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Obama Responds to Wright Controversy

Posted on Mar 16, 2008

It was only a matter of time before Barack Obama would have to weigh in on the controversy surrounding the sermons of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose rhetorical flair sometimes verged on the incendiary.

While it is in the interests of Obama’s political survival to “vehemently disagree” with and “strongly condemn” the words of a man who clearly influenced and inspired him, it is at least a little sad that some of what Wright had to say was ever considered controversial in the first place.

Take, for instance, Wright’s assertion that the heinous attacks of 9/11 were an example of America’s chickens coming home to roost. Blowback, in other words. It’s a concept familiar to many commentators, columnists, analysts and others who’ve made the same argument, although perhaps more delicately, in the years since 2001. What else does it mean when the Democratic candidates—both of them—say we are fanning the flames of terrorism in Iraq?

Still, it simply does not do to have a prominent supporter use the phrase “God damn America.” And though we might agree with Clinton supporter James Carville that the whole phenomenon of surrogate sacking has gotten a bit out of hand, the politics at work here isn’t all that surprising.

Obama responds to the controversy:


Square, Site wide

Rev. Wright’s controversial comments:

New and Improved Comments

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By cyrena, March 17, 2008 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Actually Gomerspile,

There is some truth to this, with the exception of course, of some small areas of the Middle East that have been plagued first with the Palestinian Holocaust, and then with the infiltration of US hegemony for the past several decades as well.

BUT, you did hit a point here, in just a few words…

The MAJORITY of the people living in the Middle Eastern Region, DO CHOOSE to practice the religion that they do.

For most of them, it is Islam, for the common sense traditional reasons that the predominant religion here is Christianity, as it was exported from Europe 300 years ago. Islam has a similar 1,200+ year cultural presence in the Middle East, so it IS what the people of the region CHOOSE!

That’s not to say that there are still not some very repressive areas of the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia, and Jordan isn’t all that great a haven either. (though it is a US ally). Same with Egypt, who claims a democracy, except they’ve had the same ruler for 37 years, and he’s grooming his son to take over. ANOTHER geo-political US ally.

But as for the PEOPLE who made the region, they pretty much CAN practice what they choose to practice, in so far as their religions are concerned, and Jews and Christians are equally able to live there, without any major hassles either.

So in the LARGER picture, if you can temporarily set aside the horrific chaos and assault on peace that Israel has inflicted on the region since they moved in 60 years ago, as well as the civil strife that the US has inflicted by it’s constant invasions, the Middle Eastern Society is a land or mostly peace, (or at least the people are) when they aren’t under attack by foreign invasions.

And what the PRACTICE, is what THEY CHOOSE.

It’s only that they don’t necessarily CHOOSE to have US culture or tradition, or hegemony shoved down their throats.

Imagine that.

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By cyrena, March 17, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment


Thank you so much for taking the time to share this.

I’m admittedly not as regular a church attender as most of those who attend Trinity in Chicago, but it sounds very much like many other churches serving the African-American communities throughout the nation. (I am a Native African-American).

My own family attends a similar church in Los Angeles, and the messages from ALL of our Pastors, very much reasonate with all of us, and are not the least bit removed from what Dr. King preached to his own congregation, those many, many decades ago.

Most of us understand perfectly, (black, white, religious, non-religious, whomever) that the excerpts taken from Rev. Wright’s sermons to create this hate frenzy, have been taken out of context, and..INTENTIONALLY SO!!

So the reality of the thing is that this is simply one more occasion of the political tactics of character assassination. It is nothing more or less, and at the end of the day, most Americans (no matter what creed/color/gender/etc..are able to figure that out.

That’s NOT to say that we won’t hear these ugly, emotional, and basically ignorant reactions…BECAUSE..that was the intended point. That’s what this was SUPPOSED to do.

But in reality, if Rev. Wright was that radical, or that ‘whatever’ would we only JUST now be finding out about it?

I think not.

Sadly, Rev Wright, (and by extension your former Church) have been used as a tool to smear Barack Obama.

So, we are very grateful that Sen. Obama and his family have NOT chosen to sever their ties with Trinity. If he HAD…THEN I might worry about his sincerity and his integrity. And, I’m sure that’s the same reaction that most other Americans will have as well.

There is little we can do about these dirty tricks. It’s true that they are troubling, and that they cause damage to the whole. However, since there isn’t really a way to prevent them, in a society as large and diverse as ours is, we have to see it as an opportunity for Obama as well as the rest of us, to show what we are truly made of.

I think the result is clear enough. Overwhelmingly, Americans are rejecting these dirty tactics of division and hate mongering, and learning to see through the bullshit.

Senator Obama will weather this storm, and come out all the better for it. So will we. And, that even includes that small percentage who represent the cancer that has tried to infect us.

At the end of the day, the healthier cells will overwhelm the diseased ones.

Still, thanks again for your post. Your comments ARE helpful, and I’m going to share them.

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By bert, March 17, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Just in from Ramussen weekend polling:

Pastor Jeremiah Wright, who has become part of the national political dialogue in recent days, is viewed favorably by 8% of voters nationwide.

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 58% have an unfavorable view of the Pastor whose controversial comments have created new challenges for Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign.

Seventy-three percent (73%) of voters say that Wright’s comments are racially divisive. That opinion is held by 77% of White voters and 58% of African-American voters.

Most voters, 56%, said Wright’s comments made them less likely to vote for Obama. That figure includes 44% of Democrats. Just 11% of voters say they are more likely to vote for Obama because of Wright’s comment.

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By cyrena, March 17, 2008 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Naw Maani,

I know you’re not the only one who is still desperately working up the frenzy, and yep, I’ve seen that you have had some minor responses to all of that hype…

I don’t know if you’ve got an appropriate return on your efforts, which have been vast and steady. I’ll give you that.

