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Bloggingheads
03-22-2008, 11:05 PM

graz
03-23-2008, 12:00 AM
Me thinks Con(n) as in conservative protests too much.
Thanks con for making it clear that Malkin and Hewitt are down on the speech.
I guess I am enjoying the pleasure of recognizing the futility of Conn attempting to paint the speech according to how his peers want it to be received rather than attempting objectivity. Bill did his best to help him to recognize that the speech and words effectively can be interpreted by conservatives as quite acceptable. But let us discredit the old school cons like Murray or Noonan (they are available online too Conn).
There he goes with the "throw his Grandmother under the bus" line.
If it is said enough times will anyone who isn't listening with mufflers change their sense of the point.
Conn was whining as much as pretending to be offering his "special" blogger observer role to an embarrassing degree.
Conn was stretching credulity beyond the breaking point. His logic seemed to suggest that since Obama didn't explicitly offer his views on busing as an example, let's throw the whole speech "under the bus." Oh no it's contagious.
Ugh!
Well at least he redeemed his objectivity when he recognized the McCain is old meme as gathering steam.

Eastwest
03-23-2008, 12:19 AM
Mr. Scher is so deeply in denial and so deeply intoxicated by his continual quaffing of the Obama coolaid that he seemed almost entirely incapable of objectivity throughout, even to the point of the repeated rudeness of jumping into the middle of and talking over the top of Mr. Carroll's mostly very straight-ahead and obvious points, thus preventing, heaven forbid, that the whole critical thought might be completed and possibly inflict a minor wound on his deity.

Seemed Scher just couldn't handle the truth here:

Obama pulled another slickster performance, totally changing the subject, going directly to and hammering repeatedly on the white guilt button.

Weird thing is that so much of the media just sucked it up so sycophantically, even calling the speech historic. Gad. It's one of the most self-serving, deceptive exercises in obfuscation I've heard in a long time. It's all the more powerful when you closely observe his mildly condescending and lecturing tone, repeatedly thumping the podium to drive home his shaming-the-media and moral-equivalency tactics.

EW

graz
03-23-2008, 12:34 AM
EW:

I have to disagree about this "changing the subject" meme.
Obama had to address his relationship with Wright.
That you are not satisfied with his approach, angle of his chin, polish on his shoes and the secret "real thoughts and motives for his words", that only you can divine, is not on point.
Your vote is not in play obviously, but is objectivity outside of your realm?

osmium
03-23-2008, 12:40 AM
the "typical white person" quote has been truncated mid-sentence to make it sound kind of snotty, a quality the full sentence doesn't have.

does anyone really think obama looks down on his grandmother? that any politician of either party throughout the entire government feels that way about his/her grandmother? that they're typical something-something?

politics is politics, and criticism is always fair, but i can only reckon that a full-on autistic person could sincerely believe that.

graz
03-23-2008, 12:51 AM
the "typical white person" quote has been truncated mid-sentence to make it sound kind of snotty, a quality the full sentence doesn't have.

does anyone really think obama looks down on his grandmother? that any politician of either party throughout the entire government feels that way about his/her grandmother? that they're typical something-something?

politics is politics, and criticism is always fair, but i can only reckon that a full-on autistic person could sincerely believe that.

osmium:

And this is why so many are turned off by politics.
Of course it is nearly impossible, if English is your first language and your IQ is anywhere near average to suggest that Obama was attempting to convey anything other than love and respect.
Which isn't to say that political expediency wasn't considered.
And that is why Conn and Malkin and Hewitt are attempting to turn it into an opportunity to discredit.
What seems to be irking Obama detractors so much is that while he is calling for a new approach to doing business, he is polically savvy enough to recognize that the old rules will always apply. Even while making the changes. Nuance and complexity seemed to irk Conn to no end in this diavlog. He just wanted it be yes or no... black or white.

Allan
03-23-2008, 12:56 AM
Just as we all remember 'The Checkers Speech' of Richard Nixon
in the future
this will come to be known as 'The Grandmother Speech'.

piscivorous
03-23-2008, 01:24 AM
Once again the Senator Obama proves that he is not a different kind of politician as shown by his own words; Obama: Fire Imus. (http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3031317&page=1) "I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus," Obama told ABC News, "but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude." This on April 7, 2007 when the Rev Wright was still on his staff. With the Senator's actions differing from his words, on numerous occasions now, sooner or latter the Senator's word, no matter the elegance of construction and delivery, will be discounted by the majority of voters.

laurelnyc
03-23-2008, 01:29 AM
What bothers me about Obama's use of his grandmother's fear of passing black men in the street is that it was not a particularly effective equivalent to Wright's divisive sermons (being a pastor, he has a moral responsibility to uplift and nurture his congregation rather than stir up their anger at "white society").

I will focus on one issue that few men in the media seem to bring up when discussing the example of his grandmother. Women face different fears than men do, particularly the fear of sexual assault. Due to the outrageously high rate of sexual assault or molestation that women experience, this is a very rational fear.

Obviously Obama didn't give us the whole conversation that he had with his grandmother so we are left with an incomplete set of facts to really make a judgment. Perhaps it's true that his grandmother was racist, but perhaps she'd had some bad experiences in the past so she may have had a very good reason for these fears.

I'll give an example from my own experience. I live in Manhattan and take the subway daily. I have been molested by creepy men on MANY occasions whenever I am forced to take the train during rush hour. In fact, it's almost a guarantee that some guy squeezes my butt (or worse, my crotch) or some guy rubs me with his nasty hard-on. I have noticed that the majority of these guys tend to be Latin Americans. I don't know why that has been the case for me (in NY). I had a completely different experience when I was a teen in Italy where the men groping me were not Latin Americans.

To avoid these intrusive situations, I go to great lengths to avoid taking the train during rush hour. There are times when I can't avoid it. At times like this in a crammed train, I make a conscious decision to stand in an area where I'll be surrounded by other women or white & black men. I've never been molested on the train (in NY) by a white or black man so I trust them more. O course, I'm perfectly aware that not all Latin American men are train gropers, but since I've been abused by so many Latin Amer. men, I no longer take any chances because every time something happens like that, I am so enraged, disgusted and feel violated that it bothers me all week. My decision to avoid this situation is not racism, but merely an attempt to save myself from being violated.

