Obama speech: Effective for a narrow audience

posted at 12:02 pm on March 18, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama has delivered his major speech on race — and in some parts, he spoke effectively. His observations on the ongoing anger and frustrations in both white and black communities will resonate to some degree, but other portions called into question the behavior of his own campaign in the last couple of weeks. It was probably enough, however, to succeed with its target audience.

First, let’s focus on the main reason for the speech. Obama needed to distance himself from the incendiary remarks of Jeremiah Wright, his pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ for the last 20 years. Did he do that? Not really:

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.

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.

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.

It’s essentially a non-distancing distancing, akin to the non-apology apology. He excuses Wright’s anti-American rhetoric with a mixture of rationalizations. Wright gets a pass because he served in the military, because he grew up in another generation that apparently hated America, and because he does good work in other areas. Obama also makes the curious claim that rejecting Wright means rejecting the entire black community — something other black churches might see as rather presumptuous. Obama essentially argues that the same kind of anti-Americanism can be found in all black churches, and speaks at length about how the legacy of racism and Jim Crow makes this incendiary rhetoric ubiquitous.

Is that true? Hardly. Black ministers have flocked to the airwaves over the last few days to vehemently deny that kind of argument. However, Obama has little choice but to argue this, because he needs to cast his situation as having little choice in spiritual venues.

The nadir of the speech came in this passage about Geraldine Ferraro:

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

Some have dismissed Ferraro? Perhaps Obama needs a reminder that it was his campaign that shrieked for Ferraro’s scalp for pointing out how his ancestry has affected the primary campaign. Ferraro didn’t say anything that Obama didn’t say in this speech. And yet the Obama campaign demanded that Hillary repudiate Ferraro in exactly the manner that Obama decried in his speech — and that just happened last week.

Hypocrisy? You bet, and by the cartload.

Other parts of his speech were more effective, especially in describing the black perspective on the continuing effects of racism and segregation. The lack of economic opportunities during Jim Crow did handicap black families from gaining wealth and passing it along to their children. Even with the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s and their subsequent enforcement, the black community still faced a large disadvantage in education, resources, and access. Affirmative Action turned out to be an imperfect way to address those disparities, and they created a great deal of legitimate resentment among whites who had never offended, which Obama also acknowledges. It’s a nuanced and incisive look into the heart of the racial divide we now face.

Did Obama succeed with this speech in containing the damage? It depends on the intended audience. This speech appears aimed at 795 specific individuals — Democratic superdelegates. Obama needed to show that he can address the racial issues in an inclusive manner, and walk the highwire with Wright by scolding him without alienating the black community. While the delivery was uncharacteristically lethargic, the content probably made the sale.

Unfortunately, he left himself still vulnerable by stubbornly refusing to ‘disown’ Wright; if anything else more incendiary comes up, he will have to address this all over again. He didn’t inoculate himself against future revelations, which is one of the main purposes of these kinds of speeches. We’ll see if that gamble pays off.


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I didn’t see the speech. Did he disavow that whole “Israel is a dirty word” thing or the “the US sponsors terorrism in Palestine” thing? Basically his pastor saying that Israel has no right to exist and deserve to have little Jews killed. Did he disavow THAT?

Now I don’t know but I don’t go to the kinda churches that do such race baiting. But then again, I walked out of a church for tiptoeing the AntiSemitic line. Then wrote a letter giving them trouble for it.

mjk on March 18, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Obama sold song books to his choir, nothing more nothing less. His vanguard of swooners is still with him but most thinking people know what he rally is. Sorry BO, this didn’t work very well.

rplat on March 18, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Hey TOPV, how’s that “lifelong conservative for Obama” mask fitting?

funky chicken on March 18, 2008 at 1:06 PM

WHen is the last time Rev. Wright was charitable to a whitey.

PrezHussein on March 18, 2008 at 1:07 PM

Barack Obama needs to be asked about this! Moreover, I’m wondering if that falls into the “original sin” category.

Buy Danish on March 18, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Heh. I wonder why he left that out.

a capella on March 18, 2008 at 1:07 PM

I thought that the core of the Christian message was to forgive those who have wronged you.

Wright hangs on to his hatred of America and whites. There is nothing Christian about that.

