Sunday Open Thread, No Topic Limitations

For the past week, I've refused to allow comments about Rev. Jeremiah Wright because the comments section became filled with accusations about racism and this site doesn't allow such accusations, name-calling or personal attacks. I just didn't want to spend the time monitoring comments when I could be spending that time blogging or on other activities. I still don't.

But, I'm hoping the emotionalism has died down and I'm now willing to give readers a chance to express their views, so long as they don't call people racists or engage in personal attacks on each other or public figures.

This is an experiment. It's an open thread where all topics are welcome. Let's see what happens. I hope it stays civil.

Update: Comments well over 200, our usual limit. Time to close the thread. Thanks everyone.

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    If Hillary will do anything to win (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:22:47 PM EST
    as has been claimed, then she would "question" Obama's "judgment" in associating with people like Rezko and Jeremiah Wright.

    On Fox News this morning, Bill Kristol was complaining because the Clinton campaign was NOT making an issue of Wright.

    I personally hope she does not go there.

    But I do believe it puts the lie to the outlandish, outrageous and false claims by the likes of Ezra Klein and Josh Marshall trying to claim Clinton was the cause of or behind the Wright issue.

    The performance of the Left blogs in this contest has been disgusting and disgraceful.

    Simple ad (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by badger on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:39:44 PM EST
    (supply your own graphics - imagine the typical negative ad voiceover announcer)

    "Barack Hussein Obama ...

    "His pastor says 'God Damn America' [Wright]

    "One of his friends declared war on America {Bernardine Dohrn]

    "Another friend bombed government buildings [Bill Ayers]

    "Another preaches hatred against homosexuals [McClurkin]

    "Another is under indictment for raising campaign funds illegally for Barack Obama [Rezko]

    "And his top advisor is in the inner circle of Chicago's notorious Daley political machine [Axelrod]

    "Do you want Barack Obama and his friends running your government?"


    Would John McCain approve this message? Or would he just rely on a 527?


    I'm a bit uncomfortable with this... (3.00 / 2) (#52)
    by white n az on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:48:56 PM EST
    Dohrn and Ayers are not friends but are residents of the Hyde Park area, acquaintances of other Obama's acquaintances and there's no real link between them other than being at the same party(ies).

    McClurkin is just another preacher jamming his point of view and not really related to Obama in any meaningful way.

    Axelrod is well, Axelrod and certainly nothing that he need to apologize for.

    So we are really talking about Rezko and Wright.

    Rezko - details still emerging and does call into question the issues that Obama refers to as 'judgment'.

    Wright - Black America understands Jeremiah Wright and white America never will. Clearly that is why Obama tried to distance himself at the very beginning of his announcement as candidate but his ties to Wright cannot be easily dismissed...even the title of his book, "Audacity of Hope" came from Wright. Obama apparently called him a mentor and a role model. The significance of all this is for the rest of America to decide. Best to get this all out now because this clearly is going to be front page stuff in any general election that pits Obama against McCain.

    Will America be repulsed?  Too soon to tell


    As I recall, Obama has referred to Ayers (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:54:49 PM EST
    as a friend.  

    Obama campaign invited McClurkin to join the tour; McClurkin is a Grammy winner, at one time sd. he was homosexual, presently says he is not and that, through religious intervention, homosexuals can convert to heterosexual.  


    as someone who came of age in the 60's (1.00 / 1) (#88)
    by white n az on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:01:12 PM EST
    I don't mind Ayers (or Dohrn) a bit.

    That said, I have never seen a reference to where he called Ayers a friend. He is of course, a colleague since he too teaches at UofC.

    As to homosexual conversions...the whole religion thing seems to pander to stupid assertions that defy rational thought. McClurkin just seems to be an oddity that isn't worthy of too much discussion unless you are questioning Obama's commitment to the LGBT community.


    Nope (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by badger on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:11:10 PM EST
    Dohrn/Ayers held a house party for Obama during his first campaign (they live in his district) and Ayers donated $200. Ayers teaches at the University of Illinois - Chicago, not the University of Chicago (and Dohrn teaches law at Northwestern, and grew up a couple miles down the road from me).

    Obama's campaign specifically invited McClurkin (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:22:24 PM EST
    to appear at the SC event. I don't think it can be dismissed as an "oddity". For me, that was the turning point when I knew I could not support Obama and would switch to Hillary instead (I had been suporting Edwards). Obama's use of McClurkin smacks of pandering of the most vile kind.

    We have a gay-hating preacher here in the NW (Ken Hutcherson) who's been trying to retaliate against Microsoft for its progressive domestic partnership benefits policies. I can assure you, there isn't a Democrat in the state of Washington that would dare be seen with Hutcherson, much less invite him to headline one of their fundraisers!

    The wink-wink stuff from the Obama campaign is destructive, in my view. He deserves to be called out for it, long and loud.


    words matter - associates do too (none / 0) (#137)
    by Josey on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:20:04 PM EST
    Who are Obama's associates? (see list above)
    Associates matter.

    Who are Hillary's associates?
    Have any of them been accused of maintaining anti-American views?


    I mind. I thought the female (none / 0) (#156)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:28:21 PM EST
    who was finally arrested and imprisoned after living in the Midwest for years, doing vol. work, appearing community theatre, raising a couple of kids, etc., was justly punished for her involvement in violent acts which killed others.  

    I think you will find... (none / 0) (#207)
    by white n az on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:55:08 PM EST
    that she is unapologetic for her 'crimes'

    that she wasn't charged for many of those 'crimes'

    that there are lot of people who will decry any association with either Dohrn or Ayers...I'm not one of them.


    i listened to rev wright and am (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:08:07 PM EST
    disgusted. if you think others won't be, then color me amazed. it is very bad for the general election.

    Sure (3.50 / 2) (#68)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:52:55 PM EST
    but there is an "insidious pattern" as David Axelrod might say.

    The point is that there is enough plausibility for the right wing to base an attack on all this stuff.  I assume none of us genuinely believe that Barack Obama secretly harbors an anti-American agenda.


    of course not (none / 0) (#180)
    by Josey on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:41:16 PM EST
    but John Edwards didn't routinely get $400 haircuts, BUT...

    John Edwards (none / 0) (#186)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:43:42 PM EST
    Got smeared as mean and not truly genuine with his populist message. He should have hired Axelrod, the advertising guy.

    Then Edwards would be channeling (5.00 / 1) (#217)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:07:55 PM EST
    Deval Patrick.

    I don't believe any of it, but ... (none / 0) (#81)
    by badger on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:59:09 PM EST
    do you think Michael Dukakis intentionally released Willie Horton so he could rape and kill? And the opportunity Dukakis got to address it was "What would you do if Kitty Dukakis was raped?" in one of the debates.

    Is there anything in the ad above that isn't true (other than 'friend' may be stretching it in a couple of cases)?

    My imaginary ad above is a little crude (although I could see Limbaugh running down that list), but I assume McCain will employ professionals if he chooses to go that route.


    clearly (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by white n az on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:06:08 PM EST
    this is 527 territory so McCain can keep his hands clean. Did we not see the trajectory in 2004?

    Actually McClurkin ties into the (none / 0) (#98)
    by DaleA on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:04:24 PM EST
    AA church. Rev Wright does not preach homophobia. Quite the contrary, his congregation reaches out to lesbians and gays. Which is in line with UCC practice. But this is very rare for any AA religious organization. Based on what Obama supporters told me at the great orange, the AA church is very homophobic. And according to them, this is something we need to live with. Strange to realize that Rev Wright may be one of the more tolerant AA preachers.

    And I have to ask (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by caseyOR on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:41:30 PM EST
    Why do we have to live with this? When did it become acceptable for progressives to support bigotry? It seems to me that we are being told to give up many progressives values to enable what is, I guess, the greater good that is Obama. Once we go down that road how long and how difficult will our journey back be for us?

    Maybe Rev Wight is tolerant (5.00 / 1) (#223)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:19:01 PM EST
    of homosexuals so he can blame HIV/AIDs as a white genocidal conspiracy against AA's - instead of preaching to stay monogamous and wear a cond*m.

    How can Obama CHANGE Washington, DC,  when after 20 years, he didn't CHANGE Rev Wright?


    You Are High (none / 0) (#226)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:25:03 PM EST
    So should HRC's leadership be called into question because her priest still believes in religious fairytales and hocus pocus.

    A 527 of course (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:40:49 PM EST
    You think anyone would be immune from 527's? (none / 0) (#67)
    by zzyzx on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:52:42 PM EST
    Heck, I bet they have stuff ready to go against Gravel in case the Gravelance happens.  If we're worried that there might be an opposition ad demonizing our candidate, there's quite a few lines of attack to be used against Clinton too.

    No candidate is going to be perfect.  The Republicans aren't going to give us the election for free.  The fact that all they can find with Obama is guilt by association is pretty impressive.   No Obama isn't going to win the hardcore Republicans, but if that ad is enough to swing the voters, then we might as well stop caring because we're doomed no matter what.


    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by badger on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:05:32 PM EST
    but your argument is quite different from the one I've seen on blogs for months now which is the argument that "the GOP will put Hillary's past through a meat grinder, but Obama if pure and free of all this kind of stuff".

    And in fact HIllary can definitively answer all of that in a single sentence: "Ken Starr spent millions of dollars investigating all of those allegations and found they were all false".

    How does Obama answer those charges in less than 30 minutes?


    Hillary and Bill (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by Josey on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:48:03 PM EST
    have been accused of many things - some of them warranted. But they've even been falsely accused by Obama followers as being "racists."
    But I don't think either has ever been labeled "anti-America."

    Ah, (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Mary Mary on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:54:07 PM EST
    you forget. The first Bush admin made a big deal about Bill Clinton going to Russia when he was a student.

    Best defense... (none / 0) (#201)
    by zzyzx on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:53:04 PM EST
    ...is a good offense.  Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.  "I don't think anyone would mind if we were in Iraq for 10,000 years."  

