My suspicions are probably also fueled by the fact that Obama hasn't exactly been an open book. He has sealed every record concerning his birth, his education, both here and in Indonesia, his college thesis, his activities as a community organizer, his activities as a lawyer,etc. Too much mystery surrounding him: his past, his admiration for Saul Alinsky, his associations with anti-American radicals, his work with Bill Ayers in disbursing money to Chicago area schools to implement programs in line with Ayers radical views, and his attending a church for 20 years that espoused anti-American and anti-white rhetoric, and then saying he never heard such things while he attended, was not the least bit credible, to me.
Perhaps we might break this down a bit. Some of this I'm simply unclear about. Other parts of this I'm puzzled about, but I'd like to understand your objections here. I say this because many of them seem sort of . . . basically . . . unobjectionable to me, and I guess I'd like to understand what's so terrible about them, and why you're so riled up about them.
My suspicions are probably also fueled by the fact that Obama hasn't exactly been an open book.
You understand I am a Liberal democrat. I want to be clear about that up front. If Senator Obama had not been a reasonably open book, however, you would not actually have much of the information you do have. And much of the information that has been spread about about the Senator from right wing talk shows has been false or deliberately confusing. Such as the repeated use of the senator's middle name with heavy-handed emphasis, implying that the senator is muslim. And the claims that the senator attended a madras and was an Islamic extremist. In such an atmosphere of distortion, it is not surprising that even well meaning folks would have considerable confusion about the man. I am not surprised that you do.
I think it would do both of us some good to ask where this confusion has come from, though. At this point, I believe that a substantial amount of the confusion, including the examples I cited above, came from the right, were initially unsubstantiated and in the end disproven. After the initial barrage, I wanted proof up front, since I felt the method had been displayed; and if serious consideration from me was desired, clear proofs should have been given.
I don't believe they wanted to convince me, though; I think they wanted to convince you. I think you were and are too smart to be swayed by utter deceit. I think, thought, that your trust can be and has been undermined.
I don't proposed to win it back. I'm not that convincing, nor do I believe Obama a flawless man. I simply believe him to be more than good enough for the task at hand. If you want people to try to convince you he's other than more than good enough, I am not one of them. My feeling is that he is basically Republican Lite and is just about at the center of things politically, perhaps a Rockefeller Republican, the way we used to do things, before the country began to believe that everything to the left of center was communist, and that Liberal was a bad word. Before Republicans began to turn on each other for not being right-wing enough.
If you are confused, you aren't alone.
You say about Obama; I say all of us and pretty much about the trustworthiness of the entire political enterprise in this country. You are, however, the world-expert on yourself, and perhaps I've got you wrong.
He has sealed every record concerning his birth, his education, both here and in Indonesia, his college thesis, his activities as a community organizer, his activities as a lawyer,etc.
Honest, I don't think so, but I'd be interested in hearing objective proof. This means something from a source that doesn't have an affiliation to the Republican Party, a right wing talk show, or Fox news. I don't mind U.S. News & World Report, and I like The Economist, both of whom seem to me to have a right-leaning bias, The Economist more clearly so. The Christian Science Monitor is always good, as is anything that goes to considerable pains to lay out both sides of the story. As long as the news is objectively reported and without bias, I don't care if it is Right or Center. Since I am Left Wing myself, I'd rather you didn't quote any Left Wing publications, and I will try to avoid doing so as well. I don't think you would accept their reliability or objectivity, and I wouldn't want you put you through that. Simply look for sources that you believe are truly objective in other places. The Times of London, even though it's a Murdoch paper, seems to have been left pretty much editorially intact as near as I can tell. Anything from there is fine with me as well.
I look forward to seeing what you can come up with from sources that you believe aren't politically biased toward the right, and what you consider constitutes and doesn't constitute bias and distortion from that direction.
Too much mystery surrounding him: his past, his admiration for Saul Alinsky, his associations with anti-American radicals, his work with Bill Ayers in disbursing money to Chicago area schools to implement programs in line with Ayers radical views, and his attending a church for 20 years that espoused anti-American and anti-white rhetoric, and then saying he never heard such things while he attended, was not the least bit credible, to me.
I don't know how to respond to the notion of "too much mystery" other than to respect it. It's a personal call in so many ways. I was uncomfortable with Clinton in 1992 for the same reason. I much preferred Harken, though I suspect your preferences were other. In 2000, I much preferred Gore over the much more mysterious Bush, and I can only respect if not agree with your reservations here.
I didn't know Obama was fond of Saul Alinsky, but then as an organizing guy, if he hadn't been fond of Alinsky he would have to have been a fool. Alinsky was extraordinarily well thought of in intellectual circles in the 50's,60's, and on. At Cornell in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, his stuff was required reading, as it was at Harvard and every other school of business and of business and labor relations. I am an admirer of Saul Alinsky. Even if you're not somebody who shares his politics, you'd be foolish not to have studied his techniques and his writing. What you have against this particularly insightful thinker is beyond me.
Even if it's a matter of politics, I'd point out to you that they study Mao and Sun Tsu at West Point, and anybody who's studied diplomacy in any depth at some point or another has had to look at the decision of the German High Command during World War One to send Lenin back to Russia in a Sealed Train. Some thinkers and some actions are simply so basic that being unfamiliar with them is criminal.
