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It is hard for an empty suit to take a stand – or perhaps even to understand what it means to take a stand

[Cross-posted from Heidi Li’s Potpourri]

Richard Cohen’s sister is canceling her inauguration party because of President-elect Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to bless Mr. Obama’s taking the office of the Presidency of the United State. According to her brother’s column in the Washington Post, what made her do this is the way in which Mr. Obama’s choice to pick this pastor for this occasion serves as a special sort of condoning of Mr. Warren’s views about gays and lesbians. I agree with Richard Cohen, and apparently his sister, that these views should be regarded as totally unacceptable by anybody who has any sense of the importance of civil rights and indeed of human rights. I also agree with Richard Cohen’s view that as a somebody running for the office of President and who was at the time a U.S. Senator, Mr. Obama had a particular responsibility for denouncing his then-pastor’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ, for giving the anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan a special award during the primary season. I find it troubling that neither Mr. Cohen nor apparently his sister have not been, as far as I can tell, overly concerned by President-Elect Obama’s equally eloquent silence and inaction regarding the sexism and misogyny directed at Senator Clinton and her supporters, particularly the sophomoric expression of these attitudes by Jon Favreau, the man writing President-elect Obama’s inaugural address. (I shudder to think what the reaction of the Cohen family would have been if Favreau had been found on YouTube horsing around calling somebody a “homo” – maybe then Richard Cohen’s sister would join us in our demand that the President-Elect fire this sophomoric bigot as his chief speech-writer. Whether a bigot is slick (Warren) or juvenile (Favreau), he is still a bigot.)

It is tempting to forget in this sort of dynamic who the real problem is. As is clear from what I have written so far, I wish Richard Cohen and his sister would be, respectively, writing about and canceling inauguration parties as much over Mr. Obama’s inaction in the face of sexism and misogyny as they are in the face of anti-Semitism and gay-bashing. And yes, I wish that Richard Cohen’s sister had paid attention to and given greater weight to the fact that she had the option to work to elect somebody who, both as a Senator and as a Presidential candidate, repeatedly marched in Pride parades and met with editors of gay newspapers across the country rather than working for somebody who would not even have his photograph taken with Gavin Newsome.

But I am not falling into the trap that lies that way. Just because people got it wrong before does not mean they cannot help matters now. People can learn. So despite the bit of complaining above, I am not going to point a finger at Richard Cohen’s sister (or, for that matter, at Katha Pollitt for decrying the misogyny involved in the Warren choice when Pollitt, like Richard Cohen’s sister, opted to support Mr. Obama for the presidency when it was already obvious that he was complacent, to say the least, about sexism and misogyny). I am just pleased that they are starting to pay attention now and apparently coming to understand better who they voted for. To quote Richard Cohen: “The real problem has nothing to do with ministers and everything to do with Obama’s inability or unwillingness to be a moral leader. Sooner or later, he just might have to stand for something.”

Aye, there’s the rub. During the primary season and the general election a friend of mine who spent some considerable amount of time listening to me lament the Democratic Party’s poor judgment in making then-Senator Obama their poster-child, kept saying to me that the real problem with Mr. Obama is that he is an “empty suit”.

That term seemed to me too tepid back then. But I have come to see it as the essential problem behind the problem of Mr. Obama’s inability or unwillingness to be a moral leader, and possibly any kind of leader. To be a moral leader, to stand for something means that you have to fill out your suit, your office, your position. To be an “empty suit” is to be a person who cannot draw a line in the sand, precisely because you do not have an arm and hand within that suit to use to reach out and draw that line. To be an “empty suit” is to be devoid of the weightiness that real leadership requires, including the gravitas to admit to a mistake and change one’s position (drop the bigoted minister and lose the bigoted speechwriter; say you have been wrong to dig in your heels rather than listen to the concerns of so many of the people who worked so hard to elect you). To be an “empty suit” is to be a moral vacuum.

I refused to vote for John McCain for a number of reasons but among them was the fact that while I knew he had the capacity for moral leadership, I did not care for the directions toward which his moral commitments would lead my country. I refused to vote for Barack Obama because I knew he came up empty on the capacity for moral leadership.

In some ways, moral emptiness, especially in a President, is worse than moral wrong-headedness. The morally wrong-headed leader takes a stand, e.g. George W. Bush’s legitimization of torture, and one can rally people against the stand she or he takes. The morally empty leader takes no stand. Under these circumstances, her or his silences often allow people to forget that the blank that exists in lieu of a leader is the appropriate target of criticism. After all, it seems easier to go after people who actually do take stands (Rick Warren, for example) rather than the person who silently enables wrong-headed person to gain in stature. But this is sleight of hand. The real problem is the enabler, the person who allows the sophomoric sexist to put words in his mouth, the person who lets bigoted clerics and their churches affiliate with him.

