The new poll question is one O'Reilly asked this week, which I thought was good:
Which gaffe was worse - Clinton/Bosnia or Obama/Wright?
Answers to last week's poll were fairly overwhelming...
I've adjusted the map showing your brightly colored voting flags to include Canada. I've also boxed a map of world votes in the upper right hand corner. Click to enlarge:
As always, please make comments to either the old or new poll here, not at the Vizu website.
Neither one was a "gaffe". A "gaffe" is a faux pas; an honest mistake. Hillary blatantly lied, and Obama chooses to belong to a hate-church.
As for which one was worse? That is yet to be seen. I would say that the Obama issue has the potential to cause more damage long term, while the Hillary lie was very bad for her in the short term, since it helped reinforce the idea that the Clintons are liars.Posted by: John Lewandowski at April 5, 2008 6:00 AM
If I had to choose one, I'd have to say the Clinton/Bosnia, though I think that damage was minor at best, at least as of right now. Personally (though this may be the result of election fatigue :P) I think it was a bit worse than the media portrayed it. I mean, insisting it's true until the video proof services is pretty ridiculous, better to say "oops, I made a mistake," at least then there's the whole positive press of honesty like McCain is getting now for taking responsibility for the MLK vote he made years ago.
The whole Wright thing has overall shown no damage to Obama, esp after his speech on race. So far every attack either side has come up with hasnt been able to stick. It helps of course he's taken to the internet and has been able to utalize the viral nature of messages to combat attempted smears (many of which sadly still have a hold over a sizable minority of voters, such as the 10-15% believing he was sworn in on the Koran and is a Muslim, not that it should matter; or the whole smear that he doesnt put his hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance even though he often leads the Senate in the pledge, and the photo in question is the National Anthem, where many every day Americans do what he did, fold their hands respectfully and sing!, in any case, I digress) The internet and his incredibly well organized grassroots has been able to combat these smear attempts, and nothing has simply been able to simply stick because of the whole idea of fact check (though the MSM seems to do it less often than those on the internet).
For their credit each candidate has had to fight off smears, however it appears Obama has had to fight far more attempts and serious charges, and he has done so beautifully.
Smears: Obama is a Muslim. Obama hates the National Anthem. Obama hates the American Flag.
Truth: Obama has chosen to belong to a hate-church for 20 years, and when questioned about it, he said that he never noticed the hate, even if his books and previous actions contradict that claim. If a conservative minister spoke in the same way as Rev. Wright, you better believe he would be called a hatemonger.Posted by: John Lewandowski at April 5, 2008 6:32 AM
John - you are completely correct. These are not gaffes. Hillary's story showed that she is willing to lie, or at least stretch the truth beyond recognition, for political purposes (as if we didn't already know that....) Obama's 20+ year association with an extremist pastor (as well as domestic terrorists) shows very poor judgment (by self-appointed Mr. Good Judgment himself). His numerous contradictory statements about that association show that he too, is quite ready and willing to lie. And then his "speech" completely ignored the real issue (i.e., his having sat there year after year and listened to false, anti-American rhetoric). He should have said "I made a mistake and I'm sorry." Instead he lectured us about "race" when it wasn't, a its base, a racial issue. Honestly, I'd rather Obama were a Muslim than a member of the church to which he actually DOES belong!
Because the media dislikes Clinton and likes Obama, her lies seem to have hurt her more than his lies and poor judgment. But, at least Obama's messianic aura seems to have disappeared.
Not that any of it matters much to me - of course I'll be voting for McCain!
As for the China/Olympics question - I don't think the Olympic Committee should have rewarded Beijing with the Olympics in the first place. There were numerous qualified cities in the running, and I mean, it's not like the world didn't know about China's crappy human rights policies years ago. But, since that stupid mistake has already been made, why punish the athletes now? They (the Olympics committee and rest of the world) made their bed, now go lay in it, and let the athletes do what they have been training hard to do.
S.Posted by: Anonymous at April 5, 2008 8:13 AM
Well, I would have to say that although the public seems to be little affected by Obama's... whatever you want to call it, it has definitely affected my opinion of him. Since the very beginning I have predicted an Obama win for presidency and within the last few months he won my vote, but after this I have changed my mind. I can't trust a man who bathes himself in hate to be our next president. In November I will be voting for Hillary.
