October 15, 2008

"Wright is off the table... It’s all McCain. He won’t go there. His advisers would have gone there."

Palin too wants to use the Jeremiah Wright question.
"There’s a slippery slope in politics on the racial divide, and Senator McCain made it very clear early on that he did not want to get into that area," a top Republican official said. "I don’t want to be known as a racist, and McCain doesn’t want to be known as a racist candidate."
Palin said (to Bill Kristol):
“To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.”
Well, clearly she does know why it's not discussed more, but presumably she means she doesn't know why McCain thinks about the issue the way he does.
The McCain campaign’s decision to cordon off the use of Wright from ads and debates has provoked simmering consternation among many leading Republicans and conservatives, who believe the pastor’s fulminations might be the single most effective weapon McCain has left against Obama.

“McCain felt it would be sensed as racially insensitive,” the official said. “But more important is that McCain thinks that the bringing of racial religious preaching in black churches into the campaign would potentially have grave consequences for civil society in the United States.”
Whether McCain made the right call initially could be questioned, but to go back to this issue now would open McCain to the most vicious attacks: He cared about being racially sensitive when he thought the appearance of lofty principle would win him votes, but now that he fears it hasn't won him enough votes, he's ready to try something else. So principle was never principle, just principle as a pose, useful to the extent that it was useful. What else in McCain's much-touted "honor" profile is there only because he thinks it works?

Are you thinking, yes, but the attack on Obama would hurt more than that?

101 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I attend a church. I often find the words coming out of the Priest's mouth -- especially when he's reading another foolish missive from Bishop Morlino -- ridiculous and un-Christian in the extreme. Yet I still go. I am reluctant to judge the Church -- or have anyone else judge it -- based on those scolding sermons. Do people actually attend churches where they agree with the Pastor 100% of the time? That strikes me as very bizarre.

Expat(ish) said...

I think McCain is gonna get criticized no matter what he does. And people who believe McCain is a racist isn't gonna vote for him anyway. And anyone who believes the MSM is gonna vote for their candidate (BHO) anyway.

Me, personally, I'm hoping he goes after The One with hammer and tongs. I'd include on the list: Wright, Ayers, his obscure public records, his lack of disclosure of health and legal records, his flip-flop on campaign finance reform, etc.

I am hoping this debate is less boring than the last one.

-XC

Triangle Man said...

Polls seem to indicate that the guilt-by-association attack with Ayers hurt McCain more than it helped. If they can't make that kind of thing stick with a former bomb thrower, how is it going to work with a pastor, even a controversial one?

I would much prefer to hear reasons that I should want to support McCain than reasons that I should want to avoid Obama. I would love to hear undistorted policy comparisons.

Balfegor said...

Whether McCain made the right call initially could be questioned, but to go back to this issue now would open McCain to the most vicious attacks: He cared about being racially sensitive when he thought the appearance of lofty principle would win him votes,

How is the accusation of hypocrisy worse than the accusation of racism itself? And McCain has already been tarred as a racist by Obama's campaign repeatedly. There's a certain poetic justice in this, I suppose -- McCain did slime his opponents on the immigration bill as racists, and what goes around comes around. But it's not clear that he loses much by pointing to Obama's hateful ex-pastor.

I mean, contra Madisonman, Obama was even forced to leave his church and ritually denounce his pastor, after Clinton called him out on it (and all of a month after he said he could no more renounce that church than renounce the Black community as a whole). That's pretty much a backhanded acknowledgement that yes, sticking around that particular church these past 20 years was not an example of good judgment. Obama's weaselly "not the _____ I knew" excuses notwithstanding.

The Drill SGT said...

MM,

The answer is of course not. However, immersing your kids in that cesspool of racial hatred does call ones judgement into question.

Ann,

He cared about being racially sensitive when he thought the appearance of lofty principle would win him votes, but now that he fears it hasn't won him enough votes, he's ready to try something else. So principle was never principle, just principle as a pose, useful to the extent that it was useful.

Like when Obama was all for the principle of public financing, till he could see an advantage to be gained by avoiding it, yet saying he still supports it next time after he reforms it?

Pogo said...

"He cared about being racially sensitive when he thought the appearance of lofty principle would win him votes,"

That's un unfair characterization of "McCain thinks that the bringing of racial religious preaching in black churches into the campaign would potentially have grave consequences for civil society ".

But I speak of course as a racist, duly convicted because I am, in fact, white, so QED. Whatever McCain or any white person does here is automatically racist.

Except a vote for BHO.

halojones-fan said...

madisonman has it exactly. Attacks against Wright are not substantiative, and should not be pursued.

A church is not an army with generals and subordinates and marching orders; it is a community, a free association of individuals. While some individuals stand out, it is not true to suggest that the entire group speaks with the most prominent speaker's voice on all issues. (Indeed, any pastor will tell you that the exact opposite is generally the case!)

Indeed, a fundamental part of the Protestant faith is that it's not really about CHURCH. It's about faith, and that's a matter for you and God.

To my mind, the Ayers and ACORN associations are much more significant than anything Jeremiah Wright said or didn't say.

Palladian said...

"He cared about being racially sensitive when he thought the appearance of lofty principle would win him votes, but now that he fears it hasn't won him enough votes, he's ready to try something else. So principle was never principle, just principle as a pose, useful to the extent that it was useful."

Didn't you call that "pragmatism" yesterday when it applied to Barry?

Rich B said...

I'm with expat on this one. McCain's not going to get praised for his noble campaign (unless he loses and then after the fact), so he might as well let it rip. I think Ayers and ACORN are better stories to push right now, however. I think that if Obama complains about McCain trying to tear him down rather than talking about the issues, McCain should say that with the thinness of Obama's resume, another way of knowing what he'll do in the future is to look at some of the associations in his past.

