Genuflecting To The Right, Obama Opens Himself To Further Attacks

by: Paul Rosenberg

Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 09:48

From TPM, this is bound to only be the tip of the iceberg:

McCain: Obama Said It's Okay To Hit Him On Wright
By Eric Kleefeld - April 27, 2008, 9:28PM

John McCain is reversing his previous view that he wouldn't make an issue of the Jeremiah Wright controversy -- and claiming the blessing of Barack Obama himself in calling it a real political issue.

"I have said that I will not ... have any comment on it and that's because I thought and I believe that Sen. Obama does not share those views," McCain said. "But Sen. Obama himself says it's a legitimate political issue, so I would imagine that many other people will share that view, and it'll be in the arena."

Here the full context of what Obama said on Fox News Sunday, via Nexis:


    JEREMIAH WRIGHT: I felt it was unfair. I felt it was unjust. I felt it was untrue. I felt that those who were doing that were doing it for some devious reasons.

    (END VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: Question: Do you think that Reverend Wright is just the victim here?

    OBAMA: No. I think that people were legitimately offended by some of the comments that he had made in the past. The fact he's my former pastor I think makes it a legitimate political issue. So I understand that.

    I think that it is also true that to run a snippet of 30-second sound bites, selecting out of a 30-year career, simplified and caricatured him and caricatured the church.

So, by throwing Reverend Wright under the bus, Obama throws himself under the bus as well.


Remember, folks, here is what Wright actually said...

Paul Rosenberg :: Genuflecting To The Right, Obama Opens Himself To Further Attacks
from Bill Moyers Journal last Friday:

BILL MOYERS: One of the most controversial sermons that you preach is the sermon you preach that ended up being that sound bite about Goddamn America.

[TAPE]REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT: Where governments lie, God does not lie. Where governments change, God does not change. And I'm through now. But let me leave you with one more thing. Governments fail. The government in this text comprised of Caesar, Cornelius, Pontius Pilate - the Roman government failed. The British government used to rule from East to West. The British government had a Union Jack. She colonized Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Hong Kong. Her navies ruled the seven seas all the way down to the tip of Argentina in the Falklands, but the British government failed. The Russian government failed. The Japanese government failed. The German government failed. And the United States of America government, when it came to treating her citizens of Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on reservations. When it came to treating her citizens of Japanese descent fairly, she failed. She put them in internment prison camps. When it came to treating citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. She put them in chains. The government put them on slave quarters, put them on auction blocks, put them in cotton fields, put them in inferior schools, put them in substandard housing, put them in scientific experiments, put them in the lowest paying jobs, put them outside the equal protection of the law, kept them out of their racist bastions of higher education and locked them into position of hopelessness and helplessness. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law, and then wants us to sing God bless America? No, no, no. Not God bless America; God damn America! That's in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating her citizen as less than human. God damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is God and she is supreme! [END TAPE]

BILL MOYERS: What did you mean when you said that?

REVEREND WRIGHT: When you start confusing God and government, your allegiances to government -a particular government and not to God, that you're in serious trouble because governments fail people.  And governments change.  And governments lie.  And those three points of the sermon.  And that is the context in which I was illustrating how the governments biblically and the governments since biblical times, up to our time, changed, how they failed, and how they lie.   And when we start talking about my government right or wrong, I don't think that goes. That is consistent with what the will of God says or the word of God says that governments don't say right or wrong. That governments that wanna kill innocents are not consistent with the will of God.  And that you are made in the image of God, you're not made in the image of any particular government. We have the freedom here in this country to talk about that publicly, whereas some other places, you're dead if say the wrong thing about your government.

In case you missed it, I did a complete diary on Wright's appearance on Bill Moyers Journal, here.

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Throwing under the bus (4.00 / 2)
I must say that I am now officially sick and tired of the phrase "trowing __ under the bus."  For now on, anyone using that phrase will automatically be accused by me (out loud, in the comfort of my own home, at least) of overreacting unless someone actually died.

Yeah, It's A Goofy Phrase (0.00 / 0)
But the cartoon connotations are part of its muddle-headed charm, don'tcha know!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Paul (4.00 / 1)
actually Obama said Wright was a legitimate political issue on Fox News Sunday yesterday.

"OBAMA: No. I think that people were legitimately offended by some of the comments that he had made in the past.

