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Bloggingheads
03-19-2008, 08:58 PM

jaoneal
03-19-2008, 09:54 PM
Bob seems even crankier than usual. I think he's way too close to Obamania to analyze the speech in anything like an objective way. He really seemed p*ssed at Mickey for criticizing the speech--not Bob's best.

bkjazfan
03-19-2008, 10:02 PM
I didn't analyze Obama's speech line for line like Mickey did. The material about welfare, affirmative action, his grandmother, and the history of slavery didn't interest me. I wanted to see how he handled Pastor Wright. Well, he didn't do himself any favors in that department. I guess we are suppose to understand why Wright is the way he is and why Obama keeps attending the church. From what I see Wright is a bigot and I'll never understand why Obama attends such an incendiary congregation.

piscivorous
03-19-2008, 10:17 PM
I supplied no digalink as I generally just download the wmv files and listen to them in the standalone player, because of the numerous technical glitches associated with the Flash Player versions. So while I am quite aware of how to construct them by hand it is not really worth the effort. In this particular Diavlog I don't think that anyone who listened to it could have actually missed it.

bkjazfan
03-19-2008, 10:19 PM
I didn't view the entire diavlog due to technical problems. However, from what I saw Bob was cranky today.

TwinSwords
03-19-2008, 10:20 PM
Mickey is loony if he thinks that even 1% of voters are going to choose a candidate based on welfare.

uncle ebeneezer
03-19-2008, 10:22 PM
I found this hooker exchange priceless:

http://www.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=00:32:54&out=00:33:25

dankingbooks
03-19-2008, 11:07 PM
I thought Mickey'x comments on why Spitzer hired prostitutes were plausible. For a fun, fictional, unflattering look at how and why men become sex tourists, you might enjoy Naked in Haiti: A sexy morality tale about tourists, prostitutes & politicians (http://www.dankingbooks.com).

Bob M
03-19-2008, 11:44 PM
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=00:16:47

I agree Iraq and immigration are the biggest cleavages among Republican voters, but weren't Iraq, Social Security, and Katrina the biggest blunders for the voters on the median?

Bob M
03-20-2008, 12:09 AM
Maybe this has been addressed elsewhere, but what is the cost-benefit for Obama of this free publicity that he is a worshipping Christian versus the association with the seemingly extreme views of his pastor?

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 12:21 AM
I'm glad that Bob brought up a point that has been unremarked upon in the MSM. The whole message and point of Obama's speech was to explain to white America that the sentiment that was shown in the Jeremiah Wright videos happens all the time in black churches and within the black community and is really not something to be alarmed about. And then he (Obama) went on to explain why many black Americans feel that way, and tried to show a parallel in the white community. I really don't see how the speech was in any way offensive. I don't understand Mickey's reaction at all. From a political perspective maybe, but I found it to be an incredibly well-written speech that was honest and pulled no punches in a very complex subject. Mickey thinks that everyone is as upset about welfare as he is, and everyone hates unions, and everyone is scared of a Mexican takeover. Unfortunately, his thumb is noticeably removed from the pulse of most Americans. Those are issues for SOME, but not on such an obsessive level as he sees them.

Looking forward to hearing Louwry/McWhorter discuss the speech.

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 12:41 AM
... The whole message and point of Obama's speech was to explain to white America that the sentiment that was shown in the Jeremiah Wright videos happens all the time in black churches and within the black community and is really not something to be alarmed about. ...

So Senator Obama's jobs was to tell white Americans that Blacks promoting bigotry and hatred in the church pews is quite acceptable and then convince us that we shouldn't be alarmed by this or the effect that it has on the next generation of Blacks.

Yea makes sense to me!

graz
03-20-2008, 01:11 AM
Bob seems even crankier than usual. I think he's way too close to Obamania to analyze the speech in anything like an objective way. He really seemed p*ssed at Mickey for criticizing the speech--not Bob's best.

I see it as the opposite, Bob's illness allowed him to temper - as in set aside - his usual patience for Mickey's contradictory and as Bob points out, self-serving so-called contrarian take.
Mickey states: Only he, unlike all MSM elites thought the speech a disaster. And then Bob calls him disingenuous for claiming to despair for Obama's missed chance to win over certain white voters. Bob suggests that Mickey's Clinton support makes his claim hypocritical. Mickey twistedly replies that if only the speech had worked... Obama could win Pennsylvania decisively and save the Democratic party. Which Mickey so obviously loves. Right.
And Mickey also claims that everyone - and this must be a different everyone than those that loved the speech - is offended by the presumption of Obama speaking about white resentment, well at least at the "The Corner" (NRO) - he thinks (obviously, don't quote him), and also is taken aback by Bob's cranky pursuit of holding him accountable.

I still love the pairing but, Mickey is continually exasperating. You know, just like that crazy Uncle... I mean Grandmother that has racist sentiments, that you still love. Alright, maybe I will throw him under the bus. Not.

osmium
03-20-2008, 01:16 AM
I completely took the grandmother line a different way. I thought it was to tell white people it's ok if young black guys passing you on the street at night make you nervous. It doesn't mean you're racist, and anyone would have to denounce you if your real thoughts were known. Because even a woman with a black grandson thinks that.

It never occurred to me he was calling his grandmother a racist. ??? Really? "Throwing grandmother under the bus"? That has to be a willfully ignorant reading. Do that many people really take that away from it?

graz
03-20-2008, 01:26 AM
I completely took the grandmother line a different way. I thought it was to tell white people it's ok if young black guys passing you on the street at night make you nervous. It doesn't mean you're racist, and anyone would have to denounce you if your real thoughts were known. Because even a woman with a black grandson thinks that.

It never occurred to me he was calling his grandmother a racist. ??? Really? "throwing grandmother under the bus"? That has to be a willfully ignorant reading. Do that many people really take that away from it?

Yes, Obama was calling His Grandmother a racist, or at least acknowledging that she expressed, held, maintained and or was guilty of what many could construe as racism.
But, telling that story(truth) is not akin to throwing Her under the bus.

I do not think anyone other than a "spinner" can make the case. My Grandparents were the same, I had always felt comfortable calling them on it, or expressing it to others about them. Sadly, they took that sentiment with them to the grave.

graz
03-20-2008, 01:34 AM
I supplied no digalink as I generally just download the wmv files and listen to them in the standalone player, because of the numerous technical glitches associated with the Flash Player versions. So while I am quite aware of how to construct them by hand it is not really worth the effort. In this particular Diavlog I don't think that anyone who listened to it could have actually missed it.

Since Bob and Mickey singled you out for not Dingalinking, I offer a second complaint that reiterates that the flash-player sucks!, I have not been able to view an episodes for weeks, without downloading it as WMV or mp3. So, Until "they" fix the bug(s), they should lay off the fish.

osmium
03-20-2008, 01:36 AM
this one made me really happy.

http://www.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=00:39:08&out=00:39:42

heh. i feel ya, mickey.

beve83
03-20-2008, 01:45 AM
I'm sorry, Mickey Kaus, but just because a young black man is following you does not mean you are going to get mugged!!!

geeeze!

My cousins, brothers, friends, classmates are "young black men" who occasionally walk home late at night, and I assure you they would not mug you, you have my word.. So I'm sorry its not a "duh" moment. It's a racist moment to AUTOMATICALLY equate being followed by a young black man is = dangerous. That is the textbook example of racism, being pre-judged by the color of your skin, and I'm surprised that even white liberals who I'm sure took ethnic studies, and perhaps the odd Af-Am / Chincano Studies course, would even suggest such a thing.

This "great race debate" is over before it even began with such fundamental disagreements.

osmium
03-20-2008, 01:54 AM
Yes, Obama was calling His Grandmother a racist, or at least acknowledging that she expressed, held, maintained and or was guilty of what many could construe as racism.

yeah, i'm down with the "many could construe" part. but i took his point to be that neither his grandmother nor wright is a "racist," even though a moment might make it seem that way.

i'm reading into it, but i think the word "racist" implies a consistency. a racist is a racist at all times. and "my grandmother" implies a good person, therefore they can't equate.

horseshit or not, you decide........

scotchex
03-20-2008, 01:55 AM
Wow, Bob seemed beyond cranky ... much harsher words come to mind. He came pretty close to calling Mickey a racist. Geez.

I thought the speech made Obama's situation worse. He didn't explain why he stayed in a racist, anti-American church for 20 years. Instead he defended his racist pastor, lectured white people and took a couple cheap shots at his elderly grandmother who raised him.

It was a mean and classless speech ... and it didn't address the issue. Either Obama actually is a closet racist, anti-American -- or just pretended to be one to get elected in south-side Chicago. Neither reflects well on the man's character or decency.

beve83
03-20-2008, 02:00 AM
http://www.brainwaveweb.com/diavlogs/9562?in=00:04:02

Oh and I forgot to add, that this is why Black people (i.e. Wright) are mad: because statements like Kaus' continue to equate us with criminal behavior.

Dang, can't I just walk home at night without you thinking I might rob you???? You don't even know where I'm coming from. Most of the young black men I know would actually HELP YOU if you got robbed.

I'm sorry if my year round tan = run for cover, that's how I came out the womb. Nothing I can do about it other than apply skin bleach and that didn't work out to well for Michael Jackson.

Ok I'm done.

beve83
03-20-2008, 02:02 AM
http://www.brainwaveweb.com/diavlogs/9562?in=00:04:37

Robert = correct
Kaus = woefully wrong.

beve83
03-20-2008, 02:12 AM
Ok, I'm back.

I just can't stay away from this. First, upon further viewing, I must commend Robert Wright for saying what I was angrily (yes angrily) saying at my laptop. Its so annoying and sometimes, hurtful to hear statements along the lines of "yes Obama did a great speech on racial divisions, but too bad he missed pandering to the holy grail of voters: white under-educated males" I guess it was......."a disaster"??? Really??

Its like, EVEN in a debate on race, it doesn't matter if Black people are being included or even are the subject----you gotta make sure the white guys understand and are not offended! Please! Don't alienate white working class men from the upper mid-west! Anything but that!

I guess, we're all equal, but some are much more equal than others.

beve83
03-20-2008, 02:25 AM
I like how Kaus keeps saying "actively alienate whites"

Let me ask you all something, have white people ever been alienated by the American government?

graz
03-20-2008, 02:27 AM
yeah, i'm down with the "many could construe" part. but i took his point to be that neither his grandmother nor wright is a "racist," even though a moment might make it seem that way.

i'm reading into it, but i think the word "racist" implies a consistency. a racist is a racist at all times. and "my grandmother" implies a good person, therefore they can't equate.

horseshit or not, you decide........

I take your point, but I guess I was personalizing it as well. My Grandparents were good peeps, but it became obvious to me over time that they were "racists" in the sense that they expressed similar things that Obama attributed to his Loving Grandmother. Obama did not offer any details that might suggest that those sentiments or expression were a one-off or exception.
Not trying to split hairs, but who amongst us doesn't harbor prejudice that if scrutinized might qualify as "consistent." And if that prejudice is race related, it wouldn't be a stretch to impute "racism."

graz
03-20-2008, 02:32 AM
I like how Kaus keeps saying "actively alienate whites"

Let me ask you all something, have white people ever been alienated by the American government?

It is irritating how The"mickey" poses as a spokesman for all the alienated whites. Chutzpah and conceit come to mind, but not to excuse or rationalize...thats Mickey. He blusters, overstates and sometimes offers speculation that is not fully supported by facts. Nice work if you can get it.

whwood75
03-20-2008, 02:42 AM
Mickey is correct to say that Obama did not make personal political gain the primary goal of his recent speech on race. Sometime Bloggingheads contributor Andrew Sullivan got closer to the essence of Obama's message when he wrote as follows:

Alas, I cannot give a more considered response right now as I have to get on the road. But I do want to say that this searing, nuanced, gut-wrenching, loyal, and deeply, deeply Christian speech is the most honest speech on race in America in my adult lifetime. It is a speech we have all been waiting for for a generation. Its ability to embrace both the legitimate fears and resentments of whites and the understandable anger and dashed hopes of many blacks was, in my view, unique in recent American history.

And it was a reflection of faith - deep, hopeful, transcending faith in the promises of the Gospels. And it was about America - its unique promise, its historic purpose, and our duty to take up the burden to perfect this union - today, in our time, in our way.

I have never felt more convinced that this man's candidacy - not this man, his candidacy - and what he can bring us to achieve - is an historic opportunity. This was a testing; and he did not merely pass it by uttering safe bromides. He addressed the intimate, painful love he has for an imperfect and sometimes embittered man. And how that love enables him to see that man's faults and pain as well as his promise. This is what my faith is about. It is what the Gospels are about. This is a candidate who does not merely speak as a Christian. He acts like a Christian.

Bill Clinton once said that everything bad in America can be rectified by what is good in America. He was right - and Obama takes that to a new level. And does it with the deepest darkest wound in this country's history.

I love this country. I don't remember loving it or hoping more from it than today.

(from http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/03/the-speech.html )

graz
03-20-2008, 03:00 AM
Yes. Sullivan takes the high road in his assesment. So many other Bloggers, pundits and Mickey offer knee-jerk political interpretations if not outright spin. Thats OK. But it would be nice if context were applied with the conjecture.
The speech, the candidate and the man do matter.
I have been reading Sullivan again lately. I am ashamed to say that I lost interest sometime ago when he seemed to focus predominantly on torture. Torture, I get it - bad. I simply lost my sense of compassion and overload set in. And this highlights the problem of complacency we now have to contend with. Five years in Iraq and the reportage is at an all time low. McCain is allowed to equate Al Qaeda with Iran without much fall-out. Bush gets to conflate War (in Iraq) with Terrorism? 9/11. So it goes.

Wonderment
03-20-2008, 03:05 AM
Wow, Bob seemed beyond cranky ... much harsher words come to mind. He came pretty close to calling Mickey a racist. Geez.

Geez and Geezus! Not Mickey! Not the guy who has made a sleazy career of being a political gossip columnist monomaniacally devoted to bashing Mexican immigrant families?

