"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." ---Barack Obama
For most of the Democratic campaign, hardly anyone has had any idea what Barack Omama is all about. He introduced himself to the nation by saying that he was in favor of change. But he never made it clear what kind of change. For month after month, every speech out of his mouth was full of vapid cliches. But there is something about an American Presidential campaign. It is too intense. There is too much at stake. A candidate may start with an intent to deceive. He may have a carefully planned program of lies. But somewhere along the way the truth breaks through.
Let us examine Obama's views on the white Pennsylvanians whose votes he was seeking. There is a half truth in his words; it is the half truth of over-generalization, the half truth which represents every member of a group by its worst elements; it is the half truth we call racism. There are some white men who are bitter, who are excessively religious and prone to violence. But if you talk to such people, then this is exactly what African-Americans appear as to them: violent, religious, angry.
In short, Barack Obama is a racist. He sees white people through the prism of hate. He sees them in cliches. His perception is so distorted that he missed the fact that Pennsylvania was on the side of the North in the Civil War and fought against slavery. The ancestors of those Pennsylvanians he condemned gave their lives so that African-Americans could be free. And he has been keeping a lid on his views because he does not dare to let people know what he really thinks.
So now we know what the election of 2008 is really about. The Democrats may nominate a racial bigot who hates the large majority of the people in the country he is trying to lead. The campaign will be very simple. The Democrats probably won't come right out and say it, but their position will be, "We hate America."
I first met these people at Harvard in the late 1950s. The issue has nothing to do with black or white. They hate America because America is the country based on freedom. They are not liberals. Neither are they democrats (with either a lower or upper case "D"). The formal name of these people is Social Democrat. This was a movement founded in 1875 in Germany to prevent the ideas of freedom and democracy from advancing across the continent of Europe. In 1912, the Social Democrats took control of Germany and fomented W.W.I. Then another Social Democrat, named Adolph Hitler, fomented W.W. II.
The history of human societies up to approximately the 17th century is, with only rare exceptions, one unmitigated horror story after another. We never had sheer mass murders like that of the Holocaust for the simple reason that there just weren't that many human beings alive.
But then in one human society, in one small corner of the earth, human beings found the way to live with each other. The answer was the concept of rights. Respect the rights of others, and insist that they respect yours. This idea was born in 17th century England. It gradually became stronger and infused the entire society. By 1689, England declared a Bill of Right (the ancestor of the American Bill of Rights of 1789). And through the 18th and 19th centuries the concept of rights spread through the world....
And here in the 21st century we are rushing as rapidly as we can to throw all of this away. At this moment down on the banks of the great grey-green, grassy Limpopo River, Africans are streaming out of Zimbabwe into South Africa at the rate of a thousand a week because the country is heading for Civil War. Soon these people will be killing each other. And with the world short of food, it is not difficult to pick the next point in the crisis. If there is not enough food to keep everyone alive, then the incentive to be decent and humane suffers quite a setback.
The fact that Barack Obama is an African-American merely highlights the tragedy of what is happening. The concept of rights knows no race. It applies to all human beings at all times and all places. Those who live by it succeed and prosper. Those who do not fail. Because of historical circumstance pretty much the entire continent of Africa remains ignorant of rights, and that is why the Limpopo River (made famous by Kipling) is playing a crucial role today.
Barack Obama does not care about rights. With his wife and his pastor, assuming he wins the Democratic nomination, we can look forward to a very sorry few months in which the media repeat every current (academic) lie intended to discredit America. As this issue plays itself out, do not fall into the trap of thinking that it has anything to do with African-Americans. It was born in Germany in 1875, and its motive is hate for America.
OBAMA'S 'MAINSTREAM' FRIENDS
Jeff Jacoby notes the vicious "mainstream" that Obama drifts in
Should voters care that Barack Obama is friendly with William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, two onetime leaders of the Weather Underground terrorist group that committed dozens of bombings and other violent crimes between 1969 and 1975? That question came up during the recent Democratic debate in Philadelphia, and scorn by the bucketful was heaped on the ABC moderators who asked it.
The Washington Post's Tom Shales, for example, was appalled that Obama should be confronted with "such tired tripe" as the fact that he "once associated with a nutty bomb-throwing anarchist." Michael Grunwald of Time derided the "extremely stupid politics" responsible for questions like the one about the "obscure sixties radical" with whom Obama "was allegedly 'friendly.' " Other commentators were even more outraged.
