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February 22, 2008

Comments

Jane

And a clearer picture of Obama emerges.

MayBee

He's going to unite all of us, including the domestic terrorists. (Not including people who like Bush).

Appalled Moderate

This story is as thin as the McCain story. Obama had dealings with a supporter who has a past but is well-regarded in his district. With some effort, I'm sure you could find some bizarre John Birchers in McCain's early years. (Heaven knows, Arizona used to have a lot of them...)

By the way, TM -- your post just below is impressive.

clarice

Aren't a number of ex-weathermen teaching at colleges in the Chicago area, including Northwestern University law school? Dang, it's so hard to be a true revolutionary in the USA--everyone greets you with open arms and a good job.

MayBee

a past but is well-regarded in his district

That's the interesting part of the story to me.

RichatUF

AM-

The McCain story was an anonymously sourced rumor. Obama doesn't deny a relationship-he is going out of his way to distance himself from it [just like he did with his pastor and his mentor]. This really doesn't help RW because of the number of domestic terrorists Pres. Clinton pardoned while in office. It is an interesting character trait BHO has where he can cast aside those that have become "political problems" so easily.

Appalled Moderate

MayBee:

I don't disagree with you -- I just find the Obama tie in tenuous. (What politicians do is get the support of as many people as possible. It's not like Obama is on record endorising the guy's Weatherman past...)

Appalled Moderate

Rich:

The better politicians (FDR, Reagan, the 90s version of Bill Clinton) have always been good at disposing of inconvenient allies. An unreasonable personal loyalty can cause trouble -- see Hillary Clinton's campaign troubles for a good example of that.

As political attacks go, I think questions about Obama's pastor are probably more fertile. I don't see any links between the ex-weather dude and Obama after the '90s.

Sue

I don't disagree with you -- I just find the Obama tie in tenuous.

I personally don't care how tenuous it is. I'm going with the democratic strategist on Fox last night who made the following comment about McCain...where there's smoke there's fire. I see smoke in this story, tenuous or otherwise...

GMax

What politicians do is get the support of as many people as possible.

Oh really? So if say David Duke was a strong supporter of John McCain and had long ties and when asked about it McCain refused to distance himself, you and others and the Media would say that is just fine and dandy?

Think before you try to spoon feed us crap.

Sue

GMax,

You don't even have to do the hypothetical. We already have guilt by association with Bush and Ken Lay. And Ken Lay wasn't a domestic terrorist. And Bush's justice system went after him. But google Bush + Lay and the stuff you find will appall you, unless you are a moderate.

anduril
Mr. Ayers, who in 1970 was said to have summed up the Weatherman philosophy as: ''Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at,'' is today distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

This is certainly the first time I've ever heard of a "distinguished" professor of education--anyone familiar with education departments would more likely consider that to be a contradiction in terms. Here's from his blog:

William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society, teaches courses in interpretive and qualitative research, urban school change, and teaching and the modern predicament. [Comment: Pretentious? Moi?] A graduate of the University of Michigan, the Bank Street College of Education, and Teachers College, Columbia University, Ayers has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the political and cultural contexts of schooling, and the meaning-making and ethical purposes of students and families and teachers. His articles have appeared in many journals including the Harvard Educational Review, the Journal of Teacher Education, Teachers College Record, Rethinking Schools, the Nation, the New York Times and the Cambridge Journal of Education.

Here's from a review of Ayers' latest book:

Although I cannot speak to the sales figures for Fugitive Days, I can say that Dr. William Ayers, Professor of Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC), and a former leader of the 1960s-era terrorist group the Weather Underground, has attracted considerable attention. That attention, however, has not been as universally favorable as Publishers' Weekly and Beacon Press had anticipated. For advance publicity stills Ayers had posed with a sorry-looking American flag at his feet. In a glowing author profile by the New York Times Ayers said of his 1972 bombing of the Pentagon--among other such protest activities--that, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."2 The gods of synchronicity must have been looking over Ayers's shoulders. His first New York Times' profile ran September 11-the day horrified Americans watched helplessly as Islamic extremists slammed three commercial airliners into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers killing thousands. Several days later, the New York Times carried another glowing story on Ayers-this one written, historian Ronald Radosh noted, "by a writer whose parents were comrades of Ayers in the Weather Underground."3

John Earl Haynes, a distinguished historian of twentieth-century America at the Library of Congress, condemned Ayers for his unrepentant radicalism and sharply rebuked UIC for cheering him on in its official webpage. Author and Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Tanenhaus, after recalling what the New York Times described as the "daring acts" of resistance undertaken by Ayers's associates, wondered, "how many alumni of the Weather Underground acknowledge today the part they played in fostering a culture of terrorism in which assaults on the U.S. and its citizens are wreathed in the glory of 'daring acts'?"4 New York Post columnist and neo-conservative activist John Podhoretz pulled no punches, calling people like Ayers evil, horrific and deluded, and suggesting the reason he was given sympathetic treatment by the New York Times had to do with opposition to the Vietnam war.5

It appears that those who highly regard him are pretty much a grab bag of the usual leftist activist and academic suspects. We're learning an awful lot about BHO's background a long time before the election.


anduril

For advance publicity stills Ayers had posed with a sorry-looking American flag at his feet.

