Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tested



Faced with a media crapstorm that could bring down his campaign, Barack Obama this morning delivered a big speech that succeeded on multiple levels.

Strategically, it puts Sen. Obama in front of the Jeremiah Wright controversy... at least for this news cycle. All day and into tonight, cable-news talking heads will chatter about Obama’s elegant oratory.

On a deeper level, Barack Obama displayed the qualities of self that got millions of Americans excited about him in the first place. He was intelligent, thoughtful... cool under pressure... conciliatory, unifying. Forward-looking.

Most of all, he didn’t seem like a manipulative politician. He seemed sincere.

The instant reviews were rapturous. The speech was “sweeping, some would say stunning,” according to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.

Broadcast essayist Nancy Giles, who is black, said on MSNBC: “I’m so staggered by the speech that I can hardly put it into words.”

Author and high-society priestess Sally Quinn, who is white, said: “This may be hyperbole, but I think this was the most important speech about race in America since Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”

CNN’s Candy Crowley said admiringly: “He took kind of his entire campaign and wrapped it around the issue of the day.”

Even right-wingers offered grudging praise. “It was deft, it was graceful,” said Brit Hume of Fox News, adding that whether or not it ends the Rev. Wright mess “remains to be seen.”

Pat Buchanan on MSNBC said: “I think he delivered an outstanding speech.” But parts of it were “grating,” he said. Particularly when Obama seemed to put all the blame for black people’s problems on white society and none on black people themselves.

Did y’all watch? (I know y’all watched. But if you didn’t, the entire 37-minute address is embedded above.) What did you think?

60 comments:

Malcolm said...

It was a very good speech.

my favorite section was this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HriPprce9M4

I think he's proven himself ready for the job.

I am very, very happy about this speech. He looked at the elephant in the room, and punched it in the nose.

teresa said...

I was moved & I think it succeeded on many levels. I was really worried about the Jeremiah effect. But I think Barack dealt with it masterfully.

Antonio said...

I read the speech and will probably watch when I get home. I'm as stunned and amazed as the others. He hit the nail on the head, and went beyond simply denouncing and rejecting points of view. He explained where people are coming from and, in the case of Wright, illustrates how they're flawed.

There's no doubt in my mind he's ready to lead this country.

jjbrock said...

UBM that speech was the BOMB. If America can't move on pass this it is because they don't want to. It has nothing to do with Jeremiah Wright it's their own hate for Obama. I like the fact he did not disown his Pastor but let us all no we all got the same thing in our own hearts. GO OBAMA!

Undercover Black Man said...

There's no doubt in my mind he's ready to lead this country.

You know what, Antonio? Watching this speech, I thought: "This is who I want to see speaking from the Oval Office after some bad shit goes down."

You're right, Obama really did show something today about his ability to lead.

Undercover Black Man said...

If America can't move on pass this it is because they don't want to. It has nothing to do with Jeremiah Wright it's their own hate for Obama.

You're right, JJB. For those haters, nothing Obama could've said would make them like him or respect him. And there are people who won't want to move past this Jeremiah Wright thing.

cnulan said...

Baraka's City of Brotherly Love....,

Wanda said...

I watched the speech as a whole at work and I have to say I thought he did a pretty good job.
Though I feel he spoke about race issues evenly (between black and white), he may have put a little too much on white people (I don't think that they will be able to handle the criticism), and judging by the reactions on talk radio the callers/hosts did not or didn't want to get it. Like you said haters.

I don't know if it was on that MLK level, but it was definately the best of Election '08.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ UBM

Sorry man but my take is quite a bit different.

There are so many problems in that speech it's hard to list them all. But I will point a couple out here and now:

1. To excuse pastor Wright and his bigotry, Obama took his white grandmother, the woman who took him in and cared for him and loved him, and threw her under the bus.

After acknowledging all of the things his white grandmother did for him, he called his grandmother a racist on national TV.

That's fucked up.

2. He denounced Wright's ramblings but never confronted him. And even then he admitted that he was in the pews when Wright went off on his bigotry parade.

