Barack's Grand Slam

As tacky as Hillary was tonight, Barack was gracious and inspiring. This is a wonderful night for this country and my friends in Asia are already sending me notes of amazement that America would nominate a man of color.

By stark contrast, McCain in his little miniature venue gave a flat speech and then Obama followed with one of the great political speeches of our time to 20,000 screaming fans of every color.  I can see McCain’s staff watching the Obama speech and muttering, “Oh fuck.” As Fox commentator Mort Kondrake said afterwards, “john McCain better get a speechwriter and learn how to use a teleprompter.”


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0 Responses to Barack's Grand Slam

  1. zak says:

    I look so forward to McCain debating Obama live. . . contest over

  2. Morgan Warstler says:

    me too, zak, me too.

  3. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan- John McCain’s campaign is toast. stick a fork in it.

  4. Hugo says:

    But then again, Barack may not be nominated.

    In any event that’s the prospect I found frightening in Jon’s “This Is Frightening” post.

  5. Hugo says:

    …and by the way, while I agree that Obama’s speech was significantly, eventfully better than McCain’s was, I also think that Obama’s speech was full of shit, especially on foreign policy, national defense, military and veterans affairs—about which he obviously, caring little, knows very little.

  6. zak says:

    Hugo, haven’t you noticed that Americans take style over substance? It’s like electing class office in high school; charisma can outshine an elaborate set of platforms.

    Al Gore in 2000 comes to mind. His (lack of) personality on the trail helped sink him

  7. Morgan Warstler says:

    too true, zak. too true. Be sure, it is Obama’s to lose.

    So if Obama doesn’t win, I expect you & Jon will call the country racist. I wish you didn’t make me feel that way, but it is what it is.

    I’d urge you, is he tacks right so he can win, please remember he really is a centrist who was posing as a liberal and not the other way around.

    And if he stays left, and loses, it isn’t because the country are racists.

    BUT, if he stays left and wins – then, that’s really really something. And I’ll be stunned.

  8. Jon Taplin says:

    How bad was McCain’s speech tonight? Here’s Fox Talking head MORT KONDRACKE commenting after Obama finished his speech: “Well, John McCain had better start working on his speechmaking and learn how to use a teleprompter. I mean, the gap, the rhetorical gap between this speech and…Oratorical gap between this speech and John McCain’s was vast. John McCain sounded old. This sounded fresh and new and exciting and visionary. And he was enlisting the country to join him in a great cause. This is our moment, all of that. “

  9. Morgan Warstler says:

    Yes, of course you skipped my point. Must be a reason…

  10. Morgan Warstler says:

    To your point, yes McCain is horrible teleprompter speaker – it’s why Repubs would love to see debates, town hall meetings, etc. And he is old, though I don’t understand why you keep trying to mention it. You are old too and obivously have your faculties, moreover, you are supposed to be above that -ism stuff, right?

  11. zak says:

    even if McCain is a better orator in more free-flowing speaking engagements, the lack of teleprompters in debates and town hall meetings means he gets to have that many more “senior” moments and culture/intelligence lapses. . . moments Obama keeps to a bare minimum.

  12. zak says:

    If Obama doesn’t win, I’ll call the country stupid, not racist. . . but the masses get the government they deserve not the one they need.

  13. zestypete says:

    Taking a step back from all of this, I think it’s worth mentioning something yet again that gets lots in the name calling: Democrats are torn between choosing a woman to run as their representative for office or a man of colour. It’s causing heated, rigorous, sometimes stupid debate, but the choice of candidates is very very interesting and says a lot about where the US stands right now – even the Republican reaction has been telling. You can grumble all you want about Hillary this or Obama that, but don’t lose sight of the fact that both candidates at the forefront of this challenge represent sides of the US that have gone unrepresented at this level of government since the country was founded.

    As an outsider observing all of this from afar, that’s at the heart of why it’s been so interesting.