But, you don’t seem to get that you’re trying to relocate the oceans using a spoon. (that leveling of the playing field effort…there’s gotta be a better way Maani).

Meantime, I sure wish I WAS in a dream world, because I would have all of my work done, and I could just sit here and chew the fat with you, down in the rabbit hole.

So, you interpret Obama’s huge delegate lead (super, and regular sized) as a self-implosion?

Interesting analysis….

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By cyrena, March 17, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Excellent post Gmonst!!

And, I thank you for it.

What you say here is so true. There was a time that I can remember, when we Americans actually WERE coming closer to accepting some criticisms of ourselves, and even getting the message from a spiritual leader…the late Dr. Martin Luther King.

But then, something happened. We got stalled, and turned around or misdirected, or whatever.

So maybe this is another chance for us.

Let’s hope.

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By Gmonst, March 17, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

This issue represents to me a lot of what is wrong in this sound bite age.  While I have heard Pastor Wrights comments portrayed as vile, hateful, racist, and unamerican, I cannot see why, especially racist and hateful.  In what ways are any of these statements hateful or racist?  They don’t sound that way to this small town white boy.  To me they sound like honest and open critiques of different aspects of The United States policy at home and abroad.  Such criticism is, to me, one the most American things there is, and in my mind these criticisms are apt, and I am glad they are being said.  This blind patriotism, and notion that America can do no wrong is crippling us in the face of really big problems.  Criticism like pastor Wright’s is the fuel which ferments real change for the better. 

While “God Damn America” makes for a very poor sound-bite, it is only a rhetorical device used as part of a larger sermon with a larger message. In our age we seem to have loss the ability for nuanced understanding. Are we really that stupid? or just that emotional?  I would swear we are more kids fighting in the sandbox than rational beings capable of level-headed discussion and thought.

The largest point is that Pastor Wright is not running for president, Barack Obama is and it his own words which he should be held accountable for, not rhetorical devices used by his Pastor in church sermons.  I think Obama has been pretty clear on how he feels about America and its potential for improvement, and I am going to vote for him because of that.  I am personally glad he goes to a church with a pastor who is not afraid to point out the United State’s very real flaws, rather than attend one which preaches that America is God’s blessed land which can do no wrong.  Spirituality starts with vigorous, brave, and honest self-analysis and critique, and spiritual discussions of politics should be no different.

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By Sue Cook, March 17, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment


It now makes sense to me the comment from Michelle Obama in one of her speeches last month;  “I’m proud to be an American for the first time in my life.”

She and Barack deny it, but I’m convinced she meant what she said.

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By rc, March 17, 2008 at 10:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s a shame most Americans can’t handle the truth.;The amazing atheist puts you in your place. Enjoy.

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By Maani, March 17, 2008 at 9:18 am Link to this comment


“For whatever the reasons, I don’t think Obama needs do any more ‘responding’ than he already has, seeing as how you seem to be the only one who cares about this stuff…But Maani, I have a feeling, (as I have for years now) that not many people really give a shit about that stuff.”

You are in a SERIOUS state of denial if you think that I am the only one “who cares about this stuff.”  And the fact that you make the same absurd statement TWICE is truly scary.  Not only have an increasing number of people right here on LieDig expressed the same or similar concerns, but out there in the “real world” there are many, many people who are also concerned about it.  (You REALLY need to get out more…)

“Meantime, you DO read your own hometown newspaper don’t you?  Did you miss this?”

Yes, I do read my “hometown newspaper” (cover to cover every day).  But unlike you I do not simply accept what it tells me about ANY candidate, whether my own or others’.

Nor is what is occurring with the superdelegates RIGHT NOW anywhere NEAR the “last word” on them.  A great deal can happen between now and August - not least that Obama could continue to self-destruct, and despite having more pledged delegates and perhaps even a higher popular vote at that point, the superdelegates may decide that he is simply too “weakened” to win, and may broker the convention to Hillary - with even some of those superdelegates currently pledged to Obama changing sides.

You are living in a dream world, Cyrena.  One in which no one but YOU knows or understands the “truth” about Obama, and “no one cares” about flaws in his character and judgment, or whether he can get elected, particularly if he continues self-imploding.


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By Maani, March 17, 2008 at 9:05 am Link to this comment


First, I was not suggesting that the Dem nominee would not also have “dirt” to dish on McCain.  Of course they will.  And we can only hope it is more powerful, and has longer “legs,” than the “dirt” the right wing would dish on Obama.

As for the Mena drug story, it is FAR too complicated and “conspiracy theory”-like for most people to understand, much less accept, and thus is unlikely to have any effect.  This does not mean the right wing will not attempt to dish “dirt” on Hillary - of course they will.  But most or all of the skeletons in Hillary’s closet have long since been dragged out and publicly flogged to death by the media; they are “old news” and unlikely to have “legs.”  In this regard, they are going to have to find newer, fresher “material” that can be used as “simply” as possible - and there does not seem to be alot of that around.  Meanwhile, ALL of the “material” on Obama is “new” and “fresh” and thus more easily used, and more likely to have “legs.”


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By cyrena, March 17, 2008 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

•  Tell me, Obamamaniacs, how do you think Obama is going to respond to this?  And more importantly, do you think his response will have a meaningful effect after this?

Well Maani,

For whatever the reasons, I don’t think Obama needs do any more ‘responding’ than he already has, seeing as how you seem to be the only one who cares about this stuff.

Meantime, you DO read your own hometown newspaper don’t you?

Did you miss this?  I mean I know you’ve been concentrating every single brain cell on Wright and Rezko, and spiritual leaders and all.

