The Rules: Coda

by matttbastard

Well, we all knew this was coming the moment Rev. Wright dropped the state terrorism bomb and dared to say something positive about Farrakhan [insert sputtering, self-righteous indignation here].

Ben Smith:

In Winston-Salem, Obama sharply attacks Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the substance of his remarks yesterday, a far sharper disavowal than he gave in Philadelphia last month.

The core of his message: That Wright was not only offensive, but the polar opposite of Obama’s own views and politics.

“I have spent my entire adult life trying to bridge the gap between different kinds of people. That’s in my DNA, trying to promote mutual understanding to insist that we all share common hopes and common dreams as Americans and as human beings. That’s who I am, that’s what I believe, and that’s what this campaign has been about,” Obama said.

“I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday,” he said.

Yep, that muted rumble you heard several hours ago was the sound of 50 million anxious (white) Obama supporters collectively exhaling. (Am I the only one who is sick to fucking death of how wankerrific Bell Curve-cheerleader Andrew Sullivan constantly offers unsolicited advice on race relations to the junior Senator from Illinois? Hey, get back to us when you’ve finally decided to denounce and reject Eugenics, Sully.)

John Cole nails it:

So Jeremiah Wright has acted like a jackass the past few days, and he may have acted supremely selfishly by hurting Obama’s electoral chances. Regardless, he may be a flawed man, but that does not undo all the good he has done over the years. I don’t know of any bloggers with thirty years of service to the poor and the indigent. Get back to me when Chris Matthews feeds hungry people for three decades. And even with all his flaws, Jeremiah Wright did give us this quality bit of entertainment, and I have to admit to enjoying someone treat the media with the respect they deserve (which is to be mocked, have eyes rolled at them, and taunted as Wright did yesterday at the Press Club).

Maybe it is because I am totally and unrepentantly in the tank for Obama, but I just can’t get worked up over what his pastor said. Maybe it is because I am not religious, and I am used to religious people saying things that sound crazy. Or maybe I just refuse to spend any more time and energy getting worked up over and denouncing, distancing, and rejecting the wrong people- people who really don’t matter in the big scheme of things. If you have a memo from Jeremiah Wright to John Yoo showing how we should become a rogue nation, let me know. If you have pictures of Jeremiah Wright voting against the GI Bill, send it to me. If you have evidence of Jeremiah Wright training junior soldiers on the finer aspects of stacking and torturing naked Iraqi captives, pass them on.

Until then, I just can’t seem to get all worked up about the crazy scary black preacher that Obama has to “throw under the bus.”

Once again, say it loud and proud, brethren: it’s only worthy of great weeping and gnashing of teeth if a Scary Black Man™ says it. At this point, one has to wonder if John Sidney McCain couldn’t brazenly pull a Zirkle and still walk away with his straight-talking Maverick credentials fully intact.

Sweet Jesus, I hate this election (and all God’s children said “a-fucking-men”).

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Yes, Virginia, People Actually Get Paid For This Horsesh!t.

by matttbastard

(h/t Red Tory)

“Muslim in his blood“? What, like cancer, or *ahem* an opiate? Naomi Klein throws a bucket of common sense on the bonfire of racist stupidity that is fueling Middle-Namegate, calling on Obama to forcefully douse the “controversy” once and for all:

Occasionally, though not nearly enough, Obama says that Muslims are “deserving of respect and dignity.” What he has never done is what Singer called for in Poland: denounce the attacks themselves as racist propaganda, in this case against Muslims.

The core of Obama’s candidacy is that he alone–who lived in Indonesia as a boy and has an African grandmother–can “repair the world” after the Bush wrecking ball. That repair job begins with the 1.4 billion Muslims around the world, many of whom are convinced that the United States has been waging a war against their faith. This perception is based on facts, among them the fact that Muslim civilians are not counted among the dead in Iraq and Afghanistan; that Islam has been desecrated in US-run prisons; that voting for an Islamic party resulted in collective punishment in Gaza. It is also fueled by the rise of a virulent strain of Islamophobia in Europe and North America.