MarkTheGreat on March 18, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Interesting read -

http://www.truthnews.us/?p=2070

Stevel on March 18, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Americans more offended by the opinionated words of a Reverend (of which his allegations may be proven to be true or not one day in the future, just like the syphilis experiments of days gone by on black males BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT)… not offended by the RAPE OF CHILDREN (well if Rudy and John were black then it would have been an issue)…

Hypocrits R US strikes again

TOPV on March 18, 2008 at 1:04 PM

So you’re saying his accusations that we created the AIDS virus, that we deserved 9/11, and we’re a nation of racists may be proven?

Gotcha.

Any priest who rapes a child, regardless of affiliation, should be disowned and prosecuted. Period.

amerpundit on March 18, 2008 at 1:11 PM

I have had disagreements with pastors regarding points of theology. But the only time I ever “strongly disagreed” with a pastor, was when that pastor wandered in politics during a sermon. I expressed my disgust with this by walking out.

If Obama didn’t walk out, it was either because he agreed with what was being said, or he didn’t have the courage to publicly disagree with the pastor.
Neither option speaks well for his potential as president.

MarkTheGreat on March 18, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Obama: This rapist is part of my family, I can’t disown him.
Obama: This country that nuked America, I can’t disown them.

faraway on March 18, 2008 at 1:13 PM

And Wright goes one

Condikeezi Rice and Tiger Wood needs to be beat for playing a racist game

I guess they arent black enough

William Amos on March 18, 2008 at 1:13 PM

amerpundit on March 18, 2008 at 12:13 PM

No, Hagee is a sociopath whom McCain has embraced. What’s the difference?

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Well, well, well. According to this CBS article, which mentioned the grandmother he threw under the bus today, his Hawaiian classmates don’t remember things quite the way he did.

Obama’s “Aloha” Days In The Spotlight

Some excerpts -

Most classmates and teachers recall an easygoing, slightly chunky young man, with the same infectious smile he sports today. Yet many say they have trouble reconciling their nearly 30-year-old memories with Obama’s more recent descriptions of himself as a brooding and sometimes angry adolescent, grappling with his mixed race and the void left by a father who gave him his black skin but little else.

But it [delving into his past] has revealed the vagaries of memory, as well as the ambivalent emotions stirred among old acquaintances when someone they once knew becomes famous.

Dan Hale, the 6-foot-7-inch star center of the 1979 Punahou basketball team, said Obama’s depiction of Hawaii as a place where race really mattered hardly resonates with him.

“I was certainly oblivious to a lot of what he references,” Hale said in an interview. “If you look at our teams, that year I was the only white guy on the starting five. You had three part-Hawaiians, one Filipino and me.”

And

Others are more skeptical that the boy known as Barry felt the angst described by Barack. Furushima said that many of her classmates have expressed dismay at Obama’s rendering of the past.

“We are just such a mixed-up bag of races. It was hard to imagine that he felt that way, because he just seemed happy all the time, smiling all the time,” she said. “We have so many tones of brown here. If someone is brown, they can be Samoan or Fijian or Tongan. I can’t tell if someone is Fijian or black.”

Yep, it appears that Barry’s bio is the stuff of revisionist history. No wonder he feels so at home in a church which fictionalizes Christianity and American history.

Buy Danish on March 18, 2008 at 12:35 PM

funky chicken on March 18, 2008 at 1:14 PM

I wonder if the same hypocrites condemning Obama right now said the same to John Kerry and Rudy Guiliani and every other Roman Catholic politician when the priest were raping little boys and the church was paying them off?? I don’t recall hearing cries of “denounce the church… leave the church”.. Hmmm..

TOPV on March 18, 2008 at 1:04 PM

I think they would’ve had the good sense to stop attending the services of those particular priests, and on their own initiative, once they found out. They and every parent in the pews.

But of course it wasn’t either John Kerry’s or Rudy Giuliani’s particular priest, was it now?

James on March 18, 2008 at 1:14 PM

That should have been condi skeeza Rice

William Amos on March 18, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Hypocrits R US strikes again

TOPV on March 18, 2008 at 1:04 PM

OMG, AIDS and 9/11 Chickens coming home to roost?

stifle it!

Not to mention that Obama is also linked to William Ayers

Chakra Hammer on March 18, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Drum, please enlighten us with Hagee’s sociopathic comments.

faraway on March 18, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Phony and disingenuous to a huge degree.

I didn’t buy a word of it.

old trooper on March 18, 2008 at 1:15 PM

No, Hagee is a sociopath whom McCain has embraced. What’s the difference?

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Hagee is NOT McCain’s Pastor, and isn’t even the same denomination as McCain.

