HillBuzz saw this today: another voice speaking up, wondering how Obama could sit in Jeremiah Wright’s church for twenty years listening to his hate-fueled conspiracies and anti-American lunacy, without every speaking out against it or leaving the church. He also links Wright’s hatred of America to Michelle Obama’s own miseducation and lack of pride in a country that has done so much for her.
Where there is smoke there is generally fire. Obama’s wife has stated that for the first time in her life she is proud to be an American, even though she and her husband have done very well both professionally and financially in what she was obviously referring to as a white man’s America. Her statement had an ugly Rev. Wright tenor to it.
The question comes down to believability. Do you really believe Sen. Obama when he claims he has not ever heard the Rev. Wright unleash a torrent of inflammatory racist diatribe from the pulpit once in the 20 years he attended this church?
I may have been born at night, senator, but I was not born last night
HillBuzz predicts this issue is going to hit critical mass in North Carolina in the next few weeks, just in time for the primary. Already, we’ve been hearing a little buzz, buzz, buzz here and there, and everywhere.
Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama, and Al Sharpton all joined forces to condemn Don Imus for making his “nappy-headed” remark about the Rutgers basketball team. Imus was boneheaded (to borrow the phrase Obama uses to describe his twenty year relationship with indicted felon Antoin “Big Tony” Rezko in Chicago), but this was one remark, on one radio broadcast, which was immediately apologized for.
Jackson, Obama, and Sharpton lashed out at Imus, demanded his firing, and raised H-E-double hockey sticks to any media outlet that would listen. The Jackson-Obama-Sharpton show hit MSNBC, CNN, Fox, you name it. HillBuzz vaguely remembers this tempestuous trio banging pots, walking the streets at night, in guise of town criers, calling for Imus’ head.
Where was this trio for twenty years when Jeremiah Wright was shouting “God Damn America”? Where was their outrage when Wright told his congregation the US Government created AIDS to murder black people? Where were our town criers then?
Does that big “H” at Obama events stand for HOPE, or HYPOCRISY?
Swiftboating anyone? The titanic, hate-filled iceberg that is Jeremiah Wright and Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ has torn a gaping hole in Obama’s media showboat, Hope-tanic. It’s on a true collision course with destiny, and the distant behemoth, the USS John McCain.
“There will be two fundamental issues,” a top Republican operative told me over lunch a few weeks ago. “First, that Obama is way too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief, which is an argument that not only polls incredibly well but has the virtue of being true. And second, that he’s too liberal.” When I asked if that meant an attempt to turn Obama into the new Mike Dukakis, this strategist replied, “That’s right.”
When most of us recall the Dukakis campaign, what we remember (beyond that picture of the governor in a tank, looking like Rocky the Squirrel) is Willie Horton. But equally devastating was the insidious way that Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes managed to turn a pair of related trivialities—Dukakis’s membership in the ACLU and his veto of a bill that would have required all Massachusetts schoolchildren to recite the pledge of allegiance—into damning indictments of the governor’s patriotism.
Which brings us back to Obama. The hard guys of the Republican Party have no intention of trying to paint the hope- monger as a closet black nationalist. They intend to portray him as insufficiently allegiant to his nation. They will weave together Wright’s “God damn America” with Michelle Obama’s statement that this is the “first time” she has been “proud of my country,” Obama’s eschewal of the American-flag lapel pin, and a piece of video that captures him standing at a campaign event without his hand over his heart during the national anthem. And, in fact, a trio of right-wing activists have already thrown together a video doing just that: For a picture of what the fall campaign will look like, just go to YouTube and type in “Is Obama Wright?”
HillBuzz thinks “A Brilliant Fraud” should be the title of the next Barack Obama biography. And we love the name Krauthammer.
The beauty of a speech is that you don’t just give the answers, you provide your own questions. “Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.” So said Barack Obama, in his Philadelphia speech about his pastor, friend, mentor and spiritual adviser of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.
