¿Quien es más Jewliciouso? La batalla de los candidatos!


At this point, all the relevant issues ought to have been sufficiently discussed that y’all ought to have an idea of who you think is going to win the upcoming US Presidential election. So rather than rehash the already well articulated arguments, we want to survey everyone and simply ask who you think is going to win the election on November 4th. Surveys have already shown very strong support for Obama amongst Jews – the latest Gallup poll shows Jewish support of Obama at a current high of 74% while McCain is down to an all time low of 22%. Yet amongst Americans as a whole some still see this election as toss up – maybe it’s the Bradley Effect, or maybe fallout from last minute attacks against Obama – ie Obama’s attendance at a going-away party for former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi and things he may have said there or The Obama’s association with former terrorist fundraiser Hatem El-Hady. This is all conjecture of course and as we know, in US elections anything can happen.

So how do you think it’s going to go?

¿Quien es más Jewliciouso? La batalla de los candidatos!

  • Barack Obama (63%, 130 Votes)
  • John McCain (38%, 78 Votes)

Total Voters: 208

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  1. celestial blue

    10/30/2008 at 11:13 am

    but Sarah told us we should vote for Obama!!
    oh wait… no… I’m Canadian.


  2. ck

    10/30/2008 at 11:24 am

    Ha! Lookit you! Where ya been celestial? Haven’t seen you here in like… forever.

  3. Tom Morrissey

    10/30/2008 at 11:25 am

    Are you asking who we think is going to win, or who we’re voting for?

  4. ck

    10/30/2008 at 11:47 am

    Tom: “we want to survey everyone and simply ask who you think is going to win the election… “

  5. Tom Morrissey

    10/30/2008 at 12:05 pm

    Ok, that’s how I voted.

  6. Tom Morrissey

    10/30/2008 at 12:08 pm

    …Actually, this post is a bad idea because Middle called this election for Obama back in August or something.

  7. TM

    10/30/2008 at 12:28 pm

    Did I?

    I remember being far less certain before. I think the economic crisis is the primary reason he’s pulled ahead and has a very good chance to beat McCain.

  8. Ephraim

    10/30/2008 at 12:38 pm

    Regardless of who might or might not win, it is obvious that McCain is way more Jewliciouso than Obama.

    I really cannot understand how any self-respecting Jew, regardless of what they think of McCain, could vote for a guy who hangs around with people like Said and Khalidi and surrounds himself with advisors like Power and Brzezinski.

  9. Tom Morrissey

    10/30/2008 at 1:02 pm

    “Exit polls, carried out and analyzed by Keevoon, a Jerusalem-based research, strategy and communications firm, indicate that 76% of the polled voters in Israel said they voted for Republican candidate John McCain; 24% said they cast their ballot in favor the Democrat, Barack Obama.”

  10. JM

    10/30/2008 at 1:30 pm

    Minboggling. Jews can be fooled by mob mentality too.

    “”There’s a whiff of the lynch mob or the lemming migration about any overlarge concentration of like-thinking individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause.””

  11. Geoff

    10/30/2008 at 2:08 pm

    All I can say is that I’m headed to Filene’s Basement this weekend to buy a cheap raincoat in preparation of the great O-gasm coming on Tueday.

  12. montana_urban_legend

    10/30/2008 at 2:09 pm

    With 70% BHO to 30% JM it doesn’t look like you guys are too far behind the ball on this one, but I’m surprised the race hasn’t tightened more. In any event, if anyone hasn’t done so lately, you should really check out the site maintained by that nice Midwestern Jewish boy Nate Silver, of Prospectus fame – the company that predicts baseball wins. His site, 538, became famous during the primaries for more accurately predicting Hillary and Obama’s returns in North Carolina and Indiana than any other pollster, using number crunching methodology that seems a few exponential steps above the rest.

    Other than that, it’s too bad that some people still think that cliquish high school behavior is a laudable trait in a president, and Khalidi is a respected academic (who shares screen-time with pro-Israel commentators on shows like The Jim Lehrer News Hour all the time, BTW). I don’t agree with his views, nor am I sure that everyone who has debated with, spoken to, or appeared with him does. But I would like to know more about this tenable association of his that people are trying to drum up with Obama.

    I swear, these observations are getting to the point where Nixon and Kissinger couldn’t have gone to China without being labelled Communists!

  13. TM

    10/30/2008 at 2:53 pm

    I can’t bring myself to vote even in this survey!

  14. froylein

    10/30/2008 at 4:01 pm

    Could I get Muffti as a third option? Afterall, he’s an expert on conditionals.

  15. Ephraim

    10/30/2008 at 5:10 pm

    One way to know what sort of a person someone might be is to look at who his frinds are. For example, Obama was a member of the “Reverend” Wright’s “church” for 20 years. He married the Obamas and baptized their children. Obama cited Wright as his spiritual mentor and used one of Wright’s catchphrases as the title of one of his books. He is being deliberately deceptive about his relationships with Khalidi, a PLO tool, and Ayers and Dohrn, both unrepentant terrorists. The LA Times is refusing to release a tape of Khalidi’s going-away party where Obama was in attendance. Think about that for a moment: refusing to release a tape that would almost certainly show Obama’s anti-Israel and pro-PLO sympathies. How is such a thing possible, that a supposedly respected newspaper can deliberately suppress information that could inform the public about a vitally important issue, the true beliefs of a cndidate for POTUS? Unbelievable.

    Etc., etc. How can you not be suspicious?

    Let me ask you: if you knew I had been, say, a member of Meir Kahane’s shul for 20 years, you would be able to make a pretty good guess about how I felt about certain issues. Would you honestly believe me if I said “I listened to his drashot every Shabbes for 20 years but I never heard him say anything bad about Arabs”? Of course not.

    Barack Obama is being given a pass for his association with anti-Semites, racists and terrorists because he’s black and a Democrat. There is no other explanation for this. People are deathly afraid of calling him on his racist associations because they are themselves afraid of being called racists. (After all, this is a campaign where Obama supporters are saying that “socialist” is code for “black”.) There can be no doubt whatsoever that his “mentor” of 20 years’ standing is a gutter racist, anti-Semite, and race huckster of the most execrable kind. Imagine what would happen if McCain had been a member of a “Christian Identity” church for 20 years. Obama’s campaign would have been about nothing but that, and the media would have trumpeted it everywhere. Yet McCain chose not to pursue this. Way too chivalrous, IMNSHO. He should have hammered Obama on it without letup.

    Yet Obama seems to think that we should think nothing of who he hangs out with and who his mentors are. machs nicht. he says. And people are swallowing it. He really must think we’re gullible idiots. I can only imagine the smirking contempt in which he must hold us.

    It has certainly worked on the Jews, at any rate. 3-to-1 for The One. Amazing.

    And we think we’re so smart. WTF did we get that idea?

  16. Ben-David

    10/30/2008 at 5:45 pm

    Attention 20 and 30-somethings:

    Voting Obama = voting your generation into wage slavery.

    The boomers who tried to “recreate ’68” at the Dem convention will get health care – just as their knees and arteries start giving out in large numbers.

    Who will pay for this?

    Those who are still working – that means YOU.

    A smaller number of people from Gen-X and younger (’cause the self-absorbed Boomers couldn’t be bothered to, ya know, reproduce – just like many of them couldn’t be bothered to stick around and raise y’all in stable families… too busy “finding themselves”).

    And if Europe and Canada are any indication – the system will be bankrupt by the time you need real serious medical care.

    Get it? You have been suckered into embracing a nostalgic-narcissistic boomer vision that will not benefit you at all.

  17. montana_urban_legend

    10/30/2008 at 6:38 pm


    Even you are capable of making a pretty good point every now and then, as your reference to the actions of the LA Times shows. Yes, I am suspicious of that, as it gives an actual reason for being more circumspect about Obama.

    The rest of what you write is a little harder to take as seriously, though. The spectrum of religious denominations between African Americans living in Chicago and Jews living in Israel are not comparable. Trinity was/is a huge African American church in Chicago. For a black politician to join it was not to seek out radically extremist views but to be part of a religious denomination that is more mainstream given the local alternatives, such as Nation of Islam. Just because Chicago religious politics looks polarizing to folks in the rest of the flyover, doesn’t mean that Obama’s an extremist. Large, mainstream religions are no less prone to endorsing beliefs that are so extreme as to border on fringe, (and one need look no further than mainstream Islam or the way the Catholic church deals with pedophilia in its ranks, homosexuality, or abortion for that). But I’m not going to call any given Catholic a rank extremist for participating in Mass and welcoming the pope. Some Catholics, OTOH, I would charge with those labels – depending on, – and here’s the kicker, – their particular views. So let’s not conflate the two. Kahane Chai is a fringe movement. Catholicism in the world at large and Trinity United in Chicago are not.

    Let’s not get into the movements that McCain and Palin have welcomed endorsements and spiritual guidance from. I mean, we could, but I don’t think it would go too well for either one if that happened. And they’re starting to realize that.

    Furthermore, hostile feelings among blacks toward whites and hostile feelings among whites toward blacks are not comparable. Blacks never spent hundreds of years taking advantage of a political system (or the remnants thereof) specifically sanctioned to dehumanize whites. White racism against blacks may involve your typical ethnic group on ethnic group resentment, but it benefits from the lingering stereotypes Americans at large inherited from a regime in place in some form or another until at least 44 years ago, which is relatively recent in historical terms. Blacks, OTOH, have not. Yes, some of them may resent whites at large. Some of them may harbor raging hatreds against whites. And some of the latter may even feel that the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons understand and give voice to those sentiments. Sometimes crime and even riots have demonstrated the danger posed in those sentiments, both in an immediate physical sense and in an abstract sociological or political sense. But once again, to equate black “racism” and white “racism” is to pretend that blacks have the confidence to believe that they could come to power and oppress whites in the same way they were oppressed. And to believe that is either insanely self-glorifying or insanely paranoid, depending on whether you’re black or white. But either way, it’s delusional. It’s not based in any reality whatsoever.

    We’re fast becoming a multiethnic society. We’d better learn how to place the baggage that each ethnic group carries with it in its proper context and stop using the excuse of anxiety or ignorance of “the other” as an excuse for irrational fearmongering and demonizing.

