The Obama Effect

WEEKS SUCH as the one just past — in which I am still mired as I write this — do not lend themselves to complete, extended thought of the sort that leads to coherent columns.
    But when have I ever let that stop me?
    We’re in the middle of candidate interviews for the June primaries — 50-plus meetings with folks seeking their respective parties’ nominations for the state House, state Senate, county councils, sheriff, clerk of court, and on and on ….
    But as disparate as these candidates and their goals and issues may be, sometimes themes emerge, or seem to emerge.
    Here’s one, which I’ll call The Obama Effect, just to have something trendy to call it.
    There’s nothing new about this effect, of course, and I certainly didn’t discover it. But I have been tracking it since last July, when I wrote a column headlined “Obama, the young, and the magic of Making a Difference.” I wasn’t sure what I was describing then. I’m not sure now, either. It’s an amorphous phenomenon, or set of phenomena — but one of considerable force in spite of, or perhaps because of, that lack of easy definition.
    It’s the thing that led to nearly half a million people coming out to vote in the S.C. Democratic presidential primary in January, which is all the more extraordinary when you recall that there had been a very hotly contested Republican presidential primary just the week before, and that no one who voted in that was allowed to vote in the other. The turnout on Jan. 26 was double that of the 2004 Democratic primary. Republicans, after 20 years of touting the growing pull of their party, actually saw participation decline from their last contested presidential primary. This is less because of a decline in GOP fortunes in the state, and more because of an indefinable something over on the Democratic side.
    Detractors mock the phenomenon for the very fact that it is so hard to describe. “Hope” for what? they say. What kind of “Change”? Satirists have no end of fun mocking media types — people who make their livings describing things — for failing to explain why they’re going gaga. None of that diminishes the power of the thing.
    Still, I thought it had rolled on to other states beginning in February. But then we started these interviews, and I began to see a certain something — something I couldn’t quite put my finger on — cropping up on the county and legislative district levels.
    We’re used to candidates coming in with definite reasons for seeking office. Challengers speak of their enthusiasm for a certain cause, or describe in excruciating detail their indignation over having sought help from their representative and found him or her insufficiently responsive (a very common reason to run for office). Incumbents speak of needing just a little more time to accomplish that same thing they wanted to accomplish the last time they ran, and the time before that. And so on. After a few election cycles, you can finish the candidates’ sentences for them.
    But this time, we met some first-time candidates in Democratic primaries who didn’t seem to have a particular reason for filing, beyond a newfound enthusiasm for public service itself. Their reason for being in our interview room was ill-defined. I wrote a summary of one such interview on my blog, which led a curmudgeonly reader to complain that “those bromides tell us exactly nothing” as to what this candidacy was about. But I had included this clue: a quote from said candidate to the effect that this was “an exciting year, an historical year” to get involved….
    Not long after that interview, Associate Editor Cindi Ross Scoppe wondered aloud why some of these folks were running, and I ventured the hunch that this was a case of The Obama Effect. She said I had no objective, quantifiable reason for saying that. And she was right, of course.
    A few days later, Richland County Council Chairman Joe McEachern — who’s running for the seat currently held by Rep. John Scott, who’s running for one held by Sen. Kay Patterson — made no bones about it: There was an Obama Factor pulling in folks who had never previously given any consideration to public life. He and other more experienced hands were fielding a lot of questions from enthusiastic people wanting to know exactly how to go about getting involved.
    All of the aforementioned candidates have been black Democrats. But it fell to a white Democrat, Rep. Jimmy Bales, to spell out the thing more overtly. He said he’d like to see his party increase its numbers in the S.C. House, and “this might be the year this happens.”
    “If Obama were the nominee,” he said on May 1, “and if Democrats would come together… I believe that he would come close to carrying this state,” and would in addition have the effect of increasing the number of Democratic S.C. House members — not so much to a majority, but to a less anemic minority. Say, from 51 members out of 124 to 58. He says this dispassionately, calmly, without any signs of hysteria. It’s just that the candidacy of Barack Obama has made some previously unlikely things seem attainable.
    No, I can’t prove it. Nor can I quantify it. But there’s something there, and it’s happening down on a much more local level than has been widely documented so far.