The fact that he is my former pastor I think makes it a legitimate political issue. So I understand that.

Let's face it over the last few weeks this guy has proven to be his own worst enemy and it will get worse. He is going to cost himself the election if not the nomination. This isn't Illinois where he was not under the microscope of the MSM and opponents who will seize any opportunity in the same manner as he has in the past.

And anyone notice that Obama now refers to Wright as his "former" pastor?

[ Parent ]
"Former pastor" (0.00 / 0)
How would you prefer that Obama refer to someone who's no longer his pastor? The guy's retired.

[ Parent ]
A retired pastor (4.00 / 1)
is still looked on by many in a community as 'their pastor' because of decades old ties to that person. That is common in many churches Black or White. In fact they would still address him as Pastor Wright.

[ Parent ]
"My pastor" (0.00 / 0)
"My pastor" is the person who is currently my pastor, not every person who has ever been my pastor. When the pastor at my church, who had been serving there for more than a decade (and was Hillary's pastor as well during that time), retired, he ceased to be my pastor and became my former pastor, and the new guy became my pastor. That doesn't mean I stopped respecting him. It's just a recognition of reality.

There's a difference between addressing someone as "Pastor Wright" and saying that he's still your pastor. If Obama is a member of Trinity, then Otis Moss III is now his pastor.

[ Parent ]
Well sorry (0.00 / 0)
but I know a lot of family members who refer to past pastors as My Pastor. To each their own. To them you are wrong but the subject is minor to the topic of the thread which is how Obama keeps putting his foot in his mouth and opened himself up for attack by McCain.

I understand how Obama was trying to empathize with those who were originally angered by Wright's comments. But sometimes issues like that just don't go away and unfortunately for Obama his choice of churches where the Pastor sometimes got a little crazy is not only a reflection on his judgment as a politician but it is an issue that will keep popping up and in this case part of what Obama said on FNS gave permission to those who want to keep bringing it up.

[ Parent ]
Opps (0.00 / 0)
Just got to work and read too fast and focused on the Moyers' part of the post. I see that FNS was addressed by the supplied TPM quote.

As for the Moyers interview - Bill was not himself and didn't probe the way he would have with other guests. the reason was because he belonged to the Same family of churches as he quickly alluded to in the beginning of the show. So this was a brother to brother issue with Moyers giving Wright a venue to rehab himself. I'm not sure he did. As of today his is calling all criticism of him an attach of Black Churches. That is not going to help him, it is going to hurt him and Obama.

[ Parent ]
So Let's All Lie! (0.00 / 0)
Yeah!  That's the ticket!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I really do not (0.00 / 0)
get how your response has to do with what I posted.

[ Parent ]
Cue up all the usual suspects (2.67 / 3)
to vilify anyone who would dare to suggest that perhaps appearing on FN wasn't the best strategery the Obama Campaign has yet come up with. (Kinda strange, since  I recall, this was the website that led the call for a Dem boycott of Fox. Now OpenLeft now has to do a complete 180 degree turn to cater to Obama supporters?)  

Now, how to explain this: "The fact he's my former pastor I think makes it a legitimate political issue."

Is he getting tired after all this campaigning? How else to explain that faux pas...

It's a recognition of reality. (4.00 / 2)
Wright is an issue, like it or not, and Obama's just facing up to that reality.

It also opens the door for the DNC to slam McCain's endorsement by Ray Hagee, Ron Parsley and his hypocritical sucking up to Jerry Falwell.

Make McCain explain why the Catholic Church is a "great whore".  Make McCain explain why New Orleans had it coming to them.
Make McCain explain why it is that the ACLU caused 9/11.


[ Parent ]
We Didn't Need To Lie About Wright To Tell The Truth About Hagee, etc. (2.00 / 2)
The logic here is beyond bizaare.

In fact, it's an exact repeat of the logic in 2004 that said the Swift Boat Liars meant that now we could talk about AWOL ducking out of his Air National Guard duty.

Remember how well that worked out?

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I don't think Obama is lying about Wright. (0.00 / 0)
I don't agree with his position on Wright's words, but I honestly believe that Obama does not share Wright's pacifist, anti-imperialist and socialist economic positions, even though I do share them.


[ Parent ]
Uprated (0.00 / 0)
because your post does not deserve a troll rating.