Salamandyr said...

As far as I can tell, the people that are going to think badly of McCain already think badly of him, just for having the audacity to stand in the way of their chosen candidate.

Madisonman, I get what you're saying about not agreeing with everything that gets said in a Church, yet hanging on for one reason or another.

But that's a little different than staying in a church that officially espouses a racist and genocidal position. It's one thing to have to, once or twice a year, grit one's teeth through yet another sermon on Sodom and Gamorrah, and call the man spewing hate a "mentor". It's not like there weren't many other churches Obama could not have attended.

Whether Obama's friendship with Wright is enough to change your vote is something you have to decide for yourself, but I think it's a legitimate thing to consider, just as Palin's church attendance has been.

Palladian said...

"While some individuals stand out, it is not true to suggest that the entire group speaks with the most prominent speaker's voice on all issues."

What if no one ever speaks against the most prominent speaker when his speech violates and falsifies the mission of the community in Christ? Doesn't that say something about the community?

bjm said...

It's moot at this point as McCain has been painted a racist without "going there". McCain was naive to think otherwise.

The race card is Obama's most potent weapon that he has played consistently and successfully, see Bill Clinton, he's gaming the system with every available tool.

Seven Machos said...

No way, Althouse. You have it all backwards. McCain is honorable because he knows he's no racist. So, he loftily said he would say nothing that would give the left and the leftist press ammunition to call him a racist.

But they are calling him a racist anyway.

So, he says screw it. If I'm going to get called a racist no matter what I do, I may as well do what is more advantageous to me.

Quayle said...

After all the years of education, and we're still stuck on race.

The value or virtue of what a person says is shaped and bended, expanded or contracted, based on the speaker's skin color.

How do we finally get over this sickness?

Spread Eagle said...

The McCain campaign’s decision to cordon off the use of Wright from ads and debates has provoked simmering consternation among many leading Republicans and conservatives, who believe the pastor’s fulminations might be the single most effective weapon McCain has left against Obama`


"single most effective weapon McCain has left?" Left?

It should've been nonstop Wright, and nonstop Ayers and nonstop Rezco all summer and all fall long. That's how you burn it into people's brains. That's how you toss the likes of Obama onto the Mondale and Dukakis and Kerry ash heaps of the world. McCain apparently missed that lesson, and he can't say he was "tied up at the time" on that one. It's a loser mentality of his own making.

junyo said...

The issue with Wright was a net loss simply due to the fact that the people most likely to be appalled by it weren't likely to vote for Obama in the first place.

Secular democrats view Obama's belonging to any church as a calculated ploy at best, a weird tribal quirk at worst (this tends to be how they view the anomaly of black evangelism within their otherwise secular coalition). Evangelical blacks have heard worse, and regularly disregard a large portion of what their pastor tosses out there. Evangelical whites weren't voting Dem to begin with. Ditto secular Republicans, who were shocked, but never in play to begin with.

Reverend Wright controversy was a weapon with no particular target, and a massive chance of backfiring. You really can't hammer on it without challenging the state of the black church, which is a larger institution than a weekly place of worship within the community, by extension all socially liberal theology, and beyond that the political import of religion in general. If you thought Iraq was a quagmire...

knox said...

Sad to say, our culture is so screwed up about race, Wright's hateful words are pretty much forgiven, while McCain would be excoriated for even talking about them. Face it, we are used to hearing crazy stuff from the likes of Farrakhan, Sharpton and other race-baiters. As a culture we are pretty immune to being "shocked" by it. Going after Wright would be a loser for McCain.

It's the Ayers connection that McCain needs to hammer. Not the "terrorist" angle, but what the two worked on together in the CAC, how they squandered millions and tried to radicalize grade- school-aged kids.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Madison Man saidDo people actually attend churches where they agree with the Pastor 100% of the time?

Is it me or is perspective completely lost on some people? My priest will preach that birth control is wrong or that I need to give more of my hard earned money to people less fortunate and those are doctrinal issues that I will tend to disagree with. But that's a far cry from preaching the evils of whitey isn't it?

Palladian said...

"The race card is Obama's most potent weapon that he has played consistently and successfully, see Bill Clinton, he's gaming the system with every available tool."

And this is why choosing Obama as their nominee was the most brilliant move by the Democrat party. The Race Card trumps everything else. Merely suggesting racism is enough to make the opposition wither. And to deny racism only strengthens the charge of racism. It's like the 21st century equivalent of calling someone a witch. Drop McCain in the river. If he drowns, he wasn't a racist. If he floats and survives, he is a racist and must be punished by extermination.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Put another way, if my priest was standing on the pulpit frothing at the mouth that those of us who use birth control or got 'fixed' are filthy disgusting sinners who will roast in their own deserved circle of hell, then yes, I'd shake the dust off my feet and find another church.

Thinking that racist hate filled rants are just 'foolish missives' strikes me as very bizzare. Sorry, that's just me.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

This is, sadly, the culmination of identity politics, and if successful it will inflict, nationally, the same sort of social damage it has inflicted locally for decades.

I suspect we shall also see, nationally, the same crushing of free speech -- in the name of identity -- that we have seen for decades in the academic environment.

American freedom depends on three boxes. The ballot box, now commonly stuffed. The soap box, now commonly prohibited in certain quarters.

Shall we be forced by unfortunate circumstances to turn to the third box ... the ammo box? I dearly hope not, but I'm no longer certain it won't happen.

bleeper said...

McCain has run a terrible campaign. At least Bush managed to get elected, or as you whiners from 2000 claim, selected. So long, John, you were old but you did poor work.

Jen Bradford said...