    Look, is there a chance this attack could work?  Sure.  After 2004, I learned to never overestimate the American people.  However, I think it would work mainly on people who are looking for a reason to dislike Obama.

    The problem is that there are so few policy differences between Clinton and Obama that this primary is being based on style.  Come November, there will be a lot more ways that we can attack.  It's one thing to worry about who really is going to look at NAFTA and who is posing, it's another thing when you have an opponent who is actively defending NAFTA.


    Badger, add this to the list (none / 0) (#230)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:34:18 PM EST
    Clinton camp will stay mute on this (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Grey on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:51:02 PM EST
    And that is the absolutely right thing to do.

    FOX News has been talking about the Rev. Wright for more than a year; trying to make this some kind of Clinton oppo research dump is ludicrous and just plain wrong on the facts - which is not the say that facts have ever stopped the likes of Ezra Klein and Josh Marshall from making everything Clinton's fault.


    Yes indeed (4.83 / 6) (#10)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:31:51 PM EST
    For Clinton to make an issue of Wright would be perceived as a Sista Souljah moment aimed at the institution of the black church itself.

    It would be insane for her to demagogue Obama's minister for votes.  Even her surrogates have been on their best behavior.  You better believe the word went out.

    The Right, with the cooperation of the Hillary-haters on the left, has done a great job of smearing Obama during this primary while leaving Hillary's fingerprints all over it.

    They did this when the Washington Times ran with the madrassa smear several months ago, claiming that Hillary's people had been pushing the story.  Somehow people decided that while they were lying about every detail of the underlying story, they were 100% credible when they blamed Hillary for it.

    They did this just a few weeks ago when Drudge blamed the Clinton campaign for pushing the turban picture.  Once again, certain people on the left decided that Drudge was a 100% credible source.  Shamefully, Obama himself went around Mississippi blaming the Clinton campaign for that one, based upon nothing more than an uncorroborated report by Drudge.

    The Wright thing is certainly one of the roughest attacks the right wing will be able to levy against Obama.  Of course Bill Kristol wants to be able to launch the attack and blame Hillary for it at the same time!  Sorry, not gonna happen.


    Primaries are for the purpose (none / 0) (#111)
    by Josey on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:08:54 PM EST
    of selecting the best nominee for the General. Who can best beat McCain?
    But it appears, Obama supporters are only focused on primary season and "beat the B!" - not the General. Or maybe I've missed all the articles and diaries explaining Obama's vast advantages over McCain - and WHY Obama would win.
    Wright's and Michelle Obama's "anti-America" comments will be an issue in the General against POW "Mr. America" McCain.
    But it's the Dem delegate count that matters - right??

    I also think (4.25 / 4) (#11)
    by spit on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:32:10 PM EST
    Clinton is very wise not to touch this one. And I bet she's figuring out, as we speak, how to answer questions about it at the next debate -- that's tricky for her, too, and I'd be willing to bet the media will do another of its "itching to get the candidates to fight" lines of questioning.

    She's smart not to say anything (none / 0) (#6)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:27:13 PM EST
    The way things have been going, Wright is a huge issue, but if Clinton comments or is found to have been involved in any way the story will become all about her campaign's involvement. This is one of those times when all she needs to do is keep her mouth shut and exercise control over her campaign staff. Of course, eventually somebody who supports Clinton will comment and the whole story will turn toward her anyway, but the longer it is Obama's story, the better.

    oh there are ways to bring it out in (none / 0) (#94)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:02:48 PM EST
    a subtle manner. question his choices and speak to the divison of religeon and state. talk about moderation for those who are divisve.

    That would be a huge error (none / 0) (#154)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:26:07 PM EST
    A lot of American's don't want too much division between religion and state. Sad, but true. If she even hints at this, it becomes "her" issue, not Obama's. If Clinton could pull it off, it would be ideal if she could just leave the country for a few days. She can't, of course, but she has to simply keep hammering on the same topics she has been. The media are doing plenty of questioning of Obama's choices right now. She just has to keep her mouth shut and see what happens. This will play out without her involvement.

    yup a lot of people would love (none / 0) (#178)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:39:47 PM EST
    to try and pin it on her for sure. i think faux will carry the torch. i watched hannity one night interview rev wright. he didn't go to the sermons but questioned him on other issues. i found the reverend to be hostile but excused it due to hannity being hannity. now i can see faux is waiting for the go ahead for this and will use it.

    Could someone delineate (none / 0) (#9)
    by Fabian on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:31:14 PM EST
    the differences between candidates, their campaigns, their campaign staff and the official definition of "surrogate"?

    The one talking point over at the Orange that drives me to distraction is that A Certain Campaign is responsible for every news report, story or commentary criticizing (aka "attacking") A Certain Candidate via leaks, surrogates and other covert means.

    It sounds like serious tinfoil territory to me to suggest that anyone can control the media to that extent, yet some apparently believe anything that fits into their chosen narrative.

    So what can we correctly attribute to a campaign?  Comments by the candidates, certainly.  How loosely connected can a person be and still considered objectively a "surrogate"?


    You focus on Daily Kos (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:36:32 PM EST
    which I think is a mistake. Rabble rousing has always been the order of the day, admittedly never so against a fellow Dem.

    the real villains in the blogs are the so called respectable blogs - TPM, Ezra Klein, TAPPED, etc. they have blatantly told falsehoods about Hillary Clinton.

    I'll be honest, if not for Jeralyn's distaste for interblog critiques, I would be blasting Josh Marshall on a daily basis.

    I believe his behavior is easily the most despicable of any blogger.

    Kos, Aravosis, et al, they are what they are. Their site do what they do. Josh Marshall pretended to be something different. He is not. He is a charlatan.  


    charlatan is name-calling (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:40:16 PM EST
    please don't do that.

    What word would be appropriate for it? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:42:19 PM EST
    How about this? His work in this campaign has been disingenuous, misleading, biased and offensive.

    Would that be acceptable?  


    if you prefaced it with (none / 0) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:49:06 PM EST
    "I believe" it would be okay.

    I believe his work in this campaign has been disingenuous, misleading, biased and offensive.

    You would then be criticizing his work, not him as a person and stating it as a belief not fact.  


    I believe all of that (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:06:00 PM EST
    I believe TPM has been an unreliable,. biased, sexist and offensive media outlet in this contest.

    For all the complaining about Daily Kos, the real outrages have come from TPM, TAPPED and other "respectable" outlets.


    come on! (none / 0) (#93)
    by Deconstructionist on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:02:27 PM EST
      The additiona of a superfluous, "I believe" or "in my opinion" etc. changes nothing.

      People are either writing what they believe or what they desire  for other people to think they believe. Adding unnecessary qualifiers   simply makes it more tedious reading.

      Refraining from using a certain word and instead writing  a greater number of words that reflect the definition of the word forgone also just makes for more tedious reasoning.



    works for me (none / 0) (#59)
    by white n az on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:50:06 PM EST
    Not "focus" (none / 0) (#95)
    by Fabian on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:03:15 PM EST
    More "experience".  I don't read all the blogs - that's a tough job!

    The narrative that everything can be traced back to A Certain Campaign is hard to swallow objectively - no matter who believes it or which blog it is posted on.  It's one of the narratives that made me doubt the critical thinking abilities of commenters - and more than one diarist.


    "Surrogate" is anybody who speaks... (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:34:54 PM EST
    ...officially for a candidate. There is no official list. A campaign official or family member who is campaigning would obviously qualify, as would anybody who is presented at a campaign event or in a commercial. But it has been stretched to mean "anybody even remotely associated with the campaign", at least in part because of the right wing strategy of using people who aren't directly associated with the campaign to plant rumors (which gives them "plausible deniability").  

    Some people seem to think that Clinton is a master strategist who is able to parse every work coming out of her mouth to maximize it's damage, control the media flow, and use right-wing tactics without ever getting caught. The irony is that somehow they always "catch" her in her machinations, even though she is incredibly subtle. If she really were as good at manipulating the media message as they seem to believe, I can't understand why she gets caught so often.


    Advocate Is A Synonym For Surrogate (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:39:42 PM EST
    And delegate is one of the definitions. Connotations are another thing and I think that is what you are bothered by.

    Personally... (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by DudeE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:49:14 PM EST
    ...my view of the term 'surrogate' is that it's reserved for 'those who speak on behalf of...'

    IMO, it's been too broadly construed to where anyone who even supports the candidate - no matter how distant from the campaign - is presumed to be speaking for the candidate.  


    Does this help? From Obama's (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:49:39 PM EST
    speech yesterday:

    "I noticed over the last several weeks that the forces of division have started to raise their ugly heads again. And I'm not here to cast blame or point fingers because everybody, you know, senses that there's been this shift," Obama said.

    Yes it has. (none / 0) (#70)
    by jere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:54:23 PM EST
    re: Wright (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by spit on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:30:02 PM EST
    I'm personally sticking to political implications. The other stuff gets waaaay too charged, IMO.

    And I'm agnostic as to how much it'll wind up hurting Obama's campaign; certainly it could hurt badly if it starts to damage his coalition, or it could wash over. It'll take a few days to filter into polling, IMO. Certainly, he couldn't ask for better timing, if something like this was going to happen -- lots of time to pick back up. So the questions for the politics of it all are, how deep will it cut, and how much staying power does it have? For the latter, it also matters whether the campaign itself gets thrown off balance at all by the thing, for which I'm again taking a "wait and see" approach.

    I'm of two minds as to whether his tactic of going out on damage control on all the stations Friday was smart or foolish, too. On the one hand, it can make the story bigger, get more time and circulation for the videos, etc. On the other hand, ignoring it wouldn't make it go away, either, nor will declaring it a "nonstory" as many of his supporters online wanted to do earlier.

    I believe the problem with his statements (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:32:51 PM EST
    are the insistence that he never heard Wright say anything like what has been highlighted.

    It seems inevitable to me that more will emerge and Obama's claim to ignorance will become untenable.