An interesting, if belated, admission. But the more important question is: which”controversial” remarks?
Wright’s assertion from the pulpit that the U.S. government invented HIV “as a means of genocide against people of color”? Wright’s claim that America was morally responsible for Sept. 11 — “chickens coming home to roost” — because of, among other crimes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? (Obama says he missed church that day. Had he never heard about it?) What about the charge that the U.S. government (of Franklin Roosevelt, mind you) knew about Pearl Harbor, but lied about it? Or that the government gives drugs to black people, presumably to enslave and imprison them?
Obama condemns such statements as wrong and divisive, then frames the next question: “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?”
But that is not the question. The question is why didn’t he leave that church? Why didn’t he leave — why doesn’t he leave even today — a pastor who thundered not once but three times from the pulpit (on a DVD the church proudly sells) “God damn America”? Obama’s 5,000-word speech, fawned over as a great meditation on race, is little more than an elegantly crafted, brilliantly sophistic justification of that scandalous dereliction.
His defense rests on two central propositions: (a) moral equivalence and (b) white guilt.
(a) Moral equivalence. Sure, says Obama, there’s Wright, but at the other “end of the spectrum” there’s Geraldine Ferraro, opponents of affirmative action and his own white grandmother, “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.” But did she shout them in a crowded theater to incite, enrage and poison others?
“I can no more disown [Wright] than I can my white grandmother.” What exactly was Grandma’s offense? Jesse Jackson himself once admitted to the fear he feels from the footsteps of black men on the street. And Harry Truman was known to use epithets for blacks and Jews in private, yet is revered for desegregating the armed forces and recognizing the first Jewish state since Jesus’s time. He never spread racial hatred. Nor did Grandma.
Yet Obama compares her to Wright. Does he not see the moral difference between the occasional private expression of the prejudices of one’s time and the use of a public stage to spread racial lies and race hatred?
(b) White guilt. Obama’s purpose in the speech was to put Wright’s outrages in context. By context, Obama means history. And by history, he means the history of white racism. Obama says, “We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country,” and then he proceeds to do precisely that. What lies at the end of his recital of the long train of white racial assaults from slavery to employment discrimination? Jeremiah Wright, of course.
This contextual analysis of Wright’s venom, this extenuation of black hate speech as a product of white racism, is not new. It’s the Jesse Jackson politics of racial grievance, expressed in Ivy League diction and Harvard Law nuance. That’s why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon: It bathed them in racial guilt while flattering their intellectual pretensions. An unbeatable combination.
But Obama was supposed to be new. He flatters himself as a man of the future transcending the anger of the past as represented by his beloved pastor. Obama then waxes rhapsodic about the hope brought by the new consciousness of the young people in his campaign. Then answer this, Senator: If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness? This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero.
It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright’s rants, but young people as well. Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?
Someone sent this tip into HillBuzz today: thanks for the buzz, buzz, buzz!
Three Myths About the Democratic Race
MYTH: Barack Obama is running a positive campaign that will unite Americans.
FACT: Barack Obama and his advisers have conducted a divisive “full assault” on Hillary’s character.
While talking a lot about the politics of hope, change and unity, Sen. Obama and his campaign have been conducting a relentless and singularly personal assault on Hillary’s character. They have blanketed big states with false negative mailers and radio ads and have described Hillary and her campaign as “disingenuous,” “divisive,” “untruthful,” “dishonest,” “polarizing,” “calculating,” “saying whatever it takes to win,” “attempting to deceive the American people,” “one of the most secretive in America,” “deliberately misleading,” “literally willing to do anything to win,” and “playing politics with war.”
This “full assault” on Hillary’s integrity and character has reached a new peak since Hillary’s victories on March 4th. One of Sen. Obama’s top surrogates equated President Clinton with Joe McCarthy; another called Hillary a “monster;” and his campaign manager held an angry conference call claiming that Hillary is “deeply flawed” and has “character issues.” That’s neither unifying nor hopeful. If Sen. Obama really is the prohibitive favorite some say he is, these negative attacks make absolutely no sense. Why would a frontrunner seek to attack and divide? If Sen. Obama can’t unify Democrats in a primary, how can he unify Americans in a general election?
