Wright Speaks, Democrats Yawn

|

From week to week the Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls can be lifesavers for that wholesome mass of Americans who don't want Barack Obama to be president. When the Jeremiah Wright videos were god-DAMN-ing their way across TV screens, the polls showed a big Obama dip, leading head Hillary Clinton saboteur (to her campaign, mostly) Mark Penn to gloating:

A look at the polls shows that Sen. Obama's lead nationally with Democrats has been evaporating. The Gallup daily tracking poll shows Hillary leading Sen. Obama among Democrats by 7 points, and the latest Zogby/Reuters poll has Sen. Obama's lead down from 14 points last month to just 3 points now. This suggests a strong swing in momentum in the race to Hillary since the Texas and Ohio primaries earlier this month.

That was a week and a half ago. This weekend's polls show Obama driving out front again. Gallup shows Obama leading Clinton 52 to 42 percent. Rasmussen shows Obama up 47 to 42 percent, and his positive-negative numbers (which Rasmussen has always clocked higher than most pollsters, and which had ducked into negative territory), are narrowly positive. Clinton's are heavily negative. Obama's rebound against John McCain isn't happening so quickly, but he's doing better than Clinton once again. Did the Wright story have no effect?

Well, it did—as much as it could have without some cultural underpinnings. Stanley Kurtz stumbled across something profound here.

Conservatives may think the revelations of Obama's formative radicalism and his relationship with Wright are sure to sink him. While they may ultimately have that effect, the outcome is by no means certain. Contrary to liberal denials, Obama has been damaged by the Wright affair. Yet it's also true that association with leftist and academic radicalism is no longer disturbing to large segments of the country.

Kurtz allows that "the culture is changing," and he thinks the media is pushing it. I agree, and the scope of that cultural change is what's saving Obama. I've been reading Rick Perlstein's upcoming Nixonland this week, and it makes sense to me why Obama's radical black connection isn't hurting him like the Victor Davis Hansons or Mark Steyns would expect. People just aren't that afraid of black radicalism anymore. Forty years ago white voters were literally, keep-your-gun-next-to-your-bed worried about an armed black revolt. When Stokley Carmichael would rant about what was coming to the white man, their minds would light up with images of Watts, Newark, Harlem. Perlstein quotes one hapless Iowa Democrat, who lost his seat in 1966, talking about a town hall meeting where constituents informed him that vicious blacks were going to attack Des Moines when they arrived from Chicago "on motorcyles."

I'm sure the Wright story damaged Obama with some white ethnic voters. But ripped out of a context where the sermons could have actually threatened whites, as opposed to making them feel uncomfortable, they were never going to sink him if he handled them well. And he did handle them well.

NEXT: You Can't Always Believe Your Eyes

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Hand me the keys you fucking cocksucker.

  2. “on motorcycles”: that was poor John Schmidhauser, whom I interviewed, in Santa Monica, in his very happy retirement from a distinguished career as a legal scholar. I’m so pleased you pulled out that story. It really shows how utterly blindsided liberals were by the conservative backlash.

    Things are different now. The old stories no longer signify. Now it’s the right that’s getting blindsided…

  3. Wright Speaks, Democrats Yawn

    Considering that the GOP hasn’t brought all its guns to bear on anybody yet, I wouldn’t be too presumptive about yawning. If Obama gets the nomination they’re going to come down hard on him with both feet and I don’t think Obama’s shining armor will stand up to that. The Dems will start to take notice then.

    The guy’s a great orator and has great charisma, but he’s relatively new to the game.

    I’m thinking more and more that McCain will win no matter who he goes up against. With Obama, he’ll beat him up over all the little things that an be dug up, from Wright to lack of experience to whatever else comes out (there will be more). With Hillary, her negatives are too powerful. Plus the internecine Dem battle will alienate the supporters of whoever loses, making space for McCain.

    Oh well, lots more war for us.

  4. There is nothing that can be said to justify or explain Wright’s hateful speech. It’s sorta like the line in the country song: “Who’re you gonna believe: me or your lyin’ eyes?” We’ve all seen the tapes, saw his demeanor, and heard his words. It is what it is.

    Apparently Obama has such strong emotional ties to this racist hate-mongering preacher that he is unable, or unwilling, to acknowledge that Wright’s influence is inappropriate and indeed harmful.

    If the American Citizens elect Obama despite the knowledge of Wright’s influence over him it will be an acceptance, and a tacit blessing, of the union.

  5. Wright hurt Obama then Bosnian sniper fire hurt Clinton, which put them back to square one.

  6. Here’s where Oprah could actually really help him. He and she are both considered by most to be “reasonable black people” and they both attended the “crazy black church” for many years.

    If white people trust Oprah (and they do, for whatever reason) enough to believe that she isn’t all scary and radical despite association with Wright, it is likely that Obama can use this to extend to him, especially since he has never said anything scary or radical himself.

    It certainly isn’t a radioactive handshake, nor a Willie Horton, and Republicans are gonna look like racist idiots if thy push it too far.

    ——

    – Do you realize what would happen if they hook hands?

    -The fourth dimension will collapse in upon itself and destroy everything. You stupid bitch.

  7. if they shook hands. Damn it.

  8. For some of us, this Wright thing further helped Obama. Not for the message that Wright delivered, but for the response of Obama. He spoke to us about race without dumbing it down and without falling into stereotypes. It was a real response that showed that he believed the American people could be trusted with nuance. It is appealing.

  9. It’s unusual to see someone try to start a racial panic and fail. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it not work before this.

    Obama’s 52% is the highest he ever scored in that poll, as is his 10% lead. The Speech not only turned around his slide, it is proving to be a greater benefit than the Wright affair was a detriment.

    Ask yourself this: have you seen ANYONE making gloomy predictions about what the Wright connection will do to Obama in the general election who wasn’t also predicting that it would sink him in his race vs. Clinton?

  10. Here’s where Oprah could actually really help him. He and she are both considered by most to be “reasonable black people” and they both attended the “crazy black church” for many years.

    Except Oprah left Rev. Wright’s flock. If she speaks out on this, it only highlights Obama’s refusal to leave.

  11. The other thing is that while Wright is a clown, he said some things that Americans need to hear. In particular, the fact that we weren’t attacked on 9/11 because evildoers hate our freedoms but for other reasons that aren’t so comfortable to talk about.

  12. Hey, from what I hear, that JanetP is a real racist, hatemongering bitch. Of course, I base that on selected moments from about 1/100th of 1% of her life, but hey, I know what I saw.

    Wright will go on Oprah, he’ll explain or answer for his comments, and the only people up in arms about him will be people who would never vote for Obama under any circumstances.

    That, of course, doesn’t mean they won’t find something else. If it hadn’t been Wright, it would have been something else. Someday, the stupid Democrats will understand that they cannot inoculate themselves from attacks. The Republicans will find something, and if they can’t, they’ll make something up.

  13. Bryan writes: He spoke to us about race without dumbing it down and without falling into stereotypes. It was a real response that showed that he believed the American people could be trusted with nuance. It is appealing.

    Elemenope writes: Republicans are gonna look like racist idiots if thy push it too far.

    I think these two ideas work in synergy. The nobility and appeal of the ideas in Obama’s speech, combined with the noticeable lack of politico b.s. spin, just makes the Jonah Goldberg/Victor David Hansen/Bill Kristol sneering at the speech and the idea look 1) mean and ungracious and 2) like dishonest campaign flacks.

    You know those people in the spin room after a debate who say things like “Governor Bush cleaned John Kerry’s clock” and “This was the debate in which Congressman Tancredo really broke though?” That’s what people gainsaying the speech look like, and yes, we can absolutely count on the Republicans pushing it too far. What else are they going to talk about?

  14. I think a lot of this is also the result of the internet and the 24 hour news cycle. People have ridiculously short memories now. The wright story is stale after only one week.

    Hopefully enough people will realize that the current financial crisis and what is to be done about it is of far greater import. Although my mother seems to still go on and on about Michelle Obama’s “first time proud of america” comment, probably the lamest bit of mudslinging this election cycle. So who knows what will stick come november.

  15. That’s what people gainsaying the speech look like, and yes, we can absolutely count on the Republicans pushing it too far. What else are they going to talk about?

    As Seitz said:

    If it hadn’t been Wright, it would have been something else. Someday, the stupid Democrats will understand that they cannot inoculate themselves from attacks. The Republicans will find something, and if they can’t, they’ll make something up.

    The GOP hasn’t even gotten started tuning up the Dem nominee yet, because there isn’t one. They are sitting back and watching the Obama-Clinton cage match, to their amusement. Once somebody emerges victorious, they are going to beat on them like a narc at a biker rally.

  16. Kurtz allows that “the culture is changing,” and he thinks the media is pushing it.

    Following it? Yes. Nurturing it? Maybe. Pushing it? No.

