Judgment now a distraction? Update: “Overthrow” video added

posted at 8:24 am on April 25, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Remember when Barack Obama tried to explain why his lack of experience didn’t really matter? He told rapturous audiences that his superior judgment mattered more than Hillary Clinton’s long years inside the Beltway. Obama claimed that his terrific hindsight qualified him for the presidency much more than John McCain’s 26 years in Congress.

However, now that people have begun to take a closer look at his judgment, especially in his political associations and in his judgment about middle America, Obama has taken to calling that a “distraction”. Charles Krauthammer replies that Obama had better remember the nature of the office for which he’s running:

With that, Obama identified the new public enemy: the “distractions” foisted upon a pliable electorate by the malevolent forces of the status quo, i.e., those who might wish to see someone else become president next January. “It’s easy to get caught up in the distractions and the silliness and the tit for tat that consumes our politics” and “trivializes the profound issues” that face our country, he warned sternly. These must be resisted.

Why? Because Obama understands that the real threat to his candidacy is less Hillary Clinton and John McCain than his own character and cultural attitudes. He came out of nowhere with his autobiography already written, then saw it embellished daily by the hagiographic coverage and kid-gloves questioning of a supine press. (Which is why those “Saturday Night Live” parodies were so devastatingly effective.)

Then came the three amigos: Tony Rezko, the indicted fixer; Jeremiah Wright, the racist reverend; William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist. And then Obama’s own anthropological observation that “bitter” working-class whites cling to guns and religion because they misapprehend their real class interests.

In the now-famous Pennsylvania debate, Obama had extreme difficulty answering questions about these associations and attitudes. The difficulty is understandable. Some of the contradictions are inexplicable. How does one explain campaigning throughout 2007 on a platform of transcending racial divisions, while in that same year contributing $26,000 to a church whose pastor incites race hatred?

What is Obama to do? Dismiss all such questions about his associations and attitudes as “distractions.” And then count on his acolytes in the media to wage jihad against those who have the temerity to raise these questions. As if the character and beliefs of a man who would be president are less important than the “issues.” As if some political indecency was committed when Obama was prevented from going through his latest — 21st and likely last — primary debate without being asked about Wright or Ayers or the tribal habits of gun-toting, God-loving Pennsylvanians.

Remember that one of the campaign slogans for Obama was “Judgment to Lead”. I often use the picture of Obama with that slogan on the lectern just to emphasize that Obama himself opened the debate over his judgment. Now that people want to start asking about the judgment he claims as his superior quality for the election, he wants to label it a “distraction”, but without it he has nothing else to offer except three undistinguished years as a backbencher in the Senate.

With no track record of legislative accomplishments and no evidence of any real engagement in change, judgment would have eventually become a focal issue for Obama anyway, even if he hadn’t brought it up himself. That means his judgment in launching his political career at the home of an unrepentant terrorist like William Ayers becomes relevant and germane, especially since the political connections between the two continued after Ayers announced that he wished he’d gone further in his political violence. Even in 2007, Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn talk about overthrowing the “corporate government” of the United States, to replace it with something more akin to Red China.

What is Obama’s judgment on Ayers and Dohrn? They’re “respectable figures of the mainstream in Chicago.”

For that matter, what is Obama’s judgment on middle America? In what he thought was a friendly crowd among the hard-Left elite in San Francisco, Obama judged small-town voters as bitter xenophobes that “cling” to guns and religion only because — and this is particularly revealing — “government failed them”. His solution was to provide an even bigger dose of government intervention in order to get them to see the Utopia that would follow. That was the point of that speech on Billionaires Row, which later got termed “Crackerquiddick”.

For someone to see Ayers, Dohrn, and Jeremiah Wright as mainstream, they have to be very far out of what the rest of the country sees as normal political thought. Distraction? Obama’s judgment is a revelation.

Update: Via Hugh Hewitt, here’s Bernadine Dohrn speaking at the 40th anniversary of the SDS, talking about “overthrowing” the American government — in 2007:

Barack Obama thinks this is mainstream.