Does anyone know if first-time voters can vote on an absentee ballot?Posted by: Leah at April 5, 2008 8:48 AM
Leah - it depends on which state you are in.
S.Posted by: Anonymous at April 5, 2008 8:59 AM
Anyone know the rules for Michigan? Or how I can find out?
(thanks anon)Posted by: Leah at April 5, 2008 9:03 AM
Since the very beginning I have predicted an Obama win for presidency and within the last few months he won my vote, but after this I have changed my mind. I can't trust a man who bathes himself in hate to be our next president. In November I will be voting for Hillary.
Does anyone know if first-time voters can vote on an absentee ballot?
Posted by: Leah at April 5, 2008 8:48 AM
Leah, I don't agree that Obama "bathes himself in hate." Nothing he has ever said would reflect that. I have known people who say far more inflammatory things than Pastor Wright. Heck, some of my professors said the same or worse. Sure, he's wrong about the two or three crazy things they keep playing, but two or three things in 30 years is not the whole story. If Obama had said any of those things, I would change my opinion of the man. If his friend and pastor says them, I can accept his explanation.
as far as voting, here's the link to your state's web page:
please vote, even if it's not for Obama!Posted by: hal at April 5, 2008 11:54 AM
Leah said: "In November I will be voting for Hillary."
Even if she's not on the ballot? You could write her in out of protest against Obama, I suppose.
Hal said: "I don't agree that Obama "bathes himself in hate." Nothing he has ever said would reflect that."
"I had begun to see a new map of the world, one that was frightening in its simplicity, suffocating in its implications. We were always playing on the white man's court… by the white man's rules. If the principal, or the coach, or a teacher... wanted to spit in your face, he could, because he had power and you didn't. If he decided not to, if he treated you like a man or came to your defense, it was because he knew that the words you spoke, the clothes you wore, the books you read, your ambitions and desires, were already his. Whatever he decided to do, it was his decision to make, not yours, and because of that fundamental power he held over you, because it preceded and would outlast his individual motives and inclinations, any distinction between good and bad whites held negligible meaning. In fact, you couldn't even be sure that everything you had assumed to be an expression of your black, unfettered self -- the humor, the song, the behind-the-back pass -- had been freely chosen by you. At best, these things were a refuge; at worst, a trap. Following this maddening logic, the only thing you could choose as your own was withdrawal into a smaller and smaller coil of rage, until being black meant only the knowledge of your own powerlessness, of your own defeat. And the final irony: Should you refuse this defeat and lash out at your captors, they would have a name for that, too, a name that could cage you just as good. Paranoid. Militant. Violent. N****r."
-Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father, page 85
I wonder, are Barry's racist teachers still alive? The guy isn't that old, so I bet at least one of them is still around. We should track them down for an interview, so they can tell us all about what racists they are and how they treated Barry like crap because they hate black people.Posted by: John Lewandowski at April 5, 2008 12:12 PM
If Obama had said any of those things, I would change my opinion of the man.
Suuuuure you would. You really think he's dumb enough to get caught actually saying those things?Posted by: Elizabeth at April 5, 2008 1:43 PM
Haha. Good point John. In November I hope to be able to vote for Hillary Clinton.Posted by: Leah at April 5, 2008 2:17 PM
Nope. McCain's gotten off with less than a week's worth of coverage about his pastor and endorsers inflammatory speech. Only Obama's is getting that much attention.
I did learn of an interesting poll today though. Those who watched Fox News as their main news source came in dead last in terms of knowing important political figures/events. So much for being a great source of news, lolPosted by: Dan at April 5, 2008 2:53 PM
John, there was nothing hateful about that quote. Do you have any conception of what it is like to be non-white in this country? Obama's words seem mild and thoughtful.
I am, however, glad you read his book.Posted by: hal at April 5, 2008 2:54 PM
See, when I hear statements like these, I wonder what motivation the candidates would have for those statements.
With Clinton, it would have to be some kind of making her look like a stronger candidate who had faced international conflict.
(I'm wondering if that incident happened at another time, but she misspoke and her pride is too high to let her admit she made a mistake?)
