Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Clintons Stand Tall– For Themselves

The ongoing saga of the Clintons, which has been playing in American life for nearly two decades, apparently has another few decades to perform its comedy and tragedy. I twice voted for Bill Clinton and voted for Hillary Clinton as the US senator from New York. I have no regrets for any of these votes, but, today, find myself, like millions of Americans wondering if the Clintons have ever once thought about what is best for this nation. Senator Clinton insists she represnts a revolutionary moment in American history that must be continued regardless of what happens to her party or the nation. Her supporters say the senator has been viciously attacked and subjected to male chauvinistic prejudice and only by remaining in the primary fight can she make clear to male bigots that voices of females will not be silenced.

Let’s examine the record. In most state primaries, Senator Clinton has won more white male votes than her opponent which for some reason translates into male chauvinistic behavior. Perhaps, if she was unable to obtain many male votes, there might be justification for the charge of male prejudice, but that is not the case. Her supporters insist Barack Obama has made anti-female remarks but few, if any, are produced to support the allegations. However, her unrelenting attack on Obama has undoubtedly damaged his candidacy and assisted McCain. Do her supporters forget her remark that both she and McCain had the most experience in foreign policy?

Senator Hillary Clinton claims her candidacy represents an important moment in history for women. In a sense, she is absolutely correct. But, the “moment” is not really about her candidacy, but about what’s important for women. If John McCain wins the presidency, he will appoint at least two anti-abortion supreme court justices which would result in the end of abortion rights for women. John McCain will do nothing to further health insurance nor fight for child care nor fight to end sexual harassment at work, all things that impact women in the moment. McCain will not fight for decent wages for those struggling to survive, and since women have lower wages than men, this impacts them in the moment. McCain will continue appointing pro-business anti-human rights people to government agencies which translates into damaging the welfare of poor people, and this is not only happening in the present moment but will continue into future moments.

Never once has Senator Clinton considered that her continued involvement in the primary campaign is damaging the rights of women now, in the present moment. Bill Clinton was the one who gutted the welfare program that benefited poor people, a high percent of whom were female. His arrogant behavior as president was A factor– not THE- factor in Bush’s triumph in 2000. The Clinton fiasco with health care in 1993 hurt all Americans, and certainly impacted poor women. It is now forgotten there was a majority in 1993 in Congress to support health care, but the bungling arrogant approach of the Clintons killed that possibility.

Senator Clinton doesn’t have a clue about the greatness of Ted Kennedy. He lost his opportunity to become president due to personal behavior, and then set about to make himself a record in the US Senate as one of the great senators in American history. She has a similar opportunity, but unlike Ted Kennedy whose family tradition focused on public service for the nation, the New York senator is only concerned about her ego. Hillary Clinton is not a demon, she is not evil, she is simply a tragic figure who never placed the nation before her own interests. In a sense, both Hillary and Bill belong in a tragic Shakespeare play about the misuse of power.

John McCain Blasts Obama For Being A Coward

Senator John McCain became upset after Senator Obama criticized him for his failure to support the new version of the GI Bill of Rights which guarantees full education scholarships and stipends for all who served in the military for at least three years. In response, the former war hero went on the offensive: “I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.” It was clear Senator McCain regards any criticism about anything to do with his views on the military as giving him the right to attack his opponent.

If one accepts the criticism of McCain, that it is necessary to have served in the military before making comments about it, there are many Republicans who certainly fit into the category of those who didn’t feel it necessary to serve in the military. Vice President Dick Cheney dodged serving during the Vietnam War era on grounds he had “more important things to do,” and President Bush made certain he never got close to combat while in the service.

At present, there are 1.5 million serving in the military out of a population of 300,000.000 which means 99% of the population lacks military service. Few Republcans who are in Congress or members of the Bush administration ever served. One can only assume, according to the McCain criteria, he alone will be qualified to speak about miitary matters in the upcoming election.

Clinton Train Chugs Along And Won’t Stop!

The Hillary Clinton train, like the proverbial little train in the children’s story, simply will not cease moving in her relentless desire to become the party’s nominee for president. She won a smashing victory in Kentucky while Obama readily gained a victory in Oregon resulting in his possession of at least a majority of delegates who have been elected in primary contests. Exit polls revealed a significant number of Clinton voters openly expressed their desire to vote for a white person and indicated they would not vote for a black candidate. This marks a hardening of belief by those who support Hillary Clinton and who will not vote for any other Democratic candidate.

There is little question Hillary Clinton by prolonging the primary season has either deliberately or inadvertently made racism an important factor in the presidential race. She has engendered among many female supporters a belief that somehow the contest is one in which males are trying to prevent women from gaining high public office. For some reason, logical minded women now insist voting for Senator John McCain is a blow for women’s rights even though he opposes abortion and has never done anything to further the cause of women.

The Clinton train will not reach its destination but may run smack into the opposing Obama train which would result in a train wreck that will destroy attempts for America to take a new destination that is free of war and in which human rights prevail. Ironically, the woman who is supposedly leading the fight for female gender equity might well seriously damage this cause by allowing John McCain to gain victory and then appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court who will end a woman’s right to abortion or to equity in pay and jobs.