So, to Richard Cohen’s sister and to Katha Pollitt, I say welcome to my party – the one that got lost in 2008, the one that expected moral leadership of a certain kind from a Democratic president. Now that you are here, I hope you can help me figure out what we are going to do with the empty suit about to occupy the Oval Office. If that empty suit thinks he can pick up sufficient evangelical money and votes in 2012, he is not going to listen to bloggers and op-ed columnists whose votes and followers he thinks he can replace with the support of the evangelicals, regardless of the detestable content of many of their views and some of their conduct. Personally, I do not think we can give the empty suit the backbone necessary to resist the lure of that support. If we cannot give this empty suit some backbone, we need, as I have written before, to start figuring out how we can have a better candidate on offer in 2012. So to the people who are canceling their celebrations, may I suggest that they use the time and effort saved to start solving that problem. We need to coalesce now around somebody who can fight for a nomination by a major Party – probably the the Party formerly recognizable as the Democratic one – who is what Obama’s supporters hoped he would be and what I fear he is not.

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102 Responses

  1. But the blogger boiz are gonna hold Obama’s feet to the fire!

  2. myiq2xu, on December 26th, 2008 at 2:59 am Said:
    Of course they are! Funny how I forgot all about that!

  3. Absolutely spot-on with this post Hedi.

    I too wonder how long it will take for Obie’s supporters to realize he is not what they thought him to be or really is not anything at all. What, if anything, has he taken an actual stand on?

    These next four years are going to be interesting if only to see if the puppet actually has a spine or not.

  4. Oh IQ, he’ll be so afraid of them.

  5. I’m going to enjoy possibly watching the Bill Maher’s as they begin to turn Obama on the spit as they roast him. That is, if they even admit it was a bad choice.

  6. I want to see what Jon and Stephen do on Comedy Central.

    Their shows are based on political satire, mostly at the expense of Republicans.

    Who are they going to pick on after January 20th?

  7. Well, that will have to be a sea change for those two.

  8. Travis and Jonathan (Redstate update) comment on gays, Obama, Rick Warren and the Democratic Party.

  9. Thanks for another great summary of events, Heidi.

  10. Uh-oh! The attempt of hiding the big corruption scandal behind the Christmas tree – FAIL!
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2008/12/26/uh-oh-blago-means-business-wants-rahm-subpoenaed/

  11. “hope and change that was years in the making.”

    Exactly, EOF!

    I hadn’t heard the lawyering up part – thanks for that.

  12. Heidi – Thank you. You speak for me.

  13. miq2xu
    good point. Will I ever be able to watch Comedy Central again?

  14. scrubs57
    The timing of those news was impeccable – they learned from W about the color coded headlines

  15. Sadly, EOF, the Obama campaign learned a LOT from W and his tactics. I fear we are about to get more of the same.

  16. Heidi, I can somewhat respect Richard Cohen’s sister and Katha Pollitt for seeing what millions of Obama’s acolytes still refuse to see; that he is indeed nothing but an empty suit.

    They made him what they wanted him to be in their own minds. Will they have the integrity and the courage to see that the biggest problem with Obama was their credulity?

    I fear they will cling to their delusions. Otherwise, they will have to admit that there really is no Santa Claus. And that they are not getting a pony. And that sadly, with Obama in the Oval Office, there isn’t much hope for change.
    .

  17. Heidi-I could not agree with you more, however, I am a wee bit puzzled abt your demands for leadership if you could not bring yourself to vote…sorry, but if we demand leadership from our politicians we must live up to those standards ourselves and that means at occasions to vote for something we do not entirely like to prevent something we most def do not like….not voting just helped clearing the way for the previous one.

    not voting because you dont like what is on offer is unfortunately a luxury most people in the world do not have as they dont live in a demo-crazy.

  18. Kenosha Marge
    the biggest problem was their credulity
    Dunno about that. I know that it was Cohen, Pollitt and their publications that certainly did their best to sell Obama. And those who bought it did so because it made them feel good that they were not racists. So good, kicking women was pure joy, no sin – because, after all, non-racists can have a little fun (I see that as another problem besides credulity)

  19. Oops! I tripped the moderator with the “R” word. Help!

  20. As usual Ms Li you are about 12 miles ahead of the curve. Senator Obama is not just an empty suit regarding any kind of human rights who simply spouts the lamest of platitudes, he is a common, run of the mill, corrupt Chicago Combine pol. One cannot be cheating and stealing from taxpayers and then turn around representing the higher virtues. It’s like the Mafia sponsoring Toys for Tots. It is a joke. A politician does not care about civil, women’s, gay and lesbian, or just basic human rights if he runs with a bunch that is only there to steal the taxpayer blind.

  21. edgeoforever,

    Perhaps I should have qualified that statement by saying “One of their biggest problems was their credulity.”

    Still, I do think that the “credulity” of the public to believe something because they “want” to believe something is a problem. A dysfunctional and dishonest media is also a major part of the equation.

    Pollit, Cohen and their publications tried to sell “us” too, did they not? Why didn’t we buy?

  22. from what iv been seeing around some of the obama-sheep are slowing wakeing up but most are still in denial

  23. Why didn’t we buy?

    Because we’re racists?

