“ACORN” as code

Whoever it waAcorns that counseled McCain that he should deny Obama legitimacy by acting as though he were not there at Ole Miss did him a great disservice.  McCain’s attitude is being interpreted as crypto-racism, and it may have been.

Now we have a similar sentiment being expressed in other kinds of code.  A particularly rabid exponent of this point of view wrote to SST to express surprise that after " all those years of service to the United States" I should now want to "give the country to an anti-American Marxist."  I think the code is rather clear there.  The only thing missing is the word "n—-r" after "Marxist."

At the same time, blog posts and Fox News Sunday are "blossoming" with references to ACORN, the left wing coalition of descamisados involved in various efforts of a socialist flavor.

The claim is implied or stated that Obama is a Marxist black nationalist apparatchik because he has had some sort of connection to this group or to the "Weathermen" terrorist Ayers.  Having had many such efforts against the man fail, the effort will now be made by McCain’s friends to use this claim to provide "cover" for a racism so deep that it does not speak its own name even in the hearts of many so afflicted.

I will not tolerate a lack of civility, but I invite a reasoned argument about Obama’s character and his loyalty to the United States.  Bring your evidence.  Make your case.  Do not try to post here what has been posted elsewehere.  pl


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77 Responses to “ACORN” as code

  1. Andy Klatt says:

    “Ayers” not “Ayres”

  2. jonst says:

    Just out of curiosity…and before we get to the heart of the matter, perhaps someone would enligthten me on why Obama has to endlessly keep explaining about Ayers. And McCain does not have to explain about G.Gordon Liddy? He is a felon, convicted of crimes against the US. He attempted to subvert the political system through violent means. He has contributed to McCain’s campaign. McCain retains a ‘warm’ relationship with him according to media reports. Now I think I have a hint why this is hypocrisy is allowed. But I would welcome any comments about it.

  3. Tosk says:

    I can’t imagine that anyone could fuss about Obama’s “loyalty to the United States”, and anyone that questions this (either overtly or “in code”) are showing themselves to be un-serious. The notion that some sort of ‘Manchurian candidate’ can make it to the presidency is laughable.
    Questions re character and judgment are a different kettle of fish, here folks can and do have differing opinions, but not loyalty…

  4. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Good. I was surprised when you didn’t respond earlier. Glad that you’ve taken up the gauntlet.
    I’m looking forward to seeing the meat the commenters put on the bones of the several interpretations we might have about Obama’s biography.

  5. Bill W, NH, USA says:

    I don’t doubt Obama’s character and his loyalty to the United States but that doesn’t mean I’d vote for him. He lost one vote last Friday night from my girlfriend who had intended to vote for him. Neither of us could detect much difference between him and McCain, mainly just a different choice of what country we should be bombing. We’ll both be writing in Congressman Ron Paul.

  6. Ronald says:

    Voter registration is a big issue here, too. Democrats have been hugely successful at turning the tarnishing of the GOP “brand” into enthusiasm for the Democratic Party. As a result, the Dems have a huge lead in new registrations, esp. in swing states. This matches changes in party affiliation seen in nationwide polls, with more people identifying themselves as Dems.
    The subplot here is the Dem vs GOP argument of voter disenfranchisement vs voter fraud being the important issue, with Dems concerned about voter suppression, and Repubs convinced that the Dems must be committing fraud.
    I think there is more evidence of suppression than of fraud. There have been convictions for bogus voter reg apps. True. But, if you actually follow some of the links and read the stories, it is clear that the problem is more likely that ACORN’s paid volunteers get to eager about drumming up their numbers than with a concerted effort to allow voters to vote twice. After all, the biggest problem is duplicate applications, which cannot result in voters voting twice. Read the links. That said, paying people per registration is asking for trouble. That should go.
    I think that the GOP feels it is crucial to combat the Dem registration advantage. They also need to establish the meme that voter fraud is a big issue and to taint the recent Dem successes in getting registrations. After all, if we end up with another Florida recount debacle, there will be all sorts of attempts to delegitimize the votes for the other guys.
    As with most things so politicized, the argument is barely about facts, but more about spinning to one’s electoral advantage. After all, one of the right-wing complaints about Obama is that he disenfranchised voters when he challenged petitions submitted by rivals back in Chicago (many signatures were invalid, as it turned out). What’s good for goose is not always good for the gander when politics are in play. That is true for both sides.
    Oh, and I agree 100% that the ACORN or “marxist” labeling of Obama is about giving cover to people to vote based on race. No doubt. A white man with the same history would not be subjected to this garbage.
    By the way, note that ACORN has always sought to empower or help the poor and marginalized. When GOP interests try to help their constituencies, it is called ‘lobbying.’ And some of them are currently in jail or on trial for their efforts. However, I guess the fact that Jack Abramoff cannot be labeled a Marxist is a huge relief to some. I guess Duke Cunningham can be called a convicted war profiteer (he is), but at least he is no commie.

  7. Bodo Reisling says:

    Obama wore a flag pin to Friday’s debate. McCain did not.

  8. Dan says:

    Dear Pat,
    My own thoughts in a bit… but if this discussion takes off, having a link to wiki on ACORN (a group i’m embarrased to say i’d never heard of until i came across some rants about it yesterday) could be harmful, because on “hot” political topics, wiki is such a moving target. Minute to minute, that wiki page could change, and will often be changed by those with a political agenda (i just visited the site, and removed a reference to Senator Pelosi “backing a $140 billion congressional earmark for the group”). Would’t surprise me if that falsehood is reinserted soon.

  9. lina says:

    In light of current economic news, there might be a need to rethink the use of “various efforts of a socialist flavor.”
    It is offensive to me that Obama has to demonstrate his “loyalty” to the United States. I’ve been voting since 1972, and I cannot recall any other presidential candidate being asked to do this. Sen. McCarthy would be so proud.
    Sen. McCain wears his loyalty to America by using his military history as a campaign poster. We accept his loyalty, yet we know he has vociferously supported a foreign policy that has weakened America. In light of that, why does he skate on the loyalty test?
    Obama’s biography, both personal and professional, is completely transparent. His voting record in both the state legislature and the U.S. Senate is open to public review. He served on some kind board with William Ayers. If you want to do the guilt by association thing, have at it.
    I have had people whom I know to be intelligent and well-educated tell me Obama is the anti-christ.
    Perhaps you can tell something of a man’s character by what he says about his mother. (As a mother I’d like to think so). This passage is from the foward of Obama’s first book -Dreams from My Father:
    “We saw each other frequently, our bond unbroken. During the writing of this book, she would read the drafts, correcting stories that I had misunderstood, careful not to comment on my characterizations of her but quick to explain or defend the less flattering aspects of my father’s character. She managed her illness with grace and good humor, and she helped my sister and me push on with our lives despite our dread, our denials, our sudden constrictions of the heart.
    “I think sometimes that had I know she would not survive her illness, I might have written a different book – less a meditation on the absent parent, more a celebration of the one who was the single constant in my life. In my daughters I see her every day, her joy, her capacity for wonder. I won’t try to describe how deeply I mourn her passing still. I know that she was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known, and that what is best in me I owe to her.”

  10. PeterE says:

    If Obama is left wing or a Marxist it’s odd that the evidence suggests otherwise. He has good friends and advisers who teach economics at the University of Chicago, a place not noted for its advocacy of socialism. He’s reputed to be fairly knowledgable about issues in contemporary economics. His economic advisers include Warren Buffett, Larry Summers, Jamie Dimon (head of JP Morgan), and Robert Rubin.
    Obama’s actual positions on economic matters are moderate with a few sops to unions and some companies opposed to free trade. His program even contains market solutions for dealing with problems such as low savings rates that Chicago economists have propsed.

  11. Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA says:

    Fifty four years after the Army-McCarthy hearings, seventeen years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and we’re still using the stale label of “Commie.”
    Republicans, for crying out loud, find some new material.

  12. JohnS says:

    The latest attacks on ACORN are coming from right-wing media hate transmitters who have focused on the part of the the Dodd/Frank counterproposal to the Paulson bailout plan that supposedly includes a $100 million in “funding for the left-wing housing entitlement thugs,” as Michelle Malkin put it.
    There is much more behind these latest attacks on ACORN, however.
    There has been a co-ordinated GOP campaign against ACORN that has to do with ACORN’s successful voter registration drive targeting young people and lower income minorities. Since young people and lower income minorities overwhelmingly vote Democratic, the GOP is continuing its 2000 and 2004 efforts to suppress the voter turnout among those groups again this November. Part of that same effort came to light during the U.S Attorney firings scandal — the Justice Dept canned certain U.S. attorneys who refused to prosecute bogus voter fraud at the behest of GOP officials. Related GOP suppression efforts include enacting state voter-ID requirements, the wholesale purging of names from lists of registered voters (Google “Greg Palast, voter purge” for his slew of invaluable investigations into that) and by going after liberal get-out-the-vote drives by groups like ACORN (see this).
    While the GOP efforts themselves seem more motivated by self-preservation than racism, racism is the catalyst used by media transmitters like Michelle Malkin and Newsmax to whip up GOP antagonism towards groups like ACORN. This is something that Obama himself would do well to steer clear of and let surrogates handle. He should not jump into the mud with this crew of hate-mongers.

  13. marcus says:

    Obama taught Constitutional law at the University of Chicago for twelve years after graduating from Harvard with honors.
    Can you imagine the amount of money he sacrificed to focus on the essence of the Republic. If this doesn’t show love of country I don’t know what does.

  14. Dan McIntosh says:

    **I will not tolerate a lack of civility, but I invite a reasoned argument about Obama’s character and his loyalty to the United States. Bring your evidence. Make your case. Do not try to post here what has been posted elsewhere. pl**
    Interesting, isn’t it, that we’ve seen so many comments and so far nobody has even tried to provide this argument or evidence? I’m still waiting to see it.