For me, the Wright thing comes back to the fact that all of Obama's "relationships" are politically expedient. It's not as though Wright was howling in the wind - the community in which Obama immersed himself was cheering him on. It doesn't matter whether he heard this or that specific sermon. It's a political group, and their politics are screwy. Isn't that why Oprah ducked out of there years ago?

As soon as any question or criticism is deemed "code" for race, McCain is basically screwed. He hasn't been nearly as ham-handed as Hillary (combining "hard-working" with "white"??) but he is being demonized anyway. It really may not be worth it, but that doesn't mean it isn't completely valid. McCain has personally been on the receiving end of genuine smears - statements that were categorically untrue - in the 2000 race. And however uncomfortable people become, it is still a fact that Obama has worked closely with the "blame whitey" crowd in his quest to get ahead politically.
Their racism isn't suddenly okay because Obama is biracial.

Richard Dolan said...

In its way, McC's decision here is as a perfect indicator of what drives his train and how he would conduct himself as President. He's all about a soldier's sense of duty and honor, which is what "country first" means. Attacking O because he attended Wright's church struck him as dishonorable, and so he never got to the political +/- calculus. Love him or hate him, agree or disagree as you will. It's just who he is.

Personally, it works for me.

Simon said...

Palladian,
I do not read Althouse to be saying now that she would criticize McCain along those lines if he now used Wright. If she is saying that, however, then I concur. Where Obama is concerned, has Althouse not repeatedly (albeit not always) defended the pragmatism of using something when it was useful and changing one's mind later -- again and again ("[e]very single one of those flipflops [by Obama] has been an improvement, in my opinion, so am I supposed to reject Obama for flipflopping? I voted for Obama in the Wisconsin primary in part because I predicted he'd turn out to be flexible and pragmatic") and again ("I like a practical politician who adjusts to changing circumstances").

SteveR said...

I guess I can't see how anyone who might be movable between McCain and Obama (what 20% max at any point?) could not be factoring Wright, Ayers, Rezko, ACORN, etc. into the equation, along with whatever McCain's soft spots are.

But yet there are plenty of people who will vote one way or the other without a clue.

Like the Howard Stern gig where one of his folks found people who were going to vote for Obama and asked them how they felt about certain proposals of Obama's, that were actually McCain's.

"Yeah, that's great" "Good Idea"

William said...

Quayle: Your age, weight, sex, appearance, athletic ability, etc. all go into shaping not only how you see the world, but how the world sees you. Why should race be the one factor excluded while making a judgement? I don't think it's even possible....That said, I think it is very easy to misjudge someone on the basis of race and that it is important to apply Kentucky windage to such judgements. I am glad that McCain is trying not to use race as a wedge issue. It's a bad place to go, even though Obama in his attendance at Wright's church has already gone there.....The way you win is more important than winning. The Mafia is so structured that only the biggest sociopath can come out on top. Our politics should be so structured that only a decent man can win.

sonicfrog said...

The info on Rev. Wright has been out there for, what, almost a year now. How can you possibly expect to draw any more blood from this dehydrated, shriveled-up turnip?

The McCain camp seems unable or unwilling to campaign on specific policy issues, and instead goes with the ad-hom and guilt-by-association attacks gleefully pushed by Rush, Hannity, Levin, etc. even when it is quite clear that this strategy is pushing more voters away than it's bringing in. It's style over substance, except in this case, the style is nothing more than a bazaar fashion show, where the models strut and pout across the stage dressed in trashbags - it's quite the spectacle and people come from miles around to see it, but it will never sell to the general public.

The Republicans deserve the trouncing it looks like they're going to get in November.

Too many jims said...

One thing is for sure, Obama owes a debt of gratitude to Hillary Clinton for providing such a hard fought primary campaign. If Hillary Clinton had shut up and stood aside in March, as many Obama supporters wanted her to do, such attacks would likely be more effective today. Further, because of the process Obama has distanced himself from Wright and he is better at answering questions about Wright and Ayres than he was in the primaries.

Seven Machos said...

Bart Hall: Here's an experiment: say what you want, right here on Althouse, and see if you get crushed by the Obama Gestapo. If you win, you retain your free speech rights. If I win, you have to stop alluding to revolution because a leftist Democrats may win the election.

1jpb said...

calling someone a witch

But, only one candidate has a pastor who has called someone a witch, and chased them out of the community (sort of Leviticus style: "scapegoat.")

[I say this in jest, as I attend an Assemblies of God church myself. Some of the things (a very small percentage of the total) that we do are funny, especially out of context.]

integrity said...

Palladian said...
"The race card is Obama's most potent weapon that he has played consistently and successfully, see Bill Clinton, he's gaming the system with every available tool."

And this is why choosing Obama as their nominee was the most brilliant move by the Democrat party. The Race Card trumps everything else. Merely suggesting racism is enough to make the opposition wither. And to deny racism only strengthens the charge of racism. It's like the 21st century equivalent of calling someone a witch. Drop McCain in the river. If he drowns, he wasn't a racist. If he floats and survives, he is a racist and must be punished by extermination.



The white outfit worn by Palin the other day in Florida was a cloaked message to her racist supporters, and bright white no less. You see, the possibilities for using the racial issue are endless no matter how ridiculous the accusation.

In other words, Palladian has hit the nail on the head. And the repubs prepared for the last 2 years to go after Hill & Bill and sex and blow jobs and pardons and can you imagine how they could have gone after Hill on Bill's signing of the Telecommunications Act and repeal of Glass-Steagull. All the repubs have left is race, and that ugliness does not play well.

I think Obama may have been a really great choice. We'll see.

ron st.amant said...

