Saturday, September 13, 2008

What Real Americans Know

A senior aide to one of the most powerful Democrats in the House of Representatives has said that Governor Palin's repeated mockery of Barack Obama's boasts about his time as a "community organizer" in Chicago are "the most effective criticisms of Barack Obama we have yet seen."

He said:

"Real Americans graduate from high school or college and get a job that pays a wage. Campus radicals go off and organise a community."

"Palin doesn't just play to the Republican base. She has much broader appeal."

Real Americans.



Rottenchester said...

Unless a politician or self-described "senior aide" is willing to go on the record, their quotes are a waste of perfectly good electrons. Here are some examples of Republicans willing to go on the record about the McCain campaign:

In an interview Friday on the NY1 cable news channel, a McCain supporter, Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, called “ridiculous” the implication that Mr. Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” comment was a reference to Ms. Palin, whom he also defended as coming under unfair attack.

Here's another:

“The last month, for sure,” said Don Sipple, a Republican advertising strategist, “I think the predominance of liberty taken with truth and the facts has been more McCain than Obama.”

Both of those are from today's New York Times.

When you find some Democrats willing to go on the record about the community organizer remark, post it.

Philbrick said...

Rottenchester -- Thanks for commenting.

I'm not so sure I agree with you that these off the record quotes are useless. Don't you think that people are more willing to state what they really think when they can be guaranteed anonymity?

Would be interested to know why you view it differently.

As to the quotes you've cited from this morning's NY Times:

I agree with the second one. I think McCain's campaign has taken liberty with the facts in some of the stuff that came down last week.
It's gratuitous, stupid and I think McCain's only hurting his own cause with it. I'm working on a posting about this.

As to the "lipstick on the pig" flap, I can't agree that it's "ridiculous" to think the reference was to Palin. The immediate reaction of Obama's audience to the "pig" line made it clear that Palin is exactly whom they thought it referred to.

However, I don't think Obama was referring to Palin deliberately when he used the line. He's a person of better character than that, in addition to being smarter than that. The line itself is just a piece of boilerplate to make a certain kind of point.

I think that the moment the words left his mouth Obama realized that, in the context extablished by Palin's "lipstick" line in her convention speech, he had opened himself up for criticism. This was immediately reinforced by his audience's reaction. You may recall that after the "fish wrapping" line that followed it, he immediately launched into some complimentary and respectful remarks about Palin, to try to expiate any ill-interpretation of the pig line.

However, he had opened himself up. If, in the political world, it was fair to end the career of Trent Lott because he was doing nothing more than trying to be complimentary to a colleague on the colleague's 100th birthday, I don't think it was unfair of Republicans to go after Obama on a remark which, though I think not ill-intended, Obama recognized as a mistake immediately, for the reasons I've described.

scape32 said...

The community organizing function, whether voluntary or encased as a paying job within a governmental or not-for-profit entity, is nothing more than an attempt to foist one way of life, one set of beliefs, by one party upon another.

In it's heyday, during the Great Society days of the 1960's and somewhat thereafter, white liberals used government money to enlist other whites and minorities to accomplish the acculturation of poor minorities into the mainstream white economy and political belief system.

It was no more than an attempt to homogenize the American inner-cities into a white suburban puree mix so that the power structure wouldn't have to be so worried and guilty about their chosen path (fate?) in life.

Many minorities were particularly resentful of white community organizers coming in their neighborhoods and telling them what to do. Black community organizers were more tolerated but often thought of as "Uncle Toms" for participating in such silly white man activities.

In reaction to such establishment efforts, movements like the Black Panthers kicked community organization theme up a notch.

I guess today's Black Liberation Theology might be tied to the same reactionary movement.

Most community organizers ultimately looked for ways to dip into the government largess and establish themselves as service providers and information brokers with the permanency of paid managers and service staff, and, oh, an Executive Director.

Sort of like Hamas, only without the direct government grants.

Rottenchester said...

Blogger seems to be eating comments today.

My point on the Times vs Telegraph story wasn't to litigate the details, but to look at the quality of journalism in each. I had a big comment with specific examples, but here's the outline of my argument:

-- The main thesis for the Telegraph piece is built on anonymous sources, vaguely identified.

-- The identified sources in the Telegraph piece are Mark Penn's
partner (not a "Party Elder" by any stretch), a NY Post reporter, and Peggy Noonan.

-- In contrast, the Times piece is built on quotes from real, live
accountable Republicans, like Orrin Hatch.

It's a non-partisan point. There's a lot of lazy journalism where some reporter gets it in his head that X is going on, where X is
something bad for one party and good for another. He calls up a few sources "off the record" to get them to say X, and then gets a few partisans from the other side to say X, which they're happy to do. Then our reporter files his story and leaves work early for a couple of drinks.

The Times piece has a couple of real Republicans quoted on the topic. Because they're real, we can have a meaningful discussion about whether they have biases, whether they're perceptive, etc. We can't have a similar discussion about "senior Democratic strategists".