Perhaps I'm overly paranoid, but as a teen I was raped. My two sisters have been raped at gun-point. Several of my best friends have been raped, I have many friends who were sexually molested or raped by their dads or step-dads. I have been groped in clubs, harassed on streets, followed home, stalked, etc. This is very common for women, especially young attractive women. At thirteen, I had a middle-aged man grab my breast in public trying to get me to go with him. So when I hear that Obama's mother feared walking past black men, my first thought is to think of all those creepy men who harass/assault women. I can empathize because I know what it's like to fear walking pass a group of men. I often change sides of streets if there are a group of guys (regardless of ethnicity) that I know will make some sexual comment to me.

Maybe his grandmother was truly racist. I don't know her so I can't judge simply from Obama's explanation that she feared passing black men on the street -- a part of me wonders if she had had a bad experience before. Women who've experienced sexual assault tend to be very paranoid and don't trust men at all. Had she feared passing black women on the street, then I would say, yes, that is racist. A woman to fear passing men on the street is a common fear and is not necessarily racist.

And if someone thinks I'm just a "typical white girl," let me tell you that I've had as much of a multi-cultural life as Obama. Yes, I'm white of Norwegian/German origin, but I grew up in Thailand, the Philippines, Italy, France, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Oklahoma & New York. I went to Intl. schools and have friends on every continent. I speak multiple languages. Although I'm American, I don't identify or relate to Americans as a fellow American. In fact I feel that I have no natl. identity. I've traveled extensively, far more than any of my current college class-mates. From my global experience, I've realized that The Creepy Man Syndrome seems to be an Intl. disease. I've experienced it EVERYWHERE!

mmacklem
03-23-2008, 01:31 AM
My God, Conn hurts my brain.

"I don't have a pastor, so I don't really understand, but if this guy is Obama's pastor then Obama must think every word Wright says is the word of God."

"But Obama gave this guy's church some money."

"But if Obama gave this guy a completely symbolic position on his campaign, then he must be an important cabinet-level influence on his views and foreign-policy."

Surely Conn can't possibly really believe this nonsense. I enjoy hearing convincing conservative arguments, because I like to hear views that push my own. But this is not convincing, this borders on mindless blather. I think I'll listen to Loury and McWhorter again to clean my palette.

graz
03-23-2008, 01:43 AM
My God, Conn hurts my brain.

"I don't have a pastor, so I don't really understand, but if this guy is Obama's pastor then Obama must think every word Wright says is the word of God."

"But Obama gave this guy's church some money."

"But if Obama gave this guy a completely symbolic position on his campaign, then he must be an important cabinet-level influence on his views and foreign-policy."

Surely Conn can't possibly really believe this nonsense. I enjoy hearing convincing conservative arguments, because I like to hear views that push my own. But this is not convincing, this borders on mindless blather. I think I'll listen to Loury and McWhorter again to clean my palette.

Yes, it does beg the question, can he, does he believe these things?
And if it is just political role-playing, then that bad taste in your mouth and headache are soon to pass. Loury and McWhorter aren't the last word, but they offer what the best bhtv diavlogs promise: Intellectual inquiry, substantive disagreement and an increased appetite - not indigestion.

piscivorous
03-23-2008, 01:43 AM
Unless the Senator's Grandmother has expressed fear of black men on numerous occasion the incident is different than the one in Dreams from My Father Well let us just compare senator Obama's story about his grandmother. In the speech he said 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, 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. But after 3 diavlogs this subject is really getting old and at this point it is essentially pissing in the wind; as most here have already made up their minds from the tenner and tone of previous comment threads.

piscivorous
03-23-2008, 02:18 AM
While it is a pin in the ass to do dingalinks I had to do this one as it is surly must be one of Mr. Scher's worst moments, among many in this diavlog, as he admits that for 20 some odd years Senator Obama's has worshiped at the alter of Marxist Black Liberation Theology. (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9635?in=00:18:38&out=00:18:41) I can't believe that Mr. Carroll let this one slide by.

Incompetence Dodger
03-23-2008, 02:22 AM
Conn and Bill:

Guys, I'm begging you, please, PLEASE stick to your knitting. All the weekly bhTV diavlogs (Science Saturday, UN Plaza, Free Will) are niche products, not free-for-alls. Those shows work because the participants stick to their subject, or their role in the case of Will (the vice-president episode of Free Will is actually a good object lesson; one of the several reasons it was a train wreck was that Will kept gratuitously hogging the spotlight). What they don't do is try and attempt a general-purpose political debate. It's true that they do stray into politics occasionally, but only as an outgrowth of the subject at hand (i.e., it's natural for George and John to go from science, to science education, to science funding, to politics). As I understand it, The Week in Blog is supposed to be Bill reporting to conservatives on what's going on in Left Blogistan, and Conn vice versa. That is what you guys do well; pie-fights not so much. No shame in that; foreign correspondents don't necessarily make good pundits. There are left-right pairings that work very well: David Corn and Jim Pinkerton, Bob and Mickey (a de facto conservative when he's doing his "contrarian", concern troll schtick). You two are NOT one of those pairings, and as bad as things are now IMO, they're only going to get worse in the general.

Glaurunge
03-23-2008, 02:44 AM
EW:

I have to disagree about this "changing the subject" meme.
Obama had to address his relationship with Wright.
That you are not satisfied with his approach, angle of his chin, polish on his shoes and the secret "real thoughts and motives for his words", that only you can divine, is not on point.
Your vote is not in play obviously, but is objectivity outside of your realm?

I'm in total agreement with you, Graz. Just because Obama refused to let Republican apparatchiks like Con frame the issue doesn't mean he "changed the subject." Honestly, Con sounds like a broken record propounding the "judgement" meme, which seems to be the party line one is required to take as an unquestioningly loyal Republican. Just because that's what Republicans happen to be fixated on doesn't mean it's the "real" issue. The real issue is that it's all just a contrived controversy.

