What If We Switched the Credentials of the Candidates?

Here's an e-mail that is making the rounds among lawyers today:

How Racism Works:

What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review? What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said 'I do' to? What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization? What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?


What if Obama were a member of the Keating-5? What if McCain were a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

You are The Boss... which team would you hire?

With America facing historic debt, 2 wars, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc.

Educational Background:

Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)


McCain: United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Palin: Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Now, which team are you going to hire ?

[Hat tip to criminal defense lawyer DD who received and forwarded this to me.]

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    I don't think the race is close right now. (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by Teresa on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:19:00 PM EST
    Also, you have to look at real life experience, not just education. George Bush had a good (wasted) education and has been married to the same woman for many years. It sure didn't help him be a good President.

    This sounds like an excuse made in advance for something that isn't going to happen. McCain is not going to win.

    I don't know anyone who doesn't think we win the better educated battle. That's not what most voters care about.

    Since most Americans didn't even finish college (5.00 / 10) (#7)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:23:03 PM EST
    They do not care who went to Harvard and who went to Podunk University and who went to none of the above.  

    We sounds like snobs and elitists when we make arguments like these.


    Plus (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:44:04 PM EST
    Pretending a 72 year old man, or a 48 year old one for that matter, have nothing more to offer than their college education is just ridiculous IMHO.

    Maybe if two 35 year olds (none / 0) (#25)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:53:35 PM EST
    were running that might apply.

    That would at least be in the ballpark (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:55:41 PM EST
    I'd take it down to 25, except it is unconstitutional!

    I was going to use 25 (none / 0) (#35)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:10:26 PM EST
    but yes, it would be illegal!

    Excuse me (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by cal1942 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:08:33 PM EST
    but many people without degrees appreciate sound academic credentials.

    My mother (9th grade, depression) and father (8th grade - poor family) had the greatest respect for higher education and for those with high educational achievement. The non-stop recurring theme of my childhood in a home that was border line poor was: You MUST go to college.

    What gets to people isn't the educational credentials it's when they are belittled and detect an elitism unacceptable in an American society that claims an egalitarian ideal.


    They do care (none / 0) (#108)
    by Oceandweller on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 04:29:27 AM EST
    Ok, lets say you are heading for a coronary bypass, will you choose a guy w/Podunk medical degree or a guy who trained with the world best coronary graft teams
    you are to select an astronaut will you choose Podunk engineer or top NASA trainee
    you need a lawyer you choose Podunk Uni or top Harvard
    you need a general you select the 894/899 or top Westpoint

    that is what it is all about
    I am sick and tired to say yes you can be stupid and yet make it
    I`d rather say you may not have majored but you fought on and stood
    Sarah Palin is not standing anywhere to shine in fact she is giving Podunk a bad name....


    Your examples require specific technical skills, (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by jar137 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 11:00:25 AM EST
    Politics does not.  There have been many fine politicians with little or no education, let alone non-Ivy educations.  I find your statement very elitist- that only the Ivy-educated have the talents to lead the country.  (This is particularly offensive at this point in time when so many young people could not afford an Ivy League education, regardless of their talents.)    GWB should have put the Ivy lie to rest.  This kind of statement also highlights one of the problems I have been having with this presidential race- some progressives have been using the same arguments we (rightfully) rejected when put forth to prop up GWB to denigrate the Republicans.  How about we judge the candidates on the basis of their skills and experience!

    I like (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by TheRizzo on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:29:12 PM EST
    A balance of education and experience but do believe a man can gain a lot of education through experience.  

    In my 6 years to get my Masters degree, I would estimate that only about 25% of my classes had any real value to them and a lot of the skills could have been easily learned through experience.  


    Education is a way to buy experience. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:42:27 PM EST
    Real life experience is great - but the big question is how do you get that experience as HS graduate, entry level worker?  Minimum Wage Maggie isn't likely to be enrolling in a Master's degree program.

    Yes.... (none / 0) (#116)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 09:13:05 AM EST
    but minimum wage Maggie can get a library card and learn just the same.

    I've met straight-A book smart people witgh degrees up the wazoo who I wouldn't trust to walk my dog, and D student street smart people I'd trust with my life.  

    I suppose the ideal candidate would be both book and street smart, and loaded with common sense.


    Yes, it the union card, stamp of approval, (none / 0) (#27)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:54:46 PM EST
    So to speak.  Education says that you stuck it out, got the work done, didn't quit, are reasonably smart, etc.  Employers like to see those things.  

    Well it depends (none / 0) (#31)
    by Dave B on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:57:44 PM EST
    I went to school for engineering.  I don't believe that any amount of practical experience is a decent substitute for a sound background in advanced mathematics, chemistry, physics, and all the engineering course work that they form the basis for.

    If I wanted someone to find a way to get me to the moon and back in one peice for instance, I would prefer the team of engineers that graduated in the top of their class from a top university engineering program.


    Hmm No (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Manuel on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:19:16 PM EST
    I would prefer a team that had already done it over a team, no matter how well credentialed, that had never done it.  Now, if the previous team had failed miserably, I would feel differently.

    Even in engineering, experience matters and makes a difference.  There are a lot of things they don't teach you in the classroom.  I am not saying it is the definitive factor but is a factor.


    That's not what I was saying (none / 0) (#58)
    by Dave B on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:05:03 PM EST
    I have been an engineer for 25 years, so I understand what a difference that experience makes.  But experience is no substitute for an education in engineering.

    And I would feel comfortable betting that there were not too many on the team at NASA trying to figure out how to get us to the moon that didn't have first rate engineering educations.


    But I bet you (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Manuel on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:27:14 PM EST
    not all of them came from Ivy schools which is the point of the post.  Also, what we get in engineering is instruction and training which are, of course, a prerequisite to being able to get the job done.  To quote Thomas Moore.

    To be educated, a person doesn't have to know much or be informed, but he or she does have to have been exposed vulnerably to the transformative events of an engaged human life...
    One of the greatest problems of our time is that many are schooled but few are educated.

    nice quote (none / 0) (#95)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:31:33 AM EST
    very true...

    on a side note:

    for me, the state university I went to was nothing more than High School on steroids in terms of most degrees, and I'd be willing to bet that most state schools are the same...

    like Chomsky, I was quite disenchanted by the college system...

    being educated isn't about learning what you're taught, it's about learning how to learn, as most teachers like to say...
    being open minded, knowing how to gain from your experiences, knowing how to see the gray, and not just the black-and-white...

    that is being educated...a degree is just a piece of paper...a piece of paper that means a lot in our culture, but it doesn't mean the person is intelligent or educated...


    True, Engineers get a real education (none / 0) (#39)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:14:50 PM EST
    One that proves they actually learned something and know how to do something.  Most of us don't have those kinds of degrees.  

    Here's the real question (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by litigatormom on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:07:16 AM EST
    If Malia Obama were 17 and pregnant by a young man whose Facebook or MySpace page said that he liked to get "f***ed up," do we think the public would be so protective of her privacy?  Would conservatives be so non-judgmental?  What they be clucking their tongues collectively and saying, "Oh, well, that happens in a lot familieis."

    I don't think so.


    Hitting the proverbial nail..... (none / 0) (#112)
    by AscotMan on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 05:28:47 AM EST

    As they say where I come, "iyen gaan ni obe!"
    100% agree - I've been saying this since the story broke. This is what should be making the email rounds; not stories about Harvard Law Review, Princeton or Constitutional Law.


    As long as we are playing 'what if' (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:20:34 PM EST
    If we all got hired strictly on our college attendance and ranking, I suspect few of us would be doing as well.  I know I wouldn't anyway.

    More What If's (5.00 / 6) (#67)
    by Prana on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:58:49 PM EST
    What if Obama really stood for something instead of pandering to every group he talks to?

    What if he voted the right way with FISA?

    What if he never played the race card to get back in the race with Clinton?

    What if he never went on Fox and said Republicans have good ideas?

    If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

    Racism is a drop in the bucket to Obama's other real problems.


    Pander Bear part deux? (none / 0) (#104)
    by phatpay on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 02:43:48 AM EST
    I'm not so sure that's a bad thing.