    In that media success relies on popularity, even in the blogosphere, the room to “push” your consumers is minute. You either follow from the front, like the silverback that cuts through the bush to the front when the troop changes direction without him, in order to maintain your popularity. Or you carve your own path and hope for fans. You can try to push and you’re popularity will suffer for it,…unless your fans are already there waiting for you.

  17. BTW, as significant as the trends in the Democratic race are, the matchups vs. McCain tell an important story, too.

    Starting about March 5, when McCain wrapped up his nomination while Clinton and Obama kept flailing at each other, he began pulling ahead of both of them. The Gallup tracker shows a very slow but undeniable trend of McCain gradually moving from about 3 points behind both of them to about 3 points ahead.

    What’s significant here is the dog that didn’t bark. There was no change in the trend when the Wright story broke – the same gradual decline that Obama was experiencing before the flap continued when the story broke, and when Obama gave his speech. Ditto Hillary vs. McCain.

    This would seem to suggest that, while the Wright affair changed things in the Democratic race, the people who are still down on Obama for this are people who were never going to vote for the Democrat in the first place.

  18. “you’re” –> “your”

    I am my own pedant.

  19. The guy’s a great orator and has great charisma

    Everyone keeps saying this, but every speech that I watch him give makes me oppose him even more. And it’s not just the liberal content; I’m not sure what about his style that bugs me, but I think it might be that he is trying too hard to be charismatic. I don’t give a shit about charisma, just talk about the issues.

    Disclaimer: I haven’t seen many of his recent speeches. I saw enough already to know I’m not going to vote for him. So, he may have changed his style.

    Disclaimer II: I have defended Obama from a coworker who thought he was a Muslim who had said he would swear on the Koran if was sworn in (not that it did much good with her).

  20. What else are they going to talk about?

    If I were a democrat, I’d be scared to death of McCain pushing his whole “National Greatness” line. It’s sort of tough arguing against a guy who says nothing but “Isn’t America great; hey, aren’t YOU great!” Sure, it’s substanceless, but what are ya gonna do…say in a presidential election that America ISN’T great?

    The conversation goes something like this:

    McCain: America is great, and so we’ll win, as we always do!

    Donkey: Hey, what about Vietnam? We didn’t win that one.

    McCain: (pained far away look on McCain’s face…)

    And then pundits screech that they are attacking McCain’s service and character.

  21. The GOP hasn’t even gotten started tuning up the Dem nominee yet, because there isn’t one. They are sitting back and watching the Obama-Clinton cage match, to their amusement.

    Not so. The GOP has been training their fire on Obama for some time, since it became obvious Hillary couldn’t win, and even before. Limbaugh trying to freep the primaries, the old Barack HUSSEIN Obama emails, Richard Mellon Scaife meeting with Hillary Clinton, Joe Scarborough still flacking the Wright story while minimizing the Tuzla flap – the GOP are doing whatever they can to keep Obama weak, because they know they’re going to face him in the fall, and because they know he is the odds-on favorite to win.

    Sitting back? Not hardly.

  22. Disclaimer II: I have defended Obama from a coworker who thought he was a Muslim who had said he would swear on the Koran if was sworn in (not that it did much good with her).

    Me too. Twice (with two different people). And I work in a place that has a half-dozen employees, and we’re in New England of all places.

    I don’t get how people can be that cluelessly factlessly fucking stupid. Or maybe I do get it, but somehow I don’t *want* to get it. Maybe it disappears into that same region of the brain that tells me I shouldn’t make words up.

  23. Think we’ll see TallDave on this thread?

    heh

    Indeed.

  24. It would be really interesting to see the GOP use the “let’s not dumb this down” speech tactic while talking about the economy and Obama’s economic policies (nightmarish plans). I’d be interested to know if that kind of plain (and potentially complex) discussion would wake some people up to the almost assured nasty repercussions of Obama’s economic policy stances.

    I’m certainly not someone who would vote for Obama, I’ve read too many of his policy statements and platform positions, but I’m sort of shocked at how powerful his rhetoric is at soothing people. For instance, I don’t agree with Joe that Obama is pointedly anti-spin, I think his spin is more polished and more subtle, and in that…. far more disturbing.

  25. I like how people here are claiming that Obama is the only one without skeletons in his closet that won’t stand up to partisan attacks. Do you really think that McCain’s immune to dirty tricks?

  26. McCain will say something crazy. Give him time.

  27. McCain will say something crazy. Give him time.

    Like confusing Sunni and Shia and saying that Iran is in bed with UBL?

  28. Sitting back? Not hardly.

    I don’t know, joe. Do you really think this is the worst the GOP can hit him with?

    I think they’ve been active, but are holding back. Why look like attack dogs (more than usual) when Hillary is doing their dirty work for them? If she manages to land the nomination through whatever child-sacrifice methods are necessary, she will have done far more for the GOP cause than they could have hoped for, because huge numbers of Obama supporters will hate her.

    If Obama gets the nom they’re going to really come after him, but they’re not going to waste it now when Hillary might finish him for them.

  29. And I work in a place that has a half-dozen employees, and we’re in New England of all places.

    Home of that racial utopia known as Boston. Can’t see any reason they wouldn’t like Obama.

  30. McCain will say something crazy. Give him time.

    McCain says crazy shit all the time and no one seems to notice.

  31. Just curious:

    Is there anyone on this forum who believes they are either Libertarian or very libertarian leaning that is not taken aback by Obama’s economic policy suggestions?

    Call me a graduated libertarian, but I’ve always felt that economic liberty is the underpinning of social liberty. In that, despite my dislike of a huge chunk of McCain’s positions, I currently support the man because his economic platform (although still a little odious) whafts less of sulfur and fire than Obama’s.

    I mean, when the chips are down and we have to press that touch-screen, there’s no doubt that I’ll be choosing between McCain and a third-party candidate. Obama won’t even be on my radar.

    How do other big L Libertarians and small L libertarians feel about that?

  32. damon,

    Policy disagreements aside, I just don’t see John McCain having the level of knowledge and insight into economic matters that Barack Obama brings to the issue of race relations.

    You can tell from that speech that Obama has been honestly and thoughtfully contending with the complexity of that issue for a long time. I don’t think the same can be said about John McCain and economic matters. He’s basically outsourced his economic policy to some conservative DC lobbyist/think tank types, in order to get them behind him and because he just don’t seem to know or care very much about economic policy.

  33. How do other big L Libertarians and small L libertarians feel about that?

    This small L libertarian is slightly concerned about Obama’s economic plans but I believe the cost of McCain’s plans for a neverending war will cost far more than any of Obama’s feel good initiatives, both in hard currency and in American lives.

  34. Obama is a political aikido master. I think his strength against the GOP will be his ability to redirect the energy of their attacks back on them. Hillary will meet force with force and in the process reaffirm every stereotype about her.

  35. The problem for Obama is that he’s considerably further from the center than McCain, and with a late August nomination it’s going to be hard for him to tack toward the center in time to win.

    The Wright thing barely scratches the surface of his vulnerability from the right.

  36. Joe,

    That may be true, but a fool who comes to the right conclusion is wiser than a scholar who comes to the wrong conclusion.

    I’d rather vote for McCain if his general philosophy leads him to a more libertarian policy outlook than vote for Obama who’s thoughtful analysis leads him towards a lite-socialism outlook.

  37. Policy disagreements aside, I just don’t see John McCain having the level of knowledge and insight into economic matters that Barack Obama brings to the issue of race relations.

    lawlz

    Too bad he didn’t share that “knowledge and insight” with his pastor.

  38. How do other big L Libertarians and small L libertarians feel about that?

    Out of the scenarios that are possible, I hope McCain beats Obama because of the large number of people who seem to think Obama can do no wrong. McCain will face opposition from the Democratic Congress, meaning we won’t get tons and tons of new spending programs. Hopefully, the Democrats will finally grow a pair, and stop the war. While there is a slim chance of this scenario, it is far more likely than Congress standing up to Obama’s spending proposals.

    That being said, I’m still not voting for McCain. I’m going third party.

  39. You can tell from that speech that Obama has been honestly and thoughtfully contending with the complexity of that issue for a long time.

    So homestly and thoughtfully that he sat in Rev Wright’s “God Damn America” “U.S. of KKK” “white people made AIDS to kill blacks” church for 20 years.

    Here, let me fix that:

    You can tell from that speech that Obama has cynically taken whatever position on race was politically expedient at the time and dressed it up in flowery rhetoric.

  40. Fear of blacks may not sink Obama, but as Ron Pual proved, it’s a great fundraiser for libertarians.

  41. damon,

    So how does a blogger who defines his conclusion score? 😉

    Anyway, I was actually replying to your 10:45 comment, about how interesting it would be if the GOP spoke to the public like adults about economics, the way Obama spoke to us like adults about race relations. It was just a coincidence that it appeared below your 10:52 comment.

    Obama was able to score such a coup because 1) he had enough eyes on him and 2) he obviously has a deep and mature understanding of the matter.

