Pfleger a scumbag? Another apology? STOP MAKING DEMANDS.
by ihaveseenenough, Fri May 30, 2008 at 09:10:23 PM EDT
I want to preface this by saying that we should recognize that we're in a bit of a bubble here. MyDD has as much to do with how ordinary people think about politics as any other political blog- not very much. For all the fire and brimstone we spout on here, it's important to remember that for many of us (myself included), politics, specifically as they relate to the Democratic party, are one of the most important things in our lives. That's not how your normal average everyday "I got my news at 3pm from CNN.com before I clicked back to work email" citizen thinks. So what seems so monumental here on this blog is small potatoes to 90% of folks. I think that in a few weeks, 95% of people are going to be rallying around our nominee and ready to FIGHT McCain!
But for now, it's still the endgame. The whole Clinton vs. Obama thing is coming to a close. Your first choice or not, Obama is going to be our nominee. While it won't be officially cemented until early next week, it'll be undeniable as of tomorrow afternoon.
Now, in our bubble, there are still those that don't get it. And today we have some more "gotcha" fun. We've got a fiery pastor (yet again, since that worked SO well in derailing Obama the first time), and this one said some things regarding Hillary Clinton that admittedly weren't so nice. These comments were said in a black church, and therefore, as sometimes happens, race was addressed. And so was entitlement.
I think most of the comments were pandering a bit to the audience and not helpful. Fine. Barack Obama agreed with me- and immediately denounced them:
"As I have travelled this country, I've been impressed not by what divides us, but by all that that unites us," he said.
"That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger's divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn't reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause."
Obama didn't make these comments. They weren't made at an Obama event. He didn't write them. He didn't repeat the point contained in them. And he wasn't there to hear them. But he denounced them anyway- partially out of respect to Hillary, and mostly out of respect to our country. But was that good enough? Not for some:
You want unity guys - start by issuing a no-holds-barred condemnation specifically aimed at what this hate-monger said. Tell the world in no uncertain terms that you will not be associated with these hateful and sexist rants - attacks that are directed against a fine and decent woman and public servant. Stand up to the haters - tell them that attacks on your colleagues in the US Senate are an attack on you and you condemn them without hesitation or equivocation.
One thing seems clear though, Obama's apparent tolerance for these sexist and hateful attacks on Hillary - or women in general is definitely hurting him among that demographic of the electorate. You'd think - since he doesn't seem to care about how a woman is attacked by his friends and associates - that winning us over at the polls would at least cause him to condemn Pfleger's hate speech.
I don't think that's what this diarist wants. I think she wants him to say Hillary's name, because she thinks the whole diatribe was all about Hillary. Well, she's wrong. If you actually watch the tape as an intelligent Democrat, and not a fervent supporter, you can see that Hillary's being used as a parable. And while I disagree with the pastor that race was a factor in Clinton's entitlement, let's be honest- she DID act as if she was entitled, and it put people off.
From the very beginning, where she had 100 superdelegates before a single vote was even cast, to her remarks about this fight "wasn't going to be a very long one" and things would be "over" by Super Tuesday (and her lack of planning for the races following), to her supporters' repeated ignorance in proclaiming that "Barack Obama can never win!" while ignoring that nationally, Hillary has remarkably high negatives (fun fact- here's a non-partisan Zogby poll from October 2007, when Hillary was the clear front-runner, asking "Who would you NEVER vote for president?". Guess who's number one? Hillary. Guess who's next to last?), there's been a sense that it is Hillary's time.
Well, the people have spoken. And it's not quite her turn.
It's not for lack of trying. She was a good candidate, and like most Obama supporters, had she won, I'd have marched behind her to the White House in November. But Obama was a better candidate, and the end results indicate that America agrees. That's not a national referendum on women. That's not a denouncement of women's liberation. That's not an excuse to call Obama supporters "boys" in diaries (you'll note the majority of Obama voters are women). And that's damn sure not a reason to call me sexist solely because I don't have Hillary as my first choice to be the next president.
In the end it begs the question: have you stopped to think that maybe... perhaps... it's not about Hillary anymore? Maybe it's about getting this country back on track, with a Democratic president, House, and Senate. Maybe it's about what's best for ALL of the women, and men, in the USA, and to a bigger degree the world- not what's best for Hillary Clinton.
Maybe the reason the Rules Committee isn't going to decide to seat Florida and Michigan 100% is that they see that, and don't feel the need to bow to her will just because she wants them to.
Maybe the reason that the media is giving Hillary a hard time lately is because Obama is being respectful and isn't- and some pundits don't get why it's not time to go after McCain.
And maybe, just maybe, the reason that Barack didn't personally apologize to Hillary (for comments he had nothing to do with) is because it's more important to defend the people across the country that Pfleger indirectly insulted than one woman running for office who has already lost.
Because at this point, it isn't about her.
Now some still don't get it, and rant on and on about how Obama should keep this in the news front-and-center by talking about it AGAIN, and how he should he be embarrassed by his association with Pfleger and denounce him, the church, and everyone who's ever stepped foot in it because of a misguided two minute attack on Clinton's sense of entitlement. But if you stop- and breathe- and look at Pfleger and Saint Sabina, this so-called "church of hate" a little bit harder, you can see something different.