My guess is that McCain is ultra-sensitive to wandering into more racially-tinged negative campaigning, probably because of the way he was smeared by Rove in South Carolina in 2000.
Also I think he realizes that he is likely to lose and will have to return to the Senate where, if he were to go scorching the Earth in the last weeks of this campaign, he might not have many friends left in that chamber.
McCain's power in the Senate would completely erode.

Sofa King said...

Bart:

The third box is the jury box. Ammo is the fourth box.

Danny said...

Maybe McCain has realized he doesn't have much of a chance so he's not keen on stooping low and hurting his relations in the Senate. As much as the right want McCain to get vicious it seems that mainstream America are not responding. Yes, I realize this goes against conventional campaign wisdom here in the US.

sonicfrog said...

All Hail Ralph Nader!!!!

Just Kidding.

Hey. Say what you will about him, but he is the only consistent candidate on the campaign trail. If Obama wins, and the country doesn't improve (a subjective assessment of course), we will almost certainly see an opening for a strong 3rd party candidate next go around.

Kirby Olson said...

He shouldn't go after it as a race issue, but as a communism issue.

Liberation theology is Marxist, and Obama -- could be painted as a MArxist. His poet friend in childhood, his associate Bill Ayers, etc.

McCain is for free enterprise and for the American way, and even bombed communists, and was captured by them, and tortured by them.

Also, he should point out that Obama still smokes.

Smoking is a horrible thing, plus Obama has small children, and he's basically committing suicide in front of them by smoking.

What a mess.

He should change the debate from one of demographics to one of personal philosophy.

junyo said...

The GOP would be better off dropping this libertarian boogieman of "identity politics" and actually confronting the issue. Trying to pretend that race doesn't exist and/or isn't a factor makes them seem nonsensical and concedes the high ground on the issue to their opponent. Simply acknowledging that yes, people are different races, and the net impact of that are understandable differences in perception; the issue is can someone move past their perceptions and/or see the world through someone else's eyes? We can, our opponent can't.

That would never happen in a millions years, from either party, but one can dream.

Jen Bradford said...

I was unclear - I mean that if any example of "difference" (the means by which politicians do battle) is deemed a code for race, he's screwed. However he tries to illustrate that Obama's politics are not mainstream, he will be accused of turning him into The Other, which any educated person of Obama's generation and younger "knows" to be code for race.

When people claimed (with a straight face) that "community organizing" was code for race, the dementia was complete, and genuine debate became impossible.

peter hoh said...

Speaking of things that should be off the table, there's a product out there that should be off the nightstand, but I'm hesitant to link to it.

AJ Lynch said...

Unfortunately, McCain is continually double-guessing himself and his campaign ala Al Bore.

McCain should just be himself and say what he thinks for the next 3 weeks. The MSM is wrongly focusing on so-called undecideds and independents. But McCain can peel off some big blocs of current Obama voters if he just reports the facts again and again and again. The facts include Rezko, Wright, Ayers & Dohrn, Farrakhan and other aspects of Obama's earlier years.

McCain should announce he will commit to ridding Congress of scum like Pelosi, Dodd and Frank to start with. And he should announce an inquisiton of who and what caused this financial meltdown.

Cedarford said...

Had McCain started with criticism of Obama's past associates right after getting the nomination locked up - it would have been effective.

But the simple truth is McCain waited too long. Now, badly behind in the polls, mauled because he never cared much about "economy" vs. national security, less than 3 weeks to go - becoming an attack dog against his "dear Senator friend, Barack" - would be seen by most as smacking of last minute desperation.

Too bad, too late.

Not only did he "pass" on going after Ayers, Wright, Rezko, SOROs, ACRORN, and the Daley Machine that spawned The One..he picked the Fundie Icon.
And Sarah Palin came with her own ongoing scandal investigation and once McCains people realized she thought poorly on her feet and had little knowledge in areas Obama should be attacked on...they kept her almost excluded except for her set "pit bull with lipstick" stump speech.

Unlike the other early surrogates that could eviscerate Obama and his associates and did...and took questions from the media and were confident enough to appear with them when asked (notably Romney and Thompson) - "Our Sarah, wonderful Fundie Sarah...." had to be kept from an attack dog role.

McCain's staff decided that after her 1st "attack Obama!" interviews backfired, and showed she had more deficiencies than the ones she was trying to point out in The One, the Redeemer of Guilty Whites...

Leaving us with a Right Wing Madonna, not a Romney who could attack Obama on a dozen fronts and look wise and sweatless in doing so.. And with an angry old guy who puts 16 mentions of how he will "fight" in an incoherent 12 minute speech and wierdly also insists on adding 5-6 "my friends! my dear friends! My good friend Teddy/Joe"(or 30 other lifetime Senators) to the same 12-minute speech.

Yeah, McCain, we get it. You're a war hero. And someone that thinks he deserves to be President because he suffered!, has character, and was an important Senator.
Not good enough. We want a competent leader with vision and judgement and a certain amount of brains and trustworthiness. You lack that.

And while I like Sarah, dear Sarah - Goddess of the Right Wing evangelicals - she wasn't ready for primetime.
Instead of an attack dog, we had a pit bull that couldn't fight that well except for some barking from a position of safety. She was a pit bull that had to be kept from biting herself when set upon by the Press Chihuahuas.

Yep, McCain took Wright off the table until it was too late, mis-selected his VP them misused her. He thought the race would be all about his POW experience, character, and how to protect America from Muslim..(Not Wall Street) "Evildoers". He was wrong.

But not as wrong as us Republicans were to select him. Mainly through a dumb military worship of him and "he was owed for running iin 2000" sentiment in NH and South Carolina. Then how Republicans rigged up their Primaries to reward large Blue States that McCain hadn't a snowballs chance in hell of taking in a general election. Basically locking McCain in as the eventual nominee with "winner take all" rules for those Blue States, dominated by RINOs and indendents now leaning "Obamessiah" -

Except for South Carolina, every state Mccain took in the Primaries appears to be going to Obama in the General Election.