Glaurunge
03-23-2008, 03:06 AM
What bothers me about Obama's use of his grandmother's fear of passing black men in the street is that it was not a particularly effective equivalent to Wright's divisive sermons (being a pastor, he has a moral responsibility to uplift and nurture his congregation rather than stir up their anger at "white society").


Laurelnyc, can you please clearly delineate what Wright said that was meant to "stir up anger"? It's amazing how those who take the greatest umbrage at his sermon are also at the biggest loss of words when asked to articulate specific utterances rather than generalizations and mischaracterizations.

I'm not exactly sure what the "job" of a pastor is, but it seems that you think it's to be nothing but an "opiate of the masses" kind of thing. There's also difference between being "divisive" and merely pointing out the continued existence of racism in America. Now if you choose to ignore that fact of life in America, go ahead. But pretending something doesn't exist won't make it go away.

And as John McHorter and Glenn Loury discussed in Friday's diavlog, if you think that the Grandmother line was intended to draw an equivalence and thereby cancel out Wright's sermon, you completely missed the point.

Why not watch a complete version of that particular sermen that's been playing 24/7 on Faux News in edited form . You can see it here on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOdlnzkeoyQ).

Glaurunge
03-23-2008, 03:14 AM
Once again the Senator Obama proves that he is not a different kind of politician as shown by his own words; Obama: Fire Imus. (http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3031317&page=1) This on April 7, 2007 when the Rev Wright was still on his staff. With the Senator's actions differing from his words, on numerous occasions now, sooner or latter the Senator's word, no matter the elegance of construction and delivery, will be discounted by the majority of voters.

So? What racial slurs did did Wright use against Whites or anyone else? Imus called black basketball players "Nappy headed hoes". Dude, racism is a very serious charge and shouldn't be made lightly. If you can't back it up with hard facts then keep quiet. Though at this point I'm convinced that posts like this are just a part of the right wing echo chamber doing it's job by furthering the misperception that Obama's preacher is some kind of radical black seperatist who wants to kill all the whiteys he sees.

Glaurunge
03-23-2008, 03:20 AM
While it is a pin in the ass to do dingalinks I had to do this one as it is surly must be one of Mr. Scher's worst moments, among many in this diavlog, as he admits that for 20 some odd years Senator Obama's has worshiped at the alter of Marxist Black Liberation Theology. (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9635?in=00:18:38&out=00:18:41) I can't believe that Mr. Carroll let this one slide by.

But wasn't Jesus a socialist or at least a proto-socialist? I know it's probably hard to believe after hearing for 7 years that Jesus was really a rank-and-file Republican.

otto
03-23-2008, 08:42 AM
These two have got a better thing going these days.

brucds
03-23-2008, 08:55 AM
"for 20 some odd years Senator Obama's has worshiped at the alter of Marxist Black Liberation Theology."

Piscovorous - you're a fucking idiot. Really. Just pull shit out of your ass and assume it's worth our time. Give it a rest.

brucds
03-23-2008, 09:07 AM
And pleeeeze don't respond with a repetition that "Scher admits" this - cut your losses.

piscivorous
03-23-2008, 09:08 AM
"for 20 some odd years Senator Obama's has worshiped at the alter of Marxist Black Liberation Theology."

Piscovorous - you're a fucking idiot. Really. Just pull shit out of your ass and assume it's worth our time. Give it a rest.
You have a good Easter too.

brucds
03-23-2008, 09:38 AM
Here's a sermon for you, buddy:


http://tinyurl.com/28uwsb

piscivorous
03-23-2008, 09:49 AM
First I'm a "you're a fucking idiot" now I your "buddy." what are you schizophrenic?

brucds
03-23-2008, 09:56 AM
"You have to cherry pick - otherwise you can't discuss it."

brucds
03-23-2008, 09:58 AM
"now I'm your buddy"

That was intended as the other "buddy" - as in "What's your problem, buddy?"

I guess I should have used the preferred term and more explicit term, "asshole."

brucds
03-23-2008, 10:03 AM
Conn: "We don't know whether or not Obama supports affirmative action."

The other Conn: "Obama supports affirmative action."

This was overall a very sad performance on Conn's part - reducing himself to a rightwing hack with a transparent agenda.

piscivorous
03-23-2008, 10:11 AM
To tie a couple of threads from the last couple of diavlogs together on the Suez Canal and Obama's loyalty to his Minister. The British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan who was called into rescue the British conservative party, after the failed Suez incursion, and wound up dumping some of his closest Cabinet colleagues to extricate himself from a political crisis, the Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe responded: "Greater love hath no man than to lay down his friends for his life." In Obama's case it would be "Greater love hath no man than to lay down his spiritual advisor and mentor for his political career."

brucds
03-23-2008, 10:27 AM
I thought it was his grandmother...now the rightwing concern trolls are shocked at Obama's treatment of Wright. The emotional and intellectual depth is truly awesom.


Anyway, here's another sermon for those who can't make it to services this morning:


http://tinyurl.com/39sm89

piscivorous
03-23-2008, 10:45 AM
"If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,"Wright told The New York Times with a shrug. "I said it to Barack personally, and he said 'yeah, that might have to happen.'" but if you wish to add his grandmother to the list your more than welcome to.

brucds
03-23-2008, 10:54 AM
It's not my list so you can "cherrypick" whoever you want to include. More to the point, the spin coming from guys like you has failed in the public sphere. Better find another horse to ride. Why don't you take Jack Kemp's advice and make the case on the issues - taxes, Iraq, etc. ?

Oh - I forgot. You can't win on those...

piscivorous
03-23-2008, 11:13 AM
It's not my list so you can "cherrypick" whoever you want to include. More to the point, the spin coming from guys like you has failed in the public sphere. Better find another horse to ride. Why don't you take Jack Kemp's advice and make the case on the issues - taxes, Iraq, etc. ?

