August 1, 2009

Let's cut Obama some slack about this photograph.



Thomas Lifson says:
Sergeant Crowley, the sole class act in this trio, helps the handicapped Professor Gates down the stairs, while Barack Obama, heedless of the infirmities of his friend and fellow victim of self-defined racial profiling, strides ahead on his own. So who is compassionate? And who is so self-involved and arrogant that he is oblivious?
But here's the thing. Remember this? Obama had to worry that if he turned around to help Gates, somebody was going to be able to take a photograph of him looking at Crowley's ass.

130 comments:

Revenant said...

I'd like Obama more if he really HAD been checking out that woman's ass.

rhhardin said...

That's what happens if you're a black man in America.

Michael S said...

Let's not.

He staged this event purely for political gain (or re-gain as it were). No 'teachable moment'.

This was an attempt to project a 'roll-up your sleeves and have a beer with the guys at the end of a hard day's work' image. Obama, the common man, therefore orders the Bud Lite.

Contrast Biden and Obama, both sans, jackets with Crowley and Gates (dressed in attire that you would expect anyone invited to the White House to wear) sitting at the patio table in the legendary DC summertime heat and humidity with their jackets on.

So if this image reinforces his 'aloofness', so be it. He deserves whatever image we can project as a result.

Zach said...

Eh. Obama's position right now is that he didn't shoot his mouth off, he was playing the peacemaker. Now the cop is helping the elderly man down the stairs. Voila, peace!

Hopefully this story will go away, now that we have televised proof that nobody acted like an immature idiot.

JAL said...

Mmmm. Since he tells us in one of his books that he is there (or here, as it were) for us to project our hopes on, he makes it easy for us to project other things.

So here goes: The deal is, he is clueless.

Certain blogs and commenters made a big deal about Prof. Gates beeing disabled and using a cane. (How could he be a threat?) Maybe in his friendship over the years Obama didn't notice.

Remember. This isn't about him.

Roman said...

So much for the "teachable" moment, the President didn't learn a thing.

AllenS said...

Better to look at an ass, than to look like an ass.

bearbee said...

ObamaCare in action.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

How old are you Professor Gates?

Mian said...

This phot says to me that O is moving on; "we're done here, folks, nothing to see. Let's go."
Time to move mountains and walk on water.

Bob said...

Obama had to worry that if he turned around to help Gates, somebody was going to be able to take a photograph of him looking at Crowley's ass.

Rubbish, and you know it.

AllenS said...

Gates needs to take one of those blue pills, or is it a red pill?

Jason (the commenter) said...

See, Obama does look odd in shirtsleeves when everyone else is in suits. That's what the jacketless Biden was for!

Obama, as the master of the house (and President) has every right to walk first. In fact, shouldn't he be leading the way for his guests?

But you would think Obama would want to help his friend rather than let a stranger do it, or at least pause at the bottom of the steps.

It seems like even random people off the street have a greater sense of goodwill than our President.

Bissage said...

Ebony and ivory
walk together in perfect harmony
Side by side down the White House back steps,
Oh lord, why don’t we?

Bissage said...

Hey, look. Let’s forget about President Center-of-the-Universe. What really matters here is the enduring image of two former adversaries joining together in peace, love and understanding.

What’s so funny about that?

Bissage said...

UNKNOWN COMIC: Hey, hey . . . What’s black and white, black and white, and black and white?

CHUCK BARRIS: I don’t know. What?

UNKNOWN COMIC: Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley tumbling down the White House steps!

lucid said...

I yield to no one in my disillusion with Obama because of his narcissism, his ultra-leftism, and his penchant for imposing naive policies that he picked up at cocktail parties. But fair is fair. It would be ridiculous for him to also help Gates down the steps. And who knows if Gates even needed the help.

AllenS said...

lucid said...
"...And who knows if Gates even needed the help."

I think maybe the cane is some kind of lucid indication.

bearbee said...

The previous knuckle-dragging WH occupant would have been far more gracious.

OTOH, it is most likely a photo op set-up intended to show black-white 'healing' facilitated and lead by the Great Healer Of All Racial Strife.

A better photo set-up would have been Crowley-Gates with O hovering close-by, concerned yet in charge.

Aaron said...

you know, i this was an isolated thing, maybe. but the fact is crowley, who felt gates had defamed him, found it in his heart to help gates. in other words for all the reasons crowley had to hate the man, he didn't. which suggests maybe he wasn't a racist after all.

and obama could give a sh-t.

And obama has mocked the handicapped in the past, and picked on crowley. he told a person who needed a pacemaker that she would be better off with a painkiller. sorry, we are seeing a pattern emerge. he's a jerk.

Pogo said...

The picture told me quite a lot about Crowley (that he would assist Gates even though Gates had called him a liar and a racist), and even a positive thing about Gates (he allowed Crowley to help; he could have rejected the offer).

They both were used for a Very Special Episode of The Obama Show in which we all realize we should get along (close credits).

Issob Morocco said...

Face it, we are all just beneath The One.

g said...

He only gets about as much slack as he gave for a police sergeant doing his job investigating a possible break in call.

Nichevo said...

Let's pretend, let's just agree to lie, and say that O meant well or was doing the right thing in this photo, showing leadership or being the gracious host or taking point. Whatever.

Friends of O would do well to realize that his image-making staff = EPIC FAIL. It's like Mr Burns in The Simpsons with this guy!

Now, I can just sit back and enjoy the smell of blood, but what are his friends going to do about it?

Jim Carroll, CRNA said...

> "Hey, look. Let’s forget about President Center-of-the-Universe. What really matters here is the enduring image of two former adversaries joining together in peace, love and understanding."

No. What we have here is Sgt. Crowley just being himself. To protect and to serve.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Our nation is being led by a president who drinks Bud Lite.