  15. rjj says:

    Have we forgotten those days when opposition to the agenda and methods of the neocons was declared to be a symptom of a deep-seated (in some cases, unconscious) antisemitism.
    Many, many words were defined as “code for Jew.”
    Anti-whatevers do exist and they vote their prejudices. Stigmatizing opposition to a candidate, a policy, or a party as a moral failing is Rove-Gingrich axis specialty. We have seen where it leads, we are at least dimly aware of where it can end. Let’s not go there.

  16. ISL says:

    In the hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy, the universe was ruled by the person who least wanted to rule and did not believe he ruled. Instead he treated all decisions as hypothetical.
    Yet if anyone wanting to be president should be disqualified because they are likely to live the motto “L’Estate c’est moi” -What is good for me (and my _____ fill in the blank) is good for the country. So how to find a leader? Here, it often is based on character, for which I have mixed feelings.
    Obama’s character? He is measured, cool, and controlled. Personally I mentally urged him to speak strongly and passionately on issues he says he believes in which worry me: Protect the constitution, there should be a level playing field for the pursuit of happiness, etc.
    Yet, after the last 8 years, IMHO what is needed is a measured leader who can rise above extreme partisanship (my party always right; yours always wrong, works for sports but who is the umpire?) for the good of the country. And we need a president who listens to other countries viewpoints with respect (and polite diplomatic disagreement where necessary) because we need their help (who will loan us trillions (!) for the financial crisis and what will they demand in return?) and repair the burnt bridges (within and without) that desperately need repair.
    For Obama to quote Kissinger, for Obama to on many occasions clearly state McCain was right (and McCain is right on many things) shows that character. McCain had an opportunity to demonstrate similar character (he has been gracious in the past), but CHOSE not to (his choice). It was his choice, and that reflects on his character, too.
    Last item, I was probably one of the few who listened rather than watching the debate (a mistake) and McCain sounded tired. Really tired. And condescending (perhaps too tired). And I have no confidence in graciousness from the pitbull with lipstick.

  17. Michael Singer says:

    Dear Pat, your blog gets more interesting everyday. I just have one observation to contribute.The great hue and cry about Obama was/is that people ‘just don’t know him or feel comfortable with him.’ I think most white folks know many/any black folks, don’t interact with most black folks very much for whatever reason and that maybe why he seems to unknowable. I just hope the campaiging humanizes him to all the strangers in a strange land.
    Michael Singer

  18. Dimbulb says:

    Colonel et. a.l,
    The GOP – most specifically the Neocons – realize that this election might be he only thing that lies between them and, at least, a painful future of explaining their actions over the last two decades, and at most, a stretch in the pokey. Therefore, they will not hesitate to pull out all of the stops to delay what – according to most electoral vote projections – seems inevitable. An Obama/Biden administration.
    If President Obama were to issue an executive order overturning President Bush’s executive order 13233 of November 2001, then much of the secret history of the past two decades plus would come to light, and names would be named.
    I believe this might be part of the reason that despite what most reliable electoral vote predictions show – based on solid statistical modeling – there are still portions of the media that paint this race as a neck and neck race.
    The point of this being to create the necessary cover story in the event that the election has to be stolen a la 2000.

  19. Michael Singer says:

    Dear Pat,
    I have known Acorn org.s and members. They spend most of their time in non election years fighting injustices in our system–yes, there are a few– which hit the most vulnerable people in our society, on issues like health care, medical services, the homeless. I’d hardly call that work any different than the work Obama was doing in Chicago. It didn’t make him a Marxist.
    Michael Singer

  20. GreginVa says:

    “…a reasoned argument about Obama’s character and his loyalty to the United States.”
    As a long-time lurker here, I think the question of Obama’s loyalty has a great deal to do with one’s idea of what the US is and what we represent. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was a common enemy. Some saw it as an enemy of capitalism, the right to accumulate and keep vast sums of money. Others saw it as an enemy of personal freedom. The end of the Cold War saw the end of this alliance.
    Republicans have become the party of capitalism. I have come to believe that they represent a grave threat to our country. Their goal is to produce a one-party system of government. I believe they are very effectively organized to do that and if they fail now they will continue to try. Their methods are fairly straight-forward: concentrating wealth in the hands of a few individuals, controlling the media, selective prosecutions as well as judicial decisions, and undermining the US government by eliminating its ability to perform any worthwhile functions other than policing and rewarding loyal followers. Their goal has a great deal to do with small town values, a society where everyone knows their place, where loyalty is rewarded and “otherness” ostracized or beaten down.
    From this perspective, Obama is indeed disloyal to the US. Effective representation represents a threat to the accumulation of vast sums of money and power. The inequality of wealth in this country cannot be maintained in a truly representative government, particularly if we experience a major economic downturn. Republicans cannot afford to allow the less fortunate to be enfranchised and feel empowered.
    For me, obviously, Obama is loyal to my vision of this country. I admire the fact that he does not use cheap slogans or populist rhetoric, and appears very pragmatic. This makes him harder to label and perhaps to identify with, but he also avoids being boxed into a corner and beholden to certain groups. I’m too old and cynical to believe he can turn this country around, but I hope he can hold off the authoritarians in our midst long enough for my children and grandchildren to enjoy some of what I have.

  21. Paul says:

    Obama has been running for president for over a year. Hillary Clinton’s people (including Bill himself) tried to tar and feather Obama with negative black themes. If anyone has been vetted, it has to be Obama, and he has gone out of his way to distance himself from the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
    Don’t we all know someone who shows moral turpitude and unsavory track records? Obama does not live in a bubble.
    The McCain camp is desperate so they will try anything that might stick with the base and some of the independent voters. From Palin through the “campaign suspension” and alleged bailout heroics, and perhaps the ACORN stuff, everything turned out by McCain’s camp has a foul odor. Racism is a strong suit of the McCain campaign.
    McCain was once seen as an American hero, albeit one with flaws. Hooking up with Davis has made him a laughing stock. It becomes a sad story because he may be ill. IMHO, because of the Palin nomination, disclosure of his medical records is more paramount than any noise about ACORN. Why is the media (and Biden) silent about this?
    Many complain that Obama was too polite in the debate because he did not walk across the stage and kick McCain in the balls. I believe his conduct is that of a gentleman and it may reflect a better understanding of how government is supposed to work in the United States. Maybe he’s telegraphing his presidential style: a legitimate constitutional president (one of three parts of government) and not a fire-breathing king/emperor that the office has become. Wouldn’t that be nice?
    For those who think he has Marxist leanings: do you buy at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s or any big-box store? If yes, then YOU are supporting Marxism because everything sold there is made in China. On top of than, Bush has played in the sandbox thanks to the largess of the Marxists in China.

  22. rodney says:

    This is the most pointless post I have ever read on SST.
    The two candidates agreed on three fundamental issues that every reader of this blog should be appalled at:
    1. The transfer of wealth from American taxpayers to Wall Street criminals should occur.
    2. That the national security policy of the US requires perpetual war in the Middle East.
    3. That Russia was the instigator of aggression in Georgia.
    Everything else is just part of the circus to distract you, and you have taken the bait.
    Shame on you.

  23. Margaret Steinfels says:

    As a mild-mannered friend opined at the end of Friday’s debate (where we thought Obama had the edge), “well, if Obama doesn’t win, it’s racism.” And as a guest at this morning’s breakfast said, “if McCain wins, there are a lot of people who tolerate old cranky, white men!” Could it be the same crowd?

  24. frank durkee says:

    let me, as a former community organizer, support the observations about ACORN and other community focused groups. While there may be serious anger at the actions of an existing local, state or national administration, these ae people working with the very poorest, who are seeking to better the reality of our present system.
    these rumours etc are beyond the pale of acceptable behavior on any terms.

  25. It is very important that people decide for themselves the character of the candidates. It does appear that both candidates have well formed characters at this point in their lives and are unlikely to deviate from their past outstanding contributions to our country. The whole system of personnel security clearances in the national security arena is based on past experience and associations. Clearly both men deserve the highest trust and can hold positions of great responsibility and do. US Senators both. Both have clearances based on their Senate positions. Accordingly, it should flatly be stated that uncorroborated adverse information unless proved should be completely discounted. Thus, my answer to this post is simple, prove any allegations about either man and then some may listen as to whether relevant today and in November to the position of the Presidency. If race is still a litmus test in 2008, then there is no doubt in my mind that our country has truly failed in its glorious heritage. To those who question either candidates character I propose the Joesph Welch question in the McCarthy hearings to Senator McCarthy, specifically “Have you NO decency?”

  26. Patrick Lang says:

    I do believe that congressional staffers have security clearances given by the executive branch after investigation but not members of Congress.
    Because of the separation of powers issue neither members of congress nor feseral judges have security clearances. They have access to classified information because of their constitutional office. Members of congress take an oath to safeguard classified information.
    If I am wrong about this let me know, pl

  27. patrick says:

    Obama will nominate Supreme Court Justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
    McCain will bomb Iran.
    They both will continue with unrestricted illegal immigration.
    I’ll vote for neither.
    ps .. when Obama was community organizing in South Chicago, he stated that he was trying to help laid-off steel workers. Show me a former steel worker he helped that was named Hazewski, Mullin, or D’Agostino. Then I’ll believe his message of change and hope.