    And one other thing. If every friend of mine endorsed every one of my views and vice versa, I would shrink my circle of friends significantly. Sometimes we even like debating each other. It helps open and expand the mind, and sharpen your own sense of reasoning for own convictions. Sometimes, it gets you to challenge or change yours. But if I was a fundamentalist of some stripe or similarly narrow-minded individual maybe I wouldn’t like that. And neither would anyone else who values my contributions in a professional or personal setting for the sometimes clever and often comprehensive views I bring. It’s the sort of attribute many Americans value and are (now?) wise enough to claim to seek in a chief executive. And that’s a good thing.

    Read Louis Menand’s The Metaphysical Club for a history of the philosophy of pragmatism in America, one of the core values of which is that a sense of absolute certainty breeds absolute violence. I imagine you’ll pick up something useful from it.

  18. Ephraim

    10/30/2008 at 7:43 pm

    Juat like I thought, you are giving Obama a free ride by basically saying that since blacks have a perfectly good reason to hate whites but that whites don’t have a good reason to hate blacks, black anti-white racism is, therefore, justified. Thanks for proving my point about why supposedly liberal whites (and Jews) are reluctant to confront what is not justifiable grievance against a history of oppression, which would be perfectly understandable, but out-and-out racism. Sorry, I don’t buy it.

    And I do not for a second suppose that Obama is hiding some diabolical plan to enslave whites or whatever. From where did you get that? I simply want both candidates to be judged by the same standard and it is beyond obvious that people are treating Obama with kid gloves dafka because he’s black. Your post absolutely confirms it. You not only admit it, you come right out and say that it is only right that black racism should be judged by a different standard.

    You are also equating Obama’s 20-year close and personal association with a raving, lunatic anti-Semite and anti-white racist with endorsements of McCain by some supposedly racist groups or other. There is no comparison between these two things and I think you know it. Some random racist supporting you against the black guy is not the same as listening to 20 years of Wright’s “sermons” and then pretending you never heard what he said. Oprah Winfrey left Wright’s church years ago. Why didn’t Obama?

    And your argument that you cannot compare Kahane to Wright because Kahane was the leader of a tiny fringe movement and Wright was the leader of a big church is just, well, mind-boggling. Do you mean to say that racist views become OK just because a lot of people in a big organization believe them? You’re not that stupid, I hope.

    I can understand black resentment, at least on an intellectual level. If I were black I would probably, at the least, be suspicious of white people. But I expect the man I vote for for President to be a better person than I am and to represent what is best in this country. The best explanation of Obama’s membership in Wright’s church is that it was from the very beginning either a cynical political ploy or a craven capitualtion to the prevailing mood so as to enable Obama to establish his black “street cred”.

    This is bad enough, but the only other explanation is that he actually believes that shit.

    Not sure what your ramblings about a “multicultural” society and “putting ethnic baggage in context” mean. My guess is that it means you think I don’t want to vote for Obama because he’s black (the “Other”. Quelle horreur!). Utter, utter, bullshit. I voted for Tom Bradley for Governor of California in ’86, so that shit doesn’t cut it with me. I’m not voting for Obama not because of the color of his skin but because of the content of his character which is, at least partially, revealed by the company he keeps.

    Finally, I just want to state that I am not a particular fan of McCain. But he strikes me as a fundamentally honest man. Obama doesn’t.

  19. montana_urban_legend

    10/30/2008 at 8:24 pm

    Oh, come off it Ephraim and give me a break! When did I ever say so much as that “black anti-white racism is justified”. I said nothing of the sort. I said it’s nothing to get paranoid over. So no, you don’t have to “buy” your own straw man.

    I’m not advocating anyone treat Obama or anyone else with “kid gloves”. I’m advocating a rational standard of not jumping to paranoid conclusions about people just because you don’t understand the culture they are a part of.

    The comparison is made on the basis of the fact that NOBODY gave a damn about the close associations between scaremongering bigots and “blame America firsters” such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. These associations were, further, to be expected and natural in American politics – if you were WHITE. Until somebody pointed out how ugly they look among black political-religious institutions. It’s the double-standard that people are now being forced, FORCED, to finally grapple with. And they find that ugly prospect to be more daunting than they should if they were more honest.

    “And your argument that you cannot compare Kahane to Wright because Kahane was the leader of a tiny fringe movement and Wright was the leader of a big church is just, well, mind-boggling. Do you mean to say that racist views become OK just because a lot of people in a big organization believe them? You’re not that stupid, I hope.”

    No, I’m not, I think you know it, and I would appreciate less of these straw men. They’re not getting you anywhere except huffy and puffy. And if you want to compare Kahane and Wright on the basis of racism then you have to show Wright’s supposed racism. Stop getting your demonizing confused, though. He was condemned by the wingers for his supposedly anti-American jeremiads. (Look that last word up and tell me about its history).

    “Not sure what your ramblings about a ‘multicultural’ society and ‘putting ethnic baggage in context’ mean.”

    Then you might want to read up more on that.

    “My guess is that it means you think I don’t want to vote for Obama because he’s black (the “Other”. Quelle horreur!). Utter, utter, bullshit.”

    Nope. It’s not. Didn’t say that.

    “I voted for Tom Bradley for Governor of California in ‘86, so that shit doesn’t cut it with me. I’m not voting for Obama not because of the color of his skin but because of the content of his character which is, at least partially, revealed by the company he keeps.”

    You cannot judge someone’s character until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. That’s not always possible but first-hand accounts can often do the trick. Luckily, Obama is more literate than McCain. If you want to understand the context of his identity then you are better off trying to read one or both of the two very good books he’s written. They give an insight into a character that is more complex than the pride and honor meme typical of McCain given his military background, but I never claimed that Obama’s as simple a person as McCain is – mentally, characterologically or otherwise.

    “Finally, I just want to state that I am not a particular fan of McCain. But he strikes me as a fundamentally honest man. Obama doesn’t.”

    McCain and/or Palin have aired at least a dozen or so incontrovertible lies during the course of their desperate campaign to win. Bald-faced lies that they’ve failed to address or correct. That’s understandable given the fact that even their spokesperson said that the campaign would come down to personalities and not issues. If you want details on them, let me know. I’ll be happy to provide them. They’re out there for anyone who’s interested.

  20. Tom Morrissey

    10/30/2008 at 8:32 pm

    The most important aspect of the Obama-Wright relationship is what links it to Obama’s other problematic associations (with Ayers, Khalidi et al.). It’s this: what if any actions did Obama take in response to their diseased, repellent views? Did he lead Wright or Ayers to change their point of view, to see the world in a different way? Did Obama ever remonstrate with Wright about his racism? Did he take action as a Trinity congregant, for example by seeking a role in lay leadership, to steer the church’s teaching in a different (say, a Christian) direction? Did he stand up to protest when Wright, for example, blamed white people for AIDS?

    There’s no evidence Obama took any such actions.

    Obama may say he’s no Wright, not a racist. Fine. But Obama seeks the most important leadership post in the world. Did he lead within his own community? Or, as seems clear, did he go along to get along, glomming on to the likes of Wright to acquire street cred on the South Side?

    What has Barack Obama done to qualify him to be president of the United States?

  21. montana_urban_legend

    10/30/2008 at 8:43 pm

    Oh, ok. Now Obama’s to be taken to task for not challenging the leader of his congregation. As if he’s expected to be a religious reformer. Ok, Tom. I’ll make you this bargain. You show me one American politician you’ve voted for who didn’t spend their career actively agitating against certain troubling practices or pronouncements of the Catholic church (if they were Catholic) or the Evangelicals (if they were close to them), and then I’ll suspect that you’re not being a raging hypocrite.

    “Obama may say he’s no Wright, not a racist. Fine. But Obama seeks the most important leadership post in the world. Did he lead within his own community? Or, as seems clear, did he go along to get along, glomming on to the likes of Wright to acquire street cred on the South Side?”

    This may sound confusing to people who casually throw around labels like “messiah”, but Obama is actually not running for a theological position. He’s not running to be the leader of an organized religious group. I understand this might come as a shock to people who have no qualms or are peachy keen with the theocratically-oriented inclinations of The Religious Right, but more and more Americans are getting tired of an unquestioning acceptance of their demands to pretend to speak for every decent American.

    “What has Barack Obama done to qualify him to be president of the United States?”

    Wow. A bit late to the game on that one, are we Tom? If that’s where you’re forced to take your approach now, then you might as well wait until we compare Obama’s accomplishments in 8 years to those of the eminently qualified George W. Bush.

  22. montana_urban_legend

    10/30/2008 at 8:52 pm

    Tom, Obama, a US senator, was a state senator for quite some time. Before that, Harvard Law Review. During the time thereafter, professor of constitutional law at Chicago. What’s with the obsession with holding executive or corporate office as the sine qua non of leadership experience? Many people like his ideas, approach, ability to speak to issues that are important to them and most praise what they see as leadership abilities that are evident to them. Being able to make a good argument on the current state of affairs in the country is in itself important. Especially during times as contentious and rife with internal argument as Bush has made them. Of course, that’s nothing compared to the sinecure of a state executive office/fiefdom that you made more corrupt and riven with self-interest (and conflict of interest) than before. But people are becoming less and less impressed by stuff like that.

  23. Tom Morrissey

    10/30/2008 at 8:55 pm

    Even W was more qualified back in ’00, MUL. Palin may not be qualified to be POTUS, but she’s more qualified than Obama.

    Not sure about your religious practices/affiliation, MUL, but America’s full of churches and synagogues. If Obama had believed Trinity a poor fit, there were plenty of alternatives. Chicago’s a big city. Ever been on the South Side? (Last time I was there, I had to cough up dough to the local kids to make sure my car wouldn’t be stripped during the White Sox game I was attending, but that’s another story.) More churches there than you can shake a stick at.

    So let’s not pretend Obama lacked options. Even by your standards, that’s an exceptionally goofy argument.

    And we’re not talking heroism here. If my parish priest delivered a racist screed during Mass, I’d get my ass out of there and so would everyone else. The church would be empty the following Sunday (and the priest escorted away by men in white suits).

