Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rampant Hypocrisy

Within the last week, Senator Barack Obama has been forced to explain his relationship with his pastor of 20 years, Dr. Jeremiah Wright. Dr. Wright, now retired, has been the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for over 30 years. During that time, he became close enough to Senator Obama to perform his marriage to Michelle and to baptize his two children.

The controversy bubbled to the surface for basically two reasons. One, Jeremiah Wright said some pretty incendiary things, such as the government was responsible for AIDs in the black community, and that instead of "God Bless America", it's really "God Damn America". The second is that this is the pastor of a leading candidate for the presidency. Had Obama still been a state senator in Illinois, this would never have made the Chicago papers, let alone U-Tube and the endless stream of talking head morons (yeah you Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson).

Ok, he shouldn't have said that the government is the cause of AIDs in the black community. Dumb. However, the "God Damn America" was taken way out of context in that the pastor was paraphrasing US Ambassador Edward Peck.

Nonetheless, the damage is done. Obama is being eviscerated in the press and in the blogosphere for not leaving Wright's church and making a more strident condemnation of Wright's message. Forget the facts that Wright is someone who is a veteran, served his country, and has preached many more positive messages to his flock than negative. Forget all that. He said two stupid things and now a presidential candidacy is taking water as a result.

The rank and rampant hypocrisy here is that most of the noise is coming from the conservative right, who have repeatedly knelt at the feet of such bastions of Christian ethic as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, and many others who have said such idiotic things like God caused Katrina as retribution for our moral decay. No one (listening John McCain?) on the right has repudiated them. No one in the media (Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Savage, Carlson, Blitzer, et al) have covered their outlandish behavior and comments with the scrutiny they have Obama's pastor.

It is enough that Obama made a speech that repudiated Wright's comments. He spoke to us as Jon Stewart of The Daily Show said: "He spoke to us as adults". He took on race. He discussed white as well as black resentment and anger and he did so with understanding and class. He noted positive improvements in our racial story, but reminded us we have much to do. His speech was exactly the right thing to do. He acted with good judgement, not blaming someone else, but explaining and separating the preacher from the candidate. He was presidential.

For the rest of the masses out there using this as a cudgel to bash Obama around the head, stop it. "Ye who are without sin, cast the first stone".

For Limbaugh and his crew of festering carbuncle's who think this is a way to take Obama down: "Go Cheney Yourselves",

Tell me what you think,

Regards,
Dennis

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hubris


Hubris, the greatest sin in the ancient Greek world found another conquest this week. The (dis) honorable governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer resigned his position in the wake of the disclosure of his involvement with a High-End escort service (read Prostitution club) known as the Empire Club.
What is it with these guys that after they get caught become so concerned about the feelings of their family? Seems like perhaps they should have considered them before spending $80,000.00 on hookers. But, Mr. Spitzer's not the first to be caught up in this. No, by a long shot. Men have been using the services of prostitutes for a long time. I'm not so much amused that Eliot Spitzer is spending the equivalent amount it would take to by a new Jag XKE to get his nut off as I am about the irony.
Eliot Spitzer as many know made his name as the hard-charging righteous defender of the American People prosecuting white collar criminals and yes, yes, wait for it: prostitution rings as the Attorney General of New York. Mr. Spitzer was justice, in all its glory raining down on the evil investment banking community, escort services and any other vice he could find in his jurisdiction. He did some good work, without a doubt. Any investment house that fleeces its customers deserves to get caught. That's not the point. This guy was filled with a self-aggrandized sense of macho and righteousness. He was the good guy. He said that it's pretty simple, "it's either good or bad, right or wrong".
Well Eliot, the lady standing next to you in the picture has been terribly wronged, if she didn't know and approve of what you were doing. If you withheld this from her, only to have her stand beside you while you crash and burn, you're not only a hypocrite, you are a prick.
Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18.
Tell me what you think,
Regards,
Dennis

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Now What?



Ok, so we now have essentially a deadlock in the Democratic Primary race. The primary races last Tuesday in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont were opportunities for Senator Obama to close the deal or for Senator Clinton to capture momentum and keep the contest alive and on to Pennsylvania and 12 other state primaries and caucuses.

The latter happened. Senator Clinton won Ohio handily, and out performed in Texas as well. It should be noted at the time of this post that caucus votes in Texas are still being counted, so while Senator Clinton captured the primary vote, the caucus vote is still outstanding and could actually swing the delegate count in Texas over to Senator Obama. Leave it to Texas to have the most ridiculous democratic primary rules in the nation. No other state has both a primary and a caucus. It's patently absurd.

Meanwhile, Senator John McCain locked up the delegates necessary to capture the Republican nomination and has already started his general election campaign. This is where the results for the democrats on March 4 are troubling.

Had Obama had a clear and decisive victory on Tuesday, then there would have been significant pressure on the Clinton campaign to break camp and throw their support behind Obama. Now, just the opposite has occurred. Time, energy and most importantly money will now be spent on a race that neither side can win outright and will likely wind up being decided at the convention in Denver next August. All the while, the republican machine will have time and money to get in to gear and start running ads, do opposition research against both candidates, press the message of unification inside the party and give McCain time to court the conservative outliers who can't stand him.

This should have been the Democrats year. There should have been no question that the Republicans would be swept from Washington like dirt off a rug. But no, we may be seeing the emergence of the traditional Democratic Modus Operandi, "Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory".

God help us all,

Tell me what you think,

Regards,

Dennis