I thought the speech made Obama's situation worse. He didn't explain why he stayed in a racist, anti-American church for 20 years.

The church is neither racist nor anti-American, and Rev. Wright is an inspiring leader. The only thing he's guilty of, as far as I can tell, is one crazy statement about AIDS.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 03:13 AM
Mickey:

I have some reason to believe (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=59:17&out=59:28) that you might not come across this, but in the audacity of hope, here goes.

I wouldn't have thought it possible for you to sink any lower with your usual concern trolling and incoherent thinking than you did during the first half of this diavlog, but you have convinced me: no matter how deep in the hole you get, you'll ignore ten ladders and keep looking for the shovel.

Your tone throughout the discussion of the Obama speech pained me. Here are some specific gripes.

o I don't know how you can start by saying (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=02:02&out=02:13) that Obama should take "a strong position, however crazy, and stick with it," and then repeatedly (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=08:10&out=08:25) insist (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=15:50&out=15:55) shortly thereafter that he needs to run more like a Clinton. What, he should simultaneously be firm in his principles and resolve, and also say things that he doesn't believe in, pander shamelessly, and shift like the wind based on whatever is dominating this day's news cycle?

o I don't know why you endlessly (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=19:50&out=20:00) babble (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=21:16&out=21:27) about a black person's "victim mentality" when that is the dominant mindset of all white people who obsess about welfare and affirmative action.

o I'm not sure whether you count it as an upgrade that you have moved from relying on The National Enquirer to trusting everything you read on NewsMax (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=23:10&out=23:17). Didn't you used to be a journalist? Don't you remember anything about the integrity of sources? And I'm not sure if you truly believe that The Corner (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=12:10&out=12:25) is in any way representative of what "everybody" is saying; this howler is either myopic to the Magoo level or downright dishonest.

o I wish you taken away a little something more from a thirty-seven minute speech than one line about his grandmother and the fact that Obama refused to go Sistah Souljah on Jeremiah Wright. The way you zoomed in on these two points made me wonder whether you're looking to fill one of those empty (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/business/media/10cnd-tucker.html) slots (http://tvdecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/americas-election-hq-replaces-big-story-on-fox-news/) I've heard about.

Okay, so the speech didn't do it for you. No problem. There's no pleasing everybody, and I'm glad Obama didn't try. Given your ever-shifting litany of complaints, he definitely had no hope with you. I myself thought the speech was moving, intelligent, and amazing in its honesty, but I won't spend half an hour trying to convert you to my way of thinking. I wish you had made the same decision.

There comes a point where you have to say, "Okay, I know the only thing I know how to do is to adopt the kneejerk contrarian pose to everything that comes across my radar," and just admit that you have nothing useful to say about some subjects. (To your credit, you later acknowledged (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=44:33&out=44:38) this.) What black people worry about, how they should think, and how a black candidate should address them may well be numbers 1, 2, and 3 on this list.

I'm sorry that I do not believe your protestations that you're just looking to save the Democrats from themselves. Instead, I believe you're being disingenuous, and are bent on keeping inane anti-Obama memes alive. At this point, hearing about how only Ann Coulter can save us from the evil immigrants who help John Edwards cover up his extramarital affairs with diseased-carrying members of the teachers' unions would seem like a breath of fresh air.

P.S. Although I might have said "out" instead, there is at least one point on which we agree (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=00:57&out=01:00).

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 03:22 AM
beve83:

All of your comments have been spot-on, and

Its so annoying and sometimes, hurtful to hear statements along the lines of "yes Obama did a great speech on racial divisions, but too bad he missed pandering to the holy grail of voters: white under-educated males" I guess it was......."a disaster"??? Really??

that was especially well said.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 03:28 AM
So Senator Obama's jobs was to tell white Americans that Blacks promoting bigotry and hatred in the church pews is quite acceptable and then convince us that we shouldn't be alarmed by this or the effect that it has on the next generation of Blacks.

Yea makes sense to me!

Pisc:

If that's all you're able to hear, then there won't be any changing your mind. That is not at all what Obama said. You should listen to the speech. Don't just skim the transcript looking for pull quotes that support your preconceived notions. Have the decency and respect to listen to the whole thing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWe7wTVbLUU).

graz
03-20-2008, 03:30 AM
Brendan:

As we know, when Bob offered you a shout-out, Mickey stated He doesn't know you or read the forum. Therefore, he will not have the chance to stick his head between his "moose-tail" and offer a constructive reply.
So maybe you offered it rhetorically anyway. Either way, right-on. Upon viewing the diavlog, I considered it an entertaining distraction. Upon reflection, your distillation captures my subsequent yucky feelings. Hopefully Bob will increase his attacks and shame Mickey into repentance.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 03:37 AM
osmium:

"Throwing grandmother under the bus"? That has to be a willfully ignorant reading. Do that many people really take that away from it?

That's the talking point the Obama detractors have agreed upon. Never underestimate the focusing power of narrow-mindedness.

I would say, sadly, yes, many do take it that way. Sample the wingnut web sites (or better, see sites like alicublog and Sadly, No! for choice specimens).

However, many more do not. I, like you and graz, heard Obama talking about how none of us is free from fault, that all of us harbor some poisonous thoughts, and that he was comparing his grandmother to his preacher to make the point that just because people aren't perfect, it is precisely the case that you do not "throw them under the bus."

Man, I'm so sick of that expression.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 03:44 AM
graz:

Thanks.

Yes, I am aware that there is little hope of Mickey seeing my note to him. (I did note this in the first sentence.) Maybe Bob will call it to his attention. Or not. I don't pretend to have hope of getting Mickey to change his attitudes.

I wanted to express my irritation, and hoped that doing so would make people think of Mickey as a little less of a lovable buffoon and a little more of a counterproductive blowhard. I just found it helpful in organizing my thoughts to address him personally.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 03:51 AM
whwood75:

I'm with graz -- nice find on the Sully post, and thanks for sharing it.

There are quite a few others out there who have expressed equal admiration, if perhaps not all as eloquently. The speech never had a hope of pleasing everybody, much less people who went into it with their minds made up, people who couldn't be bothered to listen to the whole thing, and people who are looking for any outlet they can find to give vent to their racist leanings. I think the speech gave his supporters a shot in the arm, helped sway some of the fence sitters, and as for the rest, we'll just have to hope that time wounds all heels.

a Duoist
03-20-2008, 06:35 AM
The emotion between the two men over Senator Obama's speech illustrates just how disastrous this speech was: it will be masticated by our body politic for the next five months, and will generate just as much emotion in August as it does now--not exactly the goal of the speech.

But come November, Reverend Wright and Senator Obama's speech will be an extremely effective 'talking point' for Republicans--again, not exactly the goal of the speech. For a bright man, what a disastrous speech.

BlueberrySky
03-20-2008, 07:03 AM
Obama's point was much more nuanced and sophisticated than simply exposing his grandmother as a racist. Our P.C. culture of the last 30 or so years, while necessary, has essentially created a very stark definition of what it means to be tolerant in public settings. The reality, however, is that there are a hell of a lot of people who harbor some prejudices, but are not actually hateful people. The public discussion on race has traditionally centered around ostracizing people who "cross the line". Obama is asking us to stop equating all statements of prejudice with Adolph Hitler and the KKK, because some of these sentiments, while unhealthy and destructive are more complex and merited than simple blind rage. Just like his red and blue state argument, he is attempting to tear down an unhealthy dichotomy. In this case its the concept of tolerance and intolerance.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 07:34 AM
The emotion between the two men over Senator Obama's speech illustrates just how disastrous this speech was: it will be masticated by our body politic for the next five months, and will generate just as much emotion in August as it does now--not exactly the goal of the speech.

That's one prediction. Here's another.

The furor will last for the rest of this week, max, by which point, the only people still chirping about Pastor Wright will be Fox News, the rest of the Right Wing Noise Machine, and a bunch of lames who never were going to vote for a black man in the first place. Those few out-of-context clips of Wright are already getting stale, and there isn't going to be any more fresh meat coming from that direction. The Wright pendulum is already starting to swing in the other direction. (Here (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/20/opinion/20kristof.html)'s a nice example.) The MSM has mostly called it already, labeling the speech anywhere from a good save and a boost to Obama's base, to a net gain for the candidate and the country. They're already looking for the next shiny object to hold up in front of the cameras.

Also, we'll see a dissipation of the hurt feelings coming from all those white people who were so shocked to find out that, yes, we still do have a race problem here in the US and not a few black and brown folk are still kinda pissed off about it, and some of them (better sit down for this one) are even so uppity that they presume the right to give voice to their anger. (Imagine that!)

Some of these white people, I grant, will not be able to move past this, and will vote accordingly. So be it. Most, I suspect, will go back to considering the more substantive issues. Some might even be the better for this whole experience.

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 07:36 AM
Pisc:

If that's all you're able to hear, then there won't be any changing your mind. That is not at all what Obama said. You should listen to the speech. Don't just skim the transcript looking for pull quotes that support your preconceived notions. Have the decency and respect to listen to the whole thing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWe7wTVbLUU). Actually I didn't read it in the speech I read it in the comment I'm glad that Bob brought up a point that has been unremarked upon in the MSM. The whole message and point of Obama's speech was to explain to white America that the sentiment that was shown in the Jeremiah Wright videos happens all the time in black churches and within the black community and is really not something to be alarmed about. And then he (Obama) went on to explain why many black Americans feel that way, and tried to show a parallel in the white community. I really don't see how the speech was in any way offensive. I don't understand Mickey's reaction at all. From a political perspective maybe, but I found it to be an incredibly well-written speech that was honest and pulled no punches in a very complex subject. Mickey thinks that everyone is as upset about welfare as he is, and everyone hates unions, and everyone is scared of a Mexican takeover. Unfortunately, his thumb is noticeably removed from the pulse of most Americans. Those are issues for SOME, but not on such an obsessive level as he sees them.

Looking forward to hearing Louwry/McWhorter discuss the speech. as uncle ebeneezer's opinion of what Senator Obama need to accomplish in the speech. And yes I do happen to believe that the perpetuation of and the exhortation to anger and hate, by the leading authority figure of any community organization, is a problem for both the adult members of that organization and particularly troublesome in it's ability to influence and distort the attitudes and development of the children that are repeatedly subjected to this style of rhetoric in the presence of adults that not only don't object but in fact applaud it.

I almost never listen to political speeches anymore as I find that reading them, not skimming them as must be your practice as it is your want to attribute this to me, allows me to pay attention to what the politician actually says instead of being caught up by the emotional appeal and rapture of the moment and the delivery.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 07:49 AM
Pisc:

And yes I do happen to believe that the perpetuation of and the exhortation to anger and hate, by the leading authority figure of any community organization, is a problem for both the adult members of that organization and particularly troublesome in it's ability to influence and distort the attitudes and development of the children that are repeatedly subjected to this style of rhetoric in the presence of adults that not only don't object but in fact applaud it.

Well said. I trust, then, that you would be in favor of the media spending the next two weeks doing nothing but playing clips from John McCain's hate-speaking televangelist friends?

I almost never listen to political speeches anymore as I find that reading them ... allows me to pay attention to what the politician actually says instead of being caught up by the emotional appeal and rapture of the moment and the delivery.

Your choice, but I think you miss out on a lot of information that way. The transcript doesn't give tone, emphasis, or body language. I can understand if you feel, from seven years of listening to the Current Occupant, "No great loss." But the thing is, a speech is intended to be heard or watched, and is written with that intention in mind. A speech is not a position paper, and a good speaker deserves to be heard at full bandwidth.

Besides, what's so bad about getting caught up in a little emotion? Do you also read sheet music instead of going to concerts and screenplays instead of going to the theater?

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 08:12 AM
Pisc:
Well said. I trust, then, that you would be in favor of the media spending the next two weeks doing nothing but playing clips from John McCain's hate-speaking televangelist friends? I have no problem with the media focusing on and excoriating the hateful remarks of the extremist on the religious right if it is their desire to do so. I find their remarks just as reprehensible as those of the Rev Wright's. There is a difference between joining them on stage to peruse the votes of a political faction, and votes are a necessary evil in the pursuit of an election victory, than a long association with that faction and calling the bigoted and hateful preacher your "spiritual guide and mentor." I have trouble conflating the two as being equivalent. Pisc:
Your choice, but I think you miss out on a lot of information that way. The transcript doesn't give tone, emphasis, or body language. I can understand if you feel, from seven years of listening to the Current Occupant, "No great loss." But the thing is, a speech is intended to be heard or watched, and is written with that intention in mind. A speech is not a position paper, and a good speaker deserves to be heard at full bandwidth.

Besides, what's so bad about getting caught up in a little emotion? Do you also read sheet music instead of going to concerts and screenplays instead of going to the theater? I have no particular problem with emotional entanglements where they are appropriate but choosing a leader is not an area where I find emotional commitment particularly beneficial; in fact history has demonstrated time and again that picking leaders based on emotional appeal is often quite detrimental.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 08:20 AM
I supplied no digalink as I generally just download the wmv files and listen to them in the standalone player, because of the numerous technical glitches associated with the Flash Player versions. So while I am quite aware of how to construct them by hand it is not really worth the effort. In this particular Diavlog I don't think that anyone who listened to it could have actually missed it.

You're right about the video probs, although except for the chronic cut-offs right before the end of the diavlogs, I'm not seeing very many streaming problems lately.

More importantly, you're also right about Will's statement itself. In fact, I found it so jarring that I remembered about where he said it. So, here is your dingalink (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9486?in=00:53:30&out=00:53:53).

Text version: http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9486?in=00:53:30&out=00:53:53

In the future, though, Pisc, it might be helpful to give an approximate timestamp; e.g., "I found Will's statement (at about 53 minutes in) offensive." It's always courteous to supply ready references, and it also strengthens your point.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 08:40 AM
pisc:

There is a difference between joining them on stage to peruse the votes of a political faction, and votes are a necessary evil in the pursuit of an election victory, than a long association with that faction and calling the bigoted and hateful preacher your "spiritual guide and mentor." I have trouble conflating the two as being equivalent.

