Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 27, 2008 7:29PM

Obama Controversy # 137

Rate: 22 Flag

When I click around the internet, checking the latest the latest political tidbits, I know I can count on two things – a condescending potshot at Sarah Palin on Huffington Post and a blaring anti-Obama headline at The Drudge Report.

The latest treat from Matt Drudge is this Monday morning mouthful:

2001 OBAMA: TRAGEDY THAT 'REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH' NOT PURSUED BY SUPREME COURT

I guess the next big revelation will be “Obama Point Shaving Scandal During High School Chess Tournament”. You will be hearing excerpts from this four minute youtube video for the next few days. Phrases that look to become Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh favorites will likely include the text in the video that is being shown while the audio portion plays, things like "Obama wants to redistribute your wealth to African Americans".

Now for some facts.

Barack Obama made appearances as a guest on Odyssey, a talk show produced by Chicago Public Radio. Obama, then a State Senator and Senior Lecturer at the Law School, was on the program 3 times between 1998 and 2002.

According to Josh Andrews, who produced the shows, "when he joined us, he was more than willing to set aside his political persona and put on his academic hat. Obama participated in discussions on the evolution of the right to vote, the politics of electoral redistricting, and the uneasy relationship between slavery and the constitution in early America."

The excerpts in the youtube video were taken from this hour long audio recording made January 18, 2001 from a program entitled "The Court and Civil Rights" hosted by Gretchen Helfrich. What did Obama really say on the air? See for yourself:

OBAMA: "You know, if you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples, so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order - as long as I could pay for it I’d be okay.
But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical.
It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.
And that hasn’t shifted, and one of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways we still suffer from that."
HOST: "Let’s talk with Karen – good morning, Karen, you're on Chicago Public Radio."
CALLER: "The gentleman made the point that the Warren Court wasn’t terribly radical – my question is – with economic changes – my question is, is it too late for that kind of reparative work economically and is that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to take place?"
HOST: "You mean the court?"
CALLER: "The court, or would it be legislation at this point?"
OBAMA: "You know, maybe I’m showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor. But I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way.
You know, you just look at very rare examples where, in during the desegregation era the court was willing to, for example, order, you know, changes that cost money to a local school district – and, the court was very uncomfortable with it, it was very hard to manage, it was hard to figure out, you start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues, you know, in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time."
OBAMA: "You know, the court’s just not very good at it, and politically, it’s just its very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So I mean I think that, although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally, you know, I think any three of us sitting here could, could come up with a rationale for bringing economic change through the courts."
What seemed to be the more interesting excerpt, at least to me, in this program was a comment by Obama about the seemingly contradictory relationship between liberal political ideology and the traditional African American approach to religion and politics.
HOST: "Let’s talk with Joe (I guess this must be "Joe the Liberal") – good morning, Joe, you're on Chicago Public Radio."
CALLER: "Good morning. What I'd like to know is, considering that the civil rights movement was fought very much on moral grounds as much as legal grounds, and therefore religious grounds - I mean, Martin Luther King was a reverend, after all - what impact is that having now on the Supreme Court, and perhaps, with Ashcroft being nominated, in the future."
OBAMA: "Well, you know, I think its an interesting question, you may be pointing out, sir, what has been a longstanding contradiction, not just in the Warren Court or liberal lawyers, but, sir, the liberal community generally, and that is the contradiction between on the one hand basing many of its claims for justice on moral and ethical grounds, and at the same time being suspicious of church encroachment into the political sphere.
That's been less of a contradiction traditionally in the African American community, and for whatever reason psychologically, the country has always been more comfortable with the African American community's marriage of spiritual and, and political institutions. But I think that is a genuine contradiction that exists, you know, I think in the ideological makeup of the left in this country that hasn't been entirely resolved."

My father has always maintained that integration was doomed to have limited success because "they didn't integrate the money". Neither he nor Obama were calling for any kind of reparations. They were simply acknowledging out loud what a lot of black Americans knew all along - that without adequate access to capital for investment, our community was guaranteed to struggle along.

Its not like we were asking for 700 billion dollars - just some real access to capital to go along with all that freedom we had.