Oh - I forgot. You can't win on those...That is one of the differences between you and I. I don't participate here to "win". I come to present my point of view, not expecting to win or convert, but to offer an alternative interpretation on the events and facts that is different than what the majority here espouse. I do it here because I very much like the diavlog format and the diavlogers, although it seems to be getting ever more unbalanced, and the commenters, aside from a few ill mannered cretins, are generally sophisticated enough to keep the dialog civil.

piscivorous
03-23-2008, 11:27 AM
Good grief Piscivorous, haven't you read the past BHTV posts? This is a left-wing echo chamber, where Republicans are evil and belief in God is a considered some weird, freakish belief. You couldn't change their minds with a sledgehammer.

Obama himself could say "God Damn America" and the liberals -including Scher - would be defending, spinning and applauding.

I agree with Carroll. Obama speech was awful. He just changed the subject from "Why did I have a mentor who says God Damn America"? To "Why are you white people all racists?" Yes but some times it is interesting to ruffle their feathers and see what manner of fatuity falls out. There is also some pretty good argumentation but this particular subject seems to bring out the inanity from both sides.

harkin
03-23-2008, 01:09 PM
Obama raised some nice points but it was obvious that the only reason he brought them up was to (as Conn says) change the subject from judgement and honesty to race in America.

Conn hits the ball out of the park and all Scher can do is watch it fly over the fence and insist that Barack is the candidate of unity and Rev Wright is no different than some old lady with hateful prejudices based on street crime. Did Obama bring his grandmother down to church to share these views with everyone? Hilarious.

Obama had a golden opportunity to address the black church of victimhood which helps perpetuate the misery of the blacks today. It says just as much about his judgement that he missed the same opportunity in his speech that he did for years while his pastor was ranting, planting seeds of hate into the minds of his congregation, young and old.

Scher entirely misses the point about Obama 'throwing his grandmother under the bus'. The problem with Obama using his grandmother's words as some sort of moral equivilance and the Pastor's conspiratorial lunacy.

brucds
03-23-2008, 01:18 PM
"Obama is a Marxist" isn't an alternative "point of view and opinion" - it's an alternative reality for the intellectually and morally impaired.

Why do I have to treat this garbage as an "alternative opinon" when it's the stuff that only an "ill mannered cretin" would sling ?

osmium
03-23-2008, 01:43 PM
ok, admit it. you guys live together, don't you?

:) happy easter.

brucds
03-23-2008, 02:18 PM
Suppose you approach Obama’s text under the twin assumptions that (a) he is trying to communicate with you, and, (b) your obligation is to make a good-faith effort to understand his meaning. I read what he said about his grandmother, and his words left me in no doubt about two things: He really loves his grandmother, and he was saying something important about race that I recognized from my own experience. I bet many of the people who have slammed him recognize it from their own experience too. The guy was being honest, and he was being right. What the hell more do you want?

Ah, but he was trashing his grandmother for political purposes, he was equating what she said with the much more terrible things that Rev. Wright said, blah, blah, blah. Yes—if you insist on interpreting what he said purely as an exercise in political positioning. No, if you go to his text with the intention of trying to understand what Obama thinks about race.

I understand how naïve it is to read a presidential candidate’s speech as if it were anything except political positioning, but that leads me to my final point: It’s about time that people who disagree with Obama’s politics recognize that he is genuinely different. When he talks, he sounds like a real human being, not a politician. I’m not referring to the speechifying, but to the way he comes across all the time. We’ve had lots of charming politicians. I cannot think of another politician in my lifetime who conveys so much sense of talking to individuals, and talking to them in ways that he sees as one side of a dialogue. Conservatives who insist that he’s nothing but an even slicker Bill Clinton are missing a reality about him, and at their peril.

The other day he talked about race in ways that no other major politician has tried to do, with a level of honesty that no other major politician has dared, and with more insight than any other major politician possesses. Not bad.

(Apologies to Charles "Bell Curve" Murray from whom I borrowed these words verbatim. I thought it might be an interesting experiment for some of these folks to read those words assuming they were from a strident denizen of the "left wing echo chamber." The point is that conservatives would do their case more justice if they gave up the half-baked, cherry-picked attacks on Obama's speech because it's an argument they can't win in good faith. Take Jack Kemp's advice, move onto the issues that impact the lives of Americans and the role of America in the world. Since it's Easter - assuming you don't think belief in God is "weird" as some wingnut put it in a previous comment - read a couple of Wright's sermons in full and ask yourself whether or not he's anti-American or a committed Christian coming from a particular and not inconsequential social and cultural experience.

Redemption is a valuable option - it's available to anyone who wants to partake. Think about it. Maybe it requires opening your heart to something more elevated than soundbites from Hannity and Limbaugh. If you keep hitting Obama with this puerile "analysis", you lose. Maybe you don't care about that. Maybe you're fine with looking like a loser - clueless, dishonest, shallow, etc. But you'd do the national discourse and your corner of the political spectrum a favor by making some modest effort to grow the fuck up. Again, and with apologies for plagarizing Murray - who I consider to be something of a crackpot for the most part - the way I see it.)

Wonderment
03-23-2008, 04:08 PM
Suppose you approach Obama’s text under the twin assumptions that (a) he is trying to communicate with you, and, (b) your obligation is to make a good-faith effort to understand his meaning. I read what he said about his grandmother, and his words left me in no doubt about two things: He really loves his grandmother, and he was saying something important about race that I recognized from my own experience.

I agree with that. I admire Obama's honesty. I interpreted it as, "Look, I'm white too. And my own grandmother could say some weird stuff on occasion."

Try looking at it that way instead of buying into the way Obama has now been marketed as the "black" candidate. He is a black candidate, but he also grew up as a Kenyan-American kid in Hawaii who didn't identify with the African-American community.

If he were giving a speech on alcoholism and said, "In my own family I remember when my Aunt Hilda would get drunk and miss her kids' PTA meetins," no one would say, "He threw Aunt Hilda under the bus." They would say, he's being honest about his experience, and they would praise him.

A separate question that Laurel raised is whether he is sensitive enough to what women endure with strangers on the street. A lot of men are oblivious to what that can be like. If a terrified woman does a little spontaneous irrational racial profiling, well, I can think of worse crimes against humanity.