I do, too, although for the opposite reason. To me, Obama made a solid case that while his pastor may be an imperfect being who has said some things that Obama does not agree with, he also finds him to be otherwise worthy and deserving of continued attention and friendship. On the other hand, if what you offer is really to be McCain's defense (so far, it's not), he is in my estimation worse. Not only is he giving credence to hate speech, he's doing so for personal gain. While you may dislike Obama's choice of associates, at least he's being upfront about it. McCain is being either hypocritical or downright dishonest. So much for the Straight Talk Express.

Besides, even if you and I stipulate that, okay, McCain's just being a politician, I find it hard to believe that he couldn't have found other, less objectionable, religious leaders, if he really felt like he needed this kind of endorsement. It's not like this country has any shortage of them, after all.

I have no particular problem with emotional entanglements where they are appropriate but choosing a leader is not an area where I find emotional commitment particularly beneficial; in fact history has demonstrated time and again that picking leaders based on emotional appeal is often quite detrimental.

That's not untrue (although there's a difference between getting moved by an emotional moment and being entangled), but it's not really what I was talking about. I'm not asking you to cast your vote based on one speech. I asked you to listen to it because what you've said about this particular issue suggests to me that you haven't really heard Obama's side of the story.

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 08:55 AM
pisc:...
That's not untrue (although there's a difference between getting moved by an emotional moment and being entangled), but it's not really what I was talking about. I'm not asking you to cast your vote based on one speech. I asked you to listen to it because what you've said about this particular issue suggests to me that you haven't really heard Obama's side of the story. Well let us just compare senator Obama's story about his grandmother. In the speech he said a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. yet in his book (88-91 of Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance) he relates the story, assuming they are the same incident, Her lips pursed with irritation. 'He was very aggressive, Barry. Very aggressive. I gave him a dollar and he kept asking. If the bus hadn't come, I think he might have hit me over the head. So it appears that in this incident this particular black man didn't just pass by eliciting her fearful reaction but aggressively confronted her with his panhandling.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 09:08 AM
pisc:

I have no idea what point you're trying to make by comparing lines about Obama's grandmother from two different stories/sources. And anyway, what does this have to do with what we were talking about? (I remind you: Pastor Wright and your concern that Obama's association with him might make Obama unfit to be president.)

However, I do have a firmer idea that since you're still obsessing over this one line, you appear to have ignored 99% of the substance of the speech. In particular, you evidently missed why Obama brought up his grandmother to begin with. I heard him using her as an example -- a parallel to Wright -- of his contention that people can be flawed but that doesn't mean you abandon them, especially if they have lots of other good qualities. But you need not take it from me. Listen for yourself.

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 09:24 AM
pisc:

I have no idea what point you're trying to make by comparing lines about Obama's grandmother from two different stories/sources. And anyway, what does this have to do with what we were talking about? (I remind you: Pastor Wright and your concern that Obama's association with him might make Obama unfit to be president.)

However, I do have a firmer idea that since you're still obsessing over this one line, you appear to have ignored 99% of the substance of the speech. In particular, you evidently missed why Obama brought up his grandmother to begin with. I heard him using her as an example -- a parallel to Wright -- of his contention that people can be flawed but that doesn't mean you abandon them, especially if they have lots of other good qualities. But you need not take it from me. Listen for yourself. Actually it is the first time I have made mention of this particular part of Senator Obama's speech. While it is possible that he is relating two separate incidents, I think the probability of that unlikely, and the Senator's casual evolution of the event from aggressive confrontational encounter with a panhandler to a more benign 'passing by" somewhat disingenuous.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 09:39 AM
Actually it is the first time I have made mention of this particular part of Senator Obama's speech.

Sorry for confusing you with all the other Obama detractors who seem to be talking about nothing but this one line. I still don't see what it has to do with what we were discussing.

bkjazfan
03-20-2008, 09:57 AM
If you think Wright is a whack job check out Pastor James Manning of atlan.org Harlem, New York, his polar opposite who makes Obama's spiritual advisor look like a choir boy.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 10:01 AM
If you think Wright is a whack job check out Pastor James Manning of atlan.org Harlem, New York, his polar opposite who makes Obama's spiritual advisor look like a choir boy.

I don't think Wright is a whack job.

Who is this Manning? Is he connected with any of the candidates? Or is he just some random wingnut preacher whom Obama must denounce because he's happens to be black? Or reject? Or renounce?

P.S. Bad URL. I think you meant atlah.org (http://atlah.org/). atlan.org (http://atlan.org/) points to some entirely other realm of strangeness.

osmium
03-20-2008, 10:02 AM
Oh and I forgot to add, that this is why Black people (i.e. Wright) are mad: because statements like Kaus' continue to equate us with criminal behavior.

when i first read this, i took "Wright" as bob, robert wright, and you have to admit, that's pretty funny, right? :)

deebee
03-20-2008, 10:03 AM
Because Obama had to know that the Wright controversy would eventually surface in full force, I would have hoped that his speech was already in the can. Although I believe that the Grandma comment was meant to personalize his experiences, I can’t imagine why this toxic reference wasn’t caught during the vetting process – particularly since ol’ Grandma is still among us. He probably could have gotten away with a “some of my own family members” instead. If the speech was actually thrown together at the last moment, it is both a major triumph and illustration of a political tin ear and seat-of-the-pants hubris.

In the unlikely event that Obama intended to sacrifice his grandma on the altar of political expediency, it wouldn’t be the first time since he did fire Samantha Power and summarily distanced himself from advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, when he was perceived to be anti-Israeli. Of course, cutting his ties with the Pastor would have alienated his base and was untenable, although he did disinvite him from participating in other events.

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 10:05 AM
Saw that one a couple of days ago. Did you notice that not one of the individuals in the background seemed to be smiling or actually enjoying themselves and the experience. If anything the anger on their faces is almost palatable. I only made it about a quarter of the way through and had to click it off.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 10:11 AM
deebee:

I don't know why you call Obama's reference to his grandmother "toxic." I didn't hear it that way at all. It seemed to me that he was merely offering her as an example of another person with flaws whom he has no plans to reject.

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 10:29 AM
Sorry for confusing you with all the other Obama detractors who seem to be talking about nothing but this one line. I still don't see what it has to do with what we were discussing. I agree that the pejorative comments about Senator Obama's "throwing his grandmother under the bus" are obnoxious; but my point was not that he incorporated her into the speech but that he modified the story to fit the circumstances. This is a common attribute of the politicians, as it always has been and probably will. But to sell yourself as different, from all the other politicians, and yet at the first sign of some heat the Senator reverts to the same standard bag of tricks and belies one of the fundamental selling points that the Senator has based his campaign on.

It is these nuances that a speech based on emotional appeal, especially one delivered by an excellent orator as the Senator is, tend to be overlooked or if seen ignored and one of the primary reasons that I no longer listen to political speeches and prefer reading the texts. It removes much, but far from all, of the emotional baggage through which the words will be filtered and the context of their meaning.

osmium
03-20-2008, 10:36 AM
I'm sorry, Mickey Kaus, but just because a young black man is following you does not mean you are going to get mugged!!!

geeeze!

My cousins, brothers, friends, classmates are "young black men" who occasionally walk home late at night, and I assure you they would not mug you, you have my word.. So I'm sorry its not a "duh" moment. It's a racist moment to AUTOMATICALLY equate being followed by a young black man is = dangerous. That is the textbook example of racism, being pre-judged by the color of your skin, and I'm surprised that even white liberals who I'm sure took ethnic studies, and perhaps the odd Af-Am / Chincano Studies course, would even suggest such a thing.

i hear you beve83, and i'm with you. but i think part of the process is telling white people that in our society (which i think we all agree needs fixing), just because you've had the occasional "racist" thought, it doesn't make you a racist.

i don't know if that's what mickey is getting at, but i do think that's what barak obama is getting at.

i suspect the percentage of white americans who have been unintentionally afraid because an 18 year old black man passed them at midnight is high. the part of that white audience obama needs to reach is the (large?) fraction that then felt ashamed of themselves for being afraid.

one critique seems to be that obama alienated those people by accusing his grandmother of racism. but i think that's the lesson taken away by a white "victim" who's not going to vote for him no matter what. the potential obama voter heard him say that it's ok, because even his grandmother could slip up.

when obama pointed fingers, it was to non-persons like corporations and lobbyists and the culture or whathaveyou. i don't think it was at a single individual. that's key. no one can be made to feel personally and privately bad. that's always a mistake.

Kausophile
03-20-2008, 11:00 AM
I was looking forward to this vlog -- and yes, I must watch in wmp, because Flash is fakachte-- but I made the mistake of reading these nasty and silly comments beforehand. Forget it, it's ruined. Today's comments wonderfully confirm Senator Obama's thesis about habitual divisions impeding intellectual progress, though. So, thanks a million.

Curtis
03-20-2008, 12:22 PM
What I want to hear from people like Mickey Kaus and the other "critics" of Obama's preacher and Obama's association with a preacher that says harsh and some off the wall things is the same level of vehemence and focus on those crazy nutball right wing preachers that the Republican Party has embraced, that George Bush and John McCain have praised and embraced and whose support they have actively sought. The kind of things that these America hating preachers have said are no less inflammatory than anything Rev. Wright has said. The double standard here is flagrant and outrageous. Of course I'm not holding my breath for Mickey to develop some intellectual honesty and not just go on and on with his contrarian schtick.

PaulL
03-20-2008, 12:30 PM
bjkeefe,
Those few out-of-context clips of Wright are already getting stale
Your talking point is not longer operative. Obama tried the Rev. Wright's comments were cherry picked and were creating Caricature of the man excuse and it failed.
What is the correct context for "God Damn America"?

I predict that the Rev. Wright videos have damaged Obama and when this become apparent, his supporters will scream "swift boating" and that it was a Rovian plot.

BTW, where is the article of Jena 6 that corrects all the errors in coverage and provides the last word?
Since you dismissed the Christian Science monitor article (http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1024/p09s01-coop.html) as hearsay (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,17157,17533#msg-17533).

graz
03-20-2008, 12:31 PM
I was looking forward to this vlog -- and yes, I must watch in wmp, because Flash is fakachte-- but I made the mistake of reading these nasty and silly comments beforehand. Forget it, it's ruined. Today's comments wonderfully confirm Senator Obama's thesis about habitual divisions impeding intellectual progress, though. So, thanks a million.

Well maybe, but I didn't find the comments nasty or silly. In fact, they seem quite reflective of the current debate as to who and why to support for the POTUS.
Your name suggests some form of Mickey worship. Would you care to defend his performance or ideas in the speech critique portion of the diavlog? I challenge in the spirit of overcoming habitual divisions that might foster, not impede intellectual progress.

Joel_Cairo
03-20-2008, 12:38 PM
o I don't know why you endlessly (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=19:50&out=20:00) babble (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=21:16&out=21:27) about a black person's "victim mentality" when that is the dominant mindset of all white people who obsess about welfare and affirmative action.


+50,000,000.

threep
03-20-2008, 12:49 PM
I second that. This was deathly, and I think the Bob and Mickey pairing should be scrapped. I am utterly serious, and I've been a fan probably longer than most people--back in that first fall when they were like 20 minutes long and they didn't know what they were doing. I think the fault is mostly Bob's in this particular instance, but the relationship has apparently soured to the point where it's untenable. Some people just shouldn't be talking to each other, and it definitely shouldn't be broadcast. There's a crucial ability to say "I may disagree with this person, and to the extent I do listening respectfully and calmly replying will only, from my perspective, give them more rope to hang themselves" that is missing both from Bob and from many/most commenters here when it comes to Mickey.

If the Bob/bjkeefe/wonderment axis thinks Mickey is no longer worthwhile in anyway, then amputation is necessary before the gangrene spreads. Let Mickey do diavlogs with someone else, and let the people who hate him not care.

I don't want to try to effect the high-road posture too much, so for the record: harshly criticizing Mickey for his John Edwards shenanigans is probably the most legitimate form of anti-Mickeyism. But the anger at his arguments here is largely disingenuous. All Mickey is doing, from what I can see, is making the argument that Obama's speech was probably a tactical disaster. What he is being blamed for, it seems, is not just the errors in his judgments on that subject, but for the fact that tactical maneuvering would matter, the fact that political commenters speak from their own perspective, the fact that Obama's speech was given in the context of a political campaign, the fact that human beings are sometimes subtly prejudiced, the fact that human beings are sometimes overtly prejudiced, the fact that right-wingers exist, the fact that political dualism exists which forces one side to find some reason--any reason--to hate the other side... etc. etc.

All I'm saying is that it seems to me that there's nothing in his actual points that merit this kind of anger and annoyance instead of simple disagreement, as people frequently disagree on any number of things (remember). It's not about what he was saying, it's about the emotional reaction to Mickey himself which then gets rationalized (psych 101, anyone?).

If you "go with it" on the subject of Mickey Kaus, there's a certain logic to it all... he's placed himself in a particular, weird position in the political spectrum/galaxy that I don't have the time or sleep to essay forth on. But Ann Coulter, immigration, Edwards scandal... it all starts to make sense. Many liberals, of course, view him (understandably) as a traitor and furthermore just see absolutely nothing in the position he occupies that is worthwhile or even tolerable.

I guess the overarching point is that there is a phenomenon of severe Mickey-aversion that exists independent of the various reasons that keep being given for it, and for some reason the reaction is to slap on the war paint and get angry rather than do the healthy thing--keep giving him rope or politely leave. It would be a shame to waste much more time or more importantly damage the civility of this environment because of this hang-up. Time to part ways, agree to disagree, or whatever.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 12:50 PM
Kausophile:

Sorry if we "ruined" things for you, but man, talk about playing the victim card. Who chose to read the comments first? You. Who let what other people had to say act as an obstacle to viewing the primary source and making a decision for one's self? You.