With Obama, it must be because he's getting funding/support from his church and he doesn't want to lose those church voters or the money he's getting, so he's probably trying to smooth things over as much as possible.
I think he is right about what he wrote in his book though.Posted by: Edyt at April 5, 2008 3:14 PM
Hal, I don't read hate literature. I've only read that one page of Obama's worthless memoir. That's enough.
Also, Hal, even if I'm just another evil whitey, I happened to attend an elementary school that was 90% black. And guess what? I didn't see anyone treating my black peers like garbage just because they were black. But maybe, as Obama implies, the racism is still there, even if there is absolutely no evidence of it whatsoever. Teacher could have spat upon those black kids!! Sure; if she wanted to get sued. What a ridiculous liar this Barry Obama is. How amusing that you continue to make excuses for his evil lies.
Also, Hal, in addition to going to elementary school with black children, I also lived in a mostly Korean neighborhood in New York City for several years. But yeah, tell me that I don't know that racism exists, and that I don't know about how tough it is for non-white people. Go ahead and tell me that I'm a racist because my skin is white. You idiot.
Dan said: "Nope. McCain's gotten off with less than a week's worth of coverage about his pastor and endorsers inflammatory speech. Only Obama's is getting that much attention."
Dan, are you completely bonkers? McCain was endorsed by a hateful minister, yes, but it was not HIS minister. And it certainly wasn't someone with whom he chose to associate, over a period of twenty years no less. There is absolutely no comparison! Good grief!Posted by: John Lewandowski at April 5, 2008 9:23 PM
"Teacher could have spat upon those black kids!! Sure; if she wanted to get sued."
He was explaining what it felt like, not that teachers actually did this. Maybe read another page or two and you might understand. There is nothing hateful about describing how he felt as a black child in a world dominated by white people. If you know how difficult it is for non-white people (at times) then I don't see why you were so offended (or offended at all) by the passage you quoted. I don't see any lies, any hate, anything controversial at all.Posted by: hal at April 5, 2008 9:31 PM
Hal said: "I don't see any lies, any hate, anything controversial at all."
Then, Hal, you are completely blind.Posted by: John Lewandowski at April 5, 2008 9:34 PM
I keep reading it over John, trying to see it from your perspective. I just don't see anything ugly there. Sounds like a tough time for Senator Obama, and I'd be very interested to read the next few pages to see how he dealt with all those feelings. I'll have to go get the book I suppose.
Posted by: hal
at April 5, 2008 9:39 PM
Hal, somehow you are blinded to the point where you can come right out and say that Obama's teachers may not have acted toward him in a racist manner, but that makes it OK for him to accuse them of secretly being racist against him, and plotting to call him a "n****r" if he were to "lash out" at them, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. Lash out at them for what? For secretly being racist? How absurd. How ridiculous! If they didn't actually spit on him or other black kids at his school, then your best friend Barry sounds like a paranoid lunatic with a persecution complex. This guy was in school during the 1970s, not the 1870s.
BUT... sure, please do read the paperweight, er, book. I'm sure you'll make excuses for the despicable Barry Obama, somehow. You always do!
Here's a story for you. As I said, I went to an elementary school that was 90% black. Most of those black kids were good at basketball. It's a stereotype, yes, but it's the truth. And I wasn't good at basketball. So in gym class, I didn't get the basketball passed to me very often. Should I therefore have allowed myself to be filled with anger and thoughts of racism? Should I have continued to obsess over it for years and years, as Obama has done, until my whole life was defined by my skin color? According to your logic, that would be perfectly normal and acceptable. But I think it stinks.Posted by: John Lewandowski at April 5, 2008 9:57 PM
Hal, I do not understand. How can you not see that quote by Barrack is just oozing with racism and hate? I am amazed that you were not able to understand where John L is coming from here. You seem to really not "get it". Do you think that racism like this is acceptable if it is a black person who is the racist? Why in the world is this okay with you? Didn't you say that your children are biracial? Do you want them living in an America where they feel they are the victim of people like you, and that people like you are racist simply based on your color? Just imagine if a white person had made these allegations against black people without any sort of evidence to back it up. Would it be a different story then? Maybe people wouldn't simply take that person's word for it, then.