60 thoughts on “The Obama Effect

  1. David

    The “Obama Effect” I’m looking for this fall is the one which causes voters to closely scrutinize the undistinguished records, paper thin resumes and bizarre/unsavory associations of any candidates, party affiliations notwithstanding.
    And, it’s time someone said it outright: If 92-96% of black folk are supporting Obama only because he’s a black man, then that’s a weird, sad and twisted commentary on the mindset of the black community that doesn’t bode well either for them or the country. Especially when their mindless support is being thrown at such an empty suit with the troubling ties Obama has cultivated to bigotry and anarchy.
    I hate to verbalize this, but the kind of mind-numbed support for Obama that I’ve seen coming from the black community makes me thankful that the black voting block isn’t any more powerful than it is. David

  2. David

    I said above that it was a problem if 92-96% of black people were supporting Obama ONLY because he’s a black man, and I’d like a do-over on that thought. Replace the word “only” with the word “primarily.”
    Identity politics are a bad thing no matter where they occur. It is bad for black folk to do it, just as it is bad for women to support Clinton primarily because she’s a woman or for vets to support McCain primarily because he’s a distinguished vet. Skin color, gender and military accomplishment are simply not qualifiers for the presidency.
    The reason I led off mentioning black identity politics is because it seems to me that black voters are doing it on a much larger scale than are women for Clinton or war hero groupies for McCain.

  3. penultimo mcfarland

    I will not woship at Obama’s altar, nor run on his coattails, nor flail in the sinkhole of political correctness to give him adulation.
    He has earned my scorn by refusing to distance himself from the Rev. Jeremiah Wtight and then running headlong away from him when Wtight did nothing other than repeat what he had previously said.
    Obama is a talking head with two faces, maybe more. Who knows how the others look?

  4. randy e

    The black vote was earned. Last summer HRC was pulling in a higher proportion – the whole “is he black enough” debate.
    Two-faced? That’s laughable. If he had kicked Wright to the curb the first time, in an act of political expediency he would have been deserving of that moniker. He would have saved himself a great deal of criticism.
    He booted him the 2nd time because Wright made a specific effort to draw attention to himself. He said the “same thing” outside his church, at prominent events which he knew would be highly scrutinized.
    Macfarland, an example of being two-faced is saying an endorsement was wrong to pursue then stating it’s an honor to have said endorsement. For those of you turning a blind eye to the political posturing of McCain, it was the straight-talker himself who contradicted himself in the same breath.

  5. randy e

    The black vote was earned. Last summer HRC was pulling in a higher proportion – the whole “is he black enough” debate.
    Two-faced? That’s laughable. If he had kicked Wright to the curb the first time, in an act of political expediency he would have been deserving of that moniker. He would have saved himself a great deal of criticism by doing so.
    He booted him the 2nd time because Wright made a specific effort to draw attention to himself. He said the “same thing” outside his church, at prominent events which he knew would be highly scrutinized.
    Macfarland, an example of being two-faced is saying an endorsement was wrong to pursue then stating it’s an honor to have said endorsement. For those of you turning a blind eye to the political posturing of McCain, it was the straight-talker himself who contradicted himself in the same breath.

  6. Mike R.

    The issue with the “Obama effect” is not that yet another professional politician has found a new, catchy phrase to pander with, but that such hollow phrases capture the imaginations of voters who are too shallow minded to see their lack of real substance.
    But alas, the “Obama effect” is nothing new. Politicians of all stripes have pandered to voters ever since the first political race was ever run. The strength of the democratic process is also its greatest weakness, the voter. And the greatest nemesis of democracy is the professional politician who panders to voters for the sake of sustaining or increasing his or her status as a politician.

  7. penultimo mcfarland

    Randy, for 20 years Wright was fine, and fine for three more months, but then he was too much for Obama, when Wright NEVER changed his tune.
    Obama has two faces, the faux-white face he wants you to see and the ultra-liberal black face he wears behind the mask of plausible denial.
    And just now, I heard him say: “What the American people need are real solutions.”
    What solutions? Change? Hope?
    Give me a script. Give me a plan. Tell me who you are, because you’ve shown me absolutely nothing.

