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American Amnesia

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By William F. Gavin

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Guilty by Observation

Posted on Mar 27, 2008

By Eugene Robinson

    WASHINGTON—Talk about not being able to catch a break. To pummel a boxing metaphor, it was Barack Obama who got tagged with a roundhouse right, flush on the chin—but it was Hillary Clinton, from early indications, who ended up nursing a sore jaw and wondering what it was that hit her.

    A week of hearing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s jeremiads more or less continuously on cable news channels seemed certain to hurt Obama politically. Indeed it did—but only slightly, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The candidate who really suffered, according to the same poll, was Clinton.

    Clinton must look back at dodging bullets in Bosnia and bringing peace to Northern Ireland as mere walks in the park compared to this crazy campaign. Then again, accurate recollection hasn’t been her strong point of late.

    The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, released Wednesday, found that the percentage of voters with negative views of Obama increased by four points in the last two weeks, from 28 percent to 32 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage with positive views of Obama declined by two points, from 51 percent to 49 percent. It’s hard to attribute this slippage to anything other than the controversy over Wright’s sermons. All in all, it wasn’t what you’d call a great fortnight for Obama.

    Surprisingly, though, Clinton’s was considerably worse. The percentage of voters holding negative views of her increased by five points, from 43 percent to 48 percent, while the percentage of voters who had positive views of Clinton declined a full eight points, from 45 percent to 37 percent.


Square, Site wide

    I’ve been through the rest of the numbers in this poll, as well as those in a recent CBS News survey—and won’t cite them here for fear of running out of space before I get to the point. Take my word that Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech on race relations, generally but not universally well received, probably helped minimize any loss of support from the Wright controversy.

    What’s not unambiguously explained in the polls is why Clinton, basically a bystander, took a bigger hit in popularity than the guy who had the pastor problem.

    The NBC/Wall Street Journal survey was taken before Clinton’s claim of having braved sniper fire upon landing in Bosnia in 1996 was proved to be untrue, so that can’t have been the reason why her negative ratings jumped and her positive ratings fell. And when the poll was being taken, Clinton hadn’t even said anything about Obama’s relationship with Wright.

    Subsequently, she did have something to say: that if she had been Wright’s parishioner, she would have left the church. I can’t really fault her for answering a direct question, especially one offering a chance to take a shot at her opponent. That’s considered fair in politics. I do find it odd, though, that she would answer any kind of question from the editorial board of a Pittsburgh-area newspaper, the Tribune-Review, which promoted the vile and untrue allegation that she had something to do with the death of Vince Foster, the White House counsel in her husband’s administration who committed suicide. The Tribune-Review is owned by Richard Mellon Scaife, who is considered by Clintonistas to have been puppet master and chief financier of the “vast, right-wing conspiracy” that Hillary Clinton famously perceived.

    Here’s a hypothesis: The fact that Clinton’s poll numbers suffered more than Obama’s might have to do with the way her campaign gives the impression of being willing to do anything it takes—anything—to win the nomination.

    Obama drew a line in his speech about race, repudiating Wright in the strongest terms but refusing to “disown” a man who has been an important spiritual influence. Many commentators saw this stance as a mistake that ultimately will cost Obama support among working-class white voters—and those commentators may be proved right. It’s possible that he drew the line in the wrong place. But he did draw it.

    Hillary Clinton is a brilliant woman whose many exemplary qualities are obscured by a campaign that fights as if it couldn’t care less about collateral damage it might inflict—on the Democratic Party or on the front-runner for the nomination.

    That was always Bill Clinton’s political method: Do what you have to do; apologize later, if necessary. You can’t save the world unless you get elected, and to get elected you have to be what the people want.

    But maybe what the people want this time is a real person, rather than an image or a strategy. Hillary Clinton might start by making clear that she wants to be president, but not at any cost.
    Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)
    © 2008, Washington Post Writers Group

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 29, 2008 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

I hope some of these advisors get in to neuter the AIPAC lobby and clean house of these dual citizens who infest our Government.

No wonder there are so many posters with so much time on their hands dissing Obama’s pastor while AIPAC gold star candidates Hillary and McCain get a free pass.,7340,L-3523709,00.html

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By jimmyjam, March 29, 2008 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

One sunny day in 2009, an old man approached the White House from
across Pennsylvania Avenue , where he’d been sitting on a park bench.

He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, “I would like to go
in and meet with President Hillary Clinton.”

The Marine replied, “Sir, Mrs. Clinton is not the President and doesn’t reside here.”

The old man said, “Okay,” and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine,
“I would like to go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton”.
The Marine again told the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mrs. Clinton
is not the President and doesn’t reside here.”

The man thanked him and again walked away .

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to
the very same Marine, saying “I would like to go in and meet with
President Hillary Clinton.”

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man
and said, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here
asking to speak to Mrs. Clinton. I’ve told you already several times
that Mrs. Clinton is not the President and doesn’t reside here. Don’t
you understand?”

The old man answered, “Oh, I understand you fine, I just love hearing
your answer!”

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, “See you
tomorrow, Sir.”

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By jimmyjam, March 29, 2008 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

Got it as an email, from a very liberel Obama supporter that has a great sense of humor, who I suppose got it from someone else,and so on and so on….Glad you enjoyed it.

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By bert, March 29, 2008 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Morn Leefeller:  My list simply points out that Obama, like all politicians, takes corporate money. My post in no way suggests that he is not receiving other monies and money from individuals. In that he is no different than Hillary and McCain.

I don’t have time right now, but I am doing some research to find out the percentage to date of under $200 (no list of who gave need be kept) Vs amounts over $200, that have to be reported by NAME, that Obama has to date.

Don’t worry, Leefeller. I will get back to you. smile  Have a good weekend.  smile I mean that sincerely as I do like you. You and I can talk and disagree and be civil. I like that. smile

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By bert, March 29, 2008 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

This is BRILLANT jimmyjam. I love this. Gave me a great laugh. Satire at it’s best. Do you write for Colbert? You could. Great fun.

