Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Welcome to the 257th edition of `Reject, Renounce, Forget, Repeat'. In what will surely be a ratings blockbuster from now through the election, once again we are bearing witness to the ridiculous game that the media has made a mastery of. And we all know what it is. All campaigns squeeze as much political gain out of it as possible, and still continue to engage in it, even though it's patently ludicrous, and the media knows it. When they're on the receiving end, they denounce the horrible way that they're being taken advantage of.

Step 1) The statement. Someone not officially attached to a campaign makes a controversial statement. The statement is horrible and unconscionable.

Step 2) The tee up... The media and/or rival campaigns pick up on this controversial statement. Both operations' motives are obvious - the media for the salacious story, the rival campaign for the political points.

Step 3) The fanning. The offensive statement is replayed endlessly. Whether it's YouTube, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, Huffington Post, etc., is irrelevant and besides the point. As long as the offensive statements are connected with a candidate, that's all that matters.

Step 4) The rejection. The candidate marginally attached to the person who made the offensive statements puts out a statement saying essentially "we regret/renounce/reject said person's statements; we find them offensive; they have no place in this campaign."

Step 5) The pile on. The media or rival campaigns will not let it go at this, of course. While the rival campaigns may engage in a "this isn't enough of a renunciation" game, the media will seem neutral and instead engage in a "Is this enough?" game, giving them endless opportunities to replay/repost the offensive message. If it's deemed a personal offense, it's completely irrelevant if the offended party publicly says they weren't offended or the comments are being blown out of proportion, of course.

Step 6) The absolute repudiation. Under increasing fire, the campaign under attack finally issues a blistering rejection of the person who is offensive. Whatever connections the person actually had to the candidate/campaign is irrelevant.

The latest iteration of this is Rev. Michael Pfleger's comments regarding Hillary Clinton while in Obama's church. Let's analyze this for a second. We're now asking Obama to repudiate someone who gave a guest sermon simply because the guest sermon was given at the candidate's church. This is beyond ridiculous. This is a silly, stupid game, and everyone knows it. Yes, his comments were offensive, and yes, they did offend me a lot. But you know what? I'm smart enough to realize that Pfleger's not connected to Obama and has nothing to do with him. If this isn't the definition of a manufactured story, I don't know what is.

The media's obviously never going to give up this stupid, ridiculous game, and we all know why. It's in their interest to promote a juicy, sexy story as much as possible. But come on, the rest of us know better, and both campaigns know better. Apparently the Clinton campaign is now accusing the Obama campaign of not specifically rejecting Pfleger's comments:

"Divisive and hateful language like that is totally counterproductive in our efforts to bring our party together and have no place at the pulpit or in our politics," Wolfson said late Thursday. "We are disappointed that Senator Obama didn't specifically reject Father's Pflegler's despicable comments about Senator Clinton, and assume he will do so."

Wolfson, come on, you know better. You've been on the receiving end of this enough times that you should know how it all works. Let's as Democrats be better than this. I don't think Obama should be held responsible for some stupid remarks made by someone simply because he happened to say it at Obama's church. It's just common sense.

Tags: clinton, gotcha, obama, Pfleger (all tags)



Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat


by rfahey22 2008-05-30 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

you agree now, but next time it applies to HRC we will see you piling on, again.

by zerosumgame 2008-05-30 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

There is no next time for Clinton. She's done.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

well at least you didn't pull out the race card this time, yet anyway

by zerosumgame 2008-05-30 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Reje

So true.  It is like "this is a recording".


by giusd 2008-05-30 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Race card? You use that term a lot. Please provide a definition.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

claiming that HRC supporters are all racists and will not vote for him in the GE. seems pretty clear, but then again I like to think...

by zerosumgame 2008-05-30 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Since no one claimed that you'll need to stop using the term.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Adlai Stevenson:

   We should be careful and discriminating in all the advice we give. We should be especially careful in giving advice that we would not think of following ourselves. Most of all, we ought to avoid giving counsel which we don't follow when it damages those who take us at our word.

by gunner 2008-05-30 06:41AM | 0 recs
I love this part:

(and by "love" I mean "hate with the burning passion of 1000 suns")

"We are disappointed that Senator Obama didn't specifically reject Father's Pflegler's despicable comments about Senator Clinton, and assume he will do so."