We're screwed.

Dave said...

Bud Light = girly drink for a girly man.

Seriously, though, the Presidebt is so tone deaf on such matters that I'm dumbstruck.

He's making Carter look like some kind of presidential genius.

Fred4Pres said...

Obama had to worry that if he turned around to help Gates, somebody was going to be able to take a photograph of him looking at Crowley's ass.

So better to let old man Gates negotiate thos stairs on his own.

Freeman Hunt said...

In fairness, they can't BOTH help Gates down the stairs without insulting him. He's a man. You can't treat him like a little, old lady. One person helping is enough.

The picture does look bad though.

Freeman Hunt said...

I bet Obama doesn't even drink beer. I don't, and I wouldn't know what was going to seem cool if I had to pick one.

Freeman Hunt said...

They should have done the whole thing inside with no press. It made for bizarre political theater the way it was done.

The Crack Emcee said...

Arrgh! How dare dat mean ol' racist white man, grab dat black man wit de cane, as soon as de president back is turned! He probly pushed him down de stair after dat piture taken!

Look at de president: Proud black man, strollin' like he runnin' stuff - he probly coulda carried de ol' man! - but he let da white man do it! Dat's what you do, nowadays: You let da white man do it, yes indeed!

Well, dat dere was surely what you call a "teachable moment", for sure. Teach dem crackers to keep dey hands offin' ya, and make de PO-leece show some RESPECT! Dats what dat dere photo show: RESPECT! IT'S A BLACK WORLD NOW AND Y'ALL BETTER GET USED TO IT!

Otherwise,...we goin' back to slavery.

Now - go get me some lemonade fo' I hafta show y'all Dee Ma-Cho Ree-Sponse.

LarsPorsena said...

Perfect pictorial metaphor.

Crowley instinctively uses his individual initiative to help his fellow citizen.

Obama walks away pondering the creation of a new government agency to aid the mobility of the aged and infirm.

Ern said...

What we have here is Sgt. Crowley just being himself. To protect and to serve.

Absolutely. And, while I'm certainly not a fan of President Obama, it wouldn't surprise me if he's not helping professor Gates because Sgt. Crowley got there first.

How old are you Professor Gates?

He'll be fifty-nine in September. He needs a cane because of an injury that he sustained playing touch football at age fourteen.

cf said...

Ern:"it wouldn't surprise me if he's not helping professor Gates because Sgt. Crowley got there first."

So you think then, that, he saw Crowley reach out to help Gates and then just ran around the two of them to make himself front and center of the photo op? Well, isn't that special?

AlmaGarret said...

Don't you have to wonder about the WH staff who released this photo? Are they so blinded in their worship of the WON that they don't see what is obvious to the rest of us?

Kirby Olson said...

Is Sergeant Crowley a Christian? I think that for non-Christians there are no real goals or rules. You just do your best to do nothing, and look good doing it.

The Crack Emcee said...

"I think that for non-Christians there are no real goals or rules. You just do your best to do nothing, and look good doing it."

Sorry, Kirby, but that strikes me as just boneheaded. For us atheists, the commitment to doing good is just as heavy as for a Christian - maybe even more - because there's no Heavenly reward expected, or fear of God's wrath. It's just acknowledged as the right way to live. If anything, I'm stunned when I see how often believers find themselves in (usually adulterous or just sex-related) trouble:

Must be nice having the cover of that "We're all sinners" thing,...

It definitely doesn't square with The Macho Response

Paul said...

"I think that for non-Christians there are no real goals or rules. You just do your best to do nothing, and look good doing it.'

What a crock of shit Kirby.

AlphaLiberal said...

OK, Ann. That was funny!

Big Mike said...

@Kirby, count this comment as a piling on from another atheist.

I'm sorry, Ern, and I'm sorry, Professor, but your suggestions that maybe Crowley got there first or that people would think Obama was checking out Crowley's ass are, in the first case purely hypothetical and in the second case purely weird.

And Professor, I see two major gaffes on the part of the man you voted for in one picture. The first is walking off and leaving his handicapped guest to fend for himself. The second is that once he saw his guests were wearing their jackets he and Joseph Biden should have rolled down their sleeves and pulled on their jackets, too.

The word is "gracious" and it has been utterly missing from this administration.

Dudley Do-right said...

Naw. All wrong.

Try this:
"With former antagonists, Gates and Crowley, now at peace and living in harmony; President Obama, healer of racial divisions, calmer of tempestuous seas, and all-round righter of wrongs, heads off on his next case. Nothing is too difficult for a community organizer."

Paddy O. said...

"For us atheists, the commitment to doing good is just as heavy as for a Christian - maybe even more - because there's no Heavenly reward expected, or fear of God's wrath. It's just acknowledged as the right way to live."

If a Christian is doing good works for the sake of heavenly reward or fear of God's wrath, then that's heresy. You can't work your way into heaven.

Which basically means its the same thing for atheists and Christians. Do good works because it's good and, ultimately, doing good is what brings wholeness and stillness. It's the right way to live. Christians just add that the right way to live is a reflection of the God who created and sustains life, and the reflection of Christ who lived among us.

They also add the fact that doing good in this life helps us be more in tune with God in this life, and in relationship with him throughout eternity (which extends to the past, the present, and the future).

AlphaLiberal said...

Geez. It's a joke, Big Mike. A joke.

And it's a picture. I'm betting thet wanted to give Crowley a chance to look kind and noble and shit to help heal the situation.

Paul said...

"I'm betting thet wanted to give Crowley a chance to look kind and noble and shit to help heal the situation."

Haw haw!! Now THAT'S a joke. You're one funny SOB there AL.

Penny said...