  8. Randy E

    mcfarland, you apparently see what you want to see. See John’s link for details. His plan for GREEN technology creates white collar jobs, reduces the need for oil, helps the environment etc. BTW, you’ll also see that there is only one general election candidate who addresses poverty and it’s not McCain and his lobbyist posse.
    Regarding Obama’s 20 years with Wright, the reverend DID change. He spoke out in public mediums that he knew would be closely and widely scrutinized. He specifically addressed Obama and his views. It was clear in the majority of analysis that Wright was attempting to draw attention to himself and to defend himself. This is in direct contrast to his sermons in the church. Again, you see what you want to see.
    I’m sure Obama heard some tough preaching from Wright. There is anger in the black community that is not limited to Wright. Obama was one of thousands in a congregation that grew over the years. Some whites want to brush aside the race issue because from their view racial disparities no longer exist. I read through the church website and it is decidedly afro-centric. This is also a community of “doers of the word” in terms of faith in action. Obama’s decisions in this regard are not merely political, this is a profoundly personal issue that is poorly viewed from the political lens but suits the need for those with an agenda.

  9. Candid

    Let all remember bell hooks.
    Re the obama defect:
    Gender and race are ascribed status characteristics, war hero is an achieved status. Mother is an achieved status.
    Obama is biracial and chose to be black, although birthed to a white woman, raised by white people, and he chose a black liberation church with afrocentric marxist doctrines.
    Black activist, successful political female and mother and American war hero: These are not equivalent personal social statuses, as implied by a commenter, perfumed gratutiously by the leftist obligatory war hero voters slur.
    These personal statuses are valued differently by core American social groups because the school of hard knocks and personal achievement in America is not a multicultural coffee shop intellectual circle jerk.

  10. Doug Ross

    Just wait til the media turns its full attention on McCain… it’s already starting to reveal the Senator’s true unadulterated ambition as he stacks his campaign with the same kind of people he claims to be against – lobbyists who wil take money from ANYBODY — including the military dictators in Myanmar..
    A Second McCain Aide Resigns
    11 May 2008 01:37 pm
    Doug Davenport, the regional campaign manager for the mid-Atlantic states, founded the DCI Group’s lobbying practice and oversaw the contract with Myanmar in 2002.
    “Doug has tendered his resignation and we have accepted it,” Jill Hazelbaker, McCain’s communications director, wrote in a e-mail.
    He joins former DCI Group CEO Doug Goodyear, who resigned yesterday from the post of convention CEO after Newsweek reported that DCI was paid more than $300,000 to represent Myanmar’s ruling junta.
    Goodyear and Davenport were recruited by McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, who has been accused by some current and former McCain advisers of take insufficient care of McCain’s reformer brand by appointing lobbyists to key positions. Ironically, as Newsweek reported, Goodyear was asked to become convention CEO after Davis’s lobbying firm partner, Paul Manafort, was nixed because of his own close ties to foreign governments and controversial companies.

  11. Lee Muller

    As bad as McCain is, he is not a traitor.
    Barack Obama is a traitor.
    His book drips with his hatred of America, and of whites. He chose to change his name from Barry to Barak, unlike so many immigrants who came here and “Americanized” themselves.
    His role models and mentors are preachers of hate for America – his marxist father, Jeremiah Wright, Malcolm X, Louis Farakan, Saul Alinsky, and Frank Marshall Davis.
    His close friends include terrorists like Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dorn and Angela Davis.
    He has been endorsed by mideast terrorists like the leaders of Hamas, Iran, and Libya.
    His campaign is run by assorted radicals, some of whom have met with Muslim terrorists.

  12. bud

    Just wait til the media turns its full attention on McCain… it’s already starting to reveal the Senator’s true unadulterated ambition.
    -Doug Ross
    McCain might have unadulterated ambition but he is in fact an adulterer. It’s amazing how the press would not give the (Bill) Clinton adultery a rest yet no one mentions the fact that McCain left his wife because she had lost her looks for a young hussy with money. And now the hussy refuses to release her tax records. What does she have to hide? And of course the press, who relentlessly went after Teresa Kerry for the same thing, pretty much ignores this as well.
    I would much rather focus on issues yet the press just can’t seem to do that. It’s all about trivial nonsense. That’s bad enough, but they continue to harp on the trivial nonsense of just one side. And McCain gets a pass.

  13. bud

    A quick google search shows that there are 14% more references to ‘Obama Wright’ than there are to ‘McCain Hagee’ AND ‘McCain Keating Five’ COMBINED. Even though both the McCain scandals actually involved actions by McCain and the Wright incident involved someone else besides Obama the press feels it is 14% more important than 2 prominent McCain scandals. Shame on the press for their conservative bias.