Update II: Stuart Taylor, a self-described admirer of Barack Obama, writes at the National Journal that questions of judgment and character are not “distractions”, but central to the decision voters must make. Scolding journalists who shrieked at the April 16th ABC debate and the questions asked by George Stephanopolous and Charles Gibson, Taylor says the issues raised in the first half of the debate hardly qualify as “gossip”, but go to these paramount considerations:

Burke and Madison might well have approved the judgment-focused questions that pro-Obama journalists have so furiously excoriated moderators Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, of ABC News, for asking at the April 16 debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Washington Post’s Tom Shales accused the two of “shoddy, despicable performances.” The New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg said that they had committed “something akin to a federal crime.” The New York Times’s David Carr called it a “disgusting spectacle.”

Such commentators were especially livid that for much of the first half of the two-hour debate the moderators bored in on Obama’s gaffe about “bitter” laid-off small-towners who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them”; questioned his closeness to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright through many years of Wright’s anti-American, white-bashing rants; and brought up his more glancing connection to William Ayers, a University of Illinois professor who was a Weather Underground leader and (by his own admission) bomber almost 40 years ago.

Many who have been disposed to admire Obama, including me, see these matters as raising troublesome questions about his judgment and character. Many of us have come to wonder whether the purportedly post-ideological Obama is so close to his party’s business-bashing, pacifistic left wing as to skew his judgment on matters ranging from the capital-gains tax to Iraq. Perhaps our suspicions are mistaken. But Obama has hardly laid them to rest.

To passionate Obama devotees, however, questions about Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and the like are “specious and gossipy trivia,” in Shales’s words. They wanted Gibson and Stephanopoulos—who also asked about Iran, Iraq, affirmative action, guns, and taxes (not to mention Hillary Clinton’s fantasies about coming under sniper fire in Bosnia)—to spend the entire time on policy issues.


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“Pay no attention to the empty suit behind the lectern.”
Quote of the day.

“Even in 2007, Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn talk about overthrowing the “corporate government” of the United States, to replace it with something more akin to Red China.”
According to what I’ve read and heard, Ayers and Dohrn will be on the gravy train as NAFTA goes forward in the form of the Super Highway (etc) that will make sure that Red, (but budding capitalist) China will get their goods to the US and Canada. So, you see, scum like Ayers and his bride are really just ensuring their piece of the global gov’t’s pie.
Even Mexico is losing jobs to cheaper labor. China wins and ‘North America’ loses.
Google http://www.spp.gov folks, read Jerome Corsi’s book. Please.

Christine on April 25, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Can Barack Obama fool 95% of the Black Democrat Population into thinking he would be a good POTUS?

Yes he can.

Bringing up little details like this just distracts him from distracting the black democrats and self hating white “intellectual” democrats.

EJDolbow on April 25, 2008 at 2:50 PM

But Mo-om, Bobby and Bernie are popular. I have to hang out with them, or everybody will call me a loser.

funky chicken on April 25, 2008 at 2:55 PM

Obama: “What?! I have to actualy campaign for president? That`s a distraction, just give it to me.” :-P

ThePrez on April 25, 2008 at 3:10 PM

AprilOrit

What on earth are you babbling about now? Please provide evidence to back up this charge:

I know the Freeper Loons are salivating about showing up to protest and lynch [Rev. Wright] (they always make honest Republicans look like we all belong to Stromfront et al), but the word on the street is he ain’t speaking there, it’s going to be cancelled.

AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 11:56 AM

Next…

I mean first he was a Muslim, now a Marxist, The Right says he’s too black, The Left not black enough.
The guy was a loser from day 1.
AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Someone has already pointed out to you that the marxism and Islam are not mutually exclusive, anymore than the obvious fact that Judaism and Marxism are not mutually exclusive.

But who on the right says that Obama is too black? His church has a “black value system” and presumably he measures himself against its teachings. Assuming he has embraced the Black liberation theology his ‘church’ teaches, if he is too black it is only in the sense that his church is unapologetically hostile to whites.