    Now, my only concern is that Obama may well turn out to be like Blair or Bill Clinton back in the day – young(er), fresh faced and full of promises, but ultimately just a politician like all the others. I’m still all for him, because I think the country desperately needs that breath of fresh air, but I worry about what happens when that air starts to go stale.

  14. Hugo says:

    zestypete, I fear it’s you who fail to take the point: Hillary and Barack may be the holed pigeons you take them to be, but they’re preeminently the WRONG PIGEONS. Yes, the nation in its vanity is ready to congratulate itself on electing a woman or a black man, but Gadzooks—not this woman; not this man.

  15. chris says:

    man, some of you guys are gonna be sore losers for the next 4 years. and it’s gonna be awesome.

  16. Morgan Warstler says:


  17. chris says:

    the exact opposite, actually.

  18. Dan says:

    Another note on the media: For the second night in a row I found myself watching CNN, although this time it was Obama’s speech rather than CNN talking head crap. Once they went back to the bobble-heads I scooted out of the room.

    I couldn’t help but notice that CNN was declaring Obama the apparent nominee based on his win in Montana…and the results they kept showing were that “0%” of the votes from Montana were in. He was leading 5100 votes to 4700. And on the basis of this, apparently, they were declaring Obama the nominee.

    Obviously they had other information than “0%” of the vote, but they keep that to themselves and tell us, “Take our word for it.”

    That should be their new motto: “Take our word for it.”

  19. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan-You are already soundinglike a sore loser. As to your point, what would I say if Obama loses? The same thing I said when George Bush won his second term–“Never underestimate the politics of fear”.

    Hugo-I’ve had a chance to meet Barack a couple of times and know some of his staff fairly well. You sorely underestimate him. Somehow that whole Rev. Wright episode caused you to conflate Obama’s philosophy with Rev. Wright’s. That was not just unfair to Barack, it was intellectually dishonest on your part.

    I only ask you, as someone whose intellect I respect, to be open to the change that is surely coming.

  20. Dan says:

    “Yes, the nation in its vanity is ready to congratulate itself on electing a woman or a black man”

    I must be really vain because I think the idea of women and minorities in the top positions of government is a good thing. But I’m not stupid. Rice belongs in jail with her cronies, in spite of her gender and her race.

    I’m opposed to Hillary not because of or in spite of her gender.

    I’m inclined to vote for Obama at this point not because I’m a slavish admirer or because he’s black but because he looks better to me on the issues than Hillary or McSame.

  21. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:


    You must reboot your geiger counter. You are missing the shift. It is a profound one, happening at a great distance and therefore, possibly, difficult to pick up.

    Page Smith wrote that the Founders were ordinary men who rose to the occasion. I think he is right about that. It remains to be seen if the ordinary man President Obama will rise to the occasion. He has so far. The last ordinary man did not.


  22. Steve says:

    Dan says “But I’m not stupid”, then proves his stupidity in the next sentence. That was funny.

    I’m an independent and undecided. Barack is certainly a dynamic speaker, but besides being charismatic what has he accomplished? He seems like a lightweight. A lightweight with great potential, but still a lightweight.

  23. Morgan Warstler says:

    Jon, I don’t think you understand me, if Obama moves to the center enough on three things, I swear I’ll support him:

    1. Iraq – we’re staying albeit with a smaller lighter safer force
    2. Iran – bomb them if they try and get a nuke
    3. Deficit – solving this is more important than new social programs

    There any many advantages to Obama if he meets these 3 things. A centrist Democrat isn’t a bad thing. Clinton was a lot of fun.

  24. zestypete says:

    Hugo, it doesn’t matter right now whether they’re the right pigeons or not. The point I was making is that, up to now, the nation’s been choosing between nothing but fat cats. The mere fact that the pigeons now represent a viable option is significant.

    Ok that analogy went a bit all over the place, but you take my point.