Anyone who has done any entertaining knows that all guests are not created equal. The people you enjoyed having are walked to the car where the conversation goes on for another ten minutes. Some others are hurriedly seen to the front door or the sidewalk, where with a wave of the hand, you turn and say "Whew. Glad that's over."

Cedarford said...

Pogo said...
The picture told me quite a lot about Crowley (that he would assist Gates even though Gates had called him a liar and a racist)


Crowley was not assisting Gates. He had him in a police "comealong" grip.

Steve Burri said...

By not checking out Crowley's ass, Obama once again turns his back on his gay constituency.

Gene said...

I think you all are a bit quick to criticize Obama about not giving Gates a hand. See, he is on the wrong side of him to help. The professor has his cane in his left hand and Obama is also on his left side. He needs help balancing from the right, where Crowley is. Though I suppose if he had been helping from the left that would have been bad symbolism too :)

Nichevo said...

C4, you've probably never helped an old person down a flight of stairs, and I've never been held in a policeman's "come-along" grip, but from my experience it looks like Crowley held Gates at the tricep just above the elbow and was supporting him, complete with the foot turned, adjusting himself to Gates's pace. Gates in turn was leaning into him, showing no signs of "flight" or "resistance."

I would have probably held my 99-year-old Aunt Filia's arm closer to the shoulder, she being very short, bent, and needing load-bearing as much as steadying; but otherwise it looks a very familiar posture to me.

Funny, though! If I ever get arrested I'll be sure to note these little details. I suppose it was like that for you when they took you out of the silo for the last time? Except with the frog-march I think they have a guy on either side. LOL!

Big Mike, I think Obama and Biden could have either donned their jackets, or invited their guests to remove theirs. Of course there should have been no element of surprise in any of this, the White House surely should have known what they would be wearing!

Roger J. said...

If thats what you really think alpha, you are one peverted SOB--and typify the worst in modern american liberalism. Snarky arrogant and consistently wrong.
You really should take some time and effot and grow up.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Remember when David Brooks got all gushy about Obama's dignity?

I see what he's talking about in this picture. Obama does look dignified, like a statue, but he doesn't seem to have any of it when he actually has to interact with other people.

But I think I know the perfect theme-song for Obama:

Greatest Love of All

Select lyrics:

Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

If I fail, if I succeed...
...They can't take away my dignity


If anyone can think of a better one, please post it!

tom swift said...

Cut him some slack? I don't think it's warranted.

Every time O. tries to impress us with his wisdom, his gravitas, or his political acumen, it backfires. It becomes more clear every day that O. is the silliest president we've ever had. He makes Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding, and Jimmy Carter look like men of real character and substance. So, let's treat him like the silly man that he is. Attack him and his silliness on every front. Never give in.

We owe the United States that, at the very least. We owe Obama nothing at all.

TOTWTYTR said...

Bob said...

Obama had to worry that if he turned around to help Gates, somebody was going to be able to take a photograph of him looking at Crowley's ass.

Rubbish, and you know it.

Bob, you usually get irony better than that. Remember the picture of Obama looking at the young woman's figure (ass) from last week?

Ann was making subtle joke.

Well I think it was a subtle joke.

tom swift said...

Cut him some slack? I don't think it's warranted.

Every time O. tries to impress us with his wisdom, his gravitas, or his political acumen, it backfires. It becomes more clear every day that O. is the silliest president we've ever had. He makes Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding, and Jimmy Carter look like men of real character and substance. So, let's treat him like the silly man that he is. Attack him and his silliness on every front. Never give in.

We owe the United States that, at the very least. We owe Obama nothing at all.

tom swift said...

Cut him some slack? I don't think it's warranted.

Every time O. tries to impress us with his wisdom, his gravitas, or his political acumen, it backfires. It becomes more clear every day that O. is the silliest president we've ever had. He makes Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding, and Jimmy Carter look like men of real character and substance. So, let's treat him like the silly man that he is. Attack him and his silliness on every front. Never give in.

We owe the United States that, at the very least. We owe Obama nothing at all.

tom swift said...

Cut him some slack? I don't think it's warranted.

Every time O. tries to impress us with his wisdom, his gravitas, or his political acumen, it backfires. It becomes more clear every day that O. is the silliest president we've ever had. He makes Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding, and Jimmy Carter look like men of real character and substance. So, let's treat him like the silly man that he is. Attack him and his silliness on every front. Never give in.

We owe the United States that, at the very least. We owe Obama nothing at all.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that the photo is priceless, maybe not for what Obama is doing, but rather, what the other two are. We have the big strong white cop helping the handicapped older black man down the step, and the black man accepting his help.

Even if nothing else came of this, this is evidence of the racial reconciliation that really was at the center of Obama's campaign.

tom swift said...

What's the multiple post crap? "Blogger" effect, I think. It's all automated ... just not very well.

Kirby Olson said...

Politics means never having to say you're sorry.

master cylinder said...

Ann, most of your commenters are missing the irony of your post.
Love all the projections about mofoblackPOTUSeEvilBbarryHhussein.

Kansas City said...

Ann is just being funny her, and Obama is narcisistic, but I think we need to give him a break here. He wasa leading the way and, while it would have been better if he had been more observant of Gates' issue with the steps, I think it likely was the type of unintentional oversight that could have happened to any of us.

What is interesting to me is that the photo indicates how different can see the thing quite differently. Someone in the White House thought this was a favorable photo of Obama leading Gates and Crowley to a friendly and cooperative relationship, but now the blogosphere rips the alleged body langauge of an arrogant and narcisistic Obama. It is a hard job handling the presentation of the image of the president, and seems easy to make a mistake.

DADvocate said...

As telling as Obama not helping Gates is that he is at least 2 steps out in front. Had he been beside Gates and Crowley, I could have given him some slack, but not now. Obama never learned Courtesy 101 or doesn't care.