Maturity may be defined as accepting the consequences of your own decisions.

threep
03-20-2008, 12:54 PM
Cheap. The difference is bringing up "black peoples' victim mentality" is a factor in "what do we do about social problems/what extent can the state play in them?" Whereas "it's the dominant aspect of white people who..." is just a factor in "right-wingers are assholes."

bkjazfan
03-20-2008, 01:00 PM
Are there videos out there with McCain's Baptist minister making hateful and bigoted comments? If there are let me know. What made this particularly galling is that Obama had a close relationship with Wright. Oh, I heard that Oprah Winfrey chose to leave this congregation due to the incendiary pastor.

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 01:04 PM
How many of us here have/had older relatives from different generations who harbored less highly evolved views of other races? I did. My grandfather was one of the most intelligent and nicest people I have ever known but if you asked him about what was ruining the North side of Pittsburgh he would suddenly start hollering about the god-damned lazy n-words. It was quite confusing to me as a child and as I grew older and began to see the world from my own viewpoint, it really bothered me. My one aunt (his daughter) would call him on it much in the way that Sally Struthers would bicker with Archie Bunker. In fact, because of the popularity of Archie Bunker, the arguments often took on a slightly humorous tone with everyone ending in laughter (sometimes it wasn't so jovial) because in the end, we were all family and Grandpa was the patriarchal figure of much importance in our Western familial structure. I'm sure Bob could explain why EvPsy would help explain why children choose to "honor thy father" from a genetic standpoint in addition to the obvious cultural religious one.

Did I ever stand up to my grandfather. Hell no. I was 12 freakin' years old and thought he was a wonderfull man except for the one sad flaw. By the time I was in college and he was quickly being eaten away by cancer, did I refuse to visit him in the hospital unless he denounced his former racist statements. Of course not. The guy was my blood and loved me and did an awful lot so that I could have a better life. Though a complete atheist by this time I had picked up the Christian notion of the importance of forgiveness and that nobody's perfect. Would I pass along his racist views, no. But I learned that there's a time and a place for a particular battle and while he was withering away in pain, it wasn't the time to fuss over his short-comings.

I don't know what the personal relationship of Obama was too Pastor Wright, but I just wanted to raise the point that standing up to Wright may not have been as easy for Obama to do because the issue of social relations with a pastor and family friend is not as "black & white" as the pundits are trying to make this. As BOB Wright pointed out, there is every possibility that these rantings were a small porportion of Wrights sermons (I haven't seen evidence otherwise yet) and that Obama didn't always attend Wright's services. That would certainly change the whole "he sat there and listened to this stuff for 20 years" narrative that Pat Buchannan and the GOP keep spouting. Obama may not have taken the initiative to go into a battle with his pastor for several and complex reasons, but his speech yesterday just made it quite clear that he is calling all Americans to engage in discussion over the racial divide. He is asking for us to speak across the aisle and try to consider the points of view from their perspective. Obviously he has done so much himself, whether or not you agree with his assesment of "white rage." People like Mickey who are only looking at it from a political perspective or scouring the text for soundbites, or lamenting the lack of focus on his pet-issues (immigration, welfare, John edwards sex life etc.) are sad because they are truly missing the opportunity to be a part of an historical discussion. In fact they don't even realize that one is happening. I wonder how Mickey and the negative pundits would have written off MLK and Lincoln and Kennedy while focussing on the trees of politics and completely missing the forrest that made their speeches national treasures so many years later. It's just sad. The guy makes a trailblazing speech on a very important and under-discussed topic, with just about as little mention of political party or his opponents as I have ever heard, and the response is all focussed on politics. Sad.

One of the biggest problems I have with this whole discussion is the prevalence of branding this as a "racist and anti-American" church. I hang out with black guys who grew up in Compton and I can tell you that they share much of the anger and disappointment with the way America has treated them. At the same time many of them served in the millitary, are cops and take active roles in bettering their communities. They LOVE America. The whole point that I thought Obama was trying to make was that although the AIDS and 9/11 BS is definitely crackpot, the sentiment of frustration within the black community is very real and shouldn't be just brushed under the rug. That rage is not anti-America, it is PART OF America. And voicing that rage is about as "American" as apple pie in my opinion. We are a nation built on the idea of free expression. I just can't understand why everytime a black person mentions their experience and their rage, white Americans immediately get so defensive and have to give the knee-jerk "affirmitave action, my family never owned slaves" reactions as if they are personally under attack. Without even acknowledging, absorbing or (god forbid) discussing the initial point that was brought up by the black American. That hyper-defensive stance is one of the biggest obstacles that prevents any real progress, and as Obama tried to point out BOTH sides do it.

Anyways, good diavlog. I loved Bob's referrence to the Bible prophesies too. And his point of the INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS BUT OFT IGNORED fact that "God Damn" is a very prominent term in the English language nowadays and doesn't have the same religious context that it once had (see Pinker's "The Stuff of Thought") even when mouthed in an actual church. Simply put: saying "God damn America" doesn't mean "I wish God would damn America" and anyone who argues otherwise better be ready to swear on a stack of bibles that when/if they ever said "goddamnit" or "god damn you" that they actually meant that they wished God would damn the piece of paper that just gave them a papercut or their buddy who they were arguing with about a rival sports team.

One of my all-time favorite rock bands Living Colour (Cult of Personality) made up of four African-American men, had a great song on their first album "Vivid" back in 1986 called "Which Way to America." The lyrics of this song still resonate with many of the black Americans that I know. Most of them feel that in 20 years very little has changed. If you've never heard it, listen to it sometime, aside from the lyrics the guitar totally rocks:

Which Way to America?

I look at the T.V.
Your America's doing well
I look out the window
My America's catching hell

I just want to know which way do I go to get to your America?
I just want to know which way do I go to get to your America?

I change the channel
Your America's doing fine
I read the headlines
My America's doing time

I just want to know which way do I go to get to your America?
I just want to know which way do I go to get to your America?

Go west young, go west young man

Don't want to crossover
But how do I keep from going under?

Where is my picket fence?
My long, tall glass of lemonade?
Where is my VCR, my stereo, my T.V. show?
Where is my picket fence?
My long, tall glass of lemonade?
Where is my VCR, my stereo, my T.V. show?

I look at the T.V.
I don't see your America
I look out the window
I don't see your America

I want to know how to get to your America
I want to know how to get to your America

graz
03-20-2008, 01:12 PM
threep: "Bob and Mickey should be scrapped"

You make a quite healthy and sensible suggestion, if drastic.
Sure many of the comments default to a low common denominator and veer from debate and exhibit alignment with either the pro or con Mickey camp. That is also the beauty of it. Mickey has an uncanny ability to stir up these deep seated, but not uninformed thoughts and feelings. He clearly puts himself in the position of asking us to ask him to defend his positions. Bob, particularly today, pointed out his contradictions and challenged his opinions that are projected by him as facts(imo). Upon review they seem no more than innuendo and in support of his fact-challenged blog and reigning "big issues" (immigration, welfare). He somehow manages to peddle himself as authoritative while offering empty analysis. You still might be right as in Bob Wright deserves a more serious minded challenger. I am not claiming that they are unequal - that would be politically incorrect. What they are apparently is friends.

Bloggin' Noggin
03-20-2008, 01:26 PM
He didn't go on and on obsessively about it, so naturally Mickey missed it. But if he'd been paying close attention, he might have noticed this concession to the Kausacks:

A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one's family, contributed to the erosion of black families - a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened.

I hope I'm not spoiling the diavlog for anyone if I say that Mickey's sense that Obama was "lecturing" him is IMHO largely a matter of Mickey hearing a very conciliatory speech through the filter of one of the chips on his shoulder. Mickey wanted to hear abject groveling from Obama on the latest tempest in the media teapot. Obama tries to use that tempest to comment on something more serious, at the same time trying to put the tempest back into its teapot perspective, and Mickey doesn't like it -- partly because he likes living in the teapot and doesn't like it when someone points out it is just a teacup, and partly because he tends to have a chip on his shoulder when it comes to minorities.

Mickey might learn something from reading Mike Huckabee's comments (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/03/yglesias-awar-1.html)on the Wright sermon-snippets:
"[Y]ou can't hold the candidate responsible for everything that people around him may say or do. It's interesting to me that there are some people on the left who are having to be very uncomfortable with what ... Wright said, when they all were all over a Jerry Falwell, or anyone on the right who said things that they found very awkward and uncomfortable, years ago. Many times those were statements lifted out of the context of a larger sermon. Sermons, after all, are rarely written word for word by pastors like Rev. Wright, who are delivering them extemporaneously, and caught up in the emotion of the moment. There are things that sometimes get said, that if you put them on paper and looked at them in print, you'd say 'Well, I didn't mean to say it quite like that...

As easy as it is for those of us who are white to look back and say 'That's a terrible statement!' ... I grew up in a very segregated South. And I think that you have to cut some slack — and I'm gonna be probably the only conservative in America who's gonna say something like this, but I'm just tellin' you — we've gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names..." - Mike Huckabee.

graz
03-20-2008, 01:35 PM
uncle ebeneezer:

Thanks for the family anecdote which illustrates the spirit and tenor of Obama's Speech. As sure as I am that you are a kind-hearted, intelligent and sensitive being, must I label all those who read his speech as a provocation or failure as somehow deficient? My instincts tell me yes. And I look for rationales - like disingenuousness or partisanship. In trying to put myself in their shoes or accept their logic I find that they don't fit.
But, it seems that the point of this whole process should lead any forum participant to ask: Would I cast a vote for that candidate (namely Obama)?
And if they answer no, then it is that much harder to ask that person to sympathize with the clarion call that the speech demands.
And yes, Vernon Reid rocks.

Alworth
03-20-2008, 01:39 PM
I have no idea what working-class whites will do in Pennsylvania, but listening to this diavlog, wherein Mickey boldly described how HE knew, was maddening. Let me stipulate at the top that I enjoy listening to Mickey precisely because his worldview is so uniquely filtered through Kausmind. It's fascinating to listen to how easily he projects Kausmind outward and imagines it is the collective unconscious. It is not.

I grew up working-class in a white, uneducated military family in Idaho. We were not so riven by prejudice and ignorance that we couldn't understand complex themes. It may be that Obama unwittingly offended whites with his speech, but I suspect that it's more likely that his careful, courageous speech drew them in to actually hear what he had to say.

Mickey's entire relationship to the speech was how it played as politicalspeak--and he predictably parroted the words of conservative thinkers (the elites he regularly disparages). But his confidence that white, working-class voters could see beyond the speech as a purely political document is misplaced.

seancrapola
03-20-2008, 01:47 PM
There's a reason Obama wins the black vote, the well-educated (i.e. affluent, privileged, protected) white vote, but loses the working-class whites who live in mixed communities. For most of these whites, black crime is THE major issue. When you are physically fearful of an entire segment of the population--and whites who live in these mixed communities are for good reason--it is difficult to think of blacks in the same terms as some NY Times columnist or Harvard Law critical-race theorist--that is, strictly as victims of white racism and that this is an all-purpose explanation for all misbehavior. Of course, there will be very little sympathy for whites who feel this. I heard Bill Maher yesterday on TV pretty much called them too stupid to get it. Jesse Jackson and Chris Rock have made the same observation: it's not the media that gives black males a bad name: it's black males. And we resent being called racist when we try to make the point. Bottom line: if you're lost and find yourself on MLK Blvd...ruuuunnnnnn!

graz
03-20-2008, 01:48 PM
Shout-out to:

Bloggin' Noggin for Kausacks.

Alworth for Kausmind.

seancrapola
03-20-2008, 01:57 PM
There are large segments of the working-class white community that as we speak have very little idea what the Obama-Wright "race" scandal is about. They will learn, however, in the general election when the 527's start running commercials during Reba and American Idol; and note that this is an audience that doesn't read blogs, watch network or cable news, or read the newspapers. They will be shocked. It's really a moot point. Obama's a sure loser.

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 02:03 PM
Wow Bloggin', you never cease to amaze me. You actually found a HUCKABEE quote that I totally agree with. That man's gonna get my vo....oh wait...(silently reading his policies), never mind.

Just to lighten things up a bit:
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/black_guy_asks_nation_for_change

And did I write this?:
http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion/i_love_my_country_8211_aw_who

Cheers-- UE

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 02:14 PM
Thanks Graz. I'm no expert. I have found that my own persepctive on racial relations is tangled, and filled with contradictions, uncertainty, irrational emotion, over-simplification etc. and I would wager that I'm not the only one who feels that way. Obama stepped up and suggested that there is a complex hornet's nest in all of us on this issue, so when we get into interaction with each other then it gets even more thorny. And that is why this policy of turning a deaf ear whenever someone from the other side raises a particular point may feel emotionally appropriate and rationally "consistent", but it doesn't help matters. The racial outlook of the people in Pastor Wright's church are just as varied and complex as your own. Until we start to acknowledge that we are stuck in a Mexican standoff based more on emotional caricatures of our opponents than what they are actually saying. To me this is an important point that many people appear to be missing, or afraid of.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 02:17 PM
PaulL:

Those few out-of-context clips of Wright are already getting stale
Your talking point is not longer operative.

Ye gods and little fishes, who invited Ron Ziegler to this party?

You seem to have a different sense of linear time than I do, Ron, I mean, Paul. That is ...

Obama tried the Rev. Wright's comments were cherry picked and were creating Caricature of the man excuse and it failed.

... I mostly agree with that as an analysis of the political situation prior to the speech Obama gave on the 18th. I think, however, that the speech was successful in addressing the issue to the satisfaction of many, particularly in giving context to the clips. And to clarify what I meant by looming staleness, I doubt we're going to see any new video clips of Wright that have the same power to shock, and the more the old ones get recycled, the more of a yawner they'll be.

Of course, not everyone was convinced by the speech, and I'll even concede that Obama may have lost a few supporters permanently because of this nonsense. However, I suspect the overwhelming majority of the people still carping about this are those that weren't going to vote for him in the first place. I also suspect that the longer that you detractors attempt to keep this meme alive, the sillier you'll appear. Saying "God Damn America" two weeks from now is going to yield the same results as saying "Barack Hussein Obama is a seeeekrit Mozlimm!" -- eager panting and gibbering by the two-digit IQ set, and eye-rolling among the rest of us.