What part of Obama's repudiation of the divisive comments did you not understand, Howard?

Oh... hey I get it.  You just want Obama on tape saying "Now all the white people are scared," don't you?


by Dracomicron 2008-05-30 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: I love this part:

It's just mind blowing that all three campaigns -- Obama, Clinton, and even McCain -- have been burned by this kind of thing yet turn around the next day and engage in the same game that was played against them.

Give me a break!

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 06:49AM | 0 recs
Not going to change soon

As much as Obama would like to change how politics is done, it's not going to happen overnight.

My stepfather told me about classic smear tactics... hmm, lemme look it up.


My fellow citizens, it is an honor and a pleasure to be here today. My opponent has openly admitted he feels an affinity toward your city, but I happen to like this area. It might be a salubrious place to him, but to me it is one of the nation's most delightful garden spots.

When I embarked upon this political campaign, I hoped that it could be conducted on a high level and that my opponent would be willing to stick to the issues. Unfortunately, he has decided to be tractable instead--to indulge in unequivocal language, to eschew the use of outright lies in his speeches, and even to make repeated veracious statements about me.

At first I tried to ignore these scrupulous, unvarnished fidelities. Now I will do so no longer. If my opponent wants a fight, he's going to get one!

Of course, it's not surprising that he should have such a typically pristine background--no, not when you consider the other members of his family:

His female relatives put on a constant pose of purity and innocence, and claim they are inscrutable, yet every one of them has taken part in hortatory activities.

The men in the family are likewise completely amenable to moral suasion.

My opponent's uncle was a flagrant heterosexual.

His sister, who has always been obsessed by sects, once worked as a proselyte outside a church.

His father was secretly chagrined at least a dozen times by matters of a pecuniary nature.

His youngest brother wrote an essay extolling the virtues of being a homo sapien.

His great-aunt expired from a degenerative disease.

His nephew subscribes to a phonographic magazine.

His wife was a thespian before their marriage and even performed the act in front of paying customers.

And his own mother had to resign from a women's organization in her later years because she was an admitted sexagenarian.

I beg you, my friends, to oppose this man whose life and work and ideas are so openly and avowedly compatible with our American way of life. A vote for him would be a vote for the perpetuation of everything we hold dear.

The facts are clear; the record speaks for itself. Do your duty.

This has been going on a long time.

by Dracomicron 2008-05-30 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

I love how they are now going after the Catholic Church... I thought we were supposed to reject Pastor Hagee!

by LordMike 2008-05-30 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Well they tried trotting out McWars and Gen Betrayus just as "The book" hit this week.
So wrong week to sell Iraq.
hey remember the Wright shiny thing?
Let's try that again.
On one side it is the sleaze we are used to...
On the other it shows a feeble stretch.

Pushing the bogus connections issue is all they have..
oh wait the melanin thing
Check out the right wing politico headline
(Politico is just a slicked up Drudge)..

"White women cold toward Obama"

It is crap going to work?

"Not This Time!"

by nogo postal 2008-05-30 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

You're one to talk! You're from Virginia. George Allen is ALSO from Virginia. As we all remember, George Allen disparaged an Indian-born campaign volunteer with a racial epithet, put a deer head in a black family's mailbox, and proudly displayed a noose on his desk.

You're both from the same state. I find it hard to believe you don't share his views! I demand that you  reject, denounce, apologize, condemn and renounce George Allen. And do it NOW! And when you do it, I better like your tone, mister.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-05-30 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

How do you know he isn't George Allen?

by map2 2008-05-30 06:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

He may well be. I find it hard to believe two people could be from the same state and NOT be George Allen.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-05-30 06:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Ha! I love it. As a Virginian, I hereby apologize and renounce in perpetuity for everything anyone says, does, or writes within the state boundaries in past, present, and future campaigns that does not meet the requirement of any past, present, or future rival campaigns. Unless of course, this is not politically advantageous to me.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Only within the state boundaries?

Why won't you reject and denounce any statement made by a Virginian outside the state?  Clearly you secretly agree with their hateful, divisive language.

by mistersite 2008-05-30 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

This comment has now been posted for several minutes, yet Alex has been silent on the very serious issues it raises.