GW with Sen. Robert Byrd (scroll down).

Big Mike said...

@Alpha (and you, too, master cylinder) there's funny, there's ironic, and then there's flat out weird. Weird is only funny to the weird.

@Nichevo, you are nothing if not Russian. Change "could" to "should" and you'd be right.

RocketMan said...

"Obama had to worry that if he turned around to help Gates, somebody was going to be able to take a photograph of him looking at Crowley's ass."

Sorry Althouse, but this observation is just plain dumb.

Pogo said...

Rocketman, you must be high as a kite, or else you miss the earth so much you missed her sarcasm.

And I think it's gonna be a long long time before you get the joke.

Big Mike said...

Sorry, Pogo, but she missed on this one.

Of course today she's got a lot on her mind.

Nichevo said...

Big Mike, I'm not Russian, but Aunt Filia was, so, spasebo bolshoyeh! If I weren't so damned delighted to be an American I would be flattered to be taken for a Russian. Of course C4 would tell you that a Russian Jew isn't quite the same thing, but as Aunt Filia taught Russian literature and not Russian Jew literature, I never picked up on it.

No, Mike, 0 COULD have done those things; what he SHOULD have done was to invite them into the entertainment space of the WH instead of sweating them on the lawn like hired help not good enough to enter.

Drinks, a meal, top secret bombing videos or at least some nice K-Mart DVDs, the works - good times. Charm the pants off that mick flatfoot and nail down that white peasant vote real good (the Gates vote is already where it needs to be; why bother trying to get 98% up to 99%).

At least get them out of the sun! But no, 0 is who and what he is, and you have poor half-dead Gates being dragged off by Crowley, who is just hoping Gates doesn't die on him, while 0, assuming he still remembers they exist, wonders why this rabble can't keep up.

I agree with your "should" inasmuch as the way it was done was intolerable. I only wonder 0 didn't bill them. It astounds me how much worse a person and a leader he is than either Clinton. Which for me is saying a lot.

Cedarford said...

Nichevo said...
C4, you've probably never helped an old person down a flight of stairs, and I've never been held in a policeman's "come-along" grip, but from my experience it looks like Crowley held Gates at the tricep just above the elbow and was supporting him, complete with the foot turned, adjusting himself to Gates's pace.


Another person with no sense of humor, similar to the commentor that suggested Obama was in no way interested in looking at Crowley's ass and Althouse was being unfair to Obama.
Obviously, Crowley was not using a "comealong" grip to drag an unwilling poor oppressed black victim of racism to a beerfest.

And your self-righteous crack about me "not caring for assisting an elderly person" rings about as true as someone in holy indignation rising up to defend Date's daughter against a crack she was being bitchy with the eyeliner comment.

"Obviously, you have never been a poor black girl navigating through a multiracial world with different standards of beauty....and insulted this young female victim of oppression when she was only making helpful remarks for aiding the low working class caste Crowley daughter.."

Alex said...

I can see Kirby made an atheist-bashing comment and didn't stick around to back it up. Wuss.

Kirby Olson said...

My comment against atheists can't be defended. It's a matter of my personal bias.

But at least I will say I am sorry, which is more than Gates, Crowley and Obama can manage.

I'm very sorry!

I was letting my prejudices do my thinking for me, and that just isn't right. I'm SORRY! I'm SORRY!

Let that be a teachable moment.

Alex said...

Kirby - you're right your atheist bashing can't be defended. On the whole, i'm pretty sure atheist are much more moral and live cleaner lives then religious people. After all we're all just human.

Larry Sheldon said...

Now I remember why I ha Althouse filed with the Daily Dish.

Big Mike said...

For those who don't know Russian, Nichevo is the transliteration of the Russian word for "nothing."

And you're right, Nichevo, they should have stayed indoors. But the point of the beer fest was to show off to the press, not really to exchange information. Consequently it had to be outdoors.

My best to your aunt.

Invisible Man said...

First, Crowley feared a black man with a can was a dangerous risk to him. Now he fears that Gates falling would ruin his photo-op. What a jerk?

Alex said...

First, Crowley feared a black man with a can was a dangerous risk to him. Now he fears that Gates falling would ruin his photo-op. What a jerk?

Wow that's low even for your low standards. I guess there's nothing Crowley can do to convince you that he's not a racist. Which makes YOU the racist pig.

Nichevo said...

C4, don't take this as an apology, but in fact, not only was I joking, I figured you were too. Of course. I was just funnin' ya (well, 'roasting' would be a more apposite term).

I did figure you would be more supple than this and roll with it, but it's better than the F-you that you give people who really piss you off. Or I suppose I should strive to get your goat that far. I dunno...

As for the not-helping-the-elderly bit, well, that I see as a vein of truth. I figure you are not so much an anti-Semite or anti-black as you are generally misanthropic.

This is, I think, not inconsistent with my earlier diagnosis of you as "only mad north-northwest," i.e. having grossly misshapen views of various peoples and groups, while no doubt being able to function in normal society, cook food, read, perform an oil change, perhaps even be urbane to a member of a despised group when it suits you.

I'm sure that once all the Jews and blacks and Latinos and gays and ??? on your scheiss-list are eliminated, you will be happy to turn your fiery gaze on the Catholics; when they are gone, on whatever sect of Protestant disagrees with you; then on heretics within your sect (or, if you are an atheist and have eliminated all the religious types, go after the agnostics), etc., etc., etc.

Then surfers, I imagine; or non-surfers, if you are a surfer. You pretty much hate everybody. I have never heard you say one nice thing about anybody anywhere anytime, as far as I can remember (aside perhaps from Hitler or other people who would do your dirty work, lol).