But Maani, I have a feeling, (as I have for years now) that not many people really give a shit about that stuff.

This article might give you the same hint.

March 17, 2008,  2:00 am
Superdelegates: A Shift Toward Obama
By Megan Thee

The number of undecided superdelegates has fallen in recent weeks as both candidates have picked up support — Barack Obama more so than Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a survey by The New York Times and CBS News.

Mr. Obama has gained the support of about 60 superdelegates in the last month while Mrs. Clinton added more than half as many. Still, just under half of the total 795 Democratic party leaders who will cast votes at the convention have not expressed a preference for either candidate. Some say they will vote according to their state’s primary or caucus while others want to see how the next few months of the campaign play out.

Oh….check out the comments section at the article as well. According to one person, HRC actually LOST 7 of the superdelegates in the last assessment.

Oh, by-the-way, this is just since SATURDAY. This posted today.

Wake up Maani….

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, March 17, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Re: Maani:

McCain has aligned himself with one of if not THE most hated and crooked administrations in the history of our country, do you think that will bode well for him. What makes you believe that this will go unnoticed? There are two sides to every story Maani and you conveniently highlight only one.

Of course then there’s the many Clinton “related” activities.  Wikipedia:

“The allegations resurfaced in 1996 when journalist Gary Webb published reports in the San Jose Mercury News,[44] and later in his book Dark Alliance,[45] detailing how Contras had distributed crack cocaine into Los Angeles to fund weapons purchases. These reports were initially attacked by various other newspapers, which attempted to debunk the link, citing official reports that apparently cleared the CIA.

The Wall Street Journal reported on January 29, 1997[46] on activities at the Mena, Arkansas airport allegedly involved then-governor Bill Clinton in a coverup of illegal drug-trading activity. The Wall Street Journal article goes on to state:

At the center of the web of speculation spun around Mena are a few undisputed facts: One of the most successful drug informants in U.S. history, smuggler Barry Seal, based his air operation at Mena. At the height of his career he was importing as much as 1,000 pounds of cocaine per month, and had a personal fortune estimated at more than $50 million. After becoming an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, he worked at least once with the CIA, in a Sandinista drug sting. He was gunned down by Colombian hit men in Baton Rouge, La., in 1986; eight months later, one of his planes—with an Arkansas pilot at the wheel and Eugene Hasenfus in the cargo bay—was shot down over Nicaragua with a load of Contra supplies.”

Just food for thought….

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By lib in texas, March 17, 2008 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

I agree much needs to be done in the civil rights area however, nothing is gained by the hateful, unamerican, racist, rhetoric used by the supposed minister.  I am really totally offended by his words.  I retired from a company owned by an African American.  No one could have been more fair with his employees.  His motto “If I make money my employees make money”  He was true to his word.  I attended his daughters weddings, we BBQed together and I had no prejudice, but this guy (Wright)has raised feeling in me that I don’t know where it came from. If I had attended any CHURCH that preached hate towards ANY peoples I would have been out of there.
I can not believe anyone is defending this guy.  I have attended Black Churches and I really enjoyed their enthusiasm.  BUT minister wright is just totally wrong and it shouldn’t matter who you are you should be able to see it as wrong. 
Its NOT a CULTURE THING to damn our country or incite people ITS WRONG. It’s not a Blacks and Whites don’t understand each other Its WRONG !!
Now there is a reporter who saw OBAMA at one of the
sermons which we have heard over and over again so again (suprise suprise)OBAMA and his campaign are liars. REsign now OBAMA you are DONE!!!
There is more radical actions by Obama that is coming out about his college days where he also listened to Rev Wrights tapes.  This guy is prejudiced and not fit to be president of the USA.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 17, 2008 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mrs Business Shill, how do you reconcile your tenure on Walmart’s board of Directors with your alleged concern for working people? Did you do anything positive for Walmart workers?

Is Bill Gates giving you anything in return for your endless advocacy for unlimited H-1b visas?

Since you say you would be strong on anti terrorism initiatives, will you explain your advocacy on behalf of pardoning the FALN who planted over 86 bombs in and around New York City in the Seventies and Eighties?

On the environment; You say you would be for stronger, more stringent environmental law, but as Rose counselor for Tyson Chicken you helped them skirt Arkansas, and Federal law and facilitated their continued to dumping of waste into the Whitewater River, which prompts me to ask; “What’s changed since then” except your wish to become President?

I suppose given enough grease, she may just be able to wiggle through again… (some call this the zombie syndrome….can’t kill a Clinton) Given enough Chinese wool she may be able to cover enough eyes, and given some dancing lessons, she may be able to two-step up next to McCain, but when she gets there, how are voters to know which is G.I. Joe, and which is the business Shill? both self-serving whores for money.

Harry Truman once said; “Give the people a choice between a Republican and a republican, and they will pick the Republican every time.”

My father; a life long Democrat once said, “The party of FDR has lost it’s way, and now somehow always manages to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.”

I wouldn’t have given the R party a chance in hell only six months ago…. now .... well, we’ll see what happens in the fall!

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By cyrena, March 17, 2008 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

It is so sad Fadel. And yes, you DID predict this. I remember.

Even so, I’m shocked. I shouldn’t be, but I am. I’m shocked because of the irrationality, but I also am better understanding now, how it is used to basically overtake an entire society. Or, at least it’s one of the tools used to create the chaos and instability. Yep, the irrationality.

And, that’s what this is. Because the reality is that I suspect 99% of the vultures here, never heard of Jeremiah Wright until now. Never knew who he was, and never heard a single thing he had to say. And, that’s because there is nothing that Wright has said, in any of these sermons or speeches, that hasn’t been said by literally thousands of other public figures. (far more ‘known’ than he is) .