I deplore people who have nothing to say in response to a post and only have the ability to troll rate it. As someone said yesterday they really have nothing to say and can only push a button.

[ Parent ]
The Wright Issue was here to stay anyway (0.00 / 0)
I don't for moment believe that it would have "gone away" no matter what Obama said about it to Chris Wallace.  Even if Obama had not gone on Fox - the issue would not go away.

It ain't like, just because John McCain wasn't talking about it, it was non-existent.

Maybe now there will be another opening to lay bare the utter and absolute BS of McCain railing on about how badly those in New Orleans have suffered - at the hands of nature, at the hands of the government, and at the hands of their fellow citizens - while blithely ignoring that he has sought, accepted and embraced endorsment by a radical white preacher that told us all that the people deserved that storm.  Of course the M$M didn't raise that point - and the "netroots" were too caught up nit-picking Obama because he dared to appear on a national TV show.  

So, the Old Man gets away with his scams while eveyone pats themselves on the back because their predictions that Obama is not a messiah came true.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

Certainly Wright wasn't gonna "go away" (4.00 / 1)
but the job of the Obama campaign is to try to neutralize  him as an issue. Instead it looks like Obama just gave McCain permission to star his former pastor in negative attack ads that will be sure to try to turn our likely nominee into "Brother from an Another Angry Black Planet" come the GE.

[ Parent ]
To quote a nitwit: (0.00 / 0)
"Bring it on"

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Why so cocky? The GOP is pretty good at this (0.00 / 0)
As Bob Somerby suggests, the McCain Slime machine will probably not try to Gore-ize Obama, but rather Dukakis-ize him, to turn Obama into an "alien presence."

Saying "bring it on" to Wright-inspired attack ads sounds just as brash and foolish coming from you as it did from Bush.  

[ Parent ]
I see it this way: (0.00 / 0)
These attacks were coming from McCain regardless of what he said in the past.  Now, that McCain is off of his high horse on the issue he is more vulerable to similar attacks concerning the radical, white, preachers that he has embraced.  As long as McCain could stay above the fray - those attacks could be swatted down from his (undeserved) moral high ground.

Indeed, as has been pointed out - the Dems don't have to lie about McCain and his fundamentalist friends to make these points - they don't have to edit John Hagee's screed to make it look more nasty than it is - they don't have to intentionally mis-read his words, either.

All of which McCain must continue to do when he attacks Obama on this issue.

The disappointing part of the situation is that Obama will have to do the heavy-lifting here - he won't get help from the M$M, or the Clinton campaign.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
more of the same... (0.00 / 0)
OBAMA: No. I think that people were legitimately offended by some of the comments that he had made in the past. The fact he's my former pastor I think makes it a legitimate political issue. So I understand that.
That is not a license to smear, it is an honest man stating a fact.
Just keep the childish ankle biting up Paul and you'll get what you deserve, 8 more years of the politics of monkey poo being slung from the right and the left.  

Yeah, I Deserve 8 More Years Of Hell Because I Criticize Moral Cowardice (4.00 / 2)
It's not a fact.  It's a lie.  

People were not "legitimately offended by some of the comments that he had made in the past."  Wright did not make "comments."  He gave a sermon that contained a moral argument grounded equally in the Bible and history.

Taking a snippet of an argument out of context and calling it "a comment" does not make it so.  It was not a comment at all.  A comment is self-contained, and the demonizing out-of-context snippets of Wrigtht are anything but self-contained.

So, Obama is both a liar and a coward, and I'm supposed to let it slide?

That's a perfect recipe for ever more of the same.  

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
What is a coward? (0.00 / 0)
A coward slings accusations, a coward throw arrows and insults and does everything the can can not to act as an adult, not to have a dialog based on reason.
What did Obama lie about? How was he cowardly? Be specific.
He went on a National Network, answered questions in a rational manor. He did not lie, he was honest. Maybe you did not like what he said, but, unlike you, he is not a hyper partisan. And unlike you he is trying to get people to vote for him, not fall in line behind a narrow agenda.

[ Parent ]
I Just TOLD You What He Lied About (0.00 / 0)
He called the excerpt from a sermon a "comment."  A comment is a statemet that stands on its own.  Reverend Wright did not make a "comment."  He gave a sermon.  There's a big difference.

And he was cowardly by repeating the lie rather than challenging it.