How am I to judge someone who had the ethics to know what he was hearing was absolutely wrong ... but who also lacked the will or backbone to confront it?

Someone who is immersed in bigotry and chooses to go along to get along isn't someone I'm going to hold up as an example.

...

*shrug* did this change the mind of solid Obama supporters? Probably not since they're solidly behind Obama. But as much as people are trying to play this up, I don't this speech was well done.

buttercup said...

Do you have a job, memo?

DeAngelo Starnes said...

I read the speech rather than watched it because I didn't want to get caught up in the clapping.

He kicked ass.

He rose above the politics of fear and boogieman. He rose above soundbite and sloganeering.

He posed a challenge to the electorate and the other two candidates for president.

And the fact that he beat them to the punch on articulating many ills of society along with the brilliant job of showing that Ninety Nine Percent need to rise above distractions and tackle the real task at hand - pulling us out of this depression - was a brilliant chess move.

Because he rose above being Swift Boated, and he refused to be covered in the shit being thrown.

And he did what all brilliant debaters do, he brought the argument back to his home turf.

He should keep it there because all Hillary and McCain can do is play politics of fear and boogieman.

And that shit is way tired.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ buttercup

"Do you have a job, memo?"

Actually I'm between contracts right now.

*shrug* what the hell. It's better than watching Teletubbies.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ DeAngelo Starnes

"I read the speech rather than watched it because I didn't want to get caught up in the clapping."

*shrug* I think it was a mistake. But that's my opinion.

Obama was the post-racial candidate. Now he's the racial candidate.

It's like having Al Sharpton back in the race, but with more eloquence and less bombast.

Wanda said...

I took that comparison by Obama by Jeremiah Wright and his grandmother differently.

It sounded like Obama was expressing how much he loves and respects Jeremiah Wright, just as his grandmother and to totally dismiss him and abandon him because of those comments would be in essence like him abandoning his grandma because of things she said/felt.

I have close relatives who have said some oprejudice/racist things, (and I've told them I think so) but I honestly can't imagine myself not associating with them ever again. Maybe it's just not my style.

I also don't think that Obama is near to being like Al Sharpton.

Russell said...

memomachine

Why do you type "Hmmmmm" at the beginning of every comment? I'm a little dense so perhaps you can enlighten me. It is irritating, that I know.

And as for Obama throwing his grandmother under the bus, please. My one surviving grandmother is a racist but I still love her. I still see the good in her. But I also don't think openly acknowledging her prejudice constitute throwing her under the bus.

It was a very good speech. And it did all he could to confront this controversy - it will work, or it won't, but he did all he could do imho.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm

@ Wanda

"I took that comparison by Obama by Jeremiah Wright and his grandmother differently."

I can only offer my opinion and my, perhaps, different perspective.

That doesn't mean my opinion is necessarily right. So it's entirely possible that many Americans will have your point of view.

"It sounded like Obama was expressing how much he loves and respects Jeremiah Wright, just as his grandmother and to totally dismiss him and abandon him because of those comments would be in essence like him abandoning his grandma because of things she said/felt."

And that's where I think he's trying to draw an equivalence. And where it fails.

Another problem is that this permanently undercuts white racism as an issue. In the future any candidate who is closely associated with some unsavory character can claim the same exemption that Barack Obama has claimed for his relationship with pastor Wright.

Can you imagine a future white candidate, who has as his best friend a Knight of the KKK, using the same arguments that Barack Obama is?

Admittedly that's a bit of an extreme example. But considering the reprehensible things pastor Wright has said, not that much of a stretch.

...

The Law of Unintended Consequences is a real bastard. And one such consequence is that people will be able to explain away relationships with unsavory people through the same expedients that Barack Obama is using now.

cnulan said...

Do you have a job, memo?

persistent asian trannyboy apologist for white racism...,

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ Russell

"Why do you type "Hmmmmm" at the beginning of every comment? I'm a little dense so perhaps you can enlighten me. It is irritating, that I know."