  28. Dan M says:

    My take:
    1. On the debate. McCain’s disgraceful (and tactically stupid) demeanor was not caused by crypto-racism lurking in his soul. There might be some there, but it wasn’t the cause of his lack of collegiality and respect.
    The way his personality has evolved in recent years is that he would treat any young challenger the same way, particularly challengers without military backgrounds. He seems to believe that acknowledgement and engagement are “legitimizing” in some magical way that strengthens people. He thinks this about Ahmedinejad too — ignore him and he’ll go away.
    2. The Acorn racist code. I think much of this tin-foil-hat hysteria is driven by racism, but have trouble believing that all of it is. A frequent contributor here has or at least had a decent relationship with one of the leading drum-majors for the Acorn story. While I don’t know the drum-major, I do know the contributor and i have trouble believing that our guy would have had dealings with someone driven by so much racial hate. But here i founder on the shoals of my assertions, because i can’t think of any other plausible reason for a smart to claim that the trivial and distorted “links” between Obama and ACORN are meaningful. It’s like looking at a $3 trillion federal budget and trying to balance it by stripping out $16 billion in earmarks.
    My gut tells me there’s some other force at work. I wish my brain was smart enough to figure out what.
    3. Bolsheviks under the bed. This fear of anti-capitalist, freedom-hating manchurian candidates is crazy. In the case of Obama, a lifetime of scholarship, community activism and public service make it impossible to view the man as either an America-hater or a marxist. Is he left? Compared to McCain, of course. They have dramaticaly different ideas about the role of government in our commercial affairs, how the tax code should be used, and so forth but Obama is no less than McCain embedded in a mainstream american political tradition, and this american believes he will fight harder to restore respect for the constitution and appropriate power for the executive (less of it) than McCain.
    I have read Obama’s two books. I have watched him in interviews, speeches and debates for two years now. I have looked at his congressional record and read articles recounting his rise to prominence. All that has convinced me that not only is he deeply patriotic, but his is a sound patriotism that demands criticism when we err. He is sober and practical. He weighs evidence, and what’s possible, before he acts. (whereas the of-course deeply patriotic McCain shoots from the hip). The best metaphor for the tempermental differences between the two men is their choosen games of chance: Obama plays poker and McCain shoots craps.
    For the sake of the argument, I’ll concede that Acorn is over-run with Marxists. And it’s certain that Obama has had some tangential contact with their Chicago operations over the years. But to to jump from there to saying Obama is a marxist is as crazy as jumping from Palin’s occasional visits with that secessionist Alaskan party to saying she wants to destroy the union.
    The weatherman-via-ayers stuff is even weaker sauce. Many of the ACORN/Ayers trojan horse folks will big supporters of Hillary Clinton, yet were bothered not a whit by Bill’s commutation of two Weather Underground criminal sentences as he left the oval office.
    Let me be clear. Bill Ayers is an unsavoury character, and I wish Obama never had any dealings with him. But he’s also a very smart man who’s done a lot of good in chicago in recent years, and has been deeply involved in many of the social justice issues that obama worked on while in the city. The only thing the connection says about Obama to me is that his judgement failed him as an ambituous politician (he should have recognized that this might become a newspaper issue for him later) by held up agaist the much more frightening errors of judgement by McCain (and ones with real-world implications to boot) it’s irrelevant.
    Oh and p.s. to Rodney — 9f you don’t see real differences between these two presidential candidates, shame on you. You’re not paying attention.

  29. Robert says:

    It is entirely predictable that the McCain campaign and right wing media would use these smears to bring down Obama.
    Just like these same cast of characters made John Kerry out to be a war coward rather then a war hero.
    If Clinton had won we would be hearing about her supposed lesbian tendencies and the regurgitation of every previous Clinton smear imaginable.
    There is no Democratic candidate for high office, regardless their background, that won’t face this gauntlet of lies and gross exaggerations.
    Of course they have no evidence. Just the means to saturate the deception over a couple million wasted watts of the public airwaves.
    The fact is a Marxist black nationalist, Iran loving, Cuba visiting effeminate pacifist would be a mighty upgrade.

  30. Jon T. says:

    I’m a bit off thread here as I was at Vespers at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park NY.
    People ‘on the ground’ – nurses, social workers, deli workers, even some Physicians – are mad, M A D angry.
    The elected people in Washington do not get what it is like to be a common person, middle class or working class or struggling person.
    This is going to have consequences, one way or another.
    Words get invented and frankly I don’t know what they are talking about: Bailout? What is that exactly? Talk to me so a four year old can understand, as Denzel Washington said in Philadelphia, the movie. I’ve heard nothing but talking in circles and I’ve stopped trying to understand it.
    Money was lent to people to buy homes who had no jobs. Investors and developers and traders borrowed 30% on a dollar. The Market became God. Greed and avarice are rampant. Those flaws can cost a culture its soul. To save people from the consequences of their addictive driven motives at the expense of those of us who care for others, who care about others, little people who are largely content with their lot, is making people angry. Now lots of people who were asleep are waking up.
    Suspend the Constitution of the United States at our peril.
    Institute a one party, unicameral system at our peril.
    Allow the media to be controlled by a few unknowns at our peril.

  31. Cieran says:

    Two comments, hopefully relevant…
    (1) my thanks to Colonel Lang for providing the ACORN link. I was beginning to wonder what the right wing of the GOP had against oak trees, so this information helps make some sense of their positions (they still don’t make much sense, but every little bit helps).
    I see from that link that ACORN has been actively working against predatory lending practices. Since these are implicated as one of the root causes of the subprime debacle, looks like the ACORN folks were working to solve this problem long before anyone else.
    No good deed goes unpunished, apparently…
    (2) I can only laugh at how GOP talking heads like to throw around the term “Marxist”. The Bush administration just embraced socialism via a bailout of Wall Street, and the original Paulson/White House plan would have made any good communist proud, yet they complain about finding latent Marxism in any economic policy of their political opponents.
    Sounds like psychological projection to me…
    I do believe that the offending post that Colonel Lang is referring to here arose from our dear friend (and SST troll) Graywolf, who unlike most of us, actually believes that name-calling constitutes an informed debate strategy. Most of us gave up that technique sometime around the third grade, but it persists among trolls who hail from the right-wing side of the Internet tracks. “Marxist” is merely their latest epithet…
    I’ll note that Graywolf’s other “debate” technique is to assert without evidence that his own resume is superior to Obama’s.
    I’m still waiting patiently for him to provide some proof of that declaration…

  32. David W. says:

    The ‘controversy ‘about ACORN is a great example of the R’s ‘working the refs.’ They count on the system to passively accept their characterization, and repeat it ad infinitum, so that they are seen by the uncritical as something monstrous.
    As others have already noted, ACORN has a ‘radical left’ agenda of registering voters, fighting against corrupt banking practices targeting the poor, etc. Or: in the words of the R slime machine ‘OMG Communist radicals!!!!!’
    It’s another Rovian trick, as the R fight to ‘Help America Vote’ is all about purging minorities and low-income people from the voting rolls–on the never proven basis that ACORN and similar organizations are committing voter registration fraud. ACORN is just a convenient boogeyman for the Rs to scapegoat, to distract from theirdirty birds, such asHans Von Spakovsky and Tim Griffin.
    The same sort of goal-post setting has been employed in the Hanky Panky Bailout scheme–the goal has been set at $700 billion, because they know that, at least, they can bully their opponents to accept their prevarications, and work from there.

  33. TomB says:

    Oh, seems to me all this racism talk is baloney on a couple of different levels.
    I like Obama and I acknowledge that there will be some Neanderthals who won’t vote for him on account of his race. But who really can contend that in the recent past white racialism has been anywhere near as overt as black racialism? There have simply been scores of black elected officials in that recent past who have clearly played their race card amongst their majority black constituencies so as to successfully get elected, and damned few white candidates or officials who have come anywhere near to doing any such thing in reverse. And when any of the tiny few latter have tried, they have simply gotten creamed in the media.
    And yet compare that creaming to the relative lack of media howling even about that juror on O.J. Simpson’s case giving O.J. the black power fist salute after acquitting him. Instead, and at worst, while tut-tutted, we were supposed to “understand” same. And as to the black elected officials who used their race to win, well that’s just so sweetly called “ethnic pride” or that they “understand” their constituents or some such anodyne thing.
    While black racialism/racism is indeed far more understandable historically, that still don’t make it right today if it’s wrong for whites. And it’s the attempt to make it so I think that only encourages white racialism. People living today can’t be charged with the sins of their fathers, and so if they aren’t supposed to vote based on race well then neither are blacks. And yet something like 90% of all blacks will indeed be voting for Obama and nobody will be making a peep about it.
    Not all that different from the odd linguistic inability of the mainstream media when commenting on La Raza’s accusations of racism against Latinos to note what the hell the term “La Raza” means.
    There’s nothing that inflames and keeps the haters thriving like double standards. So condemn the white racists all you want. But then it seems to me you ought to at least say *something* about that 90%.

  34. richard Armstrong says:

    I’ve began to question McCain’s patriotism during the ’92 Senate hearing on missing POW/MIAs.
    I’d be very interested to hear COL Lang’s opinion regarding the possibility that the NVA held over 1,000 POWs ransom at the end of the Vietnam war.

  35. eddie spaghetti says:

    This comment goes to two aspects of character, courage and faith. Will probably offend some. I think both Obamas have immense courage. There is a virulent streak of racism in this country. There is a less-than-50-year-old history of 3 major political assassinations. Am I the only one who thinks that Mr. Obama risks his life every time he walks up to the podium? All high-level candidates do, and all deserve credit for courage. The openness and accessibility of Mr. Obama on the campaign trail reflect an immense faith in the greatness, rather than the smallness, of our country.

  36. Gerrit J. says:

    I agree with previous commenters who questioned the premise of this discussion; why should Obama have to prove his loyalty?
    What if we define loyalty for both candidates as loyalty to the
    Constitution in post-9/11/01 America?
    Bush-followers, and I include McCain, score bad, period.
    Obama changed his view on FISA too, agreeing with retroactive immunity for the telecoms later on.

  37. charlottemom says:

    Yes, I’ve seen many, many ACORN references about Obama. It’s meant to scare us; admittedly, I don’t know much about it or Obama’s affliation with it. McCain, however, is meant to stand as the antithesis of Obama and this “marxist” ACCORN.
    We are meant to view these candidates as manifestations of the two options in the political cleaving of our government. What will the next administration be and what will we morph into? 1) Obama standing for socialism and 2) McCain as representing more or less the status quo. But, I wonder and fear that this is a political headfake.
    As I view the monumental changes Bush, Paulson and a Congressional “Board of Directors” (including Dems and Republicans) are crafting that we are instead heading toward corporatism, otherwise known as fascism.