    I understand completely about cringing over FISA, drilling, etc.

    I have always seen Obama as a centrist. And as someone who works the center. It's not only politically expedient it's also where he is effective, I believe.

    It doesn't always jive with my own ideals but I do think that this is where he can be a successful president. To be the uniter that dubya lied about being. There has been a lot made of Obama as a community organizer. It sounds hokey, but I do believe that is where he excels. Getting sides together. Making compromises. Some of them uncomfortable, but allowing for progress.

    I think a centrist, left leaning, progressive leaning president is exactly what this country needs. Obviously, the citizens of this country are being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. To wit, the elections of the very average student, failed businessman and faux country bumpkin, W. I believe that President Clinton shot himself in the foot tremendously by pushing "Don't ask, don't tell" in his first year in office. This is still a very homophobic society. W. was practically reelected on his diversionary gay marriage-as-an-issue tactics. I'm not meaning to belittle or offend homosexuals, I'm just trying to illuminate how a divisive issue works to derail progress. Clinton's policy gave the Republicans the issue they needed to sweep into Congress in 1994. Clinton was still able to accomplish much during his tenure, but he had to fight tooth and nail for everything. And Gore was guilty by association. Making his election severely challenged to our divided electorate. One could also argue that Clinton made, and makes, Hillary's and Barrack's campaigns challenged as well.

    Obama, if he gets elected, will have to be pragmatic and centrist. He will be the first black president. He will be very cautious. And I think that's just about perfect at this time for our country. We need steady, pragmatic, progressives steps that unite this country and allow us to catch up to the rest of the industrialized nations of the world. I wish that we could just wave a magic wand and the wool would be removed from so many eyes in this nation. Particularly the "conservative" poor. As that's not going to happen, nor are any 3rd party candidates going to challenge. Obama's "real problems" pale in comparison to McCain's. Senator McCain's problems are unaffordable.


    I completely disagree (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by sj on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 09:55:53 AM EST
    I think a centrist, left leaning, progressive leaning president is exactly what this country needs.

    I want a President who will use his powers for Good as effectively as Bush used his powers for Evil.  And Bush sure as heck wasn't that effective by being centrist.  

    And anyway, in my opinion, "Centrist" isn't the same thing as "Moderate" and isn't even a position.  It's staking out a place in the middle between two positions.  It's standing for nothing as opposed to standing for something.


    Then you're (none / 0) (#126)
    by phatpay on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 11:50:58 AM EST
    not recognizing how completely fractious and divided our country is today.

    I want a President who will use his powers for Good as effectively as Bush used his powers for Evil.

    As do I.
    But what I'm addressing is the need for a president who will respectfully and transparently govern all Americans. Those Americans politically and ideologically opposite need, and deserve, reassurance and proof that we are moving forward together.
    I'd agree that centrist is not a position, rather a little of both positions. That ticks off hard liners but, imho, that is where the majority of Americans reside politically. Leading from the center will allow us to solidify so that we can actually take progressive steps. I personally believe that we need to make progressive leaps, but just the fact that McCain has a chance to win should highlight how divided we are.


    We were completely fractious ... (none / 0) (#132)
    by sj on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:37:07 PM EST
    ... and divided 4 and and even 8 years ago.  Bush was still effective.  I think we need someone who actually stands for something.  I also think that leading from the center can only provide progressive steps from the smaller state-wide level.  There is too much inertia at the  national level.  It needs to be dragged over to a new direction or nothing new happens.  

    There's a reason why people look for strength in a national leader and why they voted for Bush rather than Kerry.  The "I don't always agree with Bush, but at least I know where he stands" trope drove me to distraction, but I understand it.


    You mean like how Bush pledged to cut carbon (none / 0) (#145)
    by Realleft on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 08:55:37 PM EST
    emissions?  And usher in a new era by showing compassionate conservatism?  Be a uniter, not a divider?  Bring honor and integrity back to the White House? Redeem the culture of Washington? Work across the aisle, like he did in Texas?  

    People didn't know where he stood, they just liked the image he was selling.


    You're right (none / 0) (#148)
    by sj on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:14:05 AM EST
    I should have said people thought they knew where he stood.  It was all image.  I'm pretty much over image.  As Dave Johnson urged years ago, watch what they do, not what they say.

    Not accurate (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:09:58 PM EST
    Bill Clinton didn't "push" don't ask, don't tell in his first year.  Rather he said on the campaign trail that he would like to end the ban on gays serving in the military - however, this was hardly the cornerstone of his campaign.

    Dole and other Republican leaders (inc. folks like Colin Powell) plucked this relatively minor aspect of Clinton candidacy and picked a fight over it for the express purpose of hurting his ability to enact other parts of his agenda.  

    Clinton did not "push" this - the Republicans forced a fight and then forced a compromise.

    Your premise is just wrong.  Therefore, it has no bearing on whether pragmatism is wise as a course of action at this point.  


    My understanding (none / 0) (#143)
    by phatpay on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 05:26:05 PM EST
    is that "Don't ask, don't tell" was enacted in the summer of 1993.

    I understand it was a campaign promise.
    I do support gays in the military.
    There were plenty of homosexuals serving when I was in.

    Him making it policy is the "push" I am referring to. If he would have waited perhaps we could have been able to progress on other issues pertinent to all. I also think that raising the issue itself ending up backfiring on the homosexuals serving in the military at the time.

    If I'm inaccurate in someway please point out how.
    I understand it's supposition. It's all just speculation on my part what would have happened if Clinton had waited to fulfill that campaign promise.


    You clearly don't understand (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 05:54:46 PM EST
    Clinton did not make a policy "push" over this.  He said on the campaign trail he wanted to end the ban on gays in the military - however NO ONE thought this was a priority and Clinton had no intention of making it his first policy push (or second or third).  Health care was the first priority along with economic stimulus.

    Dole and others plucked this issue from obscurity and made a big stink right after Clinton was sworn in because they wanted to pick a political fight they thought he would lose.  In the end, a compromise was reached, but the entire debate only occured because Republicans wanted to put it front and center on the agenda.

    This idea that Clinton "pushed" a progressive agenda the country wasn't ready for based on "don't ask don't tell" is just not accurate.  He had other fish to fry - namely restarting our economy (sound familiar?) By picking a fight over something like this, the Republicans hoped to be able to marginalized Clinton's entire agenda.

    And guess what?  They can do the same thing with your "pragmatic" Obama.  Pick a fight with him over some marginal issue (perhaps affirmative action?  there's a reason that's on so many state ballot initiatives this year) in hopes of knee-capping him politically.

    Please stop blaming Republican tricks on Bill Clinton.

    Read more about it here.


    Hm (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:34:20 PM EST
    I'll buy this argument in the employment context, since I've seen it in action.  Heck, there was a recent study in NYC where they found that white applicants with a criminal record were at least as likely to get hired as identically-qualified black applicants with no criminal record.

    In the political context, it's a little harder to swallow.  Are we really supposed to believe that if the Democrats had nominated a white person, there would be much more focus on McCain's class standing at the Naval Academy?  Come on.  The real issue is that Democratic voters are probably more into credentialism, on the whole.

    Politics has little in common (none / 0) (#15)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:38:06 PM EST
    with landing a job, unless you land a job based largely on knowing the right people.  (In this case "the right people" would be the people who have loads of cash.)  Going in cold to an interview with nothing but a resume and references?  Nope.

    He Might Have Been... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Brillo on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:36:04 PM EST
    Had he been as skilled and talented as Obama is.  

    I personally find it quite unlikely (5.00 / 10) (#21)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:47:42 PM EST
    It's hard to imagine a white candidate beating Hillary by 80-90 points with the black vote on Super Tuesday in places like Georgia.

    Good point. (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:51:02 PM EST
    It's hard to imagine the demographics breaking the same way for Joe White Guy.

    I don't think expressing that opinion (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:56:43 PM EST
    is racist.

    I don't begrudge black americans for voting the way they did, but it's hard to escape the reality of how Obama actually won the nomination.