Anyuser
03-23-2008, 04:46 PM
. . . can you please clearly delineate what Wright said that was meant to "stir up anger"? It's amazing how those who take the greatest umbrage at his sermon are also at the biggest loss of words when asked to articulate specific utterances rather than generalizations and mischaracterizations.

It is widely reported that Wright:

1. Said the US government invented and disseminated HIV to kill blacks.

2. Said words interpreted to mean that the US had 9/11 coming to it.

3. Said god should damn instead of bless America.

4. Identified the US with the KKK.

5. Named Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and Clarence Thomas with insulting epithets.

If you don't concede that those positions are going to piss off a big slice of the electorate, the conversation's over. If those positions are generalizations and mischaracterizations, the Obama campaign would do well to get that word out.

I watched the lengthy excerpt from a Wright sermon that you previously linked. In my opinion, that excerpt and others ameliorate to some extent the James-Brown-on-PCP clips shown on Fox. However, I know other Obama supporters who disagree.

It will be interesting to see if the electorate shrugs off Wright. If it does, that for me would be evidence of Obama's appeal, and not evidence that Wright is not obnoxious.

bjkeefe
03-23-2008, 04:47 PM
The only remaining question about Conn Carroll is whether the Heritage Foundation has taken him off salary and is now paying him on straight commission. Given the number of times he repeated the same tired talking points, I am at a loss for any other explanation.

Conn's increasingly petulant tone as Bill calmly and patiently shot down his points one after another reminded me of a six-year old, trying to explain to Mommy why he should be able to stay up past his bedtime and eat candy for breakfast. During his lame "well, I guess we'll find out" segue (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9635?in=22:07&out=22:30), after his last incorrect talking point about polling data had been exposed for the nonsense that it was, I could almost hear the stamping of a tiny foot. I had to laugh at Bill's inability to suppress a smirk by that point.

I don't at all mind having someone on BH.tv who strongly disagrees with my political views, but please, can't we find someone else for Bill to talk to who might actually be able to make an intelligent case or say something new? Conn sounded, for the first 22 minutes, like a bush-league Sean Hannity. It's boring, more than anything else. He said nothing that hasn't already been said a million times this past week. The only person in the BH.tv world who could possibly have derived a scintilla of benefit from Conn in this opening segment is Mickey Kaus, whose remarks on the same topic suddenly seem almost insightful by comparison.

To Conn's credit, he sounded more analytical and less mindlessly partisan once the diavlog moved on. I think, however, that it's easy for him to be on an even keel about the Clinton campaign at this point -- that's not who his side is worried about.

Though it was a short segment on McCain, I thought he was pretty good when talking about the age issue. However, it sounded a little bit like wishful thinking when he said that McCain is never going to be questioned about his foreign policy "expertise." If the Democrats can ever get past the primaries, count on the leftosphere to start paying serious attention to the McCain gaffes. I grant the dim possibility of many in the MSM ever seeing past McCain's halo, but I think he won't get a complete pass on this.

And now, your moment of irony: The most informative Conn was during this entire diavlog, for me at least, was in his reporting on what Leno and Letterman are saying. Thanks, Conn, since I don't watch TV, but isn't your beat supposed to be the blogosphere?

bjkeefe
03-23-2008, 04:55 PM
graz:

Nuance and complexity seemed to irk Conn to no end in this diavlog. He just wanted it be yes or no... black or white.

Thanks for pointing that out. Conn was irking me with this. What is it with right-wing mouthpieces, and their insistence that everything must be so simplistic?

graz
03-23-2008, 05:10 PM
Brendan:

I am also anticipating that the leftosphere and MSM will be shifting their focus as the next phase begins with McCain vs. the dem.

Obama has stated clearly that he would be happy to engage McCain on any and all fronts. This could could really move beyond the usual dynamic of most presidential election races. Sure, they are all unique in some aspects... but if I were to wager, after the anti-intellectual reign of 2000-08, just witnessing the candidates debating in complete sentences will satisfy voters on either side of the divide.
Like Bill Clinton said recently: would that the two candidates lay out their platforms and let the voters decide.
I left out the "who love America part," but really now, is McCain's allegiance really that suspect?

graz
03-23-2008, 05:45 PM
graz:
Thanks for pointing that out. Conn was irking me with this. What is it with right-wing mouthpieces, and their insistence that everything must be so simplistic?

There insistence on simplicity is a reflection of their training and indoctrination at the hands of the Rove/Gingrich cabal. Of course I have only anecdotal evidence for this general point, but you get it. They do their own followers, including the likes on this site, a disservice by not crediting them with the wherewithal to reason on their own. I get the efficacy of talking points, but to rely on them as a rebuttal to criticism is disingenuous and insulting to the relative intelligence that is probably shared equally on all sides.
The initial portion of Conn's diavlog is a perfect example.
One reason that the right-wing mouthpieces want to squelch the embrace of the complexities that Obama's take on race provides, is that they are programmed to control the message. Supposition be damned.
Complexity and nuance or the ability to hold competing ideas in ones head are nothing to be afraid of.
And I think that Obama may be proving that the application of this principle is politically viable. Reason (God) Bless America.

bjkeefe
03-23-2008, 05:54 PM
graz:

I left out the "who love America part," but really now, is McCain's allegiance really that suspect?

If I could have one wish for all future political discourse in this country, it might well be for everyone to agree that arguing over "who loves America" more is a line forever out of bounds.

Of course, I expect that wish to be fulfilled shortly after every child receives the second pony.

Glaurunge
03-23-2008, 06:32 PM
It is widely reported that Wright:

1. Said the US government invented and disseminated HIV to kill blacks.

Agreed. This is really the only silly thing he said and not worth anything near the amount of coverage he's gotten.


2. Said words interpreted to mean that the US had 9/11 coming to it.

Nice weasle words there. "Were interpreted to mean". The fact is, he didn't say the US had 9/11 comming to it. He didn't say it was deserved or that any of those people deserved to die.