But even more ironic than that is the frenzied hate over this latest "finding" that will be harbored by people who have nothing to redistribute but negligible equity in their homes, credit card debt, and virtually empty 401(k) accounts.

This has to be the greatest Jedi Mind Trick of all time - rich elites have the broke "Joe SixPacks" who comprise their base of supporters championing their cause. For people who love to call the Democrats socialists, it is the most collective ownership ideology out there. "If you tack a picture of my big house and nice cars on the wall of the house you can barely pay for, you can call yourself a capitalist. Just don't be late to work, cause I need you to make me some more money, Joe."

Racial equality without economic equality is like having a car with no gas - at that point, it just becomes something to look at and polish once in awhile so you can remember what it used to look like when back when you first got it.

The even funnier thing about all of this is, "Joe the Plumber" has more in common with "Jamal the Plumber" than he realizes. But you can't tell Joe that.

All I know is, if I run into some Joe SixPack or Joe the Plumber who starts sputtering about how Obama is going to "redistribute" wealth he probably will never have to "African Americans", I am liable to tell him the same thing Cuba Gooding said to Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire when he told Cruise his future depended on Cuba staying with him - "all he's got to do is 'show me the money, baby!'"

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this is great! thank you for posting the comment and highlighting Obama's great command of issues and history. He will make a fine president. I hope he gets the opportunity.
Kris, the thing I notice about the negativity is the one's leveled against Obama have no foundation. They are rhetoric. The one's leveled CONSTANTLY against "Seeerah Palin" are legitimate. It's up to the intellect (or lackthereof) of the voters to sort out the minutia.
Great post.
Rated
Thanks for getting this up on OS so quickly. I just saw the article on Drudge, so your timing is great. RF
Thank you! So what Obama really says is, "even where my own ideas may seem "radical" to some others, I am firmly of the opinion that they must be realized - if at all - through legislative action, and not court action."

If right wingers actually cared about the things they screeched (and if they could, ya know, read) - this should have been one of the most calming things about Obama they could have read.
"Racial equality without economic equality is like having a car with no gas - at that point, it just becomes something to look at and polish once in awhile so you can remember what it used to look like when back when you first got it."

Wow! This has got to be the best political metaphor I've seen in years. This alone was worth the price of admission. Bravo!
rated
excellent piece - and I echo what others say here. Obama understands history and we pray we get him for President.
Kris, I just talked about this on David Gregory's show, it just makes me furious. I'm gonna blog on it now -- long after you did! -- and link to your post. Thank you for this.
Joan,

saw you on Larry King the other day with Christopher Hitchens (or maybe it wasn't - these shows are starting to run together) - the way you shook your head when the Republican guy was trying to justify himself, it must have taken a yeoman's level of restraint not to say something.
Joan, I just watched you on David Gregory's show and though you were fabulous.

Great post, Kris!
Racial Equality means that you own a nice car and you have to go out and get a job... JOB - work, earn - like every one else so that you can buy - pay for - the gas to drive the car. A loser will sit with his tit and wait for the government to come give him gas... That's the Obamanation... what will the Government give me... "show me the money"... puh-lese.. Try and make anyone believe that all the welfare community needs is "capital." The lazy takers live in the country of opportunity - ask the Paki immigrant who runs the store on the corner - all the lame ones are waiting for is "capital"?! BS... all they're waiting for is another check from the government and Barry's promising it... "Joe the Plumber" wants to work... Jamal wants a check...
When is someone going to point out that redistribution of wealth has been going on in this country for many years. It is called 'trickle down economics' and it is still benefiting the rich at the expense of the rest of the country. If all redistribution of wealth is socialism then the Republicans have been practicing it for many years now but when Democrats want to change the system to help the poor and middle class they are accused of advocating socialism. Humbug.
When is someone going to point out that redistribution of wealth has been going on in this country for many years. It is called 'trickle down economics' and it is still benefiting the rich at the expense of the rest of the country. If all redistribution of wealth is socialism then the Republicans have been practicing it for many years now but when Democrats want to change the system to help the poor and middle class they are accused of advocating socialism. Humbug.
I admit that I'm not supportive of Obama's plan to redistribute wealth. I'm also against the idea that the Supreme Court should break free of the "essential restraints the founding fathers placed in the constitution" in order to accomplish the proposed redistribution. That's really out there Barack!