    He put together the black vote with the Bill Bradley vote.


    True story. (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Faust on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:51:52 PM EST
    And yet, uninteresting. Clinton got some votes because she was a woman and also named Clinton. Obama got some votes because was black. Clinton lost some votes because she was a woman. Obama lost votes because he is black.

    News at 11.

    Personally I happen to believe that racism is a signifcant factor against Obama in the general. However, this is the first (and last) time you will ever see me say that here. Why? because it gets into lose/lose territory. Sucks, but there it is.


    How much of a factor? (none / 0) (#84)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:31:47 AM EST
    Do you think that the Bradley effect still exists?  I think it probably does, to some extent, just not sure what that extent is.  

    Actually no (none / 0) (#94)
    by Faust on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:22:58 AM EST
    I've seen no convincing data based arguments for the Bradley effect. If it exists I would be willing to bet it's a very small hard to measure factor.

    I could go into detail about my views on this subject but like I said I'd rather not go there.

    Though I will point to Persteins FNB article for a start.


    The Race... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Brillo on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:13:58 PM EST
    Was not decided in those states.  But hey, keep right on beating that dead horse.  

    What does that even mean? (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:20:39 PM EST
    Obama picked up a bounty of delegates in the South that would not have been available to him had he not pulled the vast majority of the black vote.

    The comparable situation is Gore v. Bradley.


    Name one white man (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:57:19 PM EST
    Who had as little experience as Obama, a complete unknown,. and made it to the nomination.  Obama was in the right place at the right time, and his race was a help.  Nothing wrong with that.  

    JKF is the only one who comes close, but he had the money, and the connections, to make it work.  


    His race was a help (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Prana on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:06:31 AM EST
    and there is nothing wrong with that? I beg to differ. Should Americans be voting like Iraqi's, Sunni for Sunni, Shiia for Shiia? I hope not but we are seeing some of that in this election. Would Richardson received all the Latino vote? I don't think so.

    What if Obama hadn't played the race card on Clinton and she won the nomination?  Do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are? Nope.


    No one else has received such a high percentage (none / 0) (#86)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:34:50 AM EST
    Of African American votes, close to 95%.  How can we say that race was NOT a factor?  And so what if it was a factor?  

    "There's nothing wrong with voting based on racial pride".
                                            Eleanor Clift


    Wrong. The percentage (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Cream City on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:17:03 PM EST
    isn't that different from some past Dem elections.

    It's the turnout that made the difference.  It is important to understand the difference -- and especially if there is a voter suppression effect.


    and there will be a voter suppression (none / 0) (#150)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 01:13:13 AM EST
    ...no doubt about it...

    did you guys know that if you don't have a permanent residence you forfeit your right to vote...
    that's happening...


    Yes, or worse. (none / 0) (#146)
    by Realleft on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 11:07:11 PM EST
    But it's all pointless speculation, really.

    Does it bother you that women voted for Sen. Clinton? It doesn't bother me at all.

    Obama's a good candidate.  Clinton was a good candidate.  There were some advantages on her side, some on his. She is better with nuts and bolts of governing and pragmatic, workable ideas like HOLC.  He is better with grand sociocultural themes, even those he's had to ditch them for the GE after being cast as an airheaded, empty-suit, hopey/changey rhetorician.

    Obama is fighting racism, Clinton would be fighting sexism, plus a long-standing right-wing attack machine well-oiled to take her out.  I sure as hell would have voted for her, but enough with the "she would be kicking ass" meme.  It's all hypothetical, and of course if you liked her better than Obama that's what you would believe.

    Can we leave the primaries behind yet?


    JFK (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by cal1942 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:48:53 PM EST
    had 3 terms in the House (elected in '46, '48 and '50) and was elected US Senator twice in 1952 and 1958. He was a Vice-Presidential candidate at the 1956 convention. His presidential campaign began in the winter of 1960.

    Graduated Harvard cum laude in history and was a decorated combat veteran of WW II.

    His 1960 opponent, Richard Nixon, had the same number of years in elective office at the federal level, 4 years in the House, 2 years in the Senate and 8 years as VP (when VPs did very little), served in WW II but saw no combat, yet no one ever said that Nixon was inexperienced.

    For some reason people seem to throw JFK into the meager experience category.  It just isn't true.


    Name one black person (none / 0) (#34)
    by indy in sc on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:05:55 PM EST
    male or female who has ever been a major party nominee either for Prez or VP before Obama.  If blackness is the determinative factor, why wasn't Jesse Jackson successful or Al Sharpton or Carol Mosely Braun or Alan Keyes?

    That was back (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:15:09 PM EST
    in the bad old days.  Obama is reaping the rewards of all the "radical" activists who came before him.

    Remember Reagan and the "welfare queens"?  If McCain tried that tactic now, he'd be called out in an instant - Obama or no Obama.


    It is a fascinating point to consider (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Cream City on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:16:03 PM EST
    whether those from the heritage of slavery come with a different acculturation or socialization and face different expectations.  That the first nominee of color would not come from the heritage of 99.9% of Americans of color is so intriguing -- but I don't know yet what to make of it.

    Btw, you're missing the first African American to run for president and win a primary: Rep. Shirley Chisholm.


    Are you saying that all those people (none / 0) (#42)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:17:33 PM EST
    Are just like Obama?  Sorry, but I just don't put Al Sharpton and Alan Keyes on the same plane as Obama.  

    EXACTLY!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#45)
    by indy in sc on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:19:09 PM EST
    One White Man? (none / 0) (#118)
    by jsj20002 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 09:28:05 AM EST
    Abraham Lincoln comes to mind.  No formal education, eight years in the Illinois legislature and two years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Skills: fabulous stump speaker, willing to listen to everyone, self-deprecating sense of humor, not particularly religious.  

    One (none / 0) (#134)
    by cal1942 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:54:07 PM EST
    of the nation's foremost attorneys.  An orator of national repute in an era when oratory was highly respected and held to very high standards.

    Being Educated, Knowledgable, and Smart (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by pluege on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:39:37 PM EST
    are risible traits to the insane right, worthy only of mockery and derision.

    Tells you most of what you need to know about today's America that right wing violence and ignorance are the dominant idealized outlook to ascribe to.

    You are (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by CRAsucks on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:32:22 AM EST
    just making stuff up now.

    We don't hire a resume (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Manuel on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:42:58 PM EST
    Much of the opossition to the Paulson/Frank/Dodd plan is based on the belief that well educated Harvard MBAs and math whiz kids in Wall Street have screwed up the economy.  Many voters in the US are deeply suspicious of intellectuals (with some validity).  Reagan was able to tap into this vein.  Fortunately for us, McCain can't do it.

    the suspicion of intellectuals (none / 0) (#100)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 02:07:43 AM EST
    is in part due to a deeply subconscious jealousy of some sort...a snubbing from good, maybe...or maybe it's just a factor of understanding...

    obviously it may just be a small part, but it is there...
    another small part is due to the perception that people of intelligence aren't evangelical/christian and therefore are not worth the matter they are made of...again, just another small, subconscious part of many factors...

    another factor is that many intellectuals do seem to look down upon those that are less intellectual, and anytime there is contempt there will be hatred from both sides...

    because logically there is no reason to be suspicious of those who may be best at advancing our populous...
    (again, though, I stress that a degree can be more telling about where someone started in life and the advantages they've taken than it can be about intelligence)..


    a snubbing from god, not good (none / 0) (#101)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 02:08:16 AM EST

    Distrust is a big factor (none / 0) (#107)
    by Manuel on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 04:04:35 AM EST
    Voters are on their guard from all the times the smart intellectuals have led individuals, communities, businesses, and countries astray.  The right is excellent at exploiting this understandable lack of trust.  The only way to break this caution is by listening, showing true empathy, and communiating solutions effectively.

    How racism works? (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:49:49 PM EST
    Are they saying that a black ex-Navy fighter pilot and POW that went on to serve in the Senate for 26 years would not be taken at least as seriously as a white one-term Senator when running for president?  Please, that does not even pass the laugh test.