We are disappointed by Alex's continued silence, and hope that you will all join with us in calling upon him to immediately, reject, denounce, renounce, deject, pronounce and eject the hateful comments made by his doppelganger, George Allen.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-05-30 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

I notice that you posted your response one minute before my follow-up comment. I can only assume that you finally acted only because you were aware I was about to post this second comment. Although we appreciate that you have finally attempted to separate yourself from your clone, George Allen, it is disappointing that you apparently have done so only under pressure and not before now.

We accept your denouncirejectification, and hope that we can finally return to discussing the issues that truly affect Americans, and finally move forward from the bigotry of the past.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-05-30 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat
and yes...
they did this to Clinton all the time...
by nogo postal 2008-05-30 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat
I am sure you are not referring to this Colorado guy...
by nogo postal 2008-05-30 06:54AM | 0 recs
by nogo postal 2008-05-30 06:56AM | 0 recs
Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

Clinton has an entitlement complex (she said she will be the nominee and didn't even consider losing back in Nov. 2007) and we know that many white voters won't vote for Obama because he's black.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 07:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

nice way to expose your self as a troll

by zerosumgame 2008-05-30 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

How so?

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

you went right to the race card, not detours and lots of hot-air

by zerosumgame 2008-05-30 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

The race card? How so?

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

all HRC supporters are racists? blow out your ear

by zerosumgame 2008-05-30 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

Too bad no one said that. RIF.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

While I don't agree with you and in fact vigorously disagree with you on whether she felt she was entitled to it or not -- I really don't think she felt this way -- you're hardly a troll.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

IMO anyone who says that they will be the nominee in 2007, facing the competition she faced, and then tries to do and say anything to win clearly feels entitled. But reasonable people can disagree.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

anyone who plays the race card right off the bat is a troll IMO

by zerosumgame 2008-05-30 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

Race card? How so?

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

ah more spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

from a BHO'er, how expected.

by zerosumgame 2008-05-30 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

Projection & irony = comedy.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

as I stated on another thread, that is your opinion

and opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.

Pfleger and YOU are voicing a small, but vocal (or as I like to call it - the squeaky wheels) minority who think Hillary is so evil and so divisive and so bloodthirsty.

get over it.  She isn't.  She just went toe-to-toe, fighting against Obama like he was just another candidate, and you didn't like her tactics.

Your type of statements does NOTHING to advance unity.  I am for unity - I will vote for the Democratic nominee

but I still see red when I read such ignorant and biased BS like you posted.

by colebiancardi 2008-05-30 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

You're confused about what entitlement means. You're also confused about who needs to get over what.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

I am not "confused" about what entitlement means.  Nor am I confused about who needs to get over what.

The statements that were made were untrue (unless you are Hillary, you don't know what she thinks or believes)

by colebiancardi 2008-05-30 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Pfleger (a white guy) was right.

he is just a racist troll, don't feed it

by zerosumgame 2008-05-30 03:47PM | 0 recs

well said.

I absolutely abhor Pfleger's shitty display - and he ought not just apologize, but do some soul-searching as to why he even went there in the first place.

What both bothers and puzzles me is what has happened to our community leaders in Chicago.

Pfleger is actually pretty well-known in Chicago.  He's most certainly a community leader - broadly on par with even Cardinal George in many activist circles.

He's been on the forefront of any number of fights that I think most liberals and Democrats would readily support.

From immigrant rights to living wages to community development and affordable housing to violence in the community to any number of other issues -- Father Pfleger has always been out in front.

He's led rallies - I think he's even been arrested at rallies.  He's always been a lion for the poor, the downtrodden, and the forgotten in the community (much in the same way that Wright - prior to his 15 minutes of fame - was, too).

It's tragic, sad, and yes - even infuriating - that two men that really and truly have done one hell of a lot of positive work in the community have let their mouths get them in such trouble.

by zonk 2008-05-30 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos

Tragic that he talks about white entitlement and racism? If you know anything about Pfleger you should expect him to point it out and not sit back quietly. Activists don't ignore those sorts of things.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos

Point these things out?


But both Pfleger and Wright know (or should know) full well that the methodology used did nothing to advance the ball on such issues.

As I've said in many, many posts - while I'm no expert or insider on Chicago activism, I'm involved and know enough to be familiar with both Pfleger and Wright well before they became national names.  I'm fully aware of the work they've done.