Chakra Hammer on March 18, 2008 at 1:15 PM

I wasn’t aware that McCain was a congregant in Hagee’s church.

MarkTheGreat on March 18, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Heh. I wonder why he left that out.

a capella on March 18, 2008 at 1:07 PM

He’s been in such a tizzy lately that he just forgot to mention it?

Buy Danish on March 18, 2008 at 1:16 PM

TOPV on March 18, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Are you saying only white government researchers were involved with the Tuskeegee syphilis experimentation?

a capella on March 18, 2008 at 1:16 PM

amerpundit on March 18, 2008 at 12:16 PM
Or is Hagee just a guy with a following.

Yeah, that’s it. “Just a guy with a following.”

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 1:16 PM

“I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork.” Yeah, I suppose. Except that ain’t gonna happen. And trying to bury the Hate under boatloads of high-flown rhetoric won’t work either. The afrocentric skeleton of Obama’s “spiritual life” is out of the closet and he’s proving to be a dancing fool.

Come November, Americans are going to be so sick of “race” they could puke. McCain will win in a landslide.

argos on March 18, 2008 at 1:17 PM

No, Hagee is a sociopath whom McCain has embraced. What’s the difference?

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Hagee endorsing McCain is like a Buddhist endorsing him, or the Dalai Lama no relation.

Chakra Hammer on March 18, 2008 at 1:17 PM

BTW at Obama’s own home town

http://cbs2chicago.com/

his speech, did Barack Obama successfully answer questions about his former pastor’s statements on race?

Yes 48%
No 52%

William Amos on March 18, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Americans more offended by the opinionated words of a Reverend (of which his allegations may be proven to be true or not one day in the future, just like the syphilis experiments of days gone by on black males BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT)… not offended by the RAPE OF CHILDREN (well if Rudy and John were black then it would have been an issue)…

Hypocrits R US strikes again

TOPV on March 18, 2008 at 1:04 PM

I think most of us would quit our church if our priest was raping children.
You moron.

ArmyAunt on March 18, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

That’s so incredibly offensive that I think it will be the paragraph that sinks him. It’s even worse than slandering the grandmother that raised him after he was abandoned by his African father and whackadoo angry liberal mother.
funky chicken on March 18, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Amen to that. When he said that I replayed it twice to make sure he really did say what I thought I heard.

It seems obvious to me the more you listen to Obama the more it’s obvious that in many and surprising ways he’s led a sheltered-on-the-left life.

Typical of many “well-educated” these days, he’s very apparently never been exposed to any serious criticism of leftist doctrine, believes that the values of the left are always noble and good; the values of the right are always ignoble and bad, and that all he needs to do is enlighten those who are too ignorant to understand, and the adoring masses will flock to his feet.

Typhoon on March 18, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Obama Lied

faraway on March 18, 2008 at 1:18 PM

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination – and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past – are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

It almost sounds like Obama is denouncing Affirmative Action. Almost.

unclesmrgol on March 18, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Drum,

You know damn well that there’s a difference. Hagee is a Catholic leader that decided to endorse McCain. He’s not McCain’s religious leader, former campaign member, or metaphorical uncle.

Wright is Obama’s religious leader of 2 decades, former campaign adviser, baptized his children, married him and Michelle, and was responsible for the title of Obama’s book.

amerpundit on March 18, 2008 at 1:21 PM

I have been hypnotized… I am an Obamatron, I am an Obamatron.

faraway on March 18, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Many Blacks remain socially and intellectually crippled by the victim mentality. It cripples their ability to do well in school, to create their own Business, to speak proper english, to assimilate into the larger American culture, to avoid the welfare trap, and to build intellectual confidence. They have been exploited by the Democrats by willfully participating in large scale vote farming operations for years like in New Orleans and Chicago where they are paid to do nothing but eat and drink themselves sick.

The spotlight needs to be placed away from this misguided enchantment of historical badness and change philosopy to focus on a new reality that you get what you diserve, you diserve what you earn, and embracing education is the key. Only then will assimilation finally be possible. Watching the sorry spectacle of Katrina was a wakeup call for me. You can’t pump enough money into those populations to turn them around. Changes must come from the inside out, and in my view, the black community is it’s own worst enemy.

saiga on March 18, 2008 at 1:25 PM

It’s essentially a non-distancing distancing, akin to the non-apology apology. He excuses Wright’s anti-American rhetoric with a mixture of rationalizations. Wright gets a pass because he served in the military, because he grew up in another generation that apparently hated America, and because he does good work in other areas. Obama also makes the curious claim that rejecting Wright means rejecting the entire black community — something other black churches might see as rather presumptuous. Obama essentially argues that the same kind of anti-Americanism can be found in all black churches, and speaks at length about how the legacy of racism and Jim Crow makes this incendiary rhetoric ubiquitous.