As the most visible target of this rising racism, Obama has the power to be more than its victim. He can use the attacks to begin the very process of global repair that is the most seductive promise of his campaign. The next time he’s asked about his alleged Muslimness, Obama can respond not just by clarifying the facts but by turning the tables. He can state clearly that while a liaison with a pharmaceutical lobbyist may be worthy of scandalized exposure, being a Muslim is not. Changing the terms of the debate this way is not only morally just but tactically smart–it’s the one response that could defuse these hateful attacks.

Expanding on Klein’s sentiments, some “politically isolated” American Muslims (yes, they vote, too) feeling singed by the flames of bigotry say they want more than empty apologies from pols for perpetuating the proxy attacks on Muslims and their faith (h/t Kate Sheppard @ TAPPED):

American Muslims complain their faith is being used as a scare tactic, possibly inflaming prejudices already heightened by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the subsequent war and terrorist bombings. The recent ploys, leaders say, insinuate that simply being or associating with Muslims is sinister.

[…]

“It would be good if the president and leaders of both parties would say: ‘Enough. We’re better than this,’ ” said Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. “It’s disconcerting to me they haven’t.” Republicans have criticized some of the tactics, as has the National Council of Churches. Muslim leaders say while the politicians’ admonishments are needed, they fall short of the full-throated defense other religions would receive.

“They’re not apologizing for the bigotry, but rather it’s unstatesmanlike to insult each other,” ElGenaidi said.

And while the Village Idiots endlessly parse the difference between “denounce” and “reject” as it relates to (evilscaryangryMuslimneegro) Louis Farrakhan’s unsolicited support of Obama, John Sidney McCain III openly and actively courts anti-Papist apocalyptic end-timer “Christian Zionist” John Hagee, who recently endorsed the Maverick.

Yes, that John Hagee:

Sez Saint McCain:

I don’t have to agree with everyone who endorses my candidacy. They are supporting my candidacy. I am not endorsing some of their positions. . . .

And I am very proud of the Pastor John Hagee’s spiritual leadership to thousands of people and I am proud of his commitment to the independence and the freedom of the state of Israel. That does not mean that I support or endorse or agree with some of the things that Pastor John Hagee might have said or positions that he may have taken on other issues.

Glenn Greenwald nails it:

“White evangelical Ministers are free to advocate American wars based on Biblical mandates, rant hatefully against Islam, and argue that natural disasters occur because God hates gay people. They are still fit for good company, an important and cherished part of our mainstream American political system. The entire GOP establishment is permitted actively to lavish them with praise and court their support without the slightest backlash or controversy. Both George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sent formal greetings to the 2006 gathering of Hagee’s group.

By contrast, black Muslim ministers like Farrakhan, or even black Christian ministers like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are held with deep suspicion, even contempt. McCain is free to hug and praise the Rev. Hagees of the world, but Obama is required to prove over and over and over and over that he does not share the more extreme views of black Ministers.

Or, as dnA succinctly puts it:

So Hagee hates black people, Jews, gays, and on and on. McCain has appeared in public with this man. So why is he acceptable while Farrakhan is viewed with such hate?

Because he’s white [and Christian, and a Republican – mb].

Simple answers, kids. Somebody wake my ass up on November 5th.

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Wanker of the Day (or, “Gee, Atrios has some real good ideas sometimes, eh?”)

by matttbastard

Tim “When did you stop beating off Louis Farrakhan?” Russert:

Steve M. believes that non-issues inflated out of proportion by MSM blowhards (and supposedly insurgent bloggers) are pretty much all we can expect from here on in:

Get used to waking up every day and seeing your political culture — candidates, the press, even (perhaps especially) the blogs — discussing this crap rather than the issues. Get used to it because we’re going to have nine more months of it. By fall, one of these non-issues is effectively going to be the central issue of the campaign — or more than one is. And that would have been true no matter who the Democratic nominee turned out to be.

I love this Goldberg quote:

In the weeks to come, maybe reporters can resist the temptation to repeat health-care questions for the billionth time and instead ask America’s foremost liberal representatives why being a radical means never having to say you’re sorry.

Oh you and your stupid “issues.” We don’t care! We want a witch-hunt, dammit! We want irrelevant distractions!

Well, relax, Jonah. Tim Russert still has a job. We’ll all be neck-deep in the irrelevant very, very soon.

Neck deep? The irrelevant is about five inches over my head by now.

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