So the paradox here, is that Wright has been the casualty of Obama, rather than the other way around. In the on-going attempt to pillory Obama, there’s been a systematic effort to look for any and every possible ‘connection’ that could be painted as something negative.

I’m sure that his meter reader is being evaluated as well. Suppose the mailman turns out to be someone with a 20 year old misdemeanor on his record for an unpaid parking ticket. That’ll be an ‘unsavory association’ as well.

With Wright, it’s all because Obama has referred to him as being his ‘spiritual advisor’. That just floors me. What if he didn’t call him that? What if he just called him the Pastor at his church? What if he didn’t HAVE a ‘spiritual advisor”?

The hypocrisy is overwhelming.

I was going over some of Dr. King’s old speeches and sermons the other day, and he had no less condemnation for this miserable state of affairs than Wright has displayed, and we know what happened to him.

So yes, I share your fears for Obama’s safety, because it is HE who is the target, not Wright. It is HE who is likely to upset this status quo, not Wright. And that is why Wright has been targeted in the process.

Meantime, the US is in the midst of a depression era not seen since the last one, and THAT didn’t happen overnight, and the real criminals have been perpetrating it all this time, so you KNOW they’ve been aware. (and we’ve got morons here blaming Obama for being ‘aware’ that Rev Wright was…WHAT?)

GWB was still saying (until last week) that everything was OK, and we’re just in a little slow growth period. Yeah right. Now today, when it’s all hit the fan, he’s saying that the government is ‘on top’ of the situation. Right. They were ‘on top’ of the situation in advance of hurricane Katrina as well.

And remember how ‘rosy’ things were in Iraq for all of that time, as the place was exploding, and has continued to explode, as we continue to die and kill? Yeah, just tell the folks here that everything is looking fine.

Now Cheney is in Iraq (again) though it’s always gotta be a secret when he goes, and nobody can know about it until he gets to the next stop. And he has to cover his tracks by switching planes and helicopters and other forms of air-taxis, and suit-up in triple layers of bullet proof clothing.

John McCain is there as well, and I’m sure it’s not to talk about the weather. The market here has collapsed, and Cheney still hasn’t secured the oil that he went to steal from Iraq.

Meantime, let’s just turn everyone’s attention to Jeremiah Wright, since he’s accused the government of some things that aren’t even close to the real disaster that these thugs have created.

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By Vincent, March 17, 2008 at 7:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To RitaJ52,
Thank you for your thoughtful & well written explanation.  Your firsthand experience certainly qualifies you to weigh in with your opinion.  However benign you claim Jeremiah Wright’s comments are, they sound downright crazy and hatefilled by the majority of the general population. I can appreciate your view that the non African American population does not understand this type of preaching.  Equally, the African American population can not understand how bizzare and alienating this form of preaching appears to others.  More troubling for Obama’s campaign, is his inconsistant response to the issue.  As stated by his staff, he was aware of the pastor’s controversial views at the time he began his run for the Democratic nomination.  That would have been the time to cut ties from Rev. Wright & his church.  The fact that he did not, cause his supporters to question his judgment.  What some say are unfair attacks by the media regarding this issue is acutally called reporting.  Certainly a white pastor or a hispanic pastor stating the same type of inflammatory statements would be blasted by the media, also.  It is what it is.  He said what he said.  Obama’s choices are his own downfall.  He can’t expect to be elected to the highest office of the establishment if he attends a church that preaches against it.  Every candidate running for President is under scutiny by the media & the general population.  That comes with the territory.  I don’t think Obama is being treated unfairly, I just think he is being treated like every other politician.

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By Maani, March 17, 2008 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

Obama and McCain stand at their podiums at the first presidential debate.  Iraq is the issue, and Obama makes his oft-made claim about his “better judgment.”  McCain replies:

“You mean like the better judgment you showed in the Terry Schiavo case, where you admit voting wrongly despite knowing better as a professor of Constitutional law?  You mean like the better judgment you showed in accepting over $200,000 from the Exelon energy company, after allowing them to rewrite legislation that betrayed your promise to your constituents?  You mean like the better judgment you showed in aligning yourself for almost two decades with Tony Rezko, a convicted felon, from whom you took over $200,000 in campaign contributions?  You mean like the better judgment you showed in allowing a church leader who spews anti-American sentiments to be your spiritual advisor for over 20 years?”

Tell me, Obamamaniacs, how do you think Obama is going to respond to this?  And more importantly, do you think his response will have a meaningful effect after this?

Just some food for thought…


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By Mark Dolce, March 17, 2008 at 6:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

American politics at work. Nothing really new in this except we have You Tube and other digital technologies to proliferate the access of MEDIA. The Rev. Wright has his own church and speaks his own mind and people listen - in America - land of the free etc. etc. Barack is running for president. Hillary and Mccain as well - in America. It’s time to split the hairs and scrape the barrel. American politics at work ... look back to the many campaigns we have seen in the past 200 plus years and what do you see? The same thing(s). Character assasiination is the American way when it comes to politics, the media, our court system ... whaddya gonna do? Be the change you want to see. Rev. Wright has some things to say about 9-11 and the God Dam America ideaology is not or new or earth shattering. When 9-11 happened there were plenty of people saying it was the American kharma coming back on the US. It just sounds worse when someone has a microphone and they are in a church - and who are they, sitting there listening? Are they being led? Are they following? I see people sitting and, singing and clapping and hearing a person speak and then ... going to work, paying bills, taxes and just tryng to live. And because this person speaks in a ‘church’ it has more potency? Or it ‘means’ more or it is sacrilege? I say it’s all good - let it come out and let’s hear it and talk about it and it will pass. As far as Oabama being linked to this pastor or the church - what about our current president who believes God told him to invade Iraq? Whew. So, Barack gets in the white house (maybe) and he will do ‘what?’ because he went to this church - fear. We are a fear based society. Very entertaining. There is no guarantee what a person will do or say to get in the white house and there is no guarantee what they will do or say once they do get in the white house.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 17, 2008 at 5:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When have you ever seen the “front runner” quit?

