Liz Cheney has a passion for Eric Holder that positively gives me the vapors. Her war on the Attorney General’s prosecution of the War on Terror is fascinating. The Department of Justice has been dubbed the Department of Jihad. The tea partyists are calling for a lynching. But there has been a backlash. Eugene Robinson writes:
Presumably they know that “the American tradition of zealous representation of unpopular clients is at least as old as John Adams’ representation of the British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre”—in other words, older than the nation itself.
That quote is from a letter by a group of conservative lawyers—including several former high-ranking officials of the Bush-Cheney administration, legal scholars who have supported draconian detention and interrogation policies, and even Kenneth W. Starr—that blasts the “shameful series of attacks” in which Liz Cheney has been the principal mouthpiece. Among the signers are Larry Thompson, who was deputy attorney general under John Ashcroft; Peter Keisler, who was acting attorney general for a time during George W. Bush’s second term; and Bradford Berenson, who was an associate White House counsel during Bush’s first term.
“To suggest that the Justice Department should not employ talented lawyers who have advocated on behalf of detainees maligns the patriotism of people who have taken honorable positions on contested questions,” the letter states.
But maligning is apparently the whole point of the exercise. The smear campaign by Cheney, et al., has nothing to do with keeping America safe. It can only be an attempt to inflict political damage on the Obama administration by portraying the Justice Department as somehow “soft” on terrorism. Even by Washington’s low standards, this is unbelievably dishonest and dishonorable.
Are people who believe that President Obama is not an actual U.S. citizen more likely to kill people at a Holocaust museum? Or are wackos just more inclined to blog about crazy conspiracy theories, then take their shotgun and shoot up the joint? The Huffington Post has the answer.
Obama’s preachers just can’t catch a break. Rightwing pundits saw Wright as unAmerican. Leftwing bloggers saw Warren as a hatemonger, and now Republicans are feigning shock and awe at Rev. Lowery’s playful allusion to an old rainbow coalition ditty about blacks, Asians, Latinos, native Americans and white folks. I think Obama may need to consider attending a nice, low-profile mosque. Clearly, his Christianity is snake bit.
It has yet to be mentioned. No pundit has brought it up. Yes, Obama is the first African-American presidential nominee of a major party. Yes, he is a black man. But he is not the grandson of slavery. His ancestors came to America on student visas, not slave ships. Granted, there is an institutional racism that he and his father had to face. Although, it was dialed back. It was his father’s accent not his skin tone that was likely ridiculed. The devastating generational legacy that most black Americans have had passed down, Obama can experience only as an interested bystander. Perhaps, this is why he sees Rev Wright’s racially-charged rhetoric as outmoded. Perhaps, this is why he has a growing reputation for being an elitist. The fact is, no one on either side of this family tree has felt the sting of the slave driver’s whip, the callouses of the cotton fields or the humiliation of the auction block. Obama has a whole other heritage. Yes, this is a historic moment for black Americans. Just not historic enough.
She was the French bombshell. Pure sex in a bikini. Today, she’s a racist and hate monger. At least, that is how a French court saw it when they fined Bridgitte Bardot $23,325. Apparently, her view that Muslims are ruining Paris is not a matter of free speech. And French is no longer the language of love.
Obama is like that professor we had in college. The good one. The one that made things interesting. The one who made things make sense. The one who could put the snapshot of now into the big picture of then. That’s what Obama has done in his recent speeches. He put racism in its greater context. He gave us the big picture. He did it again today at Cooper Union where he spoke on the economy. He didn’t just talk about what isn’t working or how it’s all the GOP’s fault. He gave us the big picture. He made everything make sense. He made economics interesting. This is more than a gift for inspiring oratory, this is the gift of a brilliant mind. Imagine, a guy like that in the Oval Office! It’s been a while.
The Easter season is a a good time to reflect on the importance of context. On Friday, a nailed-up Jesus looks pretty helpless. On Saturday, a dead-in-the-grave Jesus looks pretty hopeless. But on Sunday….my, my. Sorta like when you take the time to watch the excerpted sound bites of Jeremiah Wright’s sermons in their actual sermon. When you hear the pastor’s message in its actual context. When you hear what the Reverend is actually saying. And who he is actually quoting. My, my. You see, it wasn’t a sermon full of hatred and violence. It was, in fact, a sermon AGAINST hatred and violence. Funny, the difference context makes. Funny, how FOX News doesn’t seem to care much about context. Funny, how 2,000 years after Christ’s resurrection, some people are still more interested in crucifying than in rising again.
