Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Speech 

I listened to it, and it made some good points, but it raised a few red flags for me, too, in particular the class warfare/anti business themes. I applaud Obama's message of racial reconciliation, but he sure isn't MY messiah--never has been and never will be. At best he's a good politician, doing what politicians do--that which is necessary to win the next election.

I don't think this speech will provide the layer of Teflon that will be necessary to protect him from backlash to Rev. Wright's rants during the general election. Whatever Obama has said or will say about his relationship with Rev. Wright, it will be impossible for people to "unring the bell" and forget what Wright has said. It will be equally impossible for many people to feel comfortable about Sen. Obama's candidacy because of it. How many? Who knows? The point is, Obama has no record to run on, so he has to run on trust, "judgment" and goodwill. This episode has cast doubt on the quality and quantity of those characteristics that Obama has, some of those doubts will never go away.

One nagging question: Why does it seem to me that black people who grow up outside the African American experience, such as Colin Powell and Barack Obama himself, are more often able to surmount all the prejudices and societal barriers that supposedly exist to keep black people down and achieve high office and otherwise become major successes than those who grow up within the African American experience? Maybe it's the crappy inner city schools, maybe it's something else, but it suggests that those prejudices and barriers are not what they're made out to be.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright 

By now everyone who's politically aware and not lost in a jungle somewhere has seen the videos of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's anti-American racist preaching at the church Sen. Obama has attended for 20 years. Wright recently retired as Senior Pastor of that church after a career of some 36 years there. Wright presided at Obama's wedding, and baptized Obama's children. A short bio of Rev. Wright can be found here.

I have rarely heard more vile remarks from any public figure, and Rev. Wright's rants rival those of the more rabid Wahabist imams in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Palestinian territories for pure bile and hatred.

To date, Obama has failed to distance himself from his former pastor, likening Wright's diatribes to those of a family member, like a strange uncle, that he (Obama) doesn't always agree with. Until the videos of Wright's preaching hit the MSM and Internet, that didn't bother folks too much, but now that they've seen the venom that the man spits out, many are concerned about how much of it Obama does agree with.

Obama's defenders caution against assigning guilt by association. OK, fine--I'm not going to accuse Sen. Obama of being a racist hate monger. But there is that old adage about how a man's character is revealed by the company he keeps. To paraphrase Desi Arnaz, Obama has some 'splainin' to do.

UPDATE 20070314:2013PDT: Damn! Roger L. Simon beat me to the punch, much more eloquently (and he has video).

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Chavez and the Dems 

If the facts underlying this WSJ editorial are true, those facts amply illustrate why I have great difficulty in trusting the Democrats with the Presidency, or for that matter any other high office. This is another indication that too many of them place their allegiance to the Democrat Party and their ambition for higher office ahead of their allegiance to the United States of America.

In my opinion, anybody who occupies a position of public trust--and that includes all federal offices--owes a duty first to do what is best for the country (or political subdivision that they represent) and only secondarily to their political party. Placing the party above the country leads to something that looks a lot like the Soviet Union or China. Bad juju!

As an aside, the airwaves this afternoon are afire with the story of NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the prostitution ring. Yet another illustration of what happens when a politician puts his own personal agenda ahead of the publics.

As the line from the old protest song goes, "When will they ever learn?"

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