  14. David

    Hey Bud, in the context of a democrat primary season in which the party is destroying itself, John McCain couldn’t get himself arrested right now. As far as the MSM is concerned, for right now McCain doesn’t exist.
    But he soon will, because no matter how pleasing and gratifying the democrat bloodbath has been, it can’t last forever. And whenever there is finally a democrat nominee and the real race for the presidency is joined, the MSM will descend with a malevolent brutality on John McCain the likes of which has not been seen. From what I’ve observed, McCain has cultivated and nurtured what he thinks is a “media darling” relationship with the MSM. He has loved it, sold his soul for it, and he cherishes it. I don’t believe this doddering old fool has any idea what’s in store for him…the MSM is going to turn in to a pack of ravening, remorseless wolves who will dog his every step, and every detail of his past…both personal and public…will be examined and turned against him.
    In the movie ‘Gladiator’ the character Maximus, when preparing for battle, says “At my command, unleash hell.” This is exactly what’s in store for J. F’ing McCain.
    By the way, McCains’ wife is under absolutely no obligation to make her tax returns public. Tell you what Bud…she should make hers public when you make yours so. How’s that? David

  15. bud

    Frankly, I don’t care about McCain’s adultery, Cindy’s tax records, or the Hagee endorsement.
    I only care a little about the Keating 5 incident because that does have a bearing on certain issues, campaign finance reform and regulation of the finance industry. But since it happened a long time ago perhaps it could be argued that McCain learned his lesson. Or, perhaps not. Either way it’s not extremely important to me.
    What REALLY is important is what McCain and Obama plan to do as president. How will they handle the approaching energy crises? What will they do to help me and my family address the confusing and increasingly expensive health-care system? How does each candidate plan to bring an end to the various, costly military occupations in the Middle East? These and other issues are what interst me.

  16. David

    By the way, I agree with you that the MSMs’ interest in the tax returns of John Kerrys’ wife were wrong as well. My point is that neither Mrs. Kerry nor Mrs. McCain are running for elective office. They are both private citizens and if they choose to keep their tax returns private, so be it.
    As to John McCain, I agree that whatever he’s done during his public service career that tells us what he might or probably will do as President ought absolutely to be examined and tested. And for me, it isn’t only the Keating Five scandal. It is:
    A) His willingness to accept campaign contributions through circuitous relationships in spite the “white knight” image that he’s cultivated through lofty pronouncements. Also witness his collusion with leftists to abridge the first amendment through McCain-Feingold.
    B) His lukewarm regard for the constitution evidenced by McCain-Feingold, and his willingness to throw any conservative cause under the bus when it suits his persoanl agenda. This willingness being demonstrated by the gang of fourteen deal on Supreme Court nominees which diluted presidential powers, and his disdain for the laws we have concerning illegal immigration.
    C) His incendiary temperament and evident lack high moral standards, Vietnam service notwithstanding.
    In my judgement about the best two things that can be said of McCain are that he’s not Hillary Clinton and he’s not Barak Obama. David

  17. David

    Running on “I’m not as bad as the other guy” is a hell of a way to attempt to become president, isn’t it? David

  18. Lee Muller

    Clinton’s adultery was a crime because:
    * He was in office, having sexual relations with a minor employee.
    * He tried to buy here silence with a $90,000 job in the State Department.
    * He tried to buy her silence with a private sector $120,000 job in New York.
    * He coerced witnesses to change their testimony.
    * He destroyed evidence.
    * He lied to a grand jury about his relationship and the evidence.
    * His demeanor in office was unfitting, a “misdemeanor” as spelled out in the Constitution as being cause for impeachment.
    That is why Clinton was fined $90,000 in court costs and cut a plea bargain with the special prosecutor to avoid a criminal trial after leaving office, in which he paid attorneys’ fees to Paula Jones, and surrendered his license to practice law.

  19. Randy E

    Candid, Obama “chose to be black”? I guess you used a telescope from atop that ivory tower.
    My mother’s mother was Mexican-American (spoke mostly Spanish). Her father was Mexican (became a U.S. citizen). My mother is fair skinned and grew up speaking mostly English because the high schools in El Paso wouldn’t allow Spanish. Because of this, my grandparents pushed their kids to speak English.
    Because of her Mexican surname, the white kids discriminated against her. Because of her complexion and English, the Mexican kids discriminated against her. Her choice of language and the treatment she endured was not her choice.
    It’s asinine to suggest a young man who is biracial is the sole determinant of his race when others are so willing to impose influence. Candid, if you had seen Obama in person at the time he made “his choice”, it’s doubtful you would have thought “I wonder if he’s black or white?”