Obama has more popular votes, more States, and more delegates than the Business-shill. Why should he quit?

...and in case you haven’t noticed, NO ONE has any dignity left after a US race for president.

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By Dennis Hagen, March 16, 2008 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jesus is my spiratual leader and is like an uncle to
me.  It is clear to me that Obama and his wife
have the wrong spiritual leader in Wright.  They need
to study the words of Christ and make Christ their
“ an uncle to me..” spritual leader and uncle.

Jesus said:  “...the poor you will always have with you…”  The disadvantaged and the people of every color who will never rise above the poverty level will allways be with us.

America offered Obama and his wife the chance to rise
to the top of American Society. What happened?  Obama and his wife found a false profit in Wright. Obama can get out of this mess by speaking the words of Christ.  Quote Christ about forgiveness.  Christ is not about
being full of hate for your enemies.  Christ is about being full of forgiveness and turning the other cheek.

Obama in his attempts to find Christ found a false profit in Wright.  Obama has time
to renounce this false profit.  Obama and Wright need to find Christ!

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By TheTruthIs, March 16, 2008 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Civil rights reform began and now languishes before us unfinished this brouhaha proves it.  Maybe this “controversy” can be used for the good of getting us back to the table to finish the job we (as a country, as individuals, as human beings) started.

Blacks and whites don’t understand each other and they are not accepting of each other’s cultures (in general)...a two-way street to be sure.  The laws (though often not used enough to show we as a country are serious about equality) have been passed in order to force people to think about the big picture now let’s really get down to business and change our hearts, together.

Call me a fool or a dreamer but I think most (if not all) of us have it in us to make this change happen.

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By DeeM, March 16, 2008 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hannity & Colmes Fox News promotes conservative political NEWS!otherwise appears to be conservative,but FNC denies allegations of bias in its news reporting. Rupert Murdoch, Australian-Americanglobal media
tycoon.He is the major shareholder, chairman & managing director of NewsCorporation (News Corp).

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By bklyn 11211, March 16, 2008 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You’re not a Mensa member if you don’t know the difference between “suspect” and “suspicious.”

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By RitaJ52, March 16, 2008 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have posted the following comment on several other blogs since yesterday, but I offer it again here as I am an African-American female who attended Trinity United Church of Christ. I am writing to offer a perspective on this situation that I hope will provide some insight. I was a member of Trinity UCC for over twenty years, and I attended regularly until I relocated, several years ago. I have a large collection of sermons preached by Rev. Wright that span the 20+ years I attended. The clips that are getting played across the Internet represent a few minutes extracted out of thousands of minutes of sermon footage. Here’s what I would hope the readers of this forum will consider:
In the African-American worship tradition and experience, the black pulpit is a symbol of freedom and catharsis. Congregants, many of whom have experienced more nuanced but still painful instances of racism during the week, are set free. Worshippers experience this freedom vicariously in the freedom of the preacher. When I attended Trinity and heard the sermons preached by Rev. Wright, I heard his words in context. I therefore clearly understood (and I believe most who attended understood) that his messages gave voice to very real racism and pain experienced by older and not-so-old African-Americans. Most important of all, his sermons did and do offer hope that by coming to know Jesus’ example as a healer and liberator, we would be inspired to follow the example, go out into the world, reach out to others, and work to bring about change in our communities, cities, and country. When I left church after services ended, I wasn’t filled with hatred or venom towards anyone. I was usually hungry, in search of a decent meal, and ready to get on with whatever the week was to bring. Trinity’s members are not “haters”, and certainly possess the ability to make the distinction between hyperbole and homily. Knowing what I do about the church FIRSTHAND, I understand why Mr. Obama did not cut ties to the church—his experience at Trinity (and mine) was simply not what some in the media and the political arena are trying to portray.
I do believe that more African-Americans need to participate in discussions such as this one via blogging,in order to share our experiences and understandings, so I will continue to post and share.I do hope my comments here (and elsewhere) are helpful.

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By mackTN, March 16, 2008 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

This is the most racist drivel I’ve ever encountered on this site. 

How is Barack Obama of “obvious” mixed parentage,  which means, I guess, you’d know it even if he hadn’t told you.

Clearly you haven’t attended college, and know little about language and how we change our communication style to fit occasion and receiver.

Difficulty integrating? Yes, I guess so when rule of law is apartheid…or when people harass you and threaten your family and write graffiti on your home.  We weren’t an immigrant population, by the way.  We were forced to come here to work as slaves to generate wealth for white society. 

We certainly do need more Americans who aren’t as racist as you are and an embarassment as a so-called American. 

Read any of MLK’s speeches and you won’t find them far afield from Wright’s pov.  Or Reverend Vernon Johns, MLK’s predecessor.

Thank god your pitiful, ethnocentric and supremacist values are a dying ember of this country.  When that happens, maybe I’ll then have a country I can be proud of, because if you represent the best this country has to offer, we are indeed in sorry shape.

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By troublesum, March 16, 2008 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

“Things are not quite right” when an uppity black seeks power in a white racist society.

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By bert, March 16, 2008 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Pat Robinson is not running for President of the United States of America(this year anyway)and that is the difference. And if I recall correctly many of Robinson’s most egregious comments were rightly made an issue in his campaign.

I have defended Rev. Wright’s right (and all those FOX news nuts) to say what ever he wants on this blog before. All of us do after all still have our 1st Amendment free speech rights.