I can't make you post anything you don't want to post, or I would have much more autobiographical detail on you to see what makes you tick. But I bet you feel soooo misunderstood; nobody could clear that up better than you, Cedarford. If you don't like the way people see you, work on it. But in keeping with your FTW philosophy, you probably don't, much, or wouldn't care to admit it.

I'd be happy to admit the speck of truth in your stereotypes, C4, if only you could be brought to see their beam of falsity. But the real problem I have with you - you're not an honest interlocutor. There is no part of your shtick where you are prepared to receive new information or ideas. Your views are nonfalsifiable, and therefore there's really nothing to talk to you about except to joust. You probably don't even suck as bad as it appears that you do; pity you feel unable to show it.

The funny thing is, also, as a missileer (do I have that right?), you were in confinement conditions quite competitive with a submariner's. Imagine the fellow you had to turn the keys with being a black, a Jew, a liberal. If you had to, you could probably behave just like a human being. I guess the Internet lets you get that all out of your system? Then I guess it serves a purpose for you.

Paul Hogue said...

Sorry, but was that serious?

'Cuz if it was, that's one weak defense...

DADvocate said...

On the whole, i'm pretty sure atheist are much more moral and live cleaner lives then religious people.

Is there anything worse than a holier than thou, puritanical athiest? Maybe you should drown some evangelicals in the pond or burn a Catholic at the stake. Or, at least, have a few beers and smoke a cigar.

Get a grip.

nomilk said...

On the whole, i'm pretty sure atheist are much more moral and live cleaner lives then religious people.

They'd have to, just to balance out their most notorious fellow travelers, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

nomilk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

hey'd have to, just to balance out their most notorious fellow travelers, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

Hyuk, hyuk, hyuk. Yeah not believing in god automatically makes one a mass-murdering tyrant or fanboy of. You sick bastard.

Deborah said...

Probably, the people who released that photo were focusing on the image of Crowley helping Gates (i.e., the teachable moment) and it just didn't register how aloof and inconsiderate it made Obama appear. It does surprise though that such photos are released. Anything that makes Obama look less than godly surprises me and gives me hope. ;-)

Revenant said...

They'd have to, just to balance out their most notorious fellow travelers, Stalin, Hitler [snip],

Hitler started out Catholic. Technically he remained a Catholic all his life, since he neither left the church nor was expelled from it. But his later beliefs were a hodgepodge of Christianity, eastern religions, paganism, and state worship. But throughout his life he clearly had a belief in an active God.

So whatever you may choose to call him, the label of "atheist" is clearly inappropriate.

Cedarford said...

Revenent - Hitler started out Catholic.

Stalin beat that. He started out as a seminarian.
And a large number of the Bolsheviks, including a near-majority of the most active murderers, men like Yagoda, the Romanov family executioners - plus higher ups at Cheka and NKVD - were Jews. And Jews in heavy involvement in Soviet state terror apparatus and E European secret police, continued under Stalin.

Pol Pot was brought up Catholic and attended French-run Catholic prep school.
===============

Nichevo - nah, you weren't joking. You were being stupid and got called out on it. Now you're pissed.

As if anyone really cares...

Paul said...

"They'd have to, just to balance out their most notorious fellow travelers, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, etc."

See your Stalin and Mao and raise you a Torquemada and Khomeini.

Whatever. Being a believer or non-believer really is no measure of a man's character. However using one or the other as a bigoted way to assume one's superiority is a dead giveaway.

Nichevo said...

Cedarford: As Curtis Sliwa on WABC often says, You couldn't be more hopelessly wrong. And you know it, too, which lessens you in my esteem. Frail ego there.

Ralph L said...

I'm glad the Palestinians ruined the "Clinton Blessing the Rabin-Arafat Handshake" photo-op style, but the Suds Summit is just as phoney.

Kirby Olson said...

MLK was right about character. But how is character determined except through time? It's not a question of prior identity, but actions through time. I think Crowley has class, and demonstrates it.

Not sure about those other two. I wish very much Obama had remembered napkins, so that he wouldn't have used the knee of his suit to knock off the salt and wipe off the grease.

That was not a teachable moment.

Nichevo said...

Kirby: Epater le bourgeoisie, dontcha know. That $100 ham he swills and the Wagyu beef - and then he charges the businessmen for their lunch! Did he charge Gates and Crowley? I suppose Gates is a millionaire! In other words, it's all a provocation.

The Crack Emcee said...

Damn it, I cannot BELIEVE that I'm the first person to say this:

Apology happily accepted, Kirby.

I swear, people online get waaay too hung up on snark and assholery.

Which is a bizarre thing to contemplate, coming from The Macho Response

The Crack Emcee said...

Oh, and Thank You, Kirby, as well.

Shit, I'd make a better president than Obama,...

John Lynch said...

The truth is that pictures lie.

We're so wired to create stories out of nothing that we can make what is a microsecond seen by a camera lens into a narrative.

Really great photos are great because they suggest a story to the viewer. That's not reality. It's created inside us.

Photos like this are just editing. In this case, bad editing.

john said...

The picture has been photoshopped. The handcuffs have been brushed. Prof Gates just blew .08.

Crowley is saying to "You have the right to remain silent. The car is this way, Mutha. Watch your head."

john said...

The picture has been photoshopped. The handcuffs have been brushed. Prof Gates just blew .08.

Crowley is saying to "You have the right to remain silent. The car is this way, Mutha. Watch your head."

Broadsword said...

Screw Obambi and the lying press horse and horses asses he rode in on!

gregq said...

If President Obama was not a low class jerk, he would have walked out next to his guests, or even behind them, rather than striding in front where he could be the main focus of all the photos.

He gets no slack, because he deserves no slack.

Nichevo said...