What did Obama lie about? How was he cowardly? Be specific.

Learn to read.


"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
No, you told me what offended you. (4.00 / 2)
There was no lie. There is a difference between a lie and a disagreement.
I can read, I can even tell the difference between connotation and denotation. I know that when Obama said comments he was taking about the general tone of various things said in many sermons.
He knows people are concerned and he is answering them in a honest way. He is smart enough to know that people are concern about the comments that were experted from sermons and taken out of context. He is smart enough to know most people use the  word "comments" without semiotic discussion of the meaning of the word.

[ Parent ]
Nice Spin (0.00 / 0)
I'm sure there's a job waiting for you in the next Administration, whoever the winner is.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Wow (0.00 / 0)
It's not about you Paul. It's about winning an election. You really need to park your ego at the door. There was no lie, you have failed to present one (see the comments below) and frankly you make yourself look like a fool.

[ Parent ]
Not a liar or a coward (4.00 / 1)
I think what Obama was saying is that he understands how people could be offended by Wright's statements and his sermons.  His speech in Philadelphia showed that he is a person who has a unique perspective, having been raised in a multiracial family.  He can see both sides of this issue.  He understands how the different parties feel.

Since Wright's sermons broached on political subjects, I think he was saying that he understands how they have become a political issue.

I don't think this is a lie and I don't think he was being dishonest.  I don't think he was being cowardly either.  I think he understands why some people were shocked and/or offended and he didn't feel it was the right thing to do to lecture them and tell them they are wrong for feeling that way.

I'm not sure about the whole with opening himself up to McCain using Wright as an attack issue now.  Frankly, I'm surprised that McCain jumped on this statement so quickly.  It says a lot about McCain, who just days ago professed to being above that kind of attack.  Now all of a sudden he's not above it?  I'm not so sure that this will work very well for him.  On the other hand, this weekend Wright himself upped the ante and opened up the whole issue again, and IMHO, made it much worse.  This, IMHO, is why McCain is jumping on it, not because of anything Obama said on Fox News.  McCain was going to use this as a flagship attack issue in his GE campaign anyway, we all know that.  He's just changed his schedule now.

[ Parent ]
Nothing Unique (0.00 / 0)
Obama's Philadelphia speech revealed nothing at all unique in his perspective.  Every black person in America has an experience of two worlds, to one degree or another.  WEB DuBois wrote about this more than 100 years ago in The Souls of Black Folks.  Obama has a different mix than most--though still far from unique--but there is a fundamental asymmetry between blacks and whites in America.  Only whites can live in virtually complete ignorance of how the other race sees things.

The Bill Moyers interview with Wrigth provided a rare opportunity for white America to catch of glimpse of what black America knows very, very well.  And Obama gave America a soothing song and dance.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Wow (4.00 / 3)
To call the use of the word "comment" a lie is much more of a lie than what Obama said.  You are seriously off the deep end, here.

a remark, observation, or criticism
a criticism or interpretation, often by implication or suggestion

My disgust of the attacks against Obama lately have greatly outweighed by any actual disappointment in how Obama has handled some things recently.  There is valid criticism to be made, but some of these attacks, like this one, are way off base and even more worthy of criticism.

You seem to have wandered into the territory where you are just whining that Obama is pandering to your world view enough.

Sorry for the hostile tone, but it is deserved.  Near as I can tell, you are asking Obama to sound more like you, but you sound disgusting right now, so ...   I'll shut up now.

I'll take Obama's "cowardice" over this crap any day of the week.

[ Parent ]
Jeremiah Wright Is My Standard Here (4.00 / 1)
He spoke the truth. Obama obscured it. Deliberately.  And he did it by embracing numerous elements of the rightwing staging of this attack.

Unfortunately, I have to go to work now.  But I'll put it on my todo list to write up a detailed analysis sustaining my point.

In the meantime, I offer this simple defense of what I said:  This was yet another act of betrayal.  Every such act that we let go by without raising our voices makes the next act of betrayal all the easier.

I am not willing to be a party to that.

And if it takes blunt talk to make that point, then I will be blunt about it.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
No, you are lying (3.00 / 4)
There is no way around this.  Nitpicking a word like "comment" the way you did is lying.  That isn't just blunt talk, as blunt would require being actually accurate.