    McCain, as the GOP nominess, probably has a high enough profile, but he lacks the understanding. Other Republicans might have the understanding to pull off such a trick, but an economic speech by some Congressman or Governor isn’t going to top 3 million views on You Tube.

  42. True, and Obama’s proved fear of whites can help launch a political career.

  43. lawlz

    Is exactly the same thing TallDave wrote a week and half ago, when I said that the Wright flap and the speech were going to help Obama.

    Keep pimping it, d00d! You’ve got your finger on the pulse of America.

  44. Edward | March 31, 2008, 11:06am | #

    He’s Back! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Dondero was getting so boring.

  45. about how interesting it would be if the GOP spoke to the public like adults about economics

    Oh please, a socialist is going to tell the right to be “adults” about ecnomics? LMAO This from the guy who calls Hayek and Friedman hacks.

    The whole leftist philosophy of economic policy is built around an emotional appeal for the government to take care of people. It’s practically the definition of infantilism.

  46. True, and Obama’s proved fear of whites can help launch a political career.

    What the hell does this even *mean*?

  47. Is exactly the same thing TallDave wrote a week and half ago, when I said that the Wright flap and the speech were going to help Obama.

    Dude, what world are you living in? Do you see a single poll that has Obama ahead of where he was pre-Wright in the general?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html#charts

    LMAO You can’t see that big convergence where he hemorrhages votes to McCain? He went from up 6 to down 2.

    Sheesh, I guess Obama-love is blind.

    Sheesh, I guess

  48. True, and Obama’s proved fear of whites can help launch a political career. What the hell does this even *mean*?

    You do know Wright helped OBama get started in politics?

  49. Joe,

    You’re certainly right about Obama’s eye-and-mind share.

    McCain isn’t an especially compelling speaker either. Having more affinity towards the right than the left, I have spent countless hours with my stomach in knots, bemoaning the apparent lack of willingness on the GOP’s part to offer up candidates with strong vocabularies, solid rhetoric, and a commitment to engaging the intellect of voters. (Please, no jokes about “that doesn’t exist in the GOP” etc.) I’m a fairly bright guy, and among my friends who are conservative I count several extremely intelligent individuals who’s understanding of economic, fiscal, and foreign policy is detailed, nuanced, and extensive.

    Of course, we do not constitute the majority, but I wish the GOP (and DNC for that matter) would not cede intellectualism in favor of dumbed-down rhetoric so easily.

    I lived in Europe for nearly 16 years, and despite protestations of some of my American friends (who studied abroad for one or two semesters, living exclusively among hyper educated oxfordians and cambridgeans)I see no major difference in the intellectual capacity or knowledge of the common European and the common American. Yet, at least in the UK and Germany, politicians, even when pandering, tend to remain explicit, detailed, and intellectually challenging when speaking on issues of policy.

    Having worked in politics here in the US, I’m well aware of the sound-bite strategy and the common belief among pundits that the US citizenry somewhat requires mono-syllabic utterances and easily-pronounceable words. I think this is bunk. Maybe common US voters are overly sensitive to perceived elitism or haughty language, but I would very much wish for more candidates who debate on an intellectual level above that of the average 9th Grade highschool debate team.

    Obama, to his credit, is better than most, but I don’t find him inspiring or even convincing, because I notice he conveniently sidesteps most opposing views rather than addressing them head on. As a previous poster mentioned, this akido-like ability is powerful, but to me ultimately unfulfilling and perhaps even sinister.

    I won’t pine here for British Parliament, but I would pine for similar discourse.

    Maybe if our political culture where more one of debate rather than differentiation…. I’d like to think those are the same thing, but in practice perhaps they are not.

  50. What no one mentioned is that McCains lead in the Rasmussen poll over Obama has been cut in half in the last week. The previous poll had him +10, now its +5.

  51. TallDave,

    To my knowledge, I have never called Hayek a hack. Nor Friedman. I admire both.

  52. Yeah, 10 was probably an outlier. 5 is probably about right.

  53. Sorry, damon, I mistook that for a joe comment.

  54. I wouldn’t vote for Obama because I have any special love for him. Its the fact that the thought of John McCain having a nuclear arsenal scares the living daylights out of me.

  55. Keep laughing, TallDave. Maybe, someday, you’ll actually turn out to be right about something.

    You can’t see that big convergence where he hemorrhages votes to McCain? You mean the one that started a week before the Wright story, a couple days after McCain wrapped up the nomination? Yes, genius, I’m the one who brought that up first. I guess you missed that part.

    How’s that “this will sink Obama” thing turning out? It’s funny, he started trending upward at almost exactly the same time you declared him dead.

    BTW, the RCP average has McCain up 0.2% in the general election. Not 2%. Quite the statistical genius, aren’t you?

  56. If Obama really wants to win he should change from aikido to Weirding Way style.

  57. Seitz | March 31, 2008, 10:27am
    “Hey, from what I hear, that JanetP is a real racist, hatemongering bitch. Of course, I base that on selected moments from about 1/100th of 1% of her life, but hey, I know what I saw.”

    You certainly sound like you could be a disciple of Jeremiah Wright. My guess would be that a generation of children under his tutelage would sound just as hate-filled and disrespectful as you.

  58. Episiarch,

    “Put your hand… in the BOX”

  59. damon,

    Yet, at least in the UK and Germany, politicians, even when pandering, tend to remain explicit, detailed, and intellectually challenging when speaking on issues of policy.

    I think this has to do with their P.R. systems promoting “responsible parties” intead of “catch-all parties.”

    When you have to try to make your message appeal to 60% of the public, you’re dealing with an audience that is going to include people with different viewpoints on issues, so the smart money is on avoiding statements that come down strongly on one side or the other. When you’re just hoping to build on your party’ls 39% plurality, you can push a substantive message with a discernable ideology.

  60. McCain needs the support of Republicans to energize enough voters to go to the polls and support him against whomever the Democratic nominee is.

    Among my very Republican relatives his support ranges from grudging to non-existent to active opposition.

    He does fairly well with independents and moderate Democrats, but I don’t think this will be enough without a strong Republican turn out.

    If enough Republicans are ambivalent enough and stay home on election day, the Democrat wins. Fund raising currently seems to point to that being the most likely outcome.

  61. My guess would be that a generation of children under his tutelage would sound just as hate-filled and disrespectful as you.

    Now get off my lawn.

    Punks.

  62. Yeah, McCain’s fund raising is anemic. He could only afford to run his first general election ad in one small state (New Mexico).

  63. McCain has said that’s he’s not going to use the Wright stuff. If it comes back in the general election, it’ll be unaffiliated with the official campaign. Obama would be smart to buy some insurance against the charge of anti-Americanism. Maybe a couple flag pins, burning a Noam Chomsky book, shoulder checking Sean Penn into rush hour traffic, etc.

    That said, I don’t think polls show that America is unconcerned about Obama’s connection to Wright. The polls reflect that between Wright and Hillary’s Tuzla bullet-dodging fantasies, the public thinks the latter were far more revealing about the candidate’s character.

  64. “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

    If Obama recites that litany and hires Paul Atreides as his campaign manager, I will vote for him, solely to see a campaign managed by someone whose name is a killing word.

  65. N.M.,

    If enough Republicans are ambivalent enough and stay home on election day, the Democrat wins.

    This is one area where the Wright flap could help McCain – giving the Republican base a reason to go to the polls.

  66. Some case studies.

    Father-in-law, Korean war & Vietnam vet, always voted Republican. Is now saying he will vote for Nadar as a protest vote (Ventura would probably get it if he enters).

    Aunt…has always voted Republican, mainly due to pro-life plank. Has declared for Obama

    Mother, very very very staunch Republican…thinks McCain can’t handle the economy, but may be the lesser of evils. Not impressed with Obama, hates Clinton. She’ll vote for McCain against Clinton, and probably against Obama. Is disgusted with the choices.

  67. LOL joe, I’ll stop laughing when you stop saying such hilarious things.

    You mean the one that started a week before the Wright story, a couple days after McCain wrapped up the nomination?

    Uh no. The polls break precisely when the scandal does.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html#charts

    How’s that “this will sink Obama” thing turning out? It’s funny, he started trending upward at almost exactly the same time you declared him dead

    I never said it would sink him or declared him dead. I said it would hurt him, and it has.

    Your bizarre assertion that the Wright scandal helps Obama is supported by nothing except the voices in your head.

  68. Its the fact that the thought of John McCain having a nuclear arsenal scares the living daylights out of me.

    I miss the old Cesar that used to complain we weren’t focusing on the issues.

  69. War and Peace is sort of the biggest issue there is, Dave.

  70. In other words, no one is going to die over what Wright said.

  71. LOL joe, I’ll stop laughing when you stop saying such hilarious things.

    You wrote that a week ago, when I said that Obama was coming back and the story was over.

    Uh no. The polls break precisely when the scandal does.

