Transterrestrial Musings

Defend Free Speech!

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type 4.0
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« Modern Socialist Realism | Main | An Equine Aria »

Having It Both Ways

Well, he may not be able to do it much longer:

...there's no cherry-picking occurring here. Furthermore, the cherry-picking defense, even when plausible, has never been accepted when it comes to racism. Don Imus, for example, has received widespread condemnation for very occasional statements that showed racial insensitivity. Trent Lott was condemned for one statement praising Strom Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign.

Obama appears to be playing a double game here, distancing himself from Wright without really denouncing him. It's essentially the same game Obama (we now see) has been playing for years -- cater to racist black nationalists at home while presenting himself as "post-racial" nationally.

Ah, but you see, according to the narrative, Reverend Wright can't be a racist, because it's not possible for blacks to be racist. Only the Man, with the power, can be a racist.

You know, this double game kind of reminds me of when Yasser Arafat would give one speech in English, talking about peace and negotiations with Israel, and then the very same day, give another one in Arabic, calling for the destruction of that nation and the death of the Jews. But in this case, the media doesn't even have the excuse of not understanding the language.

[Update a few minutes later]

Another good point, from Mark Hemingway:

How many times has Obama used "judgment" as a cudgel against his opponents this campaign? Well, choosing someone to offer your family spiritual guidance that isn't an anti-semite coddling, America-hating, race-baiting crazypants would appear to be a far easier decision than deciding whether to go to war. I anxiously await to see how Obama explains this aspect of his celebrated decision-making ability.

Don't we all.

[Update a while later]

New readers who came via Instapundit might want to see my follow-on thoughts on Hillary teaching a horse to sing. Or just click on the main page in the link above, and check out the place in general. Anyway, welcome to all.


0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Having It Both Ways.

TrackBack URL for this entry:


dsinope wrote:

The non-campaign-related viral internet video ads write themselves. Especially since the Wright video is available.

Throw in the pictures of Obama refusing to say the pledge of allegiance, the Rezco stuff, his wife talking about how mean America is - pretty soon Al Sharpton won't vote for him.

Ron Hardin wrote:

Worse, Imus'ss remark wasn't racism at all, cherry picked or not.

It was an entirely justified comment on a team of girls who adopted a ``tough guy from the 'hood '' trash-talking playing style, right down to tattoes.

Nappy-headed ho's is exactly right. Imus is paying them a compliment of the consequences of their choices. How rare in our infantilized culture.

Unfortunately Imus is soft-headed and started apologizing all over, thanks no doubt to his wife Yoko. He was in the right and ought to have stuck to it.

Of course he wound up with $20M and I didn't so what do I know.

What went down, in any case, was on the Tuesday before nappy Wednesday, mutual Hillary and Imus friend Donald Trump called producer McGuirk and asked if Hillary couldn't come on the program. McGuirk told Trump no way, and Trump presumably relayed that message back to team Hillary.

So Obama could get on and Hillary couldn't.

The next day, nappy Wednesday, Media Matters was rolling tape and picked off the first unexceptional comment on the tape, and sent it out for outrage; and executives all over NBC folded to it.

If Hillary can't get on, nobody can.

It was a matter of everybody afraid of Sharpton.

william wrote:

I think the reason why the KKK and white supremacists are marginal to white society is because good white people denounced them. I understand that black people have many reasons to distrust and be hostile to white people. But isn't there a line that shouldn't be crossed and doesn't this pastor cross that line. Bigotry is always dangerous, but when people worship their hatred it is most viral and destructive. I would not have voted for Obama but I preferred him to Hillary. No longer. I suppose I can hail a cab more easily in NY than he. However I don't have the money to take a cab. In most demonstrable metrics Obama has had a more comfortable and priveliged life than me. I don't begrudge him his success. He worked for it. However, in the strongest possible way I condemn him for his disdain of a society that made his success possible.

DWPittelli wrote:

I'm not going to claim that this is a bogus issue, because Obama did choose the man as his minister. But since it was not Obama saying those things, it is absurd to compare Obama to Arafat or anyone else. It would be more apropos to compare Obama to Hillary Clinton, because she embraced Suha Arafat after such a speech -- albeit only once, not over a period of decades.

I also do not think we should apply the same level of scrutiny to such religious associations to a man’s own stated positions. Church and religious associations are about emotions and community, and often have little to do with one’s stance on political issues.