    Did you read the full posted email (none / 0) (#61)
    by downtownted on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:21:03 PM EST
    And only comment on a chosen portion? Well golly, I think that is the name of this little article.

    Hmmm.. (5.00 / 7) (#32)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:59:22 PM EST
    This list seems to be a little silly to me.  I'm not qualified to ascertain whether or not racism is at work in this campaign.  But it's ridiculuous to take all the negatives of one candidate and line them up against all the positives of another.  One could easily reverse this list to make an entirely different point:

    - "What if one candidate was a decorated former Navy pilot while the other saw his political patron indicted and convicted of improperly influecing elected officials?"


    So, yeah.  Lame.

    Hey cut them some slack (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by Prana on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:10:54 AM EST
    Just because a person went to college and then law school does not mean they are smart. And it doesn't mean they do productive things with all their time either.

    That this email made the rounds to lots of attorneys is scary.


    heh (none / 0) (#131)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:13:17 PM EST
    "Just because a person went to college and law school does not mean they are smart."

    I believe you've successfully undercut the entire premise of this chain email.

    For what it's worth, I happened to go to one of the schools Obama went to and I can personally attest that while the proportion of smart students to average students is likely higher, there are many average students at so-called elite schools.

    Just graduating from those schools is no indicator of intelligence.


    Yeah, it's an old ... (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:12:43 AM EST
    debating trick.  You set up two things that seem equivalent, but aren't.

    You might as well say:  Who's the better pilot?  Obama?  Who's never crashed a plane.  Or McCain? Who's crashed five planes.


    Words are tricky things.  They often make the irrational seem rational.


    Obama was a transfer student (5.00 / 7) (#36)
    by Cream City on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:12:28 PM EST
    to Columbia, so why isn't his first college listed here, too, as it is for Palin?  Or why isn't just the college that granted her degree listed for her?

    This email is going the rounds of a group of a group of people with advanced degrees who ought to be better at research.  And not a one of 'em who got this raised this point that suggests either poor research or a biased summary of the "facts"?

    Not to mention Sen. Biden's abysmal (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:54:50 PM EST
    class standing.

    Obama has plenty wrong with him. (5.00 / 6) (#48)
    by jerry on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:22:05 PM EST
    The problem with the letter is that it takes the easy way out and attributes all of Obama's woes to racism.

    The other truth is he has run a pretty gutless, leaderless campaign, and if he had taken stands, called senators to vote how he thought was right at certain times, led his committee, than it wouldn't matter the latent racism that is out there.

    It is just way too easy to cry racism and it really doesn't do any good.

    Look upstream, good people falling over their feet to call each other racist and to declare Ferraro a racist.  As opposed to acknowledging that Ferraro has a point, a non-racist point, but a point whose strength people can disagree with.

    Regarding the other stuff about McCain.  McCain's done quite a bit wrong, but we've long ago showed that apart from talk, most American's don't care about the marriage issues, primarily because most American's have had pretty screwed up marriages themselves.  McCain has also done quite a bit that's right that I do respect him for that others may respect him for too.  His actions on the first tanker deal were 10000% correct and showed guts and leadership.  (Subsequent Airbus deals were arguably corrupt and showed the reverse).  (His position regarding FCS is arguably much much better than Obama's as well.)

    There are legit reasons for people to wonder about Obama, and legit reasons for people to look to McCain.  Letters about racism that gloss over those reasons are not helpful at all.

    And I have to forgive him for the Keating 5, one of my all time favorite Senators, Alan Cranston, was in that group too.

    The point is racism exists.  But going to that as the first explanation for everything is counterproductive, blaming, alienating, and does not accomplish the goal of getting Obama elected.  Probably hurts his chances.

    What if Obama was (5.00 / 13) (#50)
    by Cream City on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:30:53 PM EST
    not the son of two Ph.D.'s and the grandson of well-off grandparents but instead was the daughter of a low-paid high school teacher?  What if he went to public schools instead of private schools?  What if the route for him to get to college was not as a full pay, courtesy of his grandparents, but on a beauty contest scholarship?  

    I find it as or more interesting to see how much the focus on race in this thread ignores the obvious differences in class, which Americans never like to discuss, as well as in gender.

    only criteria people based their votes on. But, it's not that easy, and there are hundreds of other things we look at.

    Truman was a haberdasher. If you've never read PLAIN SPEAKING; AN ORAL BIOGRAPHY OF HARRY S. TRUMAN I highly recommend it for both entertainment and educational value.

    Definitely agree -- (5.00 / 5) (#53)
    by Cream City on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:37:34 PM EST
    my dad so admired Truman, and I made sure to inherit my dad's copy of Plain Speaking -- in part because I can see to which pages my dad returned, again and again.  It is a great "read."

    Interesting (none / 0) (#136)
    by cal1942 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:03:30 PM EST
    in this discussion that no one pointed out that Harry Truman had a high school diploma and never attended college.

    Grrr. (none / 0) (#54)
    by jerry on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:38:26 PM EST
    In this economy, I don't need people recommending books.

    Luckily for you, this book is available for about a buck at Amazon's used bookstore, and for as little as a penny elsewhere.

    Where do you get off recommending books during a financial meltdown?

    (If you can't tell, well, thank you for the recommendation.)


    Where do you get off (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Cream City on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:08:24 PM EST
    dissing books any time, in any economy?  Book burner?

    Books can only hurt people's feelings, (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by jerry on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:14:39 PM EST
    I think books have done their damage.  Luckily, we have TV now.

    There you go.... (none / 0) (#117)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 09:24:32 AM EST
    as far as I'm concerned Truman was the last really good president we had.

    Thanks for bringing him up, I need to peep that book.  The Truman movie with Gary Sinise was good too.


    An email like that (5.00 / 12) (#64)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:44:42 PM EST
    makes me take serious pause.  All my life I have been a liberal.  A poor one but a liberal.  When you send off info about everyone's education, I am more in line with Palin than I am Obama.  I went to community college, as I could afford to.  My parents were not in a position to help at all.

    As a 29 yr old, I went back full-time to community college (after dropping out for 8 years) and finishing my BA at 31.  I went to school full-time from the fall of 97 to the spring of 2000.  i got all the credits i could from jr college and transfered to the university level.

    I turned out okay and thankfully do well.  If having an Ivy League education (see Bush43 for details) is an example, I gladly take my public state schools over that thankyouverymuch.

    THEN we could also opine about people like the guy who founded Wendy's who never finished high school and one Bill Gates who was a college drop-out.

    I feel that these comparisons are ill-fated.  As the saying goes, the A students wind up working for the C students.

    What for? (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by koshembos on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:20:07 AM EST
    I think that the email is off point. Racism exits and will continue to exist. Complaining about it neither informs nor helps.

    The email obscures the facts that Obama runs a terrible campaign and that McCain does attract many people. We may not understand why McCain seems appealing to many, but I didn't understand why Democrats were attracted to Obama either.

    Obama may lose because of race, but we knew that ahead of time. Raising the issue time and again serves absolutely no purpose.

    Ya know what's even worse, though? (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by stevea66 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:23:02 AM EST
    I guess I don't have an issue with affirmative action, other than the fact that it might take a spot away from another deserving person who happens to be white, but what I really do have a problem with is when a student is accepted because they have world-class speed or can throw a 95 yard bomb, but whose transcripts would typically disqualify him.  And all the perks - jeez!  But, I guess that's just the way the world works sometimes, eh?

    Actually, affirmative action now hurts Asians (none / 0) (#89)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:43:06 AM EST
    More than whites.  My family is very mixed and yes, some have gone to good schools because of affirmative action.  But I still don't think it's right.  It just feels like discrimination based on race to me.  

    if some white persons (none / 0) (#96)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:46:01 AM EST
    could be relied upon not to have certain feelings when seeing someone of dark skin compared to the feelings they have when they see someone 'trustworthy' that looks like them then it wouldn't be needed...