Just an historical FYI - JFK did not really start the Vietnam War. It had it’s American roots with FDR. It was a move to keep France (DeGaulle) in NATO after WWII. We sent in advisors around that time. The war really burst into American’s conciousness during JFKs administration, (buddist monks setting themselves on fire) but most historians call it LBJ’s war becasue he increased troop levels by more than 500,000. This is a short version of what occured.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 29, 2008 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

Nice to see your post Ernest canning. 

What is you take on those selected for us,  left running for President?

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By jimmyjam, March 29, 2008 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

Remember when,I think it was Joe Biden, said Obama was an eloquent speaker, he was labled a racist. Someone trell me why.

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By jimmyjam, March 29, 2008 at 5:59 am Link to this comment

Johnson said ,Tell a lie about your oppenent,  they have to prove it’s not a lie.

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By jimmyjam, March 29, 2008 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

My fellow Identity-Americans:

As your future President I want to thank my supporters, for their ... well, support.

Your mindless support of me, despite my complete lack of any legislative achievement, my pastor’s relations with Louis Farrakhan and Libyan dictator Moamar Quadafi, or my blatantly leftist voting record while I present myself as some sort of bi-partisan agent of change.

I also like how my supporters claim my youthful drug use and criminal behavior somehow qualifies me for the Presidency after 8 years of claiming Bush’s youthful drinking disqualifies him. Your hypocrisy is a beacon of hope shining over a sea of political posing.

I would also like to thank the Kennedy’s for coming out in support of me. There’s a lot of glamour behind the Kennedy name, even though JFK started the Vietnam War, his brother Robert illegally wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr. and Teddy killed a female employee he was having an extra marital affair with who was pregnant with his child. And I’m not going anywhere near the cousins, both literally and figuratively.

And I’d like to thank Oprah Winfrey for her support.  Her love of meaningless empty platitudes will be the force that propels me to the White House.

Americans should vote for me, not because of my lack of experience or achievement, but because I make people feel good. Voting for me causes some white folk to feel relieved of their imagined, racist guilt.

I say things that sound meaningful, but don’t really mean anything because Americans are tired of things having meaning. If things have meaning, then that means you have to think about them.

Americans are tired of thinking.

It’s time to shut down the brain, and open up the heart.

So when you go to vote in the primaries, remember don’t think, just do.

And do it for me.

Thank You.

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By lib in texas, March 29, 2008 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

You really have lost your mind.  I don’t know enough to diagnose your problem but you do need help to get rid of the rage.

You must not read what you write before you submit it. if you did you wouldn’t submit half of what you write.

All of the things you have accused others of is really yourself.

If anyone needs to get off these posts its you. Your rage is stunning, scary!!!!

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By cyrena, March 29, 2008 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

Reply to Cyrena
Lib in texas did not say, “I’m out of here.” …She said:  “When I see him on a talk show i’m out of THEE. I have heard him LIE so I am done WITH HIM.” [caps mine]…
Plus she was refering to Robinson, not Truth Dig. She said when she sees HIM on TV she is out of there, meaning the room where TV is or she just switches channels.
Did you even bother to read this post for understanding?

NO BERT!! DO YOU READ these posts?

YES! Lib in Texas was referring to EUGENE ROBINSON!! I WAS NOT!

Here’s ‘what she wrote’ bert:
By lib in texas, March 28 at 12:41 pm #

Re: Anything to get elected???
•  “Eugene Robinson is a black racist so naturally all of his articles are bias. All he sees is a blackman running for president and whoa and be damned he’s going to do what he can to get him elected.  When I see him on a talk show i’m out of there. I have heard him LIE so I am done with him.”
The part that YOU (as usual) ‘DIDN’T get, was when I suggested that lib in Texas, has posted the same words on TRUTHDIG before. (you obviously missed it).
It was right after the OHIO and TEXAS primaries, and she was all pissed off and frustrated by the responses she was getting from her efforts to bad mouth and otherwise ‘swiftboat’ Barack Obama, right there in her own neighborhood.

AND, she was EQUALLY frustrated and pissed off with the posters here on truthdig, (for the same reason). So she wrote in a post that ‘she was out of here’! The indication was that she wasn’t going to post here any longer, and some of us took her at her word. Oh yeah, I think she said she was ‘done with us’ as well.

Someone, (and I think Aegrus, though I could be wrong, and I’m not willing to go back to it now to verify) replied with a ‘GOOD RIDDANCE,’ and “I sure won’t miss her”.

And, we don’t. She’s an ignorant and ideologically compromised fanatic, JUST LIKE YOU!!

That is why I responded to her above comment with THIS.

“Re: Re: Anything to get elected???
•  Oh for Christ’s sake Lib in Tx. All we get are broken promises from you. You promised us the same thing “I’m out of here” right here on Truthdig, and we all said…GOOD RIDDANCE! Thank God!! She’s GONE!! The wicked witch and all of that..(remember the song?) …Damn if you didn’t pop back up, with all of your racist hurls to any person who happens to have been born black.

So bert, you ‘didn’t get it’ AGAIN! I don’t know what your personal problems are bert. I don’t know if you’re just old, and suffering from Alzheimer’s, or if you’ve just always been whacked out, (like maybe untreated bi-polar disorder) or if you’re a drunk, or maybe all of them combined. It’s already strange enough that any female would CHOOSE a handle like, ‘bert’ for a public forum, EVEN IF IT IS your real name. I once knew a woman who used the alias ‘Jerome’ even though her name was actually Doreen! Why would somebody do that? Well, in HER case, she was a drunk and a confused, (not completely out of the closet) lesbian. It would have been easier to figure out of course, if she had just SAID she was a lesbian, and nobody would have much cared. (at least not unless she tried to start ‘hitting on’ heterosexual women, which is of course how she finally got ‘busted’ anyway.)

All that aside however, I do suggest that YOU try to comprehend some things before YOU start writing.
I also did not, (at any time) suggest that all of your cut and pasted poll numbers were ‘off topic’. I suggested that NOBODY CARED!! And, several others said pretty much the same, even before I did!