Everything Obama said in that quote is dripping with deceit and has undertones of hatred for people with who are white. How you cannot see this is astounding to me.
Here are some more quotes that I found from "Dreams from my Father":
“Even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart."
"There was something about him that made me wary,” Obama wrote. "A little too sure of himself, maybe. And white"
“I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect
that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites”
“Never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father’s image, the black man, the son of Africa, that I’d picked all the attributes I sought in myself.”Posted by: Bethany at April 5, 2008 11:04 PM
Here is one more:
" I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race".Posted by: Bethany at April 5, 2008 11:11 PM
"And I wasn't good at basketball. So in gym class, I didn't get the basketball passed to me very often. Should I therefore have allowed myself to be filled with anger and thoughts of racism? Should I have continued to obsess over it for years and years, as Obama has done, until my whole life was defined by my skin color?"
If you think that is an apt comparison, then it is you, and not I, that is blind.
Bethany, yes, my wonderful daughters are biracial. But I knew before they were born, and before I met their mother, that race is a big issue in America. I don't dispute the progress we've made, but it's not the same as not getting ball during a basketball game. It's the way you're followed around in a fancy clothing store, (even if a white girl would be followed the same way) it's the expectations (or lack there of) from some of your teachers, it's the desire to to belong and the desire to fit in. It's complicated, and Obama has struggled with it, thought about it, wrote and spoken about it. That's how he gets through it, and we can all learn something if we try to listen.
"Didn't you say that your children are biracial? Do you want them living in an America where they feel they are the victim of people like you, and that people like you are racist simply based on your color?"
People of color *are* the victim of people like me. I don't have to teach them that. All I can teach them is that we're not all like that, or at least we try not to be.
it's not "racism and hate" to explain what it feels like to be a child of color in this society, especially in the 1970s. My girls are lucky to be born 30 years later, and in a part of the country where multi-racial people are more common.
I hate to sound like an angry minority (especially since I'm neither) but you guys sure sound very white sometimes.
Elizabeth also has a bi-racial daughter, let's ask her if she has any criticisms of the Obama quote above.
Posted by: Hal at April 5, 2008 11:29 PM
I don't really see it either, John and Bethany. They seem like aptly described feelings of a kid in a rough time. It obviously has been something he honestly has felt and been through, and it seems like you guys are going on the assumption that he hasn't grown up or changed since then.Posted by: prettyinpink at April 6, 2008 3:00 AM
kinda like how Farakhan isnt Obama's minister?
And not to mention, McCain's "spiritual advisor" has said some pretty controversial things as well, (i.e. New Orleans brought on and deserved Katrina, etc)Posted by: Dan at April 6, 2008 8:10 AM
It obviously has been something he honestly has felt and been through
How do you know that, PIP? How do you know that he went through it? You really trust his words that much?
How can someone who supports baby killing, even after birth, and tries to cloak it as "womens' right" possibly be someone who you trust as an honest source?
And PIP, honestly, you don't see anything racist about those quotes I posted? REALLY?
" I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race".
Yeah, that's not racist, not at ALL.
“I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect
that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites”
MMM hmmm...sounds like he just has a deep, growing love for ALL americans. No partiality towards any certain color or anything...
And as for "Obama's grown up or changed since then"...if that's true, what's he doing with a pastor like Wright anyway? The fact that his pastor is Wright, the same man who baptized Obama's daughters, who officiated at Obama's wedding, that doesn't make you think twice about him?...oh no, Obama couldn't *possibly* have known what a racist Wright is. Of course not. He just sat there for years, listening to every word he said, but didn't really "hear it". Right..
I loved Mary's quote for that cartoon..."Best sermon I haven't heard in 20 years, rev". So true.
You know how someone can tell if Obama is lying? His lips are moving.
Hey, how did you guys feel about Trent Lott? Just curious.Posted by: Bethany at April 6, 2008 9:11 AM
Posted by: Bethany at April 6, 2008 9:35 AM
"How do you know that, PIP? How do you know that he went through it? You really trust his words that much?"
Um, if you are taking the quotes at face value and thinking these things, then I am doing the same.