Does Obama say we must take the good along with the bad? Must we praise the good while not criticizing the bad? Do the democrats do similarly with President Bush or for that matter Senator Vitter or Congressman Foley?

Wildcatter1980 on March 18, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Well I guess the defense is “You are racist for not accepting the fact that being White makes you racist. Blacks can never be racist because of the things that have happened to them in the past”

We can never truely get over race in this country if that is the attitude adopted by blacks that Whites owe them for past failings. Many whites died freeing the blacks from slavery. Many whites stood by them in the civil rights struggle. Many whites want to see blacks do well and find the American dream.

To comdeme everyone to the same dustheap of past wrongs is itself wrong. We have to have justice to get to equality we should use equality to get victim’s justice.

America is ready for a black who can rise above race and work for all americans without the baggages of the past. Obama has shown he cant move past the past and until then he isnt ready to be President.

William Amos on March 18, 2008 at 1:26 PM

funky chicken on March 18, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Obama’s authorship may turn out to be a two edged sword. He and his speechwriters better be able to remember what he wrote.

a capella on March 18, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Hagee endorsing McCain is like a Buddhist endorsing him, or the Dalai Lama no relation.

Chakra Hammer on March 18, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Yeah, with one glaring difference: Hagee looks (yearns) forward to a final — annihilating — battle between Gog and Magog in the Middle East (thirty years ago it would have been somewhere in Eastern Europe, but no matter, just so long as it happens, right?) that will send the bulk of humanity to an eternal hell (this includes Jews) and Hagee’s following (“just a guy with a following”) to Heaven after their Lord whisks them away.

So, yeah, pretty much like the Dalai Lama endorsing McCain, only different.

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 1:27 PM

Obama raced through one sentence of criticism of Wright for Wright’s views on Israel. But Obama is very careful to defend Wright from charges of antiSemitism. Obama does not even acknowledge that Wright has called Israel “the dirty word”. Obama does not acknowledge that Wright said “Negros” (his words) must not be intimidated “by the Jews”. To Obama, it was only necessary to marginally disagree with Wright on MiddleEast policy. Obama was not willing to come to grips with the subject of antiSemitism in the African-American community. Obama is constantly bragging that he raised the issue previously. He really did not do so. He mentioned it once in a speech to an adoring audience. But here was his chance and he didn’t have the guts to do it. Just as sickening, he would not condemn the vile antiAmerican hate spewing from every pore of Wright. He insisted that Wright was only “occasionally a fierce critic of American foreign and domestic policy”. Yep, that makes sense Barack. Accusing the US of inventing the AIDS virus and then deliberately making Black folks fatally ill with it is simply “criticism of American domestic policy”. Barack Obama has no credibility.

Larraby on March 18, 2008 at 1:28 PM

John Hagee is not Catholic.

cat-scratch on March 18, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Hagee is a Catholic leader

Really! When did he convert?

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Some have dismissed Ferraro? Perhaps Obama needs a reminder that it was his campaign that shrieked for Ferraro’s scalp for pointing out how his ancestry has affected the primary campaign. Ferraro didn’t say anything that Obama didn’t say in this speech. And yet the Obama campaign demanded that Hillary repudiate Ferraro in exactly the manner that Obama decried in his speech — and that just happened last week.

What’s good for the goose ought to be good for the gander. Obama cannot have only what is good for him and his campaign.

Wildcatter1980 on March 18, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Just when did the Catholic church make it official policy that it’s alright for priests to rape children?

MarkTheGreat on March 18, 2008 at 1:30 PM

So, yeah, pretty much like the Dalai Lama endorsing McCain, only different.

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 1:27 PM

Again what does Hgee have to do with Obama’s Pastor ? We on the right have condemed what Hagee said. Obama refuses to condeme Wright. If McCain and the right can disown Hagee why cant Obama disown Wright instead of giving him credibility by standing by him ?

William Amos on March 18, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Does he really not see the contradictions?

AZCoyote on March 18, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Excellent comment, to the point and oh so true!