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By cyrena, March 29, 2008 at 12:48 am Link to this comment

Dear Real Fish…

Your post has me bragging again, on how smart we all are. I love it when folks know the truth and acknowledge it, no matter how ugly it may be.

Can’t tell ME that the truth won’t set us free!! (or at least those of us who wanna be). of my own grandma’s said and did some of this stuff too. smile

It was the times.

Thanks for mentioning that Obama has (from day one) promised to overturn the 700+ signing statements, and I hope that means all of these other ‘laws’ and ‘acts’ as well. Like the Military Commissions Act, and all of the others that find a way to sanction torture, and have installed a UNITARY EXECUTIVE branch, in violation of our Constitution and the principles of democracy, on behalf of, and because of Dick Cheney. And then there’s the elimination of habeus corpus, FOR US CITIZENS as well, (something most Americans still haven’t figured out) and I could go on.

Anyway, I hadn’t been aware of that. Just one more reason we need Obama so desperately.

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By forgot password, March 28, 2008 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just because the mainstream media was unfairly hounding Barack Obama, didn’t mean the viewing public wasn’t free to make their own decisions and notice that Wright is not running for president, Obama is.  Were the other candidates being run through the mud from the most outrageous comments of their respective pastors played continuously in a loop on television?  NO!  We noticed a clear double standard and we knew it wasn’t fair.  Most important of all, Obama is more than capable of speaking for himself so why bring up the pastor at all?  It was a clear smear campaign.  And finally, just because the mainstream media didn’t pick up on the Clinton lies doesn’t mean that the blogosphere didn’t notice them.  Clinton lied more than once about Bosnia, she first lied way back in December to an IA audience.  Below are some clips from a blogger.  And one more thing, on the MacClaughlin Group two weeks ago, Pat Buchanan said that the Wright controversy would be payback for the Ferraro scandal and that the Clintons would be behind it.  Eugene, we know where the dirty politics are coming from, give us credit for being able to think without the media telling us what to think.

Hillary and Ireland-gate

Hillary and Tuzla-gate

Hillary and Nafta-gate

Her SCHIP claims are also dubious.

Is she really going to try the war in Iraq?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 28, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

Hey bert you posted one twice, but the numbers you include do not amount to over 2 million, not sure but Obama has a lot more than that from the little people.

Look I still maintain it really does not matter, except that I prefer Obama to the other two, standard Washington insiders.

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By bert, March 28, 2008 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

My post was on topic. You know, the editoroal above all these comments. See paragraph #4. Did you read the article or just start to write?

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By bert, March 28, 2008 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Joe in Maine   -  are you being sarcastic? I love sarcasm, especially when I hear hammer hit nail.

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By bert, March 28, 2008 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

Lib in texas did not say, “I’m out of here.”

She said:  “When I see him on a talk show i’m out of THERE. I have heard him LIE so I am done WITH HIM.” [caps mine]

Plus she was refering to Robinson, not Truth Dig. She said when she sees HIM on TV she is out of there, meaning the room where TV is or she just switches channels.

Did you even bother to read this post for understanding?

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, March 28, 2008 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Anyone who has stop allowing media to tell you how to react to things, realized Rev. Wright was talking to his Fellow AmericaNs. The ones who The Constitution, Th Bill of Rights and More importantly, the Declaration of Independence (we had the Balls to Free Ourselves then!). But it is not these Documents that Staked OUR Claim it was Our Spirit- We Will Not be Limited by our Past, WE are a Work Always in Progress Forward.
Hillary has too much of a Past to be an asset. Not necessary her years as First lady- But Her years as a Senator, a member of the Armed Services. Both Miserable Records. then add the ridiculous and Insulting antics on the Campaign trail and She hasn’t a chance. She does Not deserve to be promoted- I’d rather see her Fired, at least!
All tath Said- You can Prove Anything You want ‘surveying’ just pick the right spot to stand (literaly of figuratively). You can ‘Prove ’ anytihng with ‘Statistics’. Yeah like Hillary won 55% of the Michigan Primary vote (‘oops did we say “Hillary is the ONLY DEM on the Ballot?, we meant to say the only ‘Leading’ Dem on the Ballot- Our Bad’ I heard that on Radio & TV- so who ALL do you think did Not Vote ( supporters of Edwards&Obama;(Combined under’uncommitted’)Gravel, Kucinich, real Uncommitteds)BS Numbers

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By TheRealFish, March 28, 2008 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment


1. Personally, I like the fact that Hillary is a part of a cult-like religious group called “The Fellowship” that is organized (their term) in “cells,” their worship concept is sex-segregated (women stay with women, men with men) and she shares that “fellowship” with the likes of George “Macaca” Allen, Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum and a bunch of other NeoCons… . Oh, yes, and it is reported that she feels that her God is guiding her to be president so she can change the way government works (where have we heard that line before, for maybe something like 7 1/2 years?). What should any good Democrat think about that religious association?

2. We don’t have to worry about Hillary distancing herself for that association even if the wonderful media pays any attention to it. She doesn’t admit mistakes about anything. Oh, and I can’t see what part of “I object to those views, but do not object to the man” equates to “throwing under the bus.” And yes, I too have heard my white grandmother say things that were natural to her and the Jim Crow world she grew up in that, by today’s standards, would be very offensive (you know, just as offensive as black people not being allowed to vote until the mid-60s, having to use different drinking fountains until the mid-60s, having to sit in the back of the bus and, even then, give up their seat if too many whites got on board—you know, stuff like that?). Strangely enough, I can admit that took place, I heard her say terrible things, *and* still love her. How does acknowledging that fact put her anywhere near bus wheels. I mean, it doesn’t mean anything that I’m a WASP, beer-drinking 55 year old with a blue collar background or if I’m a Harvard educated man with mixed parentage (I *am* the former). Grandma said bad stuff, typical of all people her age because it was a given during the majority of her life that black people were lesser beings than whites. It was simply part of our wonderful culture. No bus. No wheels. Facts.