Obama is the champion of change. He is also a supreme winner within the American system: an afro-american, educated at Columbia and Harvard and a rich attorney who is about to win the presidency. How much about the system needs to change if the opportunity for success is available to those who apply themselves?

Sure, there are people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds who need assistance, but giving everyone a car and gasoline isn't the right answer. Encouraging people to work hard, persevere in their studies, take reasonable personal (not financial) risks to get ahead, eschewing the cheap pleasures many seek while searching for long term rewards is the right path. These are values found in many homes, communities and churches.

I went to a left-wing liberal college where students and professors championed similar liberal causes. It took several years for me to realize that the values of my youth were more solid and true than the commonly accepted ideology of my college days. It sounded good at the time and it was easy to go with the flow of college politics but it doesn't ring true in the real world. It's the proverbial free lunch my father maintained did not exist and why do we need to raise taxes to support it? Cut the wasteful spending first and then we can talk.
This is just gorgeously articulated, Kris. I am overwhelmed at how perfectly you capture my own thoughts. I listened to that youtube link this morning and kept thinking how absurd those captions in big yellow letters with exclamation marks were. I mean it was bizarro world--everything Obama said was thoughtful and true, and here they were insinuating there was something sinister about it all. I thought particularly ironic was their outrage at his reservation at using the courts rather than the legislature to make changes--Obama was specifically rejecting an activist court, something conservatives claim they don't like!

Today I listened for as long as I could to Hannity on the radio (just a few minutes), and I was so struck at how he ranted about the "spread the wealth" meme--taking much of his material from this very vid you linked to--saying things like "He wants you to give up yourmoney, folks, and spread it around--your hard-earned money!" And I just shook my head thinking, "Are you listeners imbeciles? Do you not get that you're the ones who will be getting Hannity's money?"
Me Think Thou Doth Protest Too Much. Yeah... Incredibly, we have no definitive explanation of why a global financial crisis suddenly materialized just six weeks before U.S. elections. IF SUBPRIME loans hadn't happened in the FIRST place there wouldn't have been PRODUCT to bundle, sell and mutilate. DEMOCRATS headed the FINANCE committees that fought reform.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct/24/whitewashing-fannie-freddie/
Left-leaning hedge fund operators poured their profits into Democrats & Obama.
http://www.aim.org/aim-column/soros-bets-on-us-economic-collapse/
Who Is the Economic Meltdown REALLY benefiting?
HAMAS PRAISES OBAMA AGAIN -- and Biden, Too. Ahmed Yousef says that the terrorist group would send Obama a congratulation letter "the moment he will win the election." BIDEN warns us to “gird our loins.”
AL-JAZEERA FOR OBAMA http://www.aim.org/aim-column/al-jazeera-for-obama/
Before you VOTE please visit: http://www.actforamerica.org/ & see VOTER GUIDE.
Act for America is dedicated to educating the West about the spread of radical Islam.
From The Audacity of Hope: “I will stand with the MUSLIMS should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
A Farewell to Alms

The release of a recording of an Obama interview given in 2001 on Chicago Public Radio has the potential of galvanizing the electorate to the extent necessary to put McCain over the top come November 4. Although Obama’s language was characteristically “nuanced,” he ended up saying in so many words that it was a “tragedy” that the civil rights movement had not completed its mission of bringing about a “redistributive” agenda. This makes his response to Joe the Plumber sound like a capitalist manifesto.

The interview makes clear how Obama tolerated without cavil 20 years of Black Liberation Theology espoused at his Church by Reverend Jeremiah Wright and how he felt comfortable joining with William Ayers, who also, by the way, believed that his efforts did not go far enough in accomplishing their objectives, in collectivist causes designed to radicalize the public school system in Chicago.

Redistributionism has been defended as a moral imperative for a world comprised of the rich and the poor. It is true that if A voluntarily parts with part of his or her purse to help the poor, A has done a moral thing. However, when A donates not his or her money but rather B’s money at the point of a gun (a/k/a) taxation, the moral dimension of the act vanishes.