While a church freely chosen, and then kept with, may reasonably be hung on a man somewhat more than a church one was born into, and then kept with (as with e.g., Romney, Ted Kennedy), Obama was a mere 23 years old (pre-Harvard Law) when he started his association with Wright. More to my point, his having joined the church, I do not think it fair to expect him to leave it after being a member of the church community for years, and having his marriage and his own and childrens’ baptisms there. At any rate, his having not done so is weak evidence, at best, for us to believe that everything Obama himself says is disingenuous.

Dr. Ellen wrote:

In my book, one of the chief requirements for somebody to be worthy of being in charge is that they like whatever they want to be in charge of.

willis wrote:

"Church and religious associations are about emotions and community, and often have little to do with one’s stance on political issues."

God damn America. The U.S. is responsible for 9/11. No stance on political issues here.

SanskritG wrote:

Ron Hardin,

So how were the Rutgers basketball players prostitutes? Because they have tattoos?

narciso wrote:

He married them, he was his model for community organizing, inspired his going into politics, the
title of his autobiography. He's a troofer in reverend's vestments; not unlike the Salafi preachers like Quradwi who stoke rage in the Middle
East from his perch in Doha, or Riyadh. This was his idea of a 'Christmas sermon'. Yes the Romans
were colonizers, like the Greeks, the Assyrians,
the Babylonians, before them. One might argue that
the call for 'direct action' by the Sicarii and oother elements of the Jewsih community, led to the
debacle of the Bar Kochba and Masada immolations

DWPittelli wrote:


1) I do not disagree that Wright's comments were political.

2) I do disagree that continuing to attend a church -- which, like a family, can be a community with strong personal and emotional ties -- implies agreement with said church's political positions.

I would like to make a suggestion to a blogger braver (and better located) than I.

If you live or can be near this guy's church this coming weekend, go to one of his services with an iPod with recording attachment and record his sermon. Then put the MP3 on your blog and post a text summary of it. Let's see if on a typical, randomly selected day he will still preach hate. Maybe his hate sermons are rare but relatively popular. Or maybe he does so all the time. While I believe I know the answer, it would be good to actually do the legwork and find out for real.

I recommend anyone without the resources to do the above view the first video on this page:

I can't tell if when you come there you will hear anti-American and anti-White slogans every week. But the video makes me think so; after all, "we are an African people, and remain true to OUR native land" (at about 1:35).

At 1:46 there is someone who looks strikingly similar to Barack Obama. I don't know if it is because the quality of the video isn't high enough, so others can comment. Note that he's sitting on a leather chair, together with two others, apparently greeting people or accepting contributions. This indicates that he is a major supporter of the church, not the "innocent" bystander you would expect from his recent remarks.

I would certainly like to know if every week is like this. I believe, but do not know, that this is the case. Someone with deep pockets could blow $200 on his collected sermons (see the bookstore) and find out.

The most interesting take-away impression from his church is that it as an institution has a huge stake in keeping blacks divided from the outer culture and therefore within the hypnotic control of the church. Surely if you are exposed to this kind of culture you are going to think of the non-black world as The Enemy even if the outside world wants to help you and makes efforts to do so.

It is striking that Obama appears to reject this reasoning and is campaigning as a universal force, a uniter, who has crossover appeal all over the place. The reason this church matters so much is that it exists off precisely the opposite attitude.

This makes me wonder if Obama is entirely sincere. He is either betraying his church, or his church is betraying him -- but in the latter case you would expect him to denounce it and he has not.

The big problem he has, of course, is that if he denounces his church he will promptly lose about 50% of his support among blacks, and if he doesn't denounce it, his support from whites will fall through the floor, since they will figure out that he is really far more of a dividing force than he looks.

An interesting campaign season indeed. McCain's looking better every day.


Peter wrote:

It must be nice to be a leftist. A leftist can argue with no memory of the day before. It has not been years, or even many weeks, since the whole Leftosphere was up in arms over McCain/Hagee.
Careful walking near a lefty. The hypocracy just drips off them and makes it easy to slip and hurt yourself.

junyo wrote:

Give the conservative/libertarian blogsphere long enough to spin this and we'll find out that Obama is in fact Osama Bin Laden, and personally committed the 9/11 attacks. Reynolds has been beating the Reverend Wright drum for months and now it's finally picking up steam. Must be nice to see that you can personally steer the Internet.