MYTH: The delegate “math” works decisively against Hillary.
FACT: The delegate math reflects an extremely close race that either candidate can win.
“The Math” is actually very simple: with hundreds of delegates still uncommitted, NEITHER candidate has reached the number of delegates required to secure the nomination. And EITHER candidate can reach the required number in the coming weeks and months. That is indisputable. No amount of editorials, articles, blog posts, charts, graphs, calculations, formulas, or projections will change the basic fact that either candidate can win. Pundits who confidently proclaim that Hillary has no hope of winning because of “the math,” have counted Hillary out of this race three times before. Each time they based their sober assessments on ‘facts’ and ‘realities’ — and each time they were wrong.
In a campaign with dozens of unexpected twists and turns, bold prognostications should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism. Look no further than Sen. Obama’s “full assault” on Hillary’s character to judge whether he thinks this election is over. The fact is this: Hillary and Sen. Obama are locked in a very close, hard-fought campaign and Hillary is demonstrating precisely the strength of character required of a president. Her resilience in the face of adversity, her faith in the voters, her capacity to rise to every challenge, are part of the reason she is the best general election candidate for Democrats. And it is why she is increasingly strong against John McCain in the polls at the same time that Sen. Obama is dropping against Sen. McCain.
MYTH: For Hillary to win, super delegates must “overturn the will of the people.”
FACT: The race is virtually tied, the “will of the people” is split, and both candidates need super delegates to win.
The Obama campaign and Sen. Obama’s surrogates have engaged in a sustained public relations effort to convince people that the election is over and that if super delegates perform their established role of choosing a candidate who they believe will make the best nominee and president, they are somehow “overturning the will of the people.” They have the audacity to make this argument while quietly and systematically courting those very same super delegates. They are courting them because they know that Sen. Obama needs super delegates to win. The Obama spin is being parroted daily by pundits, but it is patently false. The race is virtually tied; the “will of the people” is split. By virtually every measure, Hillary and Sen. Obama are neck and neck — separated by less than 130 of the more than 3,100 delegates committed thus far and less than 1% of the 27 million+ votes cast, including Florida and Michigan. Less than 1%.
An incremental advantage for one candidate or the other is hardly a reason for super delegates to change the rules mid-game. Despite the Obama campaign’s aggressive spin and pressure, the RULES require super delegates to exercise their best independent judgment, and that is what they will do. Even Sen. Obama’s top strategist agrees they should.
If not, then why don’t prominent Obama endorsers like Senators Kerry (MA) and Kennedy (MA), and Governors Patrick (MA), Napolitano (AZ) and Richardson (NM) follow the will of their constituents and switch their support to Hillary? After all, she won their states. And if this is truly about the “will of the people,” then Sen. Obama’s short-sighted tactic to run out the clock on a revote in Florida and Michigan accomplishes exactly two things: it disenfranchises Florida and Michigan’s voters; and it hurts Democrats in a general election.
Apparently, for the Obama campaign, the “will of the people” is just words.
HillBuzz loves alternate history as much as the next bee. Harry Turtledove and The Two Georges. Robin Gerber’s Eleanor vs. Ike. Dougal Dixon’s alternate zoology. All great, imaginative reads; yarns spun in magical worlds diametrically opposed to the realities of our own.
But, as learned as we are, HillBuzz has never heard of the Roman News Network. Maybe that’s because we don’t spend any time at Trinity United Church of Christ (Obama’s church and spiritual mecca). There’s a new pastor in town, now that Jeremiah Wright has “retired”. Pastor Otis Motts III trumpeted against the Roman News Network at Easter Services this Sunday. He also claimed Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright is a victim of lynching.