Wright's "God Damn America" (insert favorite synonym for "comment" here) is not only offensive, it is supposed to be offensive.  The whole idea was to make the sermon memorable to drive home his point.  Context doesn't help with the offensive nature.

You may have a valid point hiding somewhere between droplets of spittle, but I'm not even sure that is true.  Obama has defended the man and his life, gives an accurate description of where the man comes from and denounces the portion of a sermon that was purposefully over the top and offensive.

All I know is you are turning me off to your point of view and I'm 100x more sympathetic than the average voter.  These leads me to the conclusion that your take on how this kind of thing should be handled is simply incorrect.

[ Parent ]
Quoted for truth (0.00 / 0)
"All I know is you are turning me off to your point of view and I'm 100x more sympathetic than the average voter.  These leads me to the conclusion that your take on how this kind of thing should be handled is simply incorrect."

I could not have said it better myself.

It is seriously crazy to think that the best thing Obama could do is start talking about how Wright is correct.  I say this even though I personally am completely on Wright's side.  Frankly, I'm probably a lot more radical about a lot of this stuff.  But that doesn't mean it would ever be a good idea to expect the presumptive Democratic nominee to be the one taking this fight to the public.

You think Wright is misunderstood?  Great, make the argument.  But don't get all upset when Obama doesn't exactly repeat all your points.  Context matters, and your lack of perspective on this is eerily and unpleasantly reminiscent of the worst of the Naderites in 2000.  

[ Parent ]
Obama Lies--ALL Politicians Lie (0.00 / 0)
I'm sorry to break this to you, Mark, but in politics, lying pretty much comes with the territory.

And, believe it or not, Obama is a politician.

His lie is much bigger than just the word "comment," which is only the focal point.

But we've grown so totally accustomed to lying--the vast majority of Democrats (not just electeds, but ordinary folks) couldn't even call George W. Bush a liar for the longest time--that it's become almost impossible to have a sensible discussion of what's actually going on, as opposed to the "strategic positioning" (condemn MoveOn, anyone?) which is really nothing more than tactical posturing on the deck of the Titanic.

The biggest lie on Obama's plate this time out is that he's hasn't abandoned his friend.  Sure he has!  But he's done it with supreme calculation.

He is, after all, a political genius, and that's what political geniuses do.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
High standard (0.00 / 0)
If you are going to hold politicians to a high standard you need to hold yourself to a higher standard.  The "comment" comment was well below a reasonable standard.

You are correct about politicians, of course.  Every time Obama says he is against gay marriage, for example, I believe he is lying.  What he means is he doesn't think gay marriage is politically viable at the moment so he supports a compromise position.  But we expect our politicians to pretend the believe in their policy positions while often hoping they do not.  Ridiculous.

The only honest politician I knew of was Wes Clark, and that only lasted roughly 6 hours.  He honestly answer the question of whether he would have voted for the Iraq war resolution and answered by thinking out loud.  Clearly, he thought this through from the point of view of the Executive branch, including what the resolution should look like, but not all that much from the legislative point of view where a Senator must vote up or down on an imperfect resolution.  I've always considered his explaining of that first night to be the standard political lie.

So I certainly understand where you are coming from, but to reiterate, you need to hold yourself to an even higher standard.  In this situation, you did not.

[ Parent ]
Beyond the pale. (4.00 / 1)
Calling Obama "a liar and a coward" based on any and all of the statements/actions set forth above is outrageous.

Some folks on this site think they can bully everyone by upping the ante with each response -- making each retort even more offensive.

At some point, someone has to ask the storied question, have you not one shred of decency left?

John McCain doesn't care about Vets.

[ Parent ]
If he's trying to 'just state a fact' (0.00 / 0)
he should be referencing/reinforcing his message from his race speech--there are a lot of legitimate concerns, and some people are fed up and aren't mincing words anymore, however misinformed I think some of the invective is.  You say "it might be a legitimate issue, but there are a lot of preconditions in me saying that"

What you don't do is go and give McCain carte blanche to do whatever he wants say whatever stupid thing he wants to say about it, because it's a 'legitimate issue'

[ Parent ]
Ask yourself who looks more presidential in the exchange (4.00 / 4)
So Obama graciously acknowledges that it is legitimate for his critics to raise concerns over Wright, and then McCain uses that concession to backtrack from his prior position that the subject is insignificant or unworthy of discussion (or whatever he said).