    We’re looking for normal, not Martin Luther.

  24. Tom Morrissey

    10/30/2008 at 9:04 pm

    …But back to the post.

    Here’s all you need to know about next Tuesday:

  25. montana_urban_legend

    10/30/2008 at 9:07 pm

    “Even W was more qualified back in ‘00, MUL. Palin may not be qualified to be POTUS, but she’s more qualified than Obama.”

    That’s an excellent point, Tom. I’m not sure why you don’t realize that it works precisely against what you are trying to argue.

    “If Obama had believed Trinity a poor fit, there were plenty of alternatives.”

    Why don’t you name them, Tom? If you don’t mind. Do explain to me how they are superior as well, in theologically sophisticated terms.

    “If my parish priest delivered a racist screed during Mass”

    Tom, you’re really going to have to get your story straight. If you’re trying to accuse Wright of racist screeds, cough up the evidence.

    “We’re looking for normal, not Martin Luther.”

    “Normal”? Interesting word to use against the first serious black presidential candidate in 216 years. Again, apparently you either assume a Bill Cosby figure (maybe ‘The Cos’ didn’t go into politics for a reason) or you want to tell me what it was like to walk as a black politician in Obama’s shoes, mkay? But I’m not convinced you have a serious understanding about that.

  26. Ephraim

    10/30/2008 at 9:20 pm

    Of course I can judge someone’s character without walking a mile in his shoes. Everybody does it all the time. If we couldn’t make judgments about people without having the exact same experiences they had, we wouldn’t be able to have a single opinion about anything of importance.

    I haven’t walked a mile in Yasser Arafat’s shoes, for example, but I’m pretty sure the guy was an anti-Semitic murderer. Which says a lot about his character. Same for Hitler. I don’t need to know what caused him to be a lunatic. But I know he was one.

    Irony alert: These are just examples. Please don’t start screaming that I compared Obama to Arafat and Hitler.

    “I’m advocating a rational standard of not jumping to paranoid conclusions about people just because you don’t understand the culture they are a part of.”

    Ohhhhh, I get it. It’s a “black thang”. So, since I’m white, I don’t (no, can’t) get it. OK. Glad to know I have no right to judge Obama because I don’t understand his culture. Funny, I thought he was an American.

    With everything you say you prove again and again that you are holding Obama to a different standard than McCain precisely because he’s black. I’m not saying that Obama is necessarily a racist, I’m saying that his close associations with known racists must give one pause. Yet all you do is say “I have to understand his culture”. If racism means judging people of differnt races by different standards, I’d say you’re more of a racist than I am. Racist in favor of Obama, perhaps, but it is undeniable that you consider Obama’s race in your judgment of him.

    “You might want to read up more on that?” “Look that last word up and tell me about its history”?

    Are you trying to take me to school or something? I am aware of what people call “ethnic baggage”. I just asked you to explain what you meant by bringing it up in this context.

    I also know what a jeremiad is. Jeremiah railed against the Jewish people for their failure to live up to G-d’s commandments. But he said what he said out of love for his people and in the hope of their eventual reformation. Comparing a racist like Wright to a prophet like Jeremiah shows me that you are the one who has misunderstood Jeremiah. You’re the one who needs to look things up, not me.

    Wright’s supposed racism? What planet do you live on?

    Obama did not need to try to reform Wright’s “church”. But he could have had the decency to leave it.

  27. montana_urban_legend

    10/30/2008 at 9:41 pm

    I think a fair standard would be one that admits that black racism (“racism” more accurately defines a system or society, BTW, not one’s own views; “bigoted” is a better way of accomplishing the latter) is not the sort of insidious evil that white racism is and was. The minority wasn’t and isn’t in danger of persecuting the majority. First let’s see if you can admit that and then there might be a basis for everything else you want to discuss related to it.

    Obama did leave Wright’s church once it became clear that he was going to make divisive statements and let them stand. As a presidential candidate, Obama had the power to make such a stand a meaningful one. As a nobody Illinois politician, not so much. But if appearances and bluster are more important to you than effective actions, I’m not surprised to hear that you’re supporting McCain.

  28. Tom Morrissey

    10/30/2008 at 10:19 pm

    Those “effective actions” would be?…

  29. Yoni C.

    10/30/2008 at 11:26 pm

    sorry ck, i don’t speak mexican

  30. Ephraim

    10/31/2008 at 12:06 am

    Obama only left Wright’s “church” when it became a political liability. He was happy to stay in a racist….oh, sorry, Professor, a bigoted church when he thought nobody was looking. I think “hypocrite” is the word you’re looking for.

    And do you mean to suggest that the only reason his leaving the church was “meaningful” was becasue he was a Presidential candidate? And that his leaving it as a Presidential candidate gave the act some sort of “power”? Can you explain your reasoning? Morality isn’t something that has meaning only when someone notices it. Now, if it had come out when Obama started his run for President that he had once, when he was a nobody, been a member of Wright’s “church” and then had left when he realized what a bigot Wright was, that would have made me take notice. As it is, it was a cheap political stunt, done under duress when he was found out. It just made him look like a chump.

    I never suggested that institutionalized racism on the part of white America towards its non-white citizens was somehow not as bad as the crackpot anti-white and anti-Semitic ravings on Wright and his friend Farrakhan. I think it is quite a bit worse, but that is not and has never been my point. And yet you still seem to think that I think that Obama is secretly planning some sort of anti-white pogroms and that that is why I am not going to vote for him. Talk about a straw man.

    My only point is that it makes sense to judge a man by the sort of people he chooses to associate with. Everybody does it all the time and nobody accuses them of being racists. Obama’s choice of pals and advisors does not inspire me with confidence. That’s really the long and the short of it.

  31. themiddle

    10/31/2008 at 2:16 am

    Tom, how did you know about that race?

  32. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 4:06 am

    Middle, that finish is something of a legend. Wottle got into some trouble when he forgot to remove that goofy cap of his for the national anthem.

  33. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 8:00 am

    Some degree of anti-white resentment among blacks may be more pervasive than I think you know or would like to admit. That being said, I don’t think it is as much of a problem, morally or practically, as the opposite. Some of the worse or stronger elements within it could stand to be confronted, and they have.

    Of course, Obama’s statements toward Wright carried more weight when he was a candidate than at any other time previously. That doesn’t mean they weren’t more convenient or practical, as well (to assume so would be a false dichotomy). But so what? Which is more important to you?

    The point is that your attitude seems like an incredibly impractical and unhelpful one. Listening to you go on like this reminds me of all the people on YouTube who claim that Jews think they’re superior to gentiles and that Israel is a racist state because they’re, you know, the “chosen people”, and how this is a BIG PROBLEM. Gnaw on that one for a while and then get back to me and tell me how you feel about that. Because both those attitudes and the perspective that animates you here seem to be borne of an incredible sense of ignorance, of either Jewish or African American culture respectively, IMHO.

  34. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 8:34 am

    Speaking of associations, Ariel Sharon was a good friend of assassinated Moledet politico Rehavam Ze’evi, who advocated population transfer of Arabs. He referred to Arabs living illegally in Israel as a “cancer” and compared them to “lice”. My understanding is that he was widely looked up to within Israel, having been a part of the original generation that fought in 1948. Assuming you’re willing to condemn every Israeli who didn’t make a career out of confronting him, including his good friend Sharon, I’ll accept that your criticisms of Obama are being made fairly and in good faith.

  35. froylein

    10/31/2008 at 10:37 am

    Ephraim, BD, you’re dealing with someone who accused me of trying to more or less sabotage the Obama campaign resp. Obama’s chances in the primaries by my merely just pointing out that Obama’s background was not typical of that of most Afro-Americans and that there still was a lot of (also organized) racism towards blacks in the US today. That person also assumed and suggested a lot of things about me without actually knowing me. Pair double standards with amnesia and garnish it with some hypocrisy, peppered with victimology and you’re set.

  36. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 10:51 am

    Please provide the quote that forms the basis for your accusation above or kindly shut up about it, Froylein. We know how you generally are with evidence. Lacking.

    The first time I ever said anything that dared challenge anything you wrote here you suggested I e-mail the site and complain about your intelligence to whoever runs the show. Aside from being a likely ploy, this speaks to that limitless sense of intellectual insecurity and outrage of yours (which has become predictable and boring by now) which you keep throwing at me anytime I dare to disagree with your incredibly hardened and often unexamined views.

    You have incredibly thin skin and take things incredibly personally, regardless of intentions. If it’s wrong for anyone commenting on Jewlicious to disagree with Queen Froylein or present arguments and evidence contrary to what she’d like to believe, just tell me so I can be warned in advance. That sort of tyranical intellectual authoritarianism is not my bag. Seriously, Froylein. But in the meantime, your uncontrolled contempt for me is not the issue being discussed, in case you hadn’t noticed.

  37. froylein

    10/31/2008 at 11:05 am


    We know how you generally are, MUL. But we’re used to such characters on Halloween.

  38. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 11:15 am

    ‘Queen’? Hmm, if we’re to compare froylein to royalty…. how about HRH The Princess Victoria, Princess Royal (aka the Empress Frederick)?

    For a Halloween disguise, though, I’m thinking Sarah Palin might be a good match.

  39. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 11:21 am

    Glad to see you provided the quote and weren’t above providing evidence when pressed for it, Froylein. But I can’t see for the life of me how this proves that I “accused (you) of trying to more or less sabotage the Obama campaign resp. Obama’s chances in the primaries”. If you care to discuss that ridiculous accusation on the basis of the link you provide, I can do that, too. Or I can just wish you and everyone else a Happy Halloween and hope that you don’t always get more spooked than you should about simple disagreements – even if they’re disagreements with you or with the things you say.

    But seriously, let’s not pretend that one can dress up my comments with costumes and make them out to mean things that they clearly don’t. That’s just silly.

  40. Levitt8

    10/31/2008 at 11:34 am

    In regards to Khalidi, however, the guilt-by-association game burns John McCain as well.

    During the 1990s, while he served as chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), McCain distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars.

    A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. (See grant number 5180, “West Bank: CPRS” on page 14 of this PDF.)