During the civil rights movement, the issue of reparations was a hot topic. Obama’s own words come dangerously close to supporting this quaint notion that whites should atone economically for sins committed long before they were born. But I figure the “old news” defense, which enables Obama to avoid the consequences of acts committed when he was eight, recordings made by him seven years ago, and hoary sermons given by an anti-Semitic racist, should justify invoking the statute of limitations on paying for the horrors of slavery.

If I were a wealthy person, I would make a public declaration that progressive taxation is sufficient penance for the crime of being rich and that if the power of government falls into the parasitic hands of an avowed redistributionist, my voluntary charitable contributions will come to an end.
Some of you guys kill me. A multi-generational crime against humanity is committed for over 200 years, robbing an entire race of people of the power to earn wages for their time, as well as the loss of human dignity, and reparations is a "dangerous" idea?

We wrote checks to Japanese Americans who were only interred for FIVE years.

The number one word in the recording that Obama used wasn't reparations - it was the word "contradictions".

But back to the money my great-great-great-great grandfather couldn't save up to buy a home or some land to leave to his offspring - I really don't think most Americans have done any real thinking on just how enormous the amount of lost wage earning opportunity was in this government sanctioned enterprise.

Racial discrimination isn't really about skin color - its about the lack of access to adequate healthcare, investment opportunities, home mortgages, life insurance, and educational institutions.

The inequities in the life insurance industry alone, where my grandmother paid several times the face value of her industrial life policy because she couldn't buy whole life from New York Life, a company who had used her forebears for collateral against loans to slave holders, has so many layers of irony I can only shake my head at the ridiculousness of it all.

I'm not running for president, so I will say what Barack didn't even come close to saying in that interview - if you are an American citizen who has benefited in ANY way from the privilege of your race up to this moment, you have my money in your pocket.

It wasn't Rosa Parks or Thurgood Marshall in court that chnaged Birmingham's "back of the bus" policy - it was the boycott of the bus company by its core ridership - black people - that forced its owner to reconsider his stance.

The monetary value extracted from the African American community is more than a psychological loss - the stalwarts of the black middle class of today is directly descended from the small farmers and landowners of the twenties and thirties.

You can go to my family reunion and tell just by looking at the different branches which ones came from people who were sharecroppers in the fifties and which ones came from those who had been landowners at that time and before.
Gordon, You express your viewpoint well. Libertarianism occasionally resonates with me at the edges, but in its full-throated articulation it leaves me cold. I simply don't think we would survive without our social compact, or at least it wouldn't be anything close to pleasant. I wonder, first, if you can acknowledge the notion of a continuum of thought when it comes to views on the purpose of government. Because anything Senator Obama has suggested doesn't come close to actual socialism, the alarmist cries of his opponents notwithstanding. I'll grant that he and you philosophically disagree, but surely you can see that Obama is not proposing tax policies different from those of most of this century, including much less liberal rates than under the administrations of either Nixon or Eisenhower? I wish I had more time to talk to you, and I hope you come back, because dialogue starts with respect, and I respect your argument though I disagree with it. Just a couple of very quick thoughts:
1. I wonder how you would address if at all the fundamental damage that our country incurred on an entire race of people, damage that quite literally held them back with catastrophic social and financial results. I think you should step back and consider that, unless you actually believe that dark-skinned people of African descent are simply inferior, their higher rates of everything negative and lower rates of everything positive come from an institutional and pervasive barrier that left them at the starting gate when everyone else got to run. I genuinely wonder how you think this is remotely fair. Although society isn't quite a zero-sum game, neither is it completely without competition for resources, and such a disadvantage can lead an entire population to misery.
2. Why do you assume that sitting in the pews of Wright's church means that Obama completely agreed with him? Wright said lots of stuff that is patently true--with feeling, of course, which methinks is the real issue for some folk--but Obama has clearly shown himself to be an anthropologist of sorts, observing and listening to varying philosophies. My take is that Obama has adopted as his own some of Wright's philosophy, leaving the radicalism behind.
3. Your pronouncement that you would stop giving your hard-earned cash voluntarily to charity the minute the gov't took it from you for such purposes highlights a couple of important things: In a global society, people simply don't voluntarily give enough. We aren't all immersed in urban culture anymore, so we don't all see the homeless and jobless and mentally ill "littering" the streets of our suburbs. Secondly, you apparently aren't rich, and that's part of my problem with McCain and the right-wing pundits like Limbaugh and Hannity riling the masses to ridicule Obama's supposed "spread the wealth" philosophy. How is it that people who clearly would benefit economically under Democrats continue to mimic, lemming-like, the talking points of the rich and powerful. Is it about the future? Is it all about what you position you might find yourself in some day? I really wish you'd think about that for a while. I teach inner city kids. They talk constantly of being rich basketball players and famous singers. I don't like to squelch dreams, but it's hard to stomach such patently unrealistic thinking. Most small business owners do not pull in a profit of more than $250K per year, and people like Joe the Plumber, who support policies that hurt him and 95% of the population on the chance that someday he may get into that 5%, sound an awful lot like the kids I teach.
Okay, lets get real. The redistribution of wealth is going on in America because the American Christian Church failed to do its job of being salt and light in the world. Rather than living out a faith of reconciliation and restoration, it chose a theology rooted in materialism taking an Old Testament matrix of wealth equals righteousness and twisting it into the message of Jesus. Jesus’ message was that He, the Son of God, is the atonement for our rebellion against God’s love and that we need to love God, accept His forgiveness and love our neighbor as ourselves because our neighbor is made in the image of God. If we love our neighbor who we can see, then we also love God who we can’t see. And, that abandonment of the greatest task known to man resulted in the weakening of the sweet message of God: that His Son came to seek and save the lost. It was weaken because the Church was not like its leader Jesus.