The diarist mentioned above wants to use (and actually applauds the media for using) a two minute soundbite to paint Obama as supporting racism, even implying that funds have been funneled to Pfleger's programs in the name of supporing racist and sexist speech. Well, let's look closer, without the spin:
Pfleger founded, and Obama has helped fund:
Saint Sabina Aids Clinic in Ghana -
San Sabina paid for the construction of a center that offers anonymous testing for HIV in the Northern region of Ghana and beyond, and lab service for other infectious diseases such a tuberculosis. Each year Saint Sabina provides the monies to run the clinic.
Saint Sabina Social Services Department
This department was founded to meet the need of the community in providing food, clothing, counseling and human resource information to those going through difficult times. This facility assists over 1,200 people per month.
This program provides an apartment, mentor, job training, job placement and social service support to individuals who we removed from a community shelter. They pay their rent, and utility bills for one full year. Within the year the individuals are helped to become self-dependent and return to the mainstream of life.
Martin Luther King Youth Center
This center was put in place as a meeting place for youth in the community, with a warm and positive atmosphere.
Thea Bowman Spiritual Advance Center
This retreat center was established in 1993. The purpose of this center was to provide a location in the inner-city for churches and groups to come together to draw closer to God as one body and develop into mature Christians.
Employment Resource Center
This center was designed to help individuals find employment, learn job preparation, offer computer classes and to better prepare those for the work force.
The Ark is dedicated to the youth in the community. This is a positive alternative against gangs drugs and guns. Father Pfleger says, "We must not just tell our kids to say no to gangs, drugs and guns, but we must give them something to say yes to." This center offers free programs 6 days a week to the youth of the community and serves 300 youth per day.
Saint Sabina HELP Hotline
(773) 4-8-3-H-E-L-P. This hotline was established to help any youth get out of a gang and to turn their life around. Also, anyone who wants to report drug and/or gang activity can make a report through this hotline.
Saint Sabina Elder Village - On July 24, 1999, Saint Sabina Church broke ground on an 80-unit senior building. This facility opened in July of 2000.
Safe Homes for Kids - In 2003, Saint Sabina opened up in conjunction with the city of Chicago a Safe Home for Kids - A foster home run and maintained by Saint Sabina. In 2004, a second home was opened.
In November 2003, Saint Sabina opened A.G.A.P.E., Inc. and African boutique and gift shop to allow entrepreneurs a place to show and sell their products with no commission.
WOW. What a scumbag. Obama should DEFINITELY condemn his entire life, everyone who goes to that church, and make sure they never get another dime. I didn't want to waste space posting all the successful campaigns Reverend Pfelger undertook in the overrlooked, but still incredibly dangerous South Side of Chicago. Campaigns against marketing alcohol and tobacco to youths. Campaigns against the Jerry Springer Show for their horrible treatment of women. A one-man sting operation that caught, and stopped, 22 out of 34 stores from selling alcohol to minors.
All because he pointed out what a lot of people think- that Clinton acted entitled- but did it clumsily rather than tactfully.
Give me a f---ing break.
Obama's playing nice, and acting the part of an upstanding candidate. But this type of Swift Boating, and particularly the aforemention diary and the thinking behind it, warrants a harsh response, and it's this- you lost, so stop making demands. You don't get to demand anything out of Obama. You're no longer in a position to do so. If you feel Obama is disrespecting you by having past association with a man who is, by all means, an American HERO who most of the time stands for everything Democrats hold dear, but sometimes goes a little over the top in his speeches, then fine. I don't care. Don't vote for him. Pout away if you must.
But know, as you sit at home and pout, that you're in the minority- by FAR. America fell in love with Obama once they heard his ideas, his message, and what he would do. So you didn't, fine. But the "we're all going to stay home and not help" message, in reality, is true for a few die-hard Clinton supporters who read blogs, and a chunk of Appalachia where 20% won't vote for a black man. He doesn't have a "woman problem" any more than he has a "white people problem"- you and I know that once Clinton and surrogates aren't on TV denoucning the "sexism" that Clinton has faced every 5 minutes, the issue will die. She has faced some sexist crap from the media- but I have been asking for an example of something from Obama's mouth, and I've yet to get an answer.
I don't think it'll be like that, for the most part. I am nostalgic for mid-2004. Not November, when we lost, but in August, when things were decidedly going our way. Sure, Kerry wasn't the greatest. I wanted Kucinich, then Dean, then Edwards, then Kerry. We got Kerry. But hell- we were going to boot Bush's ignorant ass right out of the White House anyway.
When I marched in the streets, and narrowly avoided arrest by a near-facist NYPD, at the 2004 RNC in New York City, coldly placed in my town to capitalize on 9/11 sentiment. I marched with hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. Most of which voted for Hillary in the primary this year. And I want to march with them again. We weren't squabbling about our candidates. We were focused, and ready.
Because this isn't boys versus girls.
This isn't Hillary versus Obama.
This is now Obama versus McCain.
Right versus wrong.
Four more horrible Bush years versus real, honest, change.
I want us all together. I do want unity. And the demands you make that say "Obama MUST ___ to get my vote" may or may not be met- I can't say if they will be. But if they aren't, and you can't bring yourself to vote for your party's candidate, then fine- you go ahead and sit it out, even vote McCain if you're that self-loathing. But you be sure to get the hell out of the way. There's going to be a lot of us marching to the White House in November behind Obama, and we wouldn't want you to get scared with all the noise.UPDATE: Woo-hoo- been reading MyDD for 4+ years, and first time on the rec list. To celebrate, here's a picture I took at the GIANT protest march during the 2004 RNC... one of my favorite pictures. Thanks!