N.B. That's the same flag that BHO won't wear as a pin in his lapel and won't salute with a hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance. I won't bother researching MO's attitude toward that flag, but I have my suspicions that her attitude will reflect BHO's--or is it the other way around?

None of this will play well across Amerika America.

clarice

Yup. In most other places in the world he'd be living on bugs and berries in some jungle or forest hiding from the authorities. But only in America, bless here, does trying to meaninglessly maim and kill fellow citizens lead to a "distinguished" teaching career.(In this case posioning the minds of numbers of yound pedagogues to be and so on to infinity.

boris

A guy named Hussain with a demonstrated comfort level involving domestic terrorist who doesn't see anything wrong with bombing the US gov over economic and military ideology.

If other "moderates" find this unremarkable perhaps they are now prepared to abandon the politics of fear for the greener pastures of hope and belief in the future.

Swell

Appalled Moderate

GMax:

Sorry to seriously annoy you again. But you are way overstating the degree of connection Obama has to this guy, and the degree of radioactivity of the person at the time of contact. I see a meeting over 10 years ago, and a few minimal donations and contact since then. I'm sorry, but so what? Are you saying that your average Republican has not shaken hands with...say...some Operation Rescue sorts over the years?

Pofarmer

None of this will play well across Amerika America.

Yeah, well, just like the Rezko ties, America won't get a chance to see/hear it.

Rick Ballard

Odd, I read the piece as BHO having been vetted as acceptable by leftist terroris scum. Once vetted by the Commies who run the show, BHO's low road was clear.

Another small answer to OT's question as to what a "community organizer" doe - first he goes and kisses the ring of the Massa Comrade running the show, then it's off to work, overseeing the plantation.

Massa Comrade Ayers must be very happy.

Pofarmer

I wanna make sure I've got the moderate view about right. A lobbiest blabbing that she has "strong ties" to McCain is told to cork it and that's big news. Obama having possible ties to a domestic terrorrist isn't newsworthy at all. Mob lawyers? No big deal either.

Sum it up?

GMax

AM

You are being disingenuous and further more you know it, as you are not that dense. He most certainly was not standing behind the rope on a receiving line and managed to touch the robe as the Messiah past.

You would not ask anything of McCain if he had a $10 donation from Duke, other than "When are you going to return it and doesn't this signify your affinity with his positions?

anduril

Pofarmer, unless McCain really doesn't want to be Numero Uno--and if you believe that I have a bridge you might be interested in--then we'll hear lots about this.

From Steve Sailer. I think he's right--she keeps bringing up her test scores, whether they're relevant or not. In this exchange, it's a stretch to relate those scores to her husband's standing in the polls. Anyone who checks her public statements will see this comes up repeatedly.

Michelle Obama will never forgive white America for what she had to suffer: being admitted to Princeton and Harvard despite being not terribly smart.

From NewsBusters last November:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: "The polls are showing your husband is trailing Hillary by 46% to 37% in the African-American community. What's going on here?"

MICHELLE OBAMA: "First of all, I think that that's not going to hold. I'm completely confident: black America will wake up, and get [it]. But what we're dealing with in the black community is just the natural fear of possibility. You know, when I look at my life, the stuff that we're seeing in these polls has played out my whole life. You know, always been told by somebody that I'm not ready, that I can't do something, my scores weren't high enough."

Everybody is asking about her husband; nobody is asking about her life or test scores. But she keeps giving it to us. This is very sad, very self absorbed and resentful.

anduril

Sorry, that should have been coded to read:

From Steve Sailer. I think he's right--she keeps bringing up her test scores, whether they're relevant or not. In this exchange, it's a stretch to relate those scores to her husband's standing in the polls. Anyone who checks her public statements will see this comes up repeatedly.

Michelle Obama will never forgive white America for what she had to suffer: being admitted to Princeton and Harvard despite being not terribly smart.

From NewsBusters last November:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: "The polls are showing your husband is trailing Hillary by 46% to 37% in the African-American community. What's going on here?"

MICHELLE OBAMA: "First of all, I think that that's not going to hold. I'm completely confident: black America will wake up, and get [it]. But what we're dealing with in the black community is just the natural fear of possibility. You know, when I look at my life, the stuff that we're seeing in these polls has played out my whole life. You know, always been told by somebody that I'm not ready, that I can't do something, my scores weren't high enough."

Everybody is asking about her husband; nobody is asking about her life or test scores. But she keeps giving it to us. This is very sad, very self absorbed and resentful.