How does this all fit with the election and the redistribution of wealth controversy? Consider if the Church (all those who say they are Christians) gave of itself like Christ then the State would not have to do the job of stealing from the stingy to give to the weak. Here is where the dilemma of redistribution comes in as well as the America’s walk toward “Socialism” -- they have been going on for some time.

Now this has happened incrementally and progressively. One needs to look at this with a sense of history and the long view. The prosperity and blindness of the early 20th century saw Princeton abandon its biblical roots and when the roaring, wild and prosperous 1920’s came to America, and by that time, America was well on it’s way to moral bankruptcy. And, that is why America was so eager to embrace FDR’s New Deal. FDR created the New Deal because America had become a greedy materialistic society that saw itself as the New Jerusalem and Greatest Kingdom on Earth - all rolled into one. Americans were given this great opportunity to be blessed and a blessing to the whole earth, if they did it with a fear of God and humility. A small portion of Christians tried to do this, but I don’t think most did. I say this because Americans suffer a good deal of denial about how we went wrong. Really how the Church went wrong. Those outside the Church were on the wrong tract locked into a false belief system from the get go, but the Church knew better.

America has not wanted to admit that its expansion and growth came through the murdering of Native American’s and the stealing of their land and the breaking of treaty after treaty, the thieving of oil rights from the weak entrepreneurs by oil tycoons, and the robbing men of their futures through low wages and working them to death in iron mills and coal mines by exploitive industrialists. These sins of America gave rise to the godless unions. Where was the Church defending the rights of the poor and powerless? Why were the godless doing it rather than Jesus’ followers? Could you blame the average stiff for believing a lie when the keepers of truth and power of God decided it wasn’t their job to help? So, when the crash of 1929 came and the Church wasn't doing its job, this provided FDR the opportunity to create a system that filled the vacuum. The anemic Church didn't react with anger at its own foolishness in abandoning the cause of Christ nor did it feel challenged to take back the territory it gave up and reclaim its position in the world. It sat back and let the state act like God.

America has been on a long slippery slope. It loved mammon more that Jesus. Why else would Americans be so arrogant to call their currency the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR and then print on it: IN GOD WE TRUST? It was both arrogant and blasphemous. During this age of arrogance, America experienced the power of being a world conquer in defeating the Nazis and Japan, and with that came more greed and wealth in the 50's and 60's. This period of self-indulgence and forgetting about the weak and powerless gave LBJ the opportunity to go a step further than FDR with his plan for a Great Society. Why? Because again Christians still failed to be the body of Christ sacrificially meeting the needs, both physically and spiritually, of society.