And, of course, I could be wrong about that. But it remains to be seen, which means that the operational status of my "talking point" cannot, as yet, be determined. Mr. Ziegler.

What is the correct context for "God Damn America"?

I dunno. Anger? I haven't seen the video of the whole sermon, so I'd just be guessing, but I could imagine Wright itemizing a list of what's wrong with this country, and then finishing up thus. Look, no one loves the ideals of the United States more than I do, and no one feels Wright's sentiment more than I do, either. I'll spare you my list of the top thousand things that need serious attention unless I hear a request, and I'll leave it at the thought that no matter how long my list is, I expect that Wright's is longer, and legitimately so.

The bumper sticker version of the mindset is: If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention. That's one of the only bumper stickers I've ever considered placing on my car. I'm sorry if it offends you to hear harsh words. I am twice as offended by a vapid attitude of "my country right or wrong" and a mindless prohibition against criticism or the expression of grievances.

I also thought Bob gave a pretty good Biblical context/reference in the diavlog -- something about God damning the nation that mistreats its citizens or something like that. If you want some religious context, I mean.

Personally, I'm an atheist, so I'm less inclined to be offended by someone saying "God Damn America" than I would be if someone said "America smells of elderberries." If the phrase strikes you as a serious imprecation, then maybe you'd prefer to weigh it against other preachers, stalwart white Republicans all, who have blamed 9/11 and Katrina on homosexuality and called for the assassination of duly elected leaders of other nations.

I predict that the Rev. Wright videos have damaged Obama and when this become apparent, his supporters will scream "swift boating" and that it was a Rovian plot.

For one thing, I think whatever damage there is has already been done. For another, I have yet to hear Obama supporters retreat to either of those charges, and I doubt I ever will. Unlike the peddling of a series of outright lies regarding John Kerry, no one is denying what Wright said. The questions are whether his remarks were as offensive as all that and whether one thinks Obama should not be elected president because of his association. I don't expect unanimity to emerge any time soon, but I think this'll blow over for most reasonable people. To be sure, not for everybody, but as I said above, it's not like those who keep droning on about Wright were ever going to vote for Obama anyway.

BTW, where is the article of Jena 6 that corrects all the errors in coverage and provides the last word?
Since you dismissed the Christian Science monitor article as hearsay.

And speaking of people who get stuck on something and just can't let it go ... The only question is: did you bookmark that comment of mine or search for it? No, there's another question: What does it have to do with Wright and Obama?

You cannot possibly be serious, either in caring to continue to debate that issue with me, or in thinking that bringing it up now lends any credence to the rest of your argument. I was going to accuse you of trying a kitchen sink tactic, but the age makes me wonder whether indoor plumbing might be too newfangled. Cripes, what's next? Want to stand in for my little sister and revisit the dispute about who ordered the orange slushy and who ordered the green one and whose fault it was that Mom got so pissed off that she never took us to Walter's again?

Anyuser
03-20-2008, 02:25 PM
Looks like maybe Mickey was right: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5j4bjBBOuH3zr4Ioa-bzHoDWa81JA.

I’m a big fan of Obama, and I thought his speech showed him to be subtler and more philosophical than Clinton or McCain could ever be. Having said that, here’s what I think is the elephant in the room: he may look like one, but Obama ain’t no mostly-white Episcopalian. Before considering the substance of Wright’s remarks, and regardless of the efficacy of Obama’s efforts to denounce Wright’s most provocative statements, the first thing a lot of bourgeois whites think when they see videos of Wright is: wow, those people are really, really black.

Shelby Steele (a black guy) had quite a good op-ed on this topic Tuesday morning before Obama’s speech: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120579535818243439.html?mod=opinion_main_comment aries. Quote:

Thus, nothing could be more dangerous to Mr. Obama's political aspirations than the revelation that he, the son of a white woman, sat Sunday after Sunday -- for 20 years -- in an Afrocentric, black nationalist church in which his own mother, not to mention other whites, could never feel comfortable. His pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is a challenger who goes far past Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in his anti-American outrage ("God damn America").

How does one "transcend" race in this church? The fact is that Barack Obama has fellow-traveled with a hate-filled, anti-American black nationalism all his adult life, failing to stand and challenge an ideology that would have no place for his own mother. And what portent of presidential judgment is it to have exposed his two daughters for their entire lives to what is, at the very least, a subtext of anti-white vitriol?

bkjazfan
03-20-2008, 02:31 PM
Once Obama became a state senator and started representing "we the people" he should have left that church. Now, he is operating from a defensive position and is having as tough time getting traction, notwithstanding the well written, delivered speech. Only time will tell how much it will hurt him.

Remember Mitt Romney he also had problems with his religion. Polling consistently verified that being a Mormon was a drag on his numbers. So, it's not surprising that belonging to a church that peddles hate could effect Obamas run for the presidency. Keep in mind that the reporter Brian Ross said that on every tape his network bought from Wright's church contained inflammatory comments made by the pastor. Oh, to applause and cheers, too.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 02:35 PM
pisc:

I agree that the pejorative comments about Senator Obama's "throwing his grandmother under the bus" are obnoxious; but my point was not that he incorporated her into the speech but that he modified the story to fit the circumstances.

Okay, I see your connection among grandma-bus-Wright-speech now. Thanks for making the effort to reiterate.

I haven't read the book, so I can't say for sure, but it seems entirely plausible to me that if it was the same story, then he used different pieces of it to illustrate different points. That would not strike me as anything dishonest, since (a) no story is ever told down to its last detail and (b) the overall theme seems pretty much the same: grandma scared by black man, grandma says something hurtful to grandson.

If you're going to say that that no, the difference is way more than that, and then lump that in with "the same standard bag of tricks" belonging to all politicians and then say that, therefore Obama is no different from the rest of them, then I would say you either have unrealistically high standards for human beings (never mind politicians) or you have too coarse a grid on your discernment filter.

However, I won't deny that you have an equal right to evaluate candidates however you see fit. I just don't happen to agree with it.

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 02:38 PM
How does one "transcend" race in this church?

Um...by thinking for himself and coming to a point of view that might not agree wholeheartedly with those of his church. And then putting his own beliefs into his actions to make the country better. By saying that he doesn't feel his children shouldn't get preferential treatment based on their race. By repeatedly resisting the suggestion by pundits to run as the "black" candidate. By being very hesitant to level charges of "racism" at his opponents even when they are skating pretty close to the line of outright racist implications.

And then by making a really breath-taking speech that shows a much broader and open-minded outlook than that conveyed by the church he attends. In other words by not letting his church define his beliefs. That's how one "trancends" race. By encouraging a dialogue about it so that we can move beyond it. In fact if someone wanted proof that Obama truly believes we can transcend race and that he has tried to do it himself, I would point to this speech as Exhibit A.

riehle
03-20-2008, 02:41 PM
Congratulations to Mickey. Unlike all other journalists, he at least bothered to look at the church's website. Every other talking head and print opinionater in the United States watched the handful of clips and went from there to pass judgment on Reverend Wright's entire career and work. Even the clips are criticized by "journalists" who universally passed up the chance to order up the entire sermon to see what the context of a fraction of a minute's oratory in a 45 minute sermon. Neither have I -- but I bet anyone that, for example, when Wright talks about slaves hoping for freedom from a society run by rich white people, he is talking about Romans and Egyptians and the Jews in the Bible, and perhaps making an analogy to the life his church members are living today ...in that context, I can live with Wright saying "God damn America" in the sense that believers cheer when God damns the Egyptians and destroys all of the Pharaoh's chariots and charioteers, as a rhetorical flashy moment to help drive home a Bible lesson in a way that his church members might find relevant.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 02:45 PM
uncle eb:

Great essay. And I loved the first Onion link in your later post, too.

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 02:51 PM
I think you underestimate the intelligence of the uneducated white class, but I agree that there is a lot of truth to your argument. Which makes me wonder:

Bill Cosby can urge the black community to grab it's boot straps and affect a positive cultural change. Andy many applaud him for good reason. So, if the stereotype of the Reba/Nascar crowd being singularly interested in only what the 527 ads tell them, then when will it become acceptable for a white democrat to call on white uneducated Americans to take a greater interest in the issues, read a couple blogs, dig a little deeper into the issues, for the sake of America? The unfortunate truth is that so long as the populace are easy prey for deceitful political ads, they will continue to be one of the biggest factors in our elections. This is not a good thing for democracy.

Many mid-westerners/Southerners get perturbed at the stereotype of the mindless rube as they perceive it from the liberal elites and the media, and that's understandable. But what I don't understand is why the more well-informed white people in those areas aren't actively urging their neighbors to stop reinforcing the stereotype by becoming less amenable to "politics as usual." Just curious to all of your thoughts on this.

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 03:00 PM
I'll repeat what I said in another thread because I think it's important.

Even if the whole pastor Wright mess shows a lapse in Obama's judgement, to me Hillary and McCain's judgement on Iraq is far more relevant to the presidency. Going to a church I don't like or failing to distance himself from a religious quack, seems a pretty trivial measure of judgement compared to cheerleading/authorizing the Iraq fiasco. I wonder which issue the nearly 4,000 families of dead soldiers feel is more important.

bkjazfan
03-20-2008, 03:32 PM
Mickey's take on the crackdown on illegals contributing to the housing meltdown was a reach. Living in Los Angeles I wasn't aware of any accelerated enforcement of immigratrion laws. In fact, it's seems like it's business as usual here: minimal enforcement. Also, he gave no empirical data to buttress his point of view.

thouartgob
03-20-2008, 03:33 PM
In case you weren't paying attention to his extravagantly solipsistic comments you should know that this is Mickey's universe and we just live in it.

I have to hand it to Mickey. He gets paid to read blogs, write down whatever obsessive thoughts waft into his skull and as an added bonus the research he does on the many pressing events of our time is done by merely walking around the block to get a cup of coffee.

I am green with envy !!

He was a pioneer blogger though so the fact he has monetized it is not too surprising.

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 03:39 PM
pisc:...
If you're going to say that that no, the difference is way more than that, and then lump that in with "the same standard bag of tricks" belonging to all politicians and then say that, therefore Obama is no different from the rest of them, then I would say you either have unrealistically high standards for human beings (never mind politicians) or you have too coarse a grid on your discernment filter...


Were this the only example of his claiming to be a different kind of politician while at the same time playing the same old standard political games I would agree the I might "...you have too coarse a grid on your discernment filter.." but unfortunately it is not nor is it even the best example in the actual speech itself; just further confirmation that the claim of the Senator's to be a different kind of politician might ring less than true. I have commented on a couple of others in previous diavlogs so I wont go into them again but as they come along I will continue to point out the dichotomy between the Senator's actions and that of his words.

scotchex
03-20-2008, 03:43 PM
Interesting echo chamber going on here. Obama had an opportunity to explain why he chose to be a member of a racist, anti-American organization and failed miserably. Truth is, there is no reasonable explanation. The least bad is that Obama thought it would help him get elected in south-side Chicago.

Obama should be forced to resign from his Senate seat. He's simply not a morally decent man. He speech waffled between anger, self-pity, and shameless accusation.

Most importantly, he stood up and publicly defended his racist church and antisemitic pastor. He also admitted he had been lying directly to the American public in his previous denials of ever hearing that racist bile.

Obama's true character has been revealed, and it's an ugly, repugnant soul that we see.

graz
03-20-2008, 03:51 PM
Interesting echo chamber going on here. Obama had an opportunity to explain why he chose to be a member of a racist, anti-American organization and failed miserably. Truth is, there is no reasonable explanation. The least bad is that Obama thought it would help him get elected in south-side Chicago.

Obama should be forced to resign from his Senate seat. He's simply not a morally decent man. He speech waffled between anger, self-pity, and shameless accusation.

Most importantly, he stood up and publicly defended his racist church and antisemitic pastor. He also admitted he had been lying directly to the American public in his previous denials of ever hearing that racist bile.

Obama's true character has been revealed, and it's an ugly, repugnant soul that we see.

"Lighten up Francis"

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 03:53 PM
threep:

If the Bob/bjkeefe/wonderment axis thinks Mickey is no longer worthwhile in anyway, then amputation is necessary before the gangrene spreads. Let Mickey do diavlogs with someone else, and let the people who hate him not care.

I won't speak for the whole axis (we still have yet to settle on a secret handshake) but let me respond for my part in it. Well, I do want to say one thing, sort of on Bob's behalf: as far as I can tell, he does not think Mickey is not worthwhile. Does he get a little heated, a little frustrated, a little disparaging? Sure. None of us is perfect, and friends tend to be better at pushing each other's buttons than strangers.

Okay, now just from me.

First, your essay was well-argued and your emotion well-taken. I'm sorry if the level of venom in my comments put you off, but I stand by the belief that the specific criticisms I made were legitimate (though arguable, I grant). I regret that I'm not clever enough to say everything I wanted to say in the form of satire. Since I'm not, I had to say it straight. I don't think it was out of hand for me to let my tone go a little harsh, since Mickey spent his half of the half hour speaking in a tone that I found more offensive. You shoulda seen the first draft, is what I mean to say.

Second, I don't think Mickey is worthless. I enjoy the bulk of his conversations with Bob, and when he's not doing his best to submarine the latest Democrat in his crosshairs, I often find he has useful things to say. At the very least, his endless instinct to be contrary does make me think. I would not like to see the Bob and Mickey pairing dissolve.

Third, I do not view Mickey as a traitor. I would say that he seems to have become more conservative with age, based mostly on what Bob brings up from the past, but that's no big whoop. It's a common enough occurrence for people's political stances to change over time, in all directions. I have no problem with evolving beliefs. The thing that bothers me when he gets on a political jag is that he comes off as dishonest. He constantly insists he's a Democrat and has liberal cred, but he almost never says anything bad about Republicans or conservatives. Further, most everything he says about Democrats is an attack, and it's usually not at all credible criticism. Frequently, it's indistinguishable from garden variety concern trolling.