Liberty or Death on March 18, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Drum,
I think you are confusing Catholicism with Christian. Catholicism is a Christian religion. Christianity is made up of Catholics, the various Protestant denominations, and many other faiths who believe in Jesus Christ.

Wildcatter1980 on March 18, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Don’t let Drum distract anyone from the topic – which is Obama and his racist pastor/friend/mentor/advisor.

faraway on March 18, 2008 at 1:33 PM

It almost sounds like Obama is denouncing Affirmative Action. Almost.

unclesmrgol on March 18, 2008 at 1:20 PM

He is not. Obama is on record as supporting Affirmative Action and Racial Preference programs as a way to redress wrongs done to blacks in the past.

This is going to be a problem for Obama if he becomes the Democratic nominee. The majority of Americans reject these types of programs as unfair; they want everybody (regardless of skin color or ethnicity) to be given the same chance at a job, school admission, government contract, etc. Last year, Obama made a radio commercial in Michigan urging voters there to reject an anti-affirmative action ballot initiative. The voters passed the initiative, despite Obama’s entreaties. Just like his position on massive amnesty for illegals (which he supports), Obama is far to the left of most of the American populace.

AZCoyote on March 18, 2008 at 1:33 PM

That speech was a great combination of hot air, rambling around the point and general BS delivered by a very good speaker. I don’t believe it would change the opinion of a person who actually analyzed it but we have way too many people out there that it will make feel “good”. The more BO opens his mouth the less qualified he looks to be POTUS. Of course Hillary doesn’t look that qualified either.

duff65 on March 18, 2008 at 1:34 PM

It almost sounds like Obama is denouncing Affirmative Action. Almost.

unclesmrgol on March 18, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Affirmitive action is nothing more than an official government recognition that many blacks just dont have what it takes to compete with everyone else. I thind it is a disgrace, insult, and a disservice to black America.

Ask Tiger Woods if he feels a handicap is in order for him because he is black. Just another pandering Democratic vote farming tool that promotes black underclass status.

saiga on March 18, 2008 at 1:34 PM

AZCoyote 12:35 Amen.

Anybody listening to Limbaugh? Please, tell me he’s all over this:

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

funky chicken on March 18, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Obama Lied

faraway on March 18, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Race relations died.

bikermailman on March 18, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Hagee believes that Revelations is literally true.

So what?

Is he doing anything to bring it on faster?

MarkTheGreat on March 18, 2008 at 1:35 PM

We’re not talking about Hagee, we’r talking about Obama and Wright, you trolls.

omnipotent on March 18, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Wright hangs on to his hatred of America and whites. There is nothing Christian about that.

MarkTheGreat on March 18, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Or progressive either. The commentators and journalists who are praising Obama’s speech don’t address this issue. It’s the same old “Whites should forgive Wright and others of his ilk and move on,” but Wright et al are not required to forgive whites and move on.

Connie on March 18, 2008 at 1:36 PM

“Obama has shown he cant move past the past …” That’s for sure. More specifically the 1960s-70s. If only someone would explain to him (and his Black Panther preacher) that it’s 2008 for crapsake!

argos on March 18, 2008 at 1:36 PM

MSNBC has an online vote about the effectiveness of the speech. — Ex-tex

And as expected, the folks that read MSNBC online are a majority of liberal kool-aid drinkers. Obama can do no wrong.

kirkill on March 18, 2008 at 1:36 PM

In all honesty, solving the Black problems in the United States will be a walk in the park compared to solving issues in black African countries or in Haiti.

saiga on March 18, 2008 at 1:36 PM

I would really love to know on which points Obama agrees with the philosophies of Bill Cosby, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Star Parker, Michael Steele, Clarence Thomas, etc., in rising above racial division and identity grievance to a greater goal taking part in the American dream through personal responsibility.

I won’t hold my breath.

Central planning (the federal gub’mint) cannot replace the fundamental roles of individuals of character, families made up of solidly engaged role models, schools that demand excellence, neighborhoods unwilling to condone trash and crime, and churches that celebrate the dignity and worth of all people and foster spiritual growth. Reconciliation comes from the bottom up. Success is a reward, not a right.

onlineanalyst on March 18, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Oh, while typing on my suckee iPhone put the wrong sect down for Hagee. Guess that blows my whole “difference” argument.

