Thank You Barack Hussein Obama!

An excerpt from Lawrence D. Elliott’s must-read article on American Chronicle

“…When you initially announced you were running for President, the first words out of my skeptical mouth were, “This country will never elect a black man as President! Period!” I admired your guts, but I felt it would end as so many other campaigns—in defeat. Well, you are close to making me a big, fat liar!

The restraint and discipline you have shown is something to be admired. Although you breathing the air of the heights none of us has reached, it is similar to the path others greater than I have had to take and you have proven worthy to have your name written beside theirs in history. When your opponents and their supporters use your middle name in the same tone and manner as they would when hurling the most profane insult, you maintain your composure. Are they aware any black man in America—including me—could have been named Barack Hussein Obama, if their ancestors weren´t brought here as slaves?

You were steady when you were attacked because of people you knew or whom you met. It´s as if two people who have shared the same air or patch of earth are somehow compelled to share the same thoughts. I think we´d all be surprised if we knew the background and history of every person we crossed paths with.”

Read it all here.

My Daily Rant – October 17

McCarthy Redux

by the Tall Twin

Okay. I’ve really come to the point where, if this were a manuscript, I would get out my red pen and strike out the plot turns that are just too hard to believe. Instead I must rant. In fact, I have a lot to catch up on, so my daily rant may turn into two or ten rants.

Let’s start with a general statement. Governor Palin announced at a rally that she loved visiting the Pro-America areas of the country. Short of one or two secessionist pockets that have recently come to the attention of the media, can we just agree that all areas of the country are Pro-American. In California, Alaska, Nebraska, Florida, Hawaii, New York, or any other state, our ideas and opinions may vary, but from sea to shining sea, we are Americans. Whether we chug beer or sip Chardonnay…we are Americans.

Nonetheless, on the Chris Matthews show, Hardball, Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota said that she thinks the media should take a probing look at the views of people in Congress to determine who harbors anti-American views. Is the Representative a conservative or a liberal? Doesn’t matter. Where’s the line between acceptable American views and those that are anti-American? Are protestors bad guys? If you work to save a plot of land that has been marked for development, are you anti-American? How about if you march for better job benefits? Smaller cars? To save the polar bears?

If you believe in universal health care, free trade, Buddhism, flat tax, global warming, school vouchers, gay marriage, gas-powered lawn mowers, pro-choice, or evolution does that make you anti-American?

If you’re a hunter, a nurse, a creationist, pro-life, a college professor, a real estate developer, a CEO, a Wiccan, a liberal, a conservative, a vegetarian, or a belly dancer, does that make you anti-American?

How do you know? Who decides? Should we be more careful about what we say out loud? What we write? Once we start this kind of labeling, where does it lead?

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”

(Inscribed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.)

“Sit Down, Boy!” — Sarah Palin, Bottom Feeder

The Tall Twin
In recent speeches, Governor Sarah Palin said about Senator Barack Obama, “This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America.” She adds that he, “sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

She used the comments to attack Obama for his association with William Ayers, former member of an anti-war group known for domestic terrorism in the sixties and seventies (when Obama was a child).

Palin Supporters

Palin Supporters

Here’s the background on the Ayers – Obama connection. Ayers, now in his sixties, is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Education. Obama met him when they lived in the same neighborhood. Ayres was one of three authors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge grant proposal for public school reform. In 1995 the project was given nearly fifty million dollars for public school grants. Obama was named to the Board of Directors that oversaw the distribution of grants in Chicago.

In 1995, Ayers hosted a “coffee” in his home so that State Senator Alice Palmer could introduce Obama to her supporters as he began his first run for office. In 1997, Ayers was named Chicago’s Citizen of the Year for his work on the Annenberg project.

From 2000 to 2002, Ayers and Obama both served on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, a community anti-poverty group. In April 2001, Ayers contributed $200 to Obama’s re-election fund to the Illinois State Senate.

Since 2002, there has been little linking Obama and Ayers, and Senator Obama has condemned the actions that Ayers took as a young man. Seriously, if Sarah Palin sees this as “palling around with terrorists” then she will have to accuse dozens of Chicago’s most prominent educators and philanthropists of the same thing.

Sit down, boy!

Now back to Palin’s recent speeches (and one given by McCain as well). During the speeches, some of the responses from the crowd were frightening. When McCain asked in a speech, “Who is Obama?” a member of the crowd yelled out “terrorist!” At a Florida rally a man yelled “kill him!” as Ms. Palin delivered her accusations about Obama. When Palin complained about the press, the crowd grew surly toward a nearby camera crew. Some shouted epithets at an African-American member of the crew as one man snarled, “Sit down, Boy.”

It is true that campaign rallies are meant to energize the crowd. It is also true that politicians use talking points that are less than accurate to sway opinion, but Palin is stepping over a very dangerous line. By saying that Obama is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see it, she is carelessly characterizing Senator Obama as “not us” but rather as “one of them.” This is a slippery slope that can lead to serious consequences if one crazy person with a warped view of “patriotism” takes this as a “call to act.”

Voltaire said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” This reckless and shameful brand of rhetoric has no place in American politics and Governor Palin should know that.

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