    There was a reason Obama was keeping Wright away from his campaign - he was aware of Wright's inflammatory rhetoric. Denying that will become an issue when a new statement is revealed, as it inevitably will.


    It seemed Gary Hart-ish ... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:38:08 PM EST
    when he denied ever hearing such views either in person or from the pew.

    It invites the press to go searching, and attempt to prove that statement is a lie.

    Did his renunciation really need that assertion?


    imo (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:39:49 PM EST

    One thing for sure though, Obama has gotten kid gloves treatment on this by the Media. My Media Darling theory is holding strong so far.


    Maybe he was sleeping during the (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:41:59 PM EST

    Did not know (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:49:32 PM EST
    "Was not brought to his attention" Two elements of the Wright and Rezko events. 1. He did not hear any of that language or did not know about it. 2. He did not know Rezko was in financial trouble with his buildings starting in 97. Sun Time interview the last 15 minutes. Wow, what does he know?

    Agreed (none / 0) (#16)
    by spit on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:35:58 PM EST
    if it comes out that he did know full well what Wright was saying in any of these instances, he's got a much deeper problem.

    I don't personally think for a minute he didn't have any clue, but the political question is whether there's anybody who's going to step forward with a statement that contradicts him on it.


    There are audiotapes out there (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:38:41 PM EST
    Frankly, I think the Right Wing is now waiting for the proper moment to pull them out.

    He already wrote about Wright's sermon... (none / 0) (#105)
    by DudeE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:07:01 PM EST
    ...in his books.  I can't help but think Obama has been emboldened by a slack media.  Why say something that can be so demonstrably disproven unless you think the press will just let it go?

    Rich Lowry at NRO

    "In the book, Obama makes it clear that Wright when he first got to know him was pretty much the same Wright we're getting to know now...

    Reverend Wright explained..."It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks' greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere"


    Pastor Inspires Obama's 'Audacity'

    In his 1993 memoir "Dreams from My Father," Obama recounts in vivid detail his first meeting with Wright in 1985. The pastor warned the community activist that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church's radical reputation.


    i went to the church web site last night. (none / 0) (#123)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:13:27 PM EST
    the tapes aren't for sale on there. i don't know if they were removed or what. i wasn't planning on ordering any but was curious.

    They must have been removed. (none / 0) (#129)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:16:45 PM EST
    I don't blame them.

    well it is too late. you can rest assured the (none / 0) (#152)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:25:34 PM EST
    right wing already has them. i noticed on the news that pastor wright has resigned from the campaign also. toooooooooooo late, way too late!

    If this is true (none / 0) (#131)
    by nashville on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:17:33 PM EST
    They will wait to pull them out & totally discredit him AFTER he has locked up the Dem nomnation.  That is my fear!  C'mon press do your investigative jobs.  But I gues even if you, Clinton will get creit for it :)

    Well (none / 0) (#18)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:36:13 PM EST
    Obama's supporters on the blogs are already telling us that What Obama Really Meant was that he never heard those few specific statements that have been quoted on the news.

    Like you, I don't believe this bit of parsing will wash, but they do a great job of convincing themselves.


    And then he will have to deny (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:37:58 PM EST
    having heard all the other statements sure to come out.

    IT will become untenable.


    Isn't that the same as (none / 0) (#159)
    by badger on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:30:27 PM EST
    "I didn't inhale"? Or is it more like "I never had sex with that woman"?

    He Is Already On Record Of Knowing (none / 0) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:51:49 PM EST
    that Wright's sermons might damage his political aspirations via NYT article 3/07. See my comment above. I guess he could say that he didn't know how rough but not sure that will fly.

    Personally, I think that this will drip, drip. drip out in the media and will definitely be the focus of 527 ads if Obama is the nominee.

    Personal opinion, this will not play well across the country, but I've been wrong before so who knows.


    But he didn't (none / 0) (#233)
    by echinopsia on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:41:05 PM EST
    Obama was keeping Wright away from his campaign

    Wright was a member of the campaign's spiritual advisory committee.

    Sure, not much more of a "key official" than Geraldine Ferraro was for being a member of the large Clinton finance committee BUT -

    it's the word "advisory" in the committee name that makes it more damning. Gerry raised money. Wright was a trusted adviser for the campaign and for the past 20 years of Obama's life.

    I don't think he can shake this. I think he's toast.


    Whoo hooo - This is the biggest thing to happen... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:45:22 PM EST
    ...in this election so far. Seriously. My local paper is a small town outfit that focuses almost exclusively on local news. They throw in a few regional and national stories, but our community is very diverse and they tend to avoid divisive politics (they have an even balance of liberal and conservative columns on the editorial page). So, I was shocked when they reported Obama's denunciation of Wright's words. It was a small story on the inside, but they hardly cover national politics at all.

    This is big. Obama's spiritual advisor for 20 years said some very hateful things about America and Obama he didn't stand up to him, didn't leave him, and didn't seriously denounce him until others made it an issue. I can understand why he didn't, but ... on top of the Rezko thing and Michelle Obama's questionable wording about it being the first time she had been proud of America (I doubt she meant it the way it sounds), this is going to put a serious dent in Obama's credibility. It's possible that this will blow over and Obama will become the golden child again, but he is tainted.

    I don't know if this will have enough of an effect to change the primary, but it could. It is a very good thing that it is coming out right now, because if Obama still wins the primary then this is going to be a major factor in the general election. This is part of how the right will inspire their voter's to come out in droves against Obama. People assume that right-wingers will stay home because they hate McCain, but the right is already promoting McCain (quite convincingly - it must be choking them as they do it) and their people are unifying behind him. Meanwhile, Obama's negatives are about 50% and climbing. We'll see.

    It's not just right-wingers (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by stillife on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:02:18 PM EST
    I can easily envision certain segments of the Democratic base being so turned off by the Wright connection that they stay home or vote for McCain in the GE if Obama is the nominee.  It won't play in Peoria and I don't think it'll even play well in my home state of NY which has been solidly blue for many years but is nevertheless a pretty conservative state outside of NYC.  Regardless of what I personally think of Wright's message, anti-Semitism (real or perceived) is a big deal here, and 9/11 is always a touchy issue for those of us who actually lived through it.  If the Republicans play this up in the GE (and they will, trust), NY could very well go red in November.  

    This hurts with moderates of all stripes (none / 0) (#144)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:22:34 PM EST
    I think that most liberals can understand Wright's anger if they think about it, and can certainly understand Obama's reluctance to insult a man of Wright's power, influence, and wisdom. But this hurts among the moderates and "red, white, and blue forever" independents. I don't think it would be serious enough to turn strongly blue states red, but it might make a difference in some critical areas, if Obama can't defuse this bomb.

    How about adding Asians and Latinos (none / 0) (#146)
    by DaleA on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:23:03 PM EST
    to those appalled by this. There goes California. No one with this sort of association would be acceptable to them. 'God damn America' will not play with Asians and Latinos here.

    it won't play well in all communities. (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:35:11 PM EST
    the koolaid drinkers of course will excuse it. but the damage is done. as i saw already posted here could have pocketed his ambition and made a play for the veep position. in 8 years the re scandal would be old hat like white water is and will stay. he could have found a new church with less controversy. rev wright would have been retired for awhile. but no he just had to do it now and face an almost certain defeat. what is it with dems? do they like defeat? i wonder.

    Add that to the fact (none / 0) (#172)
    by stillife on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:36:18 PM EST
    that McCain is already popular with Latinos.

    And independents and moderates (5.00 / 1) (#212)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:02:16 PM EST
    McCain is very charismatic, in a low key non-flashy kind of way. He has a reputation as a moderate and honest man. He isn't quite as moderate as his reputation, but candidates run on their reputation, not reality.

    Thank you for the opportunity (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by nashville on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:47:24 PM EST
    to get some civil feedback on the pastor issue.

    This issue essentially broke wide open on Friday. I, however, just find it lacking credibility that 1) the MSM didn't already know of this or 2) the Clinton campaign did not know of it.  For the past day and a half I have just been shaking my head in disbelief that this stuff is just coming out now.

    And I couldn't believe on MTP when both Bradley and Lowey refused to discuss the pastor issue. Russert let it rest. Then Russert kept pressing Lowey on Ferraro.  What's the deal!?! Not exactly fair & balanced.

    IMO (and believe me I could be way wrong) I believe this issue in a deal breaker for the GE.  I am really worried. I hope I am wrong...I think.  

    Unfortunately I don't want our country led by someone who espouses, OR tolerates, the views expressed in those sermons.  Crazy Tweety said it best when quoting Tip o'Neil.  Can't remember the quote, but to paraphrase, if you're a political leader sitting in church and you hear something that inflammatory. You get up RIGHT then, walk to the center aisle, do an about face and march out.  Otherwise doubts about your sincerity in your repudiation will linger.

    Again thanks for the civil discussion.  I'm looking forward to gaining understanding on this.

    I think that difference is telling (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:49:24 PM EST
    Ferraro at the end of the day is a nonissue.

    All Dems recognize that Wright is something altogether different.


    of course (none / 0) (#73)
    by white n az on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:55:19 PM EST
    and yet, Obama himself was decrying Ferraro's statements which I thought was uncharacteristically stupid.

    Judging by the Sunday morning talking news shows, this issue is not going away any time soon either.


    Ferraro (none / 0) (#77)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:56:55 PM EST
    Was another Axelrod false diversion, he knew the Wright stuff was coming, so he amplified the Ferraro comment to a small paper to be a big national issue. Diversions.

    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:01:28 PM EST
    I think the Ferraro brouhaha triggered the unleashing of the Wright issue by Fox and the Right Wing.

    Of course it did ... (none / 0) (#104)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:06:37 PM EST
    it was the proverbial straw.

    Politically, the Ferraro kerfuffle was a miscalculation by the Obama campaign.  


    Yes (none / 0) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:00:47 PM EST
    The Obama camp blundered on Ferraro imo.

    as did Ferraro. (none / 0) (#161)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:32:09 PM EST
    I agree with that (none / 0) (#83)
    by nashville on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:59:33 PM EST
    so is the explanation of pressing Ferraro and not Wright simply total media bias.  Does the media care at all about the truth anymore or is it just ratings?