Oh,wait. No it doesn’t.

amerpundit on March 18, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Hey Drum…..Beat it!!!

m0nkeyb0y on March 18, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Equivocation.

shick on March 18, 2008 at 1:41 PM

WHOA !!!! Hagee is far far far from a Catholic leader !!!

stenwin77 on March 18, 2008 at 1:42 PM

(if they get their head out of the sand)

elraphbo on March 18, 2008 at 12:32 PM

I am not slamming Republicans in Illinois imparticulary. The entire party has had it’s head in the sand (or some where else for that matter). If Hillary can carpet bag her way into NY then Condi can do in Illinois.

Liberalism is getting ahead of Conservatism by playing dirty pool….and they are setting the pace at which this County is moving. We need to destroy liberalism. Now before they take all our guns

elraphbo on March 18, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Oh, while typing on my suckee iPhone put the wrong sect down for Hagee. Guess that blows my whole “difference” argument.

Oh,wait. No it doesn’t.

amerpundit on March 18, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Have you ever actually listened to Hagee.? He’s pretty good.

stenwin77 on March 18, 2008 at 1:44 PM

How about asking all the dummies we know who are still going to vote for this pathetic nullity why they care so little for the future welfare and security of this country?

“Feeling good about yourself” is always the rationale people give while for voting for demogogues.

TexasJew on March 18, 2008 at 1:44 PM

Affirmitive action is nothing more than an official government recognition that many blacks just dont have what it takes to compete with everyone else. I thind it is a disgrace, insult, and a disservice to black America.

saiga on March 18, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Many blacks feel the same way. Blogger LaShawn Barber refers to this type of attitude as “the soft prejudice of low expectations.” I don’t know if she coined the phrase, but I think it’s spot on.

AZCoyote on March 18, 2008 at 1:45 PM

Hagee does not hate Jews, what he is saying is what is in the bible. That the only way out of hell is by believing in Jesus as their lord as savior. He likes catholic and jews unlike barack’s pastor who hates America and espically white.

BroncosRock on March 18, 2008 at 1:47 PM

commentators

Oops. Commenters…or maybe common taters.

Connie on March 18, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Oh heck. I was the right the first time.

Connie on March 18, 2008 at 1:50 PM

Taking a nap now, I think. ;)

Connie on March 18, 2008 at 1:50 PM

BTW at Obama’s own home town

http://cbs2chicago.com/

his speech, did Barack Obama successfully answer questions about his former pastor’s statements on race?

Yes 48%
No 52%

William Amos on March 18, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Hmm, interesting there William.

carbon_footprint on March 18, 2008 at 1:52 PM

can you say, ‘riots in the streets’ at the Demo. convention?

jimmer on March 18, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

Actually no. The reason while I attend my church is because I generally see eye-to-eye with my pastor. He expositionally preaches from the Bible and I like that. Occassionally he hits a nerve but those nerves are there to get my attention to the root of the pain. In all cases it was my own wickedness.
Fundamental difference between a good and bad pastor. A good pastor will tell you to remove the plank from your own eye before you try to remove the spec from your brother’s eye. A good pastor will not necessarily tell you what you want to hear.
A bad pastor will tell you that you are good enough and should focus on those that are against you. Everyone wants to hear that. It’s called ear tickling.
Sounds familiar.

shick on March 18, 2008 at 1:57 PM

I loved it…it was much better than Cats…I’m going to see it again and again…

Darksean on March 18, 2008 at 2:01 PM

Mr. Obama’s speech took pains to express the problems we face with the racial divide that persists in our country. However, the gap between races will never be reduced unless those that continuously call out the veil of victimhood for all irresponsible actions are repudiated. Victimhood has become the everyday acceptable experience seemly of all Americans. While no one should have to climb artificial barriers to achieve personal economic advancement or justice in our America, lashing out at perceived present enemies because of past injustices, in an uncivil manner to a select audience after decades of societal improvements, will not glean the speaker or those that remain in the audience respect in a wider America.

I judge Mr. Obama in this instance on him remaining in the audience and on the basis of what another pastor wrote, Pastor Martin Niemöller. He wrote a poem about the immorality of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power. First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. – - – – - – Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. For someone in the leadership position of Mr. Obama, he continues to place political expediency and solidarity with Pastor Wright’s followers over his moral judgment. It is sad to see such a gifted person take the easy path in his quest for the ultimate American leadership position.

amr on March 18, 2008 at 2:09 PM

If McCain and the right can disown Hagee

McCain and the right haven’t “disowned” Hagee. So why the brouhaha about Obama?

Enough with the moralizing. You don’t like Obama. Period. Nothing wrong with that, unless you try to turn it into a morality play, which is exactly what you’re (this list) is doing.