    I've worked at more than one retail store where we the employee were told to keep a closer eye on certain individuals based upon skin color as they walked throughout the store...

    this is a natural human flaw, though, just like the evangelical need to attack all islamists...its just a natural reaction, unfortunately...not sure if it will ever change...not sure if god expects us to rise above, or just go with it...


    then again (none / 0) (#97)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:48:56 AM EST
    maybe it's not a flaw, maybe it's just an evolutionary need to protect our individual race/'subspecies'...

    still, though, the question remains whether to rise above it and deal with it honestly, or to just go with it and live in the contempt that is natural to almost all humans...

    one route is easy, the other is hard...and everything, alive or not, in this world usually takes the route of least resistance


    Serious question? (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:37:13 AM EST
    With America facing historic debt, 2 wars, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc.

    You are The Boss... which team would you hire?

    An effete Ivy League intellectual is probably the last person I'd consider to do the savvy labor that is necessary to right this ship.

    Disillusioned (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by lentinel on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 06:20:45 AM EST
    I couldn't care less about a candidate's formal education.
    The most brilliant man I know of in public life was Malcolm X.
    He was entirely self-educated.

    Bush received an ivy-league education.

    Kennedy surrounded us with the best and brightest Harvard graduates and gave us the firm foundations for the war in Vietnam and the attempted invasion of Cuba.


    Except (none / 0) (#138)
    by cal1942 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:14:59 PM EST
    that the worst crisis ever was turned around by IVY League educated Franklin Roosevelt (Harvard and Columbia Law).

    His successor, Harry Truman, had only a high school education but did an extraordinary job in very complex times.

    Making a hard and fast rule about education or the lack thereof is easily contradicted by history.


    Who made a hard and fast rule? (none / 0) (#142)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 03:03:43 PM EST
    We're talking about one very specific dude. I stand by my comment.

    That email is shameful (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by mexboy on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 02:56:58 AM EST
    In my opinion that email's goal is to shame people into voting for Obama. It implies that if you don't vote for him it is because you're a racist, and that if he were to lose, it is because of racist people not voting for him because he is black.

    There are plenty of reasons one would chose NOT to vote for Obama. He has flip flopped on many issues already discussed to death on this and other sites.

    I am Mexican and I can say that I've seen  very few instances of true racism in my life, but those few have been made insignificant by the vast majority of experiences with people of all walks of life.( I traveled the country for over 15 years, and I met thousands of people every year.)

    I do not take lightly to the implied accusation that I am a racist for not voting for Obama, and I hope others are equally angered by that stupid email.

    This is my opinion, a very angry one, but still mine.

    That's about the most racist thing I've read here (4.00 / 3) (#2)
    by rdandrea on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:18:27 PM EST

    Not because I don't have something to say, but because comments like yours aren't worth arguing with.

    the comment you are replying to (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:29:02 PM EST
    was absolutely racist and deleted.

    How REVERSE racism works: (4.00 / 4) (#109)
    by Caro on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 04:41:17 AM EST
    How did Barack Obama become president of the Harvard Law Review? How did he get into Columbia and Harvard? His grades, by all accounts, were not spectacular. And why didn't he publish anything while he held that position at the Harvard Law Review?

    Why was an unpublished author -- a nobody -- given a massive advance to write Dreams From My Father? An advance big enough to justify renting an office and going on a "working holiday" in Bali?

    Joe Biden saw his presidential ambitions end amid accusations of plagiarism. Obama has been caught plagiarizing repeatedly. If his skin were the same color as Joe Biden's, wouldn't he have shared Biden's fate?

    What if John McCain said during a debate "I barely know Tony Rezko" -- and then an FBI informant later came forward to tell a tale of daily contacts? Wouldn't McCain's candidacy have ended right then and there?

    What if John McCain had made sure that fat government contracts went to crooks who poured big bucks into his campaign, and who made sure that he could buy a mansion he could not afford?

    What if the money for Stately McCain Mansion came from Nadhmi Auchi, the billionaire associate of Khaddafy and Saddam Hussein, convicted by the French for theft of public funds?

    What if John McCain had sponsored a state law which allowed crooks to raid a hospital fund?

    What if John McCain had done everything he could to make sure that subsidized housing was "privatized" in order for crooks to abscond with $100 million in state funds?

    What if McCain's father were a Socialist bureaucrat tied to a corrupt foreign regime?

    What if John McCain's mom had irresponsibly handed the kids off to Grandma in order to travel the world on a voyage of self-discovery?

    What if John McCain had never served in the military and never held a real job?

    What if John McCain's first general election commercial claimed that he voted for a bill -- on extended health care for those in the military -- that he actually did not vote for?

    What if John McCain had promised to take public financing for his campaign and then suddenly reneged?

    What if John McCain counted the crooked head of Fannie Mae among his financial advisers?

    What if John McCain refused to denounce those supporters who threatened the lives of those advocating for an opponent?

    What if John McCain had promised not to run in 2008 -- and did anyway?

    What if John McCain had no record of accomplishments whatsoever?

    What if John McCain had worked closely with a terrorist like William Ayers? What if John McCainlied about the association?

    How quick would Democrats be to forgive any white candidate who rigged the caucuses and forbade a much-needed revote in Michigan and Florida?

    How quickly would Democrats forgive any white candidate who rigged the roll call vote at the convention?

    What if John McCain had insisted that Social Security was "not in crisis" during an October debate, only to call it a "crisis" a month later? (I mention this by of response to the reader who thinks that "Social Security" is an issue that can win the $50 challenge.)

    What if John McCain had taken every conceivable position on Iran?

    What if a white candidate claimed to be a staunch opponent of the Iraq war, yet refused to support Russ Feingold's pullout measure and voted repeatedly to fund the conflict?

    What if John McCain claimed in campaign literature that he never supported NAFTA, when in fact he had?

    What if John McCain was caught giving the Canadians backdoor reassurances that he didn't really mean what he said on the campaign trail? Wouldn't that scandal have ended the campaign of anywhite candidate?

    What if any white candidate said that he was a vigorous opponent of the Iraq war during a 2004 Senate campaign -- when the record shows that he was no such thing, that he did everything he could to avoid talking about the invasion?

    What if any white candidate purged his website of his speeches condemning the Surge?

    What if any white candidate said that he would filibuster any bill offering telecom immunity, only to vote for it?

    What if John McCain had spent twenty years attending a white racist "identity" church? Okay, never mind that: What if he had spent twenty years in Jerry Falwell's church? Or, heck, even a Gnostic church, or the Theosophical Society, or a Buddhist temple? Would such a candidate have anychance at a future in politics?

    What if John McCain had headed up a campaign which encouraged an army of zombie followers to shout an unending stream of insults and lies at a former first lady and a former president?

    Would any white candidate be allowed to run a smear campaign in a primary?

    Would any white candidate be allowed to change his positions so radically on gay marriage, taxes, and gun control?

    Would any white candidate get away with lying about "living on food stamps" when in fact he was brought up in affluence?

    Would any white candidate get away with claiming that his parents were married when they were not? (I don't care either way, personally -- still, I think the matter would have been a bigger deal if the political bastard were, say, Chris Dodd.)

    Thanks to Joseph Cannon.

    Carolyn Kay

    This is ridiculous. (none / 0) (#147)
    by Realleft on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 11:11:17 PM EST
    Utterly frickin' ridiculous.  Made up BS.  Troll.

    Of course! (none / 0) (#8)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:26:19 PM EST
    Obama decided to run to get his name out there, maybe a VP choice, when he caught fire.  Of course his race was instrumental in our choice.  Many people were excited about having an AA on our ticket.  Nothing wrong with that.  As Eleanor Clift said, there's nothing wrong with voting based on racial pride.  (Although that wouldn't be so cool for white people to do that.)  Anywho, many of us were happy to support a Black man.  

    the comment you are replying to (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:30:58 PM EST
    was deleted for being racist.