Except for it's all BS. These examples don't hold water. "...Imus, for example, has received widespread condemnation for very occasional statements..." I've seen more offensive quotes from Imus, (for example calling Stern a "Jew bastard, and should be castrated... put in an oven" yeah, that's not racist, only "insensitive")in terms of number of instances, said over a much longer period of time (going back at least 20 years) than what I've seen from Reverend Wright. And not only did most of the right wing political establishment/media/blogsphere not condemn Imus in anything other than the most tepid manner, most actively defended him ("...but black rappers say worse things..."). In a few short months his rehabilitation was complete to the point where McCain could appear on his comeback show with not political fallout. And now we have folks like Mr. Hardin telling us that the last slur wasn't even a slur, just an accurate description of Rutger's female collegiate athletes slash prostitutes. Over the course of a career Imus has functionally gained by being "insensitive".

Trent Lott was "condemned" for a direct statement made that seemed to indicate a support or nostalgia for segregation. His votes against the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act were also historical actions which would've tended to reinforce the impression that he did not believe in desegregation. Not an associate of his, his words, his actions. And still, the total cost to him of this "condemnation" was the lose of party leadership in the Senate... which he was given back 4 years later. He effectively suffered no consequence.

Now however, we are being told that Obama is unfit to hold office because he belongs to a church who's pastor has said some deplorable things, with which Obama has repeatedly claimed to disagree. The temerity of this Obama fellow, sitting quietly in church. He should have stood up and shot Pastor Wright, and burned the church down, then become an atheist. That would've proved that he disagreed. Maybe. You never can tell with these closet Muslims. Of course if Rev. Wright says "Mea culpa" and a few months pass, this is a non-issue, right? I'm just going by the whole Imus thing.

Now keep in mind that a lot of the same people braying about this were braying about Howard Dean's "opportunistic" change of denomination a few years ago. About what it said about the character of a man to quit his church over a disagreement with the church leadership. To go to a more popular and palatable one. But Obama should have done exactly that, to prove his character.

This becomes farce. There's enough substantive issues and flaws upon which to attack the man that one wonders why every week we're treated to some other reason why the white electorate should be worried thatthe Black Messiah won't give them absolution. It seems that Obama's mere continued heartbeat will constitute "playing the race card", or "being a victim", or some other offense to vast swaths of the scarred victims in right wing white America.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Wow. I was wondering how long it would take for a troll to show up to attempt to defend Obama. There are so many straw men in "junyo's" "argument" that I think I'm getting hay fever.

And of course, as usual, this insanity is posted pseudonymously.

Creole wrote:

David H. Dennis above is absolutely correct. At 1:46 in that video, sitting next to Rev. Wright, is Mr. Obama. He appears to be acting in a volunteer or semi-official capacity.

Rand Simberg wrote:

An interesting campaign season indeed. McCain's looking better every day.

Not sure what you mean by that. None of this makes McCain look better to me than he already was (I'm not a big McCain fan). Perhaps you mean that it makes him look to be more likely to be the next president.

Amy wrote:

Ahh, so many good points made. But the one I see the most, and the one liberals refuse to respond to is this: Obama CHOSE that church, he CHOSE to stay in that church, and he CHOSE to listen to that man's sermons.

Obama compared Rev. Wright to a wacky uncle. I have a few wacky family members, including a very liberal brother-in-law. I am occasionally at a family gathering, where I must listen to these wacky people make wacky statements. I did not choose them per se, I was either born with them or inherited them through marriage. On the other hand, about 18 months ago, we moved to a new town. Our home church was too far away, so we began looking for a new one. Unlike with my wacky relatives, I had a choice. If my pastor said those things in relation to black people, Jews, or any other race, I would have gotten up and walked out before the sermon was over.

I have heard the argument, repeatedly, that the man speaks good things. That's great. But never should a person who believes in God or Jesus speak that way. Remember, Jesus associated with murderers, prostitutes, tax collectors, and really the only people he outright got angry with, were the leaders of his own race. The ones who were distorting Judaism, as it was practices before His death.

If you think this has nothing to do with Obama, he requotes one of Rev. Wright's sermons in his first book. It was a sermon that moved him. And it was filled with as much hate as what you have heard recently.

