken out of context.

In the wake of misleading attacks on its mission and ministry, Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ is being lauded by United Church of Christ leaders across the nation for the integrity of its worship, the breadth of its community involvement and the depth of its commitment to social justice.

"Trinity United Church of Christ is a great gift to our wider church family and to its own community in Chicago," says UCC General Minister and President John H. Thomas. "At a time when it is being subjected to caricature and attack in the media, it is critical that all of us express our gratitude and support to this remarkable congregation, to Jeremiah A. Wright for his leadership over 36 years, and to Pastor Otis Moss III, as he assumes leadership at Trinity."

Thomas says he has been saddened by news reports that "present such a caricature of a congregation that been such a great blessing."

"These attacks, many of them motivated by their own partisan agenda, cannot go unchallenged," Thomas emphasizes. "It's time for all of us to say 'No' to these attacks and to declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends."

Located in the heart of Chicago's impoverished Southside, Trinity UCC's vast array of ministries include career development and college placement, tutorial and computer services, health care and support groups, domestic violence programs, pastoral care and counseling, bereavement services, drug and alcohol recovery, prison ministry, financial counseling and credit union, housing and economic development, dozens of choral, instrumental and dance groups, and diverse programming for all ages, including youth and senior citizens.

Thomas, a member of Pilgrim Congregational UCC in Cleveland, has attended worship at Trinity UCC on a few occasions -- most recently on March 2 -- and says he is "profoundly impressed" with the 6,000-member congregation.

Among Trinity UCC's crowning achievements, Thomas says, is its work with young people.

"While the worship is always inspiring, the welcome extravagant, and the preaching biblically based and prophetically challenging, I have been especially moved by the way Trinity ministers to its young people, nurturing them to claim their Christian faith, to celebrate their African-American heritage, and to pursue higher education to prepare themselves for leadership in church and society," Thomas says.

Rev. Thomas is a white man who has attended church services at Trinity. Presumably he has a better idea of what goes on there than the commentators (including myself) on this blog. I've never been to a service at Trinity, but I've attended a lot of other churches, and its rare to find a church and a congregation that has done so much for its community. I doubt that would have happened without Rev. Wright's involvement and personal commitment to living the teachings of Jesus rather than paying lip service to them. If he is the inspiration for his Congregation's good deeds, I'm more than willing to forgive him for intemperate speech on a few occasions.

Most white protestant churches I've attended focus all of their efforts on support for missionary work overseas, and for projects related to their own church and its members. Some do a little bit more, but aside from a Unitarian Church I once attended, none were actively involved in programs to help the homeless, help poor people, work with addicts and alcoholics, or assist at risk youth in their communities with educational programs. I can't speak for any predominantly white Catholic churches as I've never been a member of a Catholic Church. Perhaps Catholic churches do a better job in that regard than the protestant churches of my acquaintance.

It seems odd that so many here are willing to judge and condemn Obama and his choice of church based on these few comments by Rev. Wright they find offensive. Perhaps if they took the time to look into the church and its activities they might realize that Obama might have many reasons to continue attending his church besides Rev. Wright, including its history of good deeds and community services, and the fellowship of its members.

Jesus said, "Judge not lest you be judged." He also said "Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye."

Perhaps those who are so quick to condemn Obama and Wright would do better to examine their own lives and their own faith first.

As for the speech, in my opinion it was a rare and powerful statement by a politician. Race is the subject this country still does not like to talk about publicly. Obama addressed it honestly and sincerely in a way that neither condemned all whites nor exonerated all blacks. He spoke from the heart and from his own experience in an attempt to get all Americans to come together and begin to address this taboo subject. When was the last time you heard a politician or any figure of national significant make such a strong statement for racial reconciliation? Not since MLK's "I have a dream speech" in my opinion.

Posted by: Steven D at March 19, 2008 10:14 AM

Steven D. - "Perhaps those who are so quick to condemn Obama and Wright would do better to examine their own lives and their own faith first."

I am very comfortable with my own life and faith, thank you very much. Honesty is a very important part of my daily living, which appears to be lacking in Obama's.