Compare, for example, Paul Krugman's jihad against Obama over health care a month or two ago. The man must have written a hundred blog posts and who knows how many columns, arguing that Obama's plan was inferior to Clinton's. Though I didn't like to hear one hero shredding another, I thought Krugman was being completely legit and sincere. Mickey, on the other hand, spends the same amount of time rehashing and repeating "issues" and "stories" that all too often seem based on nothing more than chatter in the wingnutosphere. I mean, come on. The National Enquirer? NewsMax? The Corner? It's beyond belief that he thinks what what those sources have to say merits repeating, so I am forced to conclude that he's got some other reason. Maybe he just wants to generate buzz, maybe he wants to be part of the Right Wing Noise Machine. It doesn't matter. It's dishonest. Basically, I wish he'd either stop acting like it hurts his feelings when Bob calls him on the inconsistency of his self-identification, or find more substantive issues to pick at.

I guess the overarching point is that there is a phenomenon of severe Mickey-aversion that exists independent of the various reasons that keep being given for it, and for some reason the reaction is to slap on the war paint and get angry rather than do the healthy thing--keep giving him rope or politely leave. It would be a shame to waste much more time or more importantly damage the civility of this environment because of this hang-up. Time to part ways, agree to disagree, or whatever.

Sorry, I just don't agree with any of this. Sounds like you're mostly talking about/to Bob here, but for whatever piece is directed at me, here's my rebuttal.

As I said, I think my reaction to this particular diavlog was based on sound reasoning, and I think my tone was within the bounds.

As to why I don't just ignore him, I'll repeat myself again: I don't think he's of no use, so it's worth the gamble of time to watch him. As to why I put so much effort into reacting to him when he strikes a nerve: it's not just him. I'm tired of the sort of talk he, and so many other people like him, issue on certain matters, and I've decided that if they're going to repeat incessantly whatever they're on about this week, I'm going to be disputing it right back at them. As for Mickey personally, I do like a lot about him, and I give him extra respect for being one of the founding fathers of one of my favorite web sites. When I care as much in that sense, I just can't keep quiet when something upsets me.

Maybe there's a simpler solution: How about you skip the comment threads when Mickey's on? Wouldn't that pretty much solve everything?

I don't mean to be facetious, but it seems to me that the Bob and Mickey show always provokes the liveliest threads. Maybe this is Mickey's real plan -- to deliver bait that produced by people who really believe what they're spewing, so that we Kaus-agonistes get a chance to rouse ourselves from our slumbers. Maybe he's the drill sergeant for the lazy lefties. Or not. But whatever the case, I enjoy the high spirited threads that he provokes.

Sorry it's not to your taste.

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 03:54 PM
To paraphrase the Senator himself "words just words but words have meaning." and his actions to counter this, if any, were less than effective. Talk is cheap it is actions that have costs. Apparently the costs of confronting his minister and congregation were to high even for this issue that he feels such grave concern about. How does his previous inaction qualify him as the politician that I should want to follow down his vision of the path to healing, or any other path for that matter.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 03:57 PM
Pisc:

Fair enough. I will state that I don't think he's entirely different from other politicians, but I do think there's a big difference. Therefore, I hope you will not be too petty in picking out examples of perceived dichotomy between his image and his actions.

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 04:00 PM
Interesting response to my post considering you didn't respond in any way to what this post said IE- Iraq, more important than church.

I'll gladly consider any things that Obama has done in his years of community organizing or the Senate that show a pattern of anti-Americanism or racism. You know things he's actually DONE not things that have been said in his church. Feel free to list as many examples as you can find. Until then, you're quibble is still essentially that he goes to a church that you don't like.

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
03-20-2008, 04:03 PM
"Lighten up Francis"

Hilarious. :)

My mind was swimming trying to figure out if there could be any proper response to such a bizarre unhinged detached from reality rant like that one and then graz pops up with the completely appropriate response.

http://abunooralirlandee.wordpress.com

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 04:05 PM
I hope myself that I can avoid pettiness but that is a word open to the problem of beauty being in the eyes of the beholder and no I don't hold you responsible for the Senator claiming to be this new type of politician when in fact he looks to be pretty much a typical Chicago democratic machine politician; albeit a very smart one with great oratorical skills in front of a teleprompter.

thouartgob
03-20-2008, 04:06 PM
To anybody thinking that Obama intended audience was Reagan Democrats in Pennsylvania I have news for you, 'snot. Same for Mickey 'snot you sorry. One of the main audiences were super delegates. It was aimed at showing them how presidential he is, how he deals with adversity, how he can do these things WITHOUT throwing the Democratic Party under the bus the way Hillary did by elevating McCain at the expense of the party's chances in the general election. As such it was most likely a home run with a RBI thrown in as well. Besides he has a few Fast Feiler Weeks to woo Joe 12-pack.

As has been remarked in nearly every comment it was a nuanced speech that was effective AND authentic. Something that Clinton can never in a million years accomplish. I agree with a previous commenter that this Wright thing was going to crest sooner or later and that the speech was mostly written by the time of South Carolina or Super Tuesday when things looked good for Obama. Obama can't eviscerate his relationship with Wright anymore than he can strip the white/black part of his DNA. It is baked into the mix that he and many other black politicians and some white politicians will be tied to African American churches with colorful pasts. If Bob Wright was right about Rev. Wrights youtube extravaganzas being downplayed over time then Obama can win.

The best thing that can happen is if EVERY black preacher had his / her performances broadcast all over the place giving people a much more accurate picture of life of black parishioners. The Wright Stuff will seem normative by comparison.

As for scotchexs of the world complaining about obama being a closet rascist yada yada, you forgot to mention that he is also a closet muslim, muslim manchurian candidate and the anti-christ. Psst. just in case you hadn't heard his middle name is Hussein.

The kitchen sink was thrown at him by the Clintons, a 10 million pound shit-hammer is waiting for him in the general. many thanks to my spiritual guide who helped me get in touch with my inner Hunter Thompson with the shithammer line, so evocative.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 04:08 PM
scotchex:

Interesting echo chamber going on here.

Is it beyond your comprehension to imagine that some people agree on something, and were unable to arrive at such conclusions independently?

Or is it that you can't take the groundswell of enthusiasm rallying behind a candidate who represents something different from what we have now?

Or do you just resort to name-calling when you have to admit that your side's latest little exhibition of foot-stamping didn't quite work out as planned?

Obama should be forced to resign from his Senate seat. He's simply not a morally decent man.

Well, I'll give you this. You're now the new King of Ludicrous and Unsupported Assertions. I just hope DenvilleSteve doesn't get mad at you.

Alworth
03-20-2008, 04:12 PM
In case I wasn't clear, mostly I don't mind exploring Kausmind. Particularly the immigration portions, which are psychadelic and amusing.

bjkeefe
03-20-2008, 04:13 PM
pisc:

I hope myself that I can avoid pettiness but that is a word open to the problem of beauty being in the eyes of the beholder ...

Yeah. That same thought occurred to me as soon as I clicked "Submit."

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
03-20-2008, 04:14 PM
I hope myself that I can avoid pettiness but that is a word open to the problem of beauty being in the eyes of the beholder and no I don't hold you responsible for the Senator claiming to be this new type of politician when in fact he looks to be pretty much a typical Chicago democratic machine politician; albeit a very smart one with great oratorical skills in front of a teleprompter.

piscivorous,

I am pretty disappointed in this comment. I guess "Chicago democratic machine" is just used her as an absolutely contentless epithet because there is (or at least was, one can argue about whether there is a new kind of machine now or no machine at all depending on what 'machine' means) a real such thing as a Chicago democratic machine politician and Barack Obama bears absolutely no resemblance to one in any way that I can think of other than that he's a democratic politician from Chicago. (and I guess the fact that he was friends with Tony Rezko, but hey, everyone needs to have some people to fundraise for them).

http://abunooralirlandee.wordpress.com

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 04:19 PM
To anybody thinking that Obama intended audience was Reagan Democrats in Pennsylvania I have news for you, 'snot. Same for Mickey 'snot you sorry. One of the main audiences were super delegates. It was aimed at showing them how presidential he is, how he deals with adversity, how he can do these things WITHOUT throwing the Democratic Party under the bus the way Hillary did by elevating McCain at the expense of the party's chances in the general election. As such it was most likely a home run with a RBI thrown in as well. Besides he has a few Fast Feiler Weeks to woo Joe 12-pack.
... This is probably correct and the speech was probably the only option he had left to salvage his candidacy. While it has probably succeeded in reaching those super delegates he had best use his time wisely to woo those "Joe 12-pack" voters because if the vote differentials between he and Senator Clinton appear to be increasing after the next few primaries his case with the super delegates will be headed in the opposite direction.

Wonderment
03-20-2008, 04:26 PM
If the Bob/bjkeefe/wonderment axis thinks Mickey is no longer worthwhile in anyway, then amputation is necessary before the gangrene spreads. Let Mickey do diavlogs with someone else, and let the people who hate him not care.

I think Bob should reject and denounce Mickey. He might throw in excommunicate and expel as well.

And he owes us some answers: Was Bob present at the MinuteKlan rally when Mickey exhorted the mob: "Some people say ain't nothin' wrong with mariachis and mole poblano. But I say God Damn the illegal little fuckers!"

Did Bob fail to disown Mickey when he made up a story about John Edwards shtupping an airhead film maker while his wife was dying of inoperable cancer?

Did Bob cringe sufficiently the day Mickey told him to cross the street to avoid "black gangbangers" who turned out to be Bill Cosby and Al Roker?

When Mickey accompanied Lou Farrahkan Dobbs, on a trip to Spain to visit Franco's tomb and praise the dictator's policies on Basque illegals, did Bob sufficiently vilify Dobbs as a traitor and racist?

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 04:27 PM
Has anyone ever tracked the right-ward trend of Mickey's statements (repeating FOX talking points, attacking Dems based on Newsmax etc) in correlation to the birth of his "personal" relationship with Ann Coulter. I'm sure this isn't a completely original theory, but guys have been know to go to pretty great lengths to try and get laid.

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 04:40 PM
Thouart,

If you're spritual guide uses expressions like "shit-hammer" why did you not leave the church/temple/synagogue/mosque etc., immediately denounce him, refuse to associate with him, smear him in public, and burn his house down like a good American??

You just lost my vote!

Thus Spoke Elvis
03-20-2008, 05:09 PM
To anybody thinking that Obama intended audience was Reagan Democrats in Pennsylvania I have news for you, 'snot. Same for Mickey 'snot you sorry. One of the main audiences were super delegates. It was aimed at showing them how presidential he is, how he deals with adversity, how he can do these things WITHOUT throwing the Democratic Party under the bus the way Hillary did by elevating McCain at the expense of the party's chances in the general election. As such it was most likely a home run with a RBI thrown in as well. Besides he has a few Fast Feiler Weeks to woo Joe 12-pack.

I disagree. I'm someone who liked the speech quite a bit, while also agreeing with 90% of Mickey's criticisms (http://www.slate.com/id/2186845/#obamaracespeech) of it. The speech was admirable because it was honest and intelligent, but the truncated version most people are going to see on the news causes it to lose much of its persuasive power. There are simply too many excerpted passages that, standing alone, are going to alienate white voters (e.g., the passage that appears to compare Wright's speeches to the admission by Obama's grandmother that she got scared when young black men walked past her; Obama's claim that rejecting Wright would be like rejecting the black community). Hillary has increased her lead in Pennsylvania and has recaptured her lead among Democratic (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0308/9135.html) voters. Obama's lead in North Carolina has significantly shrunk (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/nc/north_carolina_democratic_primary-275.html) in just under a week. McCain has opened up big leads against Obama in several key states.

Assuming that Obama's speech and the Wright controversy have alienated "Joe 12-pack" voters, I'm not sure how Obama goes about wooing them back. And that may matter more to superdelegates than whether they personally liked the speech. Superdelegates are career politicians, and we shouldn't think they care about anything other than winning the national election.

Kausophile
03-20-2008, 05:16 PM
are quite fair, but I'll hush, thanks. Elaborating won't persuade anyone who doesn't already share my overall reaction to today's comments.

Yes, "phile" denotes love or affinity. If you presume I "worship" Mickey, then I presume piscivorous must really eat only fish.

threep
03-20-2008, 05:19 PM
I'm tired and may have overreacted, and really my reaction was sparked by Bob's behavior rather than the thread, though they're similar. Generally I maintain that when people start acting as if the other person should just shut up, or should just not say that, or should just not be that way, baser emotional motivations haven taken over and it's only going to get messier and messier. I know it's not a universal sentiment at all, but I hold to the opinion that if you're angry in politics you're probably doing it wrong. Of course--of course--there are many people who feel the exact opposite.

My simplified explanation is just that there's a belief among a lot of people that "effort" in the political sphere correlates directly with effect. I think that's a fallacy, and the most important function for us in discourse is discriminatory, not forceful.

graz
03-20-2008, 05:21 PM
are quite fair, but I'll hush, thanks. Elaborating won't persuade anyone who doesn't already share my overall reaction to today's comments.

Yes, "phile" denotes love or affinity. If you presume I "worship" Mickey, then I presume piscivorous must really eat only fish.

Well I do know that he is partial to mahi-mahi, the dolphin fish (not mammal).
Aside from our respective "feelings" about Mickey, how about taking on the merits of the well-aired forum criticisms?

piscivorous
03-20-2008, 05:29 PM
As a matter of fact I will be having some dolphin tonight.

graz
03-20-2008, 05:33 PM
As a matter of fact I will be having some dolphin tonight.

I will be dining on monkfish - the poor man's lobster.

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 05:41 PM
More about Wright than the speech itself but here ya go:

http://www.samefacts.com/archives/campaign_2008_/2008/03/will_jeremiah_wright_sink_barack_obama.php

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 05:45 PM
I quoted Stripes the other day with some bandmates when one of them mentioned Tito Puente, and nobody got it. I was pretty surprised.

graz
03-20-2008, 05:49 PM
uncle ebeneezer:

I had the great pleasure of seeing and hearing Tito Puente and Celia Cruz together at a street festival nearly 20 years ago. I still remember it fondly and share Bill Murray's affection.

uncle ebeneezer
03-20-2008, 06:01 PM
Nice. How many artists have a famous Stripes quote and a Simpsons cameo on their resume?

aazlant
03-20-2008, 06:44 PM
Bob and Mickey missed an important point: the issue with Wright isn't that Obama was "associating" with him, it's that he put him on as a close personal "spiritual adviser" in his campaign. As such, it's pretty legitimate to worry about the wackiness of his views.