  38. rjj says:

    “Racism and xenophobia runs deep in this country.” anonymous
    “if McCain wins, there are a lot of people who tolerate old cranky, white men!” Margaret Steinfels
    do Americans “really want to put up with four years of that,” That ass Matthews.

    Speaking of that which dare not speak its name ….
    Odd that ethnic (their) otherness inspires so many displays of piety, but our own inevitable otherness, old cootdom, none.
    Perhaps it is merely an aversion to the -isms of political correctness.

  39. Cieran says:

    And yet something like 90% of all blacks will indeed be voting for Obama and nobody will be making a peep about it.
    I won’t be making a peep about it primarily because 90% of the African-American vote will go to the Democratic candidate, period. For example, Bush got less than 10% of this vote in 2000, so this fraction isn’t about racism or reverse-racism, or reverse-reverse-racism: it’s about punitive GOP policies that disproportionately target ethnic minorities.
    For one very obvious example, consider how African-American voters are the primary target of GOP disenfranchisement efforts. White House “caging” efforts have specialized in removing voters from black districts, including soldiers serving in Iraq. There’s your racism right there, and it’s inflicted on African Americans, not by them.
    This observation is not intended to contradict a larger view of your central point, namely that identity politics affects our elections (it does, and it’s definitely not limited to African Americans in its expression, e.g., religious identity is a key factor in the GOP coalition). But there’s a reason why the GOP is lily-white, and it’s not about reverse-racism: it’s about punitive GOP policies towards U.S. citizens, including, but not limited to minorities.

  40. bstr says:

    Following services yesterday, a few of us gathered to discuss “torture.” None of us were Communist nor even Marxist. All were supportive of Obama. One woman had presented a “CO” program to a youth group. She was surprised to find that the youth had not been concerned that there was a war. It was at this point that I realized my support for Obama had a greater impact of calling back to life the national draft then would support for McSame. Does this, an effort to share the burden of security, make Obama a communist?

  41. Patrick Lang says:

    “CO?” “Conscientious Objector?” There is no draft and the military does not want one. What are you talking about? pl

  42. Graywolf says:

    I just read your paraphrase of my comments calling Obama an anti-America Marxist and assuming that I meant “n—-r.”
    Before trying mindreading, trade your a—–e in for a mind, if you can find one.
    Maybe one of the sychophants who flock to your blog to give you verbal b——s could help you out.
    (I cleaned up graywolf’s prose a bit, and decided to let him post away… pl)

  43. Cold War Zoomie says:

    How should one prove their loyalty to the USA? If Obama has not committed treason, nor committed any crimes, then why should his loyalty be questioned at all? Do we all have to wear flag pins and slap “appropriate” bumper stickers on our cars to be deemed loyal?
    After a brief review of Article I of our Constitution, nowhere do I see where a member of Congress must support a particular economic system. What I do see is that our Founders use the term “commerce” which, in turn, implies capitalism. But commerce can also be part of a mixed economy.
    Far too many Americans have no understanding of socialism. When has Obama advocated the US government nationalizing all industry in the name of The People! When has Obama, or any other politician, advocated that all economic activity be planned and controlled by the US government?
    This is especially absurd considering the current activities on Capitol Hill.
    Even our Founders put this in our Constitution: To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;..
    Ooh…scary regulations!
    I breezed through the Wiki article on ACORN and didn’t see any plans to overthrow the Constitution and nationalize all major industry.

  44. Reginald Jones says:

    You and your blog bring great honor to your earned title: COLONEL.

  45. TomB says:

    Cieran wrote:
    “But there’s a reason why the GOP is lily-white, and it’s not about reverse-racism: it’s about punitive GOP policies towards U.S. citizens, including, but not limited to minorities.”
    Well Cieran, my point with this sort of thing doesn’t have to do so much with it’s truth or falsity. Instead all I’d observe is that more such racialist stuff is made the fodder of liberal politicking then the more legitimate it is for conservatives to make racialist stuff the fodder of their politicking too. And liberals are going to *lose* that fight.
    And that’s why I think you see Obama staying as far away from this kind of thing as possible. Indeed I can hardly think of anything more lethal to his hopes than he or his supporters cloaking his candidacy with the mantle of being a race warrior.

  46. Fred says:

    re: “Grandma Got Carded
    The Supreme Court looks closely at Indiana’s voter-ID law.
    By Dahlia Lithwick
    In the August elections in Michigan one of the poll wokrers indicated to me that the drivers license photo of me did not look like me as I no longer had the beard. I asked her if it was the official position of the state of michigan that current hair styles must match the photo id on file and did she plan on denying the vote to all the ladies who had just had a perm, color change or in any other way did not look like the photo? Of course I got to vote, but imagine how much time similar attitudes, intentional or not, will waste at the polls and how that will affect turnout.

  47. al75 says:

    I watched an excellent Ronald Reagan documentary on the communist-run “American Experience” last night, which afforded long clips of Ronnie at work.
    Though I am no fan of ole Gipper, I was again struck by how natural he looked, how heartfelt his (in my opinion stupid) convictions were, and how (unfortunately) tenacious and effective he was in advancing them. All wrapped up in that genial aw-shucks package.
    The contrast between Reagan and McCain/Bush is staggering.
    McCain looked as though he was about to explode at the podium on Friday. If he can’t keep his composure with Obama, how will he manage with someone less gentle — say the guy W. calls “Pooty-Poot”?
    Bush is a phoney

  48. fnord says:

    What is really apalling about the republican smeartactics is how apparent they are. They must be running at least 10 different smear-campaigns at the same time, and yet not one journalist has the guts to confront McCain about it. For a particularly insidious attack, see http://abuaardvark.typepad.com/abua
    where they try to smear him with conducting negotiations in opposition to the administration, something I do believe would constitute treason. Its a shame, however, that Greywolf is falling to the level of his fellow republicans. A smart McCain follower would be refreshing here. (My personal position was best summed up by a friend of mine: “Sure, I would throw eggs at Obama. But I would throw rocks at McCain.” Obama seems at least to have some dignity.)

  49. Dan M says:

    To “Graywolf,”
    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have a good faith point to make. I urge you to make it without cursing, ad hominem attacks, or all CAPS.
    Pat did say he assumed those sorts of comments are racial in nature — but acknowledged that was his assumption. I’m generally in Pat’s camp on this but…
    I will try very, very hard to keep an open mind if you respond with supporting evidence for your argument that this is not coded racist language but is in fact a reflection of your belief that he is an “anti-America Marxist.”
    As someone else points out above, a Marxist believes the state should control all means of production.
    Who is “anti-American” is a more subjective issue. But its narrow sense seems to imply he wants to weaken, if not destroy, America. This seems preposterous on its face.
    Is there any deeper evidence of his hatred for America or his Marxism? If you have it, share it with us. Or, perhaps, there’s a factual way to amplify the Acorn/Ayers claims.
    Pat and people like me who agree with him on this issue generally find the Ayers and Acorn arguments unpersuasive (my personal reasons why can be found upthread).
    Further insults won’t be persuasive, and hurt your cause with the undecideds and the opposition.
    For instance, did you really just assert that Pat Lang (founder of the Arabic language program at West Point, head of the DIA’s humint operations and middle east analysis desk, and a muscular master of English prose) is stupid?
    I hope you understand why that hurts your credibility. Say Pat is wrong, or misguided, by all means. Then make an argument as to why. Stupid he aint. (and even if he were, irrelevant — ad hominems aren’t arguments).
    I make this post in good faith and hope you will shed light on a topic that I and many others find perplexing, to say the least.
    It will be hard to convince must of us. But, taking your comments at face value, the stakes are so high they command you to make the effort.

  50. Wallace Brand says:

    Obama is easily shown to have Marxist beliefs by his voluntary choice of the only congregation of the United Church of Christ that has adopted Black Liberation Theology as its official ideology. The Trinity Church said as much on its web page until recently when it removed that statement. However it still sells Dr. Hal Cone’s book on the subject. You can purchase it on line from the Trinity Church.
    Liberation theology commenced in South America where the Soviets found that the church blocked its way to power there. Dr. Cone adopted it and modified it to be an afro-centric ideology. As does Marxism, it is founded on the belief of class struggle. It rests on the assumption that there is a black class that is oppressed by whites.
    When Dr. Jeremiah Wright was interviewed on the Fox News program, he refused to respond to the interviewer’s questions on Black Liberation Theology until the interviewer had read Dr. Cone’s books on Black Liberation Theology. That motivated me to go to amazon.com and look to see what I could find.
    I found the following two reviews of Dr. Cone’s book, “The Theology of Black Liberation (Ethics and Society).
    “Bigotry knows no color, February 22, 2008
    By Haim (NYC)
    If anyone has ever tried to tell you that a black man cannot be as ignorant, racist, and bigoted as a white man, Dr. Cone will prove otherwise.
    Cone tries to blend Christianity, marxism, and islam into some kind of new cosmology, but does not seem to reveal much knowledge of Christianity, marxism, or islam, and he seems to know almost nothing of world history or elementary economics. In a long and highly repetitive diatribe, he does reveal a bred-in-the-bone hatred for all things white and European.
    “A Black Theology of Liberation” has nothing to do with theology or liberation and, one hopes, it has nothing to do with black people.
    I suppose this book is important if you need to know something about the origins of Black Liberation Theology, or if you want to know something about Barrack Obama’s spiritual roots, otherwise this is a sad little book written by a bitter, ignorant man.”
    “Anti-Christian Heresy, October 31, 2005
    By Dad Of Four In Mississippi (Mississippi) –
    There’s not anything theological about this book at all. In fact, it’s not about God, Jesus Christ, Christianity or any other religion. This is nothing more than a hate-mongering diatribe on why blacks should hate whites (and a poorly-written one at that). Here are just a few choice excerpts:
    1. “[W]hiteness is the symbol of the Anti-christ.”
    2. “The goal of black theology is the destruction of everything white, so that blacks can be liberated from alien gods.”
    3. “The black experience is the feeling one has when attacking the enemy of black humanity by throwing a Molotov cocktail into a white-owned building and watching it go up in flames. We know, of course, that getting rid of evil takes something more than burning down buildings, but one must start somewhere.”
    4. “Black theology seeks to analyze the satanic nature of whiteness and by doing so prepare all nonwhites for revolutionary action.”
    5. “We have reached our limit of tolerance, and if it means death with dignity or life with humiliation we will choose the former. And if that is the choice, we will take some honkies with us.”
    6. “To be black is to be committed to destroying everything this country loves and adores.”
    Why anyone, regardless of race, creed, color or even religion would buy this rubbish is beyond me. It’s nothing more than hate-as-theology.”
    Obama has renounced Wright, he has renounced the Trinity Church, but he has never, according to Erik Rush, a black columnist, renounced Black Liberation Theology. In fact he has declined to answer questions about it, even written questions according to Mr. Rush.
    He and his wife soaked in that Black Liberation Theology for some 20 years. It would be hard for me to believe he is not a Marxist.
    I have voted for Democratic candidates for President since 1948 but with one exception — Jimmy Carter’s second term. But I will be voting for John McCain this time.