A. I like being irritating.

B. It's a style convention I use by habit now. I used to use another name, "ed", when posting comments. Only problem is that "ed" is very common and the blogs I visited didn't lock in a specific name to a specific account. So other people would innocently post comments as "ed" and other visitors would get us mixed up.

*shrug* I do it as a habit. It's like "*shrug*". It's just something I do.

"And as for Obama throwing his grandmother under the bus, please. My one surviving grandmother is a racist but I still love her. I still see the good in her. But I also don't think openly acknowledging her prejudice constitute throwing her under the bus."

Except that he went on a spiel about how much she meant to him and then he called her a racist.

Yet she wasn't so racist that she refused to take him in. Care for him. Raise him and educate him.

Seriously. If you were a grandmother wouldn't you feel the same way? Heck Jesse Jackson said the same damn thing!

"It was a very good speech. And it did all he could to confront this controversy - it will work, or it won't, but he did all he could do imho."

True enough. He is/was in between a rock and a hard place. Repudiate pastor Wright and he could be accused of selling out.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ cnulan


"persistent asian trannyboy apologist for white racism...,"

1. The Law of Unintended Consequences returns!

2. *shrug* so you're a racist little shit.

Doesn't surprise me.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

memo, you must really crave attention because you rarely have anything insightful to say.

Your comparison of Obama to Al Sharpton shows how silly and short-sighted you are.

If Obama's speech makes you that fucking queasy, it shows me how much of the speech you missed. Because you latched onto the two of the smaller components of the speech. And the fact that you're so distracted by Rev. Wright's comments, continue to distort them, and fail to view them within context demonstrates that it's people like you who fall for soundbite, sloganeering campaigning. It's people like you who fall for the okey doke and continue to elect simple-minded politicians who care nothing about people or society but big money and corporations.

I didn't fuck with you after I read your asinine comments. And because I didn't put a "Ding!" at the end of my post, I really wasn't inviting debate. I was merely expressing my opinion.

Hopefully, you'll pick up another contract soon.

Michael Fisher said...

(((shakin' head)))

Well, good luck.

Hope he get's elected so we can see what's real.

Michael Fisher said...

Why memo, you don't qualify for Blackwater?

james said...

!!!!!!BOOM!!!!!
Every obstacle is a opportunity .. And thats why he is my man..

cuz said...

Great speech!

Sorry memo...

It's the 21st century now. Hopefully you'll catch up.

We'll pray for ya!

cnulan said...

Why memo, you don't qualify for Blackwater?

They import their trannyboys fresh from Manila and Bangkok Fisher. No need to recycle something as worn out from playing "don't drop the soap" in the barracks as old malkinesque memomachine...,

cnulan said...

Charles Murray on Obama's speech today;

Have I missed the competition? [Charles Murray]

I read the various posts here on "The Corner," mostly pretty ho-hum or critical about Obama's speech. Then I figured I'd better read the text (I tried to find a video of it, but couldn't). I've just finished. Has any other major American politician ever made a speech on race that comes even close to this one? As far as I'm concerned, it is just plain flat out brilliant—rhetorically, but also in capturing a lot of nuance about race in America. It is so far above the standard we're used to from our pols.... But you know me. Starry-eyed Obama groupie.

dj said...

The audacity of hope.

I hope the hope I am feeling about him and the changes he can BEGIN to bring about are not false and hopefully his hopes aren't false either.

This is the first time I have seen in my lifetime a chance to reverse the direction the United States has been heading,both domestically and internationally.

But the question remains,do enough people share the same hopes and dreams,or will there be more people resisting change,to protect their own interests,ideals and way of life?

I am finding myself unable to properly express my thoughts and feelings on the whole speech,but will review,ponder and digest more.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ DeAngelo Starnes

"memo, you must really crave attention because you rarely have anything insightful to say."

That's because you simply refuse to read what I have written.

A few days ago everyone was predicting that the issue of pastor Wright would disappear. I predicted differently.

Here we are.

I'm not suggesting I'm right all the time. I'm suggesting I have a different point of view to offer you. Just as you offer a different point of view to me.

"Your comparison of Obama to Al Sharpton shows how silly and short-sighted you are. "

Obama *was* post-racial. He is now very firmly the racial candidate.