GMax

So what are we to conclude, that Michelle Obama absent affirmative action would never have been admitted to Princeton and Harvard? There is a shock. But the thanks we get for being given a privileged education is a lifetime of attitude? What am I missing? Or am I too white to get it?

anduril

GMax, I think you get it. No, none of that is shocking in this day and age, but it won't play well. And I doubt whether someone with her attitude will deal well with pushback. That will impact her husband's campaign. Adversely.

Disclaimer: I also though McCain being a wacko would adversely impact his campaign. (Wacko? Don't ask me, I'm just echoing Michael Medved and his psychologist wife. Medved called McCain "mentally unbalanced/unstable" on air. Now he supports McCain. Go figure.)

Rick Ballard

It's rather interesting to have two Alinsky Acolytes on stage at one time. RW was also vetted by the commie lawyer with whom she interned after law school. She had a some association with defending some Black Panthers (speaking of terrorists) during that internship.

We can be certain that RW will pardon commie terrorist scum and I'd say the probability has risen somewhat beyond 50% that BHO the Red will too.

Gramsci would be so proud.

Appalled Moderate

GMax:

I see this more as a local politician meeting one of the local power brokers. I expect that some of the other guys Obama met for support had mob connections, or Che posters in the dining room. To secure a seat, you have to appeal to the activists and power brokers, and frequently activists are extreme and the power brokers are corrupt.

If this is someone who was a big booster of Obama back in the day (and a $200 donation does not suggest it), or was someone who had been a big adviser of Obama through the years, I would be concerned and think there is more there there. As it is, I see this as a minor tale on age 32 of "Making of a President, 2008"

GMax

In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district’s influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

Sound like shaking hands in the crowd as it flows past to you?

MayBee


MayBee:

I don't disagree with you -- I just find the Obama tie in tenuous. (What politicians do is get the support of as many people as possible. It's not like Obama is on record endorising the guy's Weatherman past...)

I agree with this, to a large extent. It doesn't sound like Obama was responsible for the planning of this meeting in any way.
What does bother me, although I was kind of kidding when I said it above, is that the domestic terrorists seem not to get the condemnation that our President does.
I despise the Weather Underground and those ridiculous 60's radicals. I don't despise Bush. Where does that leave me in Obama's unity plan? Who will Obama court, and who will he cast aside?

And although much of it is just the talking topic of the day, I think Michelle's "never been proud of America" coupled with associates like this could be a problem for Obama. Bill Ayers and those like him would hear that line, as is, and approve.

anduril

A trifecta on politics and money at the WSJ today, touching the three remaining major candidates. Lets face it folks--this is what politics is all about: MONEY. Money is power, and there wouldn't be politicians if there weren't money in politics. So, read on:

McCain's Real Secret

Their review of more shady money dealings by McCain ends:

We suppose we can't blame Mr. McCain for trying to make the finance rules work for him, but it'd be nice if he finally admitted their embarrassing folly.

Obama's Cash Games

Kimberly Strassel notes that Obama has hit a "No We Can't" moment (very clever--I like that):

Too soft to withstand a Republican assault. Too vague to know how he'd govern. Those two big raps on Barack Obama can now be shelved. The Illinois senator this week provided his first, highly illuminating, example of how he'd operate in the Oval Office. It's clear he's as crafty as Hillary Clinton.

This case study has to do with that great love of good-government types, campaign finance.

And finally the Clintons:

His and Her Finances

Stonewalling and secrecy helped Bill and Hillary Clinton win the White House without a thorough enough vetting in 1992. Now they're trying to do it again, this time by not disclosing either their income tax returns or the donor list for the Clinton Foundation.

All of this has become the target of greater attention since Mrs. Clinton loaned her struggling campaign $5 million last month. She waited until after the crucial Super Tuesday voting to disclose this news, and initially described the loan as "my money." Campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson then clarified that the cash had come from Mrs. Clinton's 50% "share" of the couple's joint resources.

Is America a great country or what? Only seven years ago the Clintons were swimming in legal bills. They've since cashed in on their celebrity to pay off a $2 million mortgage on their Washington D.C. home, and are now able to lend $5 million to Mrs. Clinton's campaign. The Senator has had her own success, earning more than $5 million for her "Living History" memoir. But the real income source has been the former President, who has been giving $450,000 speeches, and in general parlaying his political fame into personal riches.

Mr. Clinton is now trying to unwind a business relationship with billionaire pal Ron Burkle. This deal made him a partner -- along with the ruler of Dubai -- in the Yucaipa Global Fund. How much did Mr. Clinton earn from a partnership with men whose business interests might be affected by the policy actions of a President Hillary Clinton? The Clintons and their accountant know, but the public doesn't.