Buy Danish on April 25, 2008 at 3:19 PM

Sung to the tune of Chicago, by Graham Nash.

So the brother’s pastor’s crazy
And they’ve chained him to Bill Ayers
Won’t you please come out to Denver to protest
In the USKKKA
How can such a thing be fair
Won’t you please come out to Denver and we’ll make the town a mess

We can recreate
Glorious ‘68
We’re rioting – Mile High chaos

Politicians listen right now
You superdelegates
Won’t you please come out to Denver for the riot
If your votes should go to Hill’ry
You will have yourselves to blame
Burn your plane ticket to Denver, if you’ve nerve enough to buy it

We can recreate
Glorious ‘68
We’re rioting – if you don’t vote for Obama
We’re rioting – if you sellout to Clinton
We’re rioting – just let a bro’ be president
We’re rioting – Superdelegates
Who needs them, vote the way we say

Barry is the people’s choice
Although he’s sinking fast
Won’t you please come out to Denver, to burn cars
From the south side of Chicago
To the crackers in PA
Won’t you please come out to Denver, and we’ll end up behind bars

We can recreate
Glorious ‘68
We’re rioting – Mile High chaos

Akzed on April 25, 2008 at 3:55 PM

But who on the right says that Obama is too black? His church has a “black value system” and presumably he measures himself against its teachings. Assuming he has embraced the Black liberation theology his ‘church’ teaches, if he is too black it is only in the sense that his church is unapologetically hostile to whites.

Buy Danish on April 25, 2008 at 3:19 PM

Babbling? Isn’t that a stretch coming from a bomb thrower like you?

I never believed the BS about his UCC Church, and I don’t believe it about him. But many do, you included. Black Liberation my ass. The guy is Left Wing and maybe a loon but the very idea that Ayers and Dorn want him elected to overthrow the government is sheer lunacy.

That’s loon babble Ms Thing.

AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 5:10 PM

The Clinton are playing The Right Wing like an accordian.

Good luck in Novemeber suckers, Cankles has won.

AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 5:12 PM

The Burgomaster is handing out the torches, go to the old mill where Dr. Pretoriusto will be lighting them. We will be searching for the monster as soon as night falls.

Remember, it’s best to travel in teams of two and one other thing – if you catch him and his pastor, hold them for the Freepers, they want to have the honors.

AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 5:25 PM

I wonder if Obama regrets his large donation to the good Reverend’s mansion?

unclesmrgol on April 25, 2008 at 5:35 PM

From the video:

“Overthrowing capitalism itself…herself…himself.” Damned post-modern feminist trip ups!

Not just “capitalism”…EVIL capitalism. Ain’t nuthin’ funnier than a bunch of old hippies suffering from random flashbacks…

Wyznowski on April 25, 2008 at 5:47 PM

I never believed the BS about his UCC Church, and I don’t believe it about him. But many do, you included. Black Liberation my ass. The guy is Left Wing and maybe a loon but the very idea that Ayers and Dorn want him elected to overthrow the government is sheer lunacy.

That’s loon babble Ms Thing.

AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 5:10 PM

You don’t believe it? It’s on their website, as is the great big map of Africa Why do you think that is I wonder? I’m dealing with indisputable facts, unlike your claims that violent freepers are all set to lynch Jeremiah Wright, which I see you have yet to substantiate.

In case you missed it, the topic of this thread is Obama’s judgment. No one has said that Ayers and Dhorn want him elected to overthrow the government. They would not object if he did, but obviously that is not Barry’s goal. People like Barry are more interested in incremental changes than revolution.

Buy Danish on April 25, 2008 at 5:53 PM

10 QUESTIONS I’D LIKE TO ASK BARACK OBAMA

1) You excused Rev. Wright’s statements as coming from the experiences of his generation. That’s fine for him, but why would you want your daughters to listen to his divisive, hateful rhetoric?