Do people really believe that McCain comes out of this looking good?

And allow me to make one more point.  I do not think that Obama should be criticized every time he suggests that his critics or adversaries have a legitimate point of view. I'm pretty sure most people would find this a reasonable, measured stance. More to the point, I believe he's being sincere.

It's Not About "Looking Good" (4.00 / 2)
Gore in the Florida recount contest was quite concerned with "looking good," which is why he lost.

McCain isn't worried about lookig good.  He's just thinking about making Obama look bad.  And if he does that, he looks "tough."

Which is far more important than "looking good," unless someone (now who could that be?) attacks the whole dynamic, rather than trying to win a losers game.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
But there is a downside for McCain (0.00 / 0)
If McCain wants to make Obama look bad, don't you think he risks a backlash, just as Clinton has whenever she attacks Obama directly?

[ Parent ]
No (0.00 / 0)
McCain is a Very Serious Person.

No backlash for him.

So long as Obama goes along with the double standard, rather than challenging it, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that it will stop.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Obama made a huge mistake (0.00 / 0)
by "graciously acknowledges that it is legitimate for his critics to raise concerns over Wright," as you so delicately put it. I would have instead phrased it, "Obama f*cked up." He just gave McCain carte blanche to run endless :30 negative ads starring his pastor in parts of this country where it is gonna hurt our likely nominee in a very serious way.

Please, no more of these interviews!

[ Parent ]
Maybe we read different polls (4.00 / 1)
Or did I just miss it when Obama lost huge swaths of supporters in the wake of the Wright story?

As far as I can tell - he actually gained against McCain after the media smear campaign against Wright and himself, did he not?

So, excuse me if I don't jump on your Concern Troll Express.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Obama weathered the Wright storm in the Dem primaries (4.00 / 1)
which isn't surprising. It could play out very differently in the GE, though.  With that in mind, I'm still not getting how it's a smart move to hand Wright to McCain on a silver platter, that it's OK to use Wright as a political issue instead of trying to neutralize the issue. That's what Obama did with the Wright/race speech brilliantly. This, however,  just looks like a big, late-in-the-game mistake.  

[ Parent ]
Meh (4.00 / 2)
McCain would have found a way to get this into the campaign anyway.  The whole "respectful" campaign was a farce from the beginning.  His answer to the question was fine, although I would have preferred more pushback.  If anything, this has shown the lack of sense of doing an unnecessary Fox News interview.

Since (4.00 / 1)
Obama is a "liar and a coward" and should not have done this and that and just won't fight even though everyone says if he does fight he will be seen as an "angry black man" and won't get any votes and since this campaign has gone on forever and since perhaps it is the place of his former pastor to say whether he is a "liar and a coward" and since there wouldn't be any traffic on Open Left if these kinds of "issues" weren't fully explored, it is just wonderful that the progressive left is keeping him honest while keeping OpenLeft in business with the compelling narrative of "Obama talks to Fox and doesn't unload on them."  Oh My God.  He's a politician who has to get his ticket stamped if he wants to ascend to the big chair in the White House.  Who would have guessed?  

There Are More Than Two Options In The World (4.00 / 1)
Obama is a "liar and a coward" and should not have done this and that and just won't fight even though everyone says if he does fight he will be seen as an "angry black man" and won't get any votes

Obama could have said something quite calm and only slightly different, if he'd had the moral courage to do so.

He could have said, that clips taken out of context had upset people, and he understood why. That if he'd heard them out of context, he would have been outraged, too.  But then he could have said, "But I know the man, and so I went back and listened to the whole sermon.  And what I discovered was something very different.  It was another instance of 'you can't tell a book by it's cover.'  This is what I found..."

Nothing angry about that.  Just thoughtful, informative, all those things Obama's supposed to already be.  Only without the lies and the ritual humiliation.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
First post (4.00 / 1)

I'm sorry, but is about as misguided as it gets.

I, too, was initially concerned as to Obama going on FOX, the potential spin, the potential Chris Wallace ambush job, etc.  Then I actually watched the interview.

I think this was about as big a home run as he could have hit following the PA results spin and the debate from hell.  He both looked calm and polished AND was surprisingly given enough time by Wallace to give his most solid answers to the questions people keep on bringing up.  He's given newsmakers new soundbites that are, undoubtebly, better AND put his money where his mouth was as it pertains to coming to the table with the supposed enemy.