  20. bud

    Barr announces ’08 bid for the White House.
    -USA Today
    Go Bob Barr! This lunatic former GOP congressman deserves a medal. He will be the Albatross around McCain’s neck that just might get Obama elected.

  21. David

    Hmmm. I remember Bob Barr, but not the way you do.
    In any event, McCain won’t need Barrs’ help losing this race. Unforunately for John McCain, he’s John McCain. By this I mean that he fully intends to run his presidential campaign the same way he’s conducted his senate career:
    -Throw conservatives and their principles under the bus whenever he thinks it will endear him to the press;
    -Take a pseudo-altruistic and completely Quixotic stand against the use of any tactic involving the racism of or even the record of his opponent involving anarchy and anti-americanism, even though these issues have been put in play by that very opponent;
    -Gleefully take up liberal positions that infuriate what should be his base, in the name of…who the hell knows what? Even if and especially when these positions are unconstitutional, unlawful, slap freedom in the face or needlessly expand the scope of government.
    Nope, J. F’ing McCain doesn’t need any help from a small-time back bencher like Barr. As I said, McCains’ main problem is that he is McCain, and he can lose quite nicely on his own. We’ve nominated someone who should be a hands down loser, and would be except for the democrat crackup that has been happening. Thank you very much. David

  22. bud

    I don’t know David. The polls have McCain/Obama running neck and neck, with McCain slightly ahead in most of the battleground states. I’m afraid the dems are fully capable of losing it. Any third party candidate that siphons off a few votes from McCain could make the difference. Of course that can work the other way if a strong third party candidate emerges on the left as happened in 2000 with Nader. Presidential campaigns are full of surprises.

  23. David

    As we said before, I think the vicious brutality with which the MSM will attack McCain once the race starts is going to be a major factor, and one which hasn’t even begun to come into play as yet.
    Again, I truly think J. F’ing McCain believes he is the darling of the MSM, since he has carefully positioned himself that way and has reveled in their fawning attention for years. He really believes his own press. And this doddering, naive old fool hasn’t the intellectual ability to or political acumen to see that the press has only been friendly to him because he’s routinely spit in Bushs’ face and has been a RINO (republican in name only).
    I agree that dems could throw this away, but in McCain they have been served up a hanging curve ball that should absolutely be knocked out of the park. Under any other circumstances, a McCain loss this fall would be a foregone conclusion.
    This really is an amazing convergence of factors and circumstances that will make interesting viewing this year, even though a win by either candidate ultimately spells trouble for the country. I hate it, but we are where we are. David

  24. Brad Warthen

    bud’s right; this election should go either way.
    And he’s also right that this campaign isn’t about anyone’s past adultery, or sins of pride (and McCain is ambitious in a way that reminds me of the way Wolfe wrote about John Glenn’s ambition, a similarity I attribute to their both being career aviators who went into politics), or what have you.
    The great thing is that with Hillary Clinton almost out of it, we’re going to have the opportunity to compare two candidates I feel pretty good about. So while I know there are people who are going to want to drag this thing into the mire (there are multiple industries, from the political parties to 24/7 TV “news” channels to big-money interest groups, that depend on garbage for their existence), we actually have an OPPORTUNITY to have a straightforward campaign on issues, character and suitability for office.
    Since I’ve never before found myself in this position as an editorial page editor, I’m pretty pumped about it.

  25. Brad Warthen

    …and to give an example of what we DON’T have to talk about in such a campaign, take the back-and-forth about Monica Lewinsky above. Yes, Lee, what’s wrong is that he did something that would get ME fired from my job if I, as a lowly newspaper VP, did that with an intern at the workplace. We get that; or at least, some of us do.
    But the great thing is, it doesn’t matter whether we do or not. With Hillary almost out of it, very soon none of us will ever have to talk about the Clintons again.
    We get to move on. Isn’t that liberating, for both Democrats and Republicans? I think so.