Is this just a web photo or are 0's eyes really that empty? LOL, I'm sure it's the resolution. Shouldn't it be a better photo though? If not, it speaks to incompetence, or lower standards (for WHPO yet!), or wishing to dull and gloss...or, what?

Ann, a photobug's eye tells you what? I can't see the President's eyes, or any of their eyes, can you? How does it make it then to evaluate, perceive, judge their expressions, their countenances?

Is O rolling his eyes, are they glazed over in a thousand-yard stare, crossed, dark with fury, seeing the beatific vision, or what?

The commoners matter less of course and they are an easier, less important read.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama has said that Gates and Crowley went too far in their reactions. I wonder if even once he has considered whether he himself went too far. He says he should have calibrated his statement differently, but he never said he might have thought differently, or been more careful what he thought, since he didn't really know what happened. I think he still thinks that his thinking was fine, but it was just his way of stating his thinking (by using the word "stupidly") that was questionable.

I think he should have said that he overreacted just like everyone else, only more so, since he's the CIC.

I still wish we could revisit this episode until everyone gets it right.

Right for Obama would be to say, "Well, we always have to hear the other side of the story and then sit on it, before we can come to a mature judgment."

Does he still think his initial take was a mature judgment, but just miscalibrated?

Nichevo said...

How about just "Skip Gates is my friend and I hope and trust that justice will be done?" Too much or not enough?

AlphaLiberal said...

Responding to this:

Sergeant Crowley, the sole class act in this trio, ... .

What bullshit. Here's a cop who enters a citizen's home without warrant or invitation and people think that shows "class."

Would conservatives think it's okay if a cop just walked into their home without invitation or warrant?

Not to mention it was Crowley who falsely reported that the neighbor said there were two black men at the door. She did not.

Class act, my ass.

Coming from the same movement that is organizing mobs to attack Congressmen they disagree with. Arrogant thugs.

Craig said...

What happens if you're a black man in America is that you are not held accountable for your behavior. I'm just a midwest farmboy but I still remember my father's words: "A gentleman averts his eyes." He also taught me to be alert for opportunities to serve. Apparently, Obama missed both of these lessons when his father abandoned his family...so let's not hold him accountable, either.

AlphaLiberal said...

Craig:

What happens if you're a black man in America is that you are not held accountable for your behavior. .

You do understand that is a blatantly racist statement?

I guess you just embrace racism.

Craig said...

Alphaliberal? More like "L'enfant terrible". You've made a judgement based on a near total ignorance of circumstances or experience. Another Jane Fonda in Macy's work boots.

AlphaLiberal said...

I wonder if even once he has considered whether he himself went too far .

Obama did not. He withheld comment on the racial aspects of the case. His comment was directly related to a man being arrested in his own home after showing evidence to the cop that it was his home.

On This Week, Michelle Malkin said it was okay he was arrested because "we should respect police."

I guess that applies for Malkin and other cons even when police are breaking the law, as Crowley did with his illegal entry to the Gates home.

Crowley also falsified his police report to state the neighbor who called it in said there were two black men there. She did not say that, as the tape showed.

So, we have: cop abuses authority, cop breaks law, cop lies. Right wing rushes to attack citizen wrongfully jailed and defend wrongful cop.

The right wing is so deeply messed up it's not even funny anymore.

AlphaLiberal said...

Craig runs away from his own racist words:

Alphaliberal? More like "L'enfant terrible". You've made a judgement based on a near total ignorance of circumstances or experience. Another Jane Fonda in Macy's work boots .

This is gibberish. But, hey, at least it's not racist gibberish. So that's a little progress for you today. Congratulations.

ElDiaOctavo said...

Alphaliberal - you do not understand how police reports are made. This is not Chicago in 1968 and Crowley does not have the power to do what you imply, especially under the review of the White House and Secret Service, not to mention the most liberal police department east of San Francisco. There is no conspiracy here, unless it is to adjust the historical record to change an unfavorable impression of Obama. There is no racism here, either...reactionary leftist sputtering notwithstanding.

Scott M said...

@AlphaLiberal

Just a couple of quick points. First, thuggery and intimidation has no ideological prerequisite excepting that it is a de facto removal of liberty in it's most basic form. I merely point that out as it looked like you were going down the road that only the right can perpetrate the above.

Second, Gates was not, to my knowledge, arrested in his home. He was arrested outside and in front of witnesses. I could be wrong, but that's my recollection.

Third, you claim that Crowley falsified his police report. This is an extremely spurious claim unless you have insider information on the radio chatter Crowley received from his dispatcher. If that's public record and the dispatcher didn't say anything about the ethnicity of the "intruders" you might have even the most tenuous of a leg to stand on here.

I have no opinion on Gates other than he appears to be the product of his environment. Even black liberal pundits (even those never having set foot inside a Fox studio) have lambasted him on a number of issues. Crowley does appear to the one guy in this entire affair that I would say rises to the level of "class". Further, he's the only one that's shown true courage. How large do your grapes have to be to walk into the single greatest home-court advantage in the western world and be outnumbered 3-1?

Nichevo said...

I know Ann's getting busy with the mattress music in CO (a steak, LOL), but is no one else interested in the (technical) photography angle?

Is it common that VIP or POTUS photos these days don't reveal the man's eyes? Is it the crappy digital cameras people use? Don't the pro models have enough pixels?

Is it poor focus or poor skill of the shooter? Is it agreed to wash out those details? Or does the original photo look great but the one that went out on the web is low-res?

Call me crazy (ok, you're crazy), but I'd like to see what's in someone's eyes at a time like this. I seem to remember JFK's eyes, Reagan's eyes in photos, and I assume the cameras and film are better now.


Craig: "A gentleman averts his eyes." This confuses me slightly, I am not quite sure what you or your father meant. And how does it seem that 0 does not avert his eyes? At least in the photo, the one thing 0 is doing is averting his gaze, from the proles behind.

