god doesn’t hate a coward, he loves everybody

3/16/08

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Happy North Carolina Tar Heels Winning the ACC Regular Season and Tournament Championship!

I plan on answering Matt’s question from the previous blog comments, because god knows I’ll bite on any topic you guys might bring up (although methinks Matt is lobbing an awfully high slowball) but I’ve got an early flight home in the morning, and I’ve already wasted two hours trying to figure out why my MacBook Pro isn’t waking up when I want it to.

Also, today looks to be pretty frickin’ painful for America’s economic aorta, and if there’s a stock market crash, I’d rather sleep through it as much as I can. I’ve been in New York for the last two days for a scotch tasting, a possible writing gig, and renovating my mom’s apartment, and I ache all over.

That said, I have a CODE WORD question for those of the conservative and/or Republican persuasion who are regulars on here, or are lurking: namely, why would you vote for John McCain over Barack Obama? I’m asking in goodhearted spirit, so please respond in kind, and be specific, unless the answer is more of an ineffable quality (which is fine too).

0 thoughts on “god doesn’t hate a coward, he loves everybody

  1. Matt

    “[W]hy would you vote for John McCain over Barack Obama?”
    Briefly…
    1) Ideology. I’m a conservative, and while McCain isn’t much of one, Obama is nearly the opposite. Further to the left than even Hillary. On nearly every issue Obama does not represent me.
    http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/
    2) Naïveté. Obama claims to transcend race and partisanship, but that’s nonsense. He’s an ultraliberal candidate who will push a far left agenda on America and then blame the right when that effort invariably causes rifts. He’s also not above race, as recent news illuminates. He found it particularly advantageous to join an incendiary black church when he was a young pol starting out in Chicago and needing to solidify his “blackness.” Now that he’s on the national stage, it’s decidedly disadvantageous and he wants to distance himself. Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright is extremely divisive and would certainly ruin Obama in the general election. (It may not matter much to the Xtcian crowd, but it does to a significant number of moderates and independents.) Obama’s choice to associate so closely with this man for nearly two decades speaks very poorly of his judgment. Indeed, Obama’s comments seem to indicate that he couldn’t appreciate the obvious problem.
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZjllMTVjZmFiZTFiZTYxYTNjN2ZkOGIxYjNkZWRkNzc=
    3) Honesty. Obama expects us to believe that he had no idea that his pastor, with whom he had such a close personal relationship, was an America-hating conspiracy theorist kook, raving on about everything from HIV being a government conspiracy to commit genocide against blacks to the “U. S. KKK A.” (Obama’s wife has been paying attention in church!) A person would have to be retarded to believe that. Look at the audience giving their pastor a standing ovation at his most foul accusations. This was clearly standard fare. Can you appreciate the You Tube potential here? Add this to the Rezko scandal and Obama is just another opportunistic, old school Chicago politican.
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OGQ1NzE1MmY3NjUwMmYyNTg3Nzc0MDBkYWQ3OTQ1ODc=
    4) Earmarks. Obama slipped $740 million worth of them in spending requests over the last 3 years, including $1 million to the hospital where his wife is a VP (the poor ol’ Ivy League grad who has never caught a break from mean old America, or been proud of it until now, saw her salary jump from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office). Obama has acknowledged that the earmark was poor judgment, yet claims it would’ve been better if he’d had Durbin do it for him. No, it would’ve been better had he not sponsored it at all, not simply ask someone to scratch his back. In contrast, McCain had zero.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/14/us/politics/14campaign.html?bl&ex=1205812800&en=e2c8b398ef89c553&ei=5087