    All Dems? (none / 0) (#106)
    by zyx on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:07:03 PM EST
    No, my friend.  The really stubborn Obama supporters are still incensed about Ferraro and in denial about Wright.

    What happened in Iowa yesterday?


    Iowa is one reason (none / 0) (#124)
    by nashville on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:13:42 PM EST
    I have been so confused. I thought the Wright stuff would make some people "wake" up, but from the caucus votes apparently not.  ?????

    Interesting speculation about the brouhaha over Ferraro.  


    except pelosi and bradley it seems! (none / 0) (#170)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:35:43 PM EST
    I undertsand Fox has been pushing the story (none / 0) (#84)
    by vj on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:59:37 PM EST
    for some time. I believe the turning point came when Video and audio of his speeches became available in the past few days.

    Video etc has been available for sale (none / 0) (#162)
    by RalphB on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:32:25 PM EST
    on the church's website for a long time.  I think Fox didn't want to go first, so they waited on ABC to kick it off by Brian Ross.

    From the Fox viewpoint, this might have been better released after the Democratic convention.  However, then it would have only been useful as an attack on Obama now, if he's the nominee, it will be seen as a valid attack on the entire party.


    I thought Fox kicked it off (none / 0) (#175)
    by stillife on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:38:05 PM EST
    with Hannity a week ago.  I could be wrong, though, b/c I don't watch Fox.  

    Hannity (none / 0) (#188)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:45:00 PM EST
    has been on this for a long, long time.

    x (none / 0) (#176)
    by Mary Mary on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:38:15 PM EST
    Very interesting point. This is the type of stuff I'm glad we're getting to discuss.

    I'm less concerned about the Wright story (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by RalphB on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:48:57 PM EST
    and how if effects the primary than I am for the general election.  I've already read enough about it on some other blogs to believe there is enough white liberal guilt among some democrats that it won't derail the nomination, though in my own opinion it should.

    Newsmax had a story a couple of days ago where the reporter was at a sermon when some pretty vicious things were said and Obama was also there nodding his head with the rest of the congregation.  If that turns out to be true, he could be toast.

    Republicans will not hesitate to use this and the commercials will be brutal and effective among the electorate at large.  Speaking only for myself, if I would have voted for him before I will not now.  As far as I'm concerned, remaining a member of the congregation gave tacit approval to  the hatemongering and disqualifies him to be president.  I seem to be missing my share of the guilt.

    I read that Newsmax article (none / 0) (#85)
    by JJE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    And I tried to find the part where the author made clear precisely which statements Obama was nodding in agreement with.  Then I remembered I was reading Newsmax and might as well have been reading a RNC press release.

    Newsmax can be ignored (5.00 / 3) (#190)
    by ricosuave on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:45:38 PM EST
    but they won't be the last to portray Obama sitting silently while this hatred spewed forth.  Obama's defense is that he has never heard any of the awful stuff directly, or knew that things like this were said in his nearly two decades of church attendance.  That doesn't even pass the straight faced test (and the fact that he can say it with a straight face is alarming).  It's not like this kind of sermon was an isolated incident, or something that the pastor was caught saying in secret conversations to some foreign consulate.  This was on videos that the church was selling, and is clearly an example of both the tone and the content of Wright's sermons.

    What is going to happen when we get a video or transcript of a speech or event that Obama can't deny being at?  What if there is one or a series of letters or email exchanges from someone (inside or outside of the church) that complained to him about Wright that confirm that he was aware of this speech or even shows him defending it?  Perhaps Obama can change his story as new facts emerge without scrutiny like he does on the Rezko relationship, but it is more likely that every news channel out there (even MSNBC!) will show the newly unearthed video/testimonial/evidence of Obama nodding while Wright says something about America, whites, Jews, Palestinians, or even Hillary Clinton.

    This may not be a killer in the Democratic primary--sadly, he could still win this--but I don't see how he can get past this in the general election, even with just the current videos that are out there.  I think about how many people voted against Kerry because of the Swift Boat campaign, and that wasn't even based on anything real.  Independents and fence-sitters don't even have to hold their noses or respond to fear to find John McCain acceptable, or even appealing--there is no great hurdle for them to get over to abandon Obama.  

    It is pathetic that the Republicans will actually be the ones that get to use Edmund Burke quotes about good men doing nothing against the Democratic candidate.


    True dat (none / 0) (#109)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:08:24 PM EST
    But do not think it will stop in a GE.

    Obama's Media Darling status will be very necessary.


    I'm fairly livid about the pastor thing. I (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by tigercourse on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:15:45 PM EST
    didn't think Obama had much of a chance to win the GE. Maybe if the great media attention had held up. Slim maybe. But with the Wright thing, he's pretty darn sure to lose the election.

    He knew about this, and I'm livid that he decided to run anyway.

    What irks me is that he had to run NOW. (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:22:06 PM EST
    In 8 years Rezko would have been ancient history and he could have quietly found another church. I think that speaks to judgment, but what do I know?

    In eight years (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by zyx on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:24:29 PM EST
    Obama would have a RECORD OF ACHIEVEMENT (one assumes).  Now all he has is his rhetoric and his reputation.  Talk, not walk.

    If he had more walk, then this stuff would be less toxic.


    Democrats! (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by zyx on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:22:17 PM EST
    I like Clinton a LOT.  But I liked Dodd, too.  Edwards was promising.  Richardson--yes, okay.  Biden--there are things he's done that make me gag, but I could go with him.  It was a good lineup, and we ignored a lot of fine candidates.  Now I think "we" bought a pig in a poke, and he's not going to win the general election.

    Yeah, with the exception of Kucinich (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by tigercourse on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:25:17 PM EST
    and Gravel, all the other candidates were probably more electable.

    What IMO Is Even Worse Is That By Labeling (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:34:28 PM EST
    Clinton a racist b@tch since NH she has been severely in one of our core elements of our party.

    Also, the threats by Brazile to leave the party and Sharpton to march on the DNC, have sowed the seeds of the Dems losing the AA community  if Obama is not the nominee for obvious but unstated reasons. Rock and a hard place especially if Obama does not get the nomination due to his religious affiliation.

    If this implodes on Obama, the Dems  go into the GE with a seriously damaged candidate no matter who gets the nod.


    It's a no win situtation right now. I think (5.00 / 3) (#179)
    by tigercourse on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:39:49 PM EST
    the party is going to come out hobbled. Even if Clinton won the nomination (which I doubt) she would probably lose the GE because she's now apparently a racist monster.

    The worst attack the Dems always face is that they aren't "American enough". And Obama's associates play right into that. Our entire "brand" will take a hit.


    Agreed! (none / 0) (#171)
    by nashville on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:36:05 PM EST
    I get the feeling (none / 0) (#187)
    by JJE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:44:43 PM EST
    you'd be livid about the way Obama ties his shoes and what he eats for breakfast.

    Fruit Loops! That's the last straw! (none / 0) (#199)
    by tigercourse on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:51:03 PM EST
    Seriously though, get ready for Mark Warner 2012.

    Wow...in the link Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by DaytonDem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:17:34 PM EST
    provided above did Bill Bradley just accuse Bill Clinton of possibly taking bribes in the form of donations to his library? Unbelievable. And that is just what I mean. Beyond belief.
    and the link again

    That is qyuite a bomb (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:22:00 PM EST
    And he spelled (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by DaytonDem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:25:57 PM EST
    them out...
    I think Hillary is flawed in many ways, and particularly if you look at her husband's unwillingness to release the names of the people who contributed to his presidential library. And the reason that is important -- you know, are there favors attached to $500,000 or $1 million contributions? And what do I mean by favors? I mean, pardons that are granted; investigations that are squelched; contracts that are awarded; regulations that are delayed.

    I guess he forgot about fixing parking tickets.

    The logic of Bradley's argument... (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Alvord on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:37:24 PM EST
    ...is impeccable. NOT!

    I think Hillary is flawed in many ways, and particularly if you look at her husband's unwillingness to release the names..

    The word smear comes to mind.


    And it gets (none / 0) (#196)
    by DaytonDem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:48:29 PM EST
    worse. I just read the PBS transcript    and what jumps out is there was no sense it was even an over the top accusation. Lehrer didn't ask a follow up. Jesse Jackson said nothing. Even Ferraro only mildly pointed out that it was "negative". It's the Clinton Rules in strict observance. No accusation or smear, presented with no evidence, is too extreme.

    He said it again (none / 0) (#219)
    by Joan in VA on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:11:05 PM EST
    on Meet the Press this morning and, of course, crickets from Russert. I almost hurled something at my tv.

    I read that and was struck... (none / 0) (#173)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:36:45 PM EST
    ...by his use of the present tense. It's like he thinks Bill Clinton is still president and has the right to issue pardons, etc. I wish.

    I really like to check myself when I make personal judgments about people I don't know, but Bradley really strikes me as a jealous party of one when it comes to Bill Clinton and Al Gore.


    A corrollary to that (none / 0) (#177)
    by nashville on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:38:33 PM EST
    maybe would explain Pelosi's problem with Clinton, jealousy.  She doesn't want another more powerful woman in Washington.

    SF Politics (none / 0) (#182)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:41:29 PM EST
    Diane supports Clinton, Pelosi and the old Burton machine will go against Diane and visa versa. Old habits die slowly. Not the greatest Diane fan, I was always on the Burton machine. But, oh well.

    Bradley. Ugh. (none / 0) (#197)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:49:06 PM EST
    I believe Bradley is a bomb thrower, and remember that he was none to cordial to Gore in 2000. So this is par for the course for him.

    Part of the threats (none / 0) (#168)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:35:19 PM EST
    Remember a couple of weeks ago where some folks were threatening to throw stuff at Hillary? You wrote about it.

    OMG (none / 0) (#193)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:47:23 PM EST
    I never thought I would see the day when Bill Bradley, of all people, would impugn the character and integrity of a fellow Dem.  It's just so unlike anything he's ever done before!