3. You talk as if we should fear that every good Christian (or Jew or Muslim) who spends, let’s say, 20 years exposed to the Old Testament teaching that the only way to deal with adulterers is death (a sentence affecting the 40% of married adult Americans who have admitted to extramarital affairs) has a secret stash of stones. How could it be otherwise (so you argue)? If you ever strayed, you must feel the need to get a steel umbrella, because how can we expect anyone who is exposed to hateful teachings for so long to be able to have their own minds or apply their own set of principles to how they deal with the world, Right?

I think you said it best: Give me a break.

At least he can admit mistakes, weaknesses in those who are near him, and then attempt to take a positive view. You know, unlike lying about having bullets whizzing past your head when it never happened and saying that was “mis-speaking.” Holy crap! Lies are not fluffing pronunciation; they are lies. And nobody, not one person who has stood in the path of bullets will ever forget any detail about it or get it confused with some other event that was very peaceful.

Haven’t we had enough of lies and secrecy after this last 7 years; no wonder HRC is lusting with every fiber after that imperial presidency Bush would be leaving her. At least Obama pledged that on day one, he would start to overturn those 700+ signing statements and restore balance to the executive branch. When did Hill or Bill give any indication they would sacrifice those King/Queen-like powers?

They would love that power just too, too much.

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By Lee, March 28, 2008 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Canning ...

First ... of all, it’s extremely naive and disingenuous to imply that after 20 years of spewing racial anti-American rants, as well as giving awards to people like Farrakan, Wright is being reprimanded for a mere handful of sound bytes!

Second ... What do you mean “Wright’s words were never embraced by Obama???” You mean because Obama said so? After 20 years of not only attending his church, but also making him his mentor and advisor ... and, naming his book after Wright’s sermon.

Third ... While I do not approve of Christian fundamentalists, like Hagee ... there is a huge difference between an endorsement and photo op vs. 20 years ... that’s 20 years of close involvement, by you and your family to hate speech!

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By cann4ing, March 28, 2008 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

For more than a week the corporate media has played the same 30 seconds from Reverend Wright, whose words were never embraced by Obama, while ignoring McCain’s open embrace of John Hagee, a Christian fundamentalist who asserted that Katrina was God’s punishment for U.S. support of a two state solution in Israel/Palestine—a religious fanatic who believes our Middle East policies should move the world closer to Armageddon and who labeled Catholicism as a “whore religion.”

If Mad Dog McCain is elected, Hagee may get the conflagration he has been praying for.

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By cyrena, March 28, 2008 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Gee bert,
I left, ran a bunch of errands, did some laundry, and came back to discover that so far, (at least on this thread) NOBODY HAS brought up the poll that you reference.

Matter of fact, after reading through all of the comments here, it’s difficult to ascertain whether or not ANYBODY (other than you) has even EXAMINED any other polls. What seems more apparent is that nobody has even accessed the original numbers that Eugene quoted from in his piece here.

So, I guess nobody has ‘brought it up’. Might be because they don’t care.

I know I haven’t bothered to link to any of this stuff you’ve posted on polls and reactions and all of that. And I’m one of the ‘crowd’ that does actually monitor some of them from time to time. I also use them in my own work. (though not for political election stuff).

Then there are others who don’t have a clue to how polls are conducted, so they wouldn’t bother either.

What can I say bert? Nobody seems to have bothered to ‘bring it up.’

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By Margaret Currey, March 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama would make a good president and Clinton will make a good president, by the time the primary comes to my state I will vote for the last man/woman standing, as a woman I would want a woman but Obama has a lot of good ideas, of course this silliness about the pastor is just crazy, after all this government knew men who had a sexually trasmitted disease and they did a let us see what this will do if untreated, so a lot of woman also got the disease, one wonders if this experiment was done on white men, I think not, so unless people have lived in this man’s shoes they should not judge, and I believe the thing is understood by a lot of people but not by the media.

People used to be scared of the Black Panters also but only by people who do not want to understand what slavery did to a lot of people, generation after generation.

When you want to under educate people put people in their place, deny jobs want to talk down to people that is what happened after slavery ended, this thing about undervauling a certain group of people goes on to this day.

I speak as a person, not a person of color but as a human being who understands being put down, after all to a milder degree it happens to woman every day.

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By cyrena, March 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

This is exactly what the problems are with these types of ‘polls’.

Even the original sampling is small, and probably not well represented at all, especially in a society like ours. Then as a result of the factors you’ve pointed out, the end result on represents about 20% of what the original small sample was.

I’ve yet to discover a really accurate way to conduct these kinds of polls, though I believe they can be useful when they’re more professionally done. BUT, that doesn’t happen overnight, (or over a week) which is how most of these political opinion polls are conducted.

As a scholar, I WISH we could reap more value from them, but I’m seeing that sometimes, (too often) they can do more harm than good, depending on the attached ‘spin’ put on the results.

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By cyrena, March 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Oh for Christ’s sake Lib in Tx. All we get are broken promises from you. You promised us the same thing “I’m out of here” right here on Truthdig, and we all said…GOOD RIDDANCE! Thank God!! She’s GONE!! The wicked witch and all of that..(remember the song?)

Damn if you didn’t pop back up, with all of you racist hurls to any person who happens to have been born black.

Another good argument for the agnostic. If there was a God, people like you would STAY “otta here” or ‘out of there’ or wherever it is that you’re allowed to breathe air and throw out your racial epithets.

I pity your co-workers and your neighbors and any family members who aren’t able to escape the effects of your hateful rhetoric.

At least the rest of us can just, ‘scroll down’ when we get to your name.

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By Joe Sixpack, March 28, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Hey Rdv,

The Wright thing isn’t about race. Grow up. It’s about JUDGEMENT. You know that thing you only thought Omama had? I have some bad news too. Not all of it is considered good.

Sticking wet fingers in the socket = BAD
Staying a member of what most people will think is a radical church = BAD
Turning the Wright issue into a race lesson thereby insuring the general election is about race in a country full of backwood crackers = BAD
Being against the war before the war = GOOD

See the difference?