Republicans get the candidate they deserve, sorry to say. Dems also had their plague of bad candidates running bad campaigns, making bad decisions - an long string broken only by Clinton and Obama's adept handlers (orchestrated by Axelrod).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Polls seem to indicate that the guilt-by-association attack with Ayers hurt McCain more than it helped

Gee... I wonder are the polls asking these people who don't know diddly do squat.

Who believes the polls anyway.

McCain should go after Obama on all of the above if he wants to win (which I'm beginning to doubt). Either that or unleash Palin who obviously DOES want to win.

mccullough said...

Maybe McCain could be more subtle.

In tonight's debate he could say:

"Sen. Obama, when you were with your new group of friends in San Francisco, you said that rural people in Pennsylvania and Ohio and West Virignia cling to their religion. Cling to their religion. Sen. Obama, to most people, religion is not something to cling to. It is a source of strength in their lives. Church and religion aren't something people run to when they need it and then just toss it aside as something that's no longer useful to them when things start going their way.

People don't cling to religiion. It is a source of strength for them. Religiion and church are like their family and friends. They are a source of strength in good times and bad times. They are not something you just walk away froma and disown when life starts going your way."

sonicfrog said...

Peter Hoh said:

Speaking of things that should be off the table, there's a product out there that should be off the nightstand, but I'm hesitant to link to it.

Product... Nightstand...

We all know these are racist codewords!!!

MadisonMan said...

What if no one ever speaks against the most prominent speaker when his speech violates and falsifies the mission of the community in Christ? Doesn't that say something about the community?

When the bishop forced all the priests to read a letter for Wisconsin's foolish constitution-changing amendment re: gays and marriage -- well, we all knew the priest was doing it against his will -- but nevertheless, people did walk out or stand up and turn their back to the altar while it was being read.

Something like that is far more memorable than the Bishop's letter (and I actually had to think a couple seconds before I remembered what the letter was about).

So your what if doesn't necessarily apply to my church -- but I can't answer for Rev. Wrigth's as I've never been there.

MadisonMan said...

Who believes the polls anyway.

The people who are leading in them.

(I'm sorry -- was that just rhetorical?) :)

Bruce Hayden said...

He shouldn't go after it as a race issue, but as a communism issue.

Agreed. What they should be running right now is Obama Tells Tax-Burdened Plumber the Plan is to ‘Spread the Wealth Around’. Obama told him that that we need to raise his taxes in order to spread around the money to those Obama considers more in need. Almost pure communism. Run that round the clock.

Also, his disingenuous comment yesterday that his previous connection with ACORN was suing Citibank for red lining. And he justified it because the DoJ joined in, without mentioning that it was the Clinton DoJ, with a record of pushing the Civil Rights laws far beyond their intent or wording. What he and the Clinton DoJ were doing was pressuring Citibank into subprime lending, which is part of why we found ourselves in the financial mess we are in right now. (And he ignored all the money his campaign gave an organization that shares staff and offices with ACORN).

Quayle said...

Our politics should be so structured that only a decent man can win.

I agree.

But it won't happen until we value personal integrity more than we value Party A or Party B.

Here is a quote from the 4th President of the Mormon Church. It is from the late 1800s, but still holds true today:

"I do not care whether a man is a Republican or a Democrat. In that he is free; but it is your duty to unite in electing good men to govern and control your cities, your local affairs..."

"Lay aside your extremes in democracy and republicanism, as far as is wise in that matter, and in other than local matters as Latter-day Saints unite together within your party lines and appoint good men. When you do that God will bless you. You won't all be taxed to death and lose your property if you will appoint good men and pursue this course."

"I take the liberty, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of making these remarks. No matter what the feelings of men may be towards me; I shall not stay in this country very long. But I realize very well that this people are groaning under poverty, under affliction, under taxation, and in positions that they ought not to be if they would only unite and do their duty. And this idea of a person being afraid of somebody because he is a Democrat or a Republican, it is all wrong. I feel like saying to you, as the President of the Church, and do state, that it is your duty to unite together and appoint good men to act in every capacity for the public welfare."

Bissage said...

Dear Althouse Commentariat,

In good faith I’ve been trying to follow this thread but I’m just not getting it.

Is or is not Senator Barack Hussein Obama a terrorist?

Would someone please give me a straight answer?

I need to have this thing figured out by November 4, 2008.

Sincerely yours,

Joe Sixpack

kynefski said...

This all seems premised on the notion that, if the McCain campaign went to Wright, independent voters would say, "Oh, man, I forgot about that guy. That son of a bitch."

There is a delusion, shared by some Althouse commenters, that independent voters haven't been made aware of these associations. They have, and they've made it clear that they don't care. If you find it reckless that they could consider electing a man with ties to leftists, fine, but that's how it is.

Simon said...

Quayle, that's accurate but silly. No one is afraid of Obama because he is a Democrat. They are afraid of him because of what they believe he will do and because of what they believe he believes. His party affiliation is a sibling of our concerns, not its parent; both arise out of the same beliefs on his part.

tim maguire said...

The real issue with Obama is that he is basically the invisible man. He has no record and even he describes himself as a blank slate on which people write their own hopes. Sure Obama says he'll do this or that, but anybody can say anything. Nobody here really believes you can totally judge a politician by their promises, do they?

With Obama, the associations matter because we have so little else to go on. It is not only fair, but necessary that we know what sort of person he likes to hang out with because that is the best way to find out what sort of person he is and, by extension, what sort of president he'll be.