    The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi’s group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of “sociopolitical attitudes.”

    Of course, there’s seemingly nothing objectionable with McCain’s organization helping a Palestinian group conduct research in the West Bank or Gaza. But it does suggest that McCain could have some of his own explaining to do as he tries to make hay out of Khalidi’s ties to Obama.

  41. froylein

    10/31/2008 at 11:36 am

    Tom, I’m still in my clothes from work; no partying for me tonight. Halloween has only slowly been catching on here; it’s mostly kindergarten and primary school kids asking for treats (got plenty of sweets ready). Some sociologist suggested though that Halloween would likely grow more popular here as it is a Celtic holiday originally, it’s close to St Martin’s Day (week after next), which marks the beginning of the pre-Christmas lent and the beginning of the Carnival season, and could be adopted analogous to the Carnival heyday street celebrations, when people here generally dress up in fancy costumes (I was a fishtank this year).

    The link I provided is pretty self-explanatory. Considering that reading things into comments that were never actually said or insinuated (in contradiction to negative suggestions employed in the comment and subsequent ones linked to above) has become typical of your comments, as has not only been noticed by me, it appears to me I’ve found the perfect Halloween costume for you.

  42. themiddle

    10/31/2008 at 11:45 am

    Nice piece of info, Levitt8. Great moniker, too.

  43. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 11:46 am

    MUL, don’t bother ringing froylein’s doorbell tonight, OK? She’s not gonna appreciate your Obama costume. And who knows what she’ll slip into that candied apple….

    And speaking of being spooked: I’m not a doctor (nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night) but I sense a creeping anxiety beneath the stock-response bravado. We care about you, my friend.

    There’s no need to pull your hair out over the next three days. Most patients tolerate Ativan well. If you line up a doctor’s appt. this pm, you can score enough to make it into the wee hours of 11/5.

    Please touch base on this later today.

  44. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 11:51 am

    The link is not “self-explanatory”. I will quote your accusation from above if in any subsequent comments if you’re having trouble reading it. Take a single excerpt from the link and explain how it proves what you claim it does.

    Or just move on. If you can stand to. If you can stand to not become outraged, OUTRAGED, I tell you(!) about each and every comment that doesn’t accept what you say at face value just because you’re the great Froylein.

    Come on, Froylein. Everyone should chill out from time to time and not fall back on some expectation that they are the embodiment of righteousness and that what flows out of their mouths is the pronouncement of virtue, intellectual virtue or otherwise. Unless they’re willing to analyze those things. In detail. If you’re up for it, I’ll play along. But I’m becoming bored by the prospect of it and prefer to remain amused by your willingness to go to such lengths to prove nothing but how much I get in the way of your amazing ego, pseudonymous though it may be.

    I’ve got some fun to have today. Much, much more of it can be had away from these shenanigans, though, I’ll let you know. At least today.

  45. Ephraim

    10/31/2008 at 11:54 am

    Jesus, I cannot believe how it is possible for you to so consistently miss the point.

    How did Obama reluctantly resigning from Wright’s church under pressure of public opinion only after people found out what a racist/bigot Wright was carry more moral weight because he was a presidential candidate than it would have if he had been just Joe Shmuck? For me, it is clear that he only resigned from Wright’s church for calculated political reasons, not because of any moral conviction. Resigning for the right reasons when it does not necessarily have any upside for you is a sign of a moral man, not the other way around.

    How does what I say about Obama have anything to do with your (wildly innacurate) assumptions about what I do and do not know about Jewish culture? How do you get from “I don’t like Obama because he hangs around with racists and PLO tools and so I think he’ll be bad for Israel” to comparing me to a Nazi? And I’m the one who is simple-minded?

  46. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 11:55 am

    I appreciate that you’re trying (or at least pretending to try) to be jovial about things, Tom. But I assure you: I feel pretty relaxed and in positive spirits today, regardless of the election. There’s a festive mood from my vantage point (meaning outside of cyberspace) today and in the coming days, for many reasons.

    Things are good.

  47. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 12:00 pm

    “How did Obama reluctantly resigning from Wright’s church under pressure of public opinion only after people found out what a racist/bigot Wright was carry more moral weight because he was a presidential candidate than it would have if he had been just Joe Shmuck?”

    Because it just does. What high-profile politicians pronounce on, more people listen to and take more seriously than if Joe (Shmuck or “the Plumber”) says them, Ephraim. That’s just the way it works.

    “How does what I say about Obama have anything to do with your (wildly innacurate) assumptions about what I do and do not know about Jewish culture?”

    I was talking about what you know of black American culture.

    “How do you get from “I don’t like Obama because he hangs around with racists and PLO tools and so I think he’ll be bad for Israel” to comparing me to a Nazi?”

    No one compared you to a Nazi, dude. Would you chill out, just a tad?

  48. froylein

    10/31/2008 at 12:12 pm

    It’s not me who frequently evaluates their comments as “intelligent” or “well-reasoned”. I don’t get outraged either. I also don’t claim a lack of intelligence on my conversation partner’s part whenever I don’t understand something, but will point out an either intended or reader-immanent lack of comprehension. I don’t assume that criticism of either political candidate mandates support of the respective other one.

    Tom, no poisoned apples here, but one of my brothers might answer the door.

  49. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 12:32 pm

    “Obama did leave Wright’s church once it became clear that he was going to make divisive statements and let them stand.”

    As opposed to all the divisive statements Obama had gotten Wright to retract.

  50. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 12:41 pm

    Froylein, your first paragraph is largely unresponsive as it proclaims things you apparently like to read into what I say without really asking me what I think or know, but no matter. I’m used to you doing that. That said, I agree with your last sentence re: criticism, but there is a limit. If someone makes really wacky and unexamined, nonsensical accusations about one candidate and never displays the same approach toward another, I think that pointing that out is a meaningful observation and possibly revealing of their personal, political sympathies. If it explains your accusation then you seem to be accusing me of what you were doing. Most of my comments amount to criticism, criticism of criticism, praise or neutral analyses, sometimes with historical context, of third parties who are usually well-known. I’m not telling other people what they should do or think.

    Why would I want to go to Froylein’s door, Tom, and why the extended bit on it? Do you guys really think I don’t know people who are less mean to me with whom to interact socially? That’s really insulting. 😉

  51. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 12:46 pm

    Tom, why is it Obama’s job to get Wright to retract statements?

    There really seems to be an undercurrent of assumptions based on the idea that people do or should speak for others.

  52. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 12:50 pm

    The answer, MUL, is that Obama can fairly be required to have either left for someplace else, or done something– anything– to address the ignorance and bigotry at Trinity.

    He’s running for president, right?

  53. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 12:52 pm

    I’ve already e-mail this to some, but here’s as simple as it gets:

    “If McCain loses CO and the rest of the 2004 map stays the same, he can afford to lose one of either NM, NV, or IA. But he must hold VA. If he loses CO, plus more than one of NM, NV, or IA, he needs PA. If he loses CO and just VA, he needs PA. If he loses CO, NM, IA, and VA, he can still win with PA. If he loses CO, NM, IA, NV, and VA, he loses even with PA.”

  54. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 12:57 pm

    Tom, the quote had to do with the fact that at that point, Obama had challenged Wright directly on some recent statements, and Wright confirmed them and let them stand. Why it would be more important for Obama to have made a series of little public squabbles with Wright, when no one outside of Chicago knew either person, for the purpose of the prospect of local grudge matches, that would have amounted to nothing done, is something I suppose you’ll have to explain to me. Unless your contention is that the bully pulpit or positions close to it don’t give one the gravitas to challenge and pronounce on such things in a more effective manner.

  55. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 1:00 pm

    Now that he is running for president, he has done that, Tom. Why you continue to assume that Obama should have done something more at an earlier point leads me to believe that you think he had more power to influence people than he did.

  56. Grand Muffti

    10/31/2008 at 1:17 pm

    Muffti can say first hand that University professors are bound to run into a whole host of characters from the very mundane to the extremely bizarre. And for both professional and social reasons, you learn to often separate the person from the academic unless it is completely intolerable. The founder of modern logic which philosophers find an invaluable tool and all of you who use computers indirectly depend on was himself a proto-nazi (Frege, and apparently Gentzen after him…) Muffti respects the philosopher/logician and if he were resurrected, Muffti would take the opportunity to ask him questions about the nature of logic and ontology. He’d avoid politics (or not avoid politics in order to find out why such a brilliant guy had such deeply disturbing views). Like it or not, that’s life in academia and Khalidi and Obama were colleagues.

    That’s the way it goes: some people that you find interesting to talk to and discuss work with and even argue virulently with are going to be at great odds iwth you in the academic world. You learn to work with them if you can stand them or ignore their politics/ethics etc. If you can’t, you ignore them but after a while you build up a tolerance that you may find morally objectionable but is frequently necessary for getting things done.

    It’s the lamest sort of guilt by association Muffti can think of. The cases of Wright and Ayers are at least potentially interesting (though truthfully both, and especially the wright one, seem pretty lame to Muffti.) People seem to have an image of church goers as passive recipients of whatever they are yelled at from the pulpit rather than active engagers in a dialectic. It may be true for some but even Muffti, head atheist in chief at this site, thinks it’s nothing short of insulting to say think of as the norm for religious people. Y’all here aren’t sheep slavishly copying down and committing to belief everything your favourite rabbis tell you. Why think christians are that much worse?

  57. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 1:23 pm

    Thank you, Muffti, for some very welcome insight and, when it comes to the guilt-by-association perspective, some sanity! At least IMO.

    That said, enjoy this video!

    (It’s very fun and I don’t see how anyone can find it politically objectionable. Unless they’re anti-dance).

  58. Ephraim

    10/31/2008 at 1:30 pm

    You’re completely wrong, Montana.

    When a high-profile politician reluctantly reverses himself under public pressure, people see that for what it is: a pathetic attempt at CYA to garner votes, not as an action motivated by any kind of principle. If they’re not easily duped, I mean.

