The recent pictures of Obama in some kind of ceremonial African garb may backfire on the Clinton campaign in the short run, but I do think they they raise some legitimate questions--who is this guy, who dresses like that and who is named Hussein. Fair enough, he says he not a radical Muslim, he's Christian. So what kind of church does he belong to? I searched for some background on his his pastor who is known to be pretty radical and this is what I found on the web. Is this what the country is in for? But you might protest, that's his pastor, not him. What has his wife said? about being ashamed of the country? I think his first book also said some pretty strong things about race as well. He's run race neutral as you note, and that is indeed attractive. But at some point he is going to have to explain all of these comments which keep piling up. Does he have a pretty strong racial agenda that he is hiding--will voters think so? here's more from kausfiles on slate: Monday, February 18, 2008Is that an S-Chip on Your Shoulder or Are You Just Glad to See Me? John Podhoretz argues that Michelle Obama's comment--about how "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country"--suggests the Obama campaign really does have its roots in New Class leftism, according to which patriotism is not only the last refuge of a scoundrel, but the first refuge as well — that America is not fundamentally good but flawed, but rather fundamentally flawed and only occasionally good. He could be right! Her comment is also of a piece with the cavalier Obamaesque dismissal of the achievements of the Clinton years and her church's focus on "this racist United States of America." ** But is the explanation necessarily political? Even Dennis Kucinich would probably have no problem finding something to be proud of in the past two decades. If Michelle Obama's default position is set to "Aggrieved," it also suggests something personal, no? Maybe, like many strong wives, she wonders why her husband is the one on the top of the family ticket--which might also explain her strange occasional habit of belittling him in public ("snore-y and stinky" ). Beats me. For whatever reason, she sure seems to have a non-trivial chip on her shoulder and it's not a winning quality. ...**--In a forthcoming bloggingheads episode, Bob Wright reminds me of another jarring comment from Mrs. Obama, speaking about her husband:"[T]he realities are, as a black man, Barack can get shot going to the gas station."And white men don't get shot at gas stations? Sure, Mrs. Obama might have meant to say, in an anodyne rephrasing, that "as someone who lives in Barack's neighborhood, he could get shot going to the gas station." There are always anodyine rephrasings. At some point there are too many of them. ... 4:29 P.M. linkObama's Pastor is "A TOTAL HATER"Obama's Pastor sounds more like a hate spewing imam. I am shocked this hasn't gotten real media play (oh yeah, it's Obama.) The more you peel back the layers of the Obama onion, the more rotten it is at its core. Obama's checkered resume. Mickey Kaus in Slate; hat tip Ed LaskyOld CW: Not Black Enough; New CW: What's All This Black Business? Tom Maguire wonders why Jodi Kantor's front-page NYT piece on Barack Obama's pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, hasn't generated more controversy. Having now read it, I tend to agree. I'd certainly be more comfortable with a presidential nominee whose main spiritual man 1) hadn't visited Col. Qaddafi (even back in '84); 2) talked less about "oppression" and "this racist United States of America;" 3) when discussing the solution to poverty, talked more about individual achievement and less about the role of "community"--including maybe even celebrating "middleclassness" instead of using it as shorthand for selfishness; 4) in general wasn't so obsessed with race--as evidenced most negatively in talk of "white arrogance" and derogatory reference to the "Great White West." ... I suspect Rev. Wright is going to be a bigger problem for Obama's campaign than has been conventionally perceived. When Obama declared "we worship an awesome God in the blue states," were voters expecting this?...UPDATE: More here from Obama's master uh I mean Pastor hat tip wing hussarA FEW WEEKS AGO ON MSNBC SHOW WITH TUCKER CARLSON: CARLSON: But Jeremiah Wright is at least a mixed bag politically. His work to improve conditions in impoverished black neighborhoods may be laudable, but his rhetoric includes attacks against white people and against Israel. Should Obama distance himself from Dr. Wright, and if so, can he effectively do that? We welcome back to discuss that MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan and nationally syndicated radio show host Bill Press. Now, I have kind of liked Barack Obama from the very beginning. He seems moderate in tone. I spent all morning reading Jeremiah Wright online. All the church newsletters are available. The guy is a full-blown hater, actually. This