He isn't as pushy as Al Sharpton is on race issues. But Obama has stated explicitly in his speech that this is the direction he is going to go.

And from my perspective, and many others on the Right, this is the same route that Al Sharpton trod.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ Michael Fisher

"Why memo, you don't qualify for Blackwater?"

What part of congestive heart failure, kidney disease and 44 years old do you not understand?

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ cnulan

"They import their trannyboys fresh from Manila and Bangkok Fisher. No need to recycle something as worn out from playing "don't drop the soap" in the barracks as old malkinesque memomachine...,"

You have a really odd fixation with transsexuals.

...

I really don't want to know.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ cuz

"Great speech!

Sorry memo...

It's the 21st century now. Hopefully you'll catch up.

We'll pray for ya!"


*shrug* good luck with that.

IMO. Obama just destroyed any chance he had of becoming President.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

memo, I wouldn't know how asinine some of the shit you write is unless I've read it.

There comes a point where you have to agree to disagree. Because I don't believe in a lot of back and forth where the same points get repeated.

Vis a vis your Obama-Sharpton comparison, we're at that point.

Render said...

Rev. Wright said "Goddamn America" just five days after 9/11.

No way does that just slide by the majority of Americans.

Maybe he should have stayed in Libya.

REZCO
REZCO
REZCO,
R

Michael Fisher said...

Dang, memo. You got all that? I guess no romantic war for you.

Andrew said...

Obama *was* post-racial. He is now very firmly the racial candidate.

So simply by refusing to ignore race, Obama becomes "the racial candidate"? That's some rather simplistic pigeonholing.

Race became an issue that needed to be addressed the moment that this Ferraro/Wright tit-for-tat business became a major issue. You can't address these issues without pointing out the racial tensions that they stem from.

One more thing memo, you may say that you do the "Hmmmm" thing as a force of habit, but it comes off as incredibly patronizing to whoever you're responding to, so it might be a habit you'd want to break.

Kellybelle said...

Loved it! In a way, he showed that he is America--you know Black, white, multi-ethnic, born into a bad situation, tasted some privilege, and made the best of it.
I agree that the people who don't like him won't hear the nuance of what he said. In a way, he's probably their greatest fear: a capable, more than qualified, racially-mixed man. I can hear them now, "Tiger Woods and golf, Mariah Carey on the radio, and now him--they're building a super race of mulattos to squeeze us out."

DeAngelo Starnes said...

kellybelle,

"they're building a super race of mulattos to squeeze us out"

LOL! Good one.

cnulan said...

What part of congestive heart failure, kidney disease and 44 years old do you not understand?

aaawwwwww.....,

one might conclude that you're a little too fragile to squander what little time you have remaining doing your best asshole impersonations hereabouts.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ DeAngelo Starnes

"memo, I wouldn't know how asinine some of the shit you write is unless I've read it."

Up to you. But if all you do read are opinions that match yours then how is that an advantage?

"There comes a point where you have to agree to disagree. Because I don't believe in a lot of back and forth where the same points get repeated."

*shrug* fine by me.

"Vis a vis your Obama-Sharpton comparison, we're at that point."

IMO a lot of people are going to draw that same conclusion.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ Michael Fisher

"Dang, memo. You got all that? I guess no romantic war for you."

What astonishes me are just how many African-Americans are just total and complete assholes.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ For fuck's sake... why doesn't everybody just take a breath, don't rise to flamebait, and re-focus on this extraordinary moment in our national politics?

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

@ Andrew

"So simply by refusing to ignore race, Obama becomes "the racial candidate"? That's some rather simplistic pigeonholing."

The primary draw for Obama was that he was someone who did NOT rely on race as an issue and who actively discouraged race as an issue. That's called "post-racial".

Now with this speech all of that goes out the window and now it's all about race, hating corporations and sucking at the government teat.

And that's definitely not "post-racial" and it is something far different.

"Race became an issue that needed to be addressed the moment that this Ferraro/Wright tit-for-tat business became a major issue. You can't address these issues without pointing out the racial tensions that they stem from."