    And here’s another point: when Robert Kennedy met author James Baldwin back in 1963, he pointed out that within just three generations after arriving from Ireland, one of the Kennedy clan had made it to the White House. He couldn’t understand why Black America wasn’t able to take advantage of the opportunities on offer in the US and do something similar. He also guessed that there would be a black American president within the next 40 years.

    Baldwin pointed out that his family had been in America for far more than three generations and that they were still waiting for their day in the White House.

    That’s the point I was trying to make. It is significant and important. Hilary Clinton’s bid for the presidency and the support she received is significant and important. The polling that has placed them both ahead of McCain is significant and important. If you can’t see that, then I think you (and a whole lot of McCain supporters) are going to be seriously surprised come November.

  25. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:


    Here is something he has accomplished. As a first term junior senator, he defeated Hillary Clinton, the Clinton machine, and took over the Democratic party. He spanked her bottom real good. The greatest upset in the history of United States politics. If someone can name a greater one, I shall stand corrected.

    Here is a mixed ethnicity, or black, we could say, son of a Kenyan father and a Kansan mother, who grew up shuffling around the world being raised by different grandparents, who grew up, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, and who has gone on to be the Democratic candidate for President of the United States.

    That in itself is an extraordinary accomplishment.

    It is something *no one* else in our history, in the history of the West, as we are sometimes called, has accomplished.

    Maybe you should rethink this lightweight deal.
    Perhaps you should check your metrics.

    What has H Clinton accomplished? Or J McCain? Or G Bush, for that matter, whose only accomplishment has been to fuck up the world for about fifty years, if not permanently.

    If Obama is elected, the brand name The United States, which is currently at its lowest ebb in our life times, will immediately become exponentially more valuable. I foresee Obama accomplishing the reversal of the debacle brought on by his unaccomplished predecessor.

    A country who could elect a president with the person and history of Barack Obama is a country that is hard to hate.

  26. Steve says:

    Thanks for the response, Tennessee. I honestly am looking for reasons to like Obama. The only accomplishments you cite are winning the Democratic primary and graduating from Harvard with honors. You say that’s something that no one else in our history has accomplished? What do you mean? Because he’s black? I don’t know about Magna Cum Laude’s from Harvard, but we’ve had some pretty well educated presidents before. I would expect nothing less. I’m not fans of Hillary, Bush or McCain but they have a record and experience. Maybe experience is not that important, but Obama’s lack of experience makes him a lightweight in my opinion. I’m hopeful that he is all that you think he is, but I’m still searching for evidence.

  27. Hugo says:

    Dan, you see so acutely through CNN’s BS, but do you perceive your own, or do you just spiel it unawares? You say that you prefer Senator Obama “because he he looks better to me on the issues than Hillary or McSame.” Which issues, Dan, and how so?

    Jon, I’m delighted that you’ve spent quality time with our man. I fear you’ve been duped. Is that OK, for now?

    zestypete, I wish you hadn’t mentioned Bob Kennedy. So many of my acquaintances think they see Bobby in Barack. It’s an insult to RFK, really. The post-’66 one, that is. Robert Kennedy could not possibly have said the things Barack Obama said on Nob Hill. Yes, it’s that simple.

    Tennessee, you and Jon may well be right, but I’d give a vital part of my own anatomy to be able to embrace Page Smith once again. You’re messing with my heart, man.

  28. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:


    There has never been a black head of state in the United States, Europe, or any part of what we would call the West. (I think there have been a couple in South America, but certainly no game changers as Obama is.) For a person of Obama’s ethnicity and background to defeat the Clinton Machine is a profound accomplishment in and of itself.

    We have all had experience. Obama has forty six years of experience. That experience has turned him into the man he is- a forty six year old black man who came out of nowhere and handed the Clintons their hats.

    Neither experience nor accomplishments are intrinsically good. Obama’s experience has led him to this place.

    I would suggest that if you are looking for reasons to like Obama, read his books. They are great.

    Take a look at his web site and read his thoughts on transparency in government.