What Makes Hillary Run?

The results are in from North Carolina and Indiana, but vote tallies do not appear to impact the thinking of Hillary Clinton if her comments today can be accepted at face value. She insists the fight is gong on until a “nominee is chosen.” Just about every political pundit and analyist has expressed the view her campaign is over, but the senator from New York is battling like some distored Rocky caricature in hope she can rise from the canvas and knock out Barack Obama. What makes her continue running-is it ambition, her ego, her need to be in the limelight?

If the life story of the Clintons has any bearing on her current desire to fight on to the convention floor and, in so doing, antagonize the entire Democratic party, it suggests both Bill and Hillary contain aspects of a self destructive personality. Obviously, using expressions such as “self destructive personality” opens one to the charge of throwing around pop psychology and cliches. How else to explain a president who conducts a sex affair in the White House? How else to explain a candidate who is mathematically out of the running for president but continues the good fight?

The anger, the vituperation, the anger, the recasting of personality in order to present herself as a working class girl who rose from the streets to attend an Ivy League institution when she could spare time from hunting and fishing. Hillary Clinton with each passing day offers a portrait of frenzied behavior, and hostility to Obama which comes across as fury toward one who stole her chance to become president.

Whatever makes Hillary Clinton run it certainly is not driven by loyalty to the Democratic party or to interests and needs of the American people. Hillary Clinton can transform herself into a figure who will go down in history, not as the first female president, but as one who stepped aside in order to ensure this nation had a new birth of freedom and peace. A great leader runs for the people, not for self.

Barack Obama Denounces Reverend Wright

Barack Obama was finally compelled by the course of events created by the Reverend Wright’s performance at the National Press Club to speak out against a man with whom he had felt a genuine kinship. He termed Wright’s comments as “appalling” and a “distractor” to the American scene which requires those of all backgrounds to address issues of concern for the nation. “The problems we have as a country are too great to continue to be divided. What we saw yesterday out of Reverend Wright was a resurfacing and an exploitation of those old divisions.” Obama emphasized Wright’s performance was “antithetical to our campaign, it is antithetical to what I am about, it is not what I find America stands for. The person I saw yesterday was not the pastor tht I met 20 years ago.”

Barack Obama, as usual, was polite and dignified in his comments about the outrageous performance of Wright. The Reverend Wright put on a performance, he did not give a talk. He mocked, he was glib, he manipulated information by citing the famous Tuskeegee project in order to make his dangerous comment that AIDs was invented by the US government in order to kill off black people. Reverend Wright today is a sad caricature of the man who met Barack Obama twenty years ago.

Barack Obama’s Speech For The Ages

There are many such as myself who were uncertain about supporting Barack Obama, given his limited experience in Congress, but as the months of campaigning have proceeded his eloquence and vision have captured out hearts. The speech he gave in Philadelphia yesterday will echo through the ages as among the most lucid and inspiring messages uttered by a person seeking higher office. He openly confronted charges that he has a connection to hatred and violence that was preached by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his pastor. Instead of taking the easy road and condemning the man, he condemned the ideas expressed by the man. Instead of trying to make Wright out to be an evil conveyor of hatred, Obama helped Americans understand what motivates a black man raised in poverty who endured bigotry and oppression. Here is what Seantor Obama said:

“I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some reason, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely– just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests,or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But the remarks that have caused tis recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country– a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America…..”

But, Obama also knew Reverend Wright as a person, someone who helped him gain an acceptance of Christianity and find peace of soul. “The man I met more than 20 years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another, to care for the sick, and lift up the poor.” He pointed out that Reverend Wright served in the US Marines, has studied at leading seminaries and has led a church which has focused on the needs of poor people in the Chicago area.

“I can no more disown him that I can disown the black community… These people are part of me. And they are part of America, this country that I love.” Obama argues the issue of race has been distorted by the Reverend Wright just as millions of others distort it. I have been in education for 50 years and have sat in a room with a black professor who accused me of being prejudiced because my skin was white. Her view is similar to those of whites who see smeone with a dark skin and jump to conclusions instead of learning about the individual’s life story. Barack Obama speaks to anyone, black, white, pink, who has struggled to create a just and humane American society.

Many will not understand what Barack Obama said in Philadelphia, many will. Anyone who loves America knows of our twisted path leading to a society that confronts and conquers bigotry. I recall a sergeant in 1952 whose father had ridden with the KKK and now Sgt. Knox was chatting with some fellow Black sergeants in comradeship. I taught in a California community which had abused its Japanese American friends in 1942, and now an Asian girl and white boy held hands in love. I was among the first Jews to purchase a home in a St. Louis suburb and was so proud when a Catholic finally got elected president.

Unlike phony liberals who can recite chapter and verse about what is wrong with America, Barack Obama grasps the multifaceted complexity of our national struggle to confront what is wrong with this naton and make it right. His Philadelphia speech will resound through the ages. It is one that Hillary Clinton simply could not have made. That is why I will vote for Barack Obama for president.