The chorus of protests echoed Obama's own defense. When George Stephanopoulos challenged him to explain his relationship with the unrepentant former terrorists -- "I don't regret setting bombs," Ayers told The New York Times. "I feel we didn't do enough" -- the senator dismissed the issue as irrelevant. "This is a guy," Obama said, "who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. And the notion that [my] knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn't make much sense, George." His links to the ex-Weathermen he brushed aside as "flimsy," saying he was sure "the American people are smarter than" to think he shares the terrorists' radical views.
Obama didn't leave it there. His campaign issued a 1,300-word "fact check" pooh-poohing his connection to Ayers and Dohrn as "phony," "tenuous," "a stretch" -- but simultaneously defending them as "respectable fixtures of the mainstream in Chicago." Yet Obama's ties to Ayers and Dohrn aren't nearly as trifling as he suggests, and their views -- today, not 40 years ago -- are about as "respectable" and "mainstream" as those of, say, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama's incendiary minister.
The key facts, reported by Ben Smith in Politico.com, are these: Barack Obama's political career was launched in Ayers's and Dohrn's home, when a group of "influential liberals" gathered in 1995 to meet the young organizer who was Illinois lawmaker Alice Palmer's chosen successor. In the years that followed, Obama and Ayers would serve together as (paid) board members of the Woods Fund, a leftist Chicago foundation, and appear jointly on academic panels, at least one of which was organized by Michelle Obama. Ayers would even donate money to one of Obama's political campaigns.
Arguably, none of this would matter if Ayers and Dohrn had long ago repudiated their violent extremism. But they have always refused to apologize for their monstrous behavior. "We weren't extreme enough in fighting against the war," Ayers avowed to the Chicago Tribune in 2001. In a memoir published that year, he exulted: "Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon." America, he said after Sept. 11, "is not a just and fair and decent place. . . . It makes me want to puke." Is this really Obama's idea of "respectable" and "mainstream" political thinking? And if so, doesn't that tell voters something important about his judgment and standards?
In Chicago the other day, radio producer Guy Benson discovered video recordings of Ayers and Dohrn speaking at a reunion of antiwar radicals in November 2007. To live in the United States, Dohrn told the group, is to be "inside the heart of the monster" that is such a "purveyor of violence in the world." Ayers denounced America as an imperial warmonger steeped in "jingoistic patriotism, unprecedented and unapologetic military expansion, white supremacy . . . attacks on women and girls, violent attacks, growing surveillance in every sphere of our lives, on and on and on." (Audio clips have been posted at the indispensable PowerLine blog.)
Even if Obama doesn't personally believe these things, is it really "tired tripe" to ask why he seems so comfortable in the company of people who do? Is it, in fact, "extremely stupid politics" to wonder whether such people might play a role in an Obama administration? Rather than slamming the few journalists who raise such questions, might it not behoove others in the media to consider following suit?
The Obama campaign contends that John McCain has " broken his word to the American people and rendered hollow his promise of a respectful campaign" ... and apparently by his did this by agreeing with Barack Obama that Jeremiah Wright is a legitimate issue. The statement that got Team Obama so riled up?
"Senator Obama himself says it's a legitimate political issue, so I would imagine that many other people will share that view and it will be in the arena," McCain said at a news conference. "But my position that Senator Obama doesn't share those views remains the same."
Apparently the Obama campaign expected John McCain to argue with Obama that his relationship with Wright wasn't a legitimate issue. Also, note that McCain... okay, more likely somebody on his campaign... reads the Campaign Spot and/or listens to Hugh Hewitt, because McCain is now quoting the recently-discovered new recordings of Wright's sermons.
I saw yesterday some additional comments that have been revealed by Pastor Wright, one of them comparing the United States Marine Corps with Roman Legionnaires who were responsible for the death of our Savior, I mean being involved in that. It's beyond belief. And then of course saying that Al Qaeda and the American flag were the same flags. So I can understand, I can understand why people are upset about this. I can understand why Americans, when viewing these kinds of comments, are angry and upset. Just like they view Senator Obama's statements about why people turn to their faith and their values. He believes that it's out of economic concerns. We all know it's out of a fundamental belief, a fundamental faith in this country and its values and its principles. Again, Senator Obama, out of touch. I can't control, and will not in future, control. I will voice my opinion. And I will continue to say that I think that ad should not be run. But I won't continue to try to be the referee here."