The difference is that Obama says that this man is his spiritual advisor and mentor. What does that mean? What would that mean if Obama won the White House? How will it affect policy decisions? How will this close 20 year relationship affect decision making?  These are appropriate questions for Americans to be asking of someone seeking the highest office in the land and asking for the privilege to govern us all.

Many Americans do find Rev. Wright’s statements offensive. They may think that Rev. Wright’s views would carry over into the governance of this country.

I hope I live long enough to see both a woman and a black, oh heck and an Asian and a Hispanic too,  elected to the office of President. But I doubt that first black man will be Obama.

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By bert, March 16, 2008 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Shame on you, troublesum.

I don’t appreciate rude comments like yours to Mark. I have mocked and gone head-to-head wirh a few folks on this site. And I have written a couple of very strongly worded rebuttals. But I try not to be rude, even though a couple of folks take my patience to the edge.

But this kind of thing should not be acceptable.

Here was a Republican who said he is tired of the corruption and hyprocacy of the Republcans and wants to vote Democrat. And you go and insult him. Real smart!!!!!!! I read his comment and my heart went out to him.

As a long time Democrat and lobbyist I had to learn to work with people from both sides of the aisle. And you know, I learned that many of the same things I cared about were also things many Republicans cared about. We just sometimes had a different view of how was the best way to solve the issue. And to get something done we had to discuss and make compromise.

Not all Republicans are like the current administration. Maybe I say this because I have seen so many different administrations. I don’t even consider the current occupants of the White House Republicans. More precisely they are Reactionaries.

There used to be(probably still are)many middle of the road Republicans, as well as middle of the road Democrats. But first and foremost we ARE ALL AMERICANS. Let’s treat each other with respect that honors what our Founding Fathers created here in America - a land where everyone could say what he believed without fear, as my grandpa (who came to this country from Hungry) used to say, “a knock on the door in the dark of night.”

I wish you would learn some manners. In the meantime I am including a link to an excellent article written by Jim Carville pleading with Democrtas to unite and to stop all the attacking. It is excellent and has lessons for us all.

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By bert, March 16, 2008 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

Mark - Please accept my very sincere apology for troublesum’s rude and ungracious comments. They do not reflect the feelings of all who frequent this site.

While I am a Democratic liberal I welcome members of other political parties to the ‘table.’ I always enjoy a good robust, yet friendly debate.

I welcome you and your thoughts and hope you do not leave becasue of one person’s rude comment. We can all learn from each other.

Thanks for stopping by. I thought your comments were well thought out. Thanks for sharing.

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 16, 2008 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Too many vultures here, feeding on dead carrion! I predicted this and much more. This country is doomed by deep-seated racism and crude chauvinistic nationalism passing as patriotic. I would advice Obama to quit this ugly parade.

There is no hope for a country that has the likes of racists Coulter, Hannity and O’Reilly constantly agitating in the name of freedom of speech. However, when Rev. Wright speaks the pains of his experience, it’s Obama’s problem to function as a censor.

So the merchants of death have already won by succeeding in diverting focus from the tragic war in Iraq, to the sadly painful, but true, words of Wright, which Obama has been signaled to pay the price for. Sad! Sad! Sad!

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By troublesum, March 16, 2008 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Do us a favor and go bak to the republicans.  Take the Clintons with you.

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By desertdude, March 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

if you don’t like Obama don’t vote for him. It really isn’t going to matter. We the American people
don’t select the President. It is the Media and the
electoral college. In other words the crooks decide who will be President. If that dosen’t they allways have the fall back postion (the Supreme Court) rememeber them.

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By troublesum, March 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

Pat Robinson says God damn America all the time.  Whenever something like 9/11 or a natural disaster happens he says it is God’s judgement on this country.  What is that if it isn’t God damning America?  It’s fine when somone from the right does it.  None of the Republicans or talking heads who lick Robinson’s boots has ever been asked to disavow his association with him.  Or maybe it’s just certain parts of America that God damns in Robinson’s twisted mind - like people who don’t send money to him or the republican party, who don’t live in the right neighborhoods, who believe their bodies belong to them and so on.  If your condemnation of this country comes from the facist right there’s nothing wrong with it.
A black candidate has no chance in this country.  The white liberals can be counted on to do the dirty work of getting rid of him long before he falls into the hands of blood suking right.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 16, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The other populations you speak of Mr Politico came here on their own, sure they were discriminated against, and they worked their way up… BUT

largely the African American population was brought here in shackles and chains. BIG BIG difference. While one might say “Go back where you came from” to Italians, Irish, Jews, Brits, French, and Sloves, the saying isn’t applicable to those who were brought here as chattle.

OBAMA has not even a small link to these folks, His father was African from Africa, not Afro-American. His mother was white.

You say this makes no difference?

I say I wouldn’t be as involved in attempting to define or change a culture where I was not a principal.  don’t know about other posters, but I have Many many friends, EVEN some whom I might say were mentors, and I do not agree with everything they say… THIS is particularly true of folks much older than I.

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By PatrickHenry, March 16, 2008 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Falwell, Robertson, Farakkan, Hagee, the list goes on and on.  At what point does espousing their interpretation of the lord cease and veiled racism and bigotry begin?

My dad was an avid watcher of the 700 club with Bakkers in his cabin in Montana, he sent them what little money he had to spare and when that scandel happened he was devestated, he picked up his faith and moved on.

The candidates need a hard look but there are more candidates than Hillary and Obama, lets check out their closets, much like the the preachers they are.

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By Mark, March 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am fairly conservative evangelical christian in the midwest who has had it with the corruption/hypocracy of the republican party. Up to this point it has been my intention to vote democratic in the general election regardless of who was at the top of the ticket.  Now I don’t know if I can vote democratic if Obama is on the ticket at all. Democratic party: do yourself & this country a favor - drop Obama.