    No, they don’t show that. It’s tough to see on the RCP poll, because the dates are compressed so much and the line is thick. The Gallup tracker shows it much more clearly.

    I said it would hurt him, and it has. That must be why he is at his highest number ever in the Gallup poll, with his largest lead ever.

    Because of my head. Face it, TallDave. You bet against the American people, and lost. You assumed the public could be stampeded with a racial panic, and you were wrong.

    God bless America.

  72. Here’s a bit of advice for both joe and Dave:

    Don’t trust polls. They’re, like, totally wrong and stuff like, all the time.

  73. To add to the case studies.

    My mother would contribute money to the Republican nominee if it were not McCain.

    She is not contributing to the RNC this year.

    She is the base that funds the machine that McCain would need to compete against Obama.

    Money doesn’t decide elections on its own, but McCain will need some serious skills to get heard above the message that Obama’s war chest will buy.

  74. You wrote that a week ago, when I said that Obama was coming back and the story was over.

    And here we are still talking about that “dead story.” Reality 1, Joe 0.

    No, they don’t show that

    Yes, they do. To call that a coincidence is pretty ridiculous even for you.

    That must be why he is at his highest number ever in the Gallup poll, with his largest lead ever.

    LOL Are you high? He’s down 3 to McCain. The last Gallup had him up 2.

    Face it, TallDave. You bet against the American people, and lost.

    LOL I’m betting a good chunk the American people are too smart to vote for a candidate a 20-year relationship with the likes of Wright and his loony hate sermons, whatever his race. You seem to they’re too dumb to notice.

  75. Epi-
    And I guess one of Barak’s and Michelle’s kids will be the actual God-Emperor?

    Thinking about it, it sometimes does seem like Obama is of House Atreides, Clinton is House Harkkonen, and McCain is House Corrino.

  76. What this means to me as an independent…

    The Republicans are the party running the unelectable candidate.

  77. NM that seems to go against conventional wisdom, that says McCain was the only electable one if the field.

  78. Thinking about it, it sometimes does seem like Obama is of House Atreides, Clinton is House Harkkonen, and McCain is House Corrino.

    McCain is Jose Ferrer?

  79. I’ve a great idea, TallDave: why don’t you make some references to laughter, to show how totally not shaken you are by the fact that it’s not working?

    And here we are still talking about that “dead story.” Yes, talking about how the story is dead, and how the polling is demonstrating exactly the opposite of what people like you were predicting.

    There are the American people, and there is you, TallDave. They’ve left you behind.

  80. Wright himself is not as big of an issue as how Obama handled it. With all the awkward comments his wife is making, when he threw his grandma under the bus he really did his damage for the general. Then after throwing his grandma under the bus he used the phrase “typical white person” which was definitely awkward, especially considering it was from someone that was half white himself. Discussing race is a third rail and Obama had to touch upon it, but racial sensitivity goes both ways and sacrificing his white relative to justify Wright’s rants is not going to help him in the general. I personally think most of this stuff is trivial but that is unfortunately what voters make their decisions on.

  81. http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/index.asp

    Obama has 38 million on hand.
    McCain has a little less than 8 million.

    Yes folks that is about 1/5th of Obama’s resources.

    Now the RNC does have more money to kick in to help than the DNC, but they need a lot of that for congressional races.

  82. What this means to me as an independent…The Republicans are the party running the unelectable candidate.

    The antiwar people won’t vote for McCain; he’s tied very closely to a policy of helping the Iraqis develop some semblance of a stable liberal democracy. It follows that if Iraq goes badly, he will lose (which isn’t the end of the world, really. I suspect Obama is much more moderate than he lets on (hence the vague rhetoric)).

    The September Iraqi provincial elections will be something to watch. If the turnout is high, the moderates do well, the media coverage is extensive, and there’s relatively little violence, there may a bump in public perception, as there was in the first elections.

  83. NM, then again, if money mattered that much Romney would be the Republican nominee.

  84. Let it be remembered that the presidential election is not only about the person who sits in the oval office. Many people come into government on the coattails of the president. He/she will make appointments of Supreme Court Judges, and many appointments of Federal Judges. These are L I F E T I M E appointments – we don’t get rid of them when the next president is elected.

    The president also appoints the U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Attorneys for the 93 federal districts. These are the people who make the decisions about who, and what crimes, should be prosecuted. The group of officials named shape our country just like Congress.

    Obama has demonstrated that Jeremiah Wright has enormous influence over him. It has also been ably demonstrated that Wright has an agenda that is offensive to the majority of Americans. Likewise, it appears that Michelle Obama is simpatico with Wright’s agenda.

    Do we really want these people making appointments that will last for the rest of OUR lives?

  85. Cesar,

    The conventional wisdom hasn’t done much to illuminate this election cycle, imho.

  86. Janet, you really think hes going to appoint Wright to the Supreme Court? You’re sounding just a TAD nutty.

  87. Here, btw, is the Gallup tracker. Scroll down for Obama-McCain and Clinton-McCain.

    Note how the trend lines in both races look exaclty the same, with McCain overtaking both Clinton and Obama at the same time, following exactly the same trajectory.

    I eagerly await the explanation of how the Wright story harmed Hillary Clinton’s general election chances to exactly the same degree Obama’s.

  88. Obama has 38 million on hand.

    Too bad for Obama that he’s forced to spend it all on a primary.

  89. BOOGAH BOOGAH HES A SCARY BLACK MAN AND HIS WIFE IS A BITCH BOOGAH BOOGAH!

  90. The story will be dead forever, never to be revived again if Obama wins Pennsylvania, which would prove he wasn’t hurt that much with white working class voters.

  91. Janet, what exactly is “Wright’s agenda” anyway?

  92. I’ve a great idea, TallDave: why don’t you make some references to laughter, to show how totally not shaken you are by the fact that it’s not working?

    LMAO I can’t help it if you’re funny.

    I eagerly await the explanation of how the Wright story harmed Hillary Clinton’s general election chances to exactly the same degree Obama’s.

    Obviously it hasn’t, when you bother to look at more than one poll.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_clinton-224.html

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html#charts

    See how different those graphs look?

    lawlzez

  93. Cesar,

    I agree.
    The role of money is often over-emphasized.

    Money can not shine a piece of shit, as they say, but Obama already has considerable appeal, unlike Romney.

    If McCain is going to go negative and try and exploit something like the Wright affair, he would need money to do that while also trying to stay positive.

    I don’t see it happening.

    He’s too old.
    Too much of a hawk.
    Too much of a hothead.
    Too much of a flip-flopper.
    Too easily called out on his crazy talk.
    Too weak on core conservative issues.

    At least that is how I see it.

    It is a long way from November, however.

    Who knows how things will look by then.

    TallDave is correct, of course, that what happens in Iraq in the interim will determine to a large degree how important the war is to the campaign.

    What happens in the economy will be even more important.

    And remember* Obama is advocating to “do something to help” while McCain is saying that those who got screwed on their mortgage deserve their pain (to the ears of the left) while at the same time saying that “greedy speculators” need to be punished (that’s anti-investment to ears like my mother on the right). His message is too weak on both ends if the economy ends up to be the most important issue (when isn’t it).

    *This sentence was designed to test your working memory.

  94. NM I’ll think he’ll be attacked on those. The attacks on Obama seem to consist of:

    He went to Wright’s Church
    His wife is a bitch (strangely this was used on Hillary Clinton and Teresea Kerry as well)
    Hes libruh

    Not as strong.

  95. NM I’ll think he’ll be attacked on those. The attacks on Obama seem to consist of:

    Ha! You haven’t even begun to see the real attacks. This is still just the primary. Wait till we get to taxes, government health care, gun rights, etc.

  96. This is still just the primary. Wait till we get to taxes, government health care, gun rights, etc.

    Well, thats better than constantly attacking his wife.

  97. Cesar,

    The other thing I have noticed about attacks on Obama is that they are all couched in some sort of carrier phrase like

    “Well sure he’s intelligent and charismatic, but…”

    FWIW, I think he is a bit of a lite-weight on policy, but he is smart and has been working hard to surround himself with people who can shore up his proposals.

    And, when it comes down to it, the best president is the one that knows how to surround himself with talented people.

  98. Note to Obama operatives.

    TallDave just gave away the gun plan.

    It consists of “the same old Republican attacks.”

    I think Obama’s camp may be preparing for that already.

  99. gun plan = game plan

    That was an interesting typo.

  100. Obama has demonstrated that Jeremiah Wright has enormous influence over him.

    He did? When was this? The speech I missed where Obama denounced whitey, apple pie, and Amerika? Oh wait, even *Wright* doesn’t stand for that (it really helps if you watch the *whole* sermon and also have a passing familiarity with teh Bibelz).

    Shit, there goes that theory.

  101. It consists of “the same old Republican attacks.”

    You mean like asserting that Americans have a right to bear arms?

    I love when quoting the Constitution is called an attack.