Then why did Obama choose to act as if he were above it until today?

Because, as of today, he is going to follow Al Sharpton's path. And with the same result.

"One more thing memo, you may say that you do the "Hmmmm" thing as a force of habit, but it comes off as incredibly patronizing to whoever you're responding to, so it might be a habit you'd want to break."

1. It's my habit. You're not compelled to read or respond.

2. It's not meant to be "patronizing".

Honestly how can anybody interpret that as patronizing?

3. Nobody else in the blogosphere cares. I've been doing this for years now and it's never come up before on other blogs.

onefinemess said...

I read it this morning, will probably listen to it during dinner.

I think it was a home run, but who knows - the media can rape anything.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ UBM

"For fuck's sake... why doesn't everybody just take a breath, don't rise to flamebait, and re-focus on this extraordinary moment in our national politics?"

I think my participation with your blog has come to an end. I wanted to participate because I was hoping to get a better understanding of a part of the African-American people. And I think I have.

But I think we've reached a point where things simply end. Or at least end before they evolve into something worse.

I wish you guys good luck with all this. But I also think that many other African-Americans are living in an echo chamber. You talk candidly with other like-minded people, but few else. And I think that's a serious problem.

I think also we're going to be entering a more profound time in race relations here in the USA, but not the way you're thinking. IMO it seems that you're expecting Obama to get elected and start righting the things you perceive as wrongs.

That's not going to happen.

Instead the generations of white Americans who lived through the Civil Rights Era are going to slowly start dying off with the rate of loss accelerating dramatically over the next 25 years.

During this time period more and more young Americans, with no personal experience with the issues of the Civil Rights Era, will take over. And these people may not be post-racial, but they will be post-black experience and they will view the current white baby-boomer liberal guilt as complete nonsense.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Vaya con Dios.

Ken said...

Memo,
I've read many of your posts, and I've decided you are disingenuous. You adopt a reasonable tone, but you misread and distort information willy nilly. You are consistently unable to see things one might call obvious. You like to speak in broad generalizations and make hasty, ill-thought out connections. The most egregious is the idea of being a racist. There are degrees of racism. You tend to suggest calling someone a racist by implication means a KKK white-cape wearing, cross-burning extremist. We all can be racist to some degree, by our unexamined assumption(s) or without any intent to harm. A racist comment not backed up with intentional and hurtful racist actions (like active discrimination in hiring or assuming a black kid cheated if he does well on a Chemistry test [that happened to me in h.s.])aren't on the same level as a person who says Blacks should go back to Africa or that Whites are evil. I'm sure most of us have grandparents who have some racist ideas, and we love them, and we know them in a larger context as loving people, flawed, but loving. So my point, Memo, is that what I've pointed out is NUANCED thought, something you assiduously avoid. You have no intention of considering anything objectively. And I for one wish, frankly, you'd shut the fuck up and get off this blog. And, here's a potentially racist comment: You are relying on the fairness and goodwill of our Black host who doesn't shut you down, but you are abusing his hospitality because you're not engaged in honest discourse or exchange since you concede nothing and consistently apply flawed logic (I'm talking by standard rhetorical standards you'll find in any Grammar/Rhetoric Handbook). So why are you here? I mean really? It's not to grow as a person -- that's for damn sure. You just want to spew hatred masked as reasonable language. It AIN'T working, just so you know. And I suspect most of us on here are tolerating you but you aren't swaying anyone into your camp AT ALL. Those are my thoughts Memo.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

memo, bring that azz back. You ain't gonna throw a brick and run.

Davey Dave, I don't think folks lost the significance of Obama's speech. But you can't have a muthafucka raining on yo' parade either.

The bottom-line is that there are people like memo who are stuck where they are, and it wouldn't have mattered what Obama said.

However, if enough people say that what he said wasn't shit, then they wouldn't bother to check out the content of the speech. Instead, they would rely on news analysis.

I wholly advocate that folks reserve their judgment until they read or listen to the speech. Make the call from there.