is just pulled at random. Here is his attack on Natalee Holloway as a slut. "Black women are being raped daily in Africa. One white girl from Alabama gets drunk at a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and gives it up while in a foreign country and that stays in the news for months." In other words, she is a slut. Nine-eleven, he says: "White America got their wake-up call after 9-11. White America and the Western world came to realize people of color had not gone away, faded in the woodwork, or just disappeared as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns." So 9-11 was payback for white racism. I mean, it goes on, and I will read more. But your first thoughts on this, Bill. PRESS: My first thought is -- CARLSON: It's not mainstream, is it? PRESS: I think it's curious that not so long ago we were -- people were criticizing Barack Obama for being too radical a Muslim. And now he seems to be maybe being criticized for being too radical a Christian, number one. And my second thought is -- CARLSON: There is nothing Christian about this stuff. PRESS: -- that -- but he is a Christian, I'm saying. But second thought is, Jeremiah Wright is not running for president. Barack Obama is. I'm sure if he were sitting here and you read those quotes to Barack Obama, he would say -- he would denounce every one of them as he has many things that Reverend Wright has said. [...] CARLSON: Here is the Israeli thing, we were talking about this at the commercial break. This is quoting now the Reverend Wright: "The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community and wake up Americans concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism." He compares Israel to South Africa repeatedly. He attacks Israel as a racist state. BUCHANAN: This is the Jimmy Carter -- that Israel is Apartheid, and the disinvestment is this whole idea that is going around the campuses to cut off any university investments in Israel. I think Barack Obama is going to have to explain that. PRESS: I was just going to say, let's be clear that that is Reverend Wright talking, not Barack Obama. CARLSON: Absolutely. None of this is Barack Obama. Though he has defended this guy. I criticized him on the air a couple of months ago. Got all this hate mail calling me a racist for criticizing this guy. And Barack Obama defended him. I don't see how he can defend this guy. PRESS: I think you raise a legitimate question about his relationship and what part of this guy he agrees with and what part he doesn't agree with. And that's for Barack Obama to answer. But I wouldn't automatically say that any piece of hate that you find spewing out of Jeremiah Wright's mouth is necessarily the point of view of Barack Obama. He has to explain it. BUCHANAN: As a former candidate, they take these guys, they say, here is Buchanan, here is his friend, and here is what his friend said. And then you have got to spend the rest of the day or the week trying to explain it or defend it or renounce it. CARLSON: That's right. I want Barack Obama to be as reasonable as he seems. I really do. I have nothing against Barack Obama at all. I like him. And I just want him to distance himself from this stuff because it is so -- BUCHANAN: It's going to be tough to distance himself from somebody. PRESS: And you also said, very quickly, that this preacher has done a lot of good in Chicago for a lot of -- CARLSON: I don't know that he has. I'm just being nice. He sounds like a total hater to me. The Times report was mentioned on the April 30 Hannity & Colmes, but not Obama's specific disagreement with Wright's 9-11 comments: COLMES: Now, Kate, I get a sense that certain conservatives would love it if Wright's views got in the way of Barack Obama's chances or somehow infringed on his ability to be a good candidate, so let me get this straight. If you're a member of a congregation, you have to agree with everything your pastor says or rabbi says, for example, or you're besmirched if you don't go along and dovetail with everything that leader of the congregation believes in? GRIFFIN: Alan, Reverend Wright has said some shocking things, saying that 9-11 is the result of America's violent policies -- COLMES: What does that have to do with Barack Obama? GRIFFIN: -- comparing -- it has a lot to do with him. This is not a minister who's just talking about vague differences in theology. This is a man who calls America the United States of white America, the Great White West. COLMES: And is that what Barack Obama believes? GRIFFIN: You know what? Barack Obama credits his conversion to Christianity to this man. He studied his speeches while he was at Harvard. He is a student of his pastor. COLMES: You want to smear Barack Obama with whatever this man says that you don't agree with. GRIFFIN: Obviously, there's a very close relationship. And what the American people are going to want to hear is where Barack Obama stands on some of these more flagrant anti-white comments. COLMES: Well, why don't ask you him or find out before you choose to smear Barack Obama with things that he may not agree with that his pastor says? GRIFFIN: I believe he has been asked. He has been asked many times, and what he does is he avoids the question. He says, "Oh, I wasn't at church when he said that about 9-11," or, "That's between my pastor and me." Or the best was when he said, "He's a child of the '60s. He uses the language of concern." That is not distancing himself from these extremely radical statements. COLMES: Laura Schwartz, this smear piece on Barack Obama, trying to smear him because of controversial positions his pastor may have. GRIFFIN: From The New York Times. COLMES: Yes, the Times reporting the story. Laura Schwartz, he says he respects Wright's work for the poor, the fight against injustice. He says they don't agree on everything, is what Barack said, and they never had a thorough conversation on all aspects of politics. I don't know why Barack's detractors can't accept that. SCHWARTZ: You know, the church does a lot of great things in the community here in Chicago. I know many of its members and those that just attend on a regular basis, because I believe your faith is just that. It's your faith. It's not your church leader's. And we don't practice everything that we're preached to about. HANNITY: Laura, we don't have a lot of time. I want to get into something here. SCHWARTZ: And I think he's made that distinction. Sure. HANNITY: First of all, Barack says that this pastor, this minister was the inspiration for his book, The Audacity of Hope. That's number one. Barack made the decision to disinvite him when he announced that he was running for president here. This is hardly, you know, a smear, unless Alan is claiming The New York Times is smearing Barack Obama. But after the 9-11 attacks, the Sunday after the terrorist attacks, he blamed America. He blamed our country. And, you know, for you to say that there's not a connection here is a little bit absurd to me. You don't think there's any connection? SCHWARTZ: Well, you know, to your two points. First, "Audacity of Hope," which was a sermon, I believe, he gave in 1988 that Barack Obama credits to a great part of his conversion and to the book that he wrote, The Audacity of Hope, that was a beautiful sermon. That was invigorating. It was spiritual. It opened his eyes to many things. HANNITY: He blames the United States for the attacks on 9-11. SCHWARTZ: I'm talking about the 1988 sermon called "The Audacity of Hope." It's wonderful. I encourage people to read it. HANNITY: I understand that. SCHWARTZ: Now, to your second point, on the invocation, Obama did the right thing by not having him give that, because you know what? That puts on a national stage, and it puts your connection with things that have come up since that sermon. HANNITY: What does it say -- if there was a Republican candidate, Laura, who had as their church premise on their website "commitment to the white community, commitment to the white family, adherence to the white work ethic, pledge to make all the fruits of developing acquired skills available to the white community," wouldn't that be deemed as racist? And wouldn't that -- SCHWARTZ: And offensive. HANNITY: -- candidate have to disavow themselves from that church? SCHWARTZ: I think so, to a certain extent, whereas, in our country, when we talk about racial differences, the African-American essence has a different place in the community from what they've come up through than the white Americans. HANNITY: Does it sound racist to you? SCHWARTZ: To talk about the black community? No, because he preaches what the essence of the African-American experience that -- GRIFFIN: It's anti-white and anti-American. COLMES: We've got to run. Kate, we're just out of time. We thank you both very much.
Not related to your post--what do you think of this article: http://www.slate.com/id/2184927/entry/1007365/nav/ais/I don't think it really answers the question it asks, but I'd still be interested in your thoughts on architecture, (the DC library issue!) a topic I know you care about, and haven't seen covered on your blog.
this is for anonymous #2. i have some issues with the DC public library in terms of function, though i don't believe that it should be torn down. it is an impressive building in its own right. someone suggested that it should be acquired as the new headquarters for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, particularly as it begins its effort to help save sites of the recent past.but there are many here in washington who find the structure ugly, and because it is a library, and open to the public, it has become a refuge for the homeless. it also had a solid reputation for being unsafe (many dark and tucked away corners). i think that the city is quietly determined to build a new library. and i am not sure what in fact may happen to the structure.
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