Peggy Noonan doesn’t like the Obamas. She sees them as pampered, elitist, yuppified Ivy leaguers who are totally out of touch with mainstream America. The Obamas are liberals. Peggy Noonan is a conservative. But Peggy Noonan is a former speech writer who loves the written and spoken word. More importantly, she is a lover of truth and straightforwardness. And as a student of American politics, she doesn’t come across it that much. So, it was interesting to get her take on Obama’s race speech.
In case you’ve forgotten just how scary outspoken black visionaries can be, a helpful staffer with the McCain campaign has put together this handy YouTube video. Through a series of slap-dash edits and artful juxtapositions, we see candidate Obama not saluting flags, not wearing patriotic label pins and not disowning his audacious pastor. But surely, there’s more. To make the articulate, smooth-talking Obama sound… you know… a little more foolish and awkward (think: President Bush in any given interview), McCain’s editorial whiz kid has sliced and diced the video to make the calm, collected Barack appear to stutter and stammer like some tongue-tied Max Headroom wannabe (think: the current president on any given day). Stir in a liberal amount of Reverend Wright getting all John the Baptist on our ass. Top off with an incendiary clip of the Black Muslim leader, Malcolm X (he even looks like Obama!). And serve. Translation: White people, be afraid. Be very afraid. Sadly, the inventive McCain staffer was voted off the island. Not to worry, the Clinton Campaign can certainly use and enterprising fellow like this. And don’t think they haven’t.
Well, New York has it’s first black governor! And better yet, he is legally blind! Wow! A twofer! If only he was a woman! It makes me warm all over. Nausea does that. Listen, I have nothing against blind black guys. Big fan of Ray Charles, in fact. But I buy Ray’s albums for the same reason I vote for someone. The person’s proven abilities. Not their disabilities, their race or their gender. So I am a little annoyed by all this Obama would be the first African-American president. Or Hillary would be the first female president. Or John McCain would be the first tortured Vietnam vet president. This election should not be about having to publish an updated edition of the Guinness Book of Records. It should be about the candidates’ proven abilities. Their record, their gifts, their judgment. This election should not be a referendum on how far blacks, blondes or blind folks have come in this country. Of course, not everybody votes the way I do. And I guess some people buy Ray Charles records because he’s black and blind. So if all that you care about in this election is whether the next US president wears pants, a pinafore or a flag pin…go for it. And excuse me, while I go throw up.
Geraldine Ferraro, former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, seems to have an interesting take on race in America. Apparently, Barack Obama’s success is about him being a black man. It seems, according to Ms. Ferraro, that black men have an “edge” in this country. Surely you’ve noticed? They dominate the NBA, Rap music, tap dancing, and the prison population. Black men lead a charmed existence. Everything they put their hand to, turns to gold. Americans are just gaga about African-American men. Personally, I blame Barry White for this. Well, I am glad that Gerry Ferraro has unmasked this Obama runaway lead for for what it is. Yet another brazen example of Black men in America getting all the breaks.
There’s an old joke in Texas that if you want to make new friends, just drive across the Lone Star State with a certain bumper sticker on your car. It reads, “We’re here, we’re queer and we’ve come to take away your guns.” The only bumper sticker that would likely get your Ford Bronco just as keyed––if not torched–– is the one that reads, “I’m Barack, I’m Black and Ted Kennedy is my homey.” Nevertheless, according to one new poll, Obama is now leading Senator Clinton here in Texas by six points. Two words for that. Boy howdy! And yes, he looks friggin’ ridiculous in that hat.
Ah, the good old days! Back when we could hate a man for the color of his skin. Life was so much simpler then! Now it’s a much different story. We good, white Christian people know we can’t hate Barack Obama because he’s black. That would be very backward of us. So we find all sorts of reasons to dislike him. He is too ambitious, we say. Of course, every man or woman who has ever desired this high post must be equally guilty of such inordinate pride. But this guy is downright uppity …er… confident. But that doesn’t quite capture our antipathy. Oh, no, I just put my finger on it. He is a secret Muslim. Barack Hussein Obama, no less! After all, his father was a Muslim and people don’t just turn into Christians overnight. Except for that born again thing. I forgot about that conversion thing. Wait just a minute! If Obama is indeed a Christian, then to Islamic jihadists he is an “Apostate.” The only thing worse than an infidel to those towel heads is an apostate! We might as well put a target on our backs as to park this backsliden Muslim in the Oval Office. We’d be just asking for another 9-11. Of course, my favorite reason to hate Barack Obama is because he is the Antichrist. That one pretty much touches all the bases. That one is pretty much a slam dunk. After all, all this talk about change, hope and peace. That’s got 666 written all over it! Yup, I sure don’t like that guy, Obama. For any number of reasons. Although, I am totally cool with the fact he is black.