I can't help but phrase it this way - but they were both, in effect, "preaching to the choir".

I'm sure they're both aware that they won no converts, advanced their hopes and desires on issues that are indeed of importance no further.

Now... The Pfleger/Wright defense is that they WERE speaking to a congregation, not to some random rally - and the tone, tactics, rhetoric, etc of a preacher on the pulpit is fundamentally different than something outside of the church.

I think there's plenty of validity to that.

But - it doesn't detract from the point that they simply did not do their very worthy causes and ministries any favors.

I absolutely, positively, 100% agree that it's awful the way they're being caricatured by a few minutes of YouTube clips.

But that doesn't change the facts that the clips are now out there - and that rather than talking about the causes that I know mean a lot to them, they are now forced to talk about distractions and rhetoric.

It's not a simple question or answer to me.  

Like much of life, it's complicated, no doubt.

by zonk 2008-05-30 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos

You're right about them preaching to the choir for sure. But I don't think they were seeking converts to the cause. Folks who are offended that he's pointing out entitlement and racism weren't going to be converted to the cause anyway. I'm pretty sure they were both simply showing how ridiculous someone who pretended to be part of the cause is acting.

If I were Pfleger I wouldn't have apologized since he's right and what he said wasn't remotely offensive even if it was "dramatic" (in the theatrical sense of the word).

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos

It WAS offensive.

maybe not to you, but to me and many others.

and it HAS no place in this campaign.  

by colebiancardi 2008-05-30 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos

Her entitlement complex has no place in this campaign but it's been smeared all over it.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos

oh god.  She does not have an "entitlement" complex.

more fucking smears from Hillary-haters who have no clue

by colebiancardi 2008-05-30 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Why does Senator Obama continue to belong to this church?

Believe it or not, I've belonged to a temple my entire life, and not once in the times I've attended (which is probably on the neighborhood of several hundred times) has anyone said anything that even remotely tries to tear anyone else down for their race, beliefs, sexual orientation, etc.  We want peace with the Palestinians as well - and believe in the peace process.  We certainly don't invite people to the bimah to denounce Palestinians or rain vitriol down on us.  

So I really don't understand why people belong to congregations where hatred and intolerance are spouted.  This is a huge liability for Senator Obama with the electorate at large and independent voters.  The fact that he fails to see it and simply quit the church, like failing to see how big the Wright controversy would be, is a major reason why despite all odds he may lose to Senator McCain.

by mikes101 2008-05-30 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

With respect -

You're making a judgement based on a few minutes of YouTube.

Both Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Trinity and Father Michael Pfleger at St. Sabina are fairly well known in activist circles in Chicago.

Even before this election - immigration, community violence, fair and affordable housing, living wages, you name it - these were among the folks out in front... rallying people...

I guess the difference before is that they were offending the minutemen, the developers and monied classes, etc.

I'm not defending what they've said - but please don't disregard the work that they and their ministries have done.

The poor, uneducated Americans?   Both these men have really and honestly done more for them than many politicians.

Like I said, I've known about (I met Father Pfleger briefly at a rally once, but never met Wright) them for years before they became YouTube celebrities.

I'm absolutely not defending what either of them have said.

It saddens me - both because they've BEEN better than this, but also because it almost certainly will have a negative impact on good works that they DO do.  

It bothers me when folks so casually toss around these broad pronunciations about these men and their parishes based on nothing more than a few minutes of YouTube.

I just don't think it's right for people to make such snap judgements about thousands of people and decades of good works.

Attack what they've said all you want - but I think you go too far when you then take the next step and try to summarize the man and the congregation based on that.

by zonk 2008-05-30 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Look, I will vote for Obama regardless.  But what do you expect the average American voter to do?  If they have a clip of somebody on YouTube, they ARE going to use that to form a judgment whether you or I like it or not.  And I for one can at least sympathize with their feelings because I think Rev. Wright and Pfleger's statements are reprehensible.  However, I will vote on the issues, not "values".  I think the so-called "values" vote is going to be won by McCain at this point, unless some more bad news breaks on some of his associations, etc.

by mikes101 2008-05-30 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Sure -

I'm just saying they are two separate issues.  

There's the tactical issue of will/how much it will hurt in the vacuum of the GE.