  102. Here’s a bit of advice for both joe and Dave:

    Don’t trust polls. They’re, like, totally wrong and stuff like, all the time.

    I’ve lied every single time I’ve been polled. I’m not even close to unique in that regard. I also encourage others to lie to pollsters. I hate the nosy bastards and want them unemployed. You all can help with my anti-polling campaign by answering their questions either randomly or 180? out.

    In advance, I thank you for assisting a noble cause.

  103. I’ve lied every single time I’ve been polled.

    Yeah, I remember when the exit polls had Kerry way ahead on election day in 2004; they thought they had it won but it turned out people were voting for Bush but not telling pollers.

  104. Democratic front-runner Sen. Barack Obama’s (Ill.) religion also came into play when the panelists were asked about accusations that Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ is a “racist” organization.

    [Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition] said that while he disagrees with some of the statements made by the church’s leader, accusations like that are part of “a conspiracy that wants to silence the voice of the church.”

    These are the folks that are supposed to be scared of Obama because of his association with Wright, aren’t they?

  105. These are the folks that are supposed to be scared of Obama because of his association with Wright, aren’t they?

    I thought it was folks who didn’t agree that AIDS was created by a white supremacist U.S. gov’t to kill black people.

  106. See how different those graphs look?

    No, not really. They both show a dip at the same time, to about the same degree. Of course, it’s tough to tell exactly, because the graphics are so lousy and they don’t let you zoom in to see a shorter period of time, but there doesn’t seem to be much difference.

    lawlzez Ah, more forced laughter. It really comes across as that Clinton-esque hyena bark when you keep forcing it like that.

  107. You certainly sound like you could be a disciple of Jeremiah Wright. My guess would be that a generation of children under his tutelage would sound just as hate-filled and disrespectful as you.

    Really? Because I didn’t think I sounded hate filled at all. See, it was called satire. I was making fun of your ignorance up there. But now that I think of it, it was probably lost on you, due to said ignorance.

    Obama has demonstrated that Jeremiah Wright has enormous influence over him.

    Demonstrated it? How, exactly. Please provide examples and be specific. And I’m not talking words, I’m talking actions. How has he demonstrated this? I await your response. Good luck!

  108. TallDave,

    It consists of “the same old Republican attacks.”

    You mean like asserting that Americans have a right to bear arms?

    No.
    I mean like attempting to show that the Democratic candidate is trying to take your guns away, no matter what their position on the issue, or how low down their priority list “gun control” is.

  109. Don’t trust polls. They’re, like, totally wrong and stuff like, all the time.

    They’re useful for seeing trends in the rearview mirror, since each poll is wrong (and stuff) in its owns special, constantly-replicated way.

  110. Obama can use Bill Richardson to talk on the gun issue.

    An easy strategy to weaken attacks on the 2nd.

  111. You mean like asserting that Americans have a right to bear arms?

    Sure, look at the huge role that gun rights have played in the campaign so far. Uhh…..

    Well, anyway, Obama took that far left, individual-right-to-bear-arms position on the 2nd Amendement. Uh….

    Umm….

    Scary black guy! I don’t like his church!

  112. FWIW Obama did say the second amendment is an “individual right” but I don’t know his Senate record.

  113. The best thing the Republicans have is taxes. But McCain wouldn’t take the “no new taxes” pledge, so hes not exactly solid on that either.

    I totally agree with him on trade, but “The jobs aren’t coming back, my friends” statements will probably make him lose PA and OH.

  114. No, not really. They both show a dip at the same time, to about the same degree.

    LMAO No they don’t! They go in opposite directions! Clinton actually spikes at exactly the same time Obama drops.

    Trust me joe, with a comic talent in absurdism like yours in action, laughter is never forced.

  115. Oh, look, more forced laughter.

    We can all the see the chart, Dave. If you were so certain you were right, you wouldn’t have to crow about it.

  116. Cesar,

    Obama’s record, you can decide if the source is trustworthy.

    http://www.gunlawnews.org/Senators/Barack-Obama-4.html

  117. As progressive young white people we have no right to criticize the views of Obama’s wife and pastor, or to think they reflect negatively on Obama, because to do so is the equivalent of BOOGAH BOOGAH racism. Thank you.

  118. Sure, look at the huge role that gun rights have played in the campaign so far.

    We were specifically talking about issues that had yet to come up.

    I have to give the Dems credit: they’ve come a long way on the gun rights issue, as well as on taxes (in the old days, who would have thought a Dem congress would consider tax cuts as a stimulus? O joyous day!).

    Unfortunately, this issue is tricky for Presidential Dems, because it comes down to Supreme Court decisions and thus SC appointments. With 80% of American telling pollsters they believe Americans have a right to bear arms, the Roberts/Alito crowd look pretty good on that issue.

    It will be interesting to hear Obama try to square that corner. A good opportunity to move to the center, maybe.

  119. Cesar,

    So my read of the issue is that it is very very low on his priority list.

    He isn’t gunning for the gun owners, but he isn’t actively advocating for them either.

  120. Even if there was a President who was gung-ho for gun control, it would never make it through Congress–even a Democratic controlled one–thanks to the Jon Testers and Jim Webbs in the Democratic Party.

    Dave-

    Yes, they have changed a lot. My state party even contains pro-gun planks in its platform.

  121. TallDave’s laughter is forced. Joe’s is sincere.

    Perhaps we should have a laughing contest, to see who can out-laugh the other guy.

  122. Ok, “whiter people”, lets start talking about Cindy McCain’s drug addiction then and how she stole OxyContin from charities.

    See? Its just stupid.

  123. As far as SCOTUS nominees.

    Obama taught constitutional law and would likely have a good sense of how to pick competent judges. His statements on constitutional issues seem pretty solidly mainstream.

  124. We can all the see the chart, Dave.

    Apparently not you. Look at the 3/15 arrow. Clinton actually spikes to a lead over McCain just as Obama is cratering. She goes from 43 to 48. Obama goes from 48 to 45.

    If you were so certain you were right, you wouldn’t have to crow about it.

    LMAO I’m not crowing, I’m laughing.

    It would be a lot harder not to laugh.

  125. NM I’d like to see Obama release his academic writings. That would tell us a lot.

  126. The fact that the gun issue hasn’t come up so far – not when John McCain started running his general election campaign, not when the GOPers were tripping over each other to see who could denounce the Democrats the loudest when the Republican primary was still contested – should be an indication that they don’t see that as a rich vein to mine.

    They could try to work the “he doesn’t really mean it” argument, and might get some hard core gun people (ie, people who were going to vote Republcan anyway) to believe them, but “There is an individual right to bear arms, subject to reasonable regulation” is a pretty centrist position, and well to the right of what Democrats were saying in the 80s.

  127. In other words, TallDave et al. will have a hard time making Obama’s SCOTUS appointee potential a big issue, particularly given his statements about “individual rights” in regards to guns.

    Can you see McCain and Obama having a discussion about the constitution coming out with McCain looking like the knowledgeable one?

  128. Joe, he still despeately needs to pick an unabashadly pro-gun VP.

  129. And then of course we come to this week, where Clinton’s Bosnian Trip Of Terror drives her down.

    Odd parallel with Kerry there. I guess they never learn.

  130. TallDave and joe,

    Get a room.

  131. Yes, TallDave, they both start dropping against McCain right before that 3/15 arrow, and they both slide down to 3-4 points back.

    It looks like she’s “spiking” because she had only recently gotten to that 3-4 point lead, while Obama had been there for some time. But their trajectories after that are almost indistinguishable.

    We can all see the chart. It doesn’t show what you’re claiming. It shows them both dropping behind McCain over the same time frame.

  132. Oh, it also shows one other thing: Obama is now 0.2% behind McCain, while Hillary remains about 3 points back.

  133. NM I’d like to see Obama release his academic writings. That would tell us a lot.

    Certainly those are already in the public domain.
    I assume that as a professor he had to publish in peer-reviewed journals.

    Hmmm….

    A quick google scholar only turns up political writings.

  134. Odd parallel with Kerry there. I guess they never learn.

    This is who still flogs the Wright story.

    Spend a little more time outside the bubble, d00d.

  135. Damon @ 10:52, good questions. I’ve had them myself. I’m a small l libertarian (actually more of a classical liberal)

    Is there anyone on this forum who believes they are either Libertarian or very libertarian leaning that is not taken aback by Obama’s economic policy suggestions?

    Yes, I will not vote in the general election for someone who supports “fair” (government set) wages. I lived through the 70s. Maybe Obama can find a way to fudge this in a way similar to his Wright fudge. BTW, I did vote for Obama in the primary, because Hillary is the worst of the three.

    Call me a graduated libertarian, but I’ve always felt that economic liberty is the underpinning of social liberty.

    Agreed, wealth and security make it easier to worry about liberty.

    In that, despite my dislike of a huge chunk of McCain’s positions, I currently support the man because his economic platform (although still a little odious) whafts less of sulfur and fire than Obama’s.