AlphaLiberal said...

Gates caller says she didn’t cite race .

Note that she blames the media but it was Crowley who said she raised the race issue.

In an interview last night, Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert C. Haas said it was ac curate that Whalen did not mention race in her 911 call. He acknowledged that a police report of the incident did include a race reference. The report says Whalen observed “what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the front porch’’ of a Ware Street home on July 16. .

AlphaLiberal said...

Scott M stops making sense:

First, thuggery and intimidation has no ideological prerequisite excepting that it is a de facto removal of liberty in it's most basic form. I merely point that out as it looked like you were going down the road that only the right can perpetrate the above. .

How do I even respond to this? You're accusing me of thuggery for stating an opinion?

"I don't think that word means what you think it means."

Conservatives taking over Congressional listening sessions with chants that drown out any other discussion, or chasing Members of Congress in mobs, OTOH, qualifies as "thuggery."

The right wing won't even allow civil and open discourse. What creeps.

AlphaLiberal said...

To those claiming there is no racism here, I repost the words that led me to level the charge:

What happens if you're a black man in America is that you are not held accountable for your behavior. .

Patently racist. That so many conservatives defend such blatant racism reflects very poorly on conservatism.

ElDiaOctavo said...

"A gentleman averts his eyes" means you look away when a lady might be observed in an indelicate moment, circumstance, or situation. Averting one's eyes is a gesture of respect and dignity made more important when a woman cannot know if a man is watching or not; the respect is observed by others. Ask a wife if she knows when her husband is "checking out that woman's ass" and consider whether he is showing respect for either woman.

Before this thread gets distracted, permit me to add that women are usually aware of whether their clothing is modest or immodest. A man likewise knows when his observation is respectful or not.

We are what we settle for. We get what we settle for.

Scott M said...

@Alphaliberal

To those claiming there is no racism here, I repost the words that led me to level the charge:

"What happens if you're a black man in America is that you are not held accountable for your behavior. ."

Patently racist. That so many conservatives defend such blatant racism reflects very poorly on conservatism.


To generalize that widely is to invite the exact response you gave. However, it would have been far more accurate to rephrase that statement as;

What happens if you're a black man who used to play for the NFL and drives a white Bronco getaway vehicle in America is that you are not held accountable for your behavior...

or,

What happens if you're a black man who founded the Rainbow Coalition in America is that you are not held accountable for your behavior...

or,

What happens if you're a black man who is found by the FBI to have tens of thousands of dollars in your freezer in America is that you are not held accountable for your behavior...

Thankfully, Michael Vick was held accountable and, like a man, did his time and is now trying to put his life back together. More power to him. However, there was a concerted effort, particularly from pop culture icons, to give him a pass because it was a "cultural" thang.

ElDiaOctavo said...

Alphaliberal - don't you remember Jane Fonda in her Abercrombie & Fitch safari boots at that North Vietnamese barbeque? That's you...another liberal that buys work boots at Macy's and thinks he knows something about how the world is constructed. Some chronic leftist complainer that sits around blogging between watching Paris Hilton on YouTube a plugging away at his government job as a pickle inspector. Calling people racist does not confer credibility on you. Besides, it's just so retro.

If conservatives are "knuckle-draggers" then liberals are "males with undescended testicles" or MUTs.

I just made that up...pretty good, huh?

ElDiaOctavo said...

Scott M.: Bravo - very well-said.

AlphaLiberal said...

ScottM, you are defending the racist remark!

And then you repeat the racist statement, referring to cases regarding black individuals in an attempt to justify it.

How very racist to do so.

Look, I don't think every racist conservative should be condemned by the racism you and other conservatives display here and elsewhere. Unlike you, who blames all blacks for what a few individuals have done.

But it sure would be nice to see ONE conservative speak out against the rampant conservative racism. Besides Colin Powell, I mean.

(Let me guess, you don't think Obama has proven he is an American citizen!)

AlphaLiberal said...

ElDiaOctavo, how do you know what boots Jane Fonda wore that day? Please elaborate.

AlphaLiberal said...

So, maybe ScottM and ElDiaOctavo and the other racists here can clarify:

When a white person is busted for corruption, do you also blame all white people for that person's misdeeds, as you do all black people for the misdeeds of black individuals?

Scott M said...

@AlphaLiberal

ScottM, you are defending the racist remark!

How so? I even stated that making such a generalization invites your, in my opinion correct, statement decrying it.

And then you repeat the racist statement, referring to cases regarding black individuals in an attempt to justify it.

Not at all. I rephrased it so that it wasn't racist at all, but instead reflected the fact that those men were not dealt with as would be normally because there was a racial facet to the case. That is undeniably true in the first two cases and will probably be the case in the third once it's all said and done.

How very racist to do so.

And how very stubborn of you to stick to your meme. I don't consider myself a racist at all. In the purest sociological terms, I don't have any power over anyone that's black, so I can't be racist anyway. Prejudiced, sure, but not racist. And, frankly, having grown up on the south side of Chicago, I've got zero problems with pretty much anyone based on skin color.

What completely irks me, though, are double standards. What raises the ol' ire, having been battered and pounded with the everyone-is-equal stick all throughout our wonderful public education system, is that, in fact, everyone is NOT equal. Some are protected either statutorily or under the table...but we're not allowed to talk about it in frank terms or deal with everyone on anything resembling equal terms.

If it weren't race, it would be money. If it weren't money it would be where you grew up. There would always be something.

And for everyone so-called racist comment you want to cite here or anywhere else there's a higher percentage of conservative bloggers, I'm sure I could easily distill the same number of ignorant comments on a left-leaning blog talking about hillbillies, fly-overs, breeders, nazis, rednecks, etc.