Today, the self-indulgence of the Mega Church mentality is a prime example of a materialistic society’s beliefs conquering the Church and not the Church conquering society with love and godliness. When will the Christian Church change? If the redistribution of wealth was moved by the Holy Spirit of God working in the hearts of men, society might just be transform for the good and it might just glorify God at the same time.

Christ Jesus gave up the splendor of Heaven and took on the form of lowly man in order to lift mankind out of the pit and lead mankind to real riches. Eternal riches, where the moth and rust do not destroy, but America, in the past, chose the idolatry of political leaders with hollow promises. It chose to bury the wealth God gave then rather than to increase the Kingdom of God. A Kingdom made of His Image-bearers. If the American Church would reflect Christ, they would then freely humble themselves and server each other rather than build bigger houses they cannot afford. They would model Christ and give up their splendor here on earth in order to please their Heavenly Father and gain a richer reward in Heaven. If we freely give both physically and spiritually then I believe the love of Jesus Christ will be seen as the guiding light, and then people will know the love of God and be transformed by it. But instead, America still looks to THE ONE or McCain or GW to solve the problems of our country. What happened to helping your neighbor like the Good Samaritan? If the Church did this, then the love of God would be the guiding light. And, if this is not done, then what is the influence upon society? Is it the godless state? And, if we lived before the world like Christ, God might just give us better leaders. There is no guarantee on that one, but at least the Church would be doing its job and the joy of doing it would be a great prize because the Church would feel God’s pleasure.

I must confess that I was a Communist, a Democrat and a Republican and I know all ideologies fail. I have walked with Christ now more than thirty years and have never known Him to fail. And getting back to the initial question of the redistribution of wealth, I also know that there has been a systematic redistribution of wealth by the state under Republicans and Democrats. Both parties are guilty. This forced redistribution of wealth is now going on today through the progressive tax system, and I know that America is darker now for it than it has ever been before. As a Christian and an American who is working overseas, I watch this present political struggle from a great distance with great anguish. It pains me because neither candidate is my First Choice nor do I believe a great choice. O’Bama is a friend of the pro-abortion clan; he is inexperienced and seems to be hiding so much in his grandiose rhetoric. Who wants a hollow suit with a silky voice? Not I. McCain is a beaten up and feisty old guy who seems to be a knee jerk decision-maker. So, what does on vote on? Charisma? Being a survivor of war trauma? No, I think just their voting records. Will these men save the country? I am afraid not, because they don’t have the power to save it. That power comes from above. This is a choice of the lesser of two bad options. If my absentee ballot ever reaches to me, I am choosing to vote for McCain with fear and trepidation. I am afraid America has sowed to the wind and now may be reaping the whirlwind. I think it is time we get down on our knees and beg God for mercy. God help our nation.
Kris,

You are so right that this is one big “Jedi Mind Trick.”

I know people who have cashed out their 401k’s to cover living expenses, who have to pay their own money to support their own aging parents, who are juggling a load of debt – they will talk about how the “death tax” is so bad. These are people who, unless they win the lottery, will NEVER have to pay any estate tax. Of course, there is a greater chance that they will be hit by lightening than win the lottery. But here they are making the case to stop taxing millionaires’ inheritance.

I usually take this opportunity to point to Paris Hilton. Because she has worked SO hard and contributed SO much to society… it would be a SUCH shame for her hard-earned money to be taxed, would it not? This argument sometimes works. The thing is, these poor Joe Six-Packs have been duped into thinking the Estate Tax is a bad idea completely and should be eradicated (except instead of saying “eradicated” use a word with less syllables.)

Should there be an argument about the amount of this tax and to whom it should apply? Yes. Should this tax exist? Absolutely.

This is just one example, but on issue after issue, people have been duped into voting against their own best interests…
The fact that so many people are distracted by this kind of “controversy” (and their own deep racism) makes me very sad.


Rated.
This entire election process has proven one thing without a doubt.

"Arificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity."

Message to Obama,

Remember... In regard to your VP choice.

"It is not wise to share a Foxhole with anyone braver than you are."


Message to McCain,

Remember...

"When the attack is going well and all things a progressing nicely, you are most likely walking into an ambush."