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By lib in texas, March 28, 2008 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Eugene Robinson is a black racist so naturally all of his articles are bias. All he sees is a blackman running for president and whoa and be damned he’s going to do what he can to get him elected.  When I see him on a talk show i’m out of there. I have heard him LIE so I am done with him.

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By cyrena, March 28, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment


They (the media) have even ADMITTED this..

“.... The media loves this extended political race,..”

Yep..they have. At least the more honest among them have admitted that the longer it goes, the better it is for ‘business’.

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By cyrena, March 28, 2008 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Never condescend.

You’re doing it again, like the standard tried and tired tactics that we’re all sick of. The same stuff we’ve had for far too long now..from the Bush-Cheney’s and yes, from the Clintons recently. It’s what is immediately recognized as “TALKING DOWN to America and Americans, i.e. the voters.

You go through the trouble to cut and past a questionable list of ‘donors’ from a questionable website, and are so ‘out of touch’ that you actually –linguistically- so therefore LITERALLY, compare these entities with the LITTLE PEOPLE.

You haven’t a clue to how many of the REAL little people you’re insulted, which would be ANYBODY who has donated $10, $15, or $25 to Obama’s campaign. In you hate and haste, you’ve not even considered that. In your anxiousness need to smear and sling, you’ve done nothing but insult the millions of us LITTLE PEOPLE, and simply ignore us, disregard us, as if we don’t exist.

And yes, there are MILLIONS of us ‘little people’ who HAVE donated to Obama’s campaign, because he believes that we DO MATTER, and that we matter a lot. The result is that Obama is now so far ahead of Clinton that she cannot catch up.

Here’s something I learned long ago in my career as a corporate slave. I had decided around about the time that the corp was making the conversion from serving the CUSTOMER, to serving the STOCKHOLDER, while greatly enriching their CEO’s and CFO’s and their executive staff pockets, that I would just continue to serve the customers.

My company operated one daily flight to Tokyo from a central location here in the US. They used 2 special purpose 747’s, leased (I believe) from some Saudis. (1 for the outbound portion and one for the return) One or the other of these aircraft was consistently delayed or cancelled, generally due to what were minor maintenance issues, but still enough to ground or delay them. Of course whichever of the aircraft that was delayed on THIS end, eventually had to used in the turn-around on the other end, so it would be delayed (or cancelled) there as well.
Anyway, those sorts of delays can be expected, (or even anticipated) by any person who does a great deal of travelling. And, the average traveler MAY put up with that major inconvenience once. Some may even accept it TWICE. (though fewer).

But, my colleagues in customer service, and operations, and sales, and all the rest…DIDN’T GET THAT. These customers were paying HUGE BUCKS on that route, and at least 2 times a week, (sometimes more frequently) the thing was either hours late, or cancelled entirely. My colleagues thought that it was enough to set these folks up in a hotel (first and business class passengers only) and maybe spring for a meal, and just send them out the next day.

Since the flight did operate between here and TOKYO, there were of course many Japanese and other customers from the Asian culture. There were also businessmen, (and LITTLE PEOPLE) who WERE NOT APPEASED, by those efforts. But, they NEVER SAID ANYTHING. Nope, with the exception of a handful, (a few USAers) they didn’t complain outloud.


They didn’t come back, because they didn’t HAVE to. Too many other companies provided the same service or better service, and the customer could GET WHAT THEY WERE PAYING FOR.

That was their choice.

  Talking Down to America
  By Michael Winship
  t r u t h o u t | Perspective
  Wednesday 26 March 2008

  I haven’t worked in the realm of children’s television in more than a decade, but lessons learned in that world are lessons learned for life.

  First and foremost: never condescend. When writing for kids, think of them as slightly shorter grown-ups with fewer bad habits and better credit.

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By David, March 28, 2008 at 11:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

She all but endorsed the Republican nominee over the Democratic front-runner for crying out loud!  Her 3AM add was a backdoor Rove trick.  She seems like she couldn’t care less about what the voters want, to the extent that she is encouraging the Super Delegates to over ride the will of the voters.  She is all but mathematically eliminated from winning, yet she is staying in the race to the detriment of the party.  She cast votes in favor of war on Iraq and paved the way for war on Iran. She is in the pocket of big business.  She is campaigning like a Republican and using the Republican tactics so deplored by the traditional opposition to these tactics (i.e. the same people she is counting upon for the nomination). She acts like she will hang herself if she looses.  The political landscape is very different now than when Bill ran. I think that she just doesn’t understand the level of anger among the people toward what is happening in Washington. At least the Democrats in the House caught on when they noticed their annointed queen loosing to a change candidate and said no to retroactive immunity for the telecoms.

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By Eric L Prentis, March 28, 2008 at 10:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sen. Barack Obama should make a unifying offer of the vice presidency to Sen. Hillary Clinton which should be accepted without condition. This will demonstrate Barack’s willingness to compromise, starting where it counts most, in the Democratic party. Hillary will almost certainly be the first woman vice president and Barack will gain a well connected adviser and effective running mate. The Democratic party will then be freed from the current devastating infighting and unite against the Republicans who plan a very spirited campaign in the fall. Nothing should stand in the way of an assured victory for the 2008 Democratic ticket, especially not hurt feelings.

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By Joe Sixpack, March 28, 2008 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Saying you would have quit a church if your pastor hadn’t retired is just as difficult to prove as whether or not you would have voted for something IF you were a senator…

That ‘admission’ to the adoring Viewsters took a great deal of courage, don’t you think Lee?

Have you noticed today that none of the cable news networks have run the Hasselbeck line of questioning, opting for the “Gee we love you and think you’re so sexy” line instead?

I wish the networks would just officially endorse Obama instead of this thinly veiled attempt at objectivity.

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By Joe Sixpack, March 28, 2008 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Nice Post.

Wait till all our our conservative friends get fed these two concepts from now until November. Obama! He’s really liberal AND hates America!

Of course it doesn’t matter it’s not true. Yes he’s liberal , but he certainly doesn’t hate America. I’m sure the villans on WWE aren’t all that bad either, but come on people! This is TV! Obama is going to be the liberal you love to hate and you have a built in excuse. Who in their Wright mind stays in a hate church for 20 years? Pass the taters, Ma.

