Tag Archives: Jeremiah Wright

Would This Ad Have Changed The Election?

9 Dec

For those of you like me who can’t be bothered to watch the network morning new shows, here’s a link to a Good Morning America report which airs the Reverend Wright ad that John McCain refused to run:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK5ueV-dqsc

Would this ad have changed things?  We’ll never know.

For my money the right man won (no pun intended) and I think he likely would have even if this ad had run.

Hillary Clinton, in retrospect, did Barack Obama a huge favor by bringing up Reverend Wright in the primaries.  If McCain had gone with this ad, it would have just been old news and another expected move coming from the GOP.  I don’t think it would have turned the tide.

Still, I give John McCain props for (as the kids used to say) not going there.

They’re Dropping Like Flies! (And Why Are Religious People So Mean?)

23 May

Pity John McCain.  He’s spent all week dumping lobbyists from his campaign only to have to throw his top spiritual adviser overboard today.

Guess the question now is “is anyone actually still officially working on the McCain campaign?”.  Must be getting mighty lonely for the “maverick” senator these days.  Then again, maybe he has some company on the other side of this race. 

Let’s take a look.

First up, lobbyists.  For a guy who’s made a career out of being a maverick (no annoying quote marks this time), it turns out John McCain is a lot like every politician.  I can’t really say that I blame him all that much.

I truly believe McCain is his own man much of the time.  In part, it’s the system that forces people like McCain to play the game.  In part, it’s ambition.  Whether personal or for the greater good, if you want to get things done, you have to play the game by DC’s rules.  And DC’s rules include lobbyists.

It’s interesting that Obama’s campaign has jabbed at McCain over the lobbyist issue.  I’m no journalist or insider, but my guess is that the Obama camp is playing with fire.  As interconnected as everything is in politics, it will come as no surprise if revelations come out about the people on Barack Obama’s campaign having lobbying backgrounds.

Call the lobbyist issue in favor of Obama, for now…

Next topic – mean, maybe crazy religious people!

All of us who were sane and sober over the last few months, know all about Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the challenge he’s been to Barack Obama’s campaign.   It seems to have died down now and perhaps it will turn out to be good for Obama that it came up so early in the process instead of during the general election.  Yet, you can’t help but feel that the Obama camp is just one sensational Youtube clip away from being right back at square one having to explain Jeremiah Wright.

As for McCain, he has at least two crazy religious guys whose endorsement he’s been proud to garner.  Reverend John Hagee, of course, is the guy he threw overboard today.  After accepting Hagee’s endorsement, McCain ended up having to defend some of Hagee’s charmingly misguided hateful statements about the Catholic Church, the city of New Orleans and others.  In comparison to the Wright controversy, the original Hagee controversy died down quickly.  Too quickly perhaps.

Speaking of sensational video clips, when a clip of a 1990s Hagee preaching about how his god had put Hitler on Earth to do god’s bidding, the controversy re-ignited and forced McCain’s hand.  After all, if you’re running for president of the United States, it’s tough to be in bed with a guy who thinks Hitler was an instrument of god.

You get the feeling that the controversy over the holy men in Obama and McCain’s lives isn’t done yet.  My gut is that people will always understand, if not respect, selling your soul to the devil.  People will see the politics at play in McCain looking for Hagee’s endorsement.

With Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright is a personal thing.  As much as anyone might like or admire Senator Obama, it’s tough to understand how he could have just sat there for twenty years in Wright’s church hearing nothing.

Despite the upheaval today, call this one in favor of John McCain.

Final topic!  Why ARE religious people so mean?

Listen, I grew up Catholic in the 1970s.  Despite what you might have heard about alter boys, in my parish it was all about the New Testament and a loving God.  What is it about politics that attracts people with hard line religious beliefs?

Hagee’s god, when not enlisting Hitler as a sidekick, is busy destroying New Orleans due to him being peeved by the sin going on in the Big Easy.  Falwell and/or Pat Robertson’s god is busy knocking down the Twin Towers to punish us.  Rob Parsley (McCain’s “spiritual guide”) thinks the United States was created to destroy Islam.  Do these guys love their Old Testament or what?

Here’s my guess.  It’s all about being right.  It’s an addictive thing.  Ever had the experience where something bad came true that you’d predicted?  Yet, even though it’s a bad thing for you, on some level you’re pleased because you can say you’re right?  If it’s nice to be right in a bad circumstance, imagine feeling right all the time.  Pretty sweet!

Intolerance rocks!  Not only do you get the satisfaction of being right all the time, but you save so much time.  When like Hagee and his ilk, you see the world as completely black and white, it gets a lot easier to understand.  There’s no reason to be intellectually curious. There’s only right and wrong.

We’re right.  You’re either for or against us.  Any of this sounding a bit familiar?