    Heh (none / 0) (#202)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:53:09 PM EST
    BOb Somerby will have something to say about it I am sure.

    Just consider the source and remember (none / 0) (#209)
    by RalphB on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:56:53 PM EST
    all the spurious things he said about Gore in 2000.  He's a tier 1 smear artist!

    Bill Bradley (none / 0) (#239)
    by arwe on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:07:59 PM EST
    also made that accusation/comment during an interview on the News Hour among other charming statements. (sorry, I would link but I can't seem to link to the News Hour video).

    New Home (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Robo on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:45:25 PM EST
    I'm brand new here.  It is even my first time to the site, not just to post.  I've found a home.  Great to be able to read and engage in political discussions without enduring cursing, attacks and constant anti-Hillary bias.  I look forward to it.

    Welcome Robo (none / 0) (#198)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:50:54 PM EST
    I'm quite new here myself.

    Welcome Robo! (none / 0) (#216)
    by Josey on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:07:39 PM EST
    yes - it's much more civil here.

    Gallup Poll (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by Saul on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:45:40 PM EST
    It will be interesting to see what the gallup poll will show in the next week.

    Phrases that should be expunged (5.00 / 1) (#224)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:19:20 PM EST
    from the Progressive dictionary:  
    Rules are Rules:  Progressives are relativists, or should be.  Absolutes are reactionary.  As a proud member of the left, every rule is made to be broken.

    Transformative  Politician  Politicians do not transform, they pursue power.  It's a dirty job and thank god there are still fools that want to do it.  

    Creative class What are they creating?  Having designed a web page does not mean you are creative.  Bring back the soccer mom.

    Agent of Change No one is changing nothing.   Any and all American presidents will be kneeling in front of the alter of "American interests".  The only think we have to look forward to is someone who can clean up the government a bit and not appoint another dunder head on the Supreme Court

    We should abandon following the Rules? (none / 0) (#235)
    by JJE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:44:04 PM EST
    I don't think that's particularly Progressive in the age of John Yoo.

    I agree that the rest of them are silly catchphrases.


    Irony of Religion (4.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:12:12 PM EST
    So this is the irony. Obama had to boost his Christian credentials and pump up his affiliation with a church to erase the "his a moslem smear", gee, I guess now his affiliation with the Christian Church is maybe more toxic. Oh the things that we do.

    I'm waiting for the UCC national body (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:45:47 PM EST
    to weigh in here.  Not too good in these days of declining membership/attendance for traditional churches compared to mega evangelical churches.  

    I like bunnies (1.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Marvin42 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:19:00 PM EST
    That's all I'm saying! :)

    Bunnies kill (none / 0) (#3)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:22:50 PM EST
    They carry diseases like tularensis.   Just saying.

    And I thought (1.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Marvin42 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:24:43 PM EST
    I was being safe and everyone would agree. Darn those bunnies!!!!!

    Gotta watch them rabbits (1.00 / 1) (#32)
    by scribe on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:41:11 PM EST
    I love that movie (1.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Marvin42 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:45:06 PM EST
    Specially the slow motion shots of bunnies with ketchup around their mouths hopping "menacingly..."

    Bunnies (1.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:46:21 PM EST
    Thumper ruined eating rabbit in America. Can't serve a nice rabbit stew to anyone, without images of Thumper and the easter bunny being evoked and getting accused of being a vile murderer.

    Call it 'hausenpfeper' (sp?) (1.00 / 1) (#113)
    by DaleA on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:09:13 PM EST
    and say it is an international dish. Make it with a sherry sauce, Bohemian style. Delicious.

    Or do it in the way the Germans do at (1.00 / 1) (#145)
    by scribe on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:22:59 PM EST
    2d Christmas (Dec. 26th;  goose is traditional on Dec. 25):
    in the Rhineland, roasted whole and stuffed with mincemeat and lots of raisins.
    in Saxony and Thuringen, roasted whole and stuffed with prunes (don't knock it until you try it).

    There is NO. SAFE. TOPIC.!!! (none / 0) (#62)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:51:12 PM EST

    And thanks to you (1.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Marvin42 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:08:35 PM EST
    I was going to vote FOR bunnies, but now I am firmly voting AGAINST bunnies.

    Down with bunny tyranny!


    What I don't understand... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Alvord on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:26:28 PM EST
    ... about Obama and Reverend Wright is how Obama could maintain a long term relationship with someone who uses such grossly inflammatory and inappropriate speech. Doesn't this chip away at Obama's argument that he exhibits the better judgement?

    Playing devil's advocate (none / 0) (#12)
    by Marvin42 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:32:34 PM EST
    I keep complaining that we (collectively as a society) no longer look at issues in a complex manner, and simplify to a 30 second soundbite. If I look at this in a more nuanced way it may actually show that Sen Obama has strength of character. He may have a strong relationship with Rev Wright, and may not necessarily agree with everything Rev Wright says, but may value other aspects of what he says.

    Now isn't it a good sign that just for political considerations he isn't/wasn't willing to cut off or pretend to cut off a many year relationship just because its the easy thing to do? Isn't that exactly what we always look down at politicians for doing?


    The flip side of that explanation... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Alvord on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:44:52 PM EST
    ... is that it might indicate Obama lacks the strength or moral compass, when he thought no one was looking, to disavow the views expressed by the Reverend.

    Well the flip side of the flip side... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by DudeE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:53:55 PM EST
    ...is that if Obama was truly 'transformative' he would come totally clean on Wright.  As in, yes I've known him and I've known that he sometimes says inflammatory things but I'm ok with that since sometimes discourse needs a little kick in the pants.  Anyone who's read the Audacity of Hope understands that Obama himself has had a difficult path to reconciling his views on racial issues.  Now, all of a sudden, he is 'post-racial'?

    I'm quite tired of hearing him decry the old politics of divisiveness while adhering to the same standard scripted responses of politicians.  Don't recall, wasn't aware, doesn't reflect my view, deeply discouraged, etc.


    Sorry... (none / 0) (#71)
    by DudeE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:54:38 PM EST
    I meant to reference Dreams from my Father which is significantly more provocative than his later book.

    You can add to that list of disclaimers (none / 0) (#208)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:55:28 PM EST
    my current shorthand favorite: "Who knew?"

    I think that anyone with a drop of common sense, and an ability to imagine themselves in Obama's situation, intuitively knows that there is no way Obama is just finding out this week that his spiritual mentor and pastor of 17 years has a tendency to express radical and incendiary views.  No.  Way.

    Are we really expected to believe that no one from this huge church ever encountered Obama anywhere outside of church, or in conversation never said, "Hoo, boy - you really missed a roof-raiser last Sunday!  Reverend Wright blew the doors off the place," and then proceeded to explain the topic of the sermon?  How dumb does he think we are?

    From a political standpoint, and in looking at both the primaries and the general election to come, I cannot believe the Wright association, which was not a casual one, will not turn off a significant segment of the electorate.  I have to think that part of the reason for Obama's Dem-for-a-Day push in PA is that he expects to be losing a fair number of votes from this.

    I do not see how Obama's current explanation about Wright inoculates him in a general election contest, and combined with all the other things we're supposed to gullibly believe he never had any idea about, I think he is far from electable, and I expect polling to start reflecting that.


    Seems Obama Was Aware Of His Controversial (none / 0) (#37)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:42:29 PM EST
    rhetoric and that it could damage his campaign. NYT 3/07 article via  Correntewire

    Mr. Wright said that in the phone conversation in which Mr. Obama disinvited him from a role in the announcement, Mr. Obama cited an article in Rolling Stone, "The Radical Roots of Barack Obama."

    According to the pastor, Mr. Obama then told him, "You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we've decided is that it's best for you not to be out there in public."

    Although not a public figure, Rev. Wright was on Obama's campaign spiritual advisory committee until after the videos appeared on TV.


    I want to repeat again (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:29:58 PM EST
    that I do not agree with the boycott of daily kos. I have not posted there forever, by mutual agreement so it may be easy for me to say I grant.

    But I do read it, I do link to it and I do answer arguments made there.

    Markos is a friend of both mine and Jeralyn's, and while I disagree with much of what he has written in this primary season, I respect him and will vouch for his character.

    He may be wrong, but he is a good person.

    I agree with... (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Alvord on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:36:12 PM EST
    ... the Writers Strike of Daily Kos by supporters of Hillary Clinton. I was surprised Alegre kept plugging away for as long as she did.

    I think DK represents (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by white n az on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:40:06 PM EST
    some of the worst excesses in the blogosphere and have refrained from participating there. It is now and has been a hostile place for quite some time. That distinction is not unique as there are many left leaning (and left leaning is a subjective phrase) blogs that are similarly hostile...I chalk the hostility up to the anonymity that commenters have.

    As time marches on, it becomes less important as a location but more fond in terms of history as many bloggers started there but clearly they too have seen that continued participation on DK tends to be counter productive.

    I hold no malice towards any of them and there are some very bright and articulate people who frequent the place.

    A boycott makes sense in terms of if it is simply not possible to get your diaries front paged, why bother?


    I'm not mad at Kos, nor his site (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by scribe on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:50:21 PM EST
    because they've turned up a lot of activist heat.

    The problem I've got is with the activists - trying to talk to them seems about as productive as trying to talk to some drunken friend who's set on driving home.  There's a lot of not-listening-to-reason and not-listening-to-cooler-heads going on around the blogosphere (not just at Kos) because My Candidate's Great And You Candidate Sucks!

    A lot of people seem dead stuck in, say, ninth-grade and, as a consequence, will not back down from some really extreme, cliff-side-hanging positions.

    Everyone needs to cool off, take a deep breath, recognize there are two prime enemies in this coming election and two secondary enemies.  These are:
    1A.  The Republican party
    1B.  The Republican nominee

    2A.  The Right-wing-noise-machine  (especially when it masquerades as liking one Democratic candidate or another)
    2B.  Democratic disunity.