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  2. Hank

    I’m not really a conservative, but these are some of the things that make me consider McCain as a possibility:
    1. Willingness to work with Dems (at least sometimes)
    2. Willingness to defy standard Repub philosophy (campaign finance reform, fought big tobacco, immigration, an amendment to outlaw inhumane treatment of detainees including guatanamo bay)
    3. Believes Roe v. Wade should be a state’s issue, which isn’t the same as wanting it made illegal
    4. Has never had much time for the religious right, although he’s having to suck it up some now (he called falwell an “agent of intolerance”)
    5. Said waterboarding is torture
    6. 5 and 1/2 years as a POW, including 2 years in solitary. Only person speaking about torture these days who has actually been tortured. When they offered to release him (his dad was an admiral) he refused to go unless everyone taken before him was also released.
    7. Authenticity. yeah, I know, he’s having to win over the rest of the right these days so he’s saying all kinds of things he never did before, even contradicting himself outright, but…..more than any other candidate, i can imagine a scenario where there was something he WOULDN’T do to win. Most of the others, i don’t know what they really stand for.
    8. When he screwed up with the Keating 5, he said he screwed up with the Keating 5.
    9. Most hawks have never had to stand up to a bully, much less fight in a war.
    10. Limbaugh and Coulter can’t stand him.
    I know there are a million counterpoints, but those are some of the things I’m thinking about.
    Rip away…

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  3. Matt

    I might have added why I think McCain is preferable in 2) & 3).
    2) McCain has an actual history of reaching across the aisle, and paying a political price for it.
    3) Even McCain’s detractors concede that he’s an honest and decent person. He seems to garner the most hatred not from the left but the far right.
    I still don’t see why the Wright scandal is “an awfully high slowball.” It runs counter to everything that Obama proclaims himslef to be. It reeks of hypocrisy (calling for togetherness while cozing up to, financially supporting, and nodding in agreement with a vulgar, racist hate-monger). Is this what he means by “change”? It contextualizes his wife’s comments and his own refusal to wear an American flag on his lapel (or place his hand over his heart during the National Anthem). Sure, this probably won’t hurt Obama with the liberal base, but it will haunt him with that part of the electorate you hold in such low regard. And they comprise a much larger portion of the vote.
    P.S. Larry Kudlow has an (unsurprisingly?) optimistic take on the economic forecast:
    “Paulson and Bernanke have done exactly the right thing. It was a run on the bank. The Fed stopped it right there. No banking crisis.
    The big Wall Street banks are in good shape, even with earnings losses they’re still well capitalized, profitable and solvent. Fed stopped it from spreading on Friday; JPMorgan takes them over tomorrow. The Fed cut the discount rate today by a quarter point. It will reduce target the fed-funds rate on Tuesday. The banking system will function fine. That’s the key.”

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  4. kent

    As an Obama supporter, I think the best I can say about McCain is that he isn’t George W. Bush. The worst thing I can say about McCain is that even though he’s a lot smarter and wiser than Bush, he has embraced Bush’s policies. I think there’s a real disconnect there, with Bush and McCain on one side, and reality on the other.
    Matt, I think your statement ‘He found it particularly advantageous to join an incendiary black church when he was a young pol starting out in Chicago and needing to solidify his “blackness.”‘ is completely and utterly indefensible, both in terms of fact, and in its complete lack of understanding of what it means to be black in America.
    I am a white guy who has lived most of his life in Iowa, and I don’t claim to understand everything about the African American experience, but I feel confident in saying you understand nothing about it. You’re making the same cockamamie argument that Obama’s African blood was somehow a resume builder.
    As for honesty, well, you’ve convicted Obama of something based on no evidence. What he has said is that A) He was not there when the things in the Youtube clip were said and B) His experience of Wright as a pastor was different than the things Wright said in that clip. And he has repudiated Wright’s most egregious statements. What more do you want Obama to do, say “Fuck yeah bitches! Kill Whitey!”? Would that have the honesty you’re seeking?
    And the Rezko thing? To any politician in Chicago who has no friends who have been indicted, I have one word: wait.
    Like Wright, the Rezko thing is guilt by association. Do you want me to start calling you out based on some of the loony tunes in the conservative camp?
    I’m not ever going to win you over to voting for a liberal Democrat. Fair enough. But I’d search your heart a bit before you sign up whole-heartedly to the intellectual gymnastics the National Review goes through to justify their racist, elitist bullshit.