  26. Randy E

    Straight forward? You mean when McCain references Reverend Wright because his campaign imagined Obama was calling him old (an effort to be proactive on the age issue is what many analysts conclude).
    You mean straight forward in his repeated efforts to connect Obama with Hamas?
    McCain has been wallowing in the mud (flip flops, lobbyist posse…) and David’s point is dead on. The media will gobble this up because a good story trumps their amusement with McCain.

  27. Randy E

    Randy writing (so you don’t have to wait until you get to the bottom):
    Come on Brad, one little thread on McCain’s Burma connection, or his lobbyist posse, or his Shia-Sunni moments, or his interventions on behalf of his buddies. Throw us a bone.

  28. Brad Warthen

    I write about that which interests me, Randy. You could as easily castigate me about Obama’s “bitter” remark, or his wife’s thing about not being proud of his country, or the flag lapel pin thing, or Bill Ayers. But none of those have interested me.
    Although ONE thing interest me about Ayres, tangentially. Turns out the guy lives with Bernadine Dorhn, a radical I’ve ACTUALLY HEARD OF — unlike Ayres. Apparently, she worked in the same law firm as Obama, and she and Ayres once had a fund-raiser for him at her home.
    It’s weird to me that people go on about Ayres, when a Dorhn connection would be MUCH more interesting, because she was such a media sensation back in the day…
    What interests me interests me, Randy. What doesn’t, doesn’t. And nobody’s going to buffalo me into writing about that which doesn’t. D-Brad doesn’t roll that way.

  29. Brad Warthen

    Folks, forgive me for posting this in several places, but I wanted to let you know…
    I’m having serious TypePad problems today (Monday, May 12), and they’ve prevented me from putting up ANY new posts, although I’ve tried like fun.
    When it’s fixed, I’ll be back…

  30. Kayla

    I am black. I support Barack Obama. I am unapologetic for supporting Barack Obama. I made a well-informed and thoughtful decision when I decided to lend my support to Obama’s campaign for the presidency. I am disappointed that when I voice my enthusiasm about the campaign, others automatically reduce it to race-motivated support. It is rather disheartening.

  31. Kayla

    I don’t look at white males and females who aren’t voting for Obama and assume that they aren’t voting for him because he is black. And sir (primarily Randy) believe me, in a state like South Carolina (being a native and witness to several instances to racial injustice in my young life), I would have plenty of reason to make that assumption. However, I don’t. The disdainful nature of your post towards the black vote is AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I can’t even think of a word for it. I’m so tired of hearing about the “black vote.” Good gracious! Obama’s success thus far cannot be minimized to as solely a product of “the black vote.” His campaign is the most diverse. Even if some people were initially drawn to his candidacy because he is black, at least, now they are engaged in a process where many of them have felt unwanted for a very long time.
    I witnessed it in my local campaign office. People who never realized their vote mattered became involved and began to want to know more about the political process and exactly what is going on. We really can’t win. We’re wrong if we don’t vote, and we’re wrong if we decide to get engaged and support the candidate of our choice if he happens to be the same race we are. If he wasn’t getting the black vote, the media would have had a field day. So much about this campaign is Catch 22.

  32. zzazzeefrazzee

    You may not like Wright, but what has McCain done to distance himself from the likes of Hagee’s rampant Christian Zionism to Rod Parsely and his avowed “war with Islam”?
    Wright may offend people, but I’m willing to bet that those individuals are easily offended to begin with. The others speak of apocalyptic wars with a billion people.
    Sorry, but not with MY tax dollars!!!

  33. David

    Kayla, it is an undeniable fact that somewhere above 90% of black voters have been supporting Obama in these primary races. I think that pretty clearly has something to do with identity politics, like it or not.
    It is also absolutely true that people can vote any way they want.
    Finally, it is true that when people vote in a remarkable way (ie. the way black people have for Obama), the rest of us can form opinions about it and speak our minds.
    Don’t take any of it personally, as we (certainly I don’t) mean no harm. David

  34. Randy E

    Hey Kayla,
    I think you either misinterpreted my comments or confused me with someone else. Your point about voting for Obama is the exact point I made in rebuttal to another blogger. He suggested the black vote was an automatic for Obama. My point was he didn’t get the majority of African-Americans to vote for him until he proved himself as a viable candidate.
    My other comments referenced Obama’s church, which is Afro-centric. See for yourself. My family background is Mexican and my wife’s is Puerto Rican and Colombian. I support efforts to address Hispanic causes because there’s a need. The same is true for black causes. As a teacher, I see a huge disparity in education achievement between minorities and whites. I believe this should be addressed. It doesn’t preclude an individual like yourself being an individual.