  51. Cieran says:

    We’re still waiting to see that resume of yours! You know, the one you keep claiming that’s superior to Obama’s… so are you going to back up your talk with some evidence, or what?

  52. Dan M says:

    Apologies to all, since i assume everyone has moved on, but a lengthy set of assertions requires a lengthy response (though I get the feeling from the oddly discursive flow of these arguments that earlier posters’ assertions it’s not worth dignifying with answers may be right).
    Point by point:
    “Obama is easily shown to have Marxist beliefs by his voluntary choice of the only congregation of the United Church of Christ that has adopted Black Liberation Theology as its official ideology.”
    1. The United Church of Christ is largely white, and Trinity has voluntarily remained part of this church. Do not confuse “black liberation” with “black separatism” (not saying you are).
    2. Cone’s book argues that BLT was a major inspiration for the church and I’ll accept that it’s at least deeply influenced by BLT. To call it an official ideology isn’t really helpful, since the theology has not only evolved in the past 40 years, but split into various traditions. But no matter.
    3. While BLT does concern itself with blacks as the traditional victims of economic oppression, and Trinity today still sees its mission as “lifting” up blacks, that doesn’t make them “marxists.”
    No scholar of BLT today sees it as a “marxist” movement in the sense that it favors government control of the means of production. Heavily influenced by the thought of Karl Marx, particularly “marxist analysis” in its interrogation of “economic oppression?” Of course (you’d be hard-pressed to find a 20th century movement interested in social justice that wasn’t). But this influence makes them no more Marxist (in the sense of government theory) than it does Harpo and Zeppo.
    4. Obama’s decision to join a large, politicaly-connected church deeply dedicated to social activism does not make him a Marxist. I am not a Christian, but I view their interpetation of Jesus message as requiring them to focus on social justice praiseworthy.
    “… it still sells Dr. Hal Cone’s book on the subject. You can purchase it on line from the Trinity Church.
    5. James H. Cone is indeed a much-respected figure at Trinity (I invite those interested to view the wiki on him http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cone_(theologian) — it’s a comprehensive entry).
    But how you jump from there to claiming Obama is a Marxist is hard to figure. There’s no evidence that even Cone is a Marxist (and one would assume that his belief in God would be disqualifying).
    While he appears to remain comitted to his criticisms of the white church for failing to do enough to help blacks, he’s moved away from incendiary comments like those he made in “Black Power” in 1969 (sample: “Malcolm X was not far wrong when he caled the white man the devil” — but if i was a black man born in arkansas in 1938 i might have felt the same way at that time). No matter. Here’s something he said in 1977:
    “The time has come for black theologians and church people to move beyond a mere reaction to white racism in America and begin to extend our vision of a new socially constructed humanity in the whole inhabited world…For humanity is whole, and cannot be isolated into racial and national groups.”
    A little utopian for my tastes. But a step up from the past.
    6. I’m currently in Manhattan. I’m fairly certain I could find a copy of Pedagogy of the Oppressed in some Unitarian bookshop or other. Would that make Unitarian Universalists Marxists?
    “Liberation theology commenced in South America where the Soviets found that the church blocked its way to power there.”
    7. This view of the rise of Catholic Liberation Theology as engineered by the USSR distorts reality in my view (there really were Catholic priests who believed the church was failing the poor and were ifluenced by marxist analysis — not “marxism” — in their critiques). But I’ll just make this assertion and move on to avoid endless digression –because what a group of Catholics in Brazil and Venezuela were up to 30+ years ago says nothing about Obama).
    “Dr. Cone adopted it and modified it to be an afro-centric ideology.”
    8. It does look like he was doing that 40 years ago. He and Trinity have since moved on (see the 1977 quote above). But even so, is the new guilt-by-association tack on Obama that he’s not a Marxist but “afro-centric?” It’s hard to keep track of this moving target.
    “As does Marxism, it is founded on the belief of class struggle. It rests on the assumption that there is a black class that is oppressed by whites.”
    9. I agree that the second sentence of the above passage from you captures cone’s early thought. I don’t see this as proving Obama hates America or is a Marxist any more than my reading lists and various lefty professors back in the day make me a marxist (despite the fact i still value much of what they taught and some of their ongoing friendships).
    “I found the following two reviews of Dr. Cone’s book, “The Theology of Black Liberation (Ethics and Society).”
    10. I think it unwise to take the word of anonymous online reviewers (“Haim” and “Dad of four in Mississippi”) of a 1969 book by James H. Cone as evidence that Obama is a Marxist or hates America.
    There is a lot of good scholarly work on Cone and his thought — much troubling, to be sure — if you have a real interest in this, read it. But remember that almost no ones’ thoughts from 1969 (when Obama was 8) have been encased in amber since.
    “Obama has renounced Wright, he has renounced the Trinity Church, but he has never, according to Erik Rush, a black columnist, renounced Black Liberation Theology.”
    11. And in the godfather, Michael renounced “Satan and all his works” but failed to renounce Asmodeus, Leviathon and Mammon. Where does this end?
    “In fact he has declined to answer questions about it, even written questions according to Mr. Rush.”
    12. If I were Obama I’d ignore Rush (a man who implied Obama had 3 members of Trinity murdered to cover up his own “closet homosexuality” and said the assertions of serial fabulist Larry Sinclair “give pause that the candidate continues to be linked to sex and drugs”) too.
    13. Has Obama ever endorsed BLT? Which iteration? When? What did it mean to him if and when he did? None of this makes him a Marxist or an America hater.
    “He and his wife soaked in that Black Liberation Theology for some 20 years. It would be hard for me to believe he is not a Marxist.”
    14. An unproven assertion convinces you he’s a Marxist. That’s a hard one to tackle.

  53. fnord says:

    From the above exchange, I think we can say the following: Sen. Obama, being the intelectual that he is, has knowledge of Marxist analysis. As does any academic. He also, as a community worker, have a heart for the poor and downtrodden. As do many academics, as long as they dont have to do anything about it. Sen. Obama in his earlier days decided to do something about it, inspired by the word of Christ, and so joined a church with this as focus. Does this make him a marxist? Of course not. But it may be that his administration might be *serious* about tackling the issues of healthreform and poverty haunting your nation, not just in a cosmetic way but in a real fashion. This will hurt the theologicians of the Extreme Capitalism wich we have just witnessed fall to their knees and beg for a Marxistic state intervention to save their asses. So what?
    Over here in Scandinavia, we had a similar banking crisis in the late 80s, where the banks were bought by the state and then reprivatized at a decent profit for the state through several years. It worked really well. If thats marxism, then obviously it functioned. We prefer to call it social democracy over here, though, based on sustainable growth and a minimum of equality for all citizens.

  54. Dan M says:

    Mr. Brand,
    On reflection, I missed a crucial point that could explain your concern about “marxism” instead of “negroism” (lets call it): you voted in 1948.
    I’m willing to believe that your fear of Obama is not racist, but actually does reflect a concern about Soviet/Communist/Marxist influence in America.
    Is this correct? Do you believe that congressman Dies’ book “Trojan Horse in America” is relevant to our times?
    Have you read it?
    Have you ever owned a copy of it? Do you believe Shirley Temple was a communist?
    Don’t get me wrong. Older people have given me everything. Life (my parents), wisdom (my teachers and mentors) and constructive idleness (older poker players who taught me a thing or two).
    But I wonder if some older folks remain unduly influenced by “marxist” rhetoric, given the political obsessions of the past, which would explain their susceptibality to the “communist” attack on Obama outside of racial considerations.
    The above may seem a little offensive, but i’m not entirely kidding.
    I want to believe that fear of bolsheviks under the bed is driving votes instead of racial fears.