    We - all of us - can control #2B by keeping our own mouths and keyboards in line.

    We can get a grip on #2A by (a) controlling what we say and (b) pounding on the media every time they go after a Dem - any Dem - in a way they would not or do not go after a Republican.

    As to 1A:  They've done a pretty good job of destroying themselves, but a little help from us couldn't but help them along.
    As to 1B:  If we don't address numbers 2A and 2B, we never get to 1B, because McBush is the favorite of the media.  Free baby back ribs and massages will get that for you.

    So, let's all take a deep breath, get the fight-drunk out of our systems, and keep our eyes on the objectives, so to speak.


    Anonymity? (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:42:58 PM EST
    I disagree.

    i read about the effort by some on (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:11:38 PM EST
    dk to get personal information in order to intimidate bloggers. there is no excuse for not stopping that type of behavior.

    dk was a place to go during the siberia known as bush. i am so sorry to see this happen. i hope that after the primaries it is cleaned up.


    Nice satire ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:33:34 PM EST
    even if it was unintentional.

    Today: Rezko and Hsu. (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:39:36 PM EST
    they have nothing in common (none / 0) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:43:26 PM EST
    Hsu was not a 17 year friend, or a friend at all, to either Hillary or Obama, both of whom he contributed to. Hsu had no relationship with either candidate. Neither candidate engaged in a personal business transaction with Hsu. That's a specious comparison.

    I agree. But, I believe Kos (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    thinks he can downplay Rezko/Obama relationship by comparing it with HRC/Hsu relationship.  

    I thought Whitewater (none / 0) (#97)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:03:43 PM EST
    was his analogy? I actually agree with him on that.

    Whitewater (none / 0) (#120)
    by Mary Mary on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:12:28 PM EST
    is a very bad analogy to use, apt or not.

    I think that people might hear that and think they don't want to watch another Dem presidency crippled with a multimillion dollar investigation. It might make them worry about Whitewater Redux if Obama is elected. The lack of scrutiny is a big weakness of his and Dems from here on out might prefer to go with the devil they know.


    That was then (and it really ticked me (none / 0) (#169)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:35:34 PM EST
    off), but Hsu is now.  

    Whitewater predated McDougal's (none / 0) (#228)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:25:54 PM EST
    stint as an "savings and loan" fraudster.

    So the charge is not (none / 0) (#96)
    by JJE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:03:24 PM EST
    that taking money from corrupt people is problematic, but that being friends with them is?  Because otherwise your distinction isn't persuasive.

    I don't agree with it either. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Fabian on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:42:30 PM EST
    Honestly, people have been leaving there quietly and not-so-quietly for weeks now mostly because of the hyper partisan atmosphere.  

    It's kind of odd because now the hyperpartisans have no one to rail at.


    They still have Hillary Clinton. (none / 0) (#206)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:54:54 PM EST
    Warning: anecdotal evidence. (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:35:19 PM EST
    My father, who was a Protestant minister, frequently stated people shouldn't choose which church to attend based on the minister of the church.  But he acknowledged people frequently do.

    It is difficult for me to believe The Rev. Wright did not voice his viewpoint in his sermons and writings, if any, in the church newsletter during the 20 year period Obama has been a member and attendee at Wright's church.  In addition, Obama's relationship with Wright is apparently closer than Obama simply occupying a pew some Sundays with his family.  It seems likely Wright voiced his views in Obama's presence.  Not the best judgment, if so, to have Wright closely associated with the campaign and held up as a mentor whom Obama admires.  But, Obama would not be as acceptable to many if he voiced an arms length approach to religion. Finally, even if Wright didn't voice his admiration for Farrakhan from the pulpit, it was well know Wright admired Farrakhan and was responsible for an award to Farrakhan, which was displayed at Wright's church.  

    Probably Michael Kinsey's idea is best:  "cone of silence" bu each candidate and each supporter, no matter how tangential, from now until the GE election.  

    Actually (none / 0) (#22)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:38:03 PM EST
    I have seen a pdf of the church newsletter where Rev. Wright called 9/11 "a wake-up call for white America."  That's when I knew, months ago, that this would probably be the toughest issue Obama would face in the campaign.

    Of course, it's impossible to prove that Obama read or didn't read a particular church newsletter, but the point remains that it will become untenable to maintain that Rev. Wright only hit these themes 2 or 3 times in a 20-year period.


    "Would you believe ... (none / 0) (#34)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:41:46 PM EST
    a cone of silence?"

    Should they also be given shoe phones?


    The "Cone of Silence" doesn't work! n/t (none / 0) (#66)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:51:51 PM EST
    But the shoephone does... (none / 0) (#160)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:31:32 PM EST
    I would think the emotionalism (none / 0) (#21)
    by JJE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:38:02 PM EST
    would actually be peaking right now since this was previously a minor story and just became a major one this weekend.

    for the public (none / 0) (#63)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:51:16 PM EST
    you may be right. But it's been played for days on the blogs.  It was a big issue to them from the get-go.

    Chess game (none / 0) (#33)
    by magster on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:41:14 PM EST
    The Chicago Trib. story that Obama planning all-out assault on Clinton's tax returns, Clinton library donors, Clinton business dealings after dumping his own tax returns, list of earmarks and meeting with Chicago Trib editorial board is interesting.

    What's Clinton's best response to this?  Probably accuse him of having gone negative and not really being about hope, or something like that.

    That is a strange strategy (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:43:53 PM EST
    for a shoo in.

    Anyone have a link?


    Here's one from the Trib. (none / 0) (#51)
    by vj on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:48:56 PM EST
    This is gonna fall flat... (none / 0) (#121)
    by DudeE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:12:58 PM EST
    ...it's very difficult to sustain a scandal based on the absence of information.  If and when the Clinton tax returns get out there, the biggest scandal is likely to be the fact that the former President hauls in big dollars from speaking fees.  

    See Huff Post. (none / 0) (#87)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:00:50 PM EST
    I hope he doesn't (none / 0) (#46)
    by JJE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:45:45 PM EST
    that path leads nowhere good for anyone who wants a Dem in November.  Let her keep pushing Rezko all she wants but an extended back and forth will just dirty them both up more.  He should focus on defusing this Wright business right now.

    How many has Obama released? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:46:10 PM EST
    According to ABC News, it's just one. Where are his earlier ones? The Clinton campaign has said it will release all post-White House tax returns on or about April 15. Will Obama release his since 2001?

    According to the Tribune article (none / 0) (#64)
    by vj on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:51:41 PM EST
    He will release more "The Illinois Democrat is also expected to make public his tax returns for several years before 2006, documents he previously has provided to the Tribune and other news organizations."

    He also released his earmarks. (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:02:00 PM EST
    but not all his tax returns.  

    x (none / 0) (#42)
    by Mary Mary on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:44:27 PM EST
    This post at Open Left was the only time I regretted your decision to keep comments about Rev Wright off-limits. I think it adds a lot to the discourse.

    I sent it to my Dad this morning in reply to his agonized email that his candidate was destroyed. (My Dad was a lifelong Repub until he switched over the Schiavo affair - I was sit-down-you're-not-going-to-belive-this shocked that he got on the Obama train quite early.)

    You like that post? (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:47:09 PM EST
    I think it utterly misses the point and rationalizes unacceptable statements from Wright.

    I found it a distasteful post frankly.


    x (none / 0) (#76)
    by Mary Mary on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:56:25 PM EST
    I think it gives some context to the video clips, which are terribly shocking to people from other faith traditions.

    I agree that some of Wright's statements are unacceptable. But to be fair, I think that some of the sentiments, not the statements but the sentiments, are understandable.

    And, of course, one of them at least was laughably and nakedly political in that the Obama campaign had to peel AA voters away from Clinton.


    "Faith" used as cover (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Munibond on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:26:27 PM EST
    I think Rev. Williams sermons, as shown on videos, and the tenor of Trinity's website come across as separatist and hateful, and that cloaking the separatist message in religion and black liberation theology does not make it less so.  I hope that Obama is being truthful when he sets Rev. Williams in the past and claims to be calling people to move past that kind of divisiveness.  However, I have a hard time believing that anyone who did not buy into the message would spend 20 years attending services at Trinity.  Just as I have a hard time believing that he did not fully understand that Rezko's purchase of adjoining land at asking price would at the very least look like consideration for the seller taking less than asking price on the house.

    I do not see how "tradition" (none / 0) (#91)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:02:12 PM EST
    makes the statements in any way palatable frankly. I think the argument is an insult to black churches.

    x (none / 0) (#136)
    by Mary Mary on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:19:53 PM EST
    Well we will have to agree to disagree about the tradition part of it. I am not going to comment about other people's churches as long as they keep them out of politics.

    My initial shock was over the language and demeanor from a pastor. It took a while for that to wear off, and the OpenLeft post helped with that.


    Keep it out of politics? (4.00 / 1) (#214)
    by ricosuave on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:05:47 PM EST
    How do you keep Obama's church out of politics?  Obama's church is a vital part of his politics.  He put his pastor on a campaign committee and he has repeatedly called him a mentor.  His "I'm running for president" book is titled from one of Wright's sermons.  His religious beliefs and his religious language are central to his campaign and its message.  He has written in the past on how the black churches are a powerful force for community organizing.  He put out a campaign flier in South Carolina entitiled "Committed Christian."

    Clearly not all of that is bad or damning in any way.  We shouldn't base our decision to vote for someone on whether someone shares our religious beliefs or even on whether they have religious beliefs at all.  But if you are going to use your religion and your church affiliation as a reason for someone to vote for you, then it is perfectly reasonable for people to look at it and decide it is a reason to vote against you.

    Add to that the fact that this campaign is predicated on the concepts of Hope, Unity, and Judgement, and you have to ask whether his affiliation with this church and his inability to oppose the divisive and hateful speech emanating from it demonstrates those qualities or belies them.


    x (none / 0) (#236)
    by Mary Mary on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:47:37 PM EST
    Valid points, each and every one.