Racism has no place in our country. Does it exist, yes? But this country was founded on the principle of inclusion, not exclusion, and while we have, in the past, gotten it wrong for a little while, we always come back to the belief that there is room for everyone under this umbrella.

The only reason black people are still ruled by the rich white greedy man is because they still vote for democrats who convince them that they can't do anything without those same democrats. They are the rich, greedy white men, including Obama, who keep the black man down.


Mars vs Hollywood wrote:

Now keep in mind that a lot of the same people braying about this were braying about Howard Dean's "opportunistic" change of denomination a few years ago. About what it said about the character of a man to quit his church over a disagreement with the church leadership.

Howard Dean's problem with the "church leadership" was that they opposed the sale of some land for a bike path.

Obama's problem with the "church leadership" is that his "spiritual mentor" is espousing deranged cant about 9/11 being justified, the criminal justice system being a conspiracy, and that the government created AIDS.

The first is a petty, stupid trifle, the second is a more serious issue of belief.

And the issue here is not that Wright preached at Obama's church. The issue is Obama's specific relationship with Wright himself.

Robert wrote:

I wonder if "junyo" is Jim Harris? There is no way that one can defend Obama on this one, as other posters have said, he CHOSE that church for TWENTY YEARS.

bandit wrote:

Furthermore, the cherry-picking defense, even when plausible, has never been accepted when it comes to racism. Actually that's not true - at least not for the left - no matter what statements or misstatements they make "they don't have a racist bone in their body" whereas all not on the left are closet racists no matter what. But one thing fersure - Obama may not be aware of these statements by the Reverend but his wife was liastening a lot closer.

junyo wrote:

There are so many straw men in "junyo's" "argument" that I think I'm getting hay fever.
Yet you didn't actually address/topple any of them. You're a big stupid-head. See, we can trade insults. You've still not made your point that the examples of "comdemnation" from the right, don't even begin to meet the standard that you're trying to put on Mr. Obama.
And of course, as usual, this insanity is posted pseudonymously.
...with my real and quite verifyable email address, as your website requires. You can have my real name in two seconds. And a quick google of right wing, libertarian and tech blogs and forums (thehighroad, theothersideofkim, reason's hit and run, gizmodo, techdirt) will reveal quite a number of my posts and comments. So if calling me an anonymous troll let's you dismiss any posts you want without actually addressing them then that's your right, but don't pretend for one second that it's an actual representation of fact. Further, anonymity or not doesn't effect the validity of the statement unless I'm basing it on my own veracity. Attacking the source is a logical fallicy that people engage in when they don't have a point. Thus the fact that you chose to address superficial trifles and technicalities speaks volumes as to you ability to actually defend your own argument against anyone other than fans. If you want to argue at least address what I've said instead of slinging ad hominems and rhetorical tricks.

The first is a petty, stupid trifle, the second is a more serious issue of belief.Actually, the issue is whether you should reject your personally relationship with God, expressed through your choice of church, over a dispute with one of the leaders of the that church. If a church is nothing more than a social club, fine. But that presumes a detachment between congregation and belief system that not all people share. For a lot of people leaving a church over anything other than unresolvable disputes about core doctrine are tatamount to heresy. You can't venue shop salvation.

And the issue here is not that Wright preached at Obama's church. The issue is Obama's specific relationship with Wright himself.And again, if the issue was a)Obama's judgement, and b) guilt by association, how come both Imus (the speaker) and McCain (the associate of the speaker) both get a pass? The entire crux of this issue was Reynold's assertion that Rev. Wright was treated less harshly, and defended more staunchly than (his examples) Imus or Lott. That doesn't hold water. There was little to no political cost to being the associate of either of those gentlemen, even at the height of their respective controversies. Yet Obama currently is being forced to make a choice between political expediancy/political correctness and the person that he claims to believe is one of God's conduits, otherwise his judgement/character are flawed.

Leave a comment

Note: The comment system is functional, but timing out when returning a response page. If you have submitted a comment, DON'T RESUBMIT IT IF/WHEN IT HANGS UP AND GIVES YOU A "500" PAGE. Simply click your browser "Back" button to the post page, and then refresh to see your comment.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 14, 2008 1:12 PM.

Modern Socialist Realism was the previous entry in this blog.

An Equine Aria is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.1