    /snark

    The same people who sold The Lightbringer to the voters are the ones who sold them G-Dub and the War in Iraq. I wasn’t buying those either.

  24. myiq, that ws my argument to my sibs too. pay attention to the source. why was the media all of a sudden so wise and true?

    Heidi, for me, the term “empty-suit” still feels too tepid. yes, he’s empty in terms of morals, but there is a steely hardness (read bad-very bad) to me.

    back off to work again. looking forward to coming home and staying home. opening a building this size is really something to write about–if I only had the time.

    however, it’s a great excuse to avoid the o-bot reunion chistmas that was planned and is currently happening in my town w/o me. i say, work is a VERY fine escape.

  25. miq2xu
    The funny thing is – I remember I myself was open to the transaction – I was a potential buyer myself. After Iowa, I thought it was cool, and for about 5 minutes, I was going to join the herd. Then HE started his speech…and there were them pesky facts buzzing in my head like his first senate speech “now it’s not the time to ask why we went in Iraq”

  26. I often wonder why I didn’t buy into the whole thing. I wanted a Democrat in the White House and Bush’s sorry ass out so bad.

    Why couldn’t I just buy into the hopey changey crap? I would be slap-happy and hopey-dopey now instead of pissed off all the time.

    Maybe it has something to do with self-respect?

  27. I’m not sure if we are going to be able to enjoy the comedians roasting the big O.

    Or even the radio talk show hosts commenting on his policies.

    He, along with his democrat friends in congress, is going to end free speech.

    I hope this doesn’t happen, but things are looking that way.

    Delle

  28. We are a society that has been living in a fairy tale world for a long time now. I think it is the result of constantly being inundated with marketing and media hype, so much that people no longer have a sense of what is normal or real. For example, people’s expectations of what constitutes a normal lifestyle is way over the top, causing them to live in debt in order to have what they feel is normal – and is in fact common since most of their friends are doing the same thing. For example, a couple I know that I know is drowning in debt still had to put extremely expensive cabinets and countertops in their kitchen. Just couldn’t survive without them.
    People believe hype and platitudes because that is all they hear. It’s like Madison Avenue and Oprah have taken over our minds leading us to believe that just wanting something enough makes it happen. Now we have elected a real-life Chauncey Gardenr we can propject our wishes on . (See the movie Being There.)
    Maybe this downturn will snap us out of our delusional life style, but I fear it will take a lot more pain to get through to most people. Unfortunately the rest of us will get pulled down, too.

  29. EOF:

    When I first heard all the excitement over Obama I checked him out expecting to be impressed.

    The first thing that impressed me was his lack of experience. That left a bad impression. Experience isn’t everything but it is important.

    I thought he needed to hang around a few more years before he could be considered a serious contender for the top spot, but he could be a good VP pick (which would get him the experience he needed.)

    That was a year ago, before I learned about Rezko, Wright, Ayers, Blago, Favreau, etc, etc, etc,

  30. BernieO:

    Lots of people only hear what they want to hear.

  31. First, I want to say thank you, Heidi, for all the great work
    you’ve been doing, both in writing wonderful brilliant posts, as
    the above, and also in taking action, such as starting the
    51% movement.

    Also, for continuing to focus on the very important and horribly
    ignored issue of women, while still keeping in mind
    and writing about so many of the many deeply troubling
    issues that continue to swirl around this empty suit
    and his tactics.

  32. I like that you ended your post, Heidi, with a call to action, as
    you often do.

    Though I love to see that there are people out there who see
    through the fraud and duplicity that continues to go on, I
    often get frustrated that even with all the brilliant reporting
    and observations coming from the PUMA community, that
    not enough is being done to change things.

    I stopped posting for a while after Obama stole the nomination,
    just continued to watch in disbelief, and read the comments
    that at least showed me there were others out there who saw
    what I saw, when those around me did not. (My Significant
    Other loves Obama, though lately he’s been making some
    irreverent comments about the one, i.e. “He’s already our
    greatest president”. It’s said snarkily, thank goddess.)

    I’m grateful to all of you who had the energy to keep comm-
    enting here, even when it was clear we had lost the fight (at
    least for now). Now, I think it’s time to regroup and start working for for
    for alternatives, and continue to make our voices heard
    outside of these blogs.
    I would still like to see local meetings, maybe
    local conferences. I’m in NYS, two hours from NYC. Is there a
    way we could form local groups, publicize them here, with
    the purpose of supporting and learning from each other, but
    also for taking actions to get media attention?

    I’ve noticed that a few women on CNN (Campbell Brown and
    her replacement Erica somebody), have begun to criticize The
    One, and to mention women’s issues. I think if CNN gets
    positive comments about this they are likely to continue.

    I would love to see brilliant articulate PUMA reps, like you,
    Heidi, Riverdaughter, and so many others, on shows like
    Larry King, Campbell Brown, even Fox, if we have to.