    Yes, but McCain’s easy belief in the suppression of political speech stinks pretty badly as well. McCain really doesn’t get the law of unintended consequences.

  136. I’d like to see Obama release his academic writings. That would tell us a lot.

    I would too, if only because he writes pretty decent speeches and so is probably a decent writer all around; constitutional law tends to be interesting in any case, and it isn’t often you get presidential candidates generating position papers on such issues.

    On the other hand, I wrote some pretty crazy shit just for the fun of it in my academic days, and so position papers and unsigned notes and suchlike may indicate more accurately his areas of academic *interest* rather than his actual *positions*.

  137. LOL whatever. If you can’t read a chart, try looking at the individual poll numbers. You can clearly see Obama runs much better against McCain before the scandal.

  138. *Reading up from the bottom*

    Mo | March 31, 2008, 12:46pm | #

    TallDave and joe,

    Get a room.

    That’s all I need to know.

  139. This is who still flogs the Wright story.

    LOL that’s odd, I could have sworn he was in the title of this story.

  140. Oh, it also shows one other thing: Obama is now 0.2% behind McCain, while Hillary remains about 3 points back.

    Yep, Hillary ran as well as Obama until the Bosnian follies.

  141. I think no matter who gets the Presidency, our taxes are going up.

  142. The “grandmother under the bus” accusation really seems like reaching to me. We all have fucked up baggage when it comes to race – white or black. Lots of us have relatives and close friends we love dearly who happen to hold some views we find repugnant. But, because we know the totality of their being we don’t disown them. I hear things at family reunions in Mississippi that curl my toes. What he said was refreshing because it’s true. I think most people got his point. The ones that single out the phrase “typical white person” are the ones that will never vote for a black guy anyway.

  143. Ok, “whiter people”, lets start talking about Cindy McCain’s drug addiction then and how she stole OxyContin from charities.

    We can do that. Everyone likes good gossip. But Cindy McCain’s misbehavior doesn’t indicate anything about her husband’s ideological orientation.

  144. Well, McCain supports the drug war and supports policies which would throw 99% of the people in this country into jail for doing what Cindy McCain did. So why didn’t she go to prison like everyone else?

  145. I honestly don’t know much about the story, Cesar. If there is hypocrisy and corruption involved, that doesn’t surpise me. My point is it may reflect badly on McCain, but it doesn’t say anything about his policy positions. Whereas Obama’s close associates seem to indicate that Obama may be more of a race-based leftist than we realized.

  146. Wow, you don’t even know how to read a line chart, TallDave?

    Let me help you out.

    Pull up the RCP page. Take a ruler, and lay it vertically on the screen, with the right edge lined up with Hillary’s peak vs. McCain. You will see that the straight edge crosses the Y axis right at the “/” in the date “3/15/08.”

    Then, click over to the McCain/Obama page. Lay the ruler at his peak, and follow it down to the Y axis. Once again, you will see that the straight edge crosses the Y axis at the same point – the “/” in the date “3/15/08.”

    Since the Y axis represents the date, we can conclude that Clinton and Obama both started dropping off against McCain at the same time – a few days before 3/15/08.

    This is fourth grade stuff. WTF is wrong with you?

  147. It does say something about his policy positions. It suggests McCain believes in rehab for some, prison for others.

    If I did what Cindy McCain did I’d be doing hard time.

    As for “race based leftist”, what the fuck does that mean? Give me one “racial” policy where he differs from Hillary Clinton or any other liberal Democrat.

  148. I’m sure the Wright story damaged Obama with some white ethnic voters.

    (in German secret-agent accent)

    “Zere ARE no white ethnic voters”

    ….Novelties, parrrrty tricks…

  149. He’s Back! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Dondero was getting so boring.

    Oh, c’mon. Dondero is much better entertainment than Edward. Listening to Dondero is like listening to a North Korean minder instruct you on how the US conspired to start the Korean War. His baldface contrafactual assertions are so brazen, the Ministry of Truth would have a hard time putting them out. Combined with his constant appeals to authority, ad hominem, and post hoc, he’s like a Dada performance artist.

    Edward, to paraphrase Scott Thompson, is like if someone taught your grandmother – the one who doesn’t speak English – to swear phonetically. No actual arguments, no substance, just a chimp making obscene ahnd gestures.

  150. As for “race based leftist”, what the fuck does that mean? Give me one “racial” policy where he differs from Hillary Clinton or any other liberal Democrat

    No, no, Cesar – he’s a SECRET race-based leftist.

    A Mauritanian Candidate, as it were.

  151. I still don’t even know what “secret race-based leftist” means. Sorry, I was born in the early ’80s so these secret 1960s codewords aren’t hard-wired into my brain.

  152. I can’t tell you, Cesar.

    It’s a secret.

  153. http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com

    OK, that had me laughing pretty damn hard. And not because I’m some kind of bigot or anything. I’ve long espoused the theory that many on the left and on the right (cough, JanetP) are too uptight about race. This sort of naivete causes completely unnecessary moral outrage (cough, TallDave).
    No, this isn’t an attempt to justify/normalize racial insensitivity, but if you can’t laugh at that website, or “ego trip’s Big Book of Racism”, you clearly had a horrible experience with some very racist people.

    FYI: Dave Chappelle, Larry Elder and Aaron MacGruder will help you understand Black Americans if you’re having trouble.

  154. Cesar,

    Cough cough, allow me to pontificate extemperanesouly.

    The aforementioned “secret race based leftists” I believe refers to a person who is driven by anti-white ideology, the kind rooted perhaps in race-based-policies of the 60s black panther movement, or the more radical race-based elements of the Weather Underground, or perhaps Black Liberation Theology. However, the “secret” part refers to said person not actually speaking about these philosophies, but instead supporting a secondary ideology that shares many common goals, thereby hoping to push forward their more radical, and truly supported, original ideology. This definition may very well be bull shit.

    However, this kind of thing -does- happen in other political strata. Take for example the phrase “Watermellon” which refers to people who claim to be Environmental Activists but who are in fact anti-capitalist / socialists who simply use pro-environment stances to attack corporations, governments, and political opponents on grounds different from their actual anti-capitalist core philosophy. In this case, instead of arguing that corporations are, for example “crushing the worker” or some such, they simply argue that corporations are endangering the planet. The end result, in theory, would be the same: namely the regulation of companies and the overthrow of basic capitalist principles. Hence the name “Watermellon” which means “Green on the outside (environmentalist), Red on the inside (communist).”

    I’m awesome, huh?

  155. Damon-

    Yeah, and John McCain is a secret Chi-com who was brainwashed in prison camp. /sarcasm

    Thanks for outing yourself as a paranoid psycho.

  156. On a slightly deeper level, the “Stuff White People Like” is funny, because it makes absurdities not only of ethnocentrism but also the sort of Eurocentrism that seems to readily stereotype non-whites but carefully delineate the individuality of Caucasians.

    Or, like much great satire, it blissfully preys on both the right and the left.

  157. Anyone notice how baby boomers have been fighting out their generational psychodrama on the national stage every four years since 1992?

  158. Thanks for outing yourself as a paranoid

    The interesting thing for me is that both Rev. Wright and his (Obama’s?) harshest critics seem to suffer from a similar impairment. Maybe some racial issues that haven’t been quite resolved.

  159. Anyone notice how baby boomers have been fighting out their generational psychodrama on the national stage every four years since 1992?

    Holy crap, you said what I meant to say before I could and more eloquently.

  160. Oh hell yeah, Cesar.

    It’s, er eh, time to, er eh, pass the too-ach to a, eh, new generation of leadahship.

  161. The interesting thing for me is that both Rev. Wright and his (Obama’s?) harshest critics seem to suffer from a similar impairment. Maybe some racial issues that haven’t been quite resolved.

    Yeah, and I think its mostly generational. Going to integrated schools helps a lot.

  162. Cesar,

    You seem to have mistaken my ironic and sarcastic posting as an actual statement regarding my belief systems. I don’t think Obama is a secret-race-politician or some such nonsense.

    As for the environmental / anti capitalist link, I think it is mostly coincidental and “fellow traveler” driven. There are certainly anti-capitalists who are fighting within the environmental camp, just as there are anti-capitalists fighting within the anti-world-trade camp. But I think you take my humorous observations a bit too seriously. Recognize a languid and world weary student or irony when you see one, please 😉

  163. Maybe the GOP will nominate Bobby Jindal in 2012, and we could actually get a debate about the drug was that isn’t about who hated whom back in college in 1969.

    That would be novel.

  164. Damon-

    Sorry, there are certain nut-jobs here (i.e., LoneWacko, Dondero) who actually write stuff like that and believe in it. So my sarcasm detector is a little off!

