Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Reaganesque....? Believe It.

Because we spent approx. 18 hours in airports and planes the past couple of days, we were unable to see the Obama race speech and all the accompanying commentary surrounding it which is a good thing because after watching it in its entirety on YouTube this evening, we did have a few unfiltered thoughts:

Overall, we thought it was good but it fell short of the mark and certainly did not have the broad sweeping impact that Romney’s religion in America speech did (but guess which one will always be referred to more often down the line?).

Why did it fall short of the mark? Well, for one thing it was too long. He starts off well keeping to the arching themes of race in this country’s history and giving what we felt was a very strong repudiation of Wright’s words and rhetoric. However, Obama starts drifting half-way through his speech, using his call for racial reconciliation as a jumping-off point for better healthcare, education, ending the war in Iraq, etc., etc.… campaign stumping that should have been placed on hold for this occasion.

He then goes on to rationalize the bigotry exhibited by some blacks on real injustices visited upon them in the past and at times, in the present. Fair enough (don’t necessarily agree but…O.K). But then, mystifyingly, he turns around and rationalizes white bigotry on affirmative action and welfare which, in his opinion, formed the foundation of the Reagan coalition. This is pure hooey, of course, and does not even dignify a response.

While listening to all this rationalization for plain old bad behavior without a straight-up unqualified condemnation of the same, a quote came to mind made by Rosalind Carter when speaking of (speaking of…) Reagan that we will apply to the subject at hand: “Obama make us comfortable with our prejudices”. He does. Because he didn’t just come out and say bigotry and racism was inexcusable, he made us feel a little more comfortable with some that we may harbor… its not really our fault, after all….just look at history.
We will commend him, though, for recognizing part of the greatness of this country is that it is not “static” with respect to progress whether its race, gender or religion. This is a theme pro-Western Civ types like us have been making for years especially with respect to Islam: “yeah, some of our history is not pretty… freely admitted… but we always reserve the right to be smarter and better than we used to be”.

We may have more later but that was what made the strongest initial impressions. Good but not great. Certainly, with all the hoopla surrounding this dust-up the opportunity for greatness was there so we’ll just call this a long single rather than a home-run.

P.S. The nagging suspicion remains…. He wants to use the "crazy uncle” argument but how can you break bread with that same crazy uncle for over 20 years without cracking him upside the skull? Obama says that we all have people in our lives that we love yet have disagreements with but, my g#d, those types of disagreements. And, worse, he never gives any evidence that he challenged Wright on any of his rhetoric over those 20 years. Nice speech but actions do speak louder than words so we don’t believe he is quite off the hook on this one.


B-Daddy said...

But he never answers the question of why he hung out with the good reverend for twenty years. That's because he can't give the answer in polite company. but the answer is this, Barack was not always viewed as genuinely or sufficiently "black" by African-Americans. His Mom is white and more importantly, he is not the descendant of slaves. Further, he attended Ivy League schools before settling in Chicago. But he was and is an ambitious man. (See the Dick Morris article.) He needed to establish his street cred as an authentic black politician. Enter the Rev. Wright and his peculiar brand of black religiosity. Barack used that association to get hooked up with the black power brokers in Chicago, who liked what they saw. Maybe he sold himself short by taking this shortcut. I think so, because he is a very gifted politician, but who knows. We become the results of the choices we make.

Further, I don't think the good reverend believes his own blather. It's all for show in my opinion, and Dennis Miller's as well. Oddly enough, I find that strangely comforting. That's because I don't think such hypocrisy can really stand the test of time. Saying we must fight it is like saying we have to face up to the intellectual challenge posed by Al-Qaeda. We actually don't, because there is no intellectual challenge there, and we can and should mock Al-Qaeda as well as faux racists like Rev. Wright.

Dean said...

B-Daddy, that may be all well and good but what about the people in Wright's audience who are lapping up this crap like its uh... the gospel? They're not angling for a Senate seat. They're two months past due on the rent with 5 children and another one on the way. Someone has to be to blame for all this. The good Reverend merely shows them the easy way out.

Anonymous said...

Why he hung out with the good reverend for twenty years????

He had his first "come to Jesus" meeting with this man. You didn’t get that? The fact this man did not disavow his mentor was a plus in my book, irrespective of the pastor's ongoing behavior.

And so he is not the descendent of slaves. Do you think the red neck on the street, or the prejudice employer knew this? Although I’m sure y’all can tell a half-breed, or one that didn’t have “roots”, but the rest of the world doesn’t look through eyes as pure as Bdaddys.

Yep, that shrewd Barack, joined that church, got married and baptized his kids, just to get street cred. All the while being an agent of Islam. Wow, pretty slick stuff!

Now I agree, Barack is a phenomenon. But standing by his preacher, while disagreeing and being unapologetic while displaying humility was certainly admirable.

I have never been afraid of Liberals the way I am afraid of Barack Obama. His charisma and the liberal white guilt of America seem to be propelling him into the office. (A point I perceived to be made by G. Ferraro) But let’s keep things in context, and not speculate on his faith or his experience with prejudice. It distracts us from the arena of ideas.

Road Dawg said...

I must not have signed in correctly, recent comment by the Dawg

Road Dawg said...

Dean said...
'Dawg, how about just being a candidate for "America"? Apparently, that may be too tall of an order.

I really think Barack was trying to be the candidate for America, he was trying to transcend the racial divide. But he had to deal with his "crazy uncle" with a specific speech. I thought he did a pretty good job.

By the way, does everyone know this guy scares me to death? Hillary is going to have him wacked, he will become immortalized and it will propell her into office in 2012.

Dean said...

'Dawg, when I was referring to whacking the crazy uncle upside the head, I had you in mind.. i.e., how many of your own pastors/preachers have you taken to task over the concept of the 7-day creation theory?... a subject somewhat less inflammatory than race... I think.

Road Dawg said...


During an Easter sermon, I watched in horror as Pastor G. spoke againts cult leaders like David Koresh, Applewhite, Jim Jones and Bill Clinton.

I spoke a silent prayer, thanking our Lord the Ass Baboon of Venus wasn't in the stadium. But since our little town is not the bastion of conservative thought, I figured someone probably took him to task over it.

Even though I was horrified our pastor would alienate and offend the liberals at the Easter Service, many of whom were first time attenders, I was completely amused.

K T Cat said...

As a Catholic, our Easter homilies are nothing so divisive. We're lectured about the need to burn all the rest of you at the stake, but it's not based on race or sex or anything controversial like that.