3. Said god should damn instead of bless America.


So what? Oh noes! We can't ever critisize God's greatest gift to mankind. And especially not when it treats some as "less than human". When the great US of A wants to screw you, you bend over and take it while asking "Thank you, Sir! May I have another?"

4. Identified the US with the KKK.

The same US that had slavery followed by a hundred years of legally enshrined racism, segregation and quasi-Apartheid in some cases?


5. Named Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and Clarence Thomas with insulting epithets.

Hadn't actually heard those yet.


If you don't concede that those positions are going to piss off a big slice of the electorate, the conversation's over. If those positions are generalizations and mischaracterizations, the Obama campaign would do well to get that word out.


What you listed aren't exactly generalizations or mischaracterizations, but tune into any program on Faux News or the other cables news networks and you'll find plenty. Moreover, anyreaction by the public is going to be magnified by the right wing message machine that's been beating this dead horse relentlessly.

laurelnyc
03-23-2008, 06:48 PM
I understand how naïve it is to read a presidential candidate’s speech as if it were anything except political positioning, but that leads me to my final point: It’s about time that people who disagree with Obama’s politics recognize that he is genuinely different. When he talks, he sounds like a real human being, not a politician. I’m not referring to the speechifying, but to the way he comes across all the time. We’ve had lots of charming politicians. I cannot think of another politician in my lifetime who conveys so much sense of talking to individuals, and talking to them in ways that he sees as one side of a dialogue. Conservatives who insist that he’s nothing but an even slicker Bill Clinton are missing a reality about him, and at their peril.


Well we must be hearing different things. For me Obama has ALWAYS sounded like a typical politician. He claims to be different, but he hasn't done anything to prove himself on that claim IMO. I realize you're head over heels in love with Obama, and as we all know, love is blind. I really have no problem with Obama being a typical run of the mill politician. What irks me is what a fraud he is and how many people have fallen for his marketed image of "authenticity."

Unfortunately, you have an issue with people not "seeing the light." Perhaps Obama makes sense to you, but there are millions of Americans who disagree. Perhaps you're missing this reality, to your own peril.

bjkeefe
03-23-2008, 07:03 PM
laurel:

It is equally fair, or unfair, to characterize you as head over heels with hate for Obama, and to say that your complete and utter dismissal of him as even slightly different reflects an equally willful refusal to admit reality.

brucds
03-24-2008, 12:23 AM
Did you read the part where I made it clear I was quoting Charles Murray - a rightwing intellectual icon, for what that's worth - who would no more vote for Obama than the man in the moon and who is hardly "head over heels in love with him."

Your tired recycled characterizations not only don't fit me - they surely don't fit Murray, who disagrees with Obama on nearly nothing, yet recognizes that in our degraded discourse Obama is head and shoulders above the rest in his treating his audiences as adults. Maybe it's you who can't see beyond your nose...

brucds
03-24-2008, 12:26 AM
oops - that should have been "disagrees with Obama on practically everything," (re:policy)

Bloggin' Noggin
03-24-2008, 08:18 AM
I used to have some respect for Conn. But his buying the "throw grandma under the
bus" meme shows he really is just a paid spinner or a total idiot. Apparently he really is just auditioning to be a right wing attack dog.

I guess HUckabee was "playing the race card" when he explained why Wright should be cut some slack.

I don't think it was necessary to throw your integrity under the bus, Conn.

conncarroll
03-24-2008, 10:00 AM
I never mind being attacked or called foolish in these threads. But blatantly misquoting me is unfair. I never said, or even came close to saying:

"if this guy is Obama's pastor then Obama must think every word Wright says is the word of God."

What I did say was that Obama's decision to include Wright in his campaign raised issues about Obama's judgment.

And while I'm here, I'd like to add to comment more on the Haggee/McCain issue. I was too distracted by making the argument that the Haggee/McCain relationship is totally different than the Obama/Wright relationship, that I forgot to point out how this comparison proves my point. When people bring up Haggeee and McCain, it calls into question whether McCain honestly believes Haggee is his "spiritual leader." Considering how little time they've spent together, this is obviously untrue, and McCain's statements otherwise bring into question his honesty. Furthermore, McCain's decision to actively seek his endorsement brings into question McCain's judgment.

So far both relationships, Obama/Wright and McCain/Haggee, the real questions are ones of honesty and judgment. Not race. If Obama wanted a real healing discussion on race he could have brought it up when he was ahead in the polls and from a position of strength. Instead he used it as a distraction in a very defensive speech given while cornered. Perhaps I am too cynicial, but that is still the way I see it.

piscivorous
03-24-2008, 10:17 AM
It's nice to see that as a diavloger you are actually paying attention to the "dialog" in the comments that your appearance provokes.

brucds
03-24-2008, 01:42 PM
Conn's further comments on Hagee-McCain are redemptive of my decent opinion of him prior to this particular diavlog. I still think he's spinning wildly in his characterization of Obama's speech, but nobody's perfect.

bkjazfan
03-24-2008, 01:59 PM
Comparing the McCain/Hagee relationship to the one Obama has with Wright is ridiculous. I don't think that the Obama supporters were nudged away from him by this bru-ha-ha. However, the independents that he is reaching out to may have flinched a bit and he may have lost some of them.

graz
03-24-2008, 02:06 PM
I never mind being attacked or called foolish in these threads. But blatantly misquoting me is unfair. I never said, or even came close to saying:

"if this guy is Obama's pastor then Obama must think every word Wright says is the word of God."

What I did say was that Obama's decision to include Wright in his campaign raised issues about Obama's judgment.

And while I'm here, I'd like to add to comment more on the Haggee/McCain issue. I was too distracted by making the argument that the Haggee/McCain relationship is totally different than the Obama/Wright relationship, that I forgot to point out how this comparison proves my point. When people bring up Haggeee and McCain, it calls into question whether McCain honestly believes Haggee is his "spiritual leader." Considering how little time they've spent together, this is obviously untrue, and McCain's statements otherwise bring into question his honesty. Furthermore, McCain's decision to actively seek his endorsement brings into question McCain's judgment.