  165. I’ve read every post and see the left and the right going back and forth when the truth is regardless of who is nominated and who wins, the people, you and i get the same old garbage from washington. come on people make a statement. at least make sure that the Libertarian Party and/or greeen party gets a large enough percentage to make the pols take notice. check out http://www.resetamerica.com. There is a guy there who has some damn good ideas. give him a listen. Jingozian for President

  166. Oh, yeah…Elemenope, nice “Southland Tales” reference at 10:16. I’m crushing on that movie big time right now.

  167. Cesar,

    No worries. I am in fact somewhat of a reactionary against anti-capitalists, and do generally fear that point of view as not rational, however I’m a little more level headed than you might imagine. 😉

  168. GILMORE,

    You forgot your novelty dog poop.

  169. It’s not hard to be both anti-white and anti-capitalist, since most rich people are white.

  170. It’s not hard to be both anti-white and anti-capitalist, since most rich people are white.

    Somebody forgot to tell that to the east Asian, Indian, and Arab new rich.

  171. Oh, yeah…Elemenope, nice “Southland Tales” reference at 10:16. I’m crushing on that movie big time right now.

    Thanks. I was wondering if anyone would catch it. That line just caught me by surprise and had me laughing for a long while.

  172. Anyone notice how baby boomers have been fighting out their generational psychodrama on the national stage every four years since 1992?

    Yes. All the fucking time. If I have to listen to my aunt pontificate with some of her friends yet again about how great their generation was and how what they did “mattered” I swear I’m going to beat the fuck out of some 60 year olds.

  173. It’s not hard to be both anti-white and anti-capitalist, since most rich people are white.

    Asians and Arabs have higher incomes than whites in America.

    Also, Mr. Anti-MiddleClassism just moved into a $1.2M home.

  174. Also, Mr. Anti-MiddleClassism just moved into a $1.2M home

    Who’s that?

  175. Since the Y axis represents the date, we can conclude that Clinton and Obama both started dropping off against McCain at the same time – a few days before 3/15/08.

    LOL Wrong on both counts. First off, the Y-axis is the poll number. You really can’t read a graph, can you?

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define%3Ay-axis

    Second, Obama is flat and well ahead of McCain before 3/15, while Clinton is behind but rising quickly between 3/1 and 3/15. The scandal was being heavily covered in papers by 3/1. Post-3/15, Obama falls like a rock, while Clinton actually perks up a bit a couple days after.

    If you follow the trend line for Obama, it’s quite obvious that the news was hurting him at the same time he was flat and Clinton was rising, unless you believe the entire country on 3/15. Variability obscures the pre-3/15 trend, but the trendline is clear and exactly the opposite for Obama and Clinton.

    This is fourth grade stuff. WTF is wrong with you?

    Sorry, I guess I assumed you made it past fourth grade.

  176. Also, Mr. Anti-MiddleClassism just moved into a $1.2M home

    The good Rev. Wright, of course.

  177. How do other big L Libertarians and small L libertarians feel about that?

    There are many Big L and small l libertarians who are actively supporting Obama. Even some anarchists. To quote a major libertarian figure, “Obama is the least bad of the three.”

    This is shocking because there’s an ENTIRE PARTY out there with a libertarian platform with a dozen candidates vying for its nomination. There’s even a genuine libertarian running in the Republican Party. Yet libertarians en-masse are ignoring them in favor of Obama.

    Barack Huzzah Obama: The Great White Hope of the Orange Line Cosmotarian brigade! Remember folks, it’s not about cutting taxes, reducing regulations and rolling back government, it’s about following the mindless crowd!

  178. Brandybuck if my state isn’t close I’ll vote LP no problem.

  179. “If I have to listen to my aunt pontificate with some of her friends yet again about how great their generation was and how what they did “mattered” I swear I’m going to beat the fuck out of some 60 year olds.”

    The hippy-dipply leftists never represented the entire generation in the first place – they just like to think they did. And of course the lefty journalists from then to now help perpetuate that notion.

  180. And of course after the 15th, the Bosnia sniper story began hurting Clinton as well.

  181. And of course after the 15th, the Bosnia sniper story began hurting Clinton as well.

    It’s all begging for a “Rashomon” take, w/ the perspectives of The Little Muslim Girl, Sinbad, and the 1st Lady. I think I could make a hell of a pitch on this one.

  182. The good Rev. Wright, of course.

    I almost wish I could be surprised by some preacher (or politician) being at least slightly hypocritical.

  183. First off, the Y-axis is the poll number.

    D’oh! X-axis. The one along the bottom, with the dates. My bad.

    Post-3/15, Obama falls like a rock, while Clinton actually perks up a bit a couple days after. There is a one-two day period of noise. Obama has them, too. Nonetheless, they both track down together, as close as you’re ever going to see in chart with two different variables. Everyone can see the chart, Dave. You can spin it all you want, everyone case see that they both dropped together starting shortly before the 15th, and that, no, Hillary’s drop did not start later than Obama’s.

    Variability obscures the pre-3/15 trend, but the trendline is clear and exactly the opposite for Obama and Clinton.

    WTF are you talking about? They were both 4 points ahead of McCain a few days before the 15th, then they both dropped steadily for almost two weeks, then they both started to come out of it.

    We can see the chart, TallDave. We can see the blue line, and the red line. What do you think you’re going to accomplish by lying now? WE CAN SEE THE CHARTS!

  184. Obama is now leading McCain again in the RCP average.

    Man, that Wright story is really killing him.

  185. My bad

    Indeed.

    You can spin it all you want, everyone case see that they both dropped together starting shortly before the 15th, and that, no, Hillary’s drop did not start later than Obama’s.

    Doesn’t matter, Clinton shot up while Obama was flat. The most likely explanation is Wright.

    WTF are you talking about? They were both 4 points ahead of McCain a few days before the 15th

    If you bother to read, I’m talking about the pre-3/15 trend, in which Clinton gets much stronger relative to Obama.

    WE CAN SEE THE CHARTS!

    LOL You keep saying that, then promptly demonstrating the opposite.

  186. I wouldn’t really call +0.2% “leading”.

  187. Dammit John, I told you not to use my computer!

  188. Doesn’t matter, Clinton shot up while Obama was flat.

    You mean, before the story broke, Obama led McCain by 4-8 points for couple of weeks, while Clinton rose to that level for a single day? Uh, yes, yes, she did. So?

    You were trying to make a point about what happened after the Wright story broke.

    We can all see the blue line drop off on both charts. We can all see that they dropped the same amount over the same time frame. We can all see that the drop started at exactly the same time, and that the trend began before March 15.

    None of this adds up to a conclusion that the Wright story played a meaningful role in Obama’s decline. Hillary had the SAME DECLINE, in the same amount, over the same time period, beginning the same day, which was before the Wright story hit.

    Maybe you should write some variations of “LOL” again.

  189. It’s actually not that hard to follow.

    Obama comes out of Super Tuesday with momentum while Clinton bottoms out.

    Clinton recovers as the breaking Wright story slows the O-mentum. Obama is flat while Clinton goes up.

    The Wright story continues to draw attention, but Bosnia begins to be an issue too. Both candidates drop.

    The Wright story fades a bit post-speech, while Bosnia makes the late-night rounds. Clinton continues to drop.

  190. Cesar | March 31, 2008, 3:05pm | #

    I wouldn’t really call +0.2% “leading”.

    No, but I’d call it “recovering.”

    He was behind McCain for about two weeks, and now he’s come back up.

  191. Brandybuck: It is my understanding that some people like to vote for candidates who actually have a chance of winning the election. I like to go with Eugene V. Debs’ idea in these situations, but others are free to choose. It is merely a matter of personal preference.

  192. Clinton recovers as the breaking Wright story slows the O-mentum.

    No, she doesn’t. She was declining for days before that, and continued to decline after that.

    It’s not hard to follow. It just isn’t true, or borne out by the data. Nice little story, though.


  193. Barack Huzzah Obama: The Great White Hope of the Orange Line Cosmotarian brigade! Remember folks, it’s not about cutting taxes, reducing regulations and rolling back government, it’s about following the mindless crowd!

    thankfully the chronically unelectable hosers over at the LP will show up in the dozens to advocate dynamiting the UN.

    thank goodness for those guys. pushing forth freedom, etc, totally getting results – not looking like a bunch of kooky fucknuts in the slightest. and definitely not hurting the “libertarian” label and brand.

  194. Clinton recovers as the breaking Wright story slows the O-mentum.No, she doesn’t. She was declining for days before that, and continued to decline after that

    No, she wasn’t. She was rising from 3/1 to 3/15, while the Wright story was hot. It’s a nearly 5-pt swing during a time Obama is flat.

    LOL for someone who keeps insisting he can see the graph, you don’t seem to be able to read it very well.

    Do I need to point out which one is the Y-axis again?