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By felicity, March 28, 2008 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Speaking of polls, due to factors like non-cooperation and unavailability, final groups polled generally represent only 20% of the original sampling.  The poll results, therefore, often do not reflect the opinions of a cross-section of the electorate - as the original sampling was designed to do.

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By Lee, March 28, 2008 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The article says Hillary will do anything to get elected ...

1. You mean like joining and attending an anti-American, racist church ... and, choosing the pastor as your mentor/advisor for 20 years, in order to develop a power base in the black community, for Political aspirations?

2. You mean like when this association jeopardizes your political career, you then distance yourself from the 20 year association, throw the Pastor, your grandma, and anybody else under the bus to get ahead?

3. You mean like going on the view and saying that if your pastor had not retired, you would have left the church ... even after 20 years in the church ... until it jeopardized your political aspirations ... even thought the the new pastor at the church you’re continuing to attend is as bad as Wright?

Give me a Break!

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By bert, March 28, 2008 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

There wer so many little people I had to put them in 2 different posts.

Obama received $9052 from Washington Mutual. []
Obama received $161,850 from Citigroup. []
Obama received $4600 from CBASS. []
Obama received $170,050 from Morgan Stanley. []
Obama received $1150 from Centex. []
Obama received $351,900 from Goldman Sachs. []

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By bert, March 28, 2008 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

Obama’s LITTLE PEOPLE donors- Obama has taken $1,180,103 from the top issuers of subprime loans. []
Obama’s LITTLE PEOPLE donors- Obama has taken $1,180,103 from the top issuers of subprime loans. []
Obama received $266,907 from Lehman. []
Obama received $5395 from GMAC. []
Obama received $150,850 from Credit Suisse First Boston. []
Obama received $11,250 from Countrywide. []

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By RdV, March 28, 2008 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

You mean like the Sirota artocle following this one?

Read it and get back to me.

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By bert, March 28, 2008 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Your entire comment is the National Enquirer, Access Hollywood tablod version of news. Grow up and read a real newspaper.

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By RdV, March 28, 2008 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Actually, I am not an Obama supporter in the sense you suggest, but rather opposed to the DLC stranglehold on the Democratic party—and I do think 2 terms of Clinton is sufficient.

Otherwise, get a clue:

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By lib in texas, March 28, 2008 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

RdV. Once and for all look up Schips,  Hillary had a great deal to do with Children being insured and I will not let you LIE ABOUT that.  The rest of your post is just plain crap if you didn’t know about Schips then YOU KNOW NOTHING. JUST ANOTHER Obamaholic lying hater.  OBAMA should be proud of you since that is the way he runs his compaign.
She doesn’t need the “blacks” or young who endorse Obama cause they are hateful creatures.

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By RdV, March 28, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

No it didn’t.

Although the Clitonistas employed alot of racist codewords and race-baiting. In fact the whole Wright thing is about race.

It is ludicrus that white america squeals racism when an African-America points to a shameful legacy of racism.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 28, 2008 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

What nastiness?  Hillary is nothing but honest, why would anyone want to attack her and her wealthy sponsors?

We know all the little people donating to Obama do not really count.

Like it or not this race has brought more people to table and some of the elite do not seem happy about it.

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By RdV, March 28, 2008 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

It really is about who frames and pushes the message.
We have seen only the tip of the iceberg of what they could drag the Clintons through the mud with. Clinton dirt isn’t all in the past like they try to suggest. Hillary just let out a whole pack of lies about her touted experience. The Clintons don’t even live together and do you really think that ol sleazy Bill ain’t got a bimbo in every port (think Spitzer if you think he can’t be triped up with it)? What the Clintons have learned—what their experience really reflects is their corruption as the means to innoculate themselves. If they couldn’t beat them, they joined them—so like Bush, you won’t hear the dirt—instead they will attack any threat to the power and the corruption—and is that really what we want? Is that what is best for the future?

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By RdV, March 28, 2008 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

get up to speed, will ya?

and btw, blockheaded bully blowhard,Scarborough claimed that those bad poll numbers were the result of the polling done at the time of her sniper story dust-up. I have heard that frame of events repeated as the reason to avoid the fact that Clinton is simply not well-liked for her tactics or her nastiness.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 28, 2008 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Take those numbers and shove it.  The media loves this extended political race,  in the the end all the kings men and all the kings horses, will not make a difference and put humpty dumpty back together again.  Bush has trashed the constitution,  and made the rule of law a joke, and Congress even a bigger joke.  Unless one of the people running is willing to return to the even balance of power in Washington, we are doomed to more of the the same. 

All the numbers in the world are not going to change anything. We have seen welfare for the rich,  huge bail outs for their bad decisions, while the little people are moving onto the streets losing their homes.  Katrina is a good example of more to come.

Not just here in the USA, but large sections of the world, poverty is growing by leaps and bounds, while corruption is rewarded. The new world order is working, quite well wouldn’t you agree?

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By RdV, March 28, 2008 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

So Clinton’s corporate fat cats write a letter threatening Pelosi. Clinton operatives pound Howard Dean because he won’t break. Clintonistas harass Richardson…Fox and Drudge seem to be Clinton’s media outlets and have you noticed any and all reporting on Clinton’s questionable claims of experience from sniper fire to Schips have suddenly halted while the drums start pounding on the Pastor again? This morning I heard someone report that the Clinton campaign was counting on the Wright crusade to kneecap Obama. It is all the Clintons have—and any reporting on her lies have been issued a gag order while the corporate MSM does the bidding of the corporate-owned candidate.

  Not so sure this is the best we can hope for back in the Whitehouse. It is no surprise that Clinton supporters would back McCain—after all of the Clinton’s endorsement of McCain over Obama. Less Obama supporters would back McCain according to the poll, but did they ask if Obama voters would turn to third parties—the Greens or Nader? It is much worse than you think for Clinton. She will lose the African-Americans, the young, the progressives and the Independents. Clinton will have the Reagan Democrats and the Zionists. And that won’t change come 2012.