  35. Randy E

    Randy’s writing.
    Brad: flag pin versus the man one step from being president who readily confuses Shia and Sunni while wanting to “Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran” and “Keep Keep Keep us in Iraq”?
    McCain’s pastor buddy referring to you as a cult member is not “interesting”? That’s interesting.

  36. penultimo mcfarland

    “I write about that which interests me, Randy. You could as easily castigate me about Obama’s “bitter” remark, or his wife’s thing about not being proud of his country, or the flag lapel pin thing, or Bill Ayers. But none of those have interested me.”
    Could that be because you don’t want to foul the effect Obama has had on you?

  37. Lee Muller

    Obama says repeatedly, in his book and to black audiences, that he chose to be black. He changed his name to something more African. He talks of how much he resented his mother and grandmother for “raising him white”.
    His wife is even worse. Just listen to the speeches she gives about how “the bar has been moved” for black people (by you-know-who). She sells despair, that can only be fixed by electing Mr. Obama, who will get even with “them”.
    Meanwhile, she copped a $120,000 annual salary as a board member for a hospital when hubby was elected to the Illinois Senate. As soon as he got in the US Senate, with his hands on even more tax loot, her salary jumped 200%, to more than $360,000. Not bad for 12 days “work”.

  38. Candid

    Lee Muller, insightful and well stated comments in my opinion.
    Randy E, empathize with the humiliation of prejudice and the thwarting by discimination.
    Had a share in Biloxi MS 40 years ago in basic training: bars with signs, no airmen allowed: walking on the sidewalk and having cars flying by shouting curses and throwing bottles and rocks, and running to escape being beaten up.
    All because we recruits looked alike, the bald-headed uniformed airmen, to the townies who resented the competition for their females.
    And then in Japanese Okinawa, where all USA military were despised by the natives, treated like commodities to milk for dollars, all these GIs races got the second class citizen treatment.
    And later as different ethnic USA military dischargees in airports and public arenas being openly despised as warmongers and baby killers, targeted because we wore military uniforms.
    And now singled out from the American multicultural ethnic racial variety, as the ultimate evil:
    The Southern blue-eyed devil whitey, melanin deficient scourge of humanity, and male also.
    But now there are no cheeks left.

  39. zeke

    Just another example of the results of government education(indoctrination) on the populace! Also another example of minorities, in this case blacks, indoctrinated to vote for blacks regardless of the consequences! Look at Atlanta, Detroit, DC and others where black mayors and councils are elected simply because they are black. In all cases it is abject failure in those administrations! Obama offer nothing but the socialist populist agenda of us against them. Us are those that for whatever reason do not have success or wealth, and, in most cases are dependent in some way on the government dole, which is taking money from the successful taxpayers and redistributing it to us! Them are those who either have inherited wealth and means, even with the government’s death tax trying to redistribute them, or, have worked hard, become educated and made wealth on their own! This old class warfare aenda just to get elected will be the destruction of the USA that is the “light of the world”! Obama, Hillary, and others like John Edwards, Pelosi, Reid, Jesse, Al, aclu, naacp, sierra club, the brady bunch and other anti US groups offer NOTHING EXCEPT THE RUIN OF THE USA as the GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!! PERIOD!!+

  40. bud

    Zeke, thanks for pointing out how the very Anti-US Brady Bunch is ruining the USA. Maybe we can ban the re-runs before it’s too late!

  41. randy e

    Zeke compares Obama to Marion Barry, enough said.
    Speaking of wealth redistribution, where is Bush-McCain sending 13B of tax payer money every month?

  42. Lee Muller

    Obama says he will convert defense spending into foreign aid. Given his sympathy for Islamofascism, we can bet he’ll be financing Syria, Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah.
    The only people who could support a hater like Obama are others who had America.

  43. bud

    Obama says he will convert defense spending into foreign aid.
    Yet another reason to support Obama for president. Go Barack!!

  44. Brad Warthen

    Just to try to turn this in a productive direction…

    Are any of y’all familiar with the DIME concept of international relations? That Diplomacy, Intelligence (or "Information"), Military and Economic interactions are ALL essential to a healthy position with regard to other nations?