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  5. D

    At one time, McCain was his own man, but those days are long past. He has made repeated acts of political obeisance to Bush, including embracing his tax cuts (which McCain originally rejected), his religious extremist supporters (like Jerry Falwell and John Hagee), and his torture policy (although McCain has spoken out against torture, he refused to cross Bush by voting to end it). He has criticized earmarking by Congress but refrained from taking any action to slow the administration’s vast patronage spending. This change clearly followed the beating that he took from Bush in 2000, at which time he seems to have concluded that such submission was necessary if he was ever to have a shot at higher office.
    Contrary to Matt’s point above, he is not universally believed to be honest and decent, but is considered by many in Washington (including Republicans as well as Democrats and career military officers) to be temperamentally unsuited for the presidency. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) said that the thought of McCain as president “sends cold chills down my spine.” A Republican activist who has worked with McCain’s staff described him as “a ticking time bomb.” His angry and obscene outbursts and general incivility are well-known around DC, and his crude joke about Chelsea Clinton (who was 18 at the time) showed that under his veneer of “decency” lurk some very vicious and ugly tendencies.
    In his defense, it should be noted that John McCain does not attend a church presided over by a black man who is angry about the legacy of racism in America. So he can’t be all that bad.

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  6. Alan

    I’m an independent. And at one point I would have preferred Obama over Clinton but now I’d rather have Clinton. I really want to hear what Ian has to say about this whole Wright thing knowing how he feels about religious hate mongering types. Keep in mind, this isn’t some casual association, Obama has clearly said this is a man who has influenced him. I don’t want someone with those influences in the White House. At the very least I would have to call into question Obama’s judgement, at the worst…

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  7. Matt

    Kent,
    The role black churches play in Chicago politics is no secret, and it’s no mystery why politicians, black and white, republican and democrat, often join the largest church in their district. It’s helpful. I’m not saying Obama is insincere in his belief in Christ. I’m also not saying that Obama subscribes to Black Liberation Theology, which is what Rev. Wright assuredly does. It’s what he preaches.
    For those interested, here is a very illuminating article on the subject of Black Liberation Theology: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/JC18Aa01.html
    “Senator Barack Obama is not a Muslim, contrary to invidious rumors. But he belongs to a Christian church whose doctrine casts Jesus Christ as a “black messiah” and blacks as “the chosen people”. At best, this is a radically different kind of Christianity than most Americans acknowledge; at worst it is an ethnocentric heresy.
    “What played out last week on America’s television screens was a clash of two irreconcilable cultures, the posture of “black liberation theology” and the mainstream American understanding of Christianity. Obama, who presented himself as a unifying figure, now seems rather the living embodiment of the clash.
    “One of the strangest dialogues in American political history ensued on March 15 when Fox News interviewed Obama’s pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, of Chicago’s Trinity Church. Wright asserted the authority of the “black liberation” theologians James Cone and Dwight Hopkins:”
    What exactly are these beliefs? Click the link for more.
    “As for honesty, well, you’ve convicted Obama of something based on no evidence. What he has said is that A) He was not there when the things in the Youtube clip were said and B) His experience of Wright as a pastor was different than the things Wright said in that clip.”
    It is simply not believable that Obama knew nothing of his pastor’s tendency to rant about “The United States of White America.” These weren’t isolated incidents, they were numerous and the congregation hardly appeared shocked by them in the footage. Obama wrote that he studied videos of Rev. Wright’s sermons to become a better speaker, he disinvited Rev. Wright from giving the invocation to his announcement for running for president because he told Wright he “could get a little rough,” and, according to Wright, warned him that he might have to distance himself from him. Draw your own conclusions (voters should and will), but these things add up. You can’t attend a church for 20 years and be oblivious to it.
    If you think Rezko is simply guilt by association you haven’t paid attention to the story. Rezko did Obama favors, big expensive favors.
    I like how you end your comment. Accusing of racism those who are taking a look at Obama’s association with a known racist. Obama has written that he consulted with Rev. Wright before making any “bold moves.” He wrote lovingly of his relationship with the man. Rev. Wright was an advisor to his campaign! How much of Rev. Wright’s views he shared or tolerated is a legitimate issue.