Appalled Moderate

Pofarmer:

For the record, I think the NYT McCain story is pathetic and TM's takedown of it one of the best things I've seen him post.

anduril

The thing about BHO is that a definite pattern in his associates emerges as you dig a bit. Yesterday I linked to his communist mentor in Hawaii, and the pattern continues to the present. I believe in patterns.

clarice

When the RW blathers about her opponents' ethical lapses one wonders how she avoids looking upward to see whether a wrathful God is sending a bolt of lightening her way. Or even how she says that carp without cackling at the absurdity of it.

MikeS

I'm too busy being appalled by what Michelle and Barack say and believe that I don't have time to worry about their supporters.

I'm really proud of what my country has been doing for Michelle and Barack all of their adult lives. Unlike some people, I don't feel a need to also make Barack president and Michelle first lady.

GMax

Barack has not been shy about talking about McCain comment about staying 100 years in Iraq. He mentiones it in every single speech that he gives. Why, do you think he really thinks McCain wants to stay there 100 years? NO, but he can use it and it certainly fires up his base of radical leftists.

So McCain who already does not like Obama and has him welch on commitments at least twice and now hears this stuff every day, should start pummeling Obama with the Weather Underground candidate.

I am pretty sure I know how moderate Democrats and true moderate independents will react, the same way many of them reacted to the Winter Soldier.

Its fairly amazing when you think about it, but the Democrat party runs a VVAW Winter soldier and then follows it up with the Weather Underground's hand picked candidate. If there is one organization that has been left out of the radical trifecta, its the Black Panthers. But I have a feeling that some of those connections are just yet to be unearthed.

Other Tom

I don't see the Ayers thing as having much impact on the campaign. However, if there are a number of similar associations that come to light in the coming months, perhaps there'll be a cumulative effect.

AM, I doubt you'll find any Arizona John Birchers in McCain's past--he didn't move there until he retired from the Navy in 1981, and the JBS was pretty much overwith by then.

RichatUF

anduril-

...she keeps bringing up her test scores, whether they're relevant or not...

With BHO in office he will make sure there are no more standardizied tests so no more students will feel bad if they do poorly.

clarice

"They" should have just recognized her specialness and great intelligence without looking at damned foolish tests, man.

Tom Maguire

Appalled - thanks for the props on the Times takedown; I actually thought I earned my Right Wing Noise Machine paycheck with that one (although I guess this season we are the Freak Show).

As to the Obama-Weatherman thing, a similar story flickered by a few days ago and I gave it a pass, although I was stunned by the oddity of the Ayers interview on Sept 11.

However! As a Turning of the Media Tide straw in wind, this Politico story reflects the notion that the media is digging for Obaminations, which makes it very intriguing.

Sue

TM,

Obama is sure pushing the early voting in Texas. The first thing you see about voting in Texas on his website:

Texas early voting: Now through February 29

In Texas, selecting the Democratic nominee is a two step process, and the first step is underway now.

I find his pushing the early voting intriguing, so maybe our 2 intrigues are connected?

Appalled Moderate

GMax and MayBee:

The professorial class -- which is one of Obama's constiuencies -- clearly has an ambivalent relationship with both patriotism and the concept of American exceptionalism. I have a feeling Obama shares some of that ambivalence (and feel like Michele, alas, goes somewhat past ambivalence.) That ambivalence contrasts with McCain's Teddy Roosevelt style patriotism. It's pretty clear this subject is coming up in the campaign, and that the discussion could get interesting.

I would really prefer that this conversation not focus on stuff like flag pins or Obama has a muslim middle name or Obama knew commies in Hawaii and weathermen in Chicago. This is not important, and it allows people to shut off their critical thinking facilities about the things that are important. Obama promises to bring a new way of doing business in Washington. Great. I really cannot stand the way the poitical system has evolved over the past 20 years.

But does he believe that this country is a positive force for good in the world?

I don't know that he does. And that can be a real problem. Because putting such a leader in charge is rather like installing an agnostic as Pope.

clarice

Soylent's graduating from military intelligence school today. Let's tip our hats to old Sheikh yer Booty!

GMax

Obama promises to bring a new way of doing business in Washington. Great.

Well all politicians campaign on this. Sometimes from the incumbents chair.

Last time I saw someone add up all of his promises, we were 200B + in the hole. And he is just getting started so I am sure a few more promises will roll off that silvery tongue before we get to November. He can not deliver on this promise, and has no demostrated history or even aptitude at bringing about the change in the political discourse that he "promises". His vote history actually says he does not believe his own promise.

Mick Jagger talked once about the man on the tv telling me about how white my shirts can be. Now Obama is telling you how white your shirts can be. You want to believe it, so you are ignoring the both the fact its a pitch and the contraindicators.

Sue

Hat tipping.

Rick Ballard

"Obama promises to bring a new way of doing business in Washington."

What is this "new way" that the Chicago hack pol promises and what evidence from his short but extremely mediocre political career exists from which a practice of it might be adduced? Your're blowing quite a cloud of smoke there and it's gotta be from wet leaves 'cause there's no other fuel available.