Then there's the reality of the situation absent the political aspect.  Like I said - no defense of the displays - what I object to is when those tactical discussions cross the line into pronouncements about the measure of the pastors and the congregations.

by zonk 2008-05-30 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Furthermore, if you think that had a similar situation happened at Senator Clinton's church, and they invited somebody up to speak who said "Senator Obama feels entitled to the nomination because he is a black man", you wouldn't be seeing a shitstorm in the press about this and comments from Axelrod about how horrible this was, you are sorely mistaken.  

by mikes101 2008-05-30 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

I agree with you. My point was it's silly to engage in this kind of back and forth since we all know exactly how it's going to go. The Six Steps are above, and it's happened every. single. time. Yes, it's offensive, but to begin tarring the candidate because of a minor connection is just vomitous. Is vomitous a word?

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Well Obama should not have to be pressured to repudiate this man's remarks.  He is the unity candidate, the candidate of change, and hope.  Surely hearing that these comments were made at his church should sadden and trouble him, and should be denounced without provocation.  If I were a political candidate and someone made such remarks at my temple I would let the temple leadership know my feelings ("deeply troubled", etc) and issue a press release / statement letting it be known that I disagree with the speaker.

Do you belong to a church / temple / mosque / other?  It is a community.  It does represent something in the community.  You are associated with what that church represents, what the leaders believe, through your membership and participation - for instance, do you support gay rights?  I bet your answer and your pastor / rabbi's views are not that far off.  There is even a Catholic church here in town where they are very openly gay / minority friendly - and though they are somewhat constricted by official Catholic doctrine they are well-known as a tolerant congregation.  Other congregations and denominations are not so tolerant or progressive - and nor, I believe, are many of their members.

I believe guilt by association is valid in this case because I would feel personally guilty if someone said something so vile at my temple, even if I was not present when it happened.

by mikes101 2008-05-30 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

I agree with you on that Obama shouldn't have to repudiate this man's remarks, and I think your approach to the situation is a reasonable one, but one that wouldn't fly in the media. Don't forget -- it's not official until the campaign itself repudiates everything. It's sickening, really.

I still don't agree with guilt by association, though. I'm just not ready to play the game that because someone I'm associated with said horrible things, I'm horrible by extension. This is a very, very dangerous game.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

I was saying that Obama should repudiate this man's remarks without first being compelled to.

I agree in general with you on guilt by association - but still - are you a member of a spiritual organization?  I think you would feel differently if you were.  I feel like I represent the entire Jewish people in my community - not just my congregation.  People ask me all the time about my temple, what we believe, what customs we have, etc - and I am a VERY secular Jew so I don't understand all the attention.  I think being Jewish is still somewhat of a curiosity in Texas.  I would feel embarrassed if the newspaper reported on some controversial figure making remarks in my temple, and would likely defend my temple if the issue came up among friends or family.  Even though I agree that people should not assume that I share those beliefs, they are ONLY HUMAN.  They know that I go to the temple, and they want to know what I think.

As a candidate for the highest office in the land, I think Obama needs to be more sensitive to these issues then he has shown thus far.  He thinks it is "curious" that we the people seem to care about stuff like this.

by mikes101 2008-05-30 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

I am a member of a Catholic church, though probably not involved in it as you are with yours obviously. I probably don't have the same relationship with my church that you have with your temple. And that's totally fine; two different points of view. For me, I certainly don't think I represent all Catholics in my community; I feel Catholics can represent themselves just fine without me. Nor do I espouse all views of Catholicism.

From your viewpoint, I can definitely see why you think it's an issue. From mine, I don't think it is an issue, nor really should it be. I don't feel the need to justify my church or their views, because I don't agree with everything they say. Though McCain's gotten hell for it from the religious right, I do agree with him on the fact that he says that my religion is between me and my God, and that should be good enough. Obama, McCain, and Clinton aren't running for pastor-in-chief, they are running for Commander-in-Chief.

Should Obama be more sensitive and explain himself and his association with his church better? I can see the political reasons for this, and based on this he probably should. On a matter of principle, though, I don't think he should. No one should need to explain their religion in making their case as to why they should be Commander in Chief.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

As white privilege and entitlement are studied and well known and there is no corresponding evidence of black entitlement or privilege that would be a ridiculous thing to say. Though some of Clinton's supporters have certainly implied as much.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-30 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

I am a liberal and deeply troubled by Obama. It is completely unacceptable as a matter of civic virtue let alone moral principals to join, support, and remain in a church that preaches hatred of white people. Obama cannot expect us to forget his twenty year membership in this bigoted organization just because he now is running for higher office. That is asking too much. He should have never belonged to that church or he should have condemned them years ago and found some other place to worship god and teach his children some values.