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  8. Matt

    P.S. According to at least one journalist, Obama was present at at least one such sermon.
    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2007/8/8/194812.shtml
    “Wright laced into America’s establishment, blaming the “white arrogance” of America’s Caucasian majority for the woes of the world, especially the oppression suffered by blacks. To underscore the point he refers to the country as the “United States of White America.” Many in the congregation, including Obama, nodded in apparent agreement as these statements were made.”

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  9. Matt

    Kent,
    On the issue of why he joined the church I should have noted Obama wrote that while he was a young Chicago activist trying to organize the help of churches, one pastor suggested to him it would be wise to be seen in one once in a while. So he chose Trinity where Rev. Wright brought him to Christ. Why? What was it about that church that appealed to him? That’s why this is a story.

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  10. Matt

    Sorry for the multiple posts, but I negelected to surmise that there are three possible answers to my last question. 1) He agreed with the church’s philosophy; 2) he thought it politically advantageous to join Chicago’s largest black church; or 3) he was hoodwinked for 20 years into believing his church was something other than it was and by sheer coincidence was sick all the times Rev. Wright made his controversial statements. Neither of the first two are very good answers and the third is implausible.

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  11. No Dog In This Fight

    White male, early 30’s, Protestant semi-regular churchgoer. Voted for Clinton and voted for Bush the first time. Leaning toward McCain, but not set either way.
    I’ve got no dog in this fight and no axe to grind with anyone. It strikes me as odd that a handful of sermons, no matter what words were spoken, by a minister (regardless of race) can have an effect on a presidential candidate.
    This country does not have the best track record with respect to “celebrity” clergy. Falwell, Bakker, Swaggert, Jackson etc. have all stepped in it over the years.
    Even if Obama was there each and every time one of the three or four incendiary things were spoken by his minister, I have not heard anyone say that the minister’s sermons were like that every time. If you parse anyone’s speeches over the course of 20 years and play things out of context, you could spin things any way you want.
    Maybe Obama winced. Maybe he was asleep (like me when I’m in church) or maybe he didn’t pay attention. I find it hard to be able to align Obama with his minister’s speech unless he joined the minister up on stage and started leading the crowd in cheers like we did at Duke. Well, I guess I outed myself a little bit–and no, I’m not Speedo Guy, “Tarholes”. Smile, I’m just kidding.
    It seems funny when our country talks about race that we forget about our relatively recent history with race. I don’t find it surprising one bit to hear a largely African American church leader refer to the horrors of the KKK, especially when current leaders have acknowledged past ties with that group. Or to quote Malcolm X and talk about America’s world karma coming back to bite us on the ass.
    Our government has and sometimes continues to do things that we do not like to discuss in civilized company. From the Bay of Pigs to aligning with Osama Bin Laden when he was a rebel leader, to working with Noriega, et al. We may do it to help further a noble cause, but we do some of the things I suspect Obama’s minister was talking about. We also “do” things by omission around the world, like when we intervene in white civil wars like Bosnia but sit idle on the sidelines when there are black civil wars or drop hydrogen bombs when it’s yellow people.
    So, for one minister to kind of provide a truncated chronology of this in juxtaposition with the horrible 9/11 attacks in his sermon, I ask you what is wrong with acknowledging that we’ve got dirty hands, too? This neither excuses the comment nor rationalizes the attacks but does question why all the outrage?
    As for McCain, I think he sets a fantastic example with respect to service by having his son serve in our military. If I had a say in office, I would mandate that ANYONE in office had to make their family serve in the military–even if it was Stateside. Politicians with lawyer children could serve in the JAG Corps on base; doctors could take a leave from their posh practices and do a year at the VA.
    As it stands, you have a commander in chief who never served, with a military advisor who never served. And, two Dems who never served. That’s why, at least with respect to the defense, I’m leaning toward McCain.