  59. Grand Muffti

    10/31/2008 at 1:36 pm

    What’s dumb about this, Ephraim, is that Obama ditched the guy for such ridiculous guilt by association reasons. Muffti would have respect O far more if he’d stuck to his guns and said ‘what you are doing is insulting to all religious people and at grounds of mere reasoning completely embarassingly fallacious’. Though he probably should have put it in words that american public could easily understand. Muffti has been out of the religion game for a long time but is this really how it works? You find a place you like and then if the rabbi/head/etc. has a particular way of thinking you don’t like, or flirt with but as you mature come to have disagreement with, you just take off and find a new place? ARe you guys that shallow and stupid and unable to have complex relationships with the particular personages and philosophical groundings of your particualr faiths?

    Shameful. Just shameful.

  60. Grand Muffti

    10/31/2008 at 1:37 pm

    yikes. Muffti should really not try to edit on the fly. But you see his point despite its not really being stated in english.

  61. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 1:41 pm

    Wright’s a lot more relevant than Ayers, because Obama spent 20 years at his church, was married there, etc. It’s much more plausible for Obama to cast Ayers merely as a friend who did bad things when Obama was a kid. I’m prepared to agree with him about that.

    My biggest concern about Obama as a voter is this: has he ever stood up to anyone, ever? Has he ever departed from orthodoxy in a risk-taking manner, as McCain, whatever else may be said about him, has done again and again? In this regard, Obama’s associations; his doctrinaire voting record (when he votes at all); his extreme reluctance to revise his views in the face of overwhelming evidence, e.g. the surge in Iraq; and his flip-flops to accommodate interest groups are all of a piece. He goes along to get along. Or he goes along because he wants to– while promising everything to everyone. (Well, except for the “rich” and union workers who value a secret ballot.)

    In medias two wars and the worst financial crisis since the Depression, these are signs of grossly inadequate leadership skills. Another failed presidency is the last thing we need.

  62. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 1:49 pm

    The speech in Philadelphia was a way of putting it in words that the American public could understand, if they were so inclined. The point is that problematic attitudes are not the exclusive realm of this easily delineated group which we can demonize or that easily delineated group which we can demonize, but exist in many forms and often apply in some way to more of us generally than we’d like to admit.

    The fact that people don’t give the Wright treatment to every politician who has had long-standing relationships with religious icons of American politics such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, tells you everything you need to know about the existence of a black-white double-standard regarding the Wright fiasco. It’s a form of hypocrisy that I’m surprised more people here don’t get. But more Jews seemed to think they got it once the spectacle of Sarah Palin’s interaction with a witch-doctor was exposed. Or maybe they just got something else, but something that was no less important

    Ephraim, the principle of it is less important when an action can actually be effective. You’re assuming Obama’s audience consisted of white people only.

  63. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 1:55 pm

    I dunno, Tom. I think he did a good job standing up to Hillary (and Bill) Clinton.

    Is he not standing up to John McCain?

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

    And regarding the financial crisis, the ability to not just stand up to anyone but to listen to a variety of views is probably a leadership asset. My understanding is that many more economists are endorsing Obama than McCain.

  64. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 1:59 pm

    Muffti, you need a crash course in Protestant Reformation 101. I’m a Catholic. The archbishop sticks my parish with a priest who’s on a 5-year contract. He’s great, he sucks, I love him, hate him, it doesn’t matter, tough titties. I have no role in how the operation’s run.

    It’s different for our heretical brothers and sisters. You get to choose to belong to a church. Many evanglicals, e.g. Sarah Palin, choose not to formally belong to one. You don’t like First Baptist on Main Street? There’s First Baptist the next town over. Or St. Mark’s Episcopal, whathaveyou.

    Now, suppose you feel an investment in the faith community, so you don’t want to simply take off even if you don’t like the minister. There are lay ministries that enable congregants to shape the social mission of the church. (Again, Muffti– they’re Protestants.)

    Check out Trinity’s website, as I just did, for more information, under ministries– there’s a shitload– which begins with these words:

    “Our ministry at Trinity United Church of Christ has been shaped by our vision as a church “In the Heart of the Community, ever-seeking to Win the Community’s Heart.” and the motto we are “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian.”

    “For more information about any ministry listed on this page, please contact Ministry Services.”

    Obama says he wasn’t around during Wright’s rants. Obama said and did nothing until his political ass was on the line.

    wtf is this so hard to understand?

  65. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 2:09 pm

    Tom, is the irony of telling people you consider heretics how to conduct their religious affairs not apparent to you?

  66. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 2:31 pm

    I’m not telling ’em, MUL, I’m observing what they do and conveying it to Muffti, who clearly needs to find an Episcopal church for a hug and a glass of warm milk.

  67. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 2:39 pm

    Ok. Clarification noted. You’re telling them what they should do in order to be respectable heretics – from the perspective of how they conduct their religious affairs – in the eyes of someone who doesn’t consider himself a heretic. So noted. Still ironic.

    Whatever Muffti needs or doesn’t need – and he seems a pretty well put-together guy – I’m sure someone will be willing to offer him the hug and warm milk. Not sure what they’d make of his title and/or atheism, though, especially if it’s an Episcopalian church.

  68. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 2:46 pm

    In order to understand Obama/Wright, you need to understand that religious culture. US Protestant Christians understand the relationship intuitively, because they live it. Just trying to help y’all out.

  69. froylein

    10/31/2008 at 2:50 pm

    Tom, I’ll brief Muffti in on Protestant theology one of these days.

    While I personally don’t see any appeal in witchcraft, reiki, feng-shui and thelike esoteric approaches to life (the vid of Palin made me read up some scientific stuff on the history of witchcraft; pretty interesting), if this is part of Palin’s beliefs, it’s covered by the freedom of creed. I find Wright’s supremacist notions, which also were found in his church’s bulletin, which could be found online until early into the primaries (didn’t check back again later) and which was also mailed to the congregants, rather worrisome. I find the claims that Obama didn’t know about Wright’s views absolutely unconvincing unless somebody can convincingly show how Wright would change his sermons on the spot whenever he spotted Obama in the pews. Also, I recall Obama repeatedly calling Wright “a friend” before he distanced himself from him at the most urgent / convenient point in time. Now, the US, like many other states, reserves the right to not admit visitors or immigrants that hold unconstitutional views or have at some point in their lives associated with people holding unconstitutional views or acting in unconstitutional ways. I cannot be held responsible for who sits next to me on a plane if I have been assigned a random seat, but if I walk up to the information desk at the departure gate and urge ground staff to get me a seat next to a certain person, I will have a hard time pretending I didn’t do so deliberately.

    As for not voting, I found this clip interesting:

  70. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 3:08 pm

    Wright was a friend of Obama’s. And Rehavam Ze’evi was a friend of Ariel Sharon’s. And Ted Kennedy or some other politician was probably a friend of former klansman of Robert Byrd’s. This has all been covered. Again, the question is so what?

    There is a disturbing conflation here between what one person believes and what someone associated with them – in any way – believes. That is not the same thing as wondering if Palin really does take seriously the witchcraft etc. Not many people here are taking seriously the difference between intellectual conformity (which, I agree, is a ridiculous notion – both to hold to in itself or to assume among others), and differentiating between what two different people believe. Different people can actually believe – get this – different things. Regardless of their relationship with each other. That’s the beauty of not being linked in some massive organic perma-lock mind-meld with others.

    Everything I’m saying here I defer back to Muffti for more detailed explanations on.

  71. froylein

    10/31/2008 at 3:25 pm

    If that is justification enough, there’s no point in criticizing anybody who remained (allegedly) silent on history’s humanitarian catastrophies. Indifference doesn’t fare well in democracies. This is not about forcing people into line, but about whether one possesses enough character to stand up for what they claim to believe in. Friends are not family; there’s no blood tie, and even families rather are sociological than biological constructs. I pick my friends deliberately and therefore my environment reflects back on me as well.

  72. Ephraim

    10/31/2008 at 3:45 pm

    Like I said: if I were a member of Meir Kahane’s shul for 20 years, I think it would be perfectly reasonable for people to infer from that that I had certain ideas about, say, Arabs. I don’t see how I could blame them for it. They hear what Kahane says and assume I must endorse it, since I have been a member of his shul for so long. It’s a perfectly reasonable assumption.

    The rabbi/pastor sets the spiritual agenda for the shul/church. He is the public face of the shul/church. So if the rabbi’s views are not to your liking and you think they reflect badly on you by being asociated with them, yes, you leave and go find/found another shul. It happens all the time. Usually not for such high-minded reasons, but it happens.

  73. Ephraim

    10/31/2008 at 3:53 pm

    Oh, yeah: I really don’t understand what you mean by Obama’s resignation from Wright’s church being “effective”. What do you think it was supposed to accomplish? If you think it supposedly taught some great moral lesson to America, I think you’re quite wrong. And if he did it for that purpose, he’s more manipulative than I thought.

    Is this something like “if a principled stand takes place in the forest and no one is around to see it does it have an effect?” sort of thing?

  74. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 4:28 pm

    I’m not sure that Wright is guilty of any atrocities, let alone humanitarian catastrophes. And while I can understand how choosing one’s friends on the basis of social affiliation or the presumption of shared morals alone is important in adolescence, to adults, intellectual stimulation becomes more important – as does the ability to maintain ties with people who challenge your principles and vice versa – especially to a competent politician.

    Ephraim: Read the speech Obama gave in Philadelphia in the wake of l’affaire Wright and let me know what you make of the reaction of African Americans to it, if you wouldn’t mind, if you want to assume that what you “think” alone is going to be persuasive to me vis a vis the effectiveness of his pronouncements.

    Once again, if anyone is willing to condemn Sharon’s character based on his friendship with Rehavam Ze’evi, or Trent Lott’s character on account of his friendship with Strom Thurmond (as opposed to his judgment based on the things he said about his failed presidential bid as a segregationist), then let’s have at it. Any takers?

    Didn’t think so.

  75. froylein

    10/31/2008 at 4:43 pm

    Intellectual stimulation? Rabid racism has always only been intellectually stimulating to the lowest forms of human society possible. As Muffti pointed out above, you may have to interact with people you disagree with, but you don’t have to befriend them. Of course, opportunism isn’t uncommon in politics on whatever end of the political sphere, but intellectually stimulating this is not.