Pofarmer

I would really prefer that this conversation not focus on stuff like flag pins or Obama has a muslim middle name or Obama knew commies in Hawaii and weathermen in Chicago. This is not important

I agree about the Muslim middle name.

On the rest of it, I'm starting to doubt your IQ.

Pofarmer

GMax

That 200B in the hole would be BEFORE the Global Poverty act bill nailed U.S. taxpayers for about 100B per year through at least 2015.

RichatUF

jeez...standardizied->standardized

Other Tom

"But does he believe that this country is a positive force for good in the world?"

I believe that if you gave him truth serum, he would acknowledge that he does not. In the absence of the serum, he would go on at length about what a force for good it could be, and will be if he is president.

I also think he has a natural constituency in a very large share of the electorate whose answer to the question would be an unambiguous "no." That constituency wants the US out of Iraq, not to save the lives of soldiers, but because it wants the country to learn a humiliating lesson about the sins of intervention abroad. And it will be happy to see the US suffer that humiliation, since it can be blamed on George Bush. And if the Iraqis must suffer horribly as a result, well, that's a small price to pay for the further demonization of Bush.

These are sentiments that we will not hear expressed, but I think they are very real and widespread.

Sue

We've lost a veteran Dallas police officer. He was in Clinton's motorcade. Motorcycle officer. You can read the story and watch video at www.wfaa.com.

anduril

Re the new way of doing business in Washington, read the WSJ article on "Obama's Cash Games" (linked above). The only thing new about the "new way" is will be the people in the Oval Office.

The notion that symbols and associations (which are, in their own way, symbolic forms of expression) are meaningless or irrelevant is...truly appalling.

MayBee

But does he believe that this country is a positive force for good in the world?

I don't know that he does. And that can be a real problem. Because putting such a leader in charge is rather like installing an agnostic as Pope.

Interesting thoughts, and I agree with much of it.
There was a line from Obama last night in the http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/21/debate.transcript/index.html>debate that concerned me:

Because the problem is, if we think that meeting with the president is a privilege that has to be earned, I think that reinforces the sense that we stand above the rest of the world at this point in time. And I think that it's important for us in undoing the damage that has been done over the last seven years, for the president to be willing to take that extra step.

Is this just a toss away, or does it fit with a larger picture? Are we about to elect a man that doesn't think the US stands above the rest of the world?
If it is true, I want to hear more about it-- from him.

Other Tom

GMax, Jagger also sang about a guy "tellin' me more and more, about some useless information, supposed to fire my imagination."

MayBee

Soylent's graduating from military intelligence school today. Let's tip our hats to old Sheikh yer Booty!

Now *that* is the perfect place for him.
Yay Soylent! We adore you! And thanks for doing this, buddy.

GMax

wet leaves

Once upon a time this midwestern raised boy moved to Texas. A welcoming place unlike the NorthEast, where multigenerational Texans were quite happy to have some newcomers among them.

I had to learn some new phrases like "A fixin to" as in Im a fixin to get that done in a second or two ( in an East Texas twang to make it apparent that I was in a different place ).

One very good old boy was full of colorful sayings that I had never heard back in the Detroit suburbs. On more than one occasion this gentlemen would look me in the eye and say simply "boy, dont pee on my boots and tell me its raining."

The wet leaves comment made me think of that, maybe that how they got wet.

Pofarmer

I'm sure they've got all kinds of new signals worked up.

RichatUF

Sue-

I find his pushing the early voting intriguing, so maybe our 2 intrigues are connected?

The Rezko trial starts on Feb 25-the McCain story seems to be some red meat for the weekend and I wouldn't be surprised to see some stink bombs thrown all around this weekend. A good one would be the connection between Clinton's foundation work and Hillary-plenty of smoke and stink [the Clinton's old cologne line] around that...

Sue

GMax,

I have to stop myself from typing "I'm fixin' to...". I actually say it in real life. "I'm fixin' to go to the store...I'm fixin' to start supper (as all here should know is the evening meal)..."

Gawd! I love Texas. ::grin::

Sue

In fact, I was offended last night when they didn't mention my language of first choice. Tenglish? Anglish? IshTex? I'm still working on what to call what we Texans speak, because it sure isn't English.

Jane

Congrats Soylent. That is quite an accomplishment. Where does he go from here?

Sue

Rich,

I've never seen a candidate push so hard for his supporters to vote early. In SA the other day, the first words out of his mouth were those. Read your handout, he said, it explains that early voting has already started. So vote tomorrow, the next day, or the next, but vote early. Then he talks about the caucus on the 4th. I just find it weird that he is pushing the early voting.

Rick Ballard

Rich,

There might be a little fear of a Rezko plea deal involved. If Rezko spits up a Chicago hairball for the Feds in exchange for short time, BHO could easily be included. He's just the type of "new way" fella that the Chicago machine has loved for 100 years.

"Where does he go from here?"