2) Rev. Wright, your pastor for 20 years, believes that the U.S. Government puts the drugs into the ghettos. Do you believe this too? If so, feel free to explain in detail.

3) Rev. Wright also believes that the government created the HIV virus as a means of genocide against black people. Do you believe this as well? Again, explain in detail.

4) Rev. Wright stated that 9/11 was “America’s chickens home to roost”. Do you agree?

5) If you don’t agree with any of these positions, then I must ask again… why would you attend and why would you subject your daughters to these teachings?

6) Your website refers to William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn as respected members of the Chicago mainstream. Both are unrepentant domestic terrorists who still to this day advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government. What is your definition of “respected” and “mainstream”, and how do Ayers and Dohrn meet that definition?

7) In your San Francisco “bitter” comments you implied that bitterness at loss of jobs causes people to “cling” to guns, religion, etc. Has it ever crossed your mind that some of us go to church and worship God in good times and in bad? Perhaps not, given where you’ve gone to church… but my church isn’t all about grievances.

8) Also… is it possible that I support the 2nd Amendment… or have an opinion on illegal immigration et al, for reasons that have nothing to do with economic bitterness?

9) Many of your comments (bitter people clinging to religion, your capital gains tax position, your support of Rev. Wright’s liberation theology) seem to have a significant Marxist influence. Are you a Marxist?

10) You seem to surround yourself with people who have a low opinion of America (Wright, Ayers, Dohrn, Farrakhan, etc.) Even your wife has made several negative statements that had to be “explained” by your campaign. Why should we believe that you can lead and represent all Americans, not just those with racial, socialist and/or other grievances?

Texas Nick USN on April 25, 2008 at 6:12 PM

AprilOrit,

Update – This is also from TUCoC’s website. I’m using bold type in case there’s something wrong with your eyesight:

The vision statement of Trinity United Church of Christ is based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone’s book, Black Power and Black Theology.

And -

To have a church whose theological perspective starts from the vantage point of Black liberation theology being its center, is not to say that African or African American people are superior to any one else.

I can understand how you missed this salient truth. To argue that Obama didn’t know this is indefensible.

Buy Danish on April 25, 2008 at 6:14 PM

Update – This is also from TUCoC’s website. I’m using bold type in case there’s something wrong with your eyesight:

The vision statement of Trinity United Church of Christ is based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone’s book, Black Power and Black Theology.

And -

To have a church whose theological perspective starts from the vantage point of Black liberation theology being its center, is not to say that African or African American people are superior to any one else.
I can understand how you missed this salient truth. To argue that Obama didn’t know this is indefensible.

Buy Danish on April 25, 2008 at 6:14 PM

Look, this was all explained, deciphered and debated on Bill O’Reilly. When Wright got the church the neighborhood was a mess, drugs, illegal guns, child pregnancies etc. In was the late 60s and The Black Power angle was more to try to give this losing Black Population something more to focus on than destroying themselves and their own hood.

O’Reilly knows how to sniff out the bare facts, rather than whine about them like Hannity. While he didn’t agree with the goddamn America bit, he basically got to the bottom of this Black angle, and I watched the facts and came to the same conclusion that he did.

Wright did this to change the dynamic of his neighborhood, he increased the membership, I can’t remember how small the number of members it was when he got there, but it was a small congregation, with no money. And it was 1969, MLK and Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated, the neighborhood was a useless slum filled with uncaring apathetic human flotsam and jetsum.

He used this Black angle as a dangling carrot to bring these people to Christ and into to some kind pf faith based life, which is fine with me if that’s the end result.

If he was able to bring one prospective unwed mother and her abusive father or uncle who stands to rape, sodomize and eventually impregnate her and a mother who just doesn’t care about her kids or her family to hold it together, so be it.

He brought faith, hope and improvement to a backward ghetto and for that I applaud him. Who cares how he did it, these people from the UCC in Chicago aren’t ahouldering rifles looking to attack this country and make it the New Africa. And i seriously doubt he or they hate America, that whole spheil about the chickens coming home to roost was a direct quote from MLK, another angry black preacher.