Parting shot for memo, be assured I listen to a wide variety of viewpoints. I'll agree with you that you can't come up with a credible opinion without doing so.

Hope to beat that ass again in the future. Somehow I don't think you can help yourself.

fullnelson said...

Obama put his relationship with Rev. Wright in context, and showed us how the ongoing "controversy" is just a cheap substitute for a real conversation on race relations in this country. For those perpetrators of this fake controversy, Obama's remarks did nothing and only gave them another opportunity to point to Obama's failure to have stood up in church and called Rev. Wright a racist to his face, then walked out, taking the entire congregation with him (I guess this is what they expected him to do). Those who created this bullshit meme will surely be the last to admit it's run its course; they will continue to do exactly what Obama said they will--keep the bar as low as possible, drive wedges between us to distract us and divide us. They refuse to rise to Obama's challenge. Fuck 'em.

Obama's leadership, his intelligence, his integrity were in evidence today. I'm proud to support him, and want him to be my president. I know some people will, despite anything he says or does, persist in rejecting him on the weakest arguments and/or evidence. I don't expect him to win EVERY Democratic delegate or get 100% of the popular vote of the American people. All we need is enough to win, and I truly believe WE CAN DO IT.

Obama in '08!

Ken said...

Oh Memo,
What I wrote was prompted by your assertion that Obama called his Grandmother a racist. The point is, she could be TO SOME DEGREE. And that isn't throwing her under a bus; it's just being honest and it is a fine way to make a point that an honest discussion of race has got to begine withe each of us looking in the mirror and taking stock of ourselves and not condemning ourselves but really seeing what we are, and most of us can do a little bit better in how we think of our own racial group and others. We can't do better as people if we persist in overreacting to the word racist and always seeing it as an exteme hatemongerer versus the unexamined, casual racial biases we have. I wonder can you Memomachine engage in that kind of honest self-scrutiny and come into this blog and look at any issue without a determined outcome already set in your mind?

Ken said...

Hey Memo,
On your way out of the blog door, you make my point about racist assumptions. I blog on the Cafferty file on CNN all the time and on MSNBC's FirstRead as well. So, why assume Blacks don't talk to diverse racial communities? BUSTEDfor racialized and racist assumptions, MemoMachine. You don't know what anyone here does but you feel comfortable that we're all assholes who only talk to each other and no one else. Memo, your "true colors" are showing. I think you underestimated the intelligence of people here, and overestimated your own. And that's why you probably came in the first place since you thought you'd be able to dominate and control someone. Wrong again.

Dragon Horse said...

ood but I’m not sure it will help win over blue collar whites in places like Penn or Indiana. Then again maybe it was not meant to, just meant to “keep them thinking or open” so he can hit them with further economic issues.

Maybe who he was really speaking to was the media, elite whites, blacks, and Super Delegates...letting them know he is okay and things will be okay and I can deal with it (in a presidential way and I can fight in my own way and show balls).

If he can get the majority of the media back under his spell he can define the day and focus on trying to get some of the white vote back (specifically white males who are not college educated).

In any case he won’t need to worry about them in the primary, as he has got that, it seems (unless something else stupid happens), but in the general election that will be the battle ground demographic. If he can win white male blue collar uneducated folks he can win the presidency. If he can’t then he will join the ranks of Kerry and Gore.

As far as black folks. I think most blacks will stick with Obama in very high numbers (85% ) but I think today he might have angered some leftist black radicals (like some of the professors on this blog who were obviously spoon fed neo-Maoist revolutionary black nationalism from the time they were in diapers by former Panthers and white Communists), people I like to call, “red doper diaper babies”.

Then again, those folks don’t matter. Obama doesn’t need them to win. He does need white men.

Dragon Horse said...

memomachine:

My grandfather hates white people When I was a child he wouldn't let them in the house, not even my friends, but for business (Insurance guy or something).

Eventually my grandfather did start softing up a little, largely due to me.

You can not be a bridge builder if you refuse to work on one side of the divide.

If I as a kid had distanced myself from my grandfather and condemned him as backward and stupid he would have never changed.