I doubt we'll be hearing much in the way of details but hopefully it will involve helping jihadis abandon their desire to become martyrs through premature detonation.

Jane

Is this just a toss away, or does it fit with a larger picture? Are we about to elect a man that doesn't think the US stands above the rest of the world?

Maybee,

I keep seeing shades of the same thing. Part of it is the rhetoric, and part of it is his wife. I think he wants to take the "individual" out of the equation. I don't think he sounds committed to the kind of freedoms we take for granted. I think he is on some sort of "common good" crusade, and he is going to define "common good" to his liking.

I know his "co-chair" Deval Patrick has spent his first year circumventing the democrat legislature to get what he wants. And it's all about cronyism for him. He doesn't have a lot of respect for those he is supposed to work with. He wants his way and doesn't care how he gets it. But he talks pretty.

I'd say more than anything his wife's attitude makes me think something is really off here. And that's one of those things that will catch on with people who are just paying enough attention. So that's probably a good thing.

Appalled Moderate

Andruil:

Much that is taken to be symbolic is really just an empty formalism. The flag pin fits in that category. As for associates - I think a politician is best served if he has a lot from many different places. If you hold him accountable for every single one he ever had, all you elect are narrow little people who come from a narrow little group.

As for the felow who is interested in patterns, up thread -- you do have something. Just make sure the pattern you see is there, and not mposed by your wishful thinking.

Porchlight

although I was stunned by the oddity of the Ayers interview on Sept 11.

I remember the Ayers 9/11 profile being noted at the time. Jay Nordlinger from NR wrote about it, as did The New Criterion.

I am with those who are noticing a pattern of Obama connections - Ayers, Edward Said, Rezko, Wright. I foresee a lot of "The Company He Keeps"-type articles in the future.

Pofarmer

Much that is taken to be symbolic is really just an empty formalism.

Patriotism as empty formalism. Never thought of it like that.

Us folks out here in flyover country must look at things differently.

clarice

I rarely agree with Peggy Noonan but today she pegs Mrs O (and husband) as snobs. Snobs who are so self-referenced they do not understand that others struggled too--and did so under circumstances that were often far more trying than those two had.
Someone reviewed O's book the other day and noticed something curious--he showed more respect for a father who abandoned him than for his mother and her family who did not.

GMax

and not mposed by your wishful thinking.

I am the only one who sees a flood of irony in this, especially after regaling us with the whole "not important" speeches above...

Elliott

Well done, Soylent.

anduril

AM: Your misunderstanding of basic human nature is...truly appalling. Most of us engage in "empty formalism" on a very regular basis: things as simple as saying "thank you" "please" "excuse me" etc. Dispensing with empty formalisms of any sort--not the polite formularies that I mentioned--is a symbolic statement. It points toward what the actor considers to be empty formality--which may differ from what the majority beliefs are in that regard. The fact that all other candidates engage in what one considers to be empty formality says something, too. The failure to place his hand over his heart during the pledge as well as the lack of the lapel pin adds further symbolism--especially when he is standing on a stage with other candidates in front of a large crowd and TV cameras. His actions become symbolic communication aimed at a mass audience and juxtaposing his beliefs with those of other candidates. Perhaps he is communicating that the others are bozos or, more subtly, hypocrites. The same goes, mutatis mutandis, for associates. You are clearly misrepresenting in an unreasonable way what numerous other posters have written ("If you hold [Obama] accountable for every single [acquaintance/associate] he ever had..."), the concerns they have expressed, to portray those posters in a negative light--the type of people who would prefer to elect "narrow little people." This attitude of yours toward those posters is itself a type of symbolic speech, which speaks to your own preferred self identity and your preferred mode of positioning yourself with regard to others.

Other Tom

Obama's spouse may become a bigger albatross in the coming months than Hillary's has been. He had better hope that she is a sharp enough cookie to keep her mouth shut and her attitude hidden. She will not wear well at all.

Syl

I rarely agree with Peggy Noonan but today she pegs Mrs O (and husband) as snobs.

What I'm about to say I'm sure will not come off well, but what has been bothering me so much lately about Obama is his habit of sticking his nose up in the air.

I saw a caricature of him today (I think accompanying a Rove piece-dont remember) and I thought something was terribly off about it...

his nose was not stuck up. His head was level.

RichatUF

Rick-

There might be a little fear of a Rezko plea deal involved.

Hadn't thought of that-I figured he would try to draw the process out as long as possible-the media isn't going to cover it unless there is something really ugly. Corruption and Chicago-its like bread and water...

So how is kicking the quarking rootball going for you? When is your piece supposed to get posted at AT?

Porchlight-

I am with those who are noticing a pattern of Obama connections - Ayers, Edward Said, Rezko, Wright.

Dots-

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

I suppose that all I see is Napoleon from Animal Farm polishing his newspeak. The collectivist aspects of BHO's "aura" can't quite mask his "more equal than others" core.