So far both relationships, Obama/Wright and McCain/Haggee, the real questions are ones of honesty and judgment. Not race. If Obama wanted a real healing discussion on race he could have brought it up when he was ahead in the polls and from a position of strength. Instead he used it as a distraction in a very defensive speech given while cornered. Perhaps I am too cynicial, but that is still the way I see it.

Thanks Conn for jumping in.
The misquote was a bummer, but how about offering some insight as to your perceived role. It isn't a defense to simply say that you are willing to be attacked and called foolish.
Why are you stuck on the talking points?
Is cynicism an excuse for not responding to the charge of exploiting the "memes," like "throwing under the bus" and "judgement," or is it a cynical acceptance of playing the game by the usual rules.
It seems to me that your crowd is flummoxed by the fact that Obama is attempting to control his own narrative. And your secret meetings have not yielded a winning strategy to combat this daunting phenomenon.
Lee Attwater is dead, Karl Rove is in a cushy chair at Fox, maybe your side ought to try winning the case on merit.

thouartgob
03-24-2008, 03:54 PM
osmium:
Nuance and complexity seemed to irk Conn to no end in this diavlog. He just wanted it be yes or no... black or white.

For conservatives Obama is just a pigment of our imagination.

Obama has raised the bar on using the race card. Under the standard set by the speech he is implicitly pledged not to toss the "R-word" around in ways that previous politicians may have in the past gotten away with. It limits his rhetoric in dealing with attacks and such but in the end I think both coastal and flyover populations will appreciate this development.

conncarroll
03-24-2008, 04:08 PM
Is cynicism an excuse for not responding to the charge of exploiting the "memes," like "throwing under the bus" and "judgement," or is it a cynical acceptance of playing the game by the usual rules.

I'm gonna go with cynical acceptance.

It seems to me that your crowd is flummoxed by the fact that Obama is attempting to control his own narrative. And your secret meetings have not yielded a winning strategy to combat this daunting phenomenon.

If there are secret meetings, I'm not invited ... and as far as Obama trying to control his own narrative ... that is what all politicians do. At least the successful ones anyway.

thouartgob
03-24-2008, 04:45 PM
I echo those who laud your appearance in the forum.

On the merits of Obama and whatever position Wright has in the organization it was always going to be an issue. Nothing short of Obama beheading Wright on national TV would keep the Right Wing at bay. Republicans would have tied obama and wright together in a continuous weave of radical racial animosity suitable for a million straw men from now until the Rapture. The real issue is one of family and community. Life dealt Obama the hand he has, 20 years of happy/sad/angry/reflective experiences in this black church community.

I would like to point to a direct quote here: http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9635?in=00:11:01&out=00:11:07

when Bill says explaining the grandma being typical quote:

Bill: But is not as if he is saying all white people are racist ...
Conn: No, just your typical whitey

Now Here is the full Obama quote:

"... .. The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person who, uh, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know there's a reaction that's been been bred into our experiences that don't go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way and that's just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it..." - Senator Barack Obama


Now Conservative pundit Chris Wallace even gets the point that he wasn't calling typical white people racist. Do you really feel sooo oppressed as a white person (whitey indeed )? Do you feel that being white is NOW a real detriment ??


From this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-milazzo/truth-on-cnn-pundits-def_b_92965.html

Here are the significant quotes

------------------------------------------------------------------
As stated by Obama:

"Some of the fears of street crime and some of the stereotypes that go along with that were responses that I know many people feel. She's [my grandmother's] not extraordinary in that regard... Good people, people who are not in any way racist are still subject to some of these images and stereotypes."

Anderson Cooper's inflammatory response:

"Well, those [Obama's] comments touched off another uproar on the blogs and on some cable commentators who accused him [Obama] of calling all white people racists."

In response the pundits on the show said:

David Gergen, who was guesting on Cooper's show. Gergen responded with:

"Anderson, I have to tell after listening to all this and what he [Obama] further said, I sort of think YOU OUGHT TO GET A GRIP ON REALITY HERE. I mean, he's [Obama's] RIGHT about the fact that certain people have stereotypes in their heads!"

[Carl] Bernstein deflected the race card and instead spoke the truth. As Bernstein stated:

"The race genie is out of the bottle and Obama has called for an elevated conversation about race -- and what we are seeing here is the bottom of the barrel conversation -- a talk show nation hysteria... As long as we keep pulling these threads out, we're not going to have any kind of meaningful debate in this campaign. And David's absolutely right. He [Obama] spoke a truth! ... "

Roland Martin, who was also on his panel. Cooper, clearly uncomfortable, remarked to Martin:

"It's interesting, you know Roland, that these are not the kinds of conversation that television or radio programs... in this heightened atmosphere does very well. It's a difficult conversation to have and it's a very nuanced conversation to have in a political environment which is all about sound bytes and people yelling on television."

To which Roland Martin responded:

"But we don't have to do what they do. We can call for something different... "

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

graz
03-24-2008, 05:28 PM
Is cynicism an excuse for not responding to the charge of exploiting the "memes," like "throwing under the bus" and "judgement," or is it a cynical acceptance of playing the game by the usual rules.

I'm gonna go with cynical acceptance.

It seems to me that your crowd is flummoxed by the fact that Obama is attempting to control his own narrative. And your secret meetings have not yielded a winning strategy to combat this daunting phenomenon.

If there are secret meetings, I'm not invited ... and as far as Obama trying to control his own narrative ... that is what all politicians do. At least the successful ones anyway.

I am gonna let you have the last word.
And say thanks for jumping in the fray.
It is rare on this forum for the diavloggers to do that.

harkin
03-25-2008, 02:12 PM
Hang in there Conn. You did a great job taking everyone back to the true essence of what Obama was attempting to do. The fact that many refuse to follow and instead push the unreality envelope by spouting nonsense such as conservatives demanding beheadings only makes your point stronger.