  195. LMAO Next you’ll explain how the Bosnian sniper story actually helped Hillary.

  196. She was rising from 3/1 to 3/15

    Actually, her frop started a little before that. It’s tough to see on that chart, because they don’t provide individual dates along the bottom, but the scores for 3/15/08 are those directly above the center of that string of characters, while Clinton and Obama both started dropping 2 or 3 days before. It would be clearer on a more detailed chart, but if you trace the line straight down from that peak, you see it comes before March 15.

    while the Wright story was hot. The Wright story didn’t “get hot” until March 14. It’s a bit – what’s the term? oh, yeah, completely fucking ridiculous – to claim that Obama was being hurt the story BEFORE IT HIT THE NEWS.

  197. Oh, look, you made another reference to laughing while making a counterfactual statement. How clever.

  198. You guys need other hobbies.

  199. You guys need other hobbies.

    Yeah, you guys are good debaters and all, but no way either of you are budging from your opinions. You just need to crack open a case of beer and watch “Southland Tales” or something. Or “Inland Empire” if that’s more your speed.
    And besides, all this yelling is taking away my horny.

  200. while the Wright story was hot. The Wright story didn’t “get hot” until March 14. It’s a bit – what’s the term? oh, yeah, completely fucking ridiculous – to claim that Obama was being hurt the story BEFORE IT HIT THE NEWS.L

    Game, set, match.

    http://news.google.com/news?as_q=wright+obama&svnum=10&as_scoring=o&hl=en&tab=wn&ned=us&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_drrb=q&as_qdr=m&as_mind=1&as_minm=3&as_maxd=31&as_maxm=3&as_nsrc=&as_nloc=&geo=&as_occt=any&aq=f

  201. The link is a bit hard to click.

    Suffice it to say there are lots and lots of Wright stories between March 1 and March 14.

  202. And besides, it’s inconsequential after all that. If the Neo-Marxists rig the election with rogue thumbprints, none of these polls mean anything.

  203. Yeah, you guys are good debaters and all, but no way either of you are budging from your opinions.

    It’s not much of a debate when someone asserts something as ridiculous as the idea the Wright debacle helps Obama.

    Which, of course, is why I keep LOL.

    Next joe will explain how the Swift Vets actually helped Kerry.

  204. Dude! Ixnay on the umbprintsthay!

  205. Without having read all (okay, any of) the comments:

    Forty years ago white voters were literally, keep-your-gun-next-to-your-bed worried about an armed black revolt.

    And the conservatives who expected this to sink Obama still are. Fortunately – and unexpectedly; I expected this flap to mainstream anti-black racism and hysteria to an extent not seen since Rodney King – the rest of the country has moved on.

  206. the rest of the country has moved on.

    It’s about as controversial as Digable Planet’s heavily crypto-racist second LP “Blowout Comb”, which sold pretty much exclusively to suburban white kids.

    Or the continued fondness I have for NWA.

    No one who wasnt already afeared of the coming Chocolate City revolution gave 2 shits about the Wright story.

    “Black preacher says crazy stuff”

    in related news, three 65 year old guys in Kansas took it seriously

  207. anti-black racism and hysteria

    Yes, I’m sure if McCain had a 20-year close personal relationshion with a preacher claiming blacks were ruining the country, making our neighborhoods unsafe, and plotting to kill all whites, we’d all be hearing how all the outrage over that was just “anti-white racism and hysteria.”

    Guess joe conceded to reality. Oh well, it was a fun thread while it lasted.

  208. TallDave | March 31, 2008, 4:04pm | #

    anti-black racism and hysteria

    Yes, I’m sure if McCain had a 20-year close personal relationshion with a preacher claiming blacks were ruining the country…

    dude, whatever. There’s a guy on H&R who pops up to mention that blacks are ruining the country every now and then.

    meaning, guilt by association is kinda bullshit. Most people dont care.

    Now, if he *sucked cock*, now thats a horse of a different …race or something

  209. Still didn’t read that Larry Elder, Dave?

  210. Suffice it to say there are lots and lots of Wright stories between March 1 and March 14.

    HA HA, you didn’t look at your own search results before linking to them.

    There are two stories about Jeremiah Wright, in wingnut magazines that nobody reads.

    Now, do the same search using the data 3/15/08, and see what you come up with. Here’s a hint: the first time the story, including the video, was covered on the network news was March 14. That’s why you find CBS, NBC, and CNN links if you search for it then.

    Or, you can look back through the Reason archives, and find the very first story about Wright was an UPDATE to the March 14th political thread.

    Or, you can think back to March 5, the day of the Texas and Ohio primaries, and remember how much discussion of Reverend Wright there was surrounging those contests. You know, none. Or, you can think back to the primaries the next week in Mississippi and Wyoming, and see how much discussion of Wright there was surrounding them.

    Or, you can look at RealClearPolitics roll of political stories, and see when the story hit there.

    “Game, set, match.” You wish, TallDave. Everybody reading this remembers the story breaking. Everyone remembers that Obama gave his speech four days later.

    You spent an entire thread arguing about how the Wright story affected Obama’s polling numbers, and you didn’t even know when the story hit? That’s pathetic.

  211. Fortunately – and unexpectedly; I expected this flap to mainstream anti-black racism and hysteria to an extent not seen since Rodney King – the rest of the country has moved on.

    Ditto. It’s the Immigration Panic all over again. Once upon a time, it was the Brown Menance that was going to dominate the election.

    I guess it isn’t 1950 anymore; heck, it isn’t even 1988.

  212. Here’s the thread about the Mississippi and Wyoming primaries.

    If you’d like, you can count the references to the Wright scandal in the comment thread.

    (Hint: it’s zero.)

    https://reason.com/blog/show/125393.html

  213. The only two people I see upset about it anymore are Pat Buchannan and Joe Scarborough.

  214. Lou Dobbs is on the train, too.

    There are plenty of other people, like David Brooks and Hillary Clinton, who act like they’re upset, but are obviously putting everyone on.

  215. far more damaging to Obama’s campaign will be the forthcoming endorsement by Bryant Gumble and Gary Coleman.

    Or maybe These Guys =

    http://www.thenarrative.net/archive/000943.php

  216. He’s a flip-flopper. it sounds like I voted for the war before I voted against it.
    Obama will say or do what it takes to be elected.

    same old stuff. not a new politician, just like the rest.

    http://hillaryisourchoice.com/flip_flop.htm

  217. I may disagree with TallDave about the significance of Wright’s comments within a greater sociological context, but I’m sure he agrees…that…Hillary spambots [bleaaargggghhh] I don’t know how an anonymous poster on H&R could finally put me over the edge, but there’s no way I’m ever voting for Hillary now.

  218. Or maybe These Guys =

    Dammit, I wanna sign up. Or at least subscribe to their newsletter.

  219. It’s about as controversial as Digable Planet’s heavily crypto-racist second LP “Blowout Comb”, which sold pretty much exclusively to suburban white kids.

    Or the continued fondness I have for NWA.

    Nailed it. Like gay baiting, once you get past a certain generation this shit just doesn’t matter any more.

  220. So American culture has progressed enough since the ’60s for us to pay little attention to the ravings of a radical nonentity preacher. Hey Dave, I hate to be a dick on Monday, but you really thought we already didn’t know this, or that this would require a multi-paragraph post?

  221. Funny, I don’t recall anyone saying the Wright flap was no big deal in real time.

    Just in hindsight.

  222. joe, I guess my last post was a tad too petulant and unclear to boot. I didn’t mean to imply that the Wright flap doesn’t merit our attention; in fact it’s one of the very few genuinely interesting issues that have emerged so far in this campaign. Weigel though could’ve just said Obama’s solid PR management offset whatever negative effects the Wright situation might have had in the last week or two. Probably at least 90% of H&R readers already know that the reason why the Wright flap got so much attention was not his fusillades themselves but his relationship with Obama, and that only a small (relatively speaking, of course) cohort of white voters would fall into the demagoguery of this issue. But no, Weigel apparently feels it necessary to psychoanalyze the progress of our culture for the last four decades, and also throw in a useless quotation to appease his waspish sensibilities. That was my beef with Weigel’s post, not his reporting of the correlation between the Wright flap and Obama’s poll numbers.

  223. Still not dead is it? hmmmm

  224. joe,

    Funny, I don’t recall anyone saying the Wright flap was no big deal in real time.

    Pretty sure I posted exactly that sentiment when the first Wright thread showed up on H&R…

    No big deal.
    No one will care, I said, or something close.

  225. NM I think you were the only one. If you’re right about McCain not getting elected you’ll be more accurate than 99% of the posters here, myself included who thought Clinton would get it.

  226. Cesar,

    To be fair, I under-estimated the number of TallDave’s in the world.

    It was a bigger deal than I predicted.

    As far as my McCain prediction…we’ll just have to wait.

  227. I think the Wright flap was a big deal, but that Obama’s speech was an even bigger deal.

  228. Am I the only one who notices that Obama sounds nearly identical to “The Rock” of WWF fame ? I mean seriously.
    If this man wins the presidency there should be a clause that during his state of the union address he Must preface every new point with “Barack Says…” and open every meeting or speech with “Finally Barack has come back to (wherever he is) ” Or am i just slightly cracked here?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.