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Senator Obama, are Muslim Americans worthy of respect?

Senator Obama, I found this clip and I couldn’t help being amazed at your disrespect for Muslim Americans:

Think about what you have said for a moment. We know that since 9/11, Muslims have been personas non grata in the US. And it’s not really fair to them when you think about it. The group that pulled off 9/11 was a militant *fundamentalist* sect of Islam.

Everyday, here in NJ, I see Muslim families, ladies in hijab but their teenage daughters dressed indistinguishable from their non-muslim friends. Or little girls in hijab at my daughter’s day camp, playing softball like everyone else. I see them in the grocery stores and at Liberty State park on the Fourth of July. They dressed up for the occasion.

I work with Muslims. Some of them are working on cures for debilitating diseases. Some of them are talented and respected directors.

Many of these people are African-Americans. Many of them are long time residents of the United States or citizens. They have a deep rooted connection to our country. They have raised families here, bought houses here, made friends here. For Muslim Americans, I would never consider divorcing them from their citizenship because of their hijab. I would fiercely defend their right to worship as freely as any Christian.

Senator Obama, I think it is unseemly to elevate your chosen faith over the faiths of other people. Christians are not more American than the two little Muslim girls who were born here who play with my daughter in the summer.

And to run from the assertion that you might have Muslim sympathies is craven and cowardly and unworthy of a presidential candidate. As president, it is your responsibility to represent *all* citizens, regardless of faith. The Shoah has taught us to never forget that it is wrong to single out a people for degradation just because it is politically and culturally expedient.

Leaders are supposed to encourage people to look past their differences to their commonalities. This clip is clear evidence that you would prefer to win at other’s expense than defend their humanity.

Very disappointing.

“So when at times the mob is swayed…”

star.jpgSome of you might remember my sig line at DailyKos:

“Choose something like a star to stay your mind on, and be staid”

It’s from the poem by Robert Frost, Choose Something Like a Star. I might be completely wrong in my interpretation but I think the poem is about finding the essence of a thing and adhering to the principle based on that essence. Sometimes, it’s difficult to understand a thing that uses language that we do not understand or speaks no language at all. But the fundamental truth of something is always present and if we can find it, we hold it close to ourselves and cannot be torn from it by the tides of public opinion.

This is a difficult time, my fellow Kossacks. We see our community being torn apart. This is no coincidence. The best way to diminish our power is to divide us from within. But even though we are apart right now and at odds with each other, we must not forget the thing that brought us together in the first place: our love of our country and the institutions that made it great. In each of us, there burns an anger towards the ones who carelessly destroy it and a passion for making it right. The genuine Obamaphile is no different, even if some of the viciousness is spurred on by entities unlike us.

But we *will* be together again when the primary wars are over. We will have to work very hard to turn the tide in our favor. None of us should think this will be an easy fight no matter who wins the nomination. And we will have to all pull together.

So, while DailyKos suffers a crisis and the mob seems to be “swayed to carry praise or blame too far, we may choose something like a star to stay our minds on and be staid.”

This blog is just a resting place, an oasis for refreshment, renewal and regrouping. We *will* be together again before long. We will not let them divide us. “We will all hang together or we will surely hang separately”.

Evening cocktails- Sunday

Joe’sHi all, I thought we’d get together at Joe’s bar again for a few beers. It’s kinda dark and low key. No ferns. There’s just a jazz guitarist and some singer tonight. She’s pretty good. The songs are a bit “work your way out of it by drowning yourself in it”.

Set’em up Joe, I’ll take a Macallen’s if you’ve got it.

Dear Ted, don’t go there

I remember 1980. That was the year that jimmy Carter needed your support during the Democratic National Convention. That’s when the party needed unity against the Reagan juggernaut. That was the year you tried to flip delegates who were committed to Carter to your side. That was the year that you reluctantly shook hands with Carter on that stage in New York City.

That year was the beginning of the end when the bitterness and divisiveness planted in the summer at the convention was followed by our 28 year winter of discontent.

I don’t care whether you think Barack Obama is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He’s little more than a good stump speech. And if you think your opinion is going to flip NJ to his column, you’re mistaken.

Reality Check

For the irrationally exuberant and the temporarily dismayed, it is helpful to keep the following in mind:

  • Obama has yet to win any SuperDuper Tuesday states and it is *highly* unlikely that he will win NJ or NY.
  • The win in South Carolina might be a pyrrhic victory. Perception sometimes is reality.
  • The racial narrative was played by Obama’s camp, not Clinton’s.
  • It is impolite to boo any politician in your party. If you must show your displeasure, remain silent. Boos generally backfire while silence is golden.
  • The Big Dawg was actually very generous towards Obama. Obama has had it EASY.
  • The media is fluffing its favorites and trying to take out the strongest candidates because it wants a super, super nailbiting finish in November. It’s good for ratings.
  • Super, super nailbiting finishes in November are bad for America because the GOP has a death grip on the mechanisms of government and has rigged the election gain. We have to win by overwhelming margins.
  • Change for what?
  • College educated voters in younger than 60 will vote for Clinton. New Jersey voters aren’t so easily bamboozled.