Heh. By the way, if I were on the North Carolina GOP, I would re-edit that controversial ad to include the audio of Wright declaring, "what we are doing is the same thing al-Qaeda is doing under a different color flag." If video of this sermon is not available, I would just use a photo of Wright - North Carolinians already know who he is by now.
Obama's Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds
Barack Obama says he will vote in the Senate for General Petraeus' confirmation as commander for US forces in the Middle East and Central Asia.
"I think Petraeus has done a good tactical job in Iraq.."I will listen to General Petraeus given the experience that he has accumulated over the last several years," Obama said. "It would be stupid of me to ignore what he has to say."
Needless to say, those who recall Obama's opposition to the "surge" and Obama's continued demand that US forces be quickly withdrawn from Iraq are not befuddled:
"Obama also said it would be 'stupid' to ignore commanders on the ground in Iraq, yet his withdrawal strategy does exactly that," Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant said in an e-mail. "If Obama isn't ready to answer tough questions, how can he be ready to be commander in chief?"
Also, Obama's willingness to abandon Iraq may not sit well with Russia either. The Russian Foreign Minister says, according to Novosti:
There can be no question of foreign troops being withdrawn from Iraq at present, Russia's foreign minister said on Tuesday. "Iraq's law enforcement structures are not in a position to assume complete responsibility for ensuring security in the country and to effectively counter terrorist groups," Sergei Lavrov told an international conference on Iraq in Kuwait City.
He said that although some successes had been achieved in the security sphere, the situation remained volatile. "Positive changes are yet to be irreversible. Consider the recent fighting in Basra and Baghdad, the echo of which is still resounding [throughout the country], and the latest bomb attacks in the country's central provinces, which have claimed dozens of lives," he said.
Obama's willingness to surrender to terrorists parallels his willingness to surrender his few remaining crumbs of honesty. Even Russia, not a paradigm of integrity in its governance, recognizes how obtuse Obama may be if elected.
Victim of Weathermen Bomb Attack Blasts Obama
On June 9, 1970, Jane Alpert and Weatherman accomplices bombed the New York City Police headquarters in response to "police repression." Paul Ragonese, a victim from this Weathermen bomb attack, spoke out about the bombing on Hannity's America. He also blasted Barack Obama for being friendly with known unrepentant terrorists Willian Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn:
"If that's the standard for New York city cops, that you can't be associating with known criminals, that should be the minimum standard, I believe, for the president of the United States."
Re-inventing Jeremiah Wright
I'm sitting here watching CNN's coverage of Jeremiah Wright's speech at the Detroit NAACP convention and am struck by what's being attempted here. Defenders are quick to jump on his critics, basing that defense on the notion that snippets of his many words spoken (or written) over the years are being used to twist who he really is. And so what are they now attempting? The. Very. Same. Thing.
They take snippets of words spoken most recently (today on CNN, the other day on PBS), words shaped by the knowledge that every syllable will be dissected and reviewed, words influenced by that knowledge, words purposed in taking advantage of that knowledge and they attempt to tell us that these words, and not those used by his critics, define the man. Snippets that criticize are wrong. Snippets that defend are right.
We're watching the rehabilitation, the reconstruction, the rebuilding, the remaking of a man... from bigoted hate-monger to enlightened social critic. Old Media will defend despite his many words over the years because Old Media and Jeremiah Wright are ideologically entwined and connected.
It'll be up to New Media to counter that defense. Not just because New Media is opposed ideologically though that can't be denied but because New Media remains enamored with truth-telling. Old Media used to be. Now they're into truth-creation. And now they're into creating a new truth about Jeremiah Wright, led by Jeremiah Wright himself. How quaint. How convenient. How deceptive.
Jeremiah Wright can't go back now and re-tape the videos so many of us have seen. He can't go back and erase the relationships he and his church have nourished. He can't go back and rewrite the church bulletins that have been published and many of them still available on the church's website. Neither can Old Media. New Media won't allow it.
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