Obama could have taken the Bill Cosby route and spoken hard truths with aims to help poor blacks out of the hopeless cycle of victimhood. Cosby took enormous heat but refused to back down so I guess a democratic candidate just has less leadership qualities than a man who makes Jell-O commercials.

piscivorous
03-25-2008, 02:34 PM
... than a man who makes Jell-O commercials. Great snark!

graz
03-25-2008, 02:36 PM
Hang in there Conn. You did a great job taking everyone back to the true essence of what Obama was attempting to do. The fact that many refuse to follow and instead push the unreality envelope by spouting nonsense such as conservatives demanding beheadings only makes your point stronger.

Obama could have taken the Bill Cosby route and spoken hard truths with aims to help poor blacks out of the hopeless cycle of victimhood. Cosby took enormous heat but refused to back down so I guess a democratic candidate just has less leadership qualities than a man who makes Jell-O commercials.

harkin:
Conn clearly doesn't need your help or support - he did a fine job - of sticking to his talking points, deflecting our forum criticisms without actually answering them directly. He played his game of satisfying his limited audience well. And you would be a perfect example of that. So help me understand what you or your spokesman have revealed about the "true essence" of the speech that isn't fully interpretive and conveniently spun whole cloth by you all?

P.S. Obama loves chocolate jello

piscivorous
03-25-2008, 02:50 PM
Here is a perspective yo may not of heard. An Open Letter to Senator Obama (http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/open-letter-to-senator-obama/)

graz
03-25-2008, 03:17 PM
Here is a perspective yo may not of heard. An Open Letter to Senator Obama (http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/open-letter-to-senator-obama/)

Piscivorous:

Quote - Lionel Chetwynd:
"Teach him that the great leadership and Christian love abjures the very filth - and I pick that word deliberately - That he spews on an apparently regular basis."

This to my mind is another case of not providing any context and exercising definitive judgement based on a single biased interpretation.
The particular line that includes: "he spews on an apparently regular basis" is the counterpoint that I offer you.

Apparent to whom? How many isolated and out of context examples among the years of preaching - thats what they call it at least - are enough to make a definitive and unimpeachable case?
I find it hard to accept that words out of Wright's
mouth, have to be justified exclusively by Obama.
Hence, the speech. Forget love it or hate it. Listen, respond and reveal.
My reaction to the speech is no more valid than yours or Chetwynd's, but in no way can our "take" fully address the depth of complexity that the subject demands.

Andrya6
03-25-2008, 07:22 PM
I've read the entire sermon with the 9/11 comment, and the quote is not as bad if read in context. It's an expression of anger at the American political system, and absolutely not an expression of approval of al Quaeda or 9/11. The sermons express intense anger at the things Wright regards as wrong with the US, but I haven't seen a single quote that expresses hatred of whites.

There's much more to a person's relations with their church than the pastor's sermons. About 10 years ago, my Catholic parish had a priest from the Phillipines who had TERRIBLE views on women- and frequently laced his sermons with put-downs of women. (Example: "Why can't women be ordained? Because no woman can keep a secret, they'd gossip about what they hear in the confessional..."). I don't know if I'd call it "filth" but it was highly objectionable. I didn't leave the church because the church community and the connection with God was more important. I'd be shocked if I ran for office and this stuff, which I hadn't said and hadn't endorsed, was held against me just because I didn't leave the church.

mmacklem
03-26-2008, 04:44 PM
I never mind being attacked or called foolish in these threads. But blatantly misquoting me is unfair. I never said, or even came close to saying:

"if this guy is Obama's pastor then Obama must think every word Wright says is the word of God."

Hi Conn,

I appreciate the response, my goal in the quotes was not to quote you, but to specifically caricature the points you were making. I agree that these were not the words that you use, but I cannot agree that there is no connection to the caricatures I used and the arguments you were making.

To cite an example, you raise the issue of the money that Obama donated to his church as an example of his support for Wright. I am a church-going Christian, I attend service every week, I worship the same God that Obama does, and I took offense to the same clips that everyone else took offense to. But I also know that I give money every week to my own church, and my own pastor drives me slightly insane. The reason that I give money to my church is that I see wonderful things at work in the church community, be it the breakfasts for the homeless that our church is involved with here in town, or the financial and moral support for the school in Uganda that we are sponsoring, or even just the day-to-day spiritual and emotional support that we offer for each other. I see my donations to the church as my way of showing my support for the infrastructure that the church provides in order to help the parishioners do the wonderful things that I see us doing.

As far as my own pastor goes, to be honest his sermons (depending on who is speaking in a given service) are rarely the highlights of the service for me, and I learn much more from reading Scripture and associated commentaries than I ever do from the sermons themselves. That has no relation whatsoever to why I give money to the church, I'm not paying the church to give me an emotional response every Sunday, there is no transaction implicit in my donations, other than that I continue to take comfort in the support that my church community offers to the surrounding local and world community.

My caricature of your argument in bringing up his donations to the church was never intended to represent the exact words that you were using, but instead to try to look at the implications of the fact that you were bringing this up as a way to argue for Obama's support of the specific words Wright used in these clips. You mention that you don't have a pastor, but it takes only a basic understanding of how many Christians interact with their church to understand that my case is hardly unique. I know many people who choose the church they attend based on which one is within walking distance, which on one level can be interpreted as a shallow and lazy consideration, but which can also be interpreted as a decision to specifically pour one's spiritual energy into the local community in which they spend the most time and thus can contribute the most to helping develop. There are a multitude of different reasons why someone might attend the church they attend, and the pastor (and the pastor's rhetoric) is only one of the multitude.

So why did you bring up the donations Obama gave to his church in the first place? I would argue that it's presence in your argument demonstrates the insincerity of the case you were making. Which is why I caricatured it.

But I will take back the comment that you make my brain hurt, this follow-up has helped me to think through my own thoughts on this topic, and that is always a healthy thing to do. As I alluded to in my original post, I enjoy hearing convincing arguments for views opposed to my own, because it starts this exact process of self-analysis, and sometimes even leads to a change of mind. In this case my response to your argument was that it was unconvincing, and in fact bordered on self-caricature, so I took that last baby-step. If this is not due to insincerity on your part, then I stand corrected. But my caricature remains correct.