I think Obama slightly shoved Wright in front of the bus way back when he first disavowed or disowned or whatever it was you're supposed to do nowadays Wright's soundbite back in the debate a few months ago.  If anything, he pulled him out of harm's way during this interview by humanizing him more and giving both sides of the story on his biggest stage since the Philly speech.  His saying it was a legitimate issue and John McCain's now using that to get dirty are two different things.  It doesn't make Obama dumb, or a turncoat, or whatever.  It does continue to make McCain a sleazebag.  That wouldn't have changed, no matter what Obama did.

If anything, those who thought that Obama's appealing to a more thoughtful brand of American politics meant he would do everything they said, because they're on the left too DAMNIT, are now realizing that he will make decisions at times they won't like.  It's time you start dealing with it, since there's nothing I'm seeing that shows me that we won't have him around for a very long least four years, if I'm not mistaken.

All Obama all the time (4.00 / 2)
Obama's response is exactly correct. He supports the pastor, but there are some statements he doesn't agree with (and no rational person should agree with).

This is YOUR problem, not Obama's. You are just having trouble with a politician telling the truth instead of genuflecting TO YOU.

Get over it already.  

I don't know what to think (0.00 / 0)
I have no idea what is the best way to deal with this whole thing.  It just seems to be like a perfect storm, and Obama is caught in it, and by default, so are we.

Stop Lying To Us (4.00 / 1)
That would be a good start.

If you're not going to challenge Fox News, at least have the decency not to pretend otherwise.

Obama feels no sense of responsibility to us, so he lies freely, whenever it suits him.  And this casualness in excusing himself erodes him from within. It may look like little things.  But trust is built from little things.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
You're embarrassing yourself (4.00 / 2)
No lies have been demonstrated. That is only in your mind.

You actually have the nerve to give us ONE Wright quote and claim that is the ONLY thing the man has ever said that is relevant to what Obama is talking about? Are you insane?

Cut out the crap already!

[ Parent ]
I this yet another thread dwelling on the Fox interview? (4.00 / 1)
is that what's really going on here? God, please give it a rest.

I waited 3 hours to check back on the site and you all are still raving lunatic mad about this? Fine. Maybe tomorrow things will be back to being about something worth discussing.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Being so above it all (0.00 / 0)
why are you even bothering to comment?

Kinda giving yourself away, here ...

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
My trust had already eroded (0.00 / 0)
I was never sure about Obama and I never felt like he was being completely honest with us.  But that's a different issue than the one you've written about here -- the issue of the opening himself up to McCain.  It seems like you are conflating the two issues because you are (understandably) upset.

Well, now I'm rethinking -- I guess you are saying that it's all tied together because Obama said he was going to "take on Fox" and he didn't, thereby leaving himself vulnerable to questions such as this, and instead of deflecting the question or taking a hard line as a tactical move, he answered it this way and poof, we've got a problem.  And while doing all that, he lied about how he was going to approach this interview, and then threw the netroots under the bus to boot.  There's a lot to be upset about.  On that, I agree.

[ Parent ]
Sure, because if not for that comment the GOP would never have brought it up (4.00 / 1)
I'm with the posters above who suggest that Obama comes out of this looking just fine.  He acknowledges that a lot of people feel that this is a serious issue, but he goes to great length to neutralize those concerns.

And then McCain uses this very reasonable comment from Obama to justify totally backtracking.

In the real world that's not the blog echo-chamber, people would prefer someone who appears thoughtful and who appears to appreciate the concerns of folks even if he or she does not personally share them.

If this sort of stuff is going to get people this angry every time, you might as well resign yourself to hypertension for (hopefully) the next 8 years, because that's just who Obama is.  He does not think it's useful or productive to castigate people with whom he has disagreements.  He is going to speak about things in a thoughtful manner, and occasionally is going to say things that run against the left-leaning orthodoxy.

It's frustrating at times, of course, but it's also a temperament and talent I appreciate in someone seeking to become the most powerful person in the world.

As for this Fox thing, the whole "controversy" has made me far more skeptical of this place than it has of Obama.  Should he have gone on?  Meh.  I can see it both ways.  Should he have "gone after" them? Of course not.  The idea that people are seriously suggesting he should have gone on and attacked the entire network in the context of an interview that was perfectly cordial is simply preposterous.