    He is the only transformational figure on the international political scene today.

    He will raise the stock, the prestige of the United States, confound the jihadists, and change the valence of our international relations simply by taking the oath of office.

    After that, God only knows. Hopefully, he will rise to the occasion in important ways. We need someone to.

    But I can tell you that he is blindingly smart. That is a good start. And, he is part of the world we are living in now as opposed to Clinton, Bush, and McCain, who are a part of the world of the Cold War. The last century. He is the only person on the list with an upside.

    The United States does not need Change. The United States needs *to* change.

  29. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:


    You loved Page Smith, too? God bless you. His A People’s History of the United States is some truly great writing and thinking. If you ask me. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    From Sam Phillips:

    You try to understand
    You try to fix your broken hands
    But remember
    That there always has been good like stars
    You don’t see in the day sky
    Wait till night

  30. Morgan Warstler says:

    Dear Senator Obama:

    In 1963, Senator Barry Goldwater and President John F. Kennedy agreed to make presidential campaign history by flying together from town to town and debating each other face-to-face on the same stage. In Goldwater’s words, those debates “would have done the country a lot of good.” Unfortunately, with President Kennedy’s untimely death, Americans lost the rare opportunity of witnessing candidates for the highest office in the land discuss civilly and extensively the great issues at stake in the election. What a welcome change it would be were presidential candidates in our time to treat each other and the people they seek to lead with respect and courtesy as they discussed the great issues of the day, without the empty sound bites and media-filtered exchanges that dominate our elections. It is in the spirit of President Kennedy’s and Senator Goldwater’s agreement, in the spirit of the politics of change, and to do our country good, that I invite you to join me in participating in town hall meetings across the country to discuss the most important issues facing Americans. I also suggest we fly together to the first town hall meeting as a symbolically important act embracing the politics of civility.

    I propose these town hall meetings be as free from the regimented trappings, rules and spectacle of formal debates as possible, and that we pledge to the American people we will not allow the idea to die on the negotiation table as our campaigns work out the details. I suggest we agree to participate in at least ten town halls once a week with the first on June 11 or 12 in New York City at Federal Hall until the week before the Democratic Convention begins at locations to be determined by our campaigns.Ê Federal Hall is particularly fitting as it was the place where George Washington took the oath of office as our first President and the birthplace of American government hosting the first Congress, Supreme Court and Executive Branch offices. These town halls should be attended by an audience of between two to four hundred selected by an independent polling agency, could be sixty to ninety minutes in length, have very limited moderation by an independent local moderator, take blind questions from the audience selected by the moderator and allow for equally proportional time for answers by each of us. All of these are suggestions that can be finalized by our campaigns. What is important is that we commit to participate in these history making meetings to join in the higher level of discourse that Americans clearly would prefer.

    To show our good faith, we should both commit to the first town hall I have suggested. In the mean time, we can work out dates for future town hall meetings.

    I look forward to your favorable reply and to the opportunity to work with you to give Americans a better opportunity to understand our differences, our agreements and the leadership we offer them.


    John McCain

  31. Dan says:

    “Dan, you see so acutely through CNN’s BS, but do you perceive your own, or do you just spiel it unawares?”

    I hold my own opinions on issues and I don’t apologize for them.

    People can call me stupid. Sticks and stones.

  32. gage says:

    “…Americans take style over substance?”

    Zak, at least twice in the past decade, 2000 and 2004, Americans appeared to prefer neither style nor substance.

  33. Hugo says:

    It’s a brittle subject, Tennessee. But I’ll say this much: Page Smith was as impeccable an historian as he is now, per Prof. Bolcom et Pere, a graceful ghost.

    I’ve yet to encounter a public problem that would not be ameliorated were the Yanks to know their f@#king history a bit better. I wish I could say that as gently as Page did, but it’s just not in my make-up.

    So maybe now you have a taste of how much I cared for that man.