Hate and war become natural.  There’s no need for silly things like compassion or trying to understand other points of view.

Frankly, it frees up a lot of your schedule.  And that’s why religious people tend to be so mean.

Presidential Wannabes and Crazy Preachers Unite!

12 May

We’ve heard all about Barack Obama’s 20 year association with the loony Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  In the interest of equal time, here’s video of a man John McCain has called a “spiritual guide”, who is clearly nuts. 

PS – McCain’s spiritual guide thinks the USA was founded to destroy Islam. Funny, I thought it had something to do with the price to tea in Boston!  But then again, I’m not a bible scholar…

I Agree With Reverend Wright on Dick…

12 May

….Cheney, That Is! 

How did we ever let an administration filled with draft avoiders (to be kind) lead us into an unnecessary war?  Shame on them and shame on us!

Even If You’re A Conservative… Life Lessons Your Children Need To Learn From The Clintons!

4 May

The latest polls show that Hillary Clinton is far from done.  Barack Obama has repeatedly had his chance to put her campaign away.  He’s failed to do so.  The Clinton campaign is alive and well.  Give credit to Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s recent tendency to shoot himself in the foot and the famous Clinton never say die drive.

Years ago, the first President Bush (remember him fondly now? Me too!) was riding high as he headed for reelection.  Bush I’s approval ratings were the exact opposite of Bush II’s.  Daddy Bush was getting something like a 90 plus percent approval rating following the Gulf War victory.

Mario Cuomo was the nationally known eloquent spokesman of the Democratic Party as well as the well regarded governor of a big important state.  Cuomo had presidential aspirations.  Democrats were enthusiastic for a Cuomo candidacy.  Yet, Cuomo hesitated.  He hemmed and hawed and never got into the race.  He’ll never know what might have been.

Bill Clinton was the little known governor of a state that let’s charitably say wasn’t at the top of most lists you’d want your state to be at the top of.  However, Clinton was young, ambitious and charismatic.  He didn’t hesitate.  Clinton jumped in.  Bush 90 percent approval rating be damned.

We all know what happened.  Clinton won and George Bush went home a one term president.

Regardless of your politic persuasion, what should your children learn from the above?  Glad you asked!

First, let’s take Hillary’s ’08 Campaign.  She has been knocked down and counted out over and over in this campaign.  Yet, she’s still out there fighting day after day.  Momentum even seems to have turned her way.  Ask yourself, when’s the last time the Obama Campaign got some good news?  Guam victory?  I don’t see Senator Obama writing home about that one…  “Dear Michelle,  Hey Honey, I think I got this thing sewed up now that Guam is in my court!!”

The point that’s valuable for kids is that everyone gets knocked out.  None of us wins all the time.  Not even Derek Jeter or Brett Favre, despite reports to the contrary.  Often, it seems like the world is in a hurry to count us out. 

Hillary’s campaign teaches us so many things.  Belief in yourself for one.  Never counting yourself out.  Fighting on against the odds.  Most importantly, getting back up when you’ve been knocked down.  The world is going to floor your kids.  As parents, our biggest job is to teach them to get up.  We need to ingrain in them that carrying on after suffering a set back or disappointment is the mark of a true champion.

Now, onto Bill.  Clearly, Bill Clinton is a risk taker.  Sometimes those risks are reckless and damaging to himself, his family and our country.  Lewinsky, anyone?  Other times, as with his decision to get in the race in ’92, his belief in himself and his risk embracing nature won him the presidency and in my opinion (at least) gave our country a very good though flawed president.

What should your kids learn?  Clinton proves you’ve got to be in it to win it whether it’s the lottery or running for the most powerful job in the world.  Bill Clinton lives life like this is his one shot at it.  Do you?  Not many of us do, but many of us wish we did. 

Do you want your kids to completely fulfill their potential?  Of course you do.  Then, you’ve got to teach the Clinton lesson.  Kids have to go out into the world and take chances.

And for you conservatives, here’s the Bill Clinton lesson for your kids that even you’ll agree with.  Kids need to learn the difference between a good risk and a bad risk.  Even as a Clinton fan, I acknowledge that he had trouble with that one.  Ultimately, it’s what kept him from being a great president rather than a very good one.

PS – Conservatives, I don’t expect you agree with my presidential rating of Bill Clinton, but hope you’ll get the underlying point.  Can’t we all agree to get along for our kids?

Barack Obama Learns Politics Always Has A Body Count!

30 Apr

When I was a pretty young, I told my dad that I wanted to go into politics.  These days, I would have been immediately sent off for special evaluation and subsequently medicated.  Back in the 70s, my dad simply told me that politics was a really dirty game and that everyone who got into it (including me in the future)  ended up compromised.  I didn’t believe him.  Like on so many other things, it turns out my old man was right.

