Quick Roundup 314

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Paucity of Guts?

Caroline Glick, who grew up in the same part of Chicago as Barack Obama, cleans his clock regarding his bigotted, America-hating mentor, Jeremiah Wright.

I was 13 years old when I stood up alone to all my classmates and told them that I thought they should be ashamed of themselves for supporting an anti-Semite [i.e., Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson] for president. I was a child. But Obama came to Wright as an adult. And as an adult, he sat through 20 years of Wright's anti-white, anti-Jewish, and anti-American vitriol and said nothing. Indeed, until just a few months ago, he was honoring him as his spiritual mentor. What does that say about him?


It can be argued that there is a difference between how I reacted to black bigotry and how he reacted to black bigotry because I was an outsider and he was an insider. I wasn't trying to become a member of the black community. I was simply demanding to be treated with respect as a non-black by blacks who happened to be the vast majority of my classmates and teachers.

But then, here's another example.


I saw that the audience had given [Paul Williams, a speaker she vehemently disagreed with, but who was supposedly on her side] a standing ovation and so I began to wonder if I shouldn't simply return the check I had received from the organizers and leave. But I decided to stay and to challenge him.

And that is what I did. I quietly and forcefully explained why what Williams said was wrong, un-American, and in defiance of both Christian and Jewish values and approaches to human beings. And, as luck would have it, I received an even larger standing ovation than Williams did.

The point here is that I didn't nod my head to fit in, or treat him politely simply because we sat on a stage together. And I didn't surrender the floor to him. We were supposedly on "the same side," but his statements were so contrary to what I believe that it occurred to me that I'd rather be shopping with Nancy Pelosi than sitting through his hateful nastiness.

And I write all of this not to puff myself up. I don't think I did anything extraordinary by standing up to Williams or to my classmates and teachers in high school. I think that it is how people should behave particularly if they are smart enough to understand that ideas are important. And Obama is certainly smart enough to understand that ideas are important.

Obama's denunciation of Wright's bigotry amounts to too little too late. The time to stand up to him wasn't now, when his association with Wright is sinking his hopes for the White House. The time to have stood up to Wright was when Obama was just another member of his church. If he truly believes in what he says he believes, he should have walked out of Wright's church or grabbed Wright’s microphone and told his fellow churchgoers that Wright was wrong and that they mustn't hate. In twenty years of attending Wright's church, why didn't Obama once stand before his fellow church members and tell them that they mustn't hate their country and their fellow Americans? [bold added]
This needed to be said, and deserves to be widely publicized. (HT: LGF)

The best that could be said of Barack Obama is that he lacks the courage to stand up for his convictions. The alternative is that he agrees with Jeremiah Wright.

What Passes for Optimism

Regarding Obama's speech, Alexander Marriott has pronounced unity dead.
Fortunately, the American people, even the supremely gullible, are generally skeptical and disdainful, again generally, of hypocrisy. That Senator Obama, who claims to be a unifying leader who embodies every and all conceivable qualities which the great mass of the American people hold in common, is sitting by while his "spiritual mentor" accuses the government of the United States of unleashing biological warfare upon its own citizenry and the rest of the world, murdering "innocent" people without offering any context, and bringing the just fury of Islamic terrorists upon itself explodes his logic. Ironically, Obama has been wrapping himself in this man's coattails in order to appear sufficiently religious and pious. That goal was ridiculous. His call for unity is just plain dangerous (even in wartime, a loyal opposition is useful and necessary). Now one irrational desire is destroying another. And who says there is nothing good in American politics these days?
A disdain of hypocrisy speaks well of a people, but it will go only so far in carrying the day when the dominant morality is altruism. Obama's collapse will, after all, play into the hands of either Hillary Clinton or John McCain, both altruists, and the latter proudly so. In this race, we want the idiot or the cynic, but we look like we're going to get the "hero".

Pragmatism Making Altruism "Work": Exhibit A

Some time ago, I ran across this post, "Pigs Fly", heaping praise on the blogosphere for making "pork busting" a major congressional priority.
Progress is being made when all 3 remaining presidential candidates oppose earmarks.

Unfortunately, they are up against an entrenched and immovable object: Congress.
So what if all three candidates want to bust pork when all three support strangling the economy with global warming legislation and a big lurch towards fully socialized medicine? The desire on the part of Congress to fine-tune the vote buying pales by comparison to the huge new statist proposals our great anti-pork crusaders have in store for us -- and which Congress is likely enact in some form.

Reducing earmarks "works" to lower our national budget only if evaluated in the present moment, completely yanked out of the larger context of the government looting the economy on a massive scale. (Compare this pound foolishness to a recent proposal to "save money" by minting steel pennies.) That is to say, it does not really work as advertised.

But if a few fried pork rinds tossed into the air constitutes porcine aviation, I guess Don Surber has a point.

-- CAV


: Minor edits.


Kyle Haight said...

Glick's core point is dead-on. I don't believe Obama's disavowal of Wright any more than I would believe McCain should he now disavow his assault on freedom of speech, and for the same reason. Pragmatic tacking in the face of criticism does not reveal the truth of one's convictions.

The best one could say about Obama is that he drifted into Wright's arms when the wind blew that way, and is now drifting back out as the wind changes. But what happens when the wind changes back again?

Obama's problem is not that he agreed with Wright. It's that he treated Wright's views as falling within the bounds of legitimate disagreement. Instead of being repelled by them, he was able to live with them. Nothing he can say today can undo what we've learned about him based on his choices over the last 20 years, outside the public spotlight. Character, after all, is what you do in the dark.

It's a sad state of affairs when Hillary Clinton looks like the best candidate on offer.

Gus Van Horn said...

"It's a sad state of affairs when Hillary Clinton looks like the best candidate on offer."

You said it. I never imagined I would ever say this, but I'm hoping she can win the nomination now.

Kyle Haight said...

I did my part -- I voted for her in the California primary.

C. August said...

I'd like to call attention to something in your post that made me laugh out loud, and then want to make T-shirts with some carefully crafted caricatures.

"The Idiot, the Cynic, and the 'Hero'".

What a great distillation of our voting options.

I know it wasn't the focus of the post, but I'm interested in delving a bit deeper into the following statement.

"...Hillary Clinton or John McCain, both altruists, and the latter proudly so."

I get the fact that McCain proudly wears his bleeding heart on his sleeve, but I'm curious whether you think Hillary doesn't. Perhaps it's because she seems so cold and cynical that it's hard to tell if she's proud of anything? And if she tried to show it, we'd immediately dismiss it as a calculated "cry-on-cue" type of maneuver?

Gus Van Horn said...

Regarding McCain as standard-bearer for altruism: (1) McCain more clearly sells altruism as compatible with patriotism. I doubt Clinton succeeds there very well at all. (2) The only power altruism has as a cultural force lies in its marketability as other than the unpleasant reality. Clinton's sour persona is a plus in that she can't prop up her agenda in the way McCain can, by posing as a hero/using his past heroism.