  34. Hugo says:

    Oh, and the lyric from Sam Phillips is just plain effing beautiful. Had I written it I’d die happy.

  35. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:


    I’m sorry if I wounded you in any way. I’m not sure what you mean by your use of the word brittle. But I am very glad to read what you have to say about Page Smith. I am happy to know that his work is impeccable. His work is very important to me. He was full of grace.

    From a poet friend of mine:

    History repeats itself.
    Has to.
    Nobody listens.

  36. Hugo says:

    Tennessee, your poet friend (you?) nailed it pretty well. And you shoulda been there, man, I’m telling you. The most elegant conceivable Ivy League diaspora gathering in the redwoods without concern whatever for bricks and mortar. (Ask Rick; he’ll know.) The History Department alone was almost inconceivably illustrious, and the idea on everyone’s mind was the same one that Jon now stewards: California, by transforming itself, can transform the world!

    It’s hard to think about now, TWS. It just is.

  37. Hugo says:

    Dan, I don’t call you “stupid”. On the contrary, I respect your opinion — as you might have noticed.

  38. Hugo says:

    Dan, that’s why I asked the reasons for your appraisal of Sen. Obama.

  39. Jon Taplin says:

    Hugo and TWS-I just felt like I was sitting at the Cafe Wha, listening to Alan and Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac riff, while Coltrane played in the background.
    Hugo-you have got to let your heart in to this historic moment. Barack is a man of dignity. He took the slings and arrows of the Clinton machine and held his head high.

    We are tapped into the policy ideas of a very bright crew in the Obama campaign.

    Don’t be afraid. Embrace the moment. Help us.

  40. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan- I’ve been enjoying the poetry of Hugo and TWS. I’m going to be kind and ignore your cheap political stunt letter.

  41. Morgan Warstler says:

    LOL. Hidey hole.

  42. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    For the United States, at this point in history, to elect as president, a black man with a Muslim name, to fulfill the concept in the Constitution that all men are created equal (something that no other Western nation has done), is the ballsiest fucking thing we could do.

    To pussiest thing we could do is elect John McCain.

    We are getting ready to see what kind of backbone this country really has.

  43. STS says:


    We have at least this much in common: though I didn’t know him, Page Smith’s bio of John Adams left a lasting impression on me.

  44. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    I *should* have been there. Maybe some day you’ll write about it.

  45. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    “It’s hard to think about now, TWS. It just is.”

    I know how much it hurts when things go haywire.

    That is why it is time for a reboot.

    The status is not quo, if you get my drift. No battle that can be won is worth fighting. I’m not gonna quit fighting at any rate. Ever. Good things happen out of nowhere.

  46. zestypete says:

    Hugo – I wasn’t comparing Obama to Kennedy, so I don’t understand your response. I was mentioning a pivotal meeting Kennedy had with James Baldwin and highlighting the point that Baldwin was making: African Americans had spent 300 years building the US and after all that time, in 1963, the only work they were likely to get in the White House was as servants.

  47. Hugo says:

    STS, I’m sorry I was so snide with you. I still owe you some promised information, and I haven’t forgotten the promise. I’m delighted that you liked Professor Smith’s work on Adams. Equally solid individuals, those two.

    zestypete, excuse me for taking you for another of the proliferating species that mistakes Barack for Bobby. James Baldwin should have been our first black, and gay, President.

  48. Ken Ballweg says:

    Surfeit of sighs
    For a misty past gone by
    masking the future….

    Hugo, you need a better class of drugs. Or a swift kick in the intellectual ass. Morgan’s making more sense than you.

    Leadership is a matter of setting a tone, more than anything else. Bush’s major failing was that he tried to imitate and project Chaney’s tone of arrogance and distain for anyone who didn’t totally buy the puppet masters’ version of reality.

