Why the free pass for Obama?

I found this on http://themachoresponse.blogspot.com/ . It quotes Mark R. Levine from the National Review.

If John McCain had belonged to a church for 20 years and that church advocated white supremacy and the pastor of the church spewed racist propaganda wrapped in Biblical verses — much of which was caught on video-tape — what would we say? If McCain’s good friends included people involved in blowing up abortion clinics instead of the Capitol Building, the Pentagon, and police stations, what would we say? If McCain was socially close to a professor with ties to neo-Nazi groups in Berlin, as opposed to a professor who had ties to the PLO, what would we say? If McCain spent his formative years schooled in fascism as opposed to Marxism, what would we say? 

Every time Obama’s life experiences and character are raised, the response is a diversionary tactic. Today, we’re supposed to be impressed with the moral equivalency argument (Ayers = Keating Five), or Obama’s associations and friendships aren’t what they appear to be, or Obama really isn’t like all those people he drew around him, or those raising these issues are guilty of McCarthyism. There are 30 days left in this election. It’s high time the Obama fan-dance ended.”

I am wondering when the Republicans are going to be accused of a ‘public lynching’ if they keep up these attempts to raise questions about Obama’s character. Remember Clarence Thomas using that language against the democrats during his confirmation hearings?  I believe our country’s  ugly racial history makes educated people very hesistant to be too hard on a racial minority. Actually though, it is racist not to be hard on Obama. He ought to be held  to the same standard that you would if he were white. His race should have nothing to do with it with how deep you probe. Both Bush and Kerry were very heavily scrutinized for their stances and record as it related to military service and the Vietnam War. It was a character issue then, wasn’t it? What is the difference now?

Just like the issues of the economy and health care and the war, it deserves some of our attention.


12 Responses to “Why the free pass for Obama?”

  1. Reena Says:

    How is Obama getting a free pass? These issues are being talked about– people are talking about it in the media to an extent and I do hear people talking about this issue at work.

    What I don’t hear much of is McCain’s involvment with Keating 5.

    I have read and recently came across again some questions that I find very interesting as well as disturbing.

    As part of a transracial family, I think these questions do have a strong degree of seriousness to consider in this election and as well as for the overall US society and culture.

    Here they are:

    1. What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class and McCain were the president of the Harvard Law Review?

    2. What if Michelle Obama were a candidate’s wife who became addicted to painkillers and Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

    3. What if Obama were a member of the Keating 5?

    4. What if Obama’s unwed teenage daughter were pregnant?

    5. What if Obama divorced his sick wife to marry another woman?

    6. What if Obama or Joe Biden were introduced to the nation 60 days before the election?

    7. Would they be an issue in this campaign raised by every Repub who still blow the Rev Wright and Bill Ayers trumpet?

    8. Would Obama even be in this race?

    9. What does this say about the US culture and society?

    I think question #3 and the lack of “talk” about it in the media pretty much negates the commentary from the machoresonse.

    On a more personal note–

    I have not led a perfect life. There are many things I’ve done in my past (teens to early 20s) for which I am not proud of and there are several people with whom I have associated with for which I also am not proud of. I learned from these experiences and made changes in my life. Today I am a different person than I was then and I would hate for someone to judge who I am today based on things or associations I had in my past.

    History can be a very good teacher, but in my opinon it isn’t always the best predictor of the future

    Still Undecided.


  2. diddly Says:

    The difference is:

    You have never associated with an unrepentant terrorist. It really is unforgiveable.

    It trumps every other alleged ethical violation by McCain, Obama, or Palin.

    I’d be voting for McCain anyway, but I don’t see how this can’t be really troubling.

    I’ll respond to your points.

    1. McCain may not have been a good student, but he made up for it in his young life with his military career. He achieved outside the classroom.

    2. Did you see Michelle Obama’s thesis from Princeton? You can find it at http://www.politico.com . I’d like to know what the prescription drugs were for that Cindy McCain got addicted to before passing judgement. How much pain did she live with? Who was watching her use of them?