    I can’t imagine that people aren’t totally bored already with
    the Obie worship.
    The big test will be what he does with the economy,
    housing particularly, since that’s my small business I’m
    struggling to keep going. So far he’s said nothing, wants to
    fire Sheila Baer who wants to help, so I’m not holding my
    breath.

  33. I disagree with Heidi on this one. Obama has an agenda – its just not one we recognize. He is taking a stand by inviting Warren – some just dont want to or can’t see it.

    Bambi’s 130 votes of “present were not reflective of an empty suit. They had a purpose: to get him where he wants to go – the Presidency. He’s not there yet. Just wait until after Jan 20th and Obama’s agendas will begin to reveal themselves.

    I encourage everyone to scrounge thru Warren’s website (saddleback.com)

    DOT COM (as opposed to a dot org…)

    Saddleback Church is a money machine and a power machine and it controls its ever-growing masses with ever more sophisticated manipulation and methods of control. Listen to the audios as Warren encourages his “flock” to buy buy buy and “bring a friend who’s never been to Saddleback Church”, sometimes even rewarding parishoners with freebies for doing so. Make sure you listen to the part about the membership cards called the “One Card” and Saddleback’s use of One Card scanners. Sounds eerily like the identity card that’s being forced on all of us.

    It is not surprising that Obama would want to team up with Warren. Warren can direct how thousands vote. Warren’s focus is on exponential growth and $$. He controls and watches parishoners and manipulates their behavior. Here’s Pastor Erin talking about the reasons for volunteers to scan themselves in and out when they work.

    “And more importantly (the scanners show) who DIDN’T show up…”
    He goes on to say that this is a great management tool because when people “stop serving” you see it and can call them to find out why…

    http://saddlebackfamily.com/mediacenter/Media.aspx?site=vPf0rFaEhuA=&s=PsDADQ+lJ2Y=

    Warren employs a variety of methods to keep tabs on everyone. He keeps his parishoners busy with non-stop event weeks , which are purposefully tied into a non-stop flow of purchasable products. (that’s the purpose of his purpose driven life).

    It’s not a coincidence that Obama & Warren are joining forces and there IS an agenda behind this. It’s bad news for women AND gays. Warren’s church is sexist (understatement). It does not recognize domestic abuse as a reason for a woman to leave her husband. Warren is anti-choice. Warren is an anti-gay bigot.

    Hmm. Wonder what other religion has these misogynist attitudes in common?

    Warren controls a huge voting block. Teaming up with Warren is a joint effort at a power grab and $$ grab. Obama’s team will learn from and feed into Warren’s team, honing their mass manipulation skills and exponentially growing their kool-aid drinking armies, welding them into a single force.

  34. Heidi Li – great post.

    I have to say I agree with beethovenqueen on this one…Obama is indeed taking stands. He has chosen to surround himself with hatemongering bigots, criminals and Republicans.

    His true beliefs and convictions have long been inferrable from his actions, or his lack thereof.

    However, his public face is very different, and he has been so expertly packaged and sold to us that he has been able to make so many intelligent people refuse to connect the dots.

    I think that’s what really strikes me about the Obamabots – the absolute disconnect between their beliefs about Obama, and who he really is. It’s astonishing.

  35. madamab:

    What I find amazing and amusing is that when Obama lies his followers believe him, but when he tells the truth they don’t.

  36. I agree with the opinions expressed above: Obama is taking a anti-gay stand. He has done it before. The Obots and wanna believes just don’t want to face the facts..

  37. Oh how I wish I had been able to get her yesterday. But I only use the internet in the library now (for the past 7 months) and it was closed. You all keep me sane and yesterday was the single most depressing Christmas of my life. Someone I thought cared for me really let me down… that’ll teach me to get involved with a mans man (would rather spend time with other men and only with you when nothing is going on with the guys). NEVER AGAIN! I spent the whole day alone wondering how I was going to dig myself out of my present ditch and then at the end of the day my son called and told me he got in the middle of a fight between his female room mate and her boyfriend (didn’t want her hurt and didn’t want her little boy to see the fight) and ended up at the emergency room with stitches in his face and a concussion. Oh well, he may be my prodigal son, but he was trying to defend a woman so I must have done something right.

    In the meantime there is so much said in this thread that I agree with that I am not going to cut and paste the ones I wanted to highlight. Suffice it to say that I agree what Obama has an agenda and lots of his supporters do not want to see it. He is telling them and has told them over and over who he is and they refuse to listen.
    I never thought that this would happen to people who were so disgusted with Bush’s selection in 2000. They do not see the similarities.

  38. This gives new meaning to the phrase “hard intelligence data”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/25/AR2008122500931.html

  39. ps… did this women who canceled her party have any problem with Warren’s stance on women’s rights and his ridiculous stand on women’s place in the family….choice….subservience?