    Obama is proving he can set a more positive tone than even Bubba exuded, and it doesn’t matter if you are convinced it’s an illusion. Hell yes he has past inadequacies, and slights others are still nursing as if wounds, and moments of bad judgement. I challenge you to name a viable (and that’s the key word here, ‘cus no way in hell James Baldwin was viable in tone or substance) political figure, i.e. one who could actually get elected even now when the Repubs have become political lepers.

    The man’s a black, and young, and from the North for god’s sake. Worse than that he is the first intellectual with an actual shot at getting elected. (People severely underrate that minority status in his makeup because that’s as much a political kiss of death as being Black or Female. Ask Adlia supporters.) You seem to regard his intellectual cred to be less than … damifIknow what… but I sniff a little old line radical turned ivory tower academic sulfur in your latest posts. You keep intimating that there are great failings you are aware of, and asking for specifics in terms of what Obama has ever accomplished. Then you dismiss the answers as below your standard of “accomplishment”, again, intimating through context that this is a man whose past outweighs his present and his future to resolve “issues.”

    So here’s the that short list of accomplishments again..

    Represents multiple minorities: black (actually mixed which is the rising minority), young, intellectual, northerner, more centrist than extreme in his positions;
    tone of optimism not FEAR!!!!…;
    Potential for far more transparency than Hill or McRepeaty would have;
    Capable of attracting advisors who may actually be competent.

    And the biggest one, he got nominated, and will likely get elected despite all this. So, he found the tone to get elected (a major accomplishment needed to be VIABLE), and stands far more chance of setting a tone once elected that will be better at the issues than any other VIABLE candidate.

    So grab your walker, your pipe and tweeds, and toddle on down to the quad and take a moment to look at the children you teach and contemplate if you really want to be adopting a personal tone like this:

    Head far up my ass
    I mournfully warn others
    Of noisome odors.

    Love ya dude, but get over the political Emo phase soon, paaleese, so we can gang up on Morgan some more.


  49. Ken Ballweg says:

    errata: I amend the above to concede that Kennedy was an intellectual (as well as a horn dog) and got elected.

  50. Hugo says:

    Yes he was, in his own lazy way. And when he said that he was an American Pragmatist—guess what!—that’s exactly what he meant. That was his discipline, his intellectual structure. He knew what Pragmatism really was, he bought it, and he practiced it. Halberstam and others have done him a disservice by making light of it, as though he were too much the playboy to have known what he was saying. He was a highly intelligent rascal, our dear red-haired President. It’s so sad that he’s lost to history for now, but that fate will right itself in a generation or two.

    Now you, Ken Ballweg, not only are a scalliwag, but are both a shallot and a scallion. With some coarse-ground kosher salt to boot.

    Stop insulting me, or shut up. Those are your options.

  51. Morgan Warstler says:

    You are ganging up on me? Ken, come on, in the words of Stanley motts, “this? this is nothing.”

    This place is like watching at emo support group hatching a plan to maybe sometime soon punch someone. The CFR it is not.

    JH, I do sympathize with your “ballsy” thinking. Certainly, there are many upsides to having another color of face with another kind of background take a turn in the Oval Office. But that’s an tangential upside, a positive side effect, a spin off product. And certainly we should squeeze as much juice from the orange as we can if it happens.

    The core issue is going to be who runs to the center the fastest. If either guy looks extreme to the middle of the road voter, that side will lose. There’s plenty of power in incremental changes, and smart simple improvements. I keep asking about what happens if Obama loses, because I smell Dem riots, and while that’s another tangential upside, it isn’t worth voting for McCain over.

    Obama isn’t a Marxist (we hope) – well not a Marxist, but I really don’t think he’s a believer, but I do like watching him shun away and “denounce” his past supporters, because the odds are, he was just doing what he had to when he associated with them – I can’t imagine he didn’t know what they really thought.

    This process of renouncing and stuff is ugly, but it gives me the feeling that as President, Obama would have to take extra care to not get the label applied – kind of like Hillary being extra tough, kinda like McCain having to prove he isn’t Bush.