    3. Obama would be investigated the way McCain was. Would he be found innocent of wrongdoing like McCain was?

    More later


  3. diddly Says:

    4. What if his Obama’s hypothetically pregnant daughter kept it secret and had an abortion? No one would have to know, and she would have a belief system that allowed that option, unlike Palin’s daughter.

    5. If Obama had experienced the deprivation that McCain did as a POW, and his relationship with his wife ended, sick or not, it would be pretty understandable. It certainly was a common outcome for Vietnam vet marraiges. I’d judge him more on his realtionship to his kids and ex-wife after the divorce. As far as I have read, that has been pretty good for McCain.


  4. Reena Says:

    The questions listed aren’t intended to look at McCain vs. Obama– so much as to look at how our society does view race and how a person’s race can and does effect their perceptions of an individual.

    To be honest, I think your response sounds like someone who has benefitted from White Privledge all of his life and you don’t even realize how it comes out in what you say.

    What is troubling is that if 1/2 (probably even less than 1/2) of the answers above involved Obama or a member of his family instead of a “white” family– Obama never ever would be a contender for President.

    In my opinion there is a double standard based on race– I’ve seen it before– a young white child (~7 years old) steals a candy bar from a store and the shop owner laughs it off. A young black child steals a candy bar from a store and the shop owner calls the cops.

    It is the same ideology.

    I am sorry that McCain (anyone and everyone) suffered as a POW. I know that this can cause changes in one’s life and marriage and all that. But, just because he suffered as a POW does not mean that he will make a good President. It doesn’t mean he will necessarily make a bad President either. Quite frankly, as far as I am concerned, it has very little bearing on a person’ ability to run the country.

    Personally– people who have called in bomb threats to restraunts, arrested and convicted of armed robbery and/or assault, selling of illegal weapons, convicted of murder– Does any of that classify for your definition of terrorism?

    What about all the people who had associations with Timothy McVey? I doubt everyone he knew– knew he was going to bomb the federal building in OK City.

    Mostly, I am really very disappointed in your responses above– regardless of your political vote.


  5. diddly Says:

    6. Any presidential candidate introduced 60 days ahead would be out of the race. Vice-presidents have a different standard in terms of recognizability. Palin ran the state of Alaska and made changes. She has a record to examine, moreso than Obama.

    Once again, I just can’t wrap my head around Obama’s association with Ayers in a way that makes it acceptable. Call me intolerant.

    Would the world be unfair to Obama if he were less of candidate than he is? NO – they would be fair. They would judge him on all those hypotheticals you mentioned. They have judged McCain and people can accept a lot of the stuff because it is explainable and understandable human error and failing. I just think Obama’s association with Ayers goes to another level, an unacceptable level. It is not just Republican trumpet blowing. It deserves attention. It says something about who Obama is and what he was willing to do to achieve what he did so fast.


  6. Reena Says:

    “Would the world be unfair to Obama if he were less of candidate than he is? ”

    YES!!! Absolutely!

    More importantly than this presidential election–

    You are the White father to two bi-racial children and one Chinese daughter– you really REALLY need to do some research on US Society and race issues because you are missing it.


  7. diddly Says:

    I didn’t quite grasp that you were trying to make a point about racism in America. I was more focused on the merits of the candidates, and the difference between the McCains’s alleged character failings and how he has been judged compared to Obama. I have a different take on the racism issue which I will share.

    Obama would never have gotten the opportunity to even make the mistakes that McCain made because of his race, especially 20-30 years ago.

    Keeping in mind the generational gap, he would not have been able to have the opportunities McCain has had militarily, educationally, politically, or maritally because of his race.