  76. Ephraim

    10/31/2008 at 4:47 pm

    I’m not sure that Wright is guilty of any atrocities, let alone humanitarian catastrophes.

    Huh? Did I say he was?

    Oh, wait a minute: a Sharon reference, right? Cute.

    …intellectual stimulation becomes more important – as does the ability to maintain ties with people who challenge your principles and vice versa – especially to a competent politician.

    Huh? Are you now saying that Obama was a member of Wright’s church for 20 years because he disagreed with Wright?

    Anyway, all you’re saying is that Obama based his associations and actions on political considerations. In other words, he was calculating, like a politician should be.

    That seems to be why you like him; but I’ve always hated people like that. The least he could have done is be a little more skillful and make his self-interest a little less obvious.

    I don’t care what black people, or any other people, thought about his speech. I care what I thought about it, and his reasons for giving it. Why should I base my opinion of him on somebody else’s opinion of him? With everything you say you saying that Obama can only be evaluated fairly through what the black community thinks of him. Do you seriously believe that?

  77. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 5:16 pm

    Reducing Wright’s thoughts to nothing more than “rabid racism” is not a convincing way to show that you have read them. Then there’s that whole part about challenging one’s principles that you didn’t respond to.


    “I’m not sure that Wright is guilty of any atrocities, let alone humanitarian catastrophes.

    Huh? Did I say he was?”

    I am responding to more than one person in that comment.

    “Oh, wait a minute: a Sharon reference, right? Cute.”

    Ok. So you won’t apply the same standards to Sharon that you apply to Obama.

    “…intellectual stimulation becomes more important – as does the ability to maintain ties with people who challenge your principles and vice versa – especially to a competent politician.

    Huh? Are you now saying that Obama was a member of Wright’s church for 20 years because he disagreed with Wright?”


    “Anyway, all you’re saying is that Obama based his associations and actions on political considerations. In other words, he was calculating, like a politician should be.”

    Nope again.

    “That seems to be why you like him; but I’ve always hated people like that. The least he could have done is be a little more skillful and make his self-interest a little less obvious.”

    If it makes you feel better to believe that, then believe it.

    “I don’t care what black people, or any other people, thought about his speech. I care what I thought about it,”

    Why? Because you’re the only person or belong to the only demographic it was addressed to? You aren’t.

    “and his reasons for giving it.”

    You can’t do that if you believe you’re the only member of the audience who matters, or assume that your thoughts and experiences are the same as theirs.

    “Why should I base my opinion of him on somebody else’s opinion of him?”

    I don’t know. Why?

    “With everything you say you saying that Obama can only be evaluated fairly through what the black community thinks of him. Do you seriously believe that?”

    Nope. And nope.

  78. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 5:18 pm

    And I think you missed Muffti’s point.

  79. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 5:40 pm

  80. froylein

    10/31/2008 at 6:20 pm

    Considering it anything else but rabid racism convincingly shows that double standards are being applied. It’s not about challenging principles; I need not befriend, for instance, convicted murderers to know that murder is morally despicable.

    And I got Muffti’s point even though you didn’t see the distinction he’d made.

  81. Ephraim

    10/31/2008 at 6:22 pm

    OK. Have it your way. I’ll just have to accept the fact that nothing you say makes any sense, then.

    Part of the whole problem, anyway, is that you think Obama’s speech was addressed to a certain “demographic”. That kind of thinking is precisely the problem. Obama, or any other politician, is not a prioduct to be mareketed. They have become that and it is precisely what’s wrong, since instead of speaking out of priniciple and convction they parse their words and tailor them to appeal to so many different “demographics” at once that they become either completely incoherent or just resort to spouting lowest-common-demoniator pabulum.

    Again, I have to say that I don’t particularly like McPalin, so I’m not railing against Obama because I’m a Republican. I’m a registered Democrat and I always have been. I’m just bitterly disappointed at the way the party has gone and the candidate they chose.

  82. Tom Morrissey

    10/31/2008 at 7:08 pm

    Now that we’ve all agreed on Wright– this one’s for Middle. Just for fun, another greatest hit from ABC Sports. Yeah, it’s off topic– but there is a Jewish theme: one of the greatest on-air calls of all time.

  83. montana_urban_legend

    10/31/2008 at 7:31 pm

    Froylein, the more I hear from you, the more I get the impression that I’m listening to a very insolent person. It makes me want to be cautious in the way I speak to you because there really does seem to be a considerable maturity gap that prevents you from accepting or even considering certain ideas that challenge your rigid impressions. But you upload posts here, Jewlicious sees fit to allow that, and I don’t want to offend ck, or Muffti, or even Middle. So your self-esteem is indirectly important to me, and I therefore will allow you to accuse me of not understanding what Muffti wrote, even though that is perhaps the most confused interpretation of what I said that I can imagine. Because perhaps my doing so will make you feel better as it might allow you to believe that it’s a serious accusation.

    What we’re talking about is reductionist interpretations. Even if you want to call Wright a “rabid racist” that doesn’t mean he didn’t have other things to say or that he wanted to talk or preach about, even legitimate things.

    But the issue is that you obviously didn’t read comment #59. It has to do not with murderers, not with befriending people, but with mandating absolute agreement with one’s religious leader. That was the point. I won’t accuse you of not being able to understand that point, but I will ask that perhaps as part of an innocent little mistake, you might have thought I was referring to something else. No huge deal and not a mean personal attack. Just a friendly suggestion that I hope you will consider.


    It seems that you take issue with the idea that the way politicians market their “message” disrupts the spirit or high-minded sense of purpose that we might expect in a political leader. I agree that this idea can be taken to the extreme of dumbing down one’s purpose in running to nothing more than putting out the right rhetoric in order to get the votes they need. But that isn’t the only way of looking at it, even though in recent memory, examples show that with people like Karl Rove it certainly was.

    But America is a big place and there are many people who have many different issues that are important to them. So for someone to win nationwide in a two-person race, they will have to understand what’s important to a large number of different people, and important to different groups of people, and speak to that. Skilled rhetoric certainly helps. But this does not mean that just because someone uses skilled rhetoric to speak to a large number of people and different groups that they have no sense of principle.

    Being able to do this successfully can be a very positive thing. Think of Franklin Roosevelt, for instance. Just because people have become used to politicians becoming very calculated in how they play this game doesn’t mean that there aren’t passionately idealistic, principled and inclusive politicians left. In fact, much of the reason for Obama’s success is that many people seem to feel he does this better and means it more sincerely than anyone else that they’ve heard from in a long time. Perhaps you think it’s just a ruse. But be careful to consider the possibility that it doesn’t have to be, and many people seem to have picked up on reasons for why they think it isn’t.

    Authenticity is a good thing. It would be good if we could put away enough of the the cynicism we’ve rightly developed over time to become better at recognizing it.

  84. themiddle

    11/1/2008 at 12:32 am

    Tom, thanks for the boxing moment but it’s hard to see Foreman without visualizing him, exhausted beyond belief, chasing Ali against the ropes until the moment when Ali sniffs victory and takes away the match.

  85. froylein

    11/1/2008 at 1:45 am

    MUL, had you been “mature” enough to follow the course of the conversation, you’d have come to understand that at that point, the crux was how Obama’s relationship with Wright differed from that between an average congregant and an average spiritual leader. I’m aware stating the obvious will provoke yet another condescending remark as your chutzpe and your selective reading apparently know no limits. As for my blogging here, there are people out there that enjoy what I write as I can tell from the feedback I’ve received off the blog and a few personal encounters. I won’t let myself be silenced by your snarky remarks, particularly since your winding yourself tells me that I’ve hit the nail on the head.

    BTW, and please try to understand the analogy for a change instead of accusing me of making allegations, Hitler had the Autobahn built, which is a convenient part of the German road system, but law and psychology (and not just my rigid impressions) clearly state that pointing out the “good deeds” the Nazis did, partiularly in a manner of relativism, qualifies as right-wing extremism. A felon that at some point has helped a lady across the street still is a felon.

  86. Tom Morrissey

    11/1/2008 at 4:44 am

    Hard to look at Foreman without thinking of the grill….

  87. Tom Morrissey

    11/1/2008 at 3:52 pm

    This being reported by the Telegraph newspaper in the UK:

    “Barack Obama has been warned by intelligence officials that terrorists will attack US targets or a friendly state such as Britain or Israel to test his mettle if elected.

    “The briefings given to the Obama campaign about possible attacks were based on specific intelligence picked up monitoring terrorist networks and informers, according to a senior military source aware of the contents of the reports.

    “Indeed, when Mr Obama’s running mate Joe Biden raised the prospect of such an attack during what he believed was a private fundraising dinner, he is thought to have let slip the conclusions of those highly-classified briefings.

    “Fred Burton, a former senior US counter-terrorism agent, separately told The Sunday Telegraph that Britain could be targeted by al-Qaeda if the organisation was unable to mount an attack on US soil early in the new administration – as they did soon after the election of George W Bush in 2001 and Bill Clinton in 1993.

    “‘It is unlikely that al Qaeda would have the capability to conduct such an operation in the US now, but the UK is a different story,’ said Mr Burton, head of counter-terrorism at Stratfor, a leading international intelligence and analysis company.

    “‘MI5 and Scotland Yard are going to have their hands full as there is a much greater probability of a major attack in Britain than America. Would it suffice for al-Qaeda to attack a close friendly nation instead of the US? Almost certainly yes.'”

  88. montana_urban_legend

    11/1/2008 at 4:26 pm

    No matter what sort of chutzpah allows you to proclaim yourself czar of what the conversation is about (there was more dialogue between others – particularly Ephraim – and myself than with you, BTW), that doesn’t change what Muffti’s second comment was all about, or the fact that I was referring to it. Again, read these words and tell me that it’s not what I said it was about:

    “You find a place you like and then if the rabbi/head/etc. has a particular way of thinking you don’t like, or flirt with but as you mature come to have disagreement with, you just take off and find a new place? ARe you guys that shallow and stupid and unable to have complex relationships with the particular personages and philosophical groundings of your particualr faiths?”