    It is true that our country does need an AA (none / 0) (#98)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:57:43 AM EST
    person to be in the 'white' house...
    whether Obama is the exact person it should be is up for debate, but the time has come considering the %of the population that isn't white in our country...

    minorities need a reason to feel like they are part of this society, instead of just the garbage that gets put in jail...

    they need to know that they can take pride in their country and in the positions they can aspire to in their country...

    right now, your average young black male doesn't have a lot to look forward to, except a large chance of not finishing high school, a tiny chance of going to college and a 10% chance of spending time behind bars....

    with an AA president maybe that changes...maybe it helps to make changes that have been stalled in our society for 30 years now (if not reversing)...

    once an AA knows that he/she can do whatever they want in this society then maybe the great ones will be more likely to stand up and lead the rest into a new era of a better America...

    again, I don't like the idea of voting solely on this agenda, but if it wasn't so hard for minorities in this country maybe this agenda wouldn't be needed...and here's to hoping that a black president (whenever that may happen) will be one giant leap for America

    I think the ideal thing to do would have been to run Clinton/Obama this election and then allow Obama to run in the future, but it's too late for that now and we'll just have to see how the future diverges from where it may have gone with Clinton as the POTUS and Obama in training...


    I do not buy that old argument (none / 0) (#124)
    by jar137 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 11:32:18 AM EST
    If young black men are not finishing high school or getting a college education it is not because opportunities don't exist.  Your argument was valid 25 years ago perhaps, but since then there has been a generation of affirmative action and other assists to provide opportunities to disdvantaged African Americans.  At this point in time, the responsibility for not achieving (regardless of race) has to lie with the individual.  I find your view, however well intentioned, to be patronizing.

    Those with less (of all races) will always have a more diffiult time achieving- esp. as the divide between the haves and have nots continues to widen.  It is not because of race, but because of economics.


    Racial minorities are (none / 0) (#137)
    by ahazydelirium on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:10:12 PM EST
    disproportionately poorer than their white counterparts. I think it's naive to say that racism and economics do not intersect.

    I did not say that at all. (none / 0) (#141)
    by jar137 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:59:50 PM EST
    And I agree with you.  I also think that many issues that are defined in terms of racism (such as educational inequality) are really socio-economic issues.  Poor children of all colors have the same bad schools, fewer opportunities, etc.  I was responding to the writer's assertion that low graduation rates, etc. are a product of racism.  In this day, I don't agree this is the case.  

    Oh please, yourself (none / 0) (#13)
    by indy in sc on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:35:29 PM EST
    You've made it clear you subscribe to the Geraldine Ferraro school of how easy it is for a black man in this country to ascend to the position of major party nominee, but don't pretend that is unimpeachable truth.

    IMO, it is exactly the first term Senator thing that helped catapult Obama to the nomination.  It is a change year and candidates running under the banner of experience stand to lose.  Note how "Mr. Experience" McCain didn't really have juice until he added his own "change" candidate Palin to the ticket who is also running on her "newness" to the scene. Of course there were other factors and your fictional Mike Murphy would also have to have possessed Obama's oratory gifts and x factor, but at the end of the day, Obama's newness contributed far more to where we are today than his blackness.

    Stop it (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by hitchhiker on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:50:27 PM EST
    the Geraldine Ferraro school of how easy it is for a black man in this country to ascend to the position of major party nominee

    That is not what she said, and you make yourself foolish by pretending it was.

    If your position is that Barack Obama with white skin would be exactly where he is today, go ahead and defend it as best you can, but you should know that Obama himself disagrees with you.


    Obama has never said (none / 0) (#26)
    by indy in sc on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:54:30 PM EST
    that he would not have won the nomination if he was not black.  If you want to be a stickler for exact quotes, get that one right.  The "but for his being black" he would not have beaten Hillary and he would not be the nominee is the post I was responding to--go ahead and defend that as best you can, but you should know that Hillary herself disagrees with you.

    I know (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by hitchhiker on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:18:49 PM EST
    The "but for his being black" he would not have beaten Hillary and he would not be the nominee is the post I was responding to

    that's what you were responding to.  And your effort fell flat, because you made the mistake of putting words into Ferraro's mouth that she didn't say.

    And because you're just wrong.

    There's no way on earth that a white guy with Obama's exact gifts and resume would be the nominee today.  Sorry, but it would not have happened--and I say that as somebody who plans to vote for him and wishes him well.

    Can we go back to dismantling the Republicans now?


    Just understand that (none / 0) (#52)
    by indy in sc on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:33:43 PM EST
    is your opinion--you state it as fact--saying that I'm "just wrong" and that there is "no way" a white man with Obama's exact gifts and resume would not be the nominee.  I see it completely opposite from you and while you disagree with my pov, your pov completely infuriates me.

    I'm glad we share common ground in that we are voting Obama and wish him well. I'm sure we share even more common ground than that, however, I am stepping away now to take deep breaths and wait for my blood pressure to lower.


    because Bush's background (none / 0) (#99)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 02:02:06 AM EST
    was so amazing...

    I guess we could say that had Bush not been from the family he was from then he would not have been ANYWHERE near the presidency...

    is that much different?  one's a judgment based upon class, and the other is a judgment based upon skin...

    and most of America fell for the former, so there is no innocence...

    then again, we see how badly that worked out (although not many people who voted for Bush are willing to admit that they were wrong)


    In this case, maybe not race (none / 0) (#20)
    by TheRealFrank on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:47:27 PM EST
    It could be race, certainly, but I think it has more to do with the current state of Democratic and Republican campaigns.

    Republicans will always attack any way they can, and Democrats shy away from attacking a lack of education. And somehow it's ok for Republicans to have a lack of education or to not appear to educated (see Bush Jr) but somehow it is not for Democrats.

    Same goes for the personal issues. Republicans will attack on someone's past drug use, while Democrats generally don't.

    I would like to think (none / 0) (#33)
    by Manuel on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:04:43 PM EST
    that Obama would still be winning if all we did was switch the candidates credentials and race but otherwise left the positions on the issues the same.

    What if we switched the Credentials (none / 0) (#37)
    by arguewithmydad com on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:13:58 PM EST
    Excellent article.  You are absolutely correct that the Republicans would be screaming bloody murder if the Dems had proposed such losers as their candidates.

    The GOP will scream bloody murder (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:17:57 PM EST
    no matter what.

    My husband has somehow gotten on the GOP list.  A "Be Afraif, Very Afraid" mailer showed up last week.  Tonight it was a robocall about the Dems and their extremist, radical Hollywood friends.  (Hey Ronnie! - you old extremist radical, you.)


    Magnificent spanking for all who deserve it. nt (none / 0) (#49)
    by Compound F on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:28:33 PM EST

    the email (none / 0) (#57)
    by AdamA on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:03:43 PM EST
    This email has already made its rounds.  I got it a while ago with the subject, "hypocrisy".  

    It makes some good points, but I'm not sure, "How racism works" is the best  intro unless, again, we are pointing out the subtleties of institution racism.  White privilege has a hard time recognizing various forms of institutional racism outside its viewpoint ... even when it's not so subtle.

    People of color might see this email in a very different way than those with white privilege.  To try to correct that with, "given all the same, if Obama was white, he wouldn't be where he is" only reinforces the point.

    How Racism REALLY works and why it'll change (none / 0) (#63)
    by stevea66 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:43:41 PM EST
    What a great letter - and so, so true.  If Obama were under investigation for 'abuse of power' as Palin currently is, the race would be over, particularly if there's no verdict before votes are cast.  Hell, some people still believe he's a Muslim.  It just doesn't matter that his mother was white and his grandparents were white, or that he's related to Brad Pitt, and has an Asian cousin who lives in Canada, with relatives in Kenya.  With all this, though...he's just 'black.'  

    But, I have another thought to share.  I think most racists are not necessarily 'bad' people, but simply unconscious.  Most of the racists I know grew up in a vacuum in which they learned racism.  It's hard to shake all the years of racist parents teaching 'values' in that way.  More and more, though, we are becoming more conscious and more exposed to members of other races.  Today's high schoolers have a completely different perspective than youngsters had just 20 years ago.  It won't be long and it'll be a non-issue.

    I teach high school, and in every single class I teach there are black, white, and hispanic kids having no problem getting along.