British Black Leader Accuses Obama Of Hurting Blacks

Trevor Phillips in an article appearing in the magazine, Prospect, warns the election of
Barack Obama will result in a set-back to the rights of African Ameicans. Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human rights Commission, warned Obama’s election would prolong rather than end America’s racial divide. He beleives there are two types of black leaders in America both of whom keep race at the heart of US life -”bargainers” whose ambitions are limited to winning piecemeal concessions, and “bargainers” who do not make an issue of wite racism. “In truth,” says Phillips, “Obama may be helping to postpone the arrival of a post-racial America and I think he kows it….In the end he is a politician, and a very good one.” Pillips apparently supports the contention of Shelby Steele who argues if Obama fulfills the hopes of whites he disappoints blacks and vice versa.

The British fighter for human rights somehow has concluded “the people who actually experience just how far America remains from post-racial harmony are those blacks who work with whites.” Unfortunately, the British authority on human rights offers no evidence to support his wild accusations other than the pen of glittering generalites. It is unclear exactly what Mr. Phllips knows regarding the thinking of blacks who work with whites as to their prospects of succeeding in American society. Is there racism in America? Of course there is. Have there been dramatic changes in white attitudes regarding the rights and job and housing rights of African Americans? Of course there have.

Rhetoric concerning post-racial America consists of vague comments about a world that consists of words rather than explanations regarding how that world will function. The election of Barack Obama would be a revolutionary event in American and the western world. What is meant by the expression “post racial America?” Does it connotate a society in which each person’s human integrity is respected? if so, the United States is walking down that road although the end of the road lies in the distance. But, as Martin Luther King understood, it is the first step which gets the trip in motion. Someday, we will come to the end of the road, and, at that point, have to build new roads. I find it sad Mr. Phillips is unable to grasp the significant changes that have occurred in Americn society over the past fifty years. In making that statement, it in no ways claims the situation is free from biogtry and prejudice.

The Obama Slanders Are In Full Swing

The insidiuous attacks on the candidacy of Barack Obama will not cease until after this election concludes, if it ever does. On Monday, the MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthew” show included a segment in which Matthews was discussing the primaries and he asked: “What did Barack Obama say and why is it causing controversy?” For some strange reason, up popped a picture of Osama bin Laden, the one in which he was holding up a finger. On Tuesday, NBC News reprimanded the unidentified emplyee responsible for the headshot switcheroo. Last year, there was a similar incident with Wolf Blitzer.

Perhaps, the American media simply has a difficult time pronouncing the word “Obama” and must invariably say the word “Osama.” Perhaps, the switcheroos simply come from battle fatigue arising out of having to say the name “Obama” many times. For some strange reason there is no difficulty saying names like McCain or Clinton without a mistake. We do not wish to imply that Chris Hooey is in any way responsible for doing anything deliberate, it was simply a slip of the lip synch. Oops, we meant Matthews, not Hooey.

Sounds Of Leaving Unheard By Clinton

Senator Barack obama swept through two more states with overwhelming majorities to further demonstrate he has captured the imagination of voters in Democratic primaries. Senator Clinton continues speaking in words unheard or ignored by the majority of voters. Hillary has spoken about her more extensive experience, her hard work, and even boasted she makes up her own speeches instead of being like Obama who borrows them from others, but nothing she says resonates with the public. The ides of March are fast approaching with primaries in Ohio and Texas, they can mark a final dagger in the heart of New York’s senator.

Hillary Clinton has done an excellent job as a senator from New York and she can look forward to a long career in that body. Hillary hoped to become an historic figure by being the first woman elected to the presidency. But, she now has another historic opportunity, spporting the candidacy of the first African American to gain the honor of being president. The fat lady’s voice can be heard in the distance, it’s time for Hillary Clinton to quit the stage of presidential politics and return to the outstanding work she is doing in the U.S. Senate.

Clinton Campaign-Daggers and Disarray!

After continually observing voters switch to the dynamic message of hope espoused by Barack Obama, Senator Clinton has decided to go on the attack with a vicious array of negative ads. The ensuing battle is impacting not merely her conflict with Barack Obama, but her own staff. This week, Mark Penn and Mandy Grunwald, two old Clinton aides, clashed over the wording and intent of ads. Mr. Penn, who created embarrassment when it was revealed his PR firm collects hundreds of thousands of dollars from a nuclear company that Clinton linked with Obama, attacked Mandy Grunwald. Ms. Grunwalkd replied, “Oh, it’s always the ad, never the message.”

Hillary Clinton has surrounded herself with a small coterie of admiring sycophants in the same manner as has George Bush. They believe in a top down media driven approach to politics in which ads and money supposedly win contests. She never bothered to create a solid base among young people or those who had visions of a better America, instead it was the same old crowd saying the same old things about nasty Bush. Senator Clinton never realized America wanted something more than talk about the evils of Bush, they wanted a vision for the future.

If Clinton’s negative ad approach gains her some victories, she will alienate large sectors of her Democratic base and they will not be enthusiastic about campaigning for her in the fall. Senator Clinton greatest weakness is failing to connect with Americans and their fears and hopes for a better nation.