    Grand Muffti, 10/31/2008

    The fact that you didn’t know that this was the quote I was referring to doesn’t change the fact that it actually was the quote I was referring to. And no amount of selective reading will change that fact.

    Again, I’m glad that you’re able to ground your self-esteem in what other people think of you. There’s an audience for everyone, isn’t there? And that includes an audience for Palin, an audience for Obama, an audience for Jeremiah Wright, and and audience for Hitl– well, you get the picture. But only the most megalomaniacal of those actually believe that criticism of what they say amounts to a way to “silence” them.

  89. themiddle

    11/1/2008 at 4:27 pm

    Well then, I guess voting for Obama means voting for a terrorist attack. 🙄

  90. montana_urban_legend

    11/1/2008 at 4:48 pm

    Froylein, before you reactively fly off the handle on the assumption that the last comment was too harsh, I remind you that you are trying to emphasize the idea that “Obama’s relationship with Wright differed from that between an average congregant and an average spiritual leader”. I take Muffti’s comment, to the effect that “ARe you guys that shallow and stupid and unable to have complex relationships with the particular personages and philosophical groundings of your particualr faiths” to mean that there is no reason we need to differentiate between “average” congregants and “average” spiritual leaders. The fact that Muffti argues for accepting a degree of complexity in these relationships really does seem to encourage us to go above and beyond “average” relationships, assuming those should be some kind of norm, and to be, at the very least, accepting of ones that allow for more complexity than perhaps what you think “average” people are capable of.

  91. froylein

    11/1/2008 at 4:55 pm

    … and the conversation had progressed …

    And to mind comes Menenius.

  92. montana_urban_legend

    11/1/2008 at 4:58 pm

    And while I realize you concede my point when it comes to (old?) ladies and the autobahn, the fact is that Wright stands accused of no crime – he’s no felon, he’s no murderer, he’s no Hitler, and even if you just need these examples in order to make an analogy, it’s wise to steer clear of Godwin’s Law.

    Regardless, if you want to charge Wright with “rabid racism” as a religious leader, let’s see the evidence. Are his followers perpetrating acts of intimidation against a persecuted minority? Are they agitating to set up such a system? I don’t think so. Again, people like to lump things together, especially with ideas they are antagonistic to.

    Wright was accused of being anti-American, not racist. People should get their allegations straight. Again, just some advice.

  93. montana_urban_legend

    11/1/2008 at 5:05 pm

    Sorry for standing in the way of progress, I just like to make sure the records are set straight – especially when it comes to how people characterize what I say. And such cryptic references you use. Very enigmatic!

  94. Tom Morrissey

    11/1/2008 at 5:49 pm

    Middle, Biden will protect us!

  95. Tom Morrissey

    11/1/2008 at 6:13 pm

    MUL, enigmatic is the new sexy, you clod.

  96. montana_urban_legend

    11/1/2008 at 7:10 pm

    Tom – I thought, per Tina Fey, that “bitch is the new black.”

    But per Tracy Morgan, black is the new president, biyatch.

    Bill Maher says John McCain will introduce of a line of cologne called “Desperation”.

    Sexy don’t mean nothin’ without smarts, sophistication, the right sentiments and a solid and selfless sense of purpose.

    Enigmatic is just a sordid way to cast sorcery on easily stunned and spellbound sorry-asses who think they’re studs, but are really just simple-minded slime-molds.

    Everything else is just sophistry.

  97. ck

    11/1/2008 at 7:24 pm

    Pssst. MUL. Lose the underscores, you’re breaking my new layout!

  98. montana urban legend

    11/1/2008 at 9:38 pm

    Is it just the underscores? It seems like the mere length is messing with the text. Which isn’t fair. What if my name was John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, for instance? I can’t tell you how many permutations of the same name in a shortened version I tried, just to see if I could carve off some length. Darn it! But I will keep trying. Will do what I can for the glory of Jewlicious.

  99. montana urban legend

    11/1/2008 at 9:38 pm

    Ahh… Now I see. Tx!

  100. grandmuffti

    11/2/2008 at 11:52 am

    Muffti was away for a bit (crazy halloween excursions) and he can see an awful lot has taken place. He’ll make a few points and appologize to anyone he slights.

    1) MUL, thanks for the love. Nothing warms the cockles of an academic’s heart like being not only cited but *gulp* quoted! While Muffti isn’t a huge fan of your aggressive treatment of your opponents, he can’t help but feel warm and cuddly that someone agrees with him.

    2) Tom, Muffti knows the (at a crude level) general working of the church’s and that you are free to leave and go wherever you want when you are a ‘heretical brother or sister’ His point wasn’t that Obama loved the church so much but hated the minister that he was conflicted. His points was that there was clearly a complex and evolved relationship between him the church and its minister/leader. And complex relationships are complex relationships and when you have friends you have to sometimes deal with people asking you why you are friends with that guy. As Ephraim pointed out (though Muffti thinks the comparison is extremely stretched, given that Wright said some akward things while Kahane had actual policy recommendations, but whatever) associations lead to reasonable questions, and Muffti doesn’t think that it is unreasonable to ask about a politicians associations. To ASK about a politicians association.

    That’s not what happened, and we all know it. People went directly from ‘there’s an association to ask about’ to ‘there is a massive guilt by association we can tarnish this guy with and we shall judge his every move with suspicion and bring this up as though it were a key and central defect in Obama’s character and bahviour’. Those are different attitudes and all that has happened with Ayers, Khalidi are lame attempts to pile on more unwarranted suspicion and guilt by association in order to avoid focus on substantive issues on which nearly across the board McCain/Palin are getting their arses kicked.

    Now, Obama’s handling of all this wasn’t very good or skillful, which is surprising given how skillful he generally is at handling politics. He tried to explain how complicated a relationship with a friend (and family member!) can be and reasonably explained that his relationship with the reverend wright was a complex one and managed to transcend politics. He tried to explain that his roots in the church were long standing and deep. He tried to explain that relationships are multifaceted and complicated, and that your relationship to a spiritual leader can be one of both acceptance and some degree of friction when there are issues you don’t agree with.

    No one gave a shit. The reason is simple: there was never an argument here against obama in the first place but a nasty name and a few videos to try to associate with his. As though none of you have friends you would have to explain a connection to if you were ever put in the spotlight. Muffti, were he ever to run for any office, would immediately have to explain his friendship with CK so he knows how Obama must have felt!! In any case, what disspointed the Grand Muffti is that rather than stick to his guns, O threw the reverend ‘under the bus’.

    But honestly, repeatedly mentioning a bunch of names who Obama is associated with to various degrees as though it’s a charge against him isn’t an argument, it’s a smear of the cheapest kind. And to what end? Do any of you people seriously entertain the thought that deep down Obama is really a white man hating, America despising, PLO advocating candidate who has successfully smuggled himself under the radar to fool us all and who has done a slightly poor clean up job by not pre-emptively getting rid of his dubious associations? Really? Are y’all that paranoid and carried away by such trashy accusations of why didn’t Obama break off all ties with a preachers who had done Obama a great deal of good since he was younger and a few loose connections with a former never-convicted terrorist and a putative PLO speaker from years and years before Obama met him? Muffti is too charitable towards you guys and your intelligence to relaly believe this so he has to assume y’all are arguing for the sake of arguing. An activity Muffti totally endorses.

    None of this is an endorsement of Obama, but a rejection of slimy american politics where a legitimate question becomes a de facto charge. If in the Illinois Senate obama had employed Ayers as his chief strategy advisor, Wright as his race relations advisor and Khalidi as his middle east advisor and routinely acted on their advice you would have something here that would make any reasonable person wonder about hot Obama would govern. Instead there are a bunch of half made accusations and a few names and video to throw around. So shame on all of you who participated in this sort of political shenanigans to score points in lieu of actually arguing or providing enlightenment.

  101. froylein

    11/2/2008 at 12:12 pm

    But what does Muffti make out of the contextual irony that “journalists” would actually rummage through Palin’s trash cans but not investigate into serious issues concerning Obama if only just for the matter of clarification and whitewashing? Also, Muffti applies a definition of friendship to this “complex relationship” that reflects his personal take on friendships. I suppose all people can be nice in some way, but I don’t think many a person can and will want to be friend with someone who is diametrically opposed to what one professes to believe in. Sociology suggests people make friends with people that they share a set of values with. If somebody who I knew was opposed to some of my core beliefs and still wanted to befriend me as I could be of great service to that person in one way or another, I’d consider that person a cheap and slimy opportunist. Not that opportunism isn’t uncommon in politics, but there is a difference between a moral kind of opportunism as in grabbing a chance when it arises and using (and discarding of, which clearly outrules what most people would consider a solid friendship, no matter how complex) people as it fits one’s purpose. I know that if I used Muffti that way, I’d feel like dreck.

  102. grandmuffti

    11/2/2008 at 12:32 pm

    Muffti thinks that rummaging through Palin’s trash is ridiculous and unethical. He’s in no way arguing that slimy media tactics have been one sided. As for investigating serious issues concerning Obama, which are you thinking of? And what whitewashing in particular are you referencing?

    Muffti doesn’t think what you say about friendship or complex relationships is true, though it may characterize the norm. Muffti is fortunate enough to have friends across the political spectrum (and the moral one). Some of his friends, for example, are deeply spiritual and religious people and Muffti is clearly at loggerheads with those guys. Some treat women in ways that Muffti (even Muffti!) finds perplexing and wrong and he thinks that’s their business and not the basis of his friendship with them. Some have views about Israeli-Palestinean relations that Muffti finds downright disgusting. Luckily they have many other redeeming qualities. Long story short, you can admire and love someone when you have significant overlap in values, but it doesn’t imply a broad acceptance of everything they stand for or aim towards. It’s certainly not an endorsement of everything they think.

    it would be extremely difficult and lonely to get on in this world if you were required to share all your values with your friends because you would have very few. So we know that you won’t share ALL your values with your friends and loved ones. Once we accept that friendship is not just commonality in values but also a matter of friciton and dialectic over issues, we can realize that there is no straight function from value disagreement to level of friendship. Thank god for it or you would never find yourself in unlikely but interesting alliances 🙂

  103. froylein

    11/2/2008 at 12:40 pm

    If maintaining friends comes with avoiding certain topics, methinks (not just me, psychology as well) the ties are not as healthy as Muffti suggests. But Muffti is an extremely amiable person to begin with, otherwise I’d never have stayed up till 2:30am on a workday to talk with him. 🙂

  104. Grand Muffti

    11/2/2008 at 12:45 pm

    Muffti said nothing about avoiding certain topics – the topics are out in the open and frequently criticized. Hell, members of muffti’s families hold views he thinks are often downright ridiculous and unconscionable. He loves them just the same for that. In anyc ase, it’s not like Wright and Obama were dating and needed to plan a future together!