  55. TomB says:

    Dan M:
    What a couple of great, wonderfully written posts.
    Like you I think it’s more than a little silly to be accusing Obama of being a closet revolutionary, Marxist or not. However I would note one thing somewhat in line with the exchange Cieran and I were having in this thread earlier:
    Some if not alot of the sentiment here was taking the view that this or that criticism of Obama was coded racism. To which I’d say okay, one has the right to that belief.
    But I’d also wonder about the wisdom of making that kind of charge given the kind it provokes back such as Mr. Brand’s, and the descent into the whole ugly racial cesspool.
    After all, making the charge of coded racism such as was made here often has to rest on nothing more than a “feel” for the thing, and the fact that lots of racism is coded.
    However, look at the evidence Mr. Brand mustered for his charge that Obama is a white-hating race warrior: He *was* a long-time member of that church. That church *did* apparently openly endorse Black Liberation Theology and apparently still sells Cone’s old book. Rev. Wright *has* still said nutball things like accusing the gov’t of causing AIDS to kill blacks. And Obama *still* went to that church and took his kids to it and etc., etc., etc.
    To me, like you, that really means nothing in terms of making Obama out to be a white-hating revolutionary. But, strictly speaking evidence, who has or can produce more for their view here? And who can or has produced more evidence between Mr. Brand’s charges and the charge of there being coded racism lying behind criticism of ACORN?
    I guess I would just say that I think people ought to pause a good long time before making these kinds of really really inflammatory accusations. They always think that they are so clearly right that of course no one can convince people otherwise. But even when they are right that often don’t happen.
    One of the most common phenomenon experienced by young trial lawyers is their shock at finding out how tough it can be to actually persuade a jury of something that they previously thought was simply indisputable. Indeed, that shock often comes in the form of chagrin.

  56. Patrick Lang says:

    You may not like the agenda I set here, but…
    American race relations over the history of the Republic are a major interest for me. People fear to discuss our race problems in just the way that you fear to discuss them.
    We will discuss them here. pl

  57. TomB says:

    Col Lang:
    I wasn’t really objecting to the discussion here. After all you’ve been more than fair posting views that disagree with your own. Instead I was just observing what happens to that discussion when it happens out in the wider world.

  58. Dan M says:

    I don’t really get your point. I would make this same argument just as I’m making it in any forum.
    I’m not a lawyer. I don’t intend to be one. And I guess i’m more interested in the truth than with winning arguments. I mean, Mr. Brand’s “evidence” agaist Obama was no such thing (innuendo, false associations and straw men may convince juries, but they’re not logical).
    However, twice now you’ve had something to say, without really saying it: Are you saying these folks are’t driven by racism, but instead by the mountain of evidence that Obama hates America? Or are you saying they are racists (said mountain actually not existing), but that for some reason its unwise to point out their racism because it could make them more racist?
    I think it unlikely that the Graywolfs and Brands can be convinced. I’m more concerned with other folks who might be listening in.
    And if pointing out what i feel is the demonstrable truth is offensive, so be it. I’m not even running for class president.
    Calling people out as likely racists when they engage in loopy, illogical, and increasingly desperate arguments to prove he’s a: Moslem; Marxist; Terrorist Traitor; Illegal Alien; etc… is the sensible thing to do. I have yet to find any plausible counter-reason for these bizarre allegations except senescence, which i don’t really believe.
    There is no sound argument to be made that he is any of those things. There is a mountain of evidence that he is none of those things. And yet we keep wading through crap like this:
    “But the smudge on the scan of his birth certificate invalidates it; until i’m personaly delivered the original, I’ll assume he was secretly born in Kenya. Oh yeah: forward this email to everyone you know that hes disqualified from the presidency.”
    “His wife was caught on tape in an angry diatribe attacking whitey and, uhm, i’m going to forward this email, like, a million times and hope no one notices that there is no such tape…”
    “He was secretly a Moslem while in indonesia. He went to one of those scarey madrassah thingies, too. Forward this email too (in fact, he went to secular public school and a catholic school while in Jakarta. He was never a Moslem).”
    “Obama once was on the board of a foundation that gave money to a non-profit group that advocates policy changes to help nigg… uhm, you know, the urban poor. That makes them, uhm, Marxists and he’s a Marxist. Please forward.”
    “Obama once had a meeting at Bill Ayer’s house. Obama is a terrorist!”
    And on it goes. Mr. Brand did make an honest attempt to try to counter the secret racism charge. But on fair analysis, his attempt consisted of illogical straw men, guilt by associatio, etc…
    The process that leads people to the conclusions above and others like them is so fundamentally illogical that racism seems the best fit.

  59. Cieran says:

    But, strictly speaking evidence, who has or can produce more for their view here?
    Regarding the use of the word “more”…
    It’s not about the quantity of evidence presented as much as it’s about its quality.
    And if the term “evidence” is interpreted so broadly that it includes the sort of guilt-by-association smears and other logical fallacies that have been plentiful of late (including within a few posts here at SST), then one can pile up all the “evidence” one wants without doing the process of accurate inference one bit of good.
    Or as the old saying goes, the most important difference between intelligence and stupidity is that there are limits to intelligence.

  60. purpleslog says:

    –> The only thing missing is the word “n—-r” after “Marxist.”
    What nonsense.

  61. TomB says:

    Dan M. wrote:
    “I don’t really get your point. I would make this same argument just as I’m making it in any forum.”
    And all I said is that in the national arena you would lose that argument. And you obviously did get that point given your further need to state that you aren’t interested in winning it, which I can well understand.
    Again I agree that this business about Obama being some secret crypto-Marxist white-hater is “loopy.” But I don’t think you’d disagree that all that stuff that came out about Rev. Wright and him hurt. And of course the acid test for that is whether Obama agreed and as to same I don’t think there has been any negative info that’s come out about him that he’s shown even 1/10 as much concern about as this Wright business, has there? Indeed in the end he even publicly renounced Wright, which must have been personally painful to him not to mention hurt him in some parts of the black community.
    That doesn’t mean I disagree with your assessment of that info however as indeed I don’t. All I was saying is that it’s a mistake to believe that it lacks any power.

  62. ken says:

    I have to laugh at all the silliness here. It’s an echo chamber of Obama supporters telling each other that since no one in this room is making an argument against Obama one doesn’t exist. Where’s the logic in that?
    Pat – I read this site from time to time because I respect your views on many subjects but I worry that the tone of some of your recent posts serve to limit the group of people that contribute here and the kinds of ideas that are shared. How valuable is a discussion where everyone is on one side? Shouldn’t your goal be to have McCain and Obama supporters having a high level discussion?
    I tend to think that tacitly accusing people who dislike ACORN of racism and putting up pseudo threatening lines about ‘do not attempt to….ect’ turns away the very people you are trying to have a discussion with. If that is your goal, congratulations, your have achieved a superb echo chamber.
    To get to the substance of your request, I will not question Obama’s loyalty to the United States but I do think his association with ACORN calls into question his character and judgment.
    ACORN is a group that has been repeatedly convicted for conducting illegal voter registration activities. In each of the last several elections ACORN employees have been convicted of voter fraud in key swing states. This is undeniable, no joke, defrauding the electoral system. If you support this organization then you have some serious issues with right and wrong in my opinion.
    Many will point out that the same thing happens on the other side. I would answer that by pointing out that this is different than many of the investigations or subpoenas on the Republican side in two ways 1) these are undisputed facts, actual convictions, not investigations 2) these are all coordinated by one group, not disparate groups or campaigns as you see on the Republican side.
    I hate, hate to do this but I will because evidence is primary to my agrument, http://www.rottenacorn.com is a right wing propaganda site for those fighting against ACORN. I cite it here because it is the easiest place to find this kind of thing aggregated. It is propaganda so you must unfortunately read past all the garbage rhetoric to the convictions, they are real. Or, this is from RCP if you can’t bare the link “In 2006, for example, ACORN registered 1,800 new voters in Washington. The only trouble was, with the exception of six, all of the names submitted were fake. The secretary of state called it the “worst case of election fraud in our state’s history.” http://tiny.cc/Ak527
    NOTE: I am not absolving either side in that both participate in illegal activities on some level.
    My point is that Barack Obama willingly chose to work for a group that has been repeatedly convicted of systematically defrauding the American electoral system. That is not a petty crime nor something I take lightly and neither should any respectable American.
    That represents a clear lack of judgment and calls into question his character. Even if you justify their actions by saying that the means justify the ends or that the other side is doing it too, those are both flawed arguments and show a lack of character.
    I am still considering voting for Obama if only because I think Randy Scheunemann is much more evil than ACORN.
    A fair, non-racist, fact based criticism of Obama’s character exists in reference to his relation to ACORN and to suggest otherwise is to stifle debate at a time when our country needs it most.
    Sorry for the long post but I felt it was a point worth my time and yours.

  63. Dan M says:

    If you find in Obama’s tenuous links to Acorn reason to doubt his judgement or character, I can’t really argue.
    I don’t share your conclusions, but concede on that point reasonable people can and do disagree.
    You can even make an argument that the whole premise upon which ACORN operates is politically harmful and on that basis you don’t like politicians who support that organization.
    Again, I disagree with you. But that’s fine — we’re in the realm of differences in political philosophy and the subjective nature of evaluating other peoples judgement.
    You wrote: “A fair, non-racist, fact based criticism of Obama’s character exists in reference to his relation to ACORN…”
    I agree such an argument can be fairly made.
    But the charge of racism comes from the many claims that flow from whatever these ties to ACORN are that he’s a “marxist, afro-centric, America-hater.”
    You don’t seem to be making these ridiculous claims. I’m glad. But many, many people do and it was their bizarre leaps in logic that motivated Pat to start this thread. That is the puzzling question we’re trying to address.
    As to tone and the relative absence of opposition here, Pat keeps an open shop as long as people are (mostly) civil. As you well know, the standard of discourse here is worlds higher than most blogs, thanks to Pat’s moderation (a thankless task. So, thanks Pat).
    Unfortunately, most people just like to get their partisan hackles up and call each other poopy-heads. You can lead a horse to water and all that.
    Thanks for the post Ken. Next time, bring a friend.

  64. fnord says:

    ken: A fair enough point, sir. A key question to your points is to what extent senator Obama is associated with ACORN, and to what extent the examples of fraud are endemic or oneoffs by enthusiastic grassroots supporters. The basis of dirty politics is to fling mud against details in order to make the whole picture look dirty. If this is a association by third degree removement, I have to say that compared to hanging out with Negroponte and Kissinger, Scheuneman and Rove, it pales in comparision. If it has his fingerprints on it, its a different issue.