All of the anger about this seems very strange given the actual interview that took place.  Did everyone commenting here watch it or read the transcript?  They give him ample time to respond to a whole host of issues, which he does so extremely well, BTW.  They didn't attack him, or try to spin him into oblivion.  It was FAR more respectful than that travesty of a debate, for example.

And people are picking a few quotes from a lengthy interview as examples of how he attacked the left.  Yes, he did say those things, but the idea that such comments are the entirety, or even the majority, of what he discussed is absolutely incorrect.  

Once again, people appear to want someone who sees his sole job as attacking the right in every instance. And Obama is simply not that guy. Never was, and never will be.  So you can be disappointed if you want, or you can join the rest of us who see a talented politician who speaks about the issues in a way that inspires a lot of people.

Why can't Wright STFU until Dec?! (0.00 / 0)
This was a pretty dead issue and until the guy just had to go on PBS and put himself on the front page again. So now we get to talk about him for another month. Wonderful. This guy is like Obama's personal Bill Clinton, sabotaging the candidate from within. Nobody to blame this round except Wright himself who should keep his head down; i don't care how nice a guy or what his real meaning was or whatever.

Jesus! Doesn't anyone besides Hillary want to win this week?

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

"Obama's personal Bill Clinton" (0.00 / 0)
Well, except that Bill Clinton isn't going to be kicked off Hillary's campaign.

[ Parent ]
Genuflecting (0.00 / 0)
The blog post should be titled Genuflecting To Paul Rosenberg.
That is what this is really about, paying alms to Paul and Matt.

Genuflecting? (4.00 / 1)
Why is it considered genuflecting, just to expect Obama and his campaign to be straight with them?  If he's going to send out a message to the netroots, at least let it be an honest one.  I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?

They could have said, "no comment" or "Senator Obama is still considering his strategy" or made no response at all.  But that's not what happened.

[ Parent ]
because they are demanding Obama bow to their agenda (0.00 / 0)
If he's going to send out a message to the netroots

It's considered genuflecting, because they are demanding Obama bow to their agenda.
Did you stop to think that maybe there was no official message stating he was going after Fox? That line came from Hillary partisan Greg Sergent. Who did Greg talk to? He didn't name his source. Could have been a low level flunky, but there was no official promise and there should not have been one.

Did you watch the interview? He did fine, he was honest (did not lie), talked like an adult, he made cogent arguments and came across as presidential. A real president, not like the child in office now.

[ Parent ]
Answers (0.00 / 0)
I did watch most of the interview, and what I didn't see live, I believe I picked up in later snippets.

I did consider that it might not have been an official message bit rather someone who spoke when they shouldn't have, but I figured if that was the case, the same source would have spoken by now with an explanation or correction.

I didn't realize that the person who published this was a Hillary partisan.  I don't read TPM regularly, so I don't know the personalities there.

I still don't think they were asking Obama to bow to any agenda, they were reacting to what they felt was a dishonest message sent.  I do see what you mean though, if we consider the bigger arena, about expecting Obama to continue to boycott Fox.

[ Parent ]
thanks, but there was no dishonest message sent (0.00 / 0)
Both Matt and Paul are acting like Obama gave them a personal promise to walk in locked, loaded and spilling blood. Because he did not do this Obama is a liar (see up thread).
The only thing Obama can promise is to be himself, be honest, try not to make mistakes and present himself to the majority of Americans as someone they want for their president.
This is a difficult job for anyone, harder for a democrat, and  harder still for a black man (or white woman).

[ Parent ]
Commenter Lhs on Carpetbagger makes a good point (4.00 / 1)
If Fox News came out ahead, then why did they scrub any video of the encounter? Last night my sig-other wanted to read Fox's take on the 'stomping', but there was NO mention of it. All a reader could find was a transcript of the interview. Not exactly exploiting the exposure of Satan. If Barack was exposed in any right-wing sense, they would have played it up BIG, but all was silenced.

Young-Akiri adds:

Why can't I see the video of this interview on Fox News website? I was in church and couldn't watch the interview. I continue to see Fox News play Obama pastor sermons. Why not the interview with Obama. Did he clarify himself during the interview? What happened?

Fox News, please, please let me see the video.

Full Court Press!


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