Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Democratic Party at prayer

Read about the duelling visits to Selma here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Here’s Obama’s speech. Here’s HRC’s. I’ll have more to say about them after I chew them over, but for now, I’ll note that HRC called climate change "tinkering with God’s creation." Wonder whether that applies to abortion and stem cell research too? As for Obama, I’ll note only that he seemed to have more star power yesterday and that he is really straining to wrap himself in the mantle of the civil rights movement.

Discussions - 18 Comments

Obama was really straining to wrap himself in the mantle of the civil rights movement.

I think Obama’s statements about foreign affairs have been inadequate, so I do not support his candidacy. Still, I think the phrase "really straining" in your post is unfair, especially alongside the fairness of your remark about Hillary’s speech. Where was the strain? I am confident that you, Joe, do not mean that Obama was falsely claiming to be "black like us." In my view, he was making an honest appeal for black support, acknowledging his own distinct story.

Hey, Joseph: Why the harshness with respect to Obama? I think that you missed the point of his speech: like Joshua owed a debt to Moses, he owes a debt to the civil rights movement. Seems pretty straightforward to me - much more so than the attempts by some Republicans to argue that they are on the right side of the struggle for civil rights because they are in the "party of Lincoln."

Hussein Obama was EDITOR OF HARVARD LAW REVIEW. Editor! Not simply a member of the staff, he was EDITOR!

And now, he’s out there pretending to be an idiot in a sick attempt at ingratiating.

The RNC should run an ad in the Harvard Crimson, linking to a site with audio of Hussein Obama, and simply asking: "Is this what a Harvard education is all about, affecting the voice and idiom of a stevedore?"

How about if I replace "really straining" with "trying"? Note this passage from the NYT article:

Mr. Obama relayed a story of how his Kenyan father and his Kansan mother fell in love because of the tumult of Selma, but he was born in 1961, four years before the confrontation at Selma took place. When asked later, Mr. Obama clarified himself, saying: “I meant the whole civil rights movement.”

I think that was on my mind when I wrote (in some haste) this morning. And yes, the NYT might seem to some to be the Clintons’ paper. This from the WaPo piece also struck me as a little overdone on Obama’s part:

"Something stirred across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks were willing to march across a bridge," Obama said, explaining that, as a result, his parents "got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born." Earlier in the day at a prayer breakfast, the Illinois Democrat said: "If it hadn’t been for Selma, I wouldn’t be here."


"This is the site of my conception. I am the fruits of your labor," Obama told an audience of civil rights movement veterans. "When people ask me if I’ve been to Selma before, I tell them I’m coming home." An aide later said the senator did not mean to imply that his birth was a literal result of the Selma marches but rather of the movement overall.

Joe - I see your point, but this was a political speech, not a deposition.

Dan - an idiot? a stevedore? O well, I missed the good part, I guess; I only read the speech.

To be fair to Mr. O, the event was a mantle-wrapping fest by definition.

It seems to me that Joe amply justified his initial use of "straining." Steve Thomas, you usually are the soul of equanimity. But your distinction between a political speech and a deposition lowers the bar for political speech, I believe; you can have a(n effective) political speech without fabricating a causal connection between a specific event and your conception, can’t you?

Hussein Obama comes out and speaks of the Civil Rights movement here. When is he going to address what is going on, and has been going on since the birth of islam, in the Mideast? When is he going to speak up for the civil rights of Christians and Jews in the Mideast. When is he going to speak of how Hindus and Christians are treated in Pakistan?

When is he going to speak of the civil and human rights travesties occurring on a daily basis throughout the length and breath of islam?

Why focus on events in Selma back in the day, when in the current day, THIS day, there are horrors being perpetuated on a daily basis throughout islam. Muslims are ENSLAVING Africans every day!

Where’s the outrage?

The Selmafest was simply the usual genuflection to the household gods of the Democratic party. As Dan says, Oprahbama had nothing to say about the real issues we face today. I doubt that any of the other speakers did either. Worse, they don’t have a clue.

Oprahbama??? Where did that come from?

paul - You may be right. But notice that Joe has found more in the speech. I admit I may have read the whole speech before Joe did. I may have jumped too soon.

Obama has great appeal and talent. I wish he had waited, and I wish he would think through national defense issues, but he is young.

Neither Hillary nor Barack is Bill, but Obama at least has the gumption to say things that neither of the Clintons can.

"has the gumption to say." The key word here is "say," not "gumption."

Moynihan used to say intelligent things on various issues. Lieberman has said intelligent things too. But look at their voting records. Or Oprahbama’s. There’s no there there
(Lieberman on foreign policy being a partial exception.)

David F., is dead right there. Talk is cheap, where is the action, where is their talk reflected in legislation, and legislative votes?

That was a point I was trying to raise on another thread, about a Democrat who died who purportedly was pro-life. "Faith without works...." Talk without policy........? You guys aren’t slow on the uptake, you got the gist.

Steve, you continue to be the soul of equanmity; and you’re quite right about the positive elements in Obama’s speech, some of which Joe later highlighted. I hope that Obama will continue the positives, without the "stretches" (or "strainings").

paul - Thanks for calling me a lousy partisan, and a piss-poor ideologue.

Apropos to comment #16: Ha! A thoughtful and honorable partisan with a sense of humor! Reminds me of Carey McWilliams. And of Harvey Mansfield (to be down-the-line equitable).

paul - You are very generous to say you hear a faint echo. But Senator, I knew them, and I am not them.

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