  40. miq2xu
    It also made me think of what W was saying when he repeated that “presidentin’ is hard work”
    And walking my dog today, I was reminded of Obama’s “girlie dog” remark
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2008/12/26/no-girlie-dogs-for-macho-b0/

  41. vivienne westwood said: “…I am a wee bit puzzled abt your demands for leadership if you could not bring yourself to vote….”
    In other elections, in the past, I would have agreed with vivienne, but this year, I also could not bring myself to vote. My reasons were many. I carefully watched, and parsed, every debate during the primaries. I saw Pampers on those stages with nothing, absolutely nothing to say. He had no plans, no committments. I heard Hillary making truly progressive campaign promises, with lists of plans to make them happen. After awhile, I saw Pampers begin to “commit” only to agreeing with what Hillary had said, with nothing of his own to add. Pampers said exactly NOTHING of substance for 8 months. He took no stands, and offered no plans. Then came his “Rainbow Tour” to Europe which was supposed to give him foreign policy “experience”. And then came the Greek temples of the convention. And I watched Hillary forced to call for unanimity in the delegate vote. This does not even begin to address the misogyny that was countenanced, and encouraged by Teh One during the primaries and afterwards.
    Still, I could not bring myself to vote for McCain — he did have plans, and he did commit himself to idealogies that scared me. I tried very very hard to find a reason to vote FOR Pampers as opposed to just AGAINST McCain. After weeks, months, the only positive reason I could find to vote for Lightbringer was that he is A/A. Reluctantly, I made up my mind that this would have to be enough. However, on November 4, I could not bring myself to go to the polls. I surmised that, given the fact that Precious had stolen the primaries, and given the activities of ACORN, it was a foregone conclusion that he would win, anyway.It seemed absurd and pointless to cast a vote in an “election” that actually was a selection by the media and by the party formerly known as democratic. I couldn’t bring myself to participate in this sham.
    I hope I am never faced with this dilemma again — but I am afraid that this last selection year, in addition to the massive socialization of Wall Street, proves that this country really is in the hands of corporations and that the Democratic party is a full and complete partner in corruption. There is no longer a party “of the people” — unless by “people” one means those who benefit the most from corporate greed and corruption. Barack Obama is not now, and has never been, capable of or intrested in helping the middle class, working class and poor of this country. Barack Obama is not interested in ending class-and-gender-based discrimination and violence.
    Barack Obama will not give us 4 more years of George W. Bush — in fact, he is worse than Bush. Bush, at least, was an idealogue — he had an agenda, which he unscrupulously (and unconstituionally) pushed through and continues to follow.
    Barack Obama’s only agenda is his own self-aggrandizement and fulfillment of his unbridled ambitions. Barack Obama has no spiritual, moral, ethical, idealogical beliefs or commitments.
    Barack Obama has been alive for 47 years, but hasn’t once inhaled.

  42. I’m reposting lyrics to the song “Winner Takes All” from the last thread. It’s by a heavy metal band Ensign, from their album “Cast The First Stone.” Note that the song, which clocks in under one minute, was released in 1999…

    “It must be hard to scream for change
    With that foot stuck in your mouth
    And all your false claims
    Of knowledge disavowed
    Unity becomes a catch phrase
    For the fools of tomorrow
    All your shit talk ways
    It only serves to separate
    An already divided scene
    In which you have no place
    Again you take your soapbox
    As a forum for your lies
    Witness to an early end
    Broken down from inside”

  43. teresainpa – You did do something right. Your son sounds like a good person. I’m so sorry to hear about your boyfriend, though. Please let us know when the Paypal site is set up so we can help you.

    myiq -But when does he lie? He hasn’t lied about how he feels about gays, ever. He has stated repeatedly that he is not a liberal. He has never been a strong supporter of abortion rights, and has never said that he was.

    Obama is quite honest about who he is. That’s why the people who are suddenly upset that he doesn’t love gays and women just seem rather idiotic to me, although, like Heidi Li, I’m still willing to welcome them to our party.

    From reading the people who are defending him, I think that they are very grateful that he isn’t Bush, and have high hopes that he will usher in a New Deal for our country. They are allowing those hopes to override their concerns about his retrogressive social conservatism. To this I say, “Hate and exclusion are not liberal values.” And Obama is a hater who is indebted to the evangelicals, the Reagan libertarians, and Wall Street. He will not be who they want him to be.

    It’s going to be a painful awakening for them.

  44. And btw…happy Kwanzaa to those who celebrate it.

    Gotta go make some brunch for my honey. Later, Conflucians – many hugs to you all!

  45. From Cohen’s article I quote the following:

    “he (Obama) has been a stalwart champion of gay causes”.

    Can anyone provide evidence supporting this statement?

    As a lesbian who has been watching Obama closely for almost two years I can’t recall any point at which I thought “He gets it – we are in his heart”. In fact, after he used homophobia to win South Carolina I knew that he himself is a homophobe. And, from that moment on I began to think he not only is not liberal or progressive, he is not even a Democrat.

  46. It’s amazing that a 60 second prayer that hasn’t occurred yet can finally make the scabs fall from so many eyes.

    Think about the savings in time, money and heartache if during the first debate we had hooked all the candidates to lie detectors and asked, “At your inauguration, who will pray over you and the nation?’