  105. froylein

    11/2/2008 at 12:54 pm

    It’s a menage a trois…

  106. Tom Morrissey

    11/2/2008 at 3:17 pm

    Now now. There’ll be plenty of time for sex after next Tuesday…. Though we’re all a little stressed, and could use, I don’t know…. shouldn’t take too long…

    I agree with pretty much everything Muffti wrote. Obama learned from the Wright fiasco: he didn’t drop Ayers like a hot potato. He gave perfectly plausible answers about their friendship, which I may choose to believe or not. But he got asked, and he answered. As froylein observes, MSM has treated him with kid gloves next to Palin. (Imagine if she or, say, Cheney, been cavorted with Khalidi? How do you think that tape would’ve been treated?)

    I too regret we live in such a polarized environment, in which nuance is the first casualty. However, I believe there’s a middle ground between giving Obama a pass on his lefty associations, and accusing him of being an anti-semitic PLO lover. He’s not Noam Chomsky to John McCain’s George W. Bush. He may, however, be Jimmy Carter to McCain’s Reagan in his view of the role of American hard power in the Middle East and elsewhere. Surely Obama won’t exempt foreign and defense policy from the “change” he’s promised. But we’ve got to read him like a detective novel, always on the lookout for clues. In that regard, Ayers qualifies.

  107. grandmuffti

    11/2/2008 at 4:54 pm

    Muffti doesn’t really understand the phrase ‘pass’ here. Did the media not report it? They did. Did the media allow people to bring it up over and over again? They did.

    What you are calling a ‘pass’, so far as Muffti can tell, is a total lack of head on non stop blaring in your face of an association. And insofar as that goes, there have been passes a plenty. No one bugs Palin about her associations with the Alaskan Independent parties. No one asks mccain why he gave khalidi half a mil to start up a centre from the IRI. No one harasses McCain all day long about the Keating scandal…

    So where is the pass the Obama got? As you yourself pointed out, Mr. Morrissey, and Muffti quotes “He gave perfectly plausible answers about their friendship, which I may choose to believe or not. But he got asked, and he answered.

    That’s not a pass – that’s how journalism should be conducted, along with fact checking to ensure that the candidates, to the best of our ability to discern, answer honestly. A reasonable question of pertinent interest comes up, you ask it, and then you let the public know the answer and re-ask if new information comes up.

  108. froylein

    11/2/2008 at 4:58 pm

    It’s about proportions, Mufftele…

  109. Tom Morrissey

    11/2/2008 at 5:10 pm

    Well, yeah, McCain should answer those questions, absolutely.

    Muffti’s not satisfied with my offer of proof re: a pass for The One. Well, then. How about his ineffable running mate? Can someone, Middle maybe, let us know how we teamed up with France and cleared the Hezzies out of south Lebanon?… Just wondering.

  110. grandmuffti

    11/2/2008 at 7:28 pm

    Muffti wasn’t saying that the media hasn’t give Obama passes – he just thought it was ridiculous and ridonculous (to borrow a phrase from his little sister) to say that Obama got a ‘pass’ on his leftie associations. Truthfully, the only obvious potential ‘pass’ is the LA Times concealing a tape that has caused the relevant controversy.

    Froylein is right – it is about proportions. But truthfully, as a regular LGF checker-in and a regular Dailykos reader (as well as a host of others), the charges of who gets a pass on one are ubiquitous and, in some cases, convincing on both sides. Which generally makes Muffti think that there is either no agreed upon notion of a pass or, more probably, people care about things that the media doesn’t always care about and vice versa. (Muffti has tried to check out some of hte more objective media rankings but again, he regards them with a fair bit of skepticism vis a vis what they use as standards).

    anyhow, it will all be over soon and then we can all point fingers and say ‘told you so”.

  111. montana urban legend

    11/2/2008 at 7:45 pm

    “While Muffti isn’t a huge fan of your aggressive treatment of your opponents, he can’t help but feel warm and cuddly that someone agrees with him.”

    Must be the Canadian in you!

    Unfortunately things are a lot rougher here in the states.

    And yet it’s kind of an interesting twist that it took 2 comedians from Montreal to make Palin look sillier than anything else has so far. In a weird way, it made me feel much more sympathetic to her. Perhaps she can be a very genuine and warm person when she believes she’s speaking with the president of France, but still clearly out of her depth, and on multiple levels. (Who screened the call? Bexxy! Oh Bexxy!)

    Regarding Obama’s break with Wright, perhaps it was all manufactured. But my understanding is that Obama publicly challenged him by asking for clarification on something contentious which Wright had said, only to receive a divisive, obstinate and defensive response. It wasn’t like “See ya, bye. I’ve got a campaign to run.” A more substantive reason preceded the break, even if one chooses to believe it was all staged and entirely political.

    ck, something’s really warped on the technical front. These text boxes are taking a r e a l l y l o n g time to register and display keystrokes. Never had a problem like that here before, and it’s just this site right now.

  112. montana urban legend

    11/2/2008 at 7:56 pm

    It’s a good point that the charges of who gets a pass are ubiquitous. But I tend to find them unconvincing from either side (as well as usually impertinent. Let the politician say why a specific attack or lack thereof is fair or not). Maybe it’s the aggression in me.

    But double-standards create an opportunity for further exploring the perceived “fairness” of these charges. Does anyone for a minute believe that if one of Obama’s daughters conceived out of wedlock that people would have been as forgiving? I doubt it. But then again, the democrats don’t tend to run on cultural themes that often beckon to the ancient fertility cults of yore. And a black politician would never be afforded the opportunity to at that level. Forget it!

  113. montana urban legend

    11/2/2008 at 8:03 pm

    (as forgiving as they were with Palin’s daughter re: illegitimate conceptions, in case it wasn’t clear).

  114. montana urban legend

    11/2/2008 at 8:29 pm

    Americans are in a constant state of internal conflict with each other (and sometimes, with themselves).

    This will not change unless the entire political structure were to be rebuilt from top to bottom, which would pobably never happen. It would be a nearly impossible thing to do.

    If a decent philosopher such as Muffti can come out of a place as friendly and free of discord as Canada, then this gives MUL hope for the future state of the world.

  115. Sheela

    11/3/2008 at 12:33 am

    Internal conflict ain’t such a bad thing… keeps it interesting. 😉
    As a U.S. Citizen and a registered voter of course I can’t say I’m 100% completely unbiased, but I’m pretty well-known in my own circle for my ability to play devil’s advocate & hear the case of the “other side”– and I still think the American media has handled Palin with absolute kid gloves. McCain got off pretty easy too… it’s ok to point out Obama’s “lack of experience” (read: he’s too young to be President) but to note McCain’s age and health problems and to suggest he might be the least bit “out of touch” with the majority of American voters is to be tarred with the “ageist” brush.
    Anyway, as far as the original question goes, considering his *possible* selection for White House Chief of Staff ¡claro que Obama es lo más Jewlicioso!

  116. froylein

    11/3/2008 at 11:19 am

    An omen maybe? Andrea Ypsilanti, presidential hopeful of the federal state of Hesse, who had adopted and altered Obama’s slogan of “Yes, we can” into “Yes, we do” lost the significant election today as she didn’t get all of her party’s votes (she faced internal opposition over her flip-flopping). Re-elections now have just become a matter of time, huge losses for her party are being predicted, and she’s done politically.

    Media’s treatment of Palin (and Hillary) has exposed obviously generally accepted misogynism. Too bad women only seem to have feminists’ back as long as they aren’t successful themselves.

    As for age and political abilities, I suggest people read up on former Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and those that deem themselves religious might also want to reflect on the Jewish position on old age and old age leaders in particular.

  117. sheela

    11/3/2008 at 1:53 pm

    Nah, respecting elders of the community and putting blind trust into a 70-year old man with known health issues, whose values are obviously out of touch with the demographic he intends to lead, are two completely different things. It’s actually quite a straw man to suggest that by calling McCain’s abilities into question based on aforementioned issues, one is suggesting that older people are unfit to lead based on their age alone. The cold hard truth is that it’s perfectly legitimate (and certainly keeping with Jewish values) to point out the obvious — Ronald Reagan struggled with Alzheimer’s and the media had a field day with it. It’s pretty routine procedure in U.S. politics and most Americans are used to it. Which is why I was rather surprised and somewhat disgusted tha they pussyfooted around the issue with McCain, and treated Palin with much more (undeserved) sympathy and respect than they ever have with Clinton.

  118. froylein

    11/3/2008 at 4:03 pm

    Just looked it up out of curiosity: McCain‘s & Obama‘s health records.

  119. montana urban legend

    11/3/2008 at 7:59 pm

    Out of touch is a hard label for McCain to beat. It’s difficult for me to see the case a guy could make for leading America in this day and age when was basically computer illiterate up until a few months ago, and as far as anyone knows, still is.

    By the time McCain chose Palin, it was probably hard to feel anything but sympathy (both for her in choosing to attach herself to McCain’s quixotic run and for the ticket itself). Not that that’s any reason to vote for someone. But she does come across as much more genuine than Hillary, which does count for something – as it should.

  120. montana urban legend

    11/3/2008 at 8:06 pm

    And Sheela, kudos to you for understanding the importance of playing devil’s advocate and trying to see more than one side in things.

    If one side goes down in a landslide tomorrow, their refusal to entertain any ideas other that question their own absolutist convictions will probably have played a major role.

    But it’s right for journalists to use the discretion borne of simple common sense in determining who’s warping the facts more. As Campbell Brown said, when one candidate says it’s raining and the other says the sun is shining, a journalist should be able to look outside.

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