Kausophile
03-20-2008, 06:55 PM
Thanks again; I'll take a rain check. But I second threep's latest (not to imply threep agrees with me). Go ahead and be angry, but no one who isn't already on your side wants to listen to you argue angrily.

aazlant
03-20-2008, 07:03 PM
1. from the left:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm-Leach-Bliley_Act

2. from the right:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Reinvestment_Act

Anyuser
03-20-2008, 07:07 PM
I disagree with those who suggest this Wright business will blow over. This kind of thing will hurt Obama badly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72B3tUAqpo4.
I've got an Obama '08 sign in my front yard, but come to think of it, how can Obama and his family listen to Wright every week and not be affected? Bob Wright talked about Sunday school; query what that's like for Obama's kids at this church.

graz
03-20-2008, 07:09 PM
Thanks again; I'll take a rain check. But I second threep's latest (not to imply threep agrees with me). Go ahead and be angry, but no one who isn't already on your side wants to listen to you argue angrily.

With all due respect, I'm sure I could like you as much as you apparently like Mickey. But, anger does not enter into the equation. And as you still are attempting to joust, without hitting the mark or addressing the question, I guess it would be futile for me to ask you to point out any anger, other than in your Mickey lovin' mind. I'm relatively new to this game of discussing, arguing or sometimes just offering unsolicited stuff online, so forgive me if I'm missing something, but I guess I still am not convinced that you or anyone on this particular thread has been able to defend Mickey's bizarre and twisted approach and take on the speech. I am not referring to any perceived Mickey bias - pro or con. I am not disallowing any commentary, informed, heartfelt or misguided. What I am referring to is Mickey's recorded performance. You haven't even offered your own take on the speech, let alone defended Mickey's, aside from his honor (I guess).

In addition to Brendan's, Bloggin's and my original post, I will let Bob's (if somewhat impatient) interrogation stand as evidence.

Happy Hominid
03-20-2008, 07:16 PM
NICE! Good job BJ. You deserve your link. Where is it???

bkjazfan
03-20-2008, 07:52 PM
Barak Obama endorsed the firing of Don Imus but couldn't bring himself to either leave the church or denounce the bigoted minister.

If he loses this election cycle Obama will be back. And if that were the case he would no longer belong to a church that traffics in hate.

Thus Spoke Elvis
03-20-2008, 08:11 PM
The news coverage of the recent polls showing Obama's support dropping led me to believe that these polls were taken AFTER "the speech." Looking at them more closely, I see that they all took place a day or two BEFORE.

In other words, while we can safely say that the Wright flap hurt Obama, it's just speculation right now as to whether the speech helped, hurt, or made no difference.

brucds
03-20-2008, 09:25 PM
Christ, the catalog of stupid things Mickey blurted out in this diavlog is too long to even begin dealing with.

brucds
03-20-2008, 09:29 PM
schotchex doesn't even rise to the level of "wrong" - just butt stupid. Sorry for my lack of energy to say anything more substantive about this cretin, but I don't believe toxic, blathering fools deserve the courtesy of being dealt with as coherent adversaries.

Jeff Morgan
03-21-2008, 12:34 AM
a few 30-second clips do not prove the congregation incendiary.

bjkeefe
03-21-2008, 12:40 AM
Bob and Mickey missed an important point: the issue with Wright isn't that Obama was "associating" with him, it's that he put him on as a close personal "spiritual adviser" in his campaign. As such, it's pretty legitimate to worry about the wackiness of his views.

I agree about the association being a legitimate concern. For the record, I don't, in general, think Wright's views are wacky, leaving aside the label that I place on anyone who constantly talks about how he loves Jesus. But let's talk about the first part.

The decision we all will have to make is how much we think Obama is in thrall to Wright in particular (especially if you find him objectionable) and to religion in general.

As I've said before, the biggest problem I have with Obama is his religiosity, and that has been on my mind long before I ever heard of Jeremiah Wright.

One thing that's important to keep in mind is that our thinking is bound to be affected by the past seven years. The current president is notorious for substituting religious bromides and a blind and narrow faith for critical thinking, an acceptance of science, and a tolerance for differing perspectives. We have seen the consequences of such a mindset, and they ain't pretty, no matter how much lipstick the Fighting 19% tries to paint upon them. And Bush is far from the only one in office who has this problem.

From everything I can tell, Obama does not. I'd prefer that his religion was not so important to him, and I don't agree with everything his favorite pastor has said. However, I think Obama is his own man, with his own mind, and is not going to make policy decisions based on what the Lord, or any of His self-appointed representatives, tells him. For me, Obama is not the perfect candidate, but he is, far and away, the best.

bjkeefe
03-21-2008, 12:45 AM
uncle eb:

Nice find. Thanks for sharing.

basman
03-21-2008, 01:04 AM
As one who has real doubts about Obama, I tried to factor in my bias against him when I read his speech. I have read it and re read it and agued with various people over it. I start from a real antipathy towards Wright. I did not know too much about him or his church until I started reading about the controversy stirred up by the criticisms of Richard Cohen. As the controversy heated up, I read up some about Black Liberation Theology ("BLT"), Wright himself. James Hal Cohen and the the church's website.

Here for example from that web site--only taken off it in the last few days--is the church's inveighing against "middleclassness":

"Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness.” Classic methodology on control of captives teaches that captors must be able to identify the “talented tenth” of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor’s control.

Those so identified are separated from the rest of the people by:

Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another.

Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.

Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which, while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of “we” and “they” instead of “us.”

So, while it is permissible to chase “middleclassness” with all our might, we must avoid the third separation method – the psychological entrapment of Black “middleclassness.” If we avoid this snare, we will also diminish our “voluntary” contributions to methods A and B.

And more importantly, Black people no longer will be deprived of their birthright: the leadership,""

And here is a choice tidbit from Cone, Wright's mentor and spritual godfather:

"Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man 'the devil.' The white structure of this American society, personified in every racist, must be at least part of what the New Testament meant by demonic forces...Ironically, the man who enslaves another enslaves himself...To be free to do what I will in relation to another is to be in bondage to the law of least resistance. This is the bondage of racism. Racism is that bondage in which whites are free to beat, rape, or kill blacks. About thirty years ago it was acceptable to lynch a black man by hanging him from a tree; but today whites destroy him by crowding him into a ghetto and letting filth and despair put the final touches on death."

I was not at first willing without evidence to follow the line of Jewish leaders and spokespeople who asserted that Wright, who is proud of his association with Farrakhan, who is a Farrakhan fellow traveller is anti-semite. But he clips about Israel as an American proxy for state terror against the Palestinians got me think along that line. And now the newest clip make the rounds froma 2002 sermon shows Wright for a few straight minutes denouncing the U.S. for walking out of the Durban conference, riffing anti Semitically about Israel, noting how the very word Israel strikes a chill in the hearts of black people, and noting how the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians was a spring for 9/11.

So I have come to conclude that Wright is an anti-Semite, a black racist and bigot and a purveyor of massive and paranoid libels. To wit--and apologies for the rant: the b.l.t. of the Cone come Wright, posits, as Cone says (and as Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammed also said), in effect that the white man is the devil and White America is at bottom a racist oppressing poison, keeping the black man down, intent --in some versions-on genocidally destroying the black man, by a variety of means--I guess including the Aids virus as per Wright; the rabid anti Americanism that you can read in Cone and hear articulated by Wright informs,assertions of roosting 9/11 chickens coming home, moral equivalence between American foreign policiesand al Qaeda, American genocidal foreign policies against coloured people around the world, America supplying blacks drugs in order to destroy them, supplying the Aids virus to destroy blacks, finding no calamity America has suffered to be worse than the outrages America has perpetrated at home and abroad against coloured people, Israel's brutal state subjugation and suppression of Palestinians, of a piece with South African apartheid, a proxy for America, and assimilable to the atrocities America has perpetrated around the world, American prison policy being a war against blacks in which black prisoners are in effect poltical prisoners, saying that Hillary Clinton can never understand the plight of poor blacks because she has not experienced what they have experienced, saying that no white can have that understanding, saying that she is part of the power structure of white privileged America--usually men-- that hegemonically rules all of America, saying that Jesus was an African black man oppressed by rich white men, specifying a system of particularistic black values, which contains the frantic, paranoid already noted and quoted weirdness of resisitng "middleclassness", (and which has nowtoday just been removed from the church's web site), asserting black racial particularism rooted in the black man's unique umbilical connection to "Mother Africa", from which true black identity derives.

As a pragmatic political instrument, Obama's prime objective was to staunch the bleeding flowing from his relationshp with Wright. My take on his attempt to do that is that one of his moves was to set Wright’s toxicity in the biggest possible context as a way of qualifying it, so that he could speak about it out of both sides of his mouth: reject it; but sympathetically contextualize it; move from Wright while continuing to cling to him. His implicit argument was that Wright’s comments are sympathetically understandable—even while Obama so deplores them—given American racial history. If Wright can be sympathetically understood, even while his toxicity is rejected, then Obama’s 20 year relationship with him, so the implicit argument goes, can be understood as benign.

In this way, Wright is not a foul mouthed, anti-Semitic, black racist, imbibing the racist paranoid, black separatist nectar of James Hal Cone and Black Liberation Theology. No, Wright is a reflection of what white America has wrought and is to be faulted for. Obama can not, he says disingenuously and manipulatively, “disown” Wright anymore than he can "disown" his white grandmother (who, as I understand it, and correct me if I am wrong, did not preach, had no theories about the Aids virus, was not an anti-Semite and was not a Farrakhan fellow traveler), and anymore than he can "disown" his own black community, with which Wright is coterminus.

Obama is effectively saying that we cannot judge Wright overly-harshly—which is to say, demand that Obama really do disown him—because, if we do, we validate America’s racist past (and racist present according to Wright.) And because Wright is continuous with the black community, by a perverse twist of logic we, implicitly, by demanding that complete disassociation, are insensitive to the black experience in America and perhaps are on the stairs leading to the halls of racism ourselves.

Obama says, again manipulatively and disingenuously, that Wright’s “profound mistake” is to see America as static, to fail to see its progress towards racial justice. But, I argue, that that understates Wright's ventings to the point of benignity. I would single out Wright’s bile for the bilious, noxious, racist, anti-Semitic, paranoid thing that it is.

Is there eloquence in Obama’s words? Yes, of course, lyrical elloquence at at that! But what flows through his speech is a highly polished and sophisticated exercise in appearing to say something, yet saying not very much, appearing resolute, while being irresolute. There is an art in that and I have a sense of the speech's brilliance: it is the brilliance of sophistry.

In Henry 1V, part 11 as Hal leaves the tavern for the sobriety and temperance required of the ruler, as he leaves Falstaff behind, there lies therein a majestic and universal political theme of the demands of office and the sacrifice of the personal in the interest of a sound and effective polity. To be sure Wright is no Falstaff, is an antithesis of Falstaff--Falstaff the magnificent embodiment of a magnificent louche vitality of a kind. But Obama is learning that general lesson belatedly. So for my money, his lapse in judgment in not disassociating himself earlier from Wright (a consorter with Farrakhan, and a Farrakhan fellow traveller, I might add), to my mind, is a grave error in principle and a grave error in pragmatic judgment.

I have also come to think that there is an ego driven kind of solipsism implicitly informing some of it: as in vote for me, and you transcend the racial divide--you are, that is to say, if you vote for me, part of the solution, an agent of change--after all " we are the change that we seek"; don't vote for me, and you are part of the problem, feeding the same old racial divisions. I think that that kind of a pitch is objectionable;

And the worst, for me, at its core, is that Obama, after all the lyrical eloquence, could not bring himself to repudiate completely a racist, anti-Semitic, purveyor of massive and paranoid libels, which I find entirely paradoxical, verging on the ironic, for the greatest speech on race since sliced bread.

On the other hand I thought that Wright eviscerated Kaus who was more persuasive in his blog about his problems with the speech but, in violation of the Lawrence O'Donnell position, could not stick to his guns in defending his position and got reduced to a kind of babbling incoherence.

cousincozen
03-21-2008, 01:10 AM
http://www.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9486?in=00:53:30

"Now, the problem is, a lot of people are racist in the South...."

Well...maybe they're just "race realists," much like Obama's grandmother was in an unguarded moment, only more so. The phenomena has already been bandied about as the explanation for Obama winning in "white states", like Wyoming, but doing decidedly less well among urban whites, who aren't, needless to say, as predisposed to imaginary hip black friend fantasies.

cousincozen
03-21-2008, 01:22 AM
A bit of explanation may be in order...Bob was wondering what the remark about the South was that piscivorous didn't like. This was the only reference to the South that I noticed.

bjkeefe
03-21-2008, 01:27 AM
threep:

Generally I maintain that when people start acting as if the other person should just shut up, or should just not say that, or should just not be that way, baser emotional motivations haven taken over and it's only going to get messier and messier.

There's a lot that I agree with here. I would disagree at the margins, however. There is a point at which one person makes statements that are so outrageous that the listener is provoked. I think a sufficiently extreme statement does not deserve respectful debate and that a display of anger is not only merited but useful. To respond to everything in the same measured tones excuses the person who made the inflammatory statement, or, looking at it from the perspective of two friends talking, does the first speaker a disservice by not informing him how far off the rails he has gone.

Does yelling at every drop of a hat irritate me? Most definitely. I avoid talk radio and TV for that reason alone, and I find guys like Bill O'Reilly the bane of free speech. Quite apart from that, always yelling means that the effect is lost when someone yells for righteous reasons, and I do think those righteous reasons exist.