    Movin'on (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by marian evans on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:20:58 AM EST
    In Australia recently, I saw a programme on their public broadcaster (the ABC, like the BBC). There's a panel of guests - politicians, artists, environmentalists, writers, leading thinkers of all kinds - and an audience who asks them wide-ranging questions.

    One thing that struck me when I watched a couple of these shows is that the guests were not chosen as "types".

    For ex, they had some guy from a right wing think tank. It turned out when the question of gay marriage was discussed, that he was gay - but that wasn't why he was on the panel.

    Similarly, Australia's environment minister was on one panel. She is both a lesbian and of Chinese-descent. Neither of those issues led to her being on the panel - and neither was reflected in the discussion.

    There was an Aboriginal academic on one panel who was there not as an Aboriginal, but as a social welfare expert.

    Obviously, their specific minority status informed their discussion, but that wasn't the focus of their involvement.

    And that, folks, is when you know you've moved on.


    Too many ifs (none / 0) (#114)
    by lentinel on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 06:31:01 AM EST
    How do we explain this?:

    Obama campaigns for Lieberman and even bragged about it not too long ago. Means nothing to his anti-war supporters.

    Obama votes for FISA after saying he would oppose it.

    Obama names Biden, a guy with a draconian legislative record, as his running mate. All objections are resolved by his supporters.

    Obama does a campaign tour with a known homophobe, Donnie McClurkin and justifies his opposition to gay marriage by laying it on his religious beliefs. Means nothing to his liberal supporters.

    There is something at work here.
    People are going to go where they go.
    They will rationalize anything.

    It would help if we were not forced to compromise and always choose between the least worse. Nader asked if we were confronted with the choice of voting for the candidate of the Anti-Slavery party, would we choose instead to vote for the least worst of the candidates of the Pro-Slavery parties?
    Good question.


    What if Obama... (none / 0) (#66)
    by stevea66 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:53:54 PM EST

    You bring up a good point, for sure.  But you're talking about affirmative action now.  However it is they got in, they were incredibly successful.  And if being black gave them a bit of an edge, great.  It means that we have a shot at having a pragmatic president with an incredibly varied cultural background who managed to get 200,000 Europeans to wave American flags.  A miracle these days, when so many around the world would like to see us suffer.  We are hated.  And, our election process is now the laughing stock of the world, mostly due to McCain lies and his ridiculous choice of Palin.  We need Obama to restore just a bit of respect.

    I am shocked to see (none / 0) (#69)
    by CRAsucks on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:06:08 AM EST
    an intelligent and reasonable response to a dissenting post. I will grant you that Palin is a non traditional and inexperienced choice, but people like her and identify with her.

    What has all the experience of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank brought us in their positions of power in banking and finance?

    The canonization of Barney Frank in the wake of his fight against regulation of Freddie and Fannie is mind boggling.


    Likewise (none / 0) (#74)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:11:36 AM EST
    it is astonishing to see so many conservatives blithely accept the notion that John McCain, by seeking to bring Fannie and Freddie under the regulatory control of the Bush Administration, was pursuing a goal of tougher regulation for the one and only time in his political career.

    I don't at all give (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by CRAsucks on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:29:29 AM EST
    McCain credit for that, but I sure as hell condemn Barney Frank and many others for fighting reform. It infuriates me to see him pontificating about this mess now.

    But (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:48:48 AM EST
    if you accept that McCain's purpose in sponsoring the bill wasn't tougher regulation, then you can't say Barney Frank was guilty of opposing regulation either.

    Let me be real with you about a couple things.  First, the Bush recovery was almost exclusively driven by the housing bubble, which resulted from near-total deregulation of the mortgage lending market coupled with Greenspan's decision to crank the prime rate all the way down to 1% back when the economy was in the dumps.  For the Republicans to have cracked down on mortgage lending at any time would have been killing the goose that laid the golden egg.  And let's not forget that encouraging minority home ownership, the conservative target du jour for blame in this whole mess, has been an agenda item of the Bush Administration since day one.

    Second, no one disputes that Fannie and Freddie have been politically aligned with the Democratic Party since time immemorial.  The Republican-sponsored bill to transfer oversight to the Bush Administration was not an effort to impose tougher regulation, for the reasons stated above, but simply an attempt to use some very real accounting scandals at Fannie and Freddie as a pretext to shift control of those organizations to the Republican Party.  That is why there was a party-line vote, not because the GOP decided for the first time since Reagan that tougher regulation was the answer.

    It's a pleasant-sounding tale to hold Barney Frank responsible for the current crisis, but there is no reason on God's green earth to believe that if McCain's bill had somehow passed, the Bush Administration would have cracked the whip on Fannie and Freddie and shut down the out-of-control mortgage lending practices that were keeping the Bush economy afloat.  This much should be very clear: if the Republicans actually cared about tougher regulation of the mortgage lending industry, as opposed to just getting Fannie and Freddie under GOP control, there are a zillion ways they could have gone at it without touching Fannie and Freddie.


    The notion that Europe hates us is ridiculous (none / 0) (#125)
    by jar137 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 11:42:19 AM EST
    I spent the pst two years in Europe and never encountered any hostility.  In fact, in my experience, most Europeans really like America, esp. the American people.  We are perceived as open and warm and kind.  Sure, they don't like what our government has done over the past eight years, but they are not so simple-minded as to "hate" us for that.  NY is overrun with Europans because of the weak dollar and because many love NY.  Clearly, they don't "hate" that much.

    I was just a white guy doing drugs... (none / 0) (#68)
    by stevea66 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:05:54 AM EST
    and I was accepted into a prestigious university on a full-tuition scholarship and teaching assistantship.  Never underestimate those who choose to spend a little time (or even a lot, for that matter) in an altered state.

    So was I, (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by CRAsucks on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:11:56 AM EST
    and I never even considered any prestigious schools. I can tell the that the salutatorion of my high school, which was a top public school in the suburbs of Chicago, was not accepted at Stanford. I'll bet that Obama could have walked right in at Stanford because of his race.

    HIs race? (none / 0) (#110)
    by wasabi on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 05:03:34 AM EST
    Maybe it would have been because he went to a very prestegious high school?

    CRAsucks: (none / 0) (#72)
    by stevea66 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:09:52 AM EST
    I agree that experience is not everything.  Look at all the experience Cheney and Rumsfeld had.  Anyone is capable of messing things up.  I guess my question would be, "Which candidate is LEAST LIKELY to mess things up?  I gotta go with Obama/Biden on that one.

    As far as I'm concerned, (1.00 / 1) (#77)
    by CRAsucks on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:19:28 AM EST
    I don't have a problem with Obama's lack of experience or his ability to get things done. What I am concerned about is what he wants to get done. I believe that he leans towards socialism, and I believe that that is a huge problem.

    We have replaced the work ethic of our country with an entitlement mentality. Mortgages were givem to people that could not afford them, and immigrants were brought in to do the jobs that welfare recipients would not(did not have to) do.

    Those are simple facts and I would love a response through E-mail at jt3151@gmail.com. I say that because my dissenting posts are always deleted.


    how many persons (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 02:14:28 AM EST
    born into elite societies take jobs that welfare persons won't take?

    is that not also entitlement?

    I don't have to be a warehouse worker because my grandfather/mother is filthy rich...

    seems like entitlement to me...


    I wish... (none / 0) (#120)
    by sj on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 10:16:27 AM EST
    ...I believe that he leans towards socialism...