  65. Cieran says:

    I have to laugh at all the silliness here. It’s an echo chamber of Obama supporters telling each other that since no one in this room is making an argument against Obama one doesn’t exist. Where’s the logic in that?
    There is none, in your assertion, at least. Your declaration is a straw man, which does not constitute evidence or logic — it constitutes a well-known logical fallacy instead.
    This site isn’t an echo chamber of Obama supporters — try integrating opinions expressed here over a longer time period to see why that’s not the case… or for that matter, just try reading these opinions with a mind that’s a tad more open and another tad less ready to jump to oversimplified conclusions. Seriously…
    Obama certainly wasn’t my first choice, and while watching the first debate, I found myself as ready to throw my beer at his image on TeeVee as at anyone else, but the alternatives found in McCain and Palin aren’t exactly my cup of tea, either.
    Next time you post, try using some logic that we can’t poke holes in via a couple microseconds’ worth of reflection. The Colonel sets the quality bar for inference at a fairly high level, so please give it another try, but next time, park your straw man at the door.
    Pretty please?

  66. ken says:

    I am a bit confused by your exasperation, Dan.
    A couple points.
    Please explain to me how Barack Obama’s links to ACORN could possibly me fairly interpreted as tenuous?
    Obama served as ACORN’s attorney in several legal cases [that should be enough right there], was a “leadership trainer” for their organzation, served prominently on boards of foundations that regularly gave them grants, and used their voter registration and voter turnout efforts to help his campaign to win elected office. Your assertion of tenuousness falls flat, I’m afraid.
    These are pieces from the National Review and WSJ that quote other ACORN organizers describing Obama’s role in the organization. I realize that you may object to the overall tone of the publications but are primary sources not good enough?
    There is almost no non-partisan account of his involvement, by nature, but anyone who does not believe the connection is real should give these a good read, skip over the propaganda about shock troops and Radical Obama, and think long and hard about the facts and first hand accounts, especially in relation to the repeated, repeated convictions of ACORN staffers for illegal activities.
    Good judgment and character would be to see an organization that stinks as badly as ACORN and distance yourself from it, not jump in bed with them.
    Again, to your second point, if you do not see what is “politically harmful” about an organization that has a documented history of defrauding the electoral system then yes, I guess “we’ll have to disagree.”
    “But the charge of racism comes from the many claims that flow from whatever these ties to ACORN are that he’s a “marxist, afro-centric, America-hater.””
    My argument is that you, and Pat, are attempting to throw the baby out with the bath water.
    My frustrations with your and Pat’s logis is roughly as follows:
    Some of the people who are making the ACORN associations are also making racist/anti-American statements. The anti-American statements are demonstrably false and beyond the pale. Therefore Obama’s association with ACORN is not a valid criticism of his judgment or Americanism.
    That is flawed logic in my opinion.
    I would also note that while the discussion here is often esoteric in comparison to most blogs there is a difference from allowing dissenting views and honestly encouraging them.

  67. Dan M says:

    Here’s the exasperation.
    Question: “Why do some people say obama’s a marxist because of Acorn?”
    Answer: “Maybe racism.”
    Ken: “Wait a minute, i doubt Obama’s judgement.”
    Your contribution isn’t on point.
    But let’s take it up. Yes, tenuous. Acorn is a huge national organization with lots of chapters. If you really want to zero in on Obama, lets zero in on the part of Acorn he might have contact with — its efforts in Chicago/Illinois. (And I just don’t see the various acorn “crimes” as particularly important barometers of Obama’s judgement against much nastier stuff that’s par for the course in our system — mccain’s campaign manager, for instance).
    The only involvement as a lawyer for Acorn that i’m aware of is when Obama in 1995 joined a number of Chicago-area lawyers in helping the local Acorn affiliate with a lawsuit.
    What was the suit? To force Governor Jim Edwards to stop blocking the Federal “Motor-Voter” law.
    I applaud Senator Obama for succesfully helping to enforce federal law and in a good cause (voter access). The league of women voters and other groups joined the succesful suit — among them the Justice Department.
    Yes he was on the Wood Foundation (or something like that) board and it did give money to the local Acorn folks working in poor, inner-city communities (something like $70,000 a year).
    If I recall, he also used a private company with strong ties to acorn to canvass for him and get out the vote. Standard practice on both sides of the aisle.
    There are no allegations of fraud involving the parts of Acorn he had contact with that i’m aware of. I read the WSJ article.
    But Kurtz’ NRO blabber made my head hurt, so didn’t pursue past the 3rd screen. I couldn’t find any allegations of fraud in any part of either article in the parts of Acorn that Obama dealt with.
    And the WSJ editorial makes out that Edgar was worried about a federal law encouraging voter fraud.
    You and I both know that the primary concern was a likely surge in democratic-leaning registration. His failure to prove the likelihood of increased fraud to a federal judge is why he lost.
    In summary: I don’t think the Acorn stink is that stinky.

  68. Andy says:

    While an interesting discussion there’s a degree of pointlessness to it because accusations of racist “code” are empirically impossible to prove. From a purely empirical standpoint interpretation of a statement or allegation based on semantic context cannot be a “fact” or provable, so I’m inherently skeptical in arguments that make such definitive claims. On the other hand pure empiricism has limitations because it cannot account for often subtle semantic and cognitive variations in how individuals interpret meaning – and those interpretations are what make us what we are.
    There was a similar discussion at another site I frequent where the argument was whether this statement (written on a t-shirt) was racist: “Obama: A terrorist’s best friend.” Some argued passionately that it was clearly and obviously racist while others argued it clearly and obviously wasn’t. I argued that empirically it was not racist, but that both sides were right to a degree because of differences in experience that result in subtle shifts in the cognition and interpretation of language.
    For example, “terrorism” for some is racially-loaded to begin with because it has become so strongly associated with Islamic terrorism. Adding in allegations of Obama’s supposedly Muslim background made by some on the right and any associating of Obama with terrorism becomes clearly racist to some people. But not everyone sees and understands things the same way, including the word “terrorism.” As example – I’ll use myself – My Irish and Scottish background and association with many Irish and Scottish cultural groups growing up gave me a different cognitive meaning for “terrorism” – one centered on Northern Ireland during my formative years and not the middle east. So for me, the association of Obama with “terrorism” carries no racial connotations even though I find the “Obama: A terrorist’s best friend” statement idiotic at best.
    I think the same thing is at work here with ACORN to some extent. Arguments that intend to change those who hold opposing views is probably pointless because such arguments are based on opinion and whether one believes in guilt-by-association, not empirical evidence. AFAIK, there’s nothing of substance in these ACORN allegations, so this appears to be opinion masquerading as fact yet again.
    More troubling to me is Obama’s actions during the Rev. Wright controversy. I don’t particularly care that Obama was closely associated with Wright – what disturbed me was Obama’s claims he didn’t know about some of Wright’s more radical views – a claim that stretches his credibility IMO. Even worse, though, was jettisoning Rev. Wright and Trinity Church as soon as Wright became a political liability. I understand that politics is a cutthroat business, but throwing one’s spiritual adviser and church of 20 years under the bus does not reflect positively on one’s character. The timing, build-up and method all scream political expediency. At best it shows Obama not as some kind of new outsider-agent-of-change, but as a calculating politician like any other. At worst it exposes a deep flaw in Obama’s character. I tend toward the former view for various reasons I won’t belabor here.

  69. fnord says:

    Just to throw in a brief point of levity: Wouldnt it be really really really cool if Obama wins, and it turns out he has been a mole for the trotsky-leaning International Socialists? Imagine the looks on the faces of the leading news-anchors as he proudly waves the red flag after the inauguration, declares the economy a national disaster and takes dicatorial powers, as prepared by the Bushes! Now that would be a surprise, wouldnt it, as he sends in the army to nationalize all industry with more than 200 employees. Badabing!

  70. TomB says:

    I dunno that Obama’s actions vis a vis Wright showed any “deep flaw” in his character, or at least one that is any deeper than is standard amongst politicians and even the populace at large for that matter. Of course he was gonna shim the truth about knowing the kind of baloney Wright had spouted on this or that occasion. And as to repudiating Wright, notice that he did so only after Wright had in essence betrayed him into doing it by going out and making some even more extreme statements at the National Press Club.
    What bothers me is less this than … the substance of what little Obama has said about the substance of things today. From what I can see other than coyly uttering vague and meaningless banalities and bromides about 90% of things, look at what he’s said about this economic mess: Essentially, he’s just repeated a meme he’s long been associated with condemning “predatory lending.” And since maybe you’ve put a nice summary cap on this “racism/Marxism” meme it seems to me that’s interesting to look at.
    After all to me that’s just nuts and seems to indicate a person whose ideology is so fierce that it either forces ’em to feel the need to tell gigantic lies, or actually blinds them to the plainest reality which is dangerous.
    “Predatory” lending causing this mess? It’s “predatory” to give money to people to buy houses they they might not be able to afford but which they just might and which the market was certainly helping to make so valuable that they could keep or at least realize huge gains off of?
    *That’s* “predatory”?
    How much more ideological/polemical can you get? Is this really any different (if not worse) than Bush seeing the Mideast as some biblical challenge to him?
    How incoherent dumb or incoherent dishonest can you get, after all? First the Dems and liberals and Lefties harp like crazy about supposed racist/classist refusals of banks to make loans to poor people and they take action to encourage or even force same. (Such as the Community Reinvestment Act basically threatening banks and etc. to make these sub-prime loans, with Janet Reno if you recall clearly glowering about what she’d do to them if they didn’t.) And then when they did and the predictable happened, it’s “predatory”?
    Whether ideology or dishonesty, this worries me. I still like him as a person I think. And I still think McCain is crazy dangerous. But my goodness.