    I know this isn’t soaring hope and stuff, but I think it is actually what happens, and I think that’s a pretty good thing.

  52. Hugo says:

    Morgan, shame on you. “Obama isn’t a Marxist.” I mean, that’s beneath you. You know very well that Barry Obama is and always has been a poster child for intellectual laziness, and never would have awakened his manifest gifts to master something as spooky-complicated as old Karl’s musings. Come on, Morgan. Your whole generation acts as though it’s too hip to fall for a “poser” [sic], but that’s exactly what your sophomoric contemporaries want to see in the Oval Office—as in, in charge of the the Free World they still think of as some kind of metaphor.

    Obama a Marxist, Morgan? Give us a break…

  53. Ken Ballweg says:

    Oh if only I wasn’t under such fiendish gag order with regards to insults.


  54. Ken Ballweg says:

    Okay, enough with the Wilde asides.

    I really, really want to know what you have experienced with Obama that makes you so angry towards him. Something is there to provoke such strong judgements, and I am, all kidding aside, wondering what it is. Are you from Illinois? Are you a party insider and know of failings that we actually should be aware of? Is this a visceral thing you can’t really explain, or is it founded on events? So many of your past posts indicate you do associate with folks from the inner circles of politics, and it is possible that you have a non-trivial basis for what is coming across as hatred that leaves some of us puzzled. If there is something that doesn’t come from the same part of your anatomy as the place where Morgan finds most of his facts, I’d like to know what it is.

    I find it’s never too early to be scrutinizing the man behind the curtain.

    Your tone over the past several days has been weird, to the point of a major personality change. You have out Morganed Morgan, and that’s not a competition you want to win necessarily. So I’m curious about what raw nerve this Obama win has poked that has caused the transMogrification of Dr. Hugo into Mr… whomever. And more so, what strongly personal basis it may have.

    What makes the man a poseur, ‘cus I’m (obviously from my post) missing it?

  55. Ken Ballweg says:

    Oh Morgan, you wacky intellectual you. Referencing a 1982 Michener book.

  56. Morgan Warstler says:

    Juan Williams:

    “The heart of Mr. Obama’s problem is that he risks being defined by Rev. Wright and Father Pfleger. Most American voters know him only as a fresh face with an Ivy League education, an outstanding credential – editor of the Harvard Law Review – an exciting speaker, and a man who stands for much-desired change. Beyond that he is a political mystery with a thin legislative record. But when voters look at his past for clues to the core of his character, they find religious leaders calling for God to damn America and concluding that America is the greatest sin against God.

    To deal with this controversy effectively, Mr. Obama needs to give another speech. This time he has to admit to sins of using race for political expediency – by knowingly buying into divisive, mean messages being delivered from the pulpit. He has to say that, as a biracial young man with no community roots, attaching himself to Rev. Wright and the Trinity congregation was a shortcut to move up the ladder in the Chicago political scene. He has to call race-baiting what it is, whether it comes from a pulpit or calls itself progressive politics. And he has to challenge his supporters, especially his black base, to be honest about real problems at the heart of today’s racial divide – including out-of-wedlock births, crime, drugs and a culture that devalues education while glorifying the gangster life.

    Mr. Obama also has to raise the bar for how political criticism is handled in his camp. Step one is to acknowledge that not every critic is a racist. His very liberal record and his limited experience, like his association with Rev. Wright, is a fact, not the work of white racists. Just as he calls for the GOP not to engage in the politics of fear over terrorism, Mr. Obama needs to declare that he will refrain from playing the racial victim, because he understands such tactics will paralyze political debate and damage race relations.

    Only by admitting to his own sins can Mr. Obama credibly claim that he has seen the promise of our country, in which Americans of all colors work together. Only then can he convince dubious white voters that he is ready to move beyond racial antagonism and be their president.”

  57. Hugo says:

    Ken! Shame on you! Can’t you see this is not time for levity?

    You crack me up.

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