    SteveA66 (none / 0) (#81)
    by CRAsucks on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:26:01 AM EST
    seriously- Email me.jt3151@gmail.com. Whenever I have tried to engage in a dialogue here I have been labeled a "chatterer". In my view, I have tried to respond to the numerous posts which denounce my views, but to Jeralyn, I post too often.

    koshembos: (none / 0) (#83)
    by stevea66 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:31:47 AM EST
    Good point, except for the part about Obama running a terrible campaign.  You can't really be serious on that, can you?  He has run an historic campaign.  Think about it.  They have a very strong organization with more in small donations coming from typical Americans than ever before.  His campaign has inspired millions.  I always go back to this, but the guy got 200,000 Europeans to wave American flags.  And in the face of months and months of digging dirt, twisting truths, he's a Muslim, he wants to teach sex education to your 6 year old, he's elitist, he didn't wear a flag pin that day, on and on...he has come through it all looking pretty good.  I think it has been a brilliant campaign.

    how did sen. mccain, (none / 0) (#88)
    by cpinva on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:40:58 AM EST
    given his miserable class rank at the naval academy, get to be a pilot? ordinarily, you have to be in the top 10% (i think) of your class, to even be considered for naval aviation. given his class rank, something tells me he wasn't getting A's in engineering. could daddy, the admiral, have had anything to do with this plum assignment?

    i'd be curious to see his flight school evaluations as well

    i'd rather have a surgeon who actually graduated from med school operate on me, then one who read about it, and watched while others performed operations. he might be able to actually distinguish between various body parts.

    Smart choice. (none / 0) (#91)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:52:01 AM EST
    I too would rather have the politician who actually graduated from historic debt schol, 2 wars school, stumbling health care school, a weakened dollar school, all-time high prison population school, mortgage crises school, bank foreclosures school, etc.

    But hey, if you think a community organizing school is da bomb for all that, right on to you!


    he did make a good point, though (none / 0) (#103)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 02:17:01 AM EST
    about how McCain became a pilot after graduating from the bottom of his class...

    my guess is that had his father and grandfather been someone different this may not have been the case...

    that is the way it goes in America, though, and we are all guilty victims...


    SAVVY LABOR? (none / 0) (#92)
    by stevea66 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:52:04 AM EST
    Oh, my God.  Yeah.  Obama hasn't worked a day in his life.  He has always been rich, spoiled, and probably doesn't have a clue about how to use a screwdriver.  Are you serious?  Who spent three years as a community organizer?  Who just paid off his student loans a couple years ago?  Who was raised by a single mother and then by grandparents?  Who is kicking the crap out of McCain on judgment, organization, and pragmatism?  And, by the way, McCain sure 'rolled up his sleeves' to save the economy - talked for two minutes in the big meeting with Bush and said nothing.  He 'rolled up his sleeves' while he failed to persuade fellow Republicans to vote for the bailout.  And when he went back the following day to 'save our economy,' he spent the whole time in his office, 'keeping in touch by phone.'

    And Palin, for God's sake.  Members of her legislature wore "Where's Sarah?" pins because she hardly showed up.

    And don't even bring up the 'voting present' thing on Obama.  We all know the facts around it.  And McCain has the 2nd worse attendance record in the Senate.

    Oh, and I guess he 'rolled up his sleeves' when he worked so hard at graduating near the bottom of his class in the military academy (or whatever it was he attended).

    Obama works...

    Easy there honcho. (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:13:16 PM EST
    My prediction? He gets elected in Nov and gets nothing, essentially, accomplished. You, apparently, think he's our savior. Good luck with that.

    A lot of truth (none / 0) (#111)
    by lentinel on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 05:05:17 AM EST
    There is a lot of truth in what is expressed here.

    However, there is also the capacity of the voter to ignore anything negative about a candidate they want to vote for.

    Example: Shortly before the election in 2000, it become known that Bush had been arrested for drunken driving. Perhaps it would have sunk Gore, but it did no damage to Bush. His partisans even successfully framed it as a low blow that this information was made public.

    Example: Shortly before the election in 1992, it was revealed that Clinton allowed the execution of a mentally retarded man to proceed in Arkansas - rather than allow himself to be portrayed as one who was soft on crime. It made no difference to his supporters - many of whom were liberals.

    Emotion and the perception of self-interest does the cover-up and rationalizing for us.

    The college arguement (none / 0) (#115)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 07:02:23 AM EST
    Firstly, I think there is no substitute for formal education.  Certainly you can learn to think without an education, but it is harder (the examples of those that did it without college are exceptions to the rule).  Formal college education gives you 1) a structured system that teaches a method of learning and anaylsis, 2) gives you intelligent classmates to learn with and grow with that are all persuing the same educational goals.  Without these things it is hard to learn to think through multiple processes to deeper depths of understanding.  That is, being well read (anyone with a libary card) is very different then someone who has learned how these books fit into a methodology of looking at the world.

    Politically this college arguement is very important in terms of attracting lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc.  I was talking to a Republican leaning doctor (there are a lot of them), and brought up the education thing- this was huge for him.  I am guessing it will be for those of us with careers that depend on "elite" educations.  This is becuase our elite education  is part of our mythology of how "great" and "uniquely wonderful" are careers are, and through them how we are :)

    RE "lawyers, doctors, engineers..." (none / 0) (#135)
    by oldpro on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 12:56:50 PM EST
    These are professions requiring, ordinarily, graduate degrees and a very particular kind of training for each to acquire the skills necessary for success.

    In my book, such specialized training is not 'education.'

    Without a foundation in the liberal arts, elite school or no elite school, one is unlikely to acquire an education.  Exceptions exist, of course, but the professions rarely produce a poet, a novelist, a dramatist, a painter, a composer...

    "This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper."

    What a choice...TS Eliot or Paul Desmond?

    "This is the way the world ends
    Not with a whim but a banker."

    Maybe both.


    Whenever (none / 0) (#121)
    by eric on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 10:31:26 AM EST
    the issue of education comes up, there are always those that complain that it is somehow "elitist" to value the educational accomplishments of our candidates.  I do not understand this.

    I know that many regular folks would like to believe that they are just as smart as those that have excelled in education and obtained degrees from respected institutions.  But the truth is they are not.  People have different abilities and talents but some people are just plain more intelligent than others.  Some people have a greater ability to reason, to remember, to analyze.  Now, this doesn't make them any better, just better suited to some types of jobs.

    Some people are gifted in other ways.  Some people have tremendous artistic or athletic talents, for example.  And while it seems perfectly reasonable to leave occupations like artist and athlete to those that have those gifts, many seem reluctant to allow those with the gifts of intelligence and reason to do those occupations that call for those things.  We even, at times, confuse one's fame and success in athletics or acting with one's qualifications to govern.

    Now, I would submit that being President requires all kinds of talents, many of which cannot be taught or measured.  But it does also require the gifts of intelligence and reason.  And it requires the education that can only be attained by the use those with those gifts.  

    In most professional jobs, one's education is probably the most important thing that one has.  Where that education was obtained, along with grades and honors, are of major importance.  And they should be as they determine the likelihood that you will excel at your job.  Is it any guarantee of success or is it possible that someone with seemingly lesser credentials could do a better job?  Of course not.  But there is nothing elitist about appreciating great educational accomplishments.  They usually show that one has the underlying talents and that has allowed them to excel.

    one correction (none / 0) (#122)
    by eric on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 10:36:26 AM EST
    Is it any guarantee of success?  Of course not.  Is it possible that someone with seemingly lesser credentials would do a better job?  Certainly.

    That's the way I meant it to come out.


    I disagree wholeheartedly (none / 0) (#127)
    by jar137 on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 11:54:40 AM EST
    Although it is true that a good education has value, the holder of a good education is not necessarily intelligent or skilled at reasoning.  Furthermore, being a good student is not an indication of intelligence.  There are many good students who are not great thinkers, but rather good at following instructions.  Currently, parents of the more privileged hire "coaches" to help their average-minded children into good schools by advising them how to make themselves look attractive to admissions staff.  I think you can tell intelligence when you see it, regardless of education.  It is also much fairer for all to judge people on their own skills, not the pedigree they carry.

    Community organizer (none / 0) (#140)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 01:24:00 PM EST
    I'm not a Republican so I don't denigrate "community organizers," but I really want to know: Does anyone actually know of anything that Obama accomplished in this job? Any successes he can point to? When the McCain Team made fun of community organizers, Obama's team responded by saying MLK and Gandhi were community organizers. Cute, but nonresponsive. We all know what MLK and Gandhi accomplished. We honestly don't know what Obama did in those three years. Anyone? Can anyone help? There are a lot of Obama supporters here, do any of you know?

    I'm also interested n/t (none / 0) (#149)
    by sj on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 12:19:59 AM EST