It annoys me to no end that Obama keeps saying "tax cuts for 95% of America" right in McCain's face without McCain ever once pointing out that you don't discern a politician's future tax policy by asking them about their tax policy, you do it by asking about their spending policy.

Same here--Wright, Ayers, Rezko--these guys matter because they're the ones who will tell you who Obama is. Only a fool would direct that question to Obama himself.

Cedarford said...

Seven Machos said...
Bart Hall: Here's an experiment: say what you want, right here on Althouse, and see if you get crushed by the Obama Gestapo. If you win, you retain your free speech rights. If I win, you have to stop alluding to revolution because a leftist Democrats may win the election.


Talk of Revolution has little to do with "free speech rights" - and everything to do with the People talking to their Representatives from both Parties about all the
crises facing us and getting a "fuck you" response.

Special interests rule DC. There is no accountability. Courts shove agenda down our throats instead of letting the People decide. Our Constitution has been frozen from any Amendment in the face of any significant special interest opposition since 1962 - and badly needs major repairs - in areas like survivability and continuity of government in an enemy attack, out of control deficit spending, bar on Executive use of line item veto, resolving War Powers language, and lifetime appointment of Federal judges. Among others..

A Revolution may be necessary if crime and race strife rises to early 70s or above levels...A Revolution may be necessary if America suffers economic collapse. It may be necessary if enough people conclude they have lost their democracy to the Elites running the special interest groups, courts.

Simon said...

sonicfrog said...
"Peter Hoh said: 'Speaking of things that should be off the table, there's a product out there that should be off the nightstand, but I'm hesitant to link to it.' Product... Nightstand... We all know these are racist codewords!!!"

You said words! Everyone knows that words spoken by white people are just codes for racism!

Titusbackintownok? said...

Palin's is now a joke.

Too bad for Mccain.

He could of won this election but instead he chose Palin.

I would still do her...and her husband...and son...and son in law.

The son in law is now a high school dropout. How hot is that?

Simon said...

Cedarford said...
"Our Constitution has been frozen from any Amendment in the face of any significant special interest opposition since 1962 - and badly needs major repairs...."

Larry Sabato, a respected political scientist, wrote an entire book suggesting a whole bunch of tinkering. He wants, for example, to regulate political parties' internal processes with the Constitution, eliminate equal representation in the Senate, massively expand the House, give all former Presidents lifetime seats in the Senate, and expand the Supreme Court to twelve members. He identified not a single serious flaw with the existing system, and the "fixes" he proposed ran the gamut from the merely precipitous and ill-advised to the outright calamitous if not disastrous. What makes you think you can do better? Of the things you mention, none are real problems that can only (or best) be resolved with a Constitutional fix.

The Constitution isn't "frozen" in place. It is working perfectly well, as is Article V. There is no evidence at all that a genuinely popular non-frivolous amendment that enjoyed bipartisan support could not be ratified; to say anything short of that is to say nothing more than that Article V is doing exactly what it ought to do, which is to prevent precipitous change by short-sighted arrogant rationalists like yourself who think that they can dream up, out of their own sainted imaginations, a system that will work better than the one that has served us well for two centuries. Those who would screw around with the Constitution are rightly excluded from public office by the requirement of an oath, are rightly ejected if they abuse that oath, and those who would change it bear an extraordinarily heavy burden of persuasion. The only change that I know of that I would support is one that in fact undoes a previous mistake and more-or-less goes back to the status quo ante, a change that can of course rest on prior experience with that system for support.

Seven Machos said...

First thing we do, Cedarford, let's kill all the Jews.

Titusbackintownok? said...

I just pinched a really nice loaf.

It looked like matzoball soup.

One big loaf surrounded by little loafs. The little loafs fled for the end of the bowl while the big main loaf just sat there in the middle and said to me fuck u.

Simon said...

Titus, he should be kissing Palin's ass for getting him as close to winning as he got. If he'd picked anyone else, this election would have been over by the end of August. That he got within striking distance is 100% down to Palin unifying and energizing the party.

Titusbackintownok? said...

I enjoy examining and judging my loafs.

Jen Bradford said...

I think McCain should chip away at the cult of personality and remind independents about bright stars like Pelosi and Reid who will have free rein if Obama wins. People are so enamored of Obama personally that they gratefully forget the rest of the team. The reason no one showed up to see Kerry is because most people still think he's a goof. That goes for a huge number of Dems that independents assume will be magically neutralized by O.

Ann Althouse said...

Palladian said...""He cared about being racially sensitive when he thought the appearance of lofty principle would win him votes, but now that he fears it hasn't won him enough votes, he's ready to try something else. So principle was never principle, just principle as a pose, useful to the extent that it was useful." Didn't you call that "pragmatism" yesterday when it applied to Barry?"

Yes, and I intended to allude to that. Note that yesterday, I asked a question about whether we like pragmatism. I didn't embrace it wholeheartedly.

I think most people are pragmatic and idealistic, each up to a point, and it would be terrible if they were not. It's a question of balance.

I'm interested in the ways in which politicians are openly pragmatic or idealistic and how they hide pragmatism under idealism. Also, I care about the quality of their pragmatism. I want good sense, and if they hide their pragmatism, I don't get to see how good it is.

Quayle said...

Quayle, that's accurate but silly. No one is afraid of Obama because he is a Democrat. They are afraid of him because of what they believe he will do and because of what they believe he believes.

Are you so sure? One side claims he is the devil, and the other, a saint.

This way of thinking is typical and flawed, as sarcastically pointed out by one Mormon scholar:

The lazy man's way of thinking is that:

"All virtue is comprised in the fact of membership in Our Group; all vice consists in not belonging. It can be shown by a most convenient syllogism that since God is on our side we cannot show any degree of toleration for any opposition without incurring infinite guilt."