Perhaps those defending Obama would do well to research Black Liberation Theology before continuing to endorse Barack.

Posted by: daleyrocks at March 19, 2008 11:23 AM

daleyrocks, Rezko has been a non-story because we've known that the house purchase didn't involve a special deal because of Rezko.

daleyrocks, the speech as a whole is a more accurate, and therefore better, representation of the speech than a summary. Why is that confusing?

Mark, you would have flunked out of the WJC School of Parsing, Dissembling and Manipulation. You even admit that you need to add the word 'all' to BHO's text. That is the source of the disagreement between you and me. And, now you're even admitting that the text didn't say 'all churches.' You're acknowledging that this is a figment of your imagination, not BHO's speech. You and Bill are still saying it depends on what is is. You're silly.

Pablo, the whole point is that it's not been shown that the YouTube clips were a regular occurrence over the thousands of Wright sermons. And, claims (such as that by Newsmax and Kristol) that BHO heard these YouTube clips in church have been proved to be false.

PR nobody is electing Wright for anything. As you know BHO has known Wright for 20 years, can you point to any situation during that interaction when BHO took and/or agreed with hate mongering advice from Wright? Can you point to a single situation? Of course not, because BHO isn't and hasn't been a hate monger. To suggest otherwise, with absolutely no proof, is silly.

I'm with McCain (for whom I have campaigned, as I said earlier) on this one:

CCsillyG, I'll make this easier for you to understand. Do you remember watching A Charlie Brown Christmas? Let's say that you claim that Charlie Brown drinks a gallon of vodka every day. I can't disprove that Charlie Brown drinks a gallon of vodka, because the TV show doesn't cover all of Charlie's life. Sure Charlie seems a little out of it at times, but that wouldn't support your assertion that he drinks a gallon of vodka every day. The burden would be on you to prove that Charlie drinks a gallon of vodka everyday, I can't prove a negative, if something doesn't exist, there will, by definition, not be evidence of it's existence.

As I've stated, most everyone (including me and BHO) agrees that Wright has said terrible things. But, the handful of YouTube clips have not been shown to be representative of his thousands of sermons.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 19, 2008 12:24 PM

Food for thought, assuming you value thinking.

Huckster on Wright.

Posted by: Jonathon at March 19, 2008 12:40 PM

Jonathan - You're a hoot. Why do you keep repeating the same talking points? Do you think the Obama/Rezko relationship is merely about the house purchase? Do you think Obama supports Black Liberation Theology? I, personally want to know more about that, because it would explain why he remained a congregant of Trinity Chutch for so long.

Jonathan, can you tell me what portions of Wright's theology that Obama disagrees with based on his speech from yesterday? I think a lot of people were interested in that and did not see it addressed anywhere?

Again, you heard a greay oratorical effort that was woefully short on substance, but great of moving goalposts and reassuring supporters of the Messiah. Why is it so hard to summarize a speech?

Posted by: daleyrocks at March 19, 2008 04:49 PM

TooLazy, thank you for providing the evidence that Jon keeps insisting does not exist.

I was wrong, I fully and freely admit that now. Pastor Wright is apparently capable of preaching a moderate sermon.

Posted by: C-C-G at March 19, 2008 06:36 PM

Why go through the mental masturbation arguing with the likes of Jonathon or John williams? Anyone who cannot recognize the problem Obama has with his inability to divorce himself from the hate spewing Rev. Wright, who learned from leftwing haters like Cone, is too stupid or intellecually dishonest to discuss any matter seriously.