  71. Andy says:

    Tom B,
    Thanks for the comment. I don’t think Obama/Wright definitively shows a character flaw, but I do think it is a possibility. I’m not leaning that way presently because I know of nothing additional that would substantively point that way.
    If you go back and look at some of the articles, though, Obama began the split from Wright earlier – he began pushing Wright away almost as soon as he began his campaign. It seems pretty clear Obama knew back then he’d be a liability. Frankly, I don’t blame Wright at all – I’d be angry if someone who I mentored and thought of as a friend would suddenly find me an embarrassment once running for high office. Like I said, I understand politics is a cutthroat business, but I could never do what Obama did to someone of similar association and look at myself in the mirror afterward.
    I agree with you to an extent that Obama lacks some depth. It seems to me he’s like Sarah Palin, but better coached. In fact, I think Obama and Palin have a lot in common – not on the issues mind you – but as people. They are both natural, charismatic politicians; they both represent a new generation that’s breaking from the boomers; and they’re both relatively inexperienced. People may not like the comparison, but I see parallels between the two. If we could get someone from that new generation who has their innate political talent and is a moderate, then I’ll be very happy.

  72. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    If Ilan Pappe and other revisionist historians are correct, then one can certainly argue that the platform of the Democratic Party 2008 is racist to the very core.
    I stress “if” because I do not know if Pappe et al. are correct. But, for this one comment, and with the sole hope of furthering the discussion, I am assuming that their analysis presents the proper view of history.
    And Pappe makes it clear that the United States, including most certainly the Democratic Party, has enabled, supported and even directly participated in a type of ethnic cleansing of a different race in the Middle East for the past several decades. In fact, some have even ventured to describe this historical project today as one of apartheid (Olmert’s word, not mine).
    No evidence exists, as far as I am aware, that the Democratic platform has taken a stand against this legacy of racism. And if it does indeed exist, then the policies of the Democratic Party 2008 arguably are far worse than that of George Wallace, who at least was for separate for equal.
    So, in that sense, to vote Democratic, is to vote for a continuation of a racist foreign policy and perhaps even admit of racist tendencies that are left better unsaid. I mean, it’s far easier to blame others of racism than look within. (It seems part of the old routine, when in doubt, blame the people of Mississippi for all our ills.)
    Again, no evidence exists, as far as I am aware, that MLK Jr. would support the policies currently in place in the Middle East. Based on his willingness to take a stand, one can certainly assume he would decry what has happened in the Gaza strip. So if true, then the Democratic Party does not represent the spirit of MLK Jr, at least in regard to ethnic cleansing of a people of a different race in the global village.
    So in that vein, perhaps another aspect of US racism today includes what is going down in the Middle East, at least as much as some fellow in California who wants to vote for McCain because he is suspicious of ACORN.
    And at least some historians of race relations have attest that there is a form of “enlightenment” that once examined is as flawed as all the rest of us, if not more so. As has been intimated to me before, far better to deal with some “cracker” working at a poultry plant than some suit type with a smiling face. (For more info, read the lyrics of a song by the Undisputed Truth, “Smiling Faces”. Applies to different scenarios of course but perhaps to this one as well.)
    Sometimes one is left with the impression that the discussion of race relations is about 40 year behind and represents a type of arrested development. Myopic. Stuck in the 1960’s. In that light, many of the arguments arising today echo the tensions that arose at integrated high schools in the South from decades ago during a school presidential election. Sort of makes me wonder if the rest of the nation ever integrated to the same extent as communities of the South. Who knows…
    Of course, I, in all likelihood, am voting Democratic which means I am voting for a continuation of racist policies in the Middle East, but I am a Southerner, so such racism is projected on me from the get go.
    In any event it is difficult for me to see the consistency of a Democrat calling someone else racist when his party, in fact, promotes racism abroad. Reform the platform of the Democratic Party, at least in regards to ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, and then maybe it makes more sense, at least in my opinion.
    Again, this comment is based on assumptions that arise out of Pappe’s work. If he is wrong, then this comment is wrong, and I will gladly return to Uris and Exodus, the primary book of my youth. Much easier to do so, actually. Everything seemed so black and white then, so to speak.

  73. TomB says:

    Andy, I didn’t know that about Obama and Wright earlier. Horrible to realize that one’s been spun without even knowing it. Makes you wonder if anything you believe is true.
    Sidney, as Joe Bob Briggs said to a female admirer who sent him a nude photo of herself in some enthusiastic pose, that’s disgusting, and thank you.

  74. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Thank you (I think).
    In my opinion, you made an absolutely remarkably insight in one of your earlier comments in this thread and, time permitting, I would like to point it out.
    But first, if I may, I would like to offer for consideration a certain aspect of this election and, more generally of race relations, that has left me puzzled and confused. Worded differently, my inquiry arises out of an aspect of our latest incarnation of political liberalism or whatever, that I, admittedly, cannot quite figure out. Here ’tis.
    In 1995-1996, Colin Powell was extremely popular in the deep South. In fact, he was more popular in the deep South than any other region of the nation (I believe that info is available online).
    Being a fan of Powell at the time, one of my first reactions was to wonder if Northern whites were racist for not supporting Powell as much as Southerners. It seemed like an honest inquiry based upon my experiences of living in the segregated North and the even more segregated West.
    I never came up with an answer to my question posed, and I never saw anything in the msm that raised the possibility of racism as accounting for the reason Northerners thought less of Powell than Southerners. Perhaps “cultural” differences explain the difference.
    Now — segue way to 2008. If our present tracking polls are correct, then many Southerners and working class whites around the nation who would have supported Powell in 1996 are not supporting Obama enthusiastically today, although people seem to be breaking his way lately.
    So here’s the question: is the reason for the difference between their support of Powell in 96 and their initial lack of support for Obama in 08 attributable entirely to racism? I ask that question, assuming that Colin Powell is African American, as well as Obama.
    It just seems to me, logically speaking, that there is a chance that the reason for supporting Powell in 1996 and not supporting Obama today cannot be attributed entirely to racism. Maybe I am wrong.
    And, perhaps, just perhaps, Axelrod and the more fanatical Obama supporters have alienated many white voters who supported Powell in 1996 by immediately claiming racism was the reason that were not yet sure of Obama. These voters, after all, were by and large in the “undecided” category a couple of months ago.
    Yet the Axelrod machine and the msm supporters all but called them hicks still living in 1908. Maybe I am wrong, but I think such a political strategy makes it more difficult for them to jump on board. The fact that so many have done so here recently is a tribute to their open mindedness.
    Also, I sometimes wonder if Obama would have helped himself more by being a community organizer in Harlan County, Ky than Chicago. Not saying he has done anything wrong — and much about him I deeply admire — but I am just throwing Harlan County out there because it would suggest some type of racial transcendence at work, aka E Pluribus Unum. And I think that racial transcendence, aka E. Pluribus Unum, was what MLK Jr was all about. (And Colin Powell too, at least from my 1996 point of view).
    And, maybe Obama would have helped himself more if when in San Francisco and talking about all the people in the fly over states, he had said something like, “Now you folks here in San Francisco don’t understand the folks in small towns. They are good folks. Respect them because they have contributed much to America.”
    But I don’t blame Obama for what I see as a political misstep. I think Axelrod is behind much of the Obama persona right now and the Axelrod approach attracted, initially, supporters with the same “enlightened” point of view. Obama is ok with me, although I do find it strange that the Democratic platform, arguably, is racist to the core. Nonetheless, odds are good that I am voting for Obama.
    Must say, though, that Paul is a good man and his foreign policy platform does not appear as racist as that of the Democratic Party, assuming that Pappe et al. are correct.
    Must go. I’ll try to mention your remarkable insight next time. Suffice it to say I believe you made a most excellent observation.

  75. TomB says:

    Sidney, absolutely did think you hit an ugly as hell nail on the head w/re the Dem. party; was just being wry.
    And whatever it is you thought I blundered rightly into before has gotta pale in comparison to your noting that Powell/Obama distinction. Never thought of it, never would have thought of it.
    Ought to be the the subject of a short piece in the national newspapers, and part of a longer more in depth piece the North, the South and racism in something like Esquire or the New Yorker or a chapter in a deep book on race in the U.S. today.
    Not obvious, Sidney. Not obvious at all. Obama oughta be hiring you to tell him what to say.

  76. Rob says:

    I’m less concerned about Obama’s weak loyalty to the American ideals, other than his less-than-clear aspiration to maintaining America’s global role in the world. I’m more concerned of his proactive ideological-driven “insiders” and leftist policy supporters deep within the Obama campaign, awaiting their day(s) to be appointed/assigned to certain important positions for a would-be Obama administration if Obama wins the election. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it, since the same can be true with some people within the McCain campaign eagerly awaiting for the same kind of opportunities (to continue “more of the same” business as usual or will McCain deviate from Bush’s for real)?
    However, the Obama campaign people are so much more ideological-driven, ingrained with radical-leftist educations or activities, and are pretty much eager with their intents to promote forthcoming policies based on Obama’s background and internal experience within the Chicago Democratic political machine. In fact, the future Obama administration is the Chicago Democratic political machine going nationwide, just as FDR’s Democratic New York political machine operatives ran the nation’s matters in the 1930s for FDR. Whatever their intents and purposes, I would be very, very wary of what they have in mind for America’s future, once their days have come. As Pat Lang warns, there will be too much powers for the Democratic Party after Obama wins the election.
    Are we going to see the establishment of a Brain Trust by Obama himself in the light of recent economic problems? Is Obama going for a Second New Deal direction?
    I really hate to be screamed in my face by Obama supporters, telling me that I’m a racist just because I disagree with Obama or won’t support him just because he’s black. His skin color is irrelevant to me, only his character and the contents and ideas from him are what matter. My questions are: what really makes Obama any different from McCain and what would Obama do for me as an American citizen? (Please do not give me any of Obama’s current talking points, thank you.)

  77. JonQ says:

    If the Republicans are wrong an investigation into ACORN and Obama will not take long and will prove nothing.
    If the Democrats are wrong votes are being stolen.
    I think about how Democrats felt about the Florida voting – how the votes were counted 3 times… wast that worth while… not voter fraud was ever proven yet it was worth taking the time.

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