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By Politico, March 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

What’s been engaging about Obama has been that he appeared to have overcome racism or at least risen above it. Here you have a highly educated, eloquent individual of obvious mixed race focusing on everything but race. This is appealing to most US citizens because it’s the breakthrough required to get beyond racial discriminations. To be blunt, we need more Americans like him that aren’t racist themselves.

The “black” subculture that has been cultivated in the United States needs to disappear as do other subcultures that persist to remain divided in lieu of becoming “American” and all that this means. This does not mean forgetting where you came from. For most immigrant populations, this has taken maybe three generations to achieve. These peoples have eventually integrated and embraced American society and have ultimately taken advantage of whatever it has to offer them. Blacks are unique in that they are as indigenous as anyone but have had a great deal of difficulty integrating- and it’s been more than three generations.

What I observe about Obama is the tell tale signs of still having a foot in a subculture (and I’m not talking about Republicans) that still is viewed as non-mainstream by most Americans. This is evidenced by his relationships with people like Mr. Wright and in his occasional lapse into soul speak during rallies. A great deal is told by the company you keep.

Whether or not Mr. Wright is right or wrong, his commentary will be viewed as radical as Mr. Farikan’s and will, in the end, hurt Obama’s chances for Presidency. Someone above described the potential commercial that might be run by Republican Swift Boat types and they are spot on.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 16, 2008 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

OBAMA: At the beginning of my presidential campaign….. I made it clear that I strongly condemned his comments….

All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are the ones that I vehemently comdemn….

Michelle and I look forward to continuing the relationship with the church that has done so much good….

No doubt about Obama’s “continuing the relationship with the church” once that awful Reverend Wright and his inconvenient messages of truth and wisdom are removed and all that inconvenient embarrassment to conservative white folks is eradicated. Fuck you, Jesus! All I want is to be prezeedent! And I don’t oppose all wars…...

Pity that Obama hasn’t the guts to support the words of his preacher when it comes to the point, though. Oh, that’s alright for a church just to get married in but my real beliefs are that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is “...a passage that is so radical that it is doubtful whether our own Defense Department would survive its application” !!!

ABC: In his first sermon after 9/11, Wright said “the US had brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own terrorism…..”.

REV. WRIGHT: We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki…...

We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans…..

America’s chickens…... coming home…. to roost!

But about those “statements that have been the subject of controversy”, what do real black Americans think? What do real honest black American churchgoers think? Is this the man you would want answering the phone at 3am, eh???

WOMEN CHURCHGOERS: He (Rev. Wright) spoke the truth…....

No, I wouldn’t call that radical…... I’d call it bein’ black….. in America…. how radical is that? 

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By mackTN, March 16, 2008 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

No matter which black person ran for the white house, this race baiting and media assasination would have happened.  It’s never the right time for a black person to compete with a white—at least that the message someone is putting out there.  Ferarro declares Jesse Jackson a strong presidential candidate only because he is black and over 20 years later comes out of the woodwork to point that out about Barack Obama.  Curious.  Personally, I’ve never enjoyed any advantage in this country because of my race—in fact, it’s been almost a daily battle to succeed in spite of my race.  Despite all of that, despite the segregation, despite the spitting and the name calling, despite the pain and suffering, I am so very proud of my country. 

The Clintons are poseurs.  They present themselves as products of the 60s, of the great social revolution that decried the inequities of the past and the shame of apartheid and lynchings and fear mongering.  They weren’t part of that enlightening for if they were they would stand up and say “I can win on my own merits and not by resorting to racialism and if any of my supporters are going to do this on my behalf, then get out of my campaign.”

But, no, we get comments like “as far as I know.”  “Jesse Jackson won SC, too.” 

I’m not voting for those people…ever.  I’d like to believe that these aren’t Democrats who fomenting this discord but Republicans who see it as a sure way to the White House.  They must be so relieved to see it. 

And for those who are unacquainted with the history of African Americans….nobody rescued us.  If we hadn’t started rebelling against oppression, against Jim Crow, boycotting, organizing in churches—the only place we were allowed to congregate politically (which is why our churches were bombed), we’d still be living under Jim Crow.  We had to embarass this country to get laws passed—the world was amazed to see policemen turning the dogs on black people marching for their rights. 

And the world is watching this sorry stuff.  Not surprising from a country that would destroy Iraq and then open it up to terrorists and sink billions upon billions of its money into a lost cause while nearly half of U.S. citizens go without health care.

You all are just really stuck on stupid.

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By Wake Up America, March 16, 2008 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama and his campaign has done nothing but tear apart the Democratic Party with all their LIES.


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By Juan, March 16, 2008 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You forgot Hypocrisy. lol

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 16, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Agreed,  troublesum, but Barack Obama doesn’t want to hear that message. He is as unconcerned about black people in prison (or anyone else) as he is deleriously preoccupied with getting as many whites on board his good-time machine as he can to get himself elected. And fuck New Orleans, uhh!!!

[I]” is the inversion of the line “God Bless America” that may expose Obama to the greatest criticism. Last month, his wife,  Michelle, was criticised by rightwing blogs and indirectly by the Republican nominee, John McCain, for saying she had not been proud of being an American for most of her adult life.

“I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies.” Obama said on Friday.

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By Gil, Texas, March 16, 2008 at 10:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s the problem:  I have no doubt that Barak Obama is no racist.  In fact, he seems on television like the nicest, most decent politician to come along in years.  So, I take him at his word when he says that although he attended this church for twenty years, was married by Wright, had his kids baptised by Wright, and put him on his campaign, he had NO idea Wright was giving these sermons.  Yes, I believe him, completely.