  47. Spammy was lonely and he keeps saying something about mistletoe, tequila and missed opportunities.

    Help. Thank you.

  48. Dee, how do you answer people who say to you…”but Obama and Hillary have the same position in gay marriage”?

  49. Dee, I have been watching Obie for 4 years. I supported him as a member of DFA for the senate seat in Chicago. Even then I didn’t like him much. Three things set me against him.
    1. His l obvious BS that he had ended up on the DLC list “byt accident”.
    2. His lecture at Dkos about how we should behave towards the right and those we disagree with.
    3. His opinion that democrats had a problem with religion (an idiotic idea to say the least…when have we ever had a democratic president in office who wasn’t religious?) and that people like him, who could clap in time to the gospel choir, were the solution.

    His race-baiting, homophobia and sexism were only frosting on the shit cake as far as I was concerned.

  50. teresainpa, my answer would be that AT LEAST Hillary has NEVER been afraid to be seen and photographed with gay people…marching in Pride parades, being interviewed by the gay press. obie has done THE EXACT OPPOSITE.

  51. LJSNAustin, thank you, that is a good start.

  52. teresainpa: Dee’s probably typing her response now — I can give you this lesbian’s response, though: and that is “Show me the evidence.” For months I have had to listen to claims about what obama believes and what he does not believe, with absolutely no evidence to back up those claims.
    I would ask the interlocutor to back up that claim.

  53. Thanks for keeping track, Heidi Li, of the “awakening of the Obama supporters.” For everyone who now dares criticize Wonder boy I welcome their voice. For those who needed no awakening I rejoice.

    Let the unveiling of the empty suit continue.

  54. Obama is only “for” the power/wealth system that created him and installed him as pre-select. If it were to his political advantage to support lesbian and gay rights, he would.
    it is not. he does not.

  55. When someone asks about Hillary’s position on gay marriage, I respond that it’s one area where she and I disagree. But unlike Obama Hillary has been marching in Pride Parades since she was the First Lady. She vowed to become the first President to march in a Pride Parade. She has never shunned the gay community. Show me one example when Obama has embraced the gay community… The response I get to that is silence. Even Sarah Palin, a scary religious conservative, has a pretty big check in her column when it comes to doing something for the gay community of her state (vetoing Republican legislation that would have taken away health-benefits from partners of gay employees.)

    During the primaries Chelsea Clinton, Ed Rendell, and Sophie B. Hawkins went gay bar-hopping. Obama was campaigning with McClurkin, Meeks, and Mary Mary.

    And David Geffen and Melissa Etheridge ate it up with a spoon. Idiots.

  56. Terersa – The “gay marriage” discussion is a distraction. The question is – Which of the two have a life time of activism for our causes? Which of the two have shown an understanding of our problems/issues?

    Hillary has been in this fight since the early 70s and I can provide a long list because I have known her since the mid-seventies when she knowingly appointed my lesbian partner to a board and as an activist I have followed her work on behalf on my community for decades.

    And on another note – I felt my community took the wrong road when they moved the discussion away from civil unions to a discussion of marriage. I argued at that time that “gay marriage” would become an easy target or red flag for the church community and other Republicans. In other words, I though it was a point we could not win on. The LGBT leadership stupidly and completely failed the community.

    All that I want/ need is the benefits and protection provided by a civil union.

  57. Heidi

    In regard to his empty suite and lack of moral campus it shows up more than anything else in his continuing planning of the inauguration party as if every thing is normal in the lives of millions of people in this country. The economic devistation which changed the lives of people, layoffs and loss of homes did not put any dent on their plans to make a big bash of it. Any decent human being in this sitution would have made it a very simple seromony with limitted # guests. But not him nor the new democratic party. They are now only concerned about those who have money. Others as long as they vote for them and buy their products means nothing to them.

  58. Obama refused to have his picture taken with Gavin Newsome because he is too gay friendly.
    We know Obama stands for Obama, but I am pretty sure he also stands for the things taught in the religious AA community (yes I know it is in a large part of the white religious community too, just not as big a proportion) against gay people and women’s rights.

  59. Dee, (and to everyone, thank you for your answers) some local talk radio women (was a republican, switched to vote for Hillary in the primaries as did her liberal republican co-host) has said that she read a study that civil unions did not give the same rights as “marriage”. There seems to be quite a disagreement in the gay and lesbian community about this topic.

    I have no doubt that Hillary is liberal on this issue, I read people very well (sometimes unfortunately because I also read their opinions/feelings about me)

  60. Heidi Li – you are a hero to me. I had the pleasure of discovering you at TM – you are such a stewart for principle and speak so eloquently every day. You give us a path of action – which is so needed during this charade of “selection” of the O’Beast. If it were not for this site, RD, you and the posters here – I would think I was totally out of step. Early on I rejected the “empty suit” – too many voids in his history and no accomplishments. Then one looks at who is touting him – glaring question marks. The attitudes displayed by his “sheeples” was there from the beginning. Hubris, bigotry, hate – what a platform. I can’t stomach the media at all now. I have even stopped reading here for while. But I did today – I found some hope in your words as usual. Thanks for all you do.