    What I really meant was that it's rude and inflammatory to diss what other people do in their churches. No need to do so to make the points that you just did.

    The exchange between BTD and I had the potential to veer off into a discussion of black churches and that, IMO, would not have been appropriate.


    there is no excuse for the hatred that is (none / 0) (#130)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:17:17 PM EST
    expressed. i have always felt the usa needed to look at their foreign policy and how it caused us trouble. but i would never excuse 9/11 for it. that is a misuse of religeon in my humble opinion.

    Misuse Of Religion? (none / 0) (#163)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:33:44 PM EST
    That is a laugh. Seems to me that religion main function has always been about fostering hate,  an us against them attitude. Has been for centuries.

    well that is certainly true. (none / 0) (#185)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:42:06 PM EST
    religeon has been misued, but this type of hatred squeaky leaves me shaking my head. the hostility is toward over 50% of the country and foreign countries. not that some don't deserve it, but it isn't helpful and also doesn't square with obama's unity and so called new way.

    Nothing New (none / 0) (#205)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:54:31 PM EST
    And it is not reasonable to attach Wright's business as usual in the name of religion to Obama's ideas about unity.

    Anyone who is religious could never be in public office if that were the standard, remember we are the United States of America.


    Defending that (5.00 / 1) (#218)
    by RalphB on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:09:05 PM EST
    hatemongering is beyond the pale.  Are you not offended?

    Not Offended (none / 0) (#220)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:17:29 PM EST
    Because I am not interested. Seems par for the course, as far as religion goes, for me. If I took your offer to be offended I would not know where to stop and would be offended during all my waking hours.

    Should I be offended that by HRC because she is a christian?

    Did Obama suggest that any of his pastor's hate become legislation?


    Fine Rhetoric (5.00 / 2) (#227)
    by ricosuave on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:25:50 PM EST
    That is fine rhetoric, and is good for a high-school debate.  But when I was watching those videos I was appalled, and I am about as liberal and forgiving as anyone you will find.  I was honestly scared that the next words I heard after "rich white people" was going to be "International Jews," and I breathed a sigh of (Martin -Neimoller-like) relief that I didn't hear it.

    I hear awful things from Rev. Hagee here in Texas (I grew up in San Antonio, and have heard his trash all my life), and hate seeing McCain with him.  And I am appalled that Republicans will appear to speak at Bob Jones U.  In both of those cases the politicians look the other way, wink and nod about the hateful speech, and go about their merry way.  And it is awful.

    But I am not some neophyte at being appalled by religious hate speech, and I find this to be worse than McCain's, or even Bush's, countenancing the hatemongers.  This is not just a political appearance with a controversial figure, or a nod in his direction.  This is not just a position voted on by some national board that your church happens to be affiliated with.  This is the guy who has been his spiritual advisor and mentor for nearly twenty years and who has shaped his political, religious, moral, and ethical beliefs.  

    Dismissing him as a crazy uncle or saying its OK because all religion is hokey just isn't enough.


    Well His (none / 0) (#231)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:35:14 PM EST
    Voting record and legislative efforts do not reflect bigotry or racism as far as I can tell. He seems to get on with rich white people pretty well too.

    Guess he must not have swallowed the abridged version of the story you are selling.


    That's a great post. Thanks for the link. (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:09:26 PM EST
    I think it's important to understand why Wright spoke the way he did. A lot of people were angry after 9/11, and some justifiably pointed out that the U.S. was not as innocent as we like to believe. They were right, but their timing was wrong. People who have just been badly hurt don't want to hear that it was, in part, an unintended result of their own actions. American's still don't want to hear that we are partly responsible for the hatred that some feel for us. And Wright is part of a generation who experienced some of the worst behavior of America toward minorities and still lives with it's effects, the poverty and anger of many black people.

    Obama is trapped here. He can't denounce Wright without alienating a lot of people who understand Wright's anger toward America. But American's in general don't like to hear anger toward America expressed, and they will see this as a serious offense. Again - if Obama had waited a few years, gotten more experience and more face time with the public, this would be a much smaller issue. But Obama is fairly new, and, since his is largely running on his character, anything that calls that character into question is a big hit. I've always wondered if the Obama magic was strong enough to overcome the inevitable rise of issues like this. I guess we'll see.


    Thanks for the OpenLeft article... (none / 0) (#229)
    by Oje on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:30:22 PM EST
    I believe the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's sermon is acceptable religious speech in the context of our nation's history of racism against African-Americans. And, I am not just talking about the rhetorical bigotry that has become a game for left bloggers during this election, but the institutionalized racism that persists as legacies of slavery and segregation.

    African-American history, Afrocentric histories, are not taught sufficiently in the public schools. Rev. Wright's sermons produce a historical memory for African-Americans remind them, and should all Americans, of what is too often forgotton: our country was built on slavery, segregation, and violence as much, if not more, than freedom, social mobility, and reason. Historical memories are not always accurate, often emotional, but when the wider culture refuses to address its continued inequities (as it has since the Nixon-Reagan political realignment), this makes sense to me...

    Because of the unity, postpartisan schtick, the history that contextualize this kind of sermon will still be largely ignored. I had some other posts related to this, but they seem to have hit the memory hole.


    SNL cartoon (none / 0) (#74)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:55:35 PM EST
    The SNL cartoon should be revised to include Wrtight with Sharpton and Jackson.

    In general, I'm dismayed... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Plutonium Page on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:55:49 PM EST
    ... at the lengths that many (NOT ALL) Obama supporters will go to rationalize Wright's statements.

    That is all.

    You know the drill (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:14:58 PM EST
    I feel the same way (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by JJE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:42:02 PM EST
    I also felt that way about Ferraro's statements and HRC supporters.

    Tu quoque. Again! (none / 0) (#194)
    by Mary Mary on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:48:01 PM EST
    Does it ever dawn on you that if this is all you've got that your candidate does not really stand head and shoulders above the other one?

    It's worse than that... (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by Camorrista on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:52:34 PM EST
    In general, I'm dismayed at the lengths that many (NOT ALL) Obama supporters will go to rationalize Wright's statements.

    May I say that you're missing the forest for the trees?

    It's not that some of Obama's admirers are ready to justify both Wright's remarks and praise Obama's dilatory regretfulness over them.  

    It's not even that some of Obama's surrogates & supporters habitually do this--i.e., first justify ("The deal with Rezco was perfectly legal, and there was no quid pro quo") and then praise the dilatory regretfulness ("He admitted his lapses in judgment, what candor, what transparency!").  

    It's that the Obama movement depends on the idea that any racism in the campaign can come only from the Clinton camp.  

    Thus, Wright's remarks are re-defined as merely that old reliable--fiery (but harmless) black populist chatter, just our own homey up-to-date version of Malcolm, or Stokely, or Eldridge, or Angela.  And anyway, Wright's a Man of God--he's not marching in the streets with an AK-47.  Case closed.

    Ferraro, on the other hand....well, according to Obama's surrogates & supporters: Geraldine Ferraro is an old, sick, bitter failed VP candidate--not to mention, she's white, she's Italian, she's married to a hood, and she represents the most corrupt segment of the Democratic Party.  How could anybody who's not a Clinton fanatic be surprised at her naked racism?  (She's not marching in the streets with an AK-47 either, but that's because she's too ill; if she she could, she would.) Case closed.


    Timing (none / 0) (#78)
    by cannondaddy on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:57:08 PM EST
    of Obama's pastor problem is interesting.  These have been available for some time.  The story breaks when there is six weeks before the next primary to try and soothe things over.  

    re: timing (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:13:22 PM EST
    The timing actually interests me more than anything - and it is troubling.  Why wasn't this news five months ago?  These statements have been out for awhile, so why wasn't this news previously?  The most logical time for this story to break would have been around Christmas when he was making those comments about Hillary.

    It worried me because Obama is likely the nominee - and he's only getting vetted now, when odds are we're stuck with him.  If this had been big news last winter, I think it's very unlikely he'd be the probable nominee.

    So how to explain the timing?  My thought are that the MSM and the right wing simply held back - the MSM because they wanted someone to take out Clinton and the right wing because 1) ditto and 2) they knew they could go to town on this at any time.

    Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice actually makes a very effective case for this (although not about Wright per se).  He finds many cases where folks like George Will and Hannity were applauding Obama early on and are turning on him now.

    Maybe this will die down in the media before the GE.  But it will live on in email forwards and rumors for months.  Dukaksized indeed.


    You're right... (none / 0) (#133)
    by DudeE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:17:58 PM EST
    ...literally all of this has been out for at least a year or more in the media.  I routinely retrieve articles from early 2007 which discuss Wright, Rezko and a number of other unsavory aspects of Obama which were never amplified by the broader media.

    Let's remember that up until 3 months ago, Obama was a long shot and the media focus was on Clinton.  All those articles from last year were deemed irrelevant.  Trust me - there is a lot out there on Obama that still has not been amplified.


    Dukaksized indeed (none / 0) (#149)
    by DaleA on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:25:07 PM EST
    Fantastic neologism. Worthy of comment of the week.

    I agree (none / 0) (#158)
    by stillife on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:29:34 PM EST
    Obama will most likely be the nominee and I feel like the Democratic Party is driving itself off a cliff.  

    I've read at least one news article about Rev. Wright that was dated July or August, 2007.  On another site, a poster said that they get right-wing e-mails from a relative and Wright has been a talking point for months.  The church's videos are for sale on their website, so it wouldn't take much digging to find them.  

    I have no faith in the MSM so I'm not surprised that they ignored the story, whether due to laziness, mendacity or a combination of the two.  However, I do find it disturbing that none of Obama's big-name Dem supporters (e.g., Kennedy, Kerry) bothered to dig into his past a bit before endorsing him.  Or maybe I'm just being naive.  

    This is the problem with an unvetted candidate.  He ran virtually unopposed for the Senate.  If he'd had a normal campaign against a real opponent, this stuff would have surfaced then.  