It would have taken Orwell about five seconds to peg him.

RichatUF

clarice-

...he showed more respect for a father who abandoned him than for his mother and her family who did not...

Fight Club-a generation of men, raised by women. I doubt that the Obama's are as dysfunctional as the Clinton's, but I wouldn't be surprised if they have many similiar traits.

clarice

It's just a little bonus we get after years of AA and identity politics. I think Asian voters smell it, too, and aren't buying.
Jews of course are blind, deaf and dumb when it comes to politics. OTOH Hezbollah is threatening to attack Israel soon and perhaps the light bulbs in even those dark attics will light up at that point.

GMax

Syl

Of all the regular commenters here, you were one of the ones that I thought might be drawn to the Obama message. Not a slam on you at all, but I did think that but not express it before. I was going through a how does this guy win, and its got to be from drawing in a bunch of female voters. I dont see another path.

But if you are channeling Peggy Noonan on Obama being a snob ( IO am guessing you have not even read her piece of today ), that cant bode well for his general election prospects.

Jeebus

Whew! You wingnuts are a hoot! It must really suck to see all you believe in revealed as an empty, hollow house of cards. I'd pity you if you weren't such mindless assholes.

Jeebus

bgates

Are you saying that your average Republican has not shaken hands with...say...some Operation Rescue sorts over the years?

You mean someone who has protested in front of abortion clinics, or someone who has bombed abortion clinics? Everyone unites behind the idea of locking up Republican criminals; Republicans think criminals belong in jail, and Democrats think Republicans belong in jail. There is obviously no such agreement about Democratic criminals, or Ayers would be expressing his lack of remorse to his parole board.

Rick Ballard

"When is your piece supposed to get posted at AT?"

I'd like to say "soon" but it would be a horrible lie. I'd like to write the piece within the Hegelian master/slave construct but I have a great difficulty in avoiding using simple logic coupled with facts to make points. I suppose that's due to my lack of formal educational training in the art of obfuscation.

I really wouldn't be at all surprised by a courthouse steps plea deal by Rezko with BHO offered up on a platter in exchange for a light sentence. That's Fitzlaw territory.

Pofarmer

Whew! You wingnuts are a hoot! It must really suck to see all you believe in revealed as an empty, hollow house of cards. I'd pity you if you weren't such mindless assholes.

This thing is talking about mindless?

Syl

Of all the regular commenters here, you were one of the ones that I thought might be drawn to the Obama message.

I can see how you might think so, but no way, Jose. I'm turned off by extreme rhetoric, no matter which side it is on. But I'm cynical enough not to trust O's rhetoric as anything but, well, rhetoric.

Besides I came to this side of the aisle for two reasons: Bush hatred turned me off and I supported (and still do) the war.

But I stayed over here because you all convinced me of more than that. So Obama could not in any way persuade me to reverse my decision.

I'm probably the only Bush Republican in America! LOL

Elliott

Concerning quotes to quaff at (e.g., "my friends"), I think Obama's favorite imperative, "understand," is a strong candidate for inclusion.

Anon

Syl-

Oh damn it I thought I was the only one. Well me and his mom, and Barney!

RichatUF

Rick-

I'd like to write the piece within the Hegelian master/slave construct but I have a great difficulty in avoiding using simple logic coupled with facts to make points. I suppose that's due to my lack of formal educational training in the art of obfuscation.

You've got my email if you need any help. I'll be in and out this weekend, but should be keeping tabs on my inbox. One possible way to do it would be to use passive voice and empty flowerly language.

I tried to come up with an example, but I'm thinking too hard and have to get out of here in a minute.

kim

The hand over the heart is killer.
====================

kim

Jeebus has a mindful asshole?
===================

Anon

Oh I'll tell you what Asian voters are smelling....

That's damn close.

Are you familiar with Jung's concept of archetypes.

Well trust me to the Asian community, perhaps on a subconscious level Obama is sending the wrong signals.

Anyone familiar with art?

Or political art?

Go look at Obama's offical "art".

Elliott

That doesn't make much sense to me.* If there's one thing I've learned from Clinton and Obama, it's that John McCain is the only Bush Republican left.

*Blatant Obama style line-lifting alert.**
**Blatant appropriation of Walter's footnoting style.

Anon

Also the language here and concepts-

It's Immanentize the Eschaton.

Scares the hell out of me. His followers.

MikeS

I don't care if the Obamas are snobs. My gripe is that their view of America is the same as the one Jimmy Carter expressed in his "Malaise Speech."

They think the problems with America are spiritual, that we need our souls fixed. I think the problems with America are that most of our politicians are hyper-partisan rather than hyper-patriotic.

BumperStickerist

-

Obama
lacks
gravitas.