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 2:18 PM

I checked his campaign staff roster while I was looking to make sure the girl in the story existed. Obama has some heavy Chicago people behind him who probably do recognize Israel’s right to exist in a big way, and some crazy person named “MISDU MI State Disbursment Unit”.

JAW on March 18, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Don’t let Drum distract anyone from the topic – which is Obama and his racist pastor/friend/mentor/advisor.

faraway on March 18, 2008 at 1:33 PM

And that leaves you with John McCain — a man who himself has embraced (if only for political reasons, which isn’t saying much for McCain) a teacher of abhorrent religious beliefs.

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 2:22 PM

I think it was a brilliant speech, but I can’t stand it when columns distort and exaggerate things like Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright. The link is Here.

BK on March 18, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Glad to see the whites coming together now so they can claim shock at the offensive “black” pastor and nail the black candidate too. Yeah that’ll keep them blacks in their place for years to come.

Yup.. gOD bless America…

TOPV on March 18, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Enough with the moralizing. You don’t like Obama. Period. Nothing wrong with that, unless you try to turn it into a morality play, which is exactly what you’re (this list) is doing.

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Obama said a year ago Wright helps keep his priorities straight and his moral compass calibrated.

Any man with that poor judgement, even for his own self-preservation as a politician, shouldn’t even be allowed on a White House tour, let alone in charge of the rest of us

Chuck Schick on March 18, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Who or what is a Hagee?

allrsn on March 18, 2008 at 2:35 PM

The only way a Marxist can gain power is to make sure victim mentality stays alive. It doesn’t matter if it’s blacks are victims of whites or the middle class is a victim of the corporations – just make sure everyone thinks they are victims of something.

In all fairness, it was Hillary who used the “middle class as victim” strategy first. Even McCain has made such statements in the past.

Connie on March 18, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Exactly. And from what little I know about the Marxism, you need to have an aggreived class to start the revolution (to create the socialist society). Edwards tried this too, with his “Two Americas” screed.

Over30 on March 18, 2008 at 2:44 PM

TOPV – How’s your degree in Whiteness Studies coming along? Maybe you can get a job in the Obama administration and help them come up with an answer to the “White Question.”

Django on March 18, 2008 at 2:44 PM

Me: uh… Senator Obama? Your pastor’s a racist! Did you ever notice that?

Obama: yes, but he’s also a very NICE man.

Me: He thinks that white people got what they deserved on 9/11.

Obama: you should hear him preach! He brought me to God, you know.

Me: uh… he thinks America is the devil. He equated it to the KKK.

Obama: Well, he’s a very spiritual man. And I aim to unite America, not divide it by race or religion.

Me: You don’t find his comments divisive??

Obama: Why are you such a hater?

Jewels on March 18, 2008 at 2:52 PM

Jewels, that pretty well covers it.

Wright and his disciple Obama don’t understand that eliminating hatred includes giving up your own pet bigotry and hatred, too. Claiming you’ve moved past it and therefore so should everyone else while you still hang on to deeply held, incredibly hateful ideas flatly does not work.

Django on March 18, 2008 at 3:22 PM

Will McCain disavow Pastor Hagee’s rantings about the inevitable destruction of the Middle East and the eternal damnation of disobedient (to Christ) Jews? Not holding breath.

Drum on March 18, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Why should he? He is not a member of Hagee’s church. He and his wife were not married by Hagee. His children were not baptized by Hafee, and McCain has not donated thousands to Hagee’s church.

Dave R. on March 18, 2008 at 3:28 PM

I would really love to know on which points Obama agrees with the philosophies of Bill Cosby, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Star Parker, Michael Steele, Clarence Thomas, etc., in rising above racial division and identity grievance to a greater goal taking part in the American dream through personal responsibility.

I won’t hold my breath.

Central planning (the federal gub’mint) cannot replace the fundamental roles of individuals of character, families made up of solidly engaged role models, schools that demand excellence, neighborhoods unwilling to condone trash and crime, and churches that celebrate the dignity and worth of all people and foster spiritual growth. Reconciliation comes from the bottom up. Success is a reward, not a right.

onlineanalyst on March 18, 2008 at 1:38 PM

…and it is exactly “the Government’s role” in directing our lives which O-Ba-Ma Char-La-Tan primarily spoke to. All that was served up was good ol’ fashioned government programs to vicariously absolve guilt to ostensibly bring us together.