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  12. Anne

    I love that most of Matt’s reasons for voting for McCain have nothing to do with what’s so great about McCain in his opinion and everything to do with Matt’s distrust/dislike of Obama based mostly on the dread “L” word (uhhh, not “lesbian”) and something the Obamas’ loony pastor said from a bully pulpit.
    This “gasp!”, kneejerk mentality is what troubles me about our electorate today, folks.
    Matt, I’m not calling you a jerk, knee- or otherwise. Just saying you ducked Ian’s question, which was about voting FOR McCain rather than simply against someone else.

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  13. GFWD

    Hey dookie, it’s TAR HOLES–two words. And it’s #1 overall seed-playing-practically-at-home-until-the-Final-Four Tar Holes, thank you very much.
    Go Heels!

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  14. Alan

    Actually the question was “why would you vote for John McCain over Barack Obama,” not simply “why would you vote for McCain.” Ultimately I would rather not vote for either, but it doesn’t appear that will be an option if I want to vote. Sometimes it really is about choosing between the lesser of two evils, or at least the devil you know.

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  15. craighill

    i’m voting for mccain because he’s the lesser of the two evils.
    hard to believe these are the two best presidential candidates in this great country of ours. must be a truly miserable job.

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  16. Matt

    Anne, that’s not true. I gave ideology as a reason why I would vote for McCain over Obama. Do you want a specific issue? Well, name one and McCain is closer to me on it. I also wrote that McCain is honest, can act bipartisan, and that he doesn’t partake in earmarks, which is a big issue for me. I didn’t duck the question at all. He wouldn’t be my first choice, but he’s the best among those remaining, especially between him and Obama. What more would you like to know?
    It’s funny that you’d cite me as an example what’s wrong with our electorate when the Obama craze is the one with that ineffable quality about it. “Hope.” “Change.” “Yes, we can!” “We are the change we are waiting for.” etc…

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  17. DFB's&T's

    To “No Dog”: you have lost the right to call us “Tar Holes” because your team pulled their annual March swoon.
    My kindergartener asked me this morning, as I made him wear a jacket “Daddy, is it spring yet?” I wanted to say “It must be close because dook is ’emotionally drained’ and choked again.”
    In the meantime, dookie, why don’t you just be quiet and pull a “Paulus” — in other words, suck my balls.
    God! That felt good!

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  18. Father Tim

    Hey Barrister, you and your boy Dollar Bill Kristol should not be so quick to cite crazy-pants conservative “sources”.
    Dollar Bill has already had to run a correction on the Newsmax source. Are you going to do the same? I believe this blog has a similar retraction/correction policy.

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  19. Matt

    They’re still standing by their story (below link), but if he didn’t attend this particular sermon do you honestly believe he had no idea about Rev. Wright’s racial hatred? Let everyone ask themselves whether they could attend a church for 20 years and not know, and then wonder what it says about Obama that he did.
    http://www.newsmax.com/kessler/Obama_hate_America_sermon/2008/03/16/80870.html
    Maybe y’all are right and this story is a snoozer. Afterall, it’s not like the guy called someone a nappy-headed ho or something. My gut, though, tells me your guy is toast.
    BTW, if I was inclined to pick up on racist undertones, I might wonder what you meant by referring to Kristol as “Dollar Bill.”

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  20. Father Tim

    Barrister,
    Give up the freaking ghost on this—Kristol has backed off the statement in his column and corrected his claim. Are you claiming newsmax is a legitimate news source? If you are, at least share some of your peyote with us.
    Dollar Bill is a handy nickname as in Dollar Bill Bradley (clutch-basketball player). I call Kristol Dollar Bill because he and his neo-con pals like starting wars in attempt to personally enrich themselves and their companies with the attempt at spreading their ridiculous foreign policy pipe dreams as an added bonus.