My grandfather felt the way he did because when he was fighting for this country in WWII (where he got a Purple Heart in the Pacific Theater and a a few medals earlier in France) redneck racist lynched his brother, no one knows why but some think because they thought he was in a car with a white woman. His girlfriend was "high yella" and maybe from a distance looked white. She lived in the next town, maybe some white men didn't know her and thought she was white and decided to teach that boy something.

My grandfather never got over that, and it took him almost 60 years to deal with it enough to not hate white people. In fact, he came to Ohio after the war because he could not stand Jim Crow.

So why type of "uniter" would Obama be if he rejected and just dissed every person who was "hateful" in some way?

Not much of one.

Lolo said...

I'm firmly in the camp of being sorry that he had to make that speech but SO happy that he did, and did the way he did. That is what a President of the United States is supposed to sound like. Period.

Now. I know, there's plenty of people that are all parsing and spinning and whatever and while I think that most of those people either a) don't want to hear what he's saying or b) just can't hear what he's saying or saddest of all c) hear it and have to deny in order to keep themselves where they are.

Tomorrow night is the first meeting for the local Obama campaign here our solidly nessed up county in PA. Or as I refer to this place "sauerkrauts in the hood, nah" when I'm disgusted by some of the nonsense. I'm very curious as to what sort of crowd will be there. We seem to be a racially polarised county (Berks County, Reading is the city) with an extremely small number of blacks or asians but lots and lots of hispanic folks and mostly umpteenth generation of Lutherans and Protestants.

The local paper and blogs have reported an immense surge in voter registrations and people switching from Repub in order to vote next month. This Limbaugh thing is really happening?? I'm a bit bemused and very disgusted, if it's the case.

It's going to be a very interesting month ....

elle said...

dragon horse said:
ood but I’m not sure it will help win over blue collar whites in places like Penn or Indiana. Then again maybe it was not meant to, just meant to “keep them thinking or open” so he can hit them with further economic issues.

Maybe who he was really speaking to was the media, elite whites, blacks, and Super Delegates...letting them know he is okay and things will be okay and I can deal with it (in a presidential way and I can fight in my own way and show balls).

If he can get the majority of the media back under his spell he can define the day and focus on trying to get some of the white vote back (specifically white males who are not college educated).

In any case he won’t need to worry about them in the primary, as he has got that, it seems (unless something else stupid happens), but in the general election that will be the battle ground demographic. If he can win white male blue collar uneducated folks he can win the presidency. If he can’t then he will join the ranks of Kerry and Gore.

As far as black folks. I think most blacks will stick with Obama in very high numbers (85% ) but I think today he might have angered some leftist black radicals (like some of the professors on this blog who were obviously spoon fed neo-Maoist revolutionary black nationalism from the time they were in diapers by former Panthers and white Communists), people I like to call, “red doper diaper babies”.

Then again, those folks don’t matter. Obama doesn’t need them to win. He does need white men.

hey dragon horse, did you just copy and paste the exact same post word for word you made on the field negro blog. I swear I read the exact same thing on the field blog's post on the speech

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave just finished watching that joint. I'm glad I read the text first. His composure was impressive. He wasn't pandering and his voice didn't quiver.

Reminded me of this time when I was in high school. I was a saxophone player back then. Pretty good, won a few competitions, but I watched this white student who was a year younger than me play Lush Life. At the time, Lush Life was a difficult piece for an alto player because it was in a key that had a lot of flats. You had to have your fingerings down.

This white cat played the shit outta the piece. Injected emotion as if he knew what the song was about. But he stood perfectly still as he played this beautiful melody in a beautiful tone. The only way you knew that he was exerting himself was the candy-apple red of his face.

That was Barack. No need for flamboyance or voice inflection. Just let the words speak for themselves.

The content of his speech was as good as I've heard and I've heard a lot.

On par in terms of similar delivery and content as Eisenhower's farewell address re: the military-industrial complex.

Mark said...

Anybody see Shelby Steele's op-ed in the WSJ yesterday on Obama and race? Pretty interesting, I thought.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120579535818243439.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

Thoughts?