"Therein lies the great usefulness of the doctrine of guilt and innocence by association that became so popular in the fourth century: one does not need to quibble; there is no such thing as being partly wrong or merely mistaken; the painful virtue of forbearance and the labor of investigation no longer embarrass the champions of one-package loyalty."

"No matter how nobly and austerely heretics may live, for Augustine they are still Antichrist—all of them, equally and indiscriminately; their virtues are really vices, their virginity carnality, their reason unreason, their patience in persecution mere insolence; any cruelty shown them is not really cruelty but kindness..."

"The insidious thing about such immoral conclusions is that they are quite logical. The cruelty of the times, says Alföldi, "cannot fully be explained by the corruption of the age;... the spirit of the fourth century has its part to play. The victory of abstract ways of thinking, the universal triumph of theory, knows no half-measures; punishment, like everything else, must be a hundred percent, but even this seems inadequate."

"Compromise is now out of the question: God, who once let his sun shine upon the just and the unjust, and let the wheat and tares grow together, now insists that the unjust should cease to exist, that only wheat should grow in the earth, and that only sheep should inhabit it."

"In all seriousness the Emperor Justinian announced to the churchmen his intention of forcing the devil himself to join the true church, and thus achieving in the world that perfect unity "which Pythagoras and Plato taught."

Titusbackintownok? said...

Simon he needed to do more than energize the base.

That doesn't mean that Palin has a future.

She does. She obviously is a good campaigner, telegenic, interesting and new. She needs to go back to Alaska and come back in 4 years and make a run on her own.

She has been poorly handled by the campaign.

I would still do her in a heartbeat.

Titusbackintownok? said...

Hi Althouse...nervous giggles.

Titusbackintownok? said...

I want to do my new neighbor. He is a expert on Japanese politics. He is hot. He has written in the Wall Street Journal and he is only 25 years old. His parents paid for his loft in full, that is hot.

jdeeripper said...

Like the Howard Stern gig where one of his folks found people who were going to vote for Obama and asked them how they felt about certain proposals of Obama's, that were actually McCain's.

What Happens When You Ask Harlem Why They Support Obama?

Wright is off the table, Granny is under the bus, McCain is out to lunch, Palin is over her head, the economy is down in the dumps, the media is in the tank, wurly is out of here, Simon has been tagged...

Titusbackintownok? said...

The weather here has been absolutely beautiful the past week.

Titusbackintownok? said...

I would like to see Mccain punch Obama in the debate tonight.

Titusbackintownok? said...

I would do John King from CNN.

Anyone agree?

Titusbackintownok? said...

I would also do Don Lemon. He is one hot brotha.

Titusbackintownok? said...

Sometimes when I pinch a loaf it requires more than one flushing.

sonicfrog said...

Simon, you said "You" and "People". Those are DEFINITELY racist codewords used by you white people!!!

knox said...

For me, the Wright thing comes back to the fact that all of Obama's "relationships" are politically expedient.

Yes, he has "palled around with" some weird ones, hasn't he? You are forced to accept that he is either:

1) An opportunist who befriends/works with anyone, ANYONE, who furthers his political career.

2) An actual racist/radical/socialist/America-hater

3) Incredibly stupid and naive.

I am inclined to think 1) is the case, with just enough of 2) to run in the fashionable circles.

I hope to God he's just an opportunist. Then we'll simply end up with a Bill Clinton type who lives and dies by the polls; he'll end up being very centrist and won't rock the boat too much. Maybe tax hikes will be the worst of it.

Titusbackintownok? said...

I would also do that TJ black guy on CNN. You know he has a big hog.

peter hoh said...

Titus, go take a gander at Dan Savage's blog. There's something that's right up your alley, so to speak.

MadisonMan said...

I would do John King from CNN.

Anyone agree?


I agree that you would do John King from CNN.

Jen Bradford said...

knox, I'd go with #1 and a modified 3. I don't think he's stupid, and to the extent that he's naive, I think he underestimates how many favors are going to be called in by people he just assumed were "fans" .

He does believe that the ends justify the means. And the "ends" have only amounted to higher political office up to now - I still don't know what the hell they are.

madawaskan said...

Dear Bissage-

Obama is the man the terrorist would love to test.

In fact we have many of the althouse intelligentsia determined to vote for him because they have Hope that he is a liar.

This you see, the art of bluffing is a very fair art and always good when negotiating the foreign affairs.

Of course if you pick the ones that you have relations with on this point you end up like the Marquis de Sade.

Sincerely,

Maria Caisse de Vingt-Quatre

Simon said...

Titusbackintownok? said...
"Simon he needed to do more than energize the base."

That is true - but he had to do at least that, and no one else could have done it.

garage mahal said...

Funny hearing the cries of alleged faux racism accusations against them coming from the same people accusing Obama of being the X-Files Alien Leftist Terrorist.

peter hoh said...

madawaskan: al Qaeda is likely to test the new president, no matter who he is.

I think they got exactly the response they wanted from President Bush.

Michael_H said...

John McCain repeats the cry: "My friends, I will fight for you!" time and time again in his speeches, debates and commercials.

I'd like to ask John McCain: "When?"

If McCain, the patriot, won't during his campaign condemn Rev. Wright's screaming from the pulpit "God damn America" over and over and over, then McCain ain't a fighter.

Wright, Rezko, ACORN, et. al. are slow pitches waiting to be hit out of the political ballpark, and apparently McCain doesn't want to hurt the ball.

MikeDC said...

Shouldn't McCain's willingness to lose rather than doing something that he believes would seriously damage our society count as a reason to vote for him?

