Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's race speech

I'm watching Obama's speech from earlier today right now via YouTube on his web site. In his effort to untangle himself from his racist pastor of 20 years, Obama ties his current need to distance himself from his bat-caca crazy, whitey-hatin' minister to his campaign theme of unity.

As such, Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

I suspect I'll hear more along these lines as I continue to listen to him drone on endlessly about nothing. But let's focus on the above quote for a moment. Here are the "monumental" problems he lists:

  1. two wars
  2. a terrorist threat
  3. a falling economy
  4. a chronic health care crisis
  5. potentially devastating climate change

Number one is bogus. We are fighting one war. Not only that but Obama has repeatedly called for surrender on the primary front in that war, Iraq. His idea of coming together is to lose?

Number two is the reason why we have number one. Again though, Obama and his allies in the Democratic Party have made every conceivable attempt to thwart our efforts to fight the terrorist threat from actively blocking and/or undermining the war effort itself, intelligence gathering, detaining terrorists caught on the battlefield, funding the troops, tying the Army's hands with rules for deployment, and, as mentioned above, advocating surrender. There are countless other examples that could be listed here.

Number three may be a bit of an overstatement but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. However, his proposals to increase taxes on income, investment, capital gains, death, marriage, gas, and every other facet of the economy, would utterly guarantee a recession and a major and lengthy economic slowdown. Add to that his proposals to limit carbon emissions and we're looking at the next depression. We used to worry about being overrun and forced to speak Russian. If Obama is elected, we better start learning Chinese.

Numbers four and five of Obama's "monumental" crisis I simply disagree with. There is no health care crisis. But there will be if we allow our nation's health care system to be run with the same brutal efficiency with which we all get our driver's licenses now. And the great global warming swindle has been re-branded as "climate change" since the planet has started cooling again but it is still the same game. The problem all along was never global warming but too much prosperity and freedom. And the answer remains the same; more government intervention, control, and power.

It appears that the only thing we have to fear, is liberal guilt.

Update: Quoth Obama:

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through - a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

So if we don't forgive Obama's 20-year-long bad judgement regarding his crazy bigoted preacher, we're retreating into our corners? Isn't that boxing terminology for calling it a draw? I say "no sir". I wish to continue this fight. Also, isn't this speech your attempt to walk away from the issue? Furthermore, what's this crap about health care, education and jobs? None of the above should be the role of the government. I'm starting to hate this guy almost as much as Reverend Wright hates the Joooos.

Update: Un-freaking-believable:

Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments - meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today's urban and rural communities.

In the middle of the housing bubble bursting, is he really attempting to claim that black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages? (Let's leave aside the fact that FHA mortgages are for first-time home buyers who by definition are not homeowners already, be they black or white.) The primary cause of the housing bubble burst is the government intervention in the mortgage industry. It was said that mortgage companies were red-lining (not giving loans to people in black neighborhoods). The mortgage companies argued that it had nothing to do with skin color but with the applicant's ability and likeliness to repay the loan. The government didn't like the results of the racial disparity caused by giving loans to those deemed likely to repay. So the government stepped in and forced the mortgage companies to grant loans to people who could not repay. Shockingly, those people defaulted on their loans. This caused a tremendous amount of personal trouble for those involved but it also created a glut of inventory on the housing market. As we all know from Econ 101, an increase in supply causes a decrease in prices in the market. This caused everyone's home values to drop. And since most people in this country were up to and over their eyeballs in debt, they suddenly found themselves in a position where there home was worth less than what they owed.

There is plenty of blame to go around for the current state of the housing market but mortgage company red-lining is is nothing more than a red herring. And regardless it is a terrible idea for Obama to bring up the subject considering it has been the left in this country that has been largely responsible for the policies that have led to the mess the housing market is now in.

Update: "This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn't look like you might take your job; it's that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit." Would you feel better if what they got was more than a profit?

Update: Having watched the whole speech now I must say it was a fabulous one. If I were a vapid, uneducated, self-righteous, indignant moron, I would have been moved to fainting spells. Obama's campaign in general and this speech in particular are further proof of Mencken's wisdom, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." Except the American people themselves perhaps.

My question is this, what does all this talk about race have to do with the issue at hand? Obama has been criticized (rightly in my opinion) for his judgement in choosing Reverend Wright as his spiritual leader for 20 years. Wright's comments have been widely quoted and are unquestionable loony and racist. It is not possible or credible that Obama did not know Wright was a nutbag and/or harbored nutbag views. If he didn't know it is because Obama didn't consider those views so odd or out of the mainstream. If he did (and this is my opinion) he accepted them in order to gain cred amongst the black voters in Chicago. That's called pandering. All politicians do it to some degree or another. But to then campaign on unity and transcending race is galling.

It appears to me that the chickens that have come home to roost in this episode are those of racial politics. The reason we have not previously seen any credible national black politicians and very few statewide black politicians is that blacks on the left too often rise up the ranks out of black districts. They begin their careers as "black" candidates appealing exclusively to black constituents with promises of handouts and by appealing to bigotry; whitey is keeping you down. It is not difficult to understand why those messages lack broad-based support.

When a politician exploits racial division in order to win a congressional seat, city commissionership, mayorship, etc., it becomes near impossible to later run for an office that requires the backing of the non-black population. You cannot run as the Don't Trust Whitey candidate and then ask for whitey's vote.

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