Ah, yes, he understands the strength of Socialism only too well: equal distribution of misery.

Lockstein13 on March 18, 2008 at 3:29 PM

Hagee is not anti-Semitic. He is anti-Catholic.

“Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights president William Donohue issued the following remarks regarding Sen. John McCain’s ties to Pastor John Hagee:

“Now that he has secured the Republican nomination for president, and has received the endorsement of President Bush, McCain will now embark on a series of fundraising events. When he meets with Catholics, he is going to be asked about his ties to Hagee. He should also be asked whether he approves of comments like this: ‘A Godless theology of hate that no one dared try to stop for a thousand years produced a harvest of hate.’ “That quote is proudly cited by David Brog in his recent book, Standing with Israel. Both Brog and Hagee clearly identify the Roman Catholic Church as spawning a ‘theology of hate.’ “This is nothing if not hate speech. There are so many good evangelical leaders in this country—Dr. James Dobson, Dr. Richard Land, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Dr. Al Mohler, Chuck Colson—and none has ever insulted Catholicism.

The “Godless theology” quote appears to be taken from Hagee’s 1987 work “Should Christians Support Israel?” [18]

Hagee’s attack against Christian antisemitism in his book Jerusalem Countdown contained the following:

Adolf Hitler attended a Catholic school as a child and heard all the fiery anti-Semitic rantings from Chrysostom to Martin Luther. When Hitler became a global demonic monster, the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII never, ever slightly criticized him. Pope Pius XII, called by historians ‘Hitler’s Pope,’ joined Hitler in the infamous Concordat of Collaboration, which turned the youth of the [sic] Germany over to Nazism, and the churches became the stage background for the bloodthirsty cry, ‘Pereat Judea’[19]…. In all of his [Hitler's] years of absolute brutality, he was never denounced or even scolded by Pope Pius XII or any Catholic leader in the world. To those Christians who believe that Jewish hearts will be warmed by the sight of the cross, please be informed—to them it’s an electric chair. (pp. 79-81)

The Roman Catholic Church, which was supposed to carry the light of the gospel, plunged the world into the Dark Ages…. The Crusaders were a motley mob of thieves, rapists, robbers, and murderers whose sins had been forgiven by the pope in advance of the Crusade…. The brutal truth is that the Crusades were military campaigns of the Roman Catholic Church to gain control of Jerusalem from the Muslims and to punish the Jews as the alleged Christ killers on the road to and from Jerusalem. (p. 73)”

jim m on March 18, 2008 at 3:32 PM

Wow, a republican site not agreeing with a democratic politician. Who would’ve thought? I don’t think anything Obama says would or do would make a difference. And of coarse, all conservative people don’t have family members or friends that say or do anything racist, stupid me.

menoname on March 18, 2008 at 3:35 PM

menoname on March 18, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Maybe the day you get a brain you can get a name also.

peacenprosperity on March 18, 2008 at 3:48 PM

Maybe the day you get a brain you can get a name also.

peacenprosperity on March 18, 2008 at 3:48 PM

lol, good one I have to admit. Its just the same old politics, nothing more.

menoname on March 18, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Its just the same old politics, nothing more.

Seriously, what made you so blind?

peacenprosperity on March 18, 2008 at 3:59 PM

…must be the latest Obama startegy, to have mole trolls lurking on other websites. Yawn.

Lockstein13 on March 18, 2008 at 4:07 PM

Glad to see the whites coming together now so they can claim shock at the offensive “black” pastor and nail the black candidate too. Yeah that’ll keep them blacks in their place for years to come.

Yup.. gOD bless America…

TOPV on March 18, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Would you feel better if we agreed electing a black man as president of the United States was so important we should overlook the fact he supports hate American rhetoric, Africa as his home base, and Marxist economic principles? I wouldn’t vote for a white man with those values, why should I do it for a black man? Or is this really all about race?

a capella on March 18, 2008 at 4:12 PM

The “it’s all relative, everybody’s guilty” lie that all libs rely on when they’re caught in something indefensible. That is the same old politics.

Django on March 18, 2008 at 4:16 PM

From the text of the speech:
“Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy…”

Sounds like the ‘Gettysburg Address’. “Four Score and Seven Years Ago…”.
So Obama is pretending to be a President making a speech about an historical event. In reality, he is a party candidate making excuses for some loon who is embarassing him in a primary election.

Smooth…real smooth. Who is his marketing firm?

percysunshine on March 18, 2008 at 4:16 PM

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