At the end of the day, this is the sort of judgement, and not the sort of policy specifics that are mostly legislative issues, that we should consider when voting for a President.

My study of the two men suggests McCain will stick to his guns and risk losing if the alternative is winning dirty.

Obama... does anyone think Obama would pass on that opportunity? Darn near every principled stand one might take(campaign finance, ACORN, union voting registration, etc) has suggested the only principle he's concerned with is winning.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

Fuck Larry Sabato - definitely a liberal Dem- he did not have the balls to stand up to Senator Macaca until the MSM had already piled on.

Fuck Bill Kristol. Has been wrong almost as many times as Paul Krugman.

madawaskan said...

Peter-

Well do you think bluffing is a good strategy when it comes to communicating-diplomacy before the application of force?

Do you think that Iraq was finished after Gulf War I?

Do you think that Obama won't sizably reduce the military, or it's weapons systems to fulfill all of his domestic promises?

Do you think that less soldiers died in Iraq because Clinton sized down the military?

Do you think that Iraqis were not being killed by their own regme?

Do you think that a guy that went up against Iran, then Kuwait was a stable rational actor-and could easily be ignored?

Do you know what Obama's policy is regarding Pakistan?

Do you know where he stands on Darfur?

Oh and I'll just add-it's pathetic that Hitchens thinks that Liberals give a damn when he gives his Rwanda analogies or that they will not stay true to their ideology of weak on defense and high on doling out the bread and butter.

Gets more of us shot and shot at in the first place every damn time.

madawaskan said...

AJ-

Bill Kristol....you can say that again.

knox said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention... whatever McCain decides to do, tonight's debate is sure to be a snoozer! Get your blankies, your slippers and your warm milk ready!

Jen Bradford said...

Who here thinks Schaeffer will be the one to bring up Bill Ayers (and potentially others)? Then McCain can't be accused of offering "another distraction" but instead has the opportunity to say why questioning Obama's political alliances is legit. Unless the moderator raises this stuff, I don't think he'll touch it. Maybe ACORN, but not individual relationships.

AJ Lynch said...

Fuck the debate (actually Titus probably would).

Go Phils.

Jen Bradford said...

Given a direct question about Ayers, McCain could even preemptively mention the Keating 5 in the context of paying a price for bad judgment, and how it affected his political behavior afterward. There are several examples of Obama showing poor judgment of character when someone was helping his career. He'll only admit the land deal with Rezco was "boneheaded".

peter hoh said...

madawaskan, I'm not sure how to address some of those questions, but none of them relate to my statement that al Qaeda is likely to test the new president, no matter which candidate is elected.

Though since you asked, rarely, not quite, can't say, huh?, no, no, somewhat, and yes.

madawaskan said...

Peter-
I don't know the answers either-kind of my point.

On foreign policy however, I think you have to admit that Obama has been inconsistent.

Now let's say you are raising a two year old-and is this akin like dealing with terrorists-well in some regards yes.

Consistency and a clear message will save you a lot of aggravation and I think McCain has more of those two qualities for a greater length of time than Obama.

Obama is the more tempting target.

AJ Lynch said...

Jen:

If he does bring it up, Schieffer will couch his question in tell us about or tell us the scope of the relationship? He will give Obama an op to minimize it.

Schiefer won't ask who did Obama and Ayers give the Annenberg money to and how can Amercians get a list of the recipients?

Yeah I know I sound like a broken record but it's what I do.

Jen Bradford said...

Right, but if Ayers' name is mentioned by the mod, McCain can discuss it in any terms he chooses. If Obama mitigates it, then McCain can state how many millions of dollars were spent with no results whatsoever.

He doesn't even have to deal with the Weatherman angle, he can say this is a guy with a far-left agenda that isn't going to help students become more competitive.

Synova said...

McCain may be right to avoid Wright.

But as for the general question of crazy pastors... all of you who have crazy pastors... you *hear* it don't you?

Madisonman... when Bishop Morlino sends a missive and the priest reads it... you *notice* don't you?

I know that when I go to church and the pastor brings up Creationism, I notice. I notice *particularly* when a minister gets political, because it annoys me. I could recount what my pastor said from the pulpit after 9-11 when he soundly condemned Falwell's remarks, and I could still explain the theological basis of his condemnation this many years later. I can tell you what it was about one pastor that caused us to stop attending his church. And while I'm confrontational *here*, in real life I'm not... but even so, when a minister was really wrong, I have made a point to approach them and tell them they were wrong. I recall two distinct events because doing that took more bravery than anything else in my life.

Dealing with pastors or other church people who come up with really weird or even offensive ideas is something we all do. But how many of us don't NOTICE?

AJ Lynch said...

Jen:

You are right and I hope McCain takes your suggestion.

Obama will just say the money would have worked but the kids did not have govt paid pre-k and he (Obama) plans to expand govt paid Pre-k.

At that point, McCain should hit him hard in a figurative way of course.

Jen Bradford said...

Most of the so-called smear issues can be linked back to the economic situation, and that's what I'm hoping McCain will do. Tie things together better: explain the pressure from the Dems to increase absurdly risky loans, discuss how Obama has spent other people's money in the past, whether Ayers' bozo educational programs, or $800,000 to ACORN during the primaries. etc.

It also wouldn't hurt to mention the obvious: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is all very basic, but that's partly why I think it's worth chasing down. Things like Obama's call to "end the war" in Iraq. As if our leaving is equivalent to "ending the war". Or the idea that Al Qaeda is a more serious enemy in one country than in another - that the "real" war on terror has a home address - again, bogus reasoning. But he keeps getting away with it. McCain doesn't have to get fancy to point it out.

knowitall said...

The liberal illuminait would prefer to keep their associates private. All the lefties should have to state their associates when wanting to be in power.