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By bert, March 28, 2008 at 2:55 am Link to this comment

“The only thing that is truly evident so far
    is that the Republicans are slowly but surely
    winning….... “

So sadly true, Douglas.

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By bert, March 28, 2008 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

HEADLINE: Obama Weathers the Wright Storm, Clinton Faces Credibility Problem.

Often times to truly understand a poll you have to go beyond the numbers and read the text, something the media does not. They are obsessed with the numbers, or raw data. That is often why polls and reality do not mesh.

From the text of the PEW Poll:

“More than eight-in-ten supporters of Obama (84%) who have heard about the controversy over Wright’s sermons say he has done an excellent or good job of dealing with the situation. Reactions from Clinton supporters, and Republicans, are on balance NEGATIVE.”  (emphasis/capitals mine.)


Again from the text of the PEW poll:

“These patterns suggest the potential for future reverberations from the Wright controversy if Obama wins the Democratic nomination. More conservative beliefs about equal rights and race are not only related to negative opinions of Obama among Democrats, suggesting the potential for defections among Democratic voters, but also are associated with negative views of him in the electorate at large.

An analysis of the survey finds that holding conservative positions on political and social values is associated with a greater likelihood of supporting McCain over Obama among Republicans, Democrats and independents, and all demographic groups. In contrast, however, this pattern is much less apparent in the Clinton-McCain match-up, excepting views about women in leadership roles.

****One of the few negative trends for Obama following the Wright affair is that a larger number of conservative Republicans hold a very unfavorable opinion of him in the new poll than did so in February. The survey also finds that Obama no longer enjoys the favorable image rating advantage over McCain among independents that was apparent in previous polls. ... .. “***

Never mind that without Republicans and Independents Obama wouldn’t have a delegate lead right now. Never mind that would most likely NOT be the case if Obama’s pastor disaster had been revealed earlier.

But the last thing of note in the PEW findings is buried in the next to the last spot and is very important, because it shows a definite shift in Clinton’s perceived chances to win:

“Nearly six-in-ten Democratic voters (57%) believe that Obama is most likely to win the party’s nomination, while 28% expect Clinton to prevail. Last month, 70% said Obama was most likely to win, while 17% expected Clinton to win.”

***Clinton’s chances rose by 11%, while Obama’s dropped 13%***

That, my friends, spells trouble. If this trend continues past the remaining primary elections Obama will not be able to win in November.

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By bert, March 28, 2008 at 2:26 am Link to this comment

I’m surprised they released this poll. Well, knowing MSNBC I really don’t.

MSNBC and Robinson are being more than disingenuous with their new poll. This is a poorly designed and very sloppy poll which negates and marginalizes results and therefore any conclusion drawn from it.

This poll is just Obama cheerleading and campaign propaganda.

First of all they over sampled black voters by 100.

The actual results of this poll (Available over at MSNBC, at least it was a few days ago when it first came out.) mention the over sampling, but it doesn’t match up with the question about race. This shows 11% were AA which would be 77 out of 700. But, they state they over-sampled by 100 which means 177 were AA (25%).

I don’t see how they can make any inferences about OVERALL voters since the sample sizes aren’t reflective of the actual population. They don’t say what they did with the extra 100 AA respondents when making their inferences. This is sloppy methodology.

M.E /NBC/WSJ poll:  National cross section of voters: 700 interviews, +/- 3.7%
White voters: 520 interviews, +/- 4.3%
African-American voters: 177 interviews, +/- 7.4%

Since the AA respondent results have a higher margin of error so you really can’t say anything about those results. This poll has a +/- 7.4% margin of error. That is a VERY high margin of error. Most polls have a 3 to 4% margin of error.

If you dig a bit further into the poll you learn that Clinton’s numbers have become somewhat more unfavorable. But the major difference is that McCain’s favorable/unfavorable have become marginally more favorable, while Obama’s have become SIGNIFICANTLY LESS FAVORABLE.  That does not bode well for Obama.

Plus poll results now do not/cannot reflect what and how negative campaign ads will affect Obama.

Links to other more reliable and better constructed polls are posted below.

The numbers from Rasmussen Reports show that Wright has hurt Obama.

Link to Rasmussen poll:

Rasmussen Impact of Wright and Speech Link

I will deal with the PEW results in a separate post because I know someone will bring that poll up.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 28, 2008 at 1:55 am Link to this comment

Interesting observation, cwhipps, and all will be revaeled on the day of voting. How many will turn out, what their age and gender will be, etc etc….

But the first thing that happened in this campaign is that the MEDIA took a most biased turn against a WOMAN as a candidate. That is prejudice is still in effect.

Nit-picking has become a major media and blogger pastime and pre-occupation. That only serves to further mask the real intention of the majority of voters, whoever they are.

The only thing that is truly evident so far is that the Republicans are slowly but surely winning…....

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By cwhipps, March 27, 2008 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

Great post, Eugene.

Whenever I hear the phrase “working-class white voters” (sadly, too often) I’m reminded of that old Lone Ranger joke that ends, “What you mean “we,” white man?”

If polls have told us anything this election, it’s that things are not always what they seem.

How can anyone really tell what a certain group of people are going to do when you have nothing in the past to predict their reactions with? And, do we really know who these people are, anymore?

Are “working-class white voters” Archie Bunker? Or, are they someone completely different.

We keep forgetting that a woman and an African-American have never been viable, popular candidates in a presidential election. And that “youth” voters have never participated in such large numbers, either.

Can polling data have any significance when a situation is completely unprecidented?

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By cyrena, March 27, 2008 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

This is an interesting point, and well worth discussion. (at least IMHO).

•  “Obama drew a line in his speech about race, repudiating Wright in the strongest terms but refusing to “disown” a man who has been an important spiritual influence. Many commentators saw this stance as a mistake that ultimately will cost Obama support among working-class white voters—and those commentators may be proved right. It’s possible that he drew the line in the wrong place. But he did draw it.”