I'd say in order to really judge this stuff we should read it in context. Kind of like the Bible. People take that out of context all the time.Posted by: prettyinpink at April 6, 2008 12:35 PM
What about my 9:35 example? If we can't even trust Obama to be honest about something as simple as when he was born, how can we trust him to be honest about anything else?
PIP, can you please tell me how those above quotes could be placed in any other context and then become non-racist?
Bethany, you cant trust any politicians. I thought youd know that by now, you can only hazard a guess at which is the least corrupted by the system, and clearly in this race that is currently Obama.Posted by: Dan at April 6, 2008 2:07 PM
Bethany, you cant trust any politicians. I thought youd know that by now, you can only hazard a guess at which is the least corrupted by the system, and clearly in this race that is currently Obama.
Dan, you're right that virtually no politician can be trusted. However, if you're talking about lesser of the evils, Obama is not that by any stretch of the imagination. It's not the "system" that I'm worried about him being corrupted by. It's all about the morals. He was corrupted, morally, WAY before he got into "the system".Posted by: Bethany at April 6, 2008 3:24 PM
"I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect
that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites"
"I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race"
Frankly, these quote make me want to cry...I hope my daughter NEVER feels this way. There's NOTHING wrong with being black or white! There's NOTHING wrong with being exactly who you are..and if who you are is made up solely by the freaking COLOR OF YOUR SKIN, I wonder about how shallow you really are.
While my daughter may be bi-racial, I am hardly ever aware of that fact. I only see the color of her skin when other people point it out to me or say something about it. What I notice most is her big, beautiful eyes, and her smile, and how nice it feels when she runs and gives me a big hug.
True love is colorblind, people. I wish we could all understand that, and not get SO caught up in everything else that doesn't even matter.
Posted by: Elizabeth
at April 6, 2008 3:38 PM
And as far as Obama is concerned, race relations in this country will go down the tubes even farther than they already are if this guy gets into office.
Well said, Elizabeth.
Bethany said: "It's not the "system" that I'm worried about him being corrupted by. It's all about the morals. He was corrupted, morally, WAY before he got into "the system"."
Right on, Bethany. Obama wasn't corrupted by the system; he was corrupted all on his own. And the system already has enough corruption in it, and doesn't need more from him.
Though you have to admit that most of Obama's claims about not being corrupt are laughable. He doesn't take money from PACs - but he does take money from the people who belong to PACs. Like there's a difference. Instead of the people in the PAC putting their money into one bag and sending the bag to Obama, they just all send their money in individually. Wow, that will help stamp out corruption for sure! Sounds more like a soft form of money laundering to me.
And he doesn't take money from corporations - but he does take money from people who work for those corporations. In fact, according to FactCheck.org, NOBODY takes money directly from "the oil companies", because doing so has been illegal for 100 years. So what are we praising Obama for, again? For not breaking the law?Posted by: John Lewandowski at April 6, 2008 7:20 PM
I grew up in a neighborhood that was about half arab and half white. We got along pretty well (I thought), even though we were pretty divided. Arab kids played with arab kids, white kids played with white kids. I didn't really see racism until I moved to Chicago, which is one of the most segregated (if not the most segregated) cities in America.
So I get where Obama is coming from, as someone who spent much of his formative years here. There is a lot of racism, some overt, some subtle.
I don't really know what the right answer is to addressing racism, but I don't think staying silent on the matter and ignoring it is a good solution.
I think Elizabeth's right on about how there's nothing wrong with being black, white, or any color at all! Unfortunately, there are a lot of studies out there suggesting that teachers discriminate, employers discriminate (some on the basis of just reading a name and thinking it's a black or Latino name!!), and we as a society have very subtle ways of discriminating.
Why are certain neighborhoods only white or only black or arab or latino? These aren't coincidences. Maybe forcing people together isn't the best way to combat racism, but it needs to be something we examine and try to find positive solutions for.Posted by: Edyt at April 8, 2008 9:45 PM
Maybe forcing people together isn't the best way to combat racism, but it needs to be something we examine and try to find positive solutions for.
I agree...forcing people of different races to get along just because it will make us feel like we are doing a good thing is silly. I think it's necessary to have open dialogues about how people really feel, though...and I think this would open a lot of people's eyes.Posted by: Elizabeth at April 8, 2008 11:00 PM