    In terms of how people judge him now, or would judge him, I do think it is challenging for many white people to go too hard on him. He has a lower standard to meet, and the lower standard is a product of racism, ironically. I think it is a direct result of educated people’s awareness of the racism I describe above. We have a collective sore and soft spot on this issue, and it hurts us to hear harshly critical things about a minority who has participated in the suffering unique to his race in this country.

    But at this point, I don’t really care who it hurts. He is running to be President of the United States. He deserves scrutiny. It may seem strange to you, but I really am not somehow ‘hopeful’ that more links between Ayers and Obama come out. I am hoping he finds a way to prove he was not connected to him. After all, he could be the President. So far, it does not look good.

    By the way, people died in explosions crafted by Ayers. They were ‘his’ people, but they died. He was not convicted because of some illegal wiretapping technicality. The case was thrown out. He never repented. He actually publicly wished aloud he had gone farther than he did. He wasn’t just a vandal. He had radical political objectives and he scared people with deadly activities.

    How would you like to have the Weather Underground active now, setting off explosions in government buildings?


  8. Becky Says:

    I can’t believe this issue of Ayers. People are responsible for their own behavior and political candidates are moreso responsible for the current behavior of those they associate with. I do not think it is Obama’s responsibility to research the past of every associate he has ever had. Obviously Ayer’s past is public. Obama associated with him in the last 5 years because they share passionate views about public education and are in positions to effect it. Why shouldn’t he work together with him to effect a positive change in their commiunity? If he hosted a fundraiser for Obama’s campaign, good for him. I think it’s ridiculous to think that he should have shunned and judged him for his past associations with violence. Since the events in question took place ‘before Obama’s time’ why do we assume he was fully aware of his past involvements were anyway.


  9. diddly Says:

    See this. It will take 8 minutes of your time or so.


    Scroll down on the littlegreenfootballs website to the 10/7 posts if thi slink won’t work.

    “I think it’s ridiculous to think that he should have shunned and judged him for his past associations with violence. ”

    If he had, he probably wouldn’t be where he is today. He was willing to take this risk. I am sure he knew it was a political risk.

    It seems to have paid off.


  10. Reena Says:

    What about all of the other people who have associated with Ayers? Like the President of Brown University.

    Aside from JUST Obama, I would like to know why so many (and there seems to be alot) other well educated and politically and academically powerful people chose to work with Ayers, seek his opinion on matters such as education, and provided him with grant funding– which I am willing to bet was at least partially federally funded.

    To clarify, this inquiry is not with the intent to justify Obama’s “association” with Ayers. I’m curious– why did so many other respected and influential people associate with this man.

    Here are some links that I found– none of them really address the other associations– but other associations are mentioned– like they don’t matter either.



    I disagree that Obama has a lower standard to meet. I think we simply have lower standards in this country– PERIOD.

    Wasn’t our current president arrested for cocaine use at one point in his young past? It seems like I heard something about that– but only briefly.


  11. diddly Says:

    No question that Obama is a product of his generation and this culture which takes tolerance too far. It is a good point you make Reena, and probably the reason this approach won’t work for McCain. It is ‘ok’ in America, apparently , to have a business relationships with unrepentant/’wish-I-done- more” terrorists.

    But what is concerning about Obama is that he takes the logic of tolerance of the attitiudes and perspectives of our enemies too far in the arena of foreign policy. See this excerpt from the article from the Wall Street Journal by Ms. Rabinowitz:


    ” Mr. Obama is the leading exponent of the idea that our lost nation requires rehabilitation in the eyes of the world — and it is the most telling difference between him and Mr. McCain. When asked, in one of the earliest debates of the primary, his first priority should he become president, his answer was clear. He would go abroad immediately to make amends, and assure allies and others in the world America had alienated, that we were prepared to do all necessary to gain back their respect.