    Military leaders understand this — which is to say, they understand the importance of diplomacy and trade and such to their missions. But you’d think that none of our politicians had ever heard of it…

  45. Randy E

    As in “talking to our enemies”? I think some politicians understand this. Some don’t (“Bomb Bomb Iran” or “Obliterate Iran”). Wasn’t W spouting off about infusing China with whiffs of democracy to sway them? His rhetoric seems to match DIME but the neocons wratchet up the rhetoric which obliterates the whole DIME approach.
    Brad, aren’t you contradicting yourself by offering this but also supporting the “war” in Iraq?
    I am still waiting for you or someone to explain who exactly is our enemy in this “war.” Is it “terrorists” as in the “war on terrorist?” It seems clear to me the war ended when Hussein’s boys high-tailed it home and the campaign quickly devolved into a police action.

  46. Lee Muller

    The Democrat talking point is that terrorism was always just a “law enforcement problem”.
    The reality is they have been at war with us for decades.
    Jimmy Carter tried talking to the Islamic terrorists and the Soviets. Hekissed Brehznev and hugged Arafat.
    The Soviets correctly perceived Carter as a naive weakling and launched wars in Afghanistan, Angola and most of Africa, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.
    Anwar Sadat was murdered by Al Qaeda (the blind cleric who bombed the WTC in 1993.
    Reagan cleaned up most of Carter’s mess.

  47. bud

    The Soviets correctly perceived Carter as a naive weakling and launched wars in Afghanistan, Angola and most of Africa, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.
    My admiration for Jimmy Carter just went way up. If he was able to entice the USSR into destroying itself waging disaterous wars abroad then good for him. The only conclusion you can reach is that Jimmy Carter won the cold war. Way to go Jimmy!

  48. penultimo mcfarland

    I think McCain is the lesser of two evils, zzazzeefrazzee. Hagee’s endorsement hardly compares to Obama raising his children in Wright’s church, where the new head man recently called Tupac Shakur a prophet.
    And, bud, please, keep praising Jimmy Carter. It allows people to see you coming more easily.

  49. bud

    I guess my attempt at sarcasm fell flat. But I would maintain Jimmy Carter had as much to do with the collapse of the USSR as Reagan. All presidents from Truman on maintained the pressure. Reagan deserveds no more nor less credit than any other president. The collapse just happened to occur on his (actually Bush Sr.’s) watch.

  50. Brad Warthen

    bud got that one right. At least, I think so. Near as I can tell, Reagan gave it the last shove. But the preceding presidents had loosened the lid on the jar. (Sorry about the mixed metaphor.)
    Of course, lots of folks think it was Reagan. I only see one way in which they might be right: By spending like a crazy man, he got the Russians to say the hell with this, and toss in their cards… (dang! ANOTHER metaphor!)
    But if it hadn’t been our national policy since Truman, Reagan would have had nothing to work with.

  51. Brad Warthen

    Speaking of the lesser of two evils, any of y’all read any of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels?
    I keep asking that, and keep hoping to get lucky…

  52. Lee Muller

    Did any of you hear Obama fumbling to state a military strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq at that public forun yesterday?
    How pathetic! He knows absolutely nothing aobut the Mideast, even though he took on that Muslim name and has such sympathies for Al Qaeda and Hamas.
    It goes right with his remark about “I’ve visited 57 states… 2 more to go.”
    We can expect a lot more such moments as this campaign farce drags on.

  53. Randy E

    He knows the difference between Shia and Sunni and understood Powell’s Pottery Barn Rule – “If you break it, you own it.” He also understands 50 years in Korea or Germany is vastly different than 50 years (actually 100) in the Middle East. McCain could find someone to Google “Crusades” to understand why.

  54. Lee Muller

    It’s amazing how Obama and his followers know so much more about military strategy than combat officers like McCain and Petreaus. Yet these armchair experts begin mumbling, talking in circles, and hurling personal invective every time someone asks them what they would do.

  55. Randy E

    Ya, you would have thought McCain would have known enough history to believe we could successfully ram rod our beliefs through a puppet Iraqi government. He should stick to his area of expertise, the economy.

  56. Lee Muller

    Converting Iraq to some form of elected government overnight is a liberal idea. It is an unnecessary sideline to our first order of business: taking out Al Qaeda in Iraq and the regime which was financing and training terrorists who attacked America.


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