Which raises serious questions about Obama’s judgement.  If I attended a church with a pastor who was friends with David Duke and occasionally gave vitriolic, hateful, rage-filled sermons, I would pick up on it right away.  Even if I happened to miss the days when he gave those sermons, I would sense the TEXTURE of this man very, very quickly.  Then, I would either speak up in the middle of a sermon and shout him down, or I would leave the church and never come back.

Barak Obama has many character strengths.  He is nice, articulate, intelligent, VERY trusting, VERY optimistic, believes that ultimately all people- including Afghani jihadists who set of bombs in circuses filled with small children- can get along if we simply sit down and talk. 

And this naivete is his downfall, the one quality which will get him the November vote in Vermont and California and Massachusetts, but cause him to lose every conservative state, most swing states, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and perhaps even Jersey. 

For it is okay to have a NICE GUY as president, but a president also has to be shrewd, crafty, and a phenomenal judge of character.  The American people know this and will vote accordingly in November.  I am another Democrat who will be voting for McCain if Hillary loses, and there are many, many out there like me.  We don’t attend rallies, don’t stand on streetcorners with signs, don’t go door to door handing out campaign information, don’t show up in the national or state polls.  But we take ourselves down to the ballot box every November, and we vote.

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By troublesum, March 16, 2008 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

It’s always a shock for white people to hear how minorities, especially blacks, feel about this country.  We like to pretend that we’ve solved all our racial problems and that anyone not satisfied with symbolism and tokenism is a radical nut case.  The US is the embodiment of all virtue.  How dare anyone not praise us for how wonderful we are.
Any black minister worth his salt would be pissed off with 50% of all black men either in prison or on probation - parole.
That church rocks.  White people go to church to catch up on their sleep while the priests rape their kids.  Did I just say something bad about white clergymen?

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By Substance, March 16, 2008 at 9:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sad, don’t see it in Obama and don’t see it here.

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By jeanice morgan, March 16, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I feel that mr.wrights comments were very true and as a white 36 year old mother of 3,i feel that this country has been ran by rich white people.
I have been saying this myself before i ever heard of barack obama.
I work for an oil company in a small town in michigan and if you didn’t know any better you would call him ( the owner of the oil company i work for) george bush’s twin.are we going to tear apart all the churches hillary has joined over the years ?I wonder if she had a minister who suggest that she should vote for a war.This i feel is tearing the party apart.lets focus on the real problems ,there are plenty of them out there after this last 7 years.

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By Maani, March 16, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment


How right you are.  And how sad that your post will fall on the deaf ears and blind eyes of the Obamamaniacs here at LieDig - many or all of whom will how engage in defensive bluster, name-calling, accusation, ad hominem attack, justification and rationalization in their support-challenged and fact-denying responses.

At least you gotta give ‘em credit for being predictable…LOL.


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By Tony Iovino, March 16, 2008 at 8:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a conservative Republican who has only voted for two Democrats ever—Jimmy Carter and Eliot Spitzer—both of which I regretted.  Still, I think Obama is OK here, unless we see video of him cheering while Wright espouses hate, bigotry and idiocy.

We all have friends and relatives who say outrageous things from time to time. I won’t throw any of my friends under the bus and I don’t expect Obama or any other politician to do so, either. If they aren’t on your staff, then just tell me you don’t agree with their position or statements and show me that you don’t agree by your actions, and as far as I’m concerned the issue is over.

If I disassociated myself from every friend and relative who is a bit crazy, I’d be a lonely, lonely, man.

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By bert, March 16, 2008 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

I don’t understand Truth Dig anymore. Well, maybe I do. You choose to run the Obama video that is nothing more than a damage control political ad, the one where he reads off a teleprompter and can say what he wants to and was made AFTER his three TV appearances Friday night.

Why don’t you run one of the interviews he did Friday night, especially the one with Major Garrett. Obama sutters and uhms his way through the interview and tries to wiggle his way oit of the tough questions he was asked, but Garrett would have none of it. Keith for Obamamann of course pretty much let him say what ever he wanted and Obama reverted to his stump speech. I have not seen Anderson yet.

If you guys really want him to win the Presidency you do him no favors by treating him this way. You are acting like indulgent parents. This man had better learn how to get used to tough questions, and most of all how to answer and deal with them becasue next fall McCain and the Republican smear machine are not going to treat him the same way as his fawning ultra-left wing elite Democratic media are doing right now(think/remember Dukakis, Gore, Kerry campaigns.)

“A year ago the Democrats were poised to take back the White House and America. Then along comes someone who calls himself a “uniter” named Barack Obama and he and his campaign has pretty much torn the party to shreds.

FOR ALL OF YOU WHO THINK THIS IS A NON-ISSUE JUST IMAGINE - The political ad begins with a picture of Obama smiling and with his arm around Wright’s shoulder(or Obama sitting in the church pew listening to Wright- there IS one out there )… and the words “God d*am America” begin. Or maybe this…..

Obama and Wright sharing a warm handshake (or Obama sitting in the church pew listening listening to Wright) … and the words “the chickens have come home to roost” as the twin towers now blaze in the background……and somehow, John McCain’s five years as a POW are presented at the end of the commercial with him proudly saluting the American flag.

And the Obama supports STILL think Obama is electable?

A 20 year association with a “mentor”, a person who is (was) a friend, adviser, the man who married you, baptized your children, you donated large sums of money to each year ($20K!) and sat in a pew listening to week in and week out (oh, except for the weeks when racial bigotry was spouted cannot be dismissed.

There is no way for Obama to walk away from this; to distance himself from this. It shows an incredible lack of judgment.”  (From a post at the NYT 3/15/08)

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