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« The Empire Strikes Barack! | Main | GOP geography »

Sunday, May 04, 2008

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Carrie

Why isn't the Jeremiah Wright issue legitimate? It tells us quite a bit about Obama. All we knew about him prior to this was that he was a good motivational speaker. There's no substance to him. He has done nothing in the way of bridging gaps between any groups. Can anyone name the legislation that he has sponsored, co-sponsored, or even just voted for, that backs up his TALK of being someone who bridges the divide? His supporters are mesmerized by his "hope" speeches. What we learned from the Wright story is that Obama thinks we're stupid enough to believe one of the two possibilities: 1) that Obama just happened to be absent from church EVERY time Wright went off on one of his rants, or 2) that Wright just recently went off the deep end. When Obama denounced Wright on Tuesday, there was NOTHING different from what we already knew the first time that Obama swindled people during the first speech on Wright where he turned the issue around on other people, telling us that we need to have a dialogue. (And some people fell for that?) This guy is a liar.

Daniel

Congratulations, Carrie. You've managed to miss the entire point of this post whilst elevating the most absurd act of journalistic malfeasance to the level of "insight." The networks must LOVE you.

Come on: Say one more thing and hit the media tool trifecta.

Janet

In fact, this post was not a defense of Obama at all, but a complaint about the lack of questions on important issues. I stand by that 100 percent. Your lack of any substantive argument only reinforces my point.

I don't give a rat's ass about Obama's pastor's beliefs or ego. Because it's guilt by association on a standard that no other candidate has been held to.

Your comment offers not a single point of evidence, only opinion, which you are certainly entitled to, but don't expect to be taken seriously without something to back up your argument.

I beg to differ with your "All we knew about him prior to this was that he was a good motivational speaker." Obama has written two books that might elucidate you, if you cared to check them out. Further, The Washington Post site lists every member of Congress' voting record and the legislation they've sponsored. Disagree if you like, we're all about a diverse world here at xark. But try doing a little homework before you bandy about the "no substance" meme.

Carrie

You weren't defending Obama (or maybe just deflecting attention from the Wright issue) by saying "The rest are focus on bullshit like Rev. Wright"?

I addressed the part of your post that deals with Wright and by extension Obama. Even Obama said this was a legitimate issue, but that was over a week ago. Back when he had a different view. Before it became politically expedient and necessary for him to disown Wright even though what Wright said last week was the same as those so-called "snippets" he and Obama were complaining about before last week.

Like most Obama supporters (even if YOU aren't) you took the usual path of telling people to read his books or look up his voting record. Which shows as usual that people really can't say anything they know about Obama's record. They are just motivated by his speaking. There's no substance there.

for the record, I did read his book called Dreams From My Father. Did you? I am also aware of the part of his other book Audacity of Hope where he calls Wright his spiritual mentor but last week he said Wright was never a spiritual mentor. Another lie it seems.

The issue isn't Wright. The issue isn't even whether Obama actually believes the trash that Wright speaks. The issue is now about Obama's truthfulness. It's about his honesty and it is about his tactics of trying to slide a part of his past under the rug. It's just more of the old pattern of politicians that think they can pull a fast one on the people and get them thinking and talking about something ELSE other than their problems.

How's that for a meme! :)

Vera

Good question.

People laugh at me and you might too when I tell them I read the National Enquirer, but honestly, I can tell little difference between the Enquirer and CNN Headline News and other media outlets.

The other day, Headline News was covering a car chase, yes a car chase. It's all about drama, and yelling, and sex, and angry people, and sex, and silly stories. Oh, I I mention sex?

Yesterday, I watched a program on the mortgage crises, and while they did talk about predatory lending and reverse redlining--while sitting at a poker table, go figure--they seemed to balk at any regulation or legislation against these practices. They wanted the free market to sort things out. Without any rules, this is just waiting to happen again.