The church Barack Obama still belongs to, and which Oprah Winfrey belonged to (until just this month — hey Oprah, don’t think we didn’t notice you there!), has a new preacher who seems just as inspired as Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright. But, Obama says “there is nothing actually particularly controversial” about this church. We’d need a whole lot of Hopium to believe that.
Somewhere, John McCain, and the collective GOP, smiles.
Are porcupines and lemmings related?
Strapping, handsome war hero John McCain.
This is who the Democrats will be up against in the fall. While the Hope-tanic sinks from its Wright-berg wounds, McCain’s branding as POW-W.O.W. has begun.
An officer and a gentleman, versus The Pope of Hope.
Who do you think will win?
HILLARY’S PLAN TO PROTECT AMERICA’S HOMEOWNERS
*Over a year ago, Hillary offered an aggressive series of proposals toaddress the subprime crisis. But what started out as a subprime mortgagecrisis has now become a national credit crisis, rippling out from banks andboard rooms to businesses and living rooms across America.
*2.2 million foreclosure notices went out last year – up 75 percent from2006. And today, tens of millions of families have lost value in theirhomes. American families have lost at least 1.9 trillion dollars in housingwealth so far – nearly two-thirds of the size of the entire U.S. governmentbudget.
*In these uncertain times, we need a President who is ready to confrontcomplex economic problems with comprehensive solutions. A President whowill act at the first signs of trouble, working to prevent crises, ratherthan just reacting to them once it’s too late. We need a President who isready on day one to be Commander-in-Chief of our economy. Hillary will bethat President.
*Over the past week, we’ve seen the Federal Reserve took unprecedentedmeasures to rescue Wall Street, the likes of which we haven’t seen since theGreat Depression. It’s now time for equally aggressive action to helpfamilies avoid foreclosure and keep communities across this country fromspiraling into recession.
*Hillary’s four part plan to Protect American Homeowners will help familieskeep their homes and help communities hard hit by the housing crisis getback on their feet.
*Her plan starts with an aggressive new effort to help millions of at-riskfamilies restructure their mortgages and stay in their homes. Hillarysupports new legislation proposed by Representative Barney Frank and SenatorChris Dodd that would expand the government’s capacity to stand behindmortgages that are reworked on affordable terms.
*But given the severity of today’s housing crisis, simply facilitating thisauction process might not be enough to get our economy moving again. That’swhy she believes the Federal Housing Administration should also stand readyto be a temporary buyer – to purchase, restructure, and resell underwatermortgages. This would not require a single new government bureaucracy, andit would be designed to cost taxpayers nothing in the long run.
*Second, Hillary is calling on President Bush to appoint an emergencyworking group on foreclosures. We simply cannot wait until Congress passeslegislation to find the best way to help millions of families restructuretheir mortgages on affordable terms. Hillary wrote President Bush and urgedhim to convene an Emergency Working Group on Foreclosures that could be ledby a distinguished, non-partisan group of economic leaders like AlanGreenspan, Paul Volcker and Robert Rubin.
*This is the kind of proactive, pragmatic step that would restore confidencethat our President was taking our economic crisis seriously. This is thekind of leadership Hillary will bring to the White House.
*The third part of the plan is a new housing stimulus package, to provide$30 billion directly to states and localities hard hit by the crisis. Justover a month ago, Congress passed, and President Bush signed, a $168 billionstimulus package. But this package did next to nothing to help homeownersand communities struggling with foreclosure. Congress is trying to combat arecession caused by the housing crisis without doing anything to addressthat crisis.
*If the Fed can extend $30 billion to help Bear Stearns address theirfinancial crisis, the federal government should provide at least that muchemergency assistance to help families and communities address theirs.
*Finally, Hillary called for new legislation to clarify the legal liabilityfor mortgage companies, which will make it easier for them to work withborrowers to help them stay in their homes.
“F*ck Saddam. We’re taking him out.”
~ March 2002, one year before the Iraq invasion, as quoted by Time magazine