As to Obama's birth certificate, I couldn't care less. The only two things I remotely care about having anything to do with that topic are 1) what the left would do if it were proven beyond any doubt he wasn't a citizen and 2) that he's not angling for a third term. Conspiracy theories aside, I mention both of those through the lens of a political scientist wannabe, not as a hater or bomb-shelter dweller.

AlphaLiberal said...

Scott, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt but it's kind of hard to take the claim seriously when you reposted this statement several times:

"What happens if you're a black man ...(blah blah) ....in America is that you are not held accountable for your behavior..."

You're claiming that being an African-American is a license to get away with bad behavior*. That's a racist statement.

And, BTW, there's an easy list to be made 10 times as long, of white people getting away with bad behavior.

*(even though in many the very cases you cite they actually were held accountable, with OJ's exception.)

AlphaLiberal said...

I don't have any power over anyone that's black, so I can't be racist anyway. .

This is a very odd definition of "racist." Power has nothing to do with it. A person can be powerless and still be racist.

Scott M said...

@Alphaliberal

I certainly appreciate your angling to keep it civil, but I still disagree completely with your claims.

Please point out where I said being black is a license for bad behavior. What I possibly failed to explain was that a crudely made comment like the one that started all of this is expressing the larger perception which is borne out by the detailed examples of men getting away with things because they happened to be black.

As far as your 10x white people list, it doesn't make your point. On the one hand, "two wrongs don't make a right" (author unknown), and on the other, I could just as easily say there are 10x more white people arrested by cops when witnesses to break-ins are called in.

And just to put a cherry on top, regarding your "uninvited, unwarranted" entry...I had a 3-year-old nephew staying with me a couple years ago. He somehow called 911 on a house phone and, guess what, they showed up. I looked like ass (just woken up) and the house was absolutely full of out of town kids (the aforementioned newphew plus his brothers and sisters...and their friends) people and their attending clutter.

The cops "asked" to come in and look around. Had I refused, they would have found it probably cause and come in anyway or come back with a warrant. The cop I talked to later said the first case was probably the most likely.

Scott M said...

@Alphaliberal

I don't have any power over anyone that's black, so I can't be racist anyway. .

This is a very odd definition of "racist." Power has nothing to do with it. A person can be powerless and still be racist.


Yeah...and a lot of people celebrated the new millennium on January 1st, 2000, too.

ElDiaOctavo said...

Scott M. wrote: What completely irks me, though, are double standards. What raises the ol' ire, having been battered and pounded with the everyone-is-equal stick all throughout our wonderful public education system, is that, in fact, everyone is NOT equal. Some are protected either statutorily or under the table...but we're not allowed to talk about it in frank terms or deal with everyone on anything resembling equal terms.

If it weren't race, it would be money. If it weren't money it would be where you grew up. There would always be something."

Again: Well-said.

Alphaliberal: Scott M. defined racism and prejudice accurately. Racism must be practiced not simply thought. Absent power or proaction, it is only opinion and, therefore, simple prejudice. You are very clearly prejudiced against conservatives - even insulting and disrespectful - but that does not make you a "political-ist". Nor are you dangerous or a threat to conservatives the world over. You're just a guy with an opinion and you're entitled to air your views without reprisal from the thought police...

...unless you want to be a member of the thought police and seek to disable people that do not want to "get their mind right"...or left, as the case may be.

I don't know what the description is for the opposite of racist. Can you be so "not-racist" you are disfunctional? Or can you be so "not-prejudiced" that you have no opinion or lack sound judgement?

Look at Sotomayor...she is so not-prejudiced her reason left her. Or she left her reason. Either way...she left. She cannot longer judge objectively. Does that make her a racist? She thinks Latino women are better arbiters of justice than mulatto transexuals. She is prejudiced. If she exercises her power as a judge to disadvantage non-female Latinos she becomes a racist and a sexist.

Me? I don't believe I have never committed a racist act in my life. Sotomayor, on the other hand, is a racist and her judicial record stands in testimony thereto.

Scott M said...

@ElDiaOctavo

You are very clearly prejudiced against conservatives - even insulting and disrespectful - but that does not make you a "political-ist"

I think you're going for ideologist. As objective as I try to be on a case-by-case basis and attempt to use reason first before anything, I will freely admit that I believe my Libertarian ideals are better for national policy (and personal freedom) than tyranny and it's little brothers communism and socialism.

Nichevo said...

Thanks, Dia. ISTM this can mean a lot of things to different people - for instance, not to stare at the disabled or other unfortunate people, at whom one's baser instincts might lead one to gawk, e.g., rubbernecking at the site of an accident.

But one fears that it can mean ignoring things that should no tbe ignored. E.g., beggars - or should they be ignored, whether to avoid making a peepshow of them, or because perhaps beggars should be ignored?

ElDiaOctavo said...

Scott M: I directed this comment: ...You are very clearly prejudiced against conservatives - even insulting and disrespectful - but that does not make you a "political-ist"...at Alphaliberal, not you.

You're probably right - I was hunting around for ideologist and stubbed my toe on politicalist. I sorta like it though. But now I'm wondering if Acorn will make it a new hatecrime where a politicalist is anyone who disagrees with them and is therefore, by definition, guilty of "doing something bad".

Nichevo: My remark about averting eyes had and has nothing whatever to do with beggars, homeless people, accidents, and so-on.

Scott M said...

@ElDiaOctavo

I knew that, but didn't realize my response looked like it was directed at you for the quote from Alpha.

Thanks for the kudos, btw.

Nichevo said...

Perhaps "polemicist" would be more to the point? BTW though I thank you for the explanation, I was not aware that it was you whom I had initially addressed.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not to mention it was Crowley who falsely reported that the neighbor said there were two black men at the door. She did not."

How do you know? Were you there?