Anyway, I'm more than willng to help with The Spoleto Today blog. Just let me know.

jaz

One of the subplots in Joseph Heller's brilliant novel Something Happened is that the character begins to realize that there is almost nothing he can personally do to influence what his company does. If he tries to buck the system in any way, he'll simply be replaced like a defective cog.

You can kind of read into it a trading freedom for security theme. But this was back in the 1970s, a time when the question of doing what you believe in vs. playing the game to get ahead was also being widely debated.

The future of openly honest reportage may well be in the hands of individuals who set out on his or her own.

But, of course, that is a difficult path to walk, especially since our entire work / benefits / health insurance system is weighted toward those who work for large companies (there is far less cost for health insurance, for example, because risk is shared).

The other difficulty is that each individual who breaks off on his or her own essentially is starting a new brand. With a billion new brands launching, a few will rise to the top and become recognizable names that people will read and trust.

These brands are then courted by advertising interests as they become bigger and bigger. The roots of the original problem begin to slip into the new system.

Like the old adage goes, the way to truly understand something is to try to change it.

It's an interesting set of questions to tumble around in the mind.

One thing for certain - a lot of people are hungering for exactly the kind of openness and honesty you are describing.

Ben

Janet, I 100 percent agree. The Wright controversy shows that Americans, or at least the media, are more interested in the symbolic purity of a candidates' patriotism than on the substance of where they would lead the nation. Also, read Tom Friedman's New York Times op-ed piece today on the pervasive sense that our nation is teetering on the brink. I share that sense.

Ralph Kramden

I am so angry over the failure of the national MSM to contribute anything AT ALL relevant, substantive or helpful to the presidential election coverage, I want to scream. Turn them off. Don't buy their rags. Don't watch their shows. Don't listen to their hate-filled airwaves.

Write on! But it's been done:
"I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell,
'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' "
- Network (1976), screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky

Go rent it. And Rant On!

Daniel

William Gibson once wrote that if you want to see the Virgin Mary in a tortilla, just look long enough at the tortilla. Hence Wright = Obama is a liar. The out-of-all-proportion coverage of Wright simply activates the existing beliefs of people who were looking for something to use as public rationalization.

What else do you have to believe to reject Obama as a fraud? That he's a Svengali figure and his supporters are gullible fools who are mesmerized by his charisma. Back in January this was explained away as "pro-Obama media bias." Nobody's singing that tune anymore, so now it has to be this personal weakness of his feeble-minded supporters.

Feeble-minded supporters such as Dave Winer, one of the primary creators of blogging software and RSS; Craig Newmark, founder of Craig's List; David Weinberger, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto.

Rather than continue this list, I'm just going to lay it out: People who don't see that they're being fed bullshit by corporate media are the ones who are mesmerized. The smartest people I know -- the tech elite, if you will -- are supporting Obama because he represents an opportunity to break with that unethical system. Here's what Newmark wrote this morning:

There are two ways the good guys are fighting the predators. One is to make new rules to promote fairness, the other is to let you see how things work in Washington so you can see for yourself.

The new rules for fair play go under "ethics reform", and Congress has made a good start on this last year. Barack supports this wholeheartedly; Hillary, not so much. In fact, I was at an event recently where a noted Hillary surrogate openly disrepected ethics reform in a big way.

Another way to help fix things is get political stuff out where everyone can see it, and the fancy term for that is "transparency." That includes telling us stuff like how much money lobbyists contribute to what politicians and what they get in return. Barack's heavily behind that, it's a big part of his platform. Hillary's pretty much silent on this, maybe a little lip service.

So that's the deal. You want some "change" that's for real, this is it. Barrack is part of the team who wants to change politics by getting rid of a lot of the bad guys. Hillary, not so much.

I want things to get better. How about you?

Yep, I'm with Craig. And I'm also with Lawrence Lessig and his Change Congress" outfit. We've got lots of problems to solve, but we can't fix any of them right now because our tools are broken. Job No. 1 is to fix the tools. Obama is part of that movement, but no matter who we elect, we're going to have to keep guiding pressure on our leaders to get through this.

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