In suggesting that many commentators ‘saw this as a mistake’ that could cost Obama support among working-class white voters-  there is an ambiguity here, since it remains unstated as to HOW, or ‘which way’ it might cost him support; UNLESS the ‘working-class white voters’ distinction is supposed to implicitly tell us.

I say that because I ‘pondered’ this myself, (Obama’s repudiation of the remarks, but the clear message that he did NOT ‘disown’ his pastor and friend) as a working class black voter. However, MY slight annoyance was with the fact that Obama wasn’t CLEARER on the fact that Wright’s comments, taken in the whole, were BASICALLY TRUE!! So, why did he have to so vigorously have to denounce the comments?

Now he did in fact clarify Wright’s remarks in context to Wright’s own life experience, (and the life experience of African-American’s as a whole) but he was still clear to point out that those were NOT his own views. So, is THAT where he drew the ‘wrong line’? Maybe for some.

Or, did he draw the ‘wrong line’ by not tossing Wright overboard? IOW, disowning him? Is THAT the line that working class white voters would have had him draw? Some maybe, but not all. Matter of fact, I can think of lots of folks who would have been pretty pissed if he HAD done that, me included.

So, I guess it depends on how one interprets ‘the line’ to know how one would feel about where he drew it. But, it calls to mind one of the other many earlier ‘tricks’ that Obama has needed to deal with. Specifically, the ‘accusation’ that he is a Muslim.

Now one could easily say: why should he denounce/deny being a Muslim? (and many have). Isn’t that the same as putting down Islam, or suggesting that there is something deficient in the religion, or that Christianity is somehow ‘superior’?

Well of course it isn’t!! But ignorant people have interpreted it as such, EVEN THOUGH, Obama did articulate what should have been obvious. He said he was NOT a Muslim, because….(rolling drums) HE ISN’T!! He included in the same statement that he RESPECTED the Islamic faith, but that it was NOT HIS OWN!!

Now for whatever the reasons, that is just so damn LOGICAL to me!! He’s a self-described Christian. Islama-phobic, fear-mongering smear cells were claiming him to be a Muslim, via the standard ‘pass-the-lie’ tactics. So, he CLARIFIED that he (himself) is a Christian, and that he he DOES RESPECT the Islamic faith of Muslims. How complicated is that?

And, is that not basically the SAME thing he did with the statements that Rev. Wright made in a sermon 6 years ago, when Obama wasn’t even in attendance?

Seems pretty much the same to me.

So, that’s my interpretation of ‘the line’ and wherever he chose to draw it depends on whatever the interpretation is. If some voters think that he should have formally ‘disowned’ his pastor, then that’s where they put ‘the line’, because that’s their interpretation of it.

I think those people are in the minority though, which is why he didn’t suffer any huge loss. And that is another testimony to the overall intelligence of the American people. I’m not saying there aren’t still ignorants among us. But, we’re getting better.

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By cyrena, March 27, 2008 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

•  “…What’s not unambiguously explained in the polls is why Clinton, basically a bystander, took a bigger hit in popularity than the guy who had the pastor problem…”

Well Eugene, it might seem like there is no ‘unambiguous’ explanation for why Clinton took a hit, but it’s still understandable enough. I think you’ve gotten yourself twisted around a bit, by thinking of her as a ‘bystander’. She has NOT been a ‘bystander’ but rather at the core of it, and THAT’S why she got hit!

Hillary took a major chance on using the Rovarian strategy, or what her campaign has called the “Kitchen Sink” strategy. If she hadn’t approved AND INDULGED in the tactics herself, then she wouldn’t have been hit.

Let’s face it. The shit blew back on her, because Americans are actually much smarter than we look. I keep telling you guys that.

Here’s a nice ‘perspective’ from Michael Winship that breaks it down. Sometimes we make things complicated, even when they aren’t.

•  Talking Down to America
  By Michael Winship
  t r u t h o u t | Perspective
  Wednesday 26 March 2008

  “I haven’t worked in the realm of children’s television in more than a decade, but lessons learned in that world are lessons learned for life.

  First and foremost: never condescend. When writing for kids, think of them as slightly shorter grown-ups with fewer bad habits and better credit.

  Would that the Bush administration followed the non-condescension rule for adults. Instead, they’ve taken a page from the playbook of the late Uncle Don, host of a kiddy show during the glory days of radio.

  It’s apocryphal, one of those hoary urban legends, but the story goes that after finishing the broadcast of his usual half-hour of moonbeams and treacle, Uncle Don turned to a colleague - not knowing the microphone was still hot - and said, “Well, that ought to hold the little bastards.”

  Similarly, the White House seems to believe, all evidence to the contrary, that dispersing the same old, Uncle Don-style effluvium to the American public will continue to placate and hold us close. But more and more of us know it’s nothing more than a bad smell.

  A comparison of two noteworthy speeches last week - Barack Obama on race, George Bush on Iraq - shows the difference between a candidate who talks to us like grown-ups and an incumbent who seems to think he’s still reading “My Pet Goat” to second graders in Sarasota.

  Regardless of how you feel about Obama’s candidacy or the continuing issue of his past affiliation with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, last Tuesday’s speech in Philadelphia was formidable, candid, sophisticated rhetoric.

  As Republican Peggy Noonan, a virtuoso of speechwriting for Ronald Reagan, observed in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, “He didn’t have applause lines. He didn’t give you eight seconds of a line followed by clapping. He spoke in full and longish paragraphs that didn’t summon applause. This left TV producers having to use longer-than-usual soundbites in order to capture his meaning. And so the cuts of the speech you heard on the news were more substantial and interesting than usual, which made the coverage of the speech better. People who didn’t hear it but only saw parts on the news got a real sense of what he’d said.”

So, there you have it. At least part of it.  The comparison for Mr. Winship here, might be between Obama and Bush, (no comparison at all really) but the same applies to Hillary. She’s tried to feed the public an alternative reality, like we’re stupid and can’t catch on.

THAT’S why she took the hits, and NOT as an ‘innocent bystander’.

Her supporters haven’t helped either.

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