This Week’s ESP- January 27, 2008

Sibyl TrelawneyTime to predict what next week’s themes are going to be:

  • High Broderism is still the Villager’s favorite governing style.  It doesn’t rock their little boat on the Potomac.  For those new to this term, High Broderism is the theory espoused by WaPo columnist David Broder that if the Democrats would just abandon every one of their core principles and reach out to Republicans and compromise with them, then, every pressing issue would be resolved amicably and we’d all have tea,  This is ridiculous, of course.  Because the cold hard reality is that Republicans don’t believe in compromise.  They are prepared to hold their breaths while strangling the country to get what they want and they are perfectly capable of doing it from a filibuster proof minority.  You can’t get around them with less than 60 votes in the senate and they are impervious to negotiation.  But it all sounds so harmonious and philanthropic.  So, Obama is running as the High Broderite candidate and pulling the young, independents and the college educated (but not necessarily smart) onto his side in order to win the nomination.  If he wins it, the GOP is going to paint him as the biggest flaming liberal whoever lived.  But getting back to High Broderism, expect this to be pushed heavily by the media using the clip of Obama’s SC victory speech as an example of what the country wants.  They will continue to pressure Clinton to abandon “partisanship” for the sake of bringing the country together.  The country doesn’t really want High Broderism.  It wants universal health insurance, social security, social justice, the rich to pay their fair share, labor protections, etc, etc.  But strategy is so much harder to describe in 30 seconds than an optimistic Change! soundbite.  If I were running, I’d turn this around on the media and ask them to identify what they mean by the terms “partisanship”, especially when it comes to a primary season where the contestants are supposed to be representing their “party”.  We’ve learned from the past 2 elections that running to the right of the party doesn’t work so appealing to the party in the primary season would seem to be pretty logical, especially if the rest of the country is on our side.  Emphasizing the differences between the two parties should work once High Broderism is defined as a failure.  One need only point to the well-meaning but feckless Congress as evidence of how it works.
  • Obama is a cypher.  Expect Hillary to try to pin him down.
  • Expect the Big Dawg to lower his profile.  Expect his every utterance to be misinterpreted and magnified anyway including ordering his coffee black.  I don’t agree with Josh Marshall when it comes to the Big Dawg.  If anything, Bill has held back.  Obama is an incredibly weak presidential candidate when you think about it.  He really doesn’t have much going for him other than an inspiring stump speech.  But the media is clearly on his side.  What I *have* noticed, however, is the consistent level of disgust across the lefty blogs with Hillary’s campaign machine and operatives.  I personally *loathe* Joe Trippi and David Axelrod and think they’re both disgusting, as disgusting as any Hillary operative.  But the antipathy runs against Clinton’s camp quite heavily.  I don’t know if this is genuinely earned.  Like I said, I find all of the campaign’s consultants to be overpaid shills.  So, I’m wondering if the lingering aftereffects of the Clinton investigations and impeachment has some of us conditioned to feel especially nauseous whenever Bill Clinton shows his face on TV.  I appreciate Josh’s struggle with his uneasiness but I just don’t find his explanation convincing.  I would definitely object if Bill was actively defending Hillary against unfair treatment but that’s not really what he’s been doing.  His attacks on Obama have actually been quite tame and Hillary has shown herself to be more than capable of defending herself.  She could do the next week all on her own with no one but Chelsea stumping for her and her strengths would no be diminished.   I think Josh has to think about this some more.  There’s something else at the bottom of all this disgust that probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you get right down to it.
  • Expect Obama’s camp to start accusing Clinton’s of calling him a “Black candidate” in order to marginalize him. The fact that it was Obama’s camp that played the race cad to begin with will be conveniently overlooked.  Also, should be easy to thwart.  You know it’s coming.  OK, it’s already here and they are already pouncing on Bill Clinton’s statements about Jesse Jackson’s wins.  But here’s the thing, the only one who would have benefitted by stirring up racial tension in SC is Obama.  And he did it to win the majority Black voters.  So, now he has identified himself with black voters and he wants to be seen as a racially diverse candidate.  The rest of the country is sitting back and seeing this incredible blowout in a southern conservative state, the legacy of slavery still evident by the one room wooden cabins under the Spanish moss on old plantations.   We all know what South Carolina is or at least, I have a clue because I  lived there as a kid.  Obama was always going to win this state.  If he wanted to be a diverse candidate, he didn’t have to drive a wedge in the party with race baiting.  Merely showing up would have given him a nice win.  But that just wasn’t good enough.  So he pulled out all of the stops and got this wildly lopsided victory and has now somewhat defined himself.  He can bluster about the Jesse Jackson comments now and expect everybody and their brother to take his side but this genie is already out of the bottle.  Florida isn’t that far away from South Carolina and the south hasn’t been completely erased there.
  • Expect DailyKos to go through another “Rec List Hostage Crisis” as the Edwardians try to deal with the next stage of grief.  But as flawed a politician as Edwards is, his core Democratic principles are closer to Clinton’s than Obama’s.  Something to think about.