Ken said...

mark,
I just read shelby steele's op ed. I think Steele's claim that Barack is mediocre is wrong and just a willfull ignoring of the man's brilliance. And the fact he reduces him to race only and as identical to Sharpton and Jackson is gross overgeneralizing. He's not a minister, and his oratory is markedly different than theirs. As for his political agenda, it is very similar to Hillary's which is similar to Jackson's and Sharpton's. The thing is they weren't palatablet to a white audience and Barack is since he doesn't demand and exhort. He reasons. Shelby Steele has made a career of being the black guy who's though dovetail nicely with white racists' ideas. I don't have a problem with him not toting some "black party line" since I think there isn't one. We are not a monolithic group. However, I question his sincerity. And in this editorial, he engages in hasty generalizations and dismissiveness that hurt his argument about Baracks appeal which according to Shelby has nothing to do with Barack himself. If that were the case, we'd have had countless Blacks gain political agency and power from the local to the federal levels. According to Shelby, Barack seems to have single handedly found a way to hoodwink, enchant, and bamboozle white people by "bargaining" on their white guilt. There may be something to the idea that voting for Barack signals a white person's lack of racism. But I don't think anyone is voting out of a sense of white guilt, and I'd love for Steele to back up that claim which he can't. But he makes it nonetheless which to me indicates at best his lack of critical acumen or at worst his lack sincerity. I think it's a matter of both. And UBM why not devote a blog to this. I'm curious to know what others think of Shelby Steele's claims and that book he wrote about why Barack cannot win. Does anyone think, this is just a race-jockey working it from the other end, saying what whites want to hear and being well-paid and feted for his efforts specifically and only because he is Black????

DeAngelo Starnes said...

^ Shelby Steele is an intellectually dishonest contrarian. As Sadiq the poet said in an intro to Don Byron's brilliant Music for Six Musicians cd, he's a "lawn jockey waiting for the mailman."

mwm1166 said...

As a young disabled white man I do have a tendency to agree with Shelby Steele concerning his ideas of "white guilt." I do agree, to some extent, that white men and women are anxious to vote for a black politician to give proof that they have no issue with race, and that this country has moved a long way since the 60's and before. However, I think Steele's idea does reduce Obama's appeal to just race and that is far to simple. The man, quite simply, is a powerful speaker. He arouses something in the audiences spirit. He speaks with confidence and not arrogance. He speaks sense and not just hyperbole. He uses reason and tends towards a type of honesty that most politicians ignore. Also, I think alot of Obama's appeal has to do with his age and the desire to move past the baby boom generation of presidents. The youth identify with him and the change he represents. While I think Shelby Steele is oversimplifying Obama. I do agree that what he represents is strongly important to this nation and to the outside world. However, I do think who he is as a man is equally a strong pull with voters (of all races).

Personally, I was saddened by the breaking of the story of Reverend Wright. I found that this was probably politically motivated to bring down Obama's campaign. However, I was also sad, because I saw a man who had gone so far to convince me that we were moving past so many divisions in politics and race associating with a man/group who appeared to perpetuate this.

Personally, it saddens me, as a white man (especially a disabled one), when white men tend to be grouped and labeled into one category as the racists who kept others down with tons of advantage. Personally, I have faced discriminations in spite of being a white man and I understand how horrible it feels. I know the pain of not receiving jobs and being treated unfairly. I also know the little things that society throws me in consolation. Such as school scholarships for people who "overcame" disability. Just to find, when i'm out of school no one will hire me.

I think Obama's speech was courageous and honest. I am proud that he could speak honestly about the two pieces involved. Speaking frankly. Obama is not the black candidate. First of all he is bi-racial. Secondly, he is still imploring this nation to stop dividing on racial lines and to vote or not vote for him based on policy.

To me, I congratulate him. I still fear this will torpedo a campaign of honesty and hope. If so, I will be saddened. Hillary will do anything for power, and McCain represents the old guard and has alligned with Bush.

Obama can bring us change. I have faith. He represents it. He speaks about it. He has strong ideas for this nation. I deepy hope we can see them come to fruition.

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