    Hillary did it!! (none / 0) (#79)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:58:16 PM EST
    LOL of course... (none / 0) (#126)
    by DudeE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:15:35 PM EST
    ...the story is never the Obama scandal... it's the fact that Clinton was probably behind it!

    please don't implicate hillary. (none / 0) (#134)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:19:03 PM EST
    we know she has no influence with the media overall. the media is starting to take a second look at obama. the love machine broke down.

    The one part of Obama's life ... (none / 0) (#82)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    that I'm always a bit hazy on is the period between his graduation from college and his enrollment in law school.

    This a five year period between 1983-88.  He places a lot of importance on this period, because it's when he was a community organizer.

    But this is also the period when he met Rezko, and by his own assertions became a more active Christian.

    He deals with this period to some degree in his books.  But not sufficiently. And he's rarely asked about it in interviews.

    And I'm not looking for some "gotcha."  But this seems to be a transformational period in his life, and I think if I understood it better, I'd have a better understanding of him as a person.

    What I found (none / 0) (#100)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:05:24 PM EST
    He graduated from Columbia with a double major in English literature and political science, and a determination to "organize black folks. At the grass roots." He wrote scores of letters looking for the right job, and almost a year later got an offer to come to Chicago. He gave up a job as a financial writer with an international consulting firm and became a $1,000-a-month community organizer. Here in Chicago, Obama worked as lead organizer for the Developing Communities Project, a campaign funded by south-side Catholic churches to counteract the dislocation and massive unemployment caused by the closing and downsizing of southeast Chicago steel plants. From 1984 to '88 Obama built an organization in Roseland and the nearby Altgeld Gardens public housing complex that mobilized hundreds of citizens. Obama says the campaign experienced "modest successes" in winning residents a place at the table where a job-training facility was launched, asbestos and lead paint were negotiated out of the local schools, and community interests were guarded in the development of the area's landfills.
    Chicago Reader Cannot find details of the work.

    Maybe I wasn't clear ... (none / 0) (#135)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:19:16 PM EST
    I'm aware of what he did during this period.  I'm more interested in the whys.

    Why community organizing?  Why did he embrace Christianity more fully during this period?  Why did he decide to go to law school?

    Again, I'm not looking for anything negative.  But this is the period in which he chose the path which led him to where he is today, and I'd like to understand it better.


    The link (none / 0) (#150)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:25:16 PM EST
    explains that he chose Community Organizing over working in a financial company. Law school was sort of the going to get more skills for serving the community. This article, which allegedly was written in 93 has his early motivations.

    It says 1995 on the article (none / 0) (#204)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:54:17 PM EST
    It's quite interesting.  Does give a window on the guy when he was running for the state legislature (a different period than I was discussing), and shows what parts of the message from that period he has retained and what he's jettisoned.  

    Some of it is encouraging.  And in some of it we just see the slippery character we have today.  He attacks both Republicans and black leaders, but he doesn't offer any concrete plans except in the ways that they apply to his political advancement.

    Still well worth reading.


    Sorry.... (none / 0) (#215)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:06:28 PM EST
    Yes...I found it interesting how some of the "message patterns" have not changed, but also the technique was being created. I am interested in the context of Chicago politics.

    He also reveals the ... (5.00 / 1) (#221)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:17:39 PM EST
    key flaw in his own message when talking about Harold Washington:

    "[Harold Washington] was a classic charismatic leader," Obama said, "and when he died all of that dissipated. This potentially powerful collective spirit that went into supporting him was never translated into clear principles, or into an articulable agenda for community change."

    Obama clearly has the same problem.  He lacks the "clear principles" and "articulable agenda," and may like Harold Washington be just another "classic charismatic leader."


    Brilliant (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:20:43 PM EST
    Remember when Hillary was thrashed for the MLK comments?  

    I'll venture a guess this is also (none / 0) (#107)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:07:34 PM EST
    Stellaaa's concern.

    I still don't know (none / 0) (#157)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:28:22 PM EST
    what he actually did in the role of community organizing. It sounds like a pretty entry level job, probably funded with CDBG funds from the city. His big achievement was the voter registration effort. But not clear if he was the lead organizer or the Executive Director of that group. He got over 150,000 AAs registered.

    The main thing about the Wright (none / 0) (#99)
    by zyx on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:04:43 PM EST
    story that upsets me is that I think it makes McCain the president in 2009.  I really do.

    The smaller picture is that I think it shows Obama's Unity schtick to be hypocritical.  I don't mean that his own personal beliefs are those of Wright's rhetoric.  I mean that he has been running around talking a great game about how he's never tainted by anything polarizing EVER.  And then it turns out he went to this church that people can see, on their computers and teevees, is very polarized.  He is so close to this minister that his bestselling book is dedicated to him.  And he is making dumb "I wasn't there" comments.  His "I didn't hear that, I wasn't there that Sunday" sounds like my children's excuses sounded when they were preadolescent.  It is insulting.  I'm just a few years older than Obama, but he seems very immature to me.

    don't let the dem leadership off the (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:21:29 PM EST
    hook here either. surely they privately vetted him before supporting him. they must have known some of this and yet they went forward with their plans. doesn't sound like good thinking to me. their arrogance just baffles me.

    As soon as I heard about the Farrakhan (none / 0) (#112)
    by Foxx on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:09:08 PM EST
    Wright connection, I said Obama was unelectable. The Wright videos are many times worse. You have only to look at what they did to Kerry with no ammunition at all to see what a disaster it will be. Not to mention all the other issues: inexperience, Rezko and his tenements, financing by terrorists, etc.

    The party has to wake up.

    The party will NOT wake up (none / 0) (#128)
    by zyx on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:16:22 PM EST
    I forgot that a (rational) friend is a cat lover, and told him that if Obama bit the heads off of a litter of kittens on film and it was on the teevee, his defenders would start talking about what a great euthanasia technique it is, and how once Hillary was way-bad mean to a cat.

    He would still get the nomination.


    Alternately... (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by DudeE on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:20:56 PM EST
    ...Clinton could develop a cure for cancer and they'd claim it's proof that she's willing to do anything to get elected.

    Meanwhile, McCain and his boyz in Iraq. (none / 0) (#115)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:09:59 PM EST
    Is it okay to call them names?

    Obama's been fumbling on the Wright matter (none / 0) (#116)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:10:06 PM EST
    First he tells a Jewish group that Wright is just like anybody's crazy uncle who says crazy things sometimes. No biggie. Then the story gets more play and so he "categorically denounces" Wright's published comments.

    I think this is a landmine for him because, while many in the left are stopped short by white guilt, the conservatives and paid swiftboaters will be only too happy to put together those 527's.

    To me, one of the most offensive of Wright's statements was his supposition that Hillary doesn't know discrimination or bigotry because she's never been called the "n" word.

    Hmm. One check of diaries at the Orange place or other pro-Obama sites shows her being called every outrageous name on the book. Maybe not the "n" word, but certainly the "c" word, and in my world, that's nothing to smile at. Plus, his comparisons between Barack's and Hillary's lifetime experience with discrimination just continues to give ammunition to the racism vs. sexism war of this campaign.

    i can't help but think that the state of israel (none / 0) (#147)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:23:10 PM EST
    can't be too pleased either. they have a special place in foreign policy and might question what the future could bring.

    there were diaries on Rec lists (none / 0) (#211)
    by Josey on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:59:32 PM EST
    claiming Hillary was racist because of a racial slur on the child's pajamas in the 3 a.m. ad.
    It appeared to Obama followers that the "NIG" in "GOOD NIGHT" was more prominent than the other letters.

    The diarists could have been Repubs seeking to divide, but Obama followers gladly hop on any Drudge infested Hillary-hate fest.


    I remember that (5.00 / 1) (#213)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:05:03 PM EST
    It was based on a newspaper column by a woman roundly derided as a kook, but I sure can't remember her name.

    I thought that racist charge (about the pajamas) was one of the lowest blows of the campaign season. Incredible, to say the least.


    Hilary up Obama down? (none / 0) (#164)
    by Saul on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:34:03 PM EST
    How many of you think that because of the Wright controversy, that from here on out more whites voters now will vote for Hilary in the remaining primaries and Obama will not have the big crossover of them as before?

    I think (none / 0) (#181)
    by nashville on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:41:21 PM EST
    this could be what propels Clinton into some landslides that she now needs.  We'll se.

    If IA county conventions (none / 0) (#210)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:58:38 PM EST
    Saturday are any indication, white voters (of which Iowa has so many) were not swayed away from Obama by Wright controversy.

    From here on out is what counts (none / 0) (#222)
    by Saul on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:19:00 PM EST
    Iowa is old news.  They are not going to go against a caucus that has already been done.

    Something else I'd like to point out. (none / 0) (#232)
    by tigercourse on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:38:36 PM EST
    In their desire to defend Obama, some bloggers have taken to defending, even embracing Wright. That's a huge, huge mistake.

    Don't make Wright a left wing/liberal/progressive figure. He will only drag us down.

    Well (none / 0) (#237)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:49:58 PM EST
    there is a discussion about race that needs to happen in the progressive blogosphere, and needs to keep happening.

    But defending Wright is certainly not the message strategy for making this issue go away with the electorate at large.


    Comments now closed (none / 0) (#234)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:41:24 PM EST
    We're well over 200, thanks everyone.

    From Ben Smith (none / 0) (#240)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 06:49:45 PM EST
    "A pretty stunning gain out of Iowa for Obama, where an Iowa Democratic official confirmed to me just now that the county convention results will translate into a 25-14-6 edge for Obama over Clinton and Edwards.

    "That's a gain of nine  for the Illinois senator over the results reported in January, while Clinton lost one delegate. (Edwards lost eight.)

    "It's a welcome -- and meaningful -- gain for Obama on a tough weekend, and a result both of his long, hard work in Iowa and of a situation in which Clinton's attacks seem to be turning off party activists."

    And thus the reason why going lower and dirtier will not work for Clinton. Iowa was responding to the Ferraro Outbreak. If Clinton cannot tear down Obama then she cannot win.