-

Jane

I'm probably the only Bush Republican in America! LOL

I'm one too. I don't know what it is about the guy but I trust him at the helm. I often disagree with him, and I don't share his religious bent, but I trust him and I like him. I am particularly admiring of how he has weathered everything that has been thrown at him over the last 8 years and yet he never seems resentful. Hell I'm resentful of it. But not him.

anduril

My brother sent me David Kahane's column at NRO, describing liberal buyer's remorse. Here's a sample, after he describes BHO last night, grinning from ear to ear to ear to ear:

The other thing that’s bothering me is this Barry Hussein Jr., guy. How long is the Punahou Kid going to be able to skate on The Audacity of Hope and The Hope of Audacity? When you actually look at his voting record — and we sure hope you never do — you notice that basically he’s more or less of a commie, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends are commies, er, “progressives.”

But the whole cool thing about being a far-Left liberal is that we’re like undercover secret agents, who have to shield our real goals and motives from you, the suckers. How far would we get if we actually came out and said that we want to nationalize health care, raise taxes to confiscatory levels on the filthy rich who make more than $75,000 a year, preemptively surrender in Iraq, and flood the country with illegal aliens and then turn them into citizens in a transparent attempt to get votes and keep the Ponzi Scheme solvent?

O.K., so both Hillary and Obama are saying exactly that. But you take my point, which is this: The reason Hillary had to go was, well, to put it kindly — she was a dreadful candidate. That grim Nurse Ratched visage, that hectoring, flat, midwestern drone, the stubby finger-pointing: She was every guy’s first wife and his first mother-in-law rolled into a pantsuit. Sure, a lot of you conservatives have been saying that for years, but the scales finally fell from our eyes when along came B. H. Obama, Buffenblu extraordinaire and the pride of Honolulu, someone in whom we could invest our hopes for change. Someone who could lead us into that brighter future where things change but hope never dies. Someone who could finally liberate David Shuster and Chris Matthews from the tyranny of the Clintons, and let them stand proudly, shoulder to shoulder, in the brave new world of tomorrow.

But now the magic is beginning to wear off. Instead of the second coming of Jesus Christ, some of us are beginning to sense the second coming of Jim Jones. Instead of a new redeemer, we’re looking at an undistinguished first-term senator with no paper trail, a wife with a major-league chip on her shoulder, a politician from the insalubrious precincts of Bathhouse John Coughlin and Hinky Dink Kenna’s old hometown of Chicago.

Appalled Moderate

Andruil:

On the flag pin issue, I will quote Obama, because I agree with it:

“My attitude is that I’m less concerned about what you’re wearing on your lapel than what’s in your heart. You show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those who served.”

I think the rest of your message is an extended false equivalency. Good manners are an expression of inner decency. A flag pin is just something that says: "Lookie at me, I'm a patriot." Do you believe a flag pin confers anything on Bill Clinton?

As for associates -- I think current associates matter and long-time associates matter. The real issue here is that I don't see Obama's associatiion with Mr. Weatherman as anything other than a political connection of short duration. I also think you need to look at associates as a totality. Harry Truman got in endless trouble because of his loyalty to Pendergast machine party hacks during his presidency. Nevertheless, the people who really advised him were very much the best and the brightest and ypu probably go along with a positive assessment ofthe Truman presidency.

bgates:

I am merely saying a politician meets a lot of people and solicits support from a lot of people. Many of those people are scum or nutcases. All we have at Politico is that Mr. waetherman sponsored a gathering at his house and a $200 donation, and some incidental contact of the sort a politician and community activst would have.

OT:

I have to say Ms. Obama is getting me to sit up and take notice of her -- and not in a good way. Wonder if she is going to turn out to be a repeat of Mz. Heinz-Kerry.

RichatUF

Anon-

Anyone familiar with art?
Or political art?
Go look at Obama's offical "art".

If it is socialist realism or has any Sungian artifacts drop a link?

kim

Theresa didn't hurt John much. Remember the raisins? Distaff Obama is scary, something Theresa was not.
=====================

Dct

So the Obama Che Obama office was really just a nice blogger here at JOM and not a spy for a foreign government who focuses on social land issues as a way of penetrating the movements and the US intelligence agencies.

None of that is Obama's fault including his and Oprah's dead people from Chicago.

maryrose

Syl:
I am also a Bush republican and believe in his policies against terrorism. After last night's debate I turned to my husband and said "these guys are totally clueless about the war on terrorism."
Soylent: Kudos and thank you for your service to our country.
I think it's time to put the fork in Hillary because she is done.

clarice

She was scarey if you paid attention to how she used Tides and her late husband's fortune to fund every left wing group around including the eco terrorists---something the media deigned to report.

Rick, I never understood Sartre's treatement of Hegelian slave/master. And it took reading through hundreds of pages to see that he was inconsistent on how he treated the slave/master relationship at the beginning of Being and Nothingness with how he treated the Boss/Worker relationship near the end of that book. The last time I looked at it was decades ago and I never had a desire to return.

clarice

**treatment****

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Wilson/Plame