Barack Obama learned my dad’s lesson the hard way this week.  His Pastor Jeremiah Wright hasn’t yielded.  Rather than going away, the Reverend has come out to defend himself.  I admire Reverend Wright’s guts, but he may have cost his friend a shot at the White House.

It wasn’t simply that Wright decided to go defensive and kept the story going.  The Reverend went on the offensive and added chapters to it.  Among other remarks, he speculated that the U.S. Government may have created HIV in order to get rid of minorities.  Then, he went on in various appearances to give the impression that Obama’s previous comments condemning some of Wright’s past statements were made by Obama only out of political necessity.  Talk about not helping…

A recent poll shows that the Reverend Wright issue among other missteps has hurt the Obama campaign.  Hillary Clinton now does significantly better in hypothetical matchups against John McCain that Barack Obama does.

Senator Obama had heard and seen enough.  Today, he went on the offensive himself with a much stronger stance against his former pastor.  Obama even acknowledged that the relationship could never be the same.  Essentially, he said goodbye to an old friend when that friend became a clear liability to his electability.

Clearly, Obama did what he had to.  He got himself dirty.  Politics always has a body count.  Somewhere my dad is thinking “I told you so”.

 

Politicians Should Just SAY NO To Church (or Temple or Mosque…)

18 Mar

There’s been a lot of flack coming Barack Obama’s way lately for his pastor’s controversial (some might say crazy) statements.  As is my weekend habit, I was busy cleaning the bathrooms here at the homestead and had talk radio on to pass the time.  Once again, the ever breathless Monica Crowley was on the air and gunning for Barack Obama.

Last time I listened to Ms. Crowley, the best she had to throw against Obama was that he was (are you sitting down for this?) a smoker.  Not a great habit, but not a habit that was worth the federal case she was making against it.  Yet, given the kind of year it’s been for hyper conservatives, I felt a twinge of sympathy for Crowley’s blatant grasping at straws.

This weekend, it was different.  It was early Christmas for Ms. Crowley and her ilk.  She had the statements of Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, to throw at him and they were sticking with her mostly white conservative audience.  They include this gem from just after 9/11:

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye….We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

Completely stupid statements, but you know what’s interesting….

On the other side of the aisle, these comments aren’t too distant from the thoughts of the now dead but certainly still a big GOP supporter, Jerry Falwell.  Falwell also thought we brought 9/11 on ourselves.  Although in his case, Falwell thought it was due to gays, liberals and other people he didn’t like angering god enough to knock down our Twin Towers.

More recently, John McCain, who has been pretty silent on the Wright controversy with good reason, was embroiled in much the same mess as his fellow senator/presidential hopeful.  McCain had to explain how he could accept the endorsement of John Hagee, who runs a mega-church in Texas where he makes mega-millions and spews idiocy and hate. 

 You want examples?  Hagee has repeatedly attacked the Catholic Church calling it (and I quote) “a whore”.  I’m not the biggest fan of the Catholic Church.  But, a whore?  Why was that necessary?  He could have gone with the much less offensive “harlot” or even “floozy”.  The fact that he didn’t tells you a lot about the man.

Like Falwell, Hagee believes in a vengeful god.  In his case, Hagee declared that Katrina was god’s response to a high level of sin in New Orleans.  Sounds like Hagee’s god has some anger issues.  Create us.  Give us free will.  Then destroy us when we don’t live up to expectations.  Not quite the god I’m familiar with…

But anyway, what are these politicians up to?  Barack Obama sat in Wright’s church for 20 years yet claims to have missed anything controversial ever said by the man.  Perhaps he nodded out.  That happens frequently in church in my experience.  On the other hand, John McCain accepts Hagee’s support yet talks about Hagee’s words being taken out of context. Seems to me the context is chrystal clear unless Hagee’s writing you checks or delivering his flock to your voting booth.

The true story is that both McCain & Obama are trying to have it both ways.  Each accepts the support of a pastor out of the mainstream because each reverend has a big following among a certain community critical to each candidate.  It’s a great way for McCain to reach Fundamentalists and other ultra-conservative religious voters and it’s Obama’s way of reaching and keeping support of the urban African American audience. 

Both McCain and Obama are counting on the rest of us to understand this.  It’s the old wink game.  You know, I have to make like I’m along for the ride, but trust me, when I’m elected my crazy reverend friend won’t have any influence.  Hopefully that’s true.

But, I think it’s worth pointing out one of Hagee’s views before concluding this post.  Hagee is eager for the apocalypse.  He’s got a hard on for judgement day.  This is a guy who supports Israel because he sees it playing a key role in bringing on a new world war that will end all time and start up the kingdom of heaven as he sees it.

So, perhaps it should give us all pause that Hagee, who’s trying to speed up the end of the world, is supporting John McCain.

Guess I’ll listen a little closer to what Barack Obama has to say tomorrow in Philadelphia…