    It is impossible to imagine those words coming from Mr. McCain. Mr. Obama has uttered them repeatedly one way or another and no wonder. They are in his bones, this impossible-to-conceal belief that we’ve lost face among the nations of the world — presumably our moral superiors. He is here to reform the fallen America and make us worthy again of respect. It is not in him, this thoughtful, civilized academic, to grasp the identification with country that Mr. McCain has in his bones — his knowledge that we are far from perfect, but not ready, never ready, to take up the vision of us advanced by our enemies. That identification, the understanding of its importance and of the dangers in its absence — is the magnet that has above all else drawn voters to Mr. McCain.

    Sen. Obama is not responsible for the political culture, but he is in good part its product. Which is perhaps how it happened that in his 20 years in the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright — passionate proponent of the view of America as the world’s leading agent of evil and injustice — he found nothing strange or alienating. To the contrary, when Rev. Wright’s screeds began rolling out on televisions all over the country, Mr. Obama’s first response was to mount a militant defense and charge that Rev. Wright had been taken out of context, “cut into snippets.” This he continued to do until it became untenable. Then came the subject-changing speech on race. Such defining moments tell more than all the talk of Sen. Obama’s association with the bomb-planting humanist, William Ayers.

    These sharp differences between the candidates as to who we are as a nation may not seem, now, as potent an issue for voters as the economy, but they should not be underestimated. This clash — not the ones on abortion or gay marriage — is the root of the real culture war to play out in November.”


  12. Reena Says:

    “They are in his bones, this impossible-to-conceal belief that we’ve lost face among the nations of the world . . .”

    “When asked, in one of the earliest debates of the primary, his first priority should he become president, his answer was clear. He would go abroad immediately to make amends, and assure allies and others in the world America had alienated, that we were prepared to do all necessary to gain back their respect.”

    I don’t know about the extent of the, ‘to do all necessary to gain back their respect,” but yes, I do feel that some actions are necessary in this regard.

    We did not allow the UN to do all that they wanted to do before we went to war with IRAQ and it turns out we were wrong about the weapons of mass destruction claim. That has cost us– in many ways.

    We live and operate in a global economy and we owe other countries billions of dollars:


    Yes, we do need to consider how we are viewed by other countries and our relationship with them.

    Below is a link to World Public Opinion and a few snippets from an article regarding perceptions of the US byother countries. While it isn’t all bad, it really isn’t great either.


    US Role in the World

    Majorities in all 15 of the publics polled about the United States’ role in the world reject the idea that “as the sole remaining superpower, the US should continue to be the preeminent world leader in solving international problems.

    US as World Policeman
    Majorities in 13 out of 15 publics polled say the United States is “playing the role of world policeman more than it should be.” This is the sentiment of about three-quarters or more of those polled in . . .

    Trust in the US to Act Responsibly
    In 10 out of 15 countries, the most common view is that the United States cannot be trusted to “act responsibly in the world.

    US Willingness to Consider Other Interests
    Of the seven countries polled on this question, five believe the United States does not take their interests into account when making foreign policy decisions. Only in Israel does a large majority believe that the United States takes their interest into account.

    US Overseas Military Bases
    Despite the widespread belief that the United States should not be the world’s preeminent leader and that it plays the role of world policeman more than it should, countries express mixed views about whether the United States should reduce its military presence around the world. Nonetheless, very few support increasing the number of bases . . .

    Some Improvement in Bilateral Relations
    Also contrary to the largely negative views of the United States’ role in the world is the perception in some countries—including some that are highly critical of the United States—that bilateral relations with the United State States are improving. Eleven countries were asked whether relations of their country with the United States were “improving, worsening, or staying about the same.”

    Six of the eleven countries say their relations with the United States show signs of improvement, including majorities in India (58%) and China (53%) and pluralities in Australia (50%), Armenia (48%), Indonesia (46%) and Thailand (37%).

    In the remaining five countries, majorities or pluralities say relations with the United States are staying about the same: 60 percent in Poland, 56 percent in South Korea, 52 percent in Israel, 52 percent in the Ukraine, and 45 percent in Russia.
    In no country, does even a plurality think relations are getting worse.


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