I know I would never have tolerated any of this racial divisiveness from any church I have gone to. I expect nothing less from someone who wants to be my president.

I do not trust Obama. His judgement, his charactor, his values are not good enough.

America is better than Obama. We deserve someone worthy of our respect and admiration, not someone whose deepest beliefs are hostile to the majority of decent people regardless of their color.

by Caliman 2008-05-30 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

This guilt by association thing is exactly the kind of thing that's wrong with politics today.

My grandmother is half-racist. I have known her for 25 years. Does my continuing association with her make me racist?

My closest friend is a die-hard Republican who espouses a lot of beliefs that I don't agree with. I have known him for 9 years. Does my continuing association with him make me a Republican?

An officemate of mine is a homosexual. I enjoy her company and have found her to be a great person to work with. Does my continuing association with her make me a homosexual?

I could go on and on, but my point is that association does not equal endorsement of views. I'm sure there's plenty of people you're associated with who you don't agree with 100%.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

With all due respect, friends and family are one thing.  You are friends with people because you go out to lunch with them, or have an easy conversation with them, etc.  You cannot choose your family, as Obama rightly pointed out.

But you can and do choose a church / temple / mosque / spiritual group based on the ideas and beliefs of said group.  Obama has sought out this congregation and been an active member for 20 years.  He was certainly close friends with Wright - but I will grant you that he does not share ALL of Reverend Wright's views.  Still I feel he must share some of them, up to and possibly including some subtle forms of reverse racism - I'm just trying to deduce something rational based on everything I know - and I don't mean to cause offense by saying that someone might harbor some minor forms of racist or reverse racist thought - I believe the vast majority of us do.  Why else would he have been a member of such a congregation for so long?  What else are we supposed to believe?  He belonged to the church and just sat in a vegetative state in the audience?  He belonged only for political reasons?  OK... maybe.  But I'm not buying it...

by mikes101 2008-05-30 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

A man is best judged by the company he keeps.

Obama is lacking in the basic civic virtue of decency. His longstanding voluntary support and association of a bigoted organization is unacceptable.

America deserves someone better.

by Caliman 2008-05-30 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

I don't agree that a man is best judged by the company he keeps. A man is best judged by his actions and what he says, believes, and relies on. I personally don't want everyone around me who believes in everything I believe in, finds nothing I do wrong, or says everything I say is 100% right. This is not only impossible, but kind of silly to demand.

I don't agree that Obama is lacking in the basic civic virtue of decency, but it's your right to say otherwise.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

So you would be perfectly comfortable if someone attacked a political opponent of yours in your temple / church / mosque using racist / sexist / or otherwise plain backwards thinking?  Come on man!  This is just wrong!  Obama should be outraged!

by mikes101 2008-05-30 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Please read the diary. I made clear the comments were offensive and shouldn't have been made. I also made quite clear that is obviously a political game being pushed in this instance by the media and the Clinton campaign (in the past, it's been pushed by the media and the Obama campaign, or the media and the McCain campaign; whoever finds it politically advantageous to do so). It's the guilt-by-association thing that I have a problem with. The issue that people are DEMANDING that Obama 'more strongly denounce' these comments. That's taking it too far.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

What did Obama say exactly?  To me, this warrants a specific comment from the Senator.  If he has issued such a comment and it simply has not been covered by the media, then I take back my previous concerns.  If it was just a press release, then I'm still unimpressed.  A press release means as far as we know, Obama has slept through the entire kerfluffle thus far.

by mikes101 2008-05-30 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Why should Obama have to say anything at all? His campaign issued a press release saying that the comments were inappropriate and they have no place on the campaign trail (even though Pfleger is not a campaign surrogate).

Obama shouldn't be held responsible for the sermons of everyone who happens to preach at his church. Last I heard, the church doesn't run the list by the campaign before they invite guest pastors, nor should they. There's this thing called separation of church and state in this country.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

If he were a private citizen, I would agree with you.