They are a black church that rose out of the ashes of a filthy broken ghetto, nothing more, nothing less. Black liberation theology was/is a plan to present to a black congregation who refused to assume responsibily for their families, their children and their actions, and as I we can see, a radical racial nightmare to naive whites living in a bubble.

Giving them some place to go to worship God while learning how to be good citizens, how to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and be responsible citizens of Chicago and America is a good thing.

Different strokes for different folks, if it works – to me that’s all that matters.

AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 7:19 PM

AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 7:19 PM

If he was able to bring one prospective unwed mother and her abusive father or uncle who stands to rape, sodomize and eventually impregnate her and a mother who just doesn’t care about her kids or her family to hold it together, so be it.

You think that’s a problem exclusive to ghetto families?

All the great stuff you are saying the Rev. Wright did may be true, but the same thing can be said about Elijah Mohammed, and Minister Farrakhan, or any Nation of Islam leader.

As for chickens coming home to roost, it was a direct quote from Malcolm X.

Buy Danish on April 25, 2008 at 7:56 PM

Luther Mahoney (the bad guy) on Homicide Life on the Street gave to the poor and built youth centers too.

Big whoop.

Domino on April 25, 2008 at 8:05 PM

10 QUESTIONS I’D LIKE TO ASK BARACK OBAMA

1) You excused Rev. Wright’s statements as coming from the experiences of his generation. That’s fine for him, but why would you want your daughters to listen to his divisive rhetoric?

2) Rev. Wright, your pastor for 20 years, believes that the U.S. Government puts the drugs into the ghettos. Do you believe this too? If so, feel free to explain in detail.

3) Rev. Wright also believes that the government created the HIV virus as a means of genocide against black people. Do you believe this as well? Again, explain in detail.

4) Rev. Wright stated that 9/11 was “America’s chickens home to roost”. Do you agree?

5) If you don’t agree with any of these positions, then I must ask again… why would you attend and why would you subject your daughters to these teachings?

6) Your website refers to William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn as respected members of the Chicago mainstream. Both are unrepentant domestic terrorists who still to this day advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government. What is your definition of “respected” and “mainstream”, and how do Ayers and Dohrn meet that definition?

7) In your San Francisco “bitter” comments you implied that bitterness at loss of jobs causes people to “cling” to guns, religion, etc. Has it ever crossed your mind that some of us go to church and worship God in good times and in bad? Perhaps not, given where you’ve gone to church… but my church isn’t all about grievances.

8) Also… is it possible that I support the 2nd Amendment, or have an opinion on illegal immigration, for reasons that have nothing to do with economic bitterness?

9) Many of your comments (bitter people clinging to religion, your capital gains tax position, your support of Rev. Wright’s liberation theology) seem to have a significant Marxist influence. Are you a Marxist?

10) You seem to surround yourself with people who have a low opinion of America (Wright, Ayers, Dohrn, Farrakhan, etc.) Even your wife has made several negative statements that had to be “explained” by your campaign. Why should we believe that you can lead and represent all Americans, not just those with racial, social and/or other grievances?

Texas Nick USN on April 25, 2008 at 8:28 PM

You think that’s a problem exclusive to ghetto families?

All the great stuff you are saying the Rev. Wright did may be true, but the same thing can be said about Elijah Mohammed, and Minister Farrakhan, or any Nation of Islam leader.

As for chickens coming home to roost, it was a direct quote from Malcolm X.

Buy Danish on April 25, 2008 at 7:56 PM

You’re right, MLK used it, but Malcolm X used it first.

Look the guy’s obviously a loon, but this obsession with him is ridiculous.

You guys won, Hillary is it, but don’t come crying when she pounds McCain into pudding, because that’s what the Clinton machine does.

AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 10:06 PM

When Shillbilly gets in and inacts the Fairness Doctrine immediately, we’ll see how you all feel.

And Rush.

AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 10:18 PM

Look the guy’s obviously a loon, but this obsession with him is ridiculous.
ArilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 10:06 PM

Really? Would you say the same thing about a neo-Nazi? You are cutting an extremist an awful lot of slack because you think he got the proverbial trains to run on time.

Buy Danish on April 25, 2008 at 11:17 PM

Look the guy’s obviously a loon, but this obsession with him is ridiculous.
ArilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 10:06 PM
Really? Would you say the same thing about a neo-Nazi? You are cutting an extremist an awful lot of slack because you think he got the proverbial trains to run on time.

Buy Danish on April 25, 2008 at 11:17 PM

Who has Wright, Obama, even Ayes and Dohrn exteriminated lately?

AprilOrit on April 26, 2008 at 12:32 AM

Who has Wright, Obama, even Ayes and Dohrn exteriminated lately?

Barak Obama’s chances of ever being president and his chances of keeping his senate seat.

Howie Dean basically stuck the fork in obama tonight.

Nahanni on April 26, 2008 at 1:08 AM

oh, I forgot to add the following….

/here is a hankie to dry your tears, April.

Nahanni on April 26, 2008 at 1:09 AM

Obama and Hillary are cut from the same bolt of fabric, though he was cut on the bias and she from the selvage.

Obama is reproach.

Hillary is a scoundrel.

maverick muse on April 26, 2008 at 9:26 AM

AprilOrit on April 26, 2008 at 12:32 AM

You are clearly indicating that it does not matter how despicable a person is, or how odious their ideas, as long as they work for the greater good and keep the ghettos running smoothly.

Buy Danish on April 26, 2008 at 10:17 AM

When Shillbilly gets in and inacts the Fairness Doctrine immediately, we’ll see how you all feel.

And Rush.

AprilOrit on April 25, 2008 at 10:18 PM

When the urban neighborhoods burn after your super delegates overthrow Obama, there will be nothing left of Hillary or the Democratic party to elect.

bloviator on April 26, 2008 at 1:06 PM

AprilOrit,

“Who cares how he did it[?]“

and

“Different strokes for different folks, if it works – to me that’s all that matters.”

This is known as “the end justifies the means” and is used by every terrorist gang in all of history to justify the evil that they perpetrate.

The end does NOT justify the means, because the means and the end are indistiguishable; the ‘end’ is never achieved; the ‘means’ just keep going on and on.

ss396 on April 26, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Special Delivery for AprilOrit.

Believe!

Buy Danish on April 26, 2008 at 6:03 PM

She brings new meaning to the word bombshell.

Barak Obama’s chances of ever being president and his chances of keeping his senate seat.

Why is he even in the senate? We can do so much better America.

Mojave Mark on April 27, 2008 at 11:34 AM

marxism and Islam are not mutually exclusive

Buy Danish on April 25, 2008 at 3:19 PM

Moreover, radical Marxists and radical Islamic terrorists both hate us and want to detroy us. They don’t have to share ideologies in order to be allies…

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”

Red Pill on April 27, 2008 at 9:23 PM

Why is he even in the senate? We can do so much better America.

Mojave Mark on April 27, 2008 at 11:34 AM

I believe Hillary helped him get his speaking spot at the 2004 Democrat Convention. I believe Hillary helped him get elected. I believe that Hillary intended from the beginning for him to be her VP running mate…someone who could help her win, but who would be to “green” to actually challenge her (or so she thought). She thought the combined identity politics ticket of “First Woman President and First Black Vice-President” would be unbeatable.

Red Pill on April 27, 2008 at 9:25 PM

So – according to Mz. Dohrn, “CAPITALISM” indeed HAS a gender!

However, she seems to have difficulty making up her mind ABOUT the gender of Capitalism, at first. She says:

“….capitalism ITSELF, HERSELF — capitalism HIMSELF!”

Sooooo – does that mean DEMOCRACY also has a Male Gender assignation in HER mind?

Just wondering……..

grtflmark on May 3, 2008 at 12:34 PM

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