Association with anti-american radicals is hardly such a terrible thing, historically. I have some family that are Republicans, yet I am able to live with myself handily. They even manage to return the favor most of the time. Charles Lindbergh, as I recall, was quite taken by the German's just before in the second world war, as was George Bush's Grandfather. Several U.S. presidents used Armand Hammer to communicate with Josef Stalin, who was about as anti-american as they came. Being a Radical in the 1960's didn't necessarily make you anti-American, though it might have in the eyes of the FBI and President Nixon, whose enemies list was, shall we say, capricious to say the least.
The very notion of "anti-American radical" in this country, might I remind you, often says more about the people raising the alarm than about the people found alarming. I suggest as an example that famous old anti-american radical, Albert Einstein, whose security clearance was blocked by the FBI. They also tried to block his citizenship. They had a 1400 plus page dossier on him filled with unsupported lies. I just finished Isaacson's recent biography of the man, in which the dossier figures.
Just out of curiosity, on the commissions in which Ayers and Obama served together, which were the radical ideas? How would you identify them as such, and how would you recognize them as bad? And which ones originated with whom?
Are any of these Radical ideas outside the mainstream of modern educational thinking? Which ones might they be?
Or is the phrase "radical ideas" by itself enough to stop your investigation, and check out the details to see if you yourself disagree with the ideas in question. I freely confess I have no idea. From the lack of specificity in your comment, though, I can't tell if you have any idea either. If I should be alarmed, I actually need to know what I should be alarmed about. "Radical ideas" is not a phrase I find frightening. I actually need to know which ones.
Witch burnings will goad me into action, while a real reconsideration of quantum entanglement, which may be even more radical after its fashion, leaves me more curious than alarmed. Please bring somebody along to translate the math. Telling me that warrants are no longer needed to tap my phones and that all somebody needs to say is "national security" to listen in to my wife and I talk funny on the phone to each other and laugh about it at at their little monitoring stations, that tees me off.
That Obama never heard anybody voicing anti-white or anti-establishment (the convention for spelling that sort of far-right wing viewpoint has been for forty years "AmeriKKKa" or "AmeriKKKan" with the capital KKK in the middle) strains my credibility as well as yours. If you weren't aware of the distinction between "America" and "AmeriKKKa," Denise, I can only tell you that the distinction is very real to lots of folks, myself among them; and that it is as utterly tiresome and as grindingly boring as you might imagine any particularly doctrinaire piece of political baggage might come to be after it's been whacked over the head and embroidered by generations of dead serious ideologues. Left wing ideologues in this case.
Right wing ideologues have their own peculiarities.
If you want to see what these left wing ideologues dislike, tune into any recent news stories about the KKK. Blacks who've been on the receiving end of this stuff are simply unhappy with it, and with that strain of the "American" culture it comes from. They are savagely angry about it. Many left wing folks, myself included, feel much the same way. I am an American, happy to be one in fact, but I want nothing to do with that particular piece of my culture.
It's unfortunate that that particular piece of my culture has chosen to call itself "white culture."
I don't regard it as particularly white or cultured except perhaps in the most formally anthropological of ways. I suspect you don't identify with the KKK either.
And yet, there's this piece of confusion that's been promulgated. Obama's as American as you are, Denise. I suspect that you hate all those "AmeriKKKans" as much as that Reverend Wright of his. I don't think you confuse what they do with "white culture" for one moment. On the KKK end of things, though, they seriously believe they are fighting for what they think of as "white culture." No Jews, no Catholics, no blacks need apply. I believe all fall under the term "mud people."
I've had KKK folk as the occasional client with problems with drugs and alcohol. "Mud People" is what they say. White, anglo-saxon Protestant ó that's their white culture.
If Obama never heard how upset people in Chicago were with that sort of thing, I don't think he was listening.
Gotta agree with you there Denise. On the other hand, I'm not entirely sure how a man of color is going to go about explaining this sort of stuff to the American people without sounding like he's doing nothing but playing the race card in a campaign that really out to be bigger than that, don't you think? That's trying to be respectful of as many folks as it can be.
Good enough and probably better than that isn't bad, considering the slogging he's had to do overall. It's like one of those graphs that you see every now and then. When you look at the original graph itself, it's got points all over the place, and the graph looks like it bounces from the top to the bottom extreme as it chugs along the x axis. It makes no sense at all until you put it through a bit of statistical averaging, and that gives you the actual smooth curve of the trend, so you can see which way the thing is going ó steadily up or steadily down ó once those wild fluctuations are taken into account.
Overall, Obama seems to be headed up for me in a good-enough way, on the basis of what I've seen. I seen what you've had to say for quite a while, and I thought it was time to try to offer a bit of an alternative point of view. I hope respectfully enough to keep you satisfied that those were my intentions, though I do tend to fly off a bit every now and again. I hope I didn't do that for you here, and there are places where I think we do overlap as
well as diverge.
I hope everything is well with you, and I hope everything do not work out as terribly as you fear it might. Things haven't yet hit the true terror of what I expected eight years ago, though I confess they've come very very close, so I guess I can identify with the sense of forboding you talk about. I guess I Think of the line from D.W. Winnicott, who once said, "The breakdown that is feared is the one that has already happened." Or something close to that.
Best wishes, Bob Kaven