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  21. Matt

    Father Tim, I wouldn’t want to get too far out in front of this one if I were you. The story is just getting started. But I’ll gladly concede the Newsmax piece. The journalist who filed it last August may have either been mistaken or lying. It doesn’t matter because it simply strains credibility to believe that Obama was in the dark about his pastor for 2 decades; the man who married him and his wife, baptized his children, was a special confidant and advisor, a member of his campaign and from whom Obama took the title of his book “The Audacity of Hope.” Obama was intimately familiar with this man, and did not distance himself from him until it became politically necessary. That says a lot about the guy. But draw your own conclusions. Americans are a fair-minded people. Let’s see where the chips fall in November.
    Interesting poll from Rasmussen:
    “Most voters, 56%, said Wright’s comments made them less likely to vote for Obama. That figure includes 44% of Democrats. Just 11% of voters say they are more likely to vote for Obama because of Wright’s comments.
    “However, among African-Americans, 29% said Wright’s comments made them more likely to support Obama. Just 18% said the opposite while 50% said Wright’s comments would have no impact.”
    Hillary just might wrestle this one away from Obama yet. You know, it’s too bad Republicans voted for Hillary in the open primaries to keep her competitive and drag out the Democratic race. That may prove to have been a huge mistake. If Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s if you have a chance to throw water on the witch, don’t hesitate, just throw the damn water!

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  22. Neva

    This is the part about politics I hate the most – the whole trying to scrape up shocking skeletons in the closet bit.
    We should just judge Obama and McCain on what they say, what they do, and what their agendas are. There’s plenty of material there. What exactly do you think Obama hanging out with this minister is indicative of exactly – that if he’s elected he’ll outlaw white people or something? I think this is fear mongering. What exactly is so scary about this to everyone? So the man said some bad things about America – when was that against the law? I thought that was the point of our country. You can protest and complain and bring a voice to people who feel oppressed. I don’t have to agree with him but he has a right to say whatever he wants. I can’t imagine what’s it’s like to be African American and I suspect if I was I could imagine feeling at times frustrated with our country and what has happened and is happening to my race. The fact that Obama went to his church does not make him the one who said these things.
    However, back to Ian’s original question. Although I’ve always voted for the Democrat I actually have admired McCain in the past. He seemed like his own guy – someone who stands up for what he believes in whether or not it’s on par with the conservative ideology (ie the religious right or whoever). I was impressed with his attempts to fix campaign finance and, up until recently, his thoughts about immigration reform. I think he’s more moderate than many and therefore a better choice than some other options would have been in his party. I only wish he can remain true to his old ways and not bend his “straight” talk to fit the money holding side of the party.
    We all have our key issues we vote on. For me of course it’s our health care system. I feel like we need someone to really take on the big insurance and pharmacy companies on this one and honestly I’m not sure either candidate can or will do this but McCain has been known to buck the system at times at least at that might be what needs to happen for our health care situation to change. I’d like to hear more from him about health care. I doubt I’m going to vote for McCain but I know I won’t be as sad if he’s elected than if Bush were to go for a third term.
    I really wish we didn’t have a two party system because it sets everything up as you against me – UNC vs. Duke if you will and there is\n;t never room for middle ground

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  23. Matt

    “So the man said some bad things about America – when was that against the law?”
    No one’s saying it is, Neva.
    “I don’t have to agree with him but he has a right to say whatever he wants.”
    Again, no one’s saying he doesn’t.
    “What exactly do you think Obama hanging out with this minister is indicative of exactly …. What exactly is so scary about this to everyone?”
    Imagine if you will that George Bush (or pick any Republican presidential nominee) attended a church where the pastor routinely preached hatred against blacks, the superiority of white people, made vulgar sexual comments about rival candidates, alleged outlandish conspiracy theories about black people, etc. Would you all be saying what’s the big deal? The question answers itself.
    Obama needs to better explain himself. Perhaps that is what tomorrow’s “major address” is about.

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  24. Scott M.

    Oops. You’ll have to scroll up to read the article in link above – I posted a link to the comments since the article in question has been bumped down by subsequent posts.
    {and that should have been a period and not a colon, since I decided against swiping the text of the article)

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  25. xuxE

    i mean, get past THIS:
    He found it particularly advantageous to join an incendiary black church when he was a young pol starting out in Chicago and needing to solidify his “blackness.”

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  26. cullen

    Throw me in the pool o’madness; much obliged. Maybe combine a politico pick’em tiebreaker of sorts to bring in the nation’s “Final 3” candidates. McCain gets a big-gime BYE into the final game; who will win it all?!

    Reply

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