The line beyond which an angry and dismissive argument is appropriate is drawn in a different place by every single person, I readily acknowledge. I also grant that it has become ingrained in many of us to feel privileged to move the line at our convenience, when it would be better if we once in a while just took a deep breath. Personally, I admit no shortage of guilt in this regard. On the other hand, I have also decided, coolly and rationally, that it is sometimes necessary to act this way. More on this in response to your next bit.

My simplified explanation is just that there's a belief among a lot of people that "effort" in the political sphere correlates directly with effect. I think that's a fallacy, and the most important function for us in discourse is discriminatory, not forceful.

I agree with you, but mostly in the ideal, and not in the reality that is the political landscape in today's America.

There are powerful forces pushing a vision for my country that I find abhorrent, and among their most successful tactics are false outrage, endless repetition, and volume. I've watched over the course of my life as reasoned rebuttal has become increasingly ineffective as a response, so for the past few years, I have been trying the approach of fighting fire with fire. I'd be more than happy to turn it down a few notches, but I am not going to do so unilaterally.

To take the Wright issue as an example, I would readily admit that there were legitimate concerns, at least at first glance. However, the saturation bombing of the airwaves, the media, and the blogosphere with context-free video clips and an utter lack of admission that there might be some worth to looking behind the first words heard is exactly the style used over and over by the people whose political goals I oppose. There was no success to be had in the initial response by Obama and his supporters -- polite explanations and requests for a deeper look were ignored, dismissed out of hand, or openly mocked.

With apologies to Sergeant/Tech-Com Reese, those wingnuts are out there. They can't be reasoned with, they can't be bargained with, they don't feel pity or remorse, and they thrive on fomenting fear. And they absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until the country I once loved is dead.

You got a better idea how to combat the forces of intolerance, I'm all ears. Good manners, sadly, have proven insufficient.

bjkeefe
03-21-2008, 01:37 AM
cousincozen:

Thanks for your attention (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=71963#post71963).

bjkeefe
03-21-2008, 02:04 AM
basman:

Well said. I don't agree with your take on Jeremiah Wright, but I admire the effort you put into finding out about him and I salute the tone in which you presented your argument and conclusions. It seems like you might have cherry-picked a little bit, but hey, we all do that.

I'm not going to debate with you about Wright. I hope you don't take that as disrespectful, because I don't mean it to be. To me, Obama's thinking does not match Wright's, and the advice and guidance Wright may have offered Obama over the years does not appear at all dominant in Obama's mien. I think Obama selected from Wright's philosophy what worked for him and discarded the rest, as pretty much any thinking person does with any mentor. Therefore, even if I stipulate to Wright being objectionable, he is still way down on the list of considerations when I think about whether Obama would be a good president.

I'm sorry that you don't find Obama's explanations or vision sincere. I doubt it would do any good to try to talk you out of it, but I will say one thing: In criticizing him, you seem to have set up just a little bit of a straw man. To me, you appear to have postulated an imaginary Obama who is completely without flaw, and then, having found some failings, dismissed him completely. By the same measure, you should then reject John McCain for failing to be a straight talker or a maverick as soon as I cite an example of his flip-flopping or kowtowing, or for failing to be a foreign policy expert as soon as I quote one of his gaffes. You should also reject Hillary Clinton for being experienced as soon as I describe what those trips as First Lady really amounted to, or reject her claim of competence once I point out her first attempt at health care or how her campaign was run after Super Tuesday.

I'm being a little hyperbolic here, I admit. My point is that you seem to be holding Obama to some higher standard than the other candidates. Or did I misread?

LordBaltimore
03-21-2008, 05:39 AM
Dear Bob,

I am a huge fan of your work. I've read Nonzero and The Moral Animal, as well as lots of your articles. I was crazy about meaningoflife.tv, and I love all your diavlogs-

except for the ones with Mickey.

I don't know why, but when you diavlog with Mickey, you are incredibly cranky and obnoxious, and getting more so. The only explanation I've been able to think of is a sort of pop psychology one: maybe you guys love each other like brothers, and therefore you also squabble like brothers - you see a little of this from Mickey's side, sometimes, but it mostly comes from you. Even when Mickey agrees with you, you seem determined to gin up some controversy that doesn't exist anywhere except in your own mind.

I'll keep on watching blogging heads, and your diavlogs with other people; and I will buy and read your new book when it comes out, because I find you to be a deep thinker and a national treasure, but I won't watch you with Mickey anymore until and unless the comments section under your diavlogs indicates that you've gotten a grip on yourself.

Loosen up, Bob, and give poor Mickey a break. And please note this comment is coming from someone who agrees with most of what you say.

You_had_me_at_hello
03-21-2008, 08:31 AM
Blogging-genes

I'm halfway through Robert Wright's The Moral Animal Why We Do the Things We Do.

And I have to stop for now. It's just too intense. Sometimes you read a book, and sometimes it feels like the book is reading you.

Natural selection and Sexual selection are not warm and fuzzy.

Our genes don't really care about human happiness (again, though, I am only halfway in the book) --- they care about their own survival.

Reminds me of Dick Cheney: They're behind the scenes, completely unseen, but they're directing things in surprising ways, (although the book does emphasize strongly that they don't "control" us in the sense that we don't have to adopt "natural selection's" values).

OK, I was going to discuss my theory about what evolutionary psychology has to say about "Bloggingheads", something about how if it's two males it's actually "Battling Heads" == battling for the young females in the audience (and the "battlers" are completely unconscious of what is going on)--- but, you know I think I'll decline.

More about this later. Also my take on this diavlog later.
(and from an evolutionary psychology viewpoint my "handle" is eerily funny).

Kausophile
03-21-2008, 11:22 AM
graz -- You've shown me, if anything more than "due respect," and made good points. See you in future forums.

You_had_me_at_hello
03-21-2008, 11:29 AM
this is a test. will this post?

You_had_me_at_hello
03-21-2008, 11:45 AM
Lets try again. Testing.

basman
03-21-2008, 12:48 PM
...Or did I misread?...


I am sure that that Obama’s thinking is different from Wright’s and I don’t ascribe Wright’s views to him. I do worry about what I think was his acquiescence to Wright by his passivity before him. My, I think, non-judgmental take on that is this:

Obama should not be judged as a subscriber to Wright’s worst views. He will be judged by his own response to Wright. It was Obama’s absolute choice as a private citizen as to how he dealt with Wright. It is his burden as a public man, starting as a state senator, to have to face the political consequences of that choice. His seeming twenty year passivity before Wright’s excesses constitute a kind of acquiescence to them. And that acquiescence creates a hard dilemma for Obama.

He cannot repudiate Wright for fear of dangerously offending his black constituency and appearing callous. Yet he must distance himself from Wright sufficiently to satisfy other voting groups who recoil from Wright, namely white working class democrats, democrats of an older generation and testing-the-waters independents. There is reason to believe by the reaction to his race speech that Obama is fine with black voters and with the rest of his base.

But there is reason to question whether he has eased the concerns of the other needed groups. Wright may cost Obama the nomination, but that seems unlikely. However, even the suggestion of that foreshadows his difficulties in the general election, where the comfort of fighting within democratic confines is gone; and that is so even with a party as disaffected as the republicans and with a candidate as hobbled as John McCain, who each days seems more like an old man who is past it and out of touch. Obama finds himself impaled on the sharp divisions of racial divide in America insofar as Wright feeds that divide as a purveyor of black rage and taints Obama. It need not have been so. But that is what twenty years of acquiescence wrought.

Since I don’t notionally (I can’t vote living to the frigid north of your country) favour Obama, the Wright thing kind of solidifies my notional favouring of Hillary. But if I did favour Obama, I don’t think his connection to Wright would cause me to lose much sleep. I’d still I think support him. But I do find fault with him over this issue as I have already gone on about.

As for my bit of a straw man: I don’t think so. In approaching all your country’s leading candidates, I try to measure the strengths and weaknesses and whether they share my values and I share theirs. By those measures and by gut feel too I wind up liking Hillary a fair bit for reasons I can explain and for *reasons* I cannot explain.

By the way, though I did not post anything there, I was knocked out by the Loury—McWhorter diavlog, one of the best I have ever seen and one of the best discussions of race in America I have ever seen, heard or read, teaching me things that I did not learn from Obama's speech.

bjkeefe
03-21-2008, 12:58 PM
basman:

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I think your analysis concerning Jeremiah Wright is good, although it bears emphasizing that buried within it is the assumption that Wright is a bad man. Obviously, you think so, and unfortunately, so do too many Americans. But, for the record, I'll repeat that I don't think this is the case.

I urge you to give the Glenn & John show another shot, or to download the WMV or MP3 file. It was good right to the end. I'm with you -- those guys always teach me a lot about race, among other things.

graz
03-21-2008, 01:11 PM
graz -- You've shown me, if anything more than "due respect," and made good points. See you in future forums.
Right on Brother

basman
03-21-2008, 02:11 PM
Brendan:

One small after thought. Let me reverse your reasonable willingess to tolerate the notion that Wright is a "bad man" for the purposes only of discussion.

I'll stipulate for the purposes only of dicussion that he is rightfully entitled to his views and that his worst sounding utterances don't mitigate his and his church's good works nor his genuine spirituality nor the overall upliftingness of his sermons. In fact, I'll stipulate, there is a lot of understandable truth in what he says, even the parts so ostensibly offensive.

The problem he presents for Obama remains as I have tired to analyse it, I'd contend. For Wright is going to be preceived, I think, by most of America that exists outside of Obama's base as a "bad man" and that as the general election goes forward, racial fissures will intensify rather than contract.

bjkeefe
03-21-2008, 03:39 PM
basman:

Thanks for making the effort to view Wright in a different light, even if only for the purposes of discussion.

To your closing thought:

The problem he presents for Obama remains as I have tired to analyse it, I'd contend. For Wright is going to be preceived, I think, by most of America that exists outside of Obama's base as a "bad man" and that as the general election goes forward, racial fissures will intensify rather than contract.

I think I mostly said what I would have said over in the Glenn/John thread. See here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=72130#post72130).

To recap, I think there's a chance that thinking like yours might be correct, and it strikes me as reasonable, if depressing, realpolitik. However, I remain unconvinced by "most." Let's see how it plays out once the shock wears off.

rwraith
03-21-2008, 05:21 PM
You know... Mickey says it "troubles" him that Obama associates himself with someone like Rev. Wright. But what about Mickey's own association with Ann Coulter? (This of course has driven Bob insane on more than several occasions, as we know.) Coulter has certainly made MORE than a few totally outrageous and offensive statements -- eg. she said the U.S. should invade the Middle-East, slaughter its leaders, and then Christianize the place. Did Mickey EVER take her aside to correct her as he suggested Obama should've done with Wright?

thouartgob
03-21-2008, 06:50 PM
I would have left but 1.) I am a hateful racist 2.) the drugs were really good

Ooga-Booga
03-21-2008, 11:42 PM
Speech for slavery-church. I generally listen because I construct particular problems. Bob is even. Voters choose priceless comments. Spitzer-sex has publicity.

A Christian pastor has the message that the community is alarmed. About black perspective, I was upset and scared for Obama's America. Jeremiah Videos in churches alarmed Obama's generation.

Anything for states.

Disingenuous support occurred under a grandmother. I mean, a grandson calling a bus 'racist' could not think or listen. This Dingalinking reiterates it. Mickey is following my friends.

Don't HELP. Robbed for nothing. Bleach annoying statements. Offended whites ask the government, "were they similar?"

Loving any expression amongst prejudice might stretch you.

Personal speech got more response. I want searing, gut-wrenching, deeply honest speech. We all allowed sleazy gossip.

Bashing families made possible with the shovel.

Your pained gripes know crazy babble. People have annoying hatred.

harkin
03-23-2008, 03:42 PM
Not a good performance from Bob when his best contribution was a supressed belch.

bjkeefe
03-23-2008, 05:49 PM
Not a good performance from Bob when his best contribution was a supressed belch.

In fairness to Bob, Mickey gave a lot of us gas this time around.

garbagecowboy
03-26-2008, 02:31 PM
____________________

bjkeefe
03-26-2008, 02:41 PM
Adam:

Am I totally off the mark ...

Yes. In general, you are. I think you have in a mind a stereotype of a certain kind of limousine liberal, a stereotype which reflects neither the diversity of Obama's supporters nor the depth and breadth of their reasons for supporting him.

I also fail to see what the Hitchens piece that you link to does to support your claim. I read it mostly as Hitchens riding his current hobbyhorse -- religion poisons everything -- which seems to have little to do with with your imaginary Obama supporter's alleged inflated sense of self-worth.

graz
03-26-2008, 03:25 PM
Touching on a sore spot? Am I totally off the mark that white liberals biggest fear when Obama does poorly is that their ability to make a symbolic vote that shows their boundless empathy and intelligence is tarnished (http://www.slate.com/id/2187277/)?

garbagecowboy:

I am on board with Brendan's idea that Obama's support is not so simple to categorize. Sure, white guilt exists but I am unpersuaded that it is the motivating factor for the speech defenders on this site.
On a personal note, I hope that you are not so busy with your work that you continue to participate so infrequently.
IMO the forum is missing something since you devoted yourself to science.
The perspective that you generally represented has fallen on hard times and is resorting too often to talking points and bile.

garbagecowboy
03-26-2008, 03:47 PM
"...I was in Amsterdam once..." (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=00:56:48&57:00)

bjkeefe
03-26-2008, 06:12 PM
"...I was in Amsterdam once..." (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9562?in=00:56:48&57:00)

LOL! I agree, except I'd strike "Not."

garbagecowboy
03-27-2008, 01:30 PM
_________________

garbagecowboy
03-27-2008, 03:09 PM
IMO the forum is missing something since you devoted yourself to science.
The perspective that you generally represented has fallen on hard times and is resorting too often to talking points and bile.

Thanks for the kind words.

anexpat
03-27-2008, 05:52 PM
Seriously, Bob? The more you pay for hookers, disease is not a probability? Are you insane? Its attitudes like this that give us STD epidemics.

And you have really never heard of HPV? Which, by the way, does not only cause cervical cancer but also causes penile, anal, and head and neck cancers.

Educate yourself, Bob.