  61. teresa – There does seem to be quite a disagreement in the community. This disagreement that is words, just words, is a distraction and works to the benefift of the other side.

    Our problem – leadership. Now the leading members of our community in D.C. and L.A. are more concerned about what parties they are invited to and not so much about our agenda. This is the same problem that has infected the so-called leaders of the pro-choice and women’s efforts.

  62. I agree with both Heidi and Beethovenqueen on the taking stands issue.

    Publicly, Obie is reluctant to take stands. He parses his answers, triangul-
    ates, tries to be all things to all people. I didn’t like him when he spoke
    at convention in 2004. His words about “there are no red states or no blue
    states” were a clue to his bipartisanship, as were his words in his second
    book, which I bought for my son-in-law two years ago for solstice holidays.
    (We are multi-religion, mostly atheist and Eastern, Jewish and Unitarian.)
    I also disliked his line about worshiping an awesome god in the blue states.

    So, I love myiq’s line about believing him when he lies, and not when he
    tells the truth. I’ve been quoting it a lot. He definitely lies, like when he says
    he’s done so much for gays, and when continue to do so. I don’t think
    I have ever heard say he’ll work for women’s rights.

    But if you pay attention, even a little bit, he tells us what he’s really about.
    But, yes, people hear what they want to hear.

    I also agree that he does have a secret agenda, one that I fear is sinister
    and evil. His behavior in the caucuses, beginning with Iowa, is inexcusable
    and confirms the evil intent. I read about that on the Edwards blog in
    January, with personal reports from precinct captains and other Edwards
    people who witnessed the cheating and intimidation personally. The story
    was so huge and so shocking. I couldn’t believe that it was never covered.

    That to me is the biggest story of this election. It has to come out. I wonder
    how or when. After that story, I knew Obama would never be a choice for
    me. I began to forgive Hillary for her Iraq vote, and looked at her again.
    The fact that media did not like her spoke well for her.

    There’s still so much we don’t know about this election and Obie’s real
    agenda.
    I, too, did not vote for O or McCain. I would have voted for Palin (she has
    integrity, is a woman, working class, and has compassion), but would not
    vote for McCain. He’s mostly a typical Repub. I voted all Dems down-
    ticket, third party for pres. My futile attempt at a protest. Third party votes
    weren’t even reported this election.

  63. Dee, I agree with your on the lack of leadership in both communities. I said to a gay male Obama supporter friend of mine that his problem was that he didn’t know who his allies are. I have said the same to all my “feminist” friends and relatives.

    I think you are right that people get caught up in what parties they are invited to… I think it happens in the media too and that is why they all tell the same BS story, if they did not they wouldn’t get invited to the right cocktail parties.

    It is time for women to start having a single agenda again and start supporting other women for office IMO. We have all the power we need if we would use it, but that means supporting women who are also republicans or it will not work.

    Unfortunately the new new woman’s movement seems to be too focused on making nice with the guys. It is as if we have regressed back to the early 60s. I have had many young women tell me they are not feminists they are humanists because after all men have issues too…..
    Why the hell are some women so gullible?

  64. Poor people should not have children and the rich should be given tax incentives.

    LaBruzzo considering plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have tubes tied

    Worried that welfare costs are rising as the number of taxpayers declines, state Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, said Tuesday he is studying a plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have their Fallopian tubes tied.

    “We’re on a train headed to the future and there’s a bridge out, ” LaBruzzo said of what he suspects are dangerous demographic trends. “And nobody wants to talk about it.”

    LaBruzzo said he worries that people receiving government aid such as food stamps and publicly subsidized housing are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated people who presumably pay more tax revenue to the government. He said he is gathering statistics now.

    “What I’m really studying is any and all possibilities that we can reduce the number of people that are going from generational welfare to generational welfare, ” he said.

    He said his program would be voluntary. It could involve tubal ligation, encouraging other forms of birth control or, to avoid charges of gender discrimination, vasectomies for men.

    It also could include tax incentives for college-educated, higher-income people to have more children, he said.

    http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2008/09/labruzzo_sterilization_plan_fi.html

  65. speaktruth, take a look at Hillary’s address on the senate floor about her Iraq vote. It was very different than, say, Edward’s which was all about war mongering.
    Hers made it very plain that her vote was to slow down and try to stop bush in going to war. She thought getting the inspectors in was the only way to slow down the train. If you have not seen it I urge you to do so.
    Sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar.

  66. Excellent post, Heidi Li! It says a lot when the best editorials I’ve seen post election is from independent bloggers like yourself and others at The Confluence. Although it saddens me to see Obama turn out exactly as we all had predicted, it does give me some satisfaction to know that we were right all along and we are now justified in telling our friends and family I TOLD YOU SO! this holiday season.