Posted by: Zelsdorf Ragshaft III at March 19, 2008 07:53 PM

I understand the doubt people cast on the 20 years Obama has spent listening to his pastor, and the nature of his relationship with the man. However, it is not lost on me how much people who wanted to see Obama shot down in the first place, and definitely craved any single chance to paint him as a hypocrite jumped on this as their biggest opportunity to smear him. It doesn't make sense, Obama and the pastor are not one person, and do not have to agree on all issues regardless of how long they have been bosom buddies.
In that frenzy to hack or protect Obama on Wright's possible influence on him, people forget the real issues here. The USA's glory days are nearly over, millions of Americans have no health coverage, jobs are shipped overseas leaving many US workers in the dust, and there is a persistent war that was started by a fake intel on ghost WMDs. Saddam was a bastard but it was the Iraquis job to get him out of power and free themselves, not the US army, even out of goodwill it's preposterous to help people who won't help themselves. If we had such goodwill, we'd have freed Sudan and North Korea of oppression too. We went in, toppled Saddam's regime, and now we have a responsibility to guard their freedom? The US army serves American interests, not Iraqi interests, or Bush's interests. The fact that Bush and McCain want to keep our brave soldiers there and squander their lives is a disgrace. The fact that Bush cheapens the economic problems that started right around when he declared war fills me with dread for the future of this great country. I swear to God if we didn't have solid institutions, the US would be trash or close by now.

Why do you think I put my ticket on Obama regardless of Wrights' statements? Well, because Obama shares my views on what is driving this country off its path, and if all here really believe that the reverend is the one who influenced such views, then I want to attend his church for 20 years, even if I don't agree with everything he says.

I respect Obama for denying unjust statements Wrights made, and respect him even more for not rejecting the reverend out of loyalty for 20 years of friendship even if some people who wouldn't vote for him regardless are making a ruckus about it. Loyalty is a concept most politicians don't subscribe to unless it's convenient. If all the reverend's messages in all 20 years were messages of hate, and Obama deeply believed such messages, he would have been caught on it a long time ago, either by his opponents or the media. The fact that this video appears only when the candidate stands an increasignly serious chance to win a democratic nomination seems rather suspicious. Those who say that Obama is a lying hypocrite also concede that he must be very smart to have lasted this long without being caught. Unless they declare all Americans are stupid and are thus unpatriotic.

Yet a man that shrewd, that smart, would make sure he had broken ties with the Trinity church and publicly denied the reverend who could damage his chances to get to the White House regardless of 20 years of friendship. Clinton is the one I know would pull something like that. That's why I don't vote for her. She's tough and smart, but comes accross as self-serving, and I don't think she can improvise sound judgement on the fly in an unexpected situation she has never encountered for all her claims of experience. Her speeches are dull, stating the obvious, or echoing Obama's pitch.

My perception is that Obama is not one to dodge bullets when they come flying, he takes them head on with a touch of class, and has not yet tried to avoid inconvenient questions when they were asked. My only fear is that what happened to JFK will happen to him should he become president. I think he knows it and so do the secret services who follow him around. I give him credit for having the courage to keep going.

If you don't like him because you disagree with his ideas and policies as a democratic candidate, and identify more with the McCain's view of the world, that I can understand and respect, especially if your arguments are valid. If you hate Obama based on his pastor's ideas, you are the hypocrite.

I will vote Obama, because his judgement on the current geopolitical and economic situation in the US are sound and I believe his policies will be geared at fixing what he perceives as issues. He is obviously smart, doesn't try to dodge bullets, tackles any questions launched at him head on, doesn't lose his cool easily, and now I can clearly see he stands for what he believes in. He has consistently shown he had his own opinion, his pitch has yet to change, and he did not sell out 20 years of friendship because it's politically correct to do so. Even if he did, the right wing would have criticized him as a people pleaser without balls, not given him the votes.

Posted by: Rado at March 20, 2008 04:32 AM

My last comment posted before Rado's must have struck a chord for ye olde Confederate Yankee to delete the whole thing. Can't say I'm surprised. CY ain't interested in dialog, just beating people up. Heaven forbid somebody should post something thoughtful from the left in your comments. Course, you'll likely delete this comment too.

Posted by: Gene at March 20, 2008 10:58 AM

Gene, I can't say why I deleted your comment because I don't remember what it was, but typically, the only reason I delete comments are because they contained profanity, were off-topic, or contained a personal attack against your's truly (which, btw, is also off-topic here, but fair game on your own blog).

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 20, 2008 11:04 AM