But the reasonable person is now left wondering: "How many times in his 20 years did Obama sit in this church and watch this sort of BS?  And does he agree with even a shred of it?"

Also, "Why doesn't he defend Clinton, who was just torn apart in his church?"  Does he not realize that nearly 17 million of us have voted for this woman, and that his PRIMARY challenge will be uniting the party if he is the nominee?

Apparently not.  We have John Kerry 2.0.  Welcome to the revolution.

by mikes101 2008-05-30 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Hey I'm on your side. I'm a Clinton supporter. But I get really bothered when this kind of BS is played against both candidates.

And don't kid yourself; the reasonable person doesn't care about this kind of stuff. We care about it here because we are hyper-obsessive political people, that's it.

Also, no, he doesn't have to defend Clinton every time someone in his church attacks her. Just like she doesn't have to defend Obama every time someone marginally attached to her campaign attacks him.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

And don't kid yourself; the reasonable person doesn't care about this kind of stuff. We care about it here because we are hyper-obsessive political people, that's it.

Don't kid yourself, plenty of people are going to be voting based on stupid sh*t like this - my friend from work was talking just the other day about how disappointed he was that Michelle Obama was never proud of the country before.  And I was thinking - "Sheesh!"  But that's the way the cookie crumbles.

by mikes101 2008-05-30 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

I also find it disappointing that Obama is not more politically astute given that white women are EXACTLY the swing demographic that he may need in November.  This would be a prime OPPORTUNITY for him to defend white people, women, Clinton, etc.  Instead, these voters may go to McCain over so called "values" differences like this.

by mikes101 2008-05-30 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Yeah, Obama's statement is pretty lame.  He says "I am deeply troubled by Pflegger's backward looking rhetoric".  What about the viciously attacking your opponent part?  What about standing up for Senator Clinton?

by mikes101 2008-05-30 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

But have you held out any of these people publicly on your website while you seek the highest office in the United States, running on platform of hope, unity and new politics?

by Mayor McCheese 2008-05-30 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

What you're basically saying is that no one that is remotely controversial should ever have any public position in any campaign, ever. I can't even begin to list the people that this espouses, starting with Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

No, that's not what I am saying. I am saying candidates should take active steps to clean up the garbage their surrogates spread, be they Bill Shaheen, or Rev. Phegler.

by Mayor McCheese 2008-05-30 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Bill Shaheen was co-chair of the NH Clinton campaign. Shortly after his statements he apologized and resigned.

Rev. Pfleger is not a member of the Obama campaign, yet Obama went out of his way to call his remarks unfortunate. He is not a 'surrogate' of the Obama campaign. There's a world of difference here.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

He is a surrogate. Obama put him on his website speaking for his campaign.

by Mayor McCheese 2008-05-30 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

Just because you put someone up on your website doesn't mean he's a surrogate.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

so you think he didn't speak for the campaign at all when he endorsed Obama on the official campaign website? regardless, your hairsplitting is beyond silly. This person was used to further the campaign officially in a coordinated manner.

by Mayor McCheese 2008-05-30 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

If ALL he did is endorse Obama, then he's not a surrogate. A surrogate implies active campaigning on behalf of a surrogate. So by extension, the Philly Inquirer endorsed Clinton. Run by William Saife, someone who has been less than kind to the Clintons. Why doesn't the Clinton campaign repudiate this endorsement?

Endorsement does not equal surrogate. It's not hair splitting, but two different things. Speaking for the campaign and endorsing it are two different things. Ask Farrakhan, Hagee, Wright, etc.

by VAAlex 2008-05-30 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Reject/Renounce, Forget, Repeat

it's not all he did. Looks like the Obama campaign sent him out as spin doctor to help  defuse Rev. WRight. /post/katloverindy/gGCxV9

by Mayor McCheese 2008-05-30 09:07AM | 0 recs
Troll Rating Abuse reported on the other thread

Next time, leave a love note instead, and I'll try and clear up what I'm saying. ;-)

But really, I wasn't insulting or threatening anyone, there was no call for that.

by BlogSurrogate57 2008-05-30 08:32AM | 0 recs
It's not his pastor

he can and should say something strong. "He's a good man, but he was wrong" ... something like that.

by BlogSurrogate57 2008-05-30 08:33AM | 0 recs


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