Message to all who are looking for that "Golden Parachute"

"If at first you don't succeed...Skydiving is not your sport."
"Jedi Mind Trick" must it be, Kris. If one man can bring socialism (Marxism in many commentaries) to this country, where checks and balances have worked to keep such extremes out for so long, then that would be an even bigger trick.

Why can people not get past the right-wing commentators who use scare tactics to make their points? If I said John McCain was a washed up old failed fly-boy philanderer who nearly flunked out of Annapolis and who didn't have an original idea in his years coasting through Congress, would that make the news? Yet it is all true. It just doesn't paint the whole picture.

One needs to take a step back - say, as far as Mars - to get the Big Picture. Unfortunately, not many can achieve that. I think I'll be staying where I am for 4 more years. I feel my gorge rising.
A Farewell to Alms

The release of a recording of an Obama interview given in 2001 on Chicago Public Radio has the potential of galvanizing the electorate to the extent necessary to put McCain over the top come November 4. Although Obama’s language was characteristically “nuanced,” he ended up saying in so many words that one of the "tragedies" of the civil rights movement was that powers had not been sufficiently organized to bring about redistributive change. This makes his response to Joe the Plumber sound like a capitalist manifesto.

The interview makes clear how Obama tolerated without cavil 20 years of Black Liberation Theology espoused at his Church by Reverend Jeremiah Wright and how he felt comfortable joining with William Ayers, who also, by the way, believed that his efforts did not go far enough in accomplishing their objectives, in collectivist causes designed to radicalize the public school system in Chicago.

Redistributionism has been defended as a moral imperative for a world comprised of the rich and the poor. It is true that if A voluntarily parts with part of his or her purse to help the poor, A has done a moral thing. However, when A donates not his or her money but rather B’s money at the point of a gun (a/k/a) taxation, the moral dimension of the act vanishes.

During the civil rights movement, the issue of reparations was a hot topic. Obama’s own words are evocative of this quaint notion that whites should atone economically for sins committed long before they were born. But I figure the “old news” defense, which enables Obama to avoid association with terrorist acts committed when he was eight, recordings made by him seven years ago, and hoary sermons given by an anti-Semitic racist, should justify invoking the statute of limitations on paying for the horrors of slavery.

If I were a wealthy person, I would make a public declaration that progressive taxation is sufficient penance for the crime of being rich and that if the power of government falls into the parasitic hands of an avowed redistributionist, my voluntary charitable contributions will come to an end.

The reaction of the Obama campaign to the tape has followed its template exactly: stand behind spokesmen as long as possible, invoke the "too old to be relevant" defense, claim a right-wing conspiracy, and, if all else fails, talk about a tax cut for 95% of some fluidly defined group. I think the public is beginning to catch on to this political hackery.
Gordon,

Maybe you think this is Talking Point Central. Maybe you're getting paid by the post to litter the internet with someone else's thoughts. Or maybe you're just in the mood to cut and paste the same old stuff you've already posted before on this very same article, the same old stuff with a few new lines that seem to come right out of the mouth of Ari Fleischer, who I just got finished watching on Larry King.

This is the "original critical thinking with a dash of ironic humor" thread.
If someone is murdered down the block, I may feel bad about it, but I don't expect to be punished for it. So much for reparations. The concept is so at odds with the concept of individual responsibility that I find it unworthy of serious discussion. I do not make claims against those who have more than I, and I do not expect to be claimed against by those who have less. Such is the nature of individualism--the source of human progress. But once producers believe that need is a greater value than ability, production stops. At that point you can redistribute a shrinking pie until you're blue in the face.
This is a great post and puts the facts out there for those with the intelligence and open-mindedness to receive them. Unfortunately, it is apparent that there are many who are racists ("Paki immigrants") that will never be willing to support a leader who looks at all different than they do...different gender, different race, different ethnicity, etc. To that end, they will search out any and all perverted misinterpretations of statements to support their misogynist views.

There are also those who do not, apparently, believe that we all have a responsibility to each other as human beings. Each person is inherently valuable and deserves a living wage, food on their table, an education for their children, and affordable and accessible health care for their entire family. Those who have more must help to provide for those who have less. Thus it has ever been. No man, or woman, is an island.