  67. I believe Obama and his wife are evangelicals. They did not sit in their church for twenty years and not absorb what was preached. He’s not an empty suit on the Warren issue to me. Those that think is was a brilliant move to bring fundamentalists and evangelicals into the democratic party are off base on this one (IMO) – he believes. It was not a political move as much as he sees absolutely nothing wrong with Warren.

    In his book Audacity of Hope he explains how he can get away with it:

    “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”

    He serves as a blank slate, but he’s got an agenda; he’s not a blank slate.

  68. Thanks, teresainpa, I will try to find it. I think I did read it on a blog some
    time last year, and you are right, it was impressive. I have come to respect
    Hillary a lot since last February, when I switched from Edwards to her. I
    was already excited when she won New Hampshire, even though Edwards
    was still in the mix. I knew by then I wanted to stop Obama.

    My dismay at Hillary’s vote began when I was driving, listening to NPR
    doing live coverage of the Senate vote on Iraq. Hil was my Senator, I was
    already hoping she would be our first woman pres, and counting the days
    till Bush was out of office. I remembered his father and his devestating
    effect on the economy, especially small business and real estate, knew
    the son would be worse.

    I remember being shocked and appalled when I heard Hill vote yes. I know
    there were nuances in her speech but I think the vote was not for inspect-
    ors but for giving Bush power to go to war. I understand she was senator
    from NY which was likely to be primary target, was in difficult political
    position, etc. but I knew the vote would not end well, many others did, too.
    It gave Bush too much power, instead of saying go slow, find out more.
    I can forgive her, don’t have expectations of leaders being perfect, but it
    was still wrong vote.

    Yet I do believe she would have been a great president, and is the only
    person who had the capability of leading us out of this mess we’re in now.
    I, like so many of you, have been grieving this loss for months now, just
    starting to regroup and hopefully, fight for our survival again.

  69. teresainpa–

    The short anwer to the folk who claim that Obama’s position on LGBT rights is the same as Hillary’s, is “Hell no, it’s not.”

    Obama has not only stated quite explicitly that he doesn’t think marriage should be available to LGBT’s but has allowed his image and his words to be used to promote Prop h8 in California. Not to mention McClurkin, Caldwell and now Rick Warren.

    Hillary’s position is that marriage is a matter that has to be pursued on a state-by-state basis. That’s a lawyer’s perspective, and it’s the correct one because regulation of marriage is one of those “other powers reserved to the states” under the Constitution. The only way around it is for SCOTUS to accept and rule favorably on a case under the Fourteenth Amendment–equal protection under the law.

    Or, for a slightly longer answer, Obama’s actions have all be directly counter to the achievement of LGBT civil rights. Hillary has a plan of action to achieve them.

  70. Speaktruth,

    I actually had MORE respect for Clinton after finally seeing this address.

    … Some people favor attacking Saddam Hussein now, with any allies we can muster, in the belief that one more round of weapons inspections would not produce the required disarmament, and that deposing Saddam would be a positive good for the Iraqi people and would create the possibility of a secular democratic state in the Middle East, one which could perhaps move the entire region toward democratic reform.

    This view has appeal to some, because it would assure disarmament; because it would right old wrongs after our abandonment of the Shiites and Kurds in 1991, and our support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980’s when he was using chemical weapons and terrorizing his people; and because it would give the Iraqi people a chance to build a future in freedom.

    However, this course is fraught with danger. We and our NATO allies did not depose Mr. Milosevic, who was responsible for more than a quarter of a million people being killed in the 1990s. Instead, by stopping his aggression in Bosnia and Kosovo, and keeping on the tough sanctions, we created the conditions in which his own people threw him out and led to his being in the dock being tried for war crimes as we speak.

    If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan?

    So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.

    Others argue that we should work through the United Nations and should only resort to force if and when the United Nations Security Council approves it. This too has great appeal for different reasons. The UN deserves our support. Whenever possible we should work through it and strengthen it, for it enables the world to share the risks and burdens of global security and when it acts, it confers a legitimacy that increases the likelihood of long-term success. The UN can help lead the world into a new era of global cooperation and the United States should support that goal.

    But there are problems with this approach as well. The United Nations is an organization that is still growing and maturing. It often lacks the cohesion to enforce its own mandates. And when Security Council members use the veto, on occasion, for reasons of narrow-minded interests, it cannot act. In Kosovo, the Russians did not approve NATO military action because of political, ethnic, and religious ties to the Serbs. The United States therefore could not obtain a Security Council resolution in favor of the action necessary to stop the dislocation and ethnic cleansing of more than a million Kosovar Albanians. However, most of the world was with us because there was a genuine emergency with thousands dead and a million driven from their homes. As soon as the American-led conflict was over, Russia joined the peacekeeping effort that is still underway.

    In the case of Iraq, recent comments indicate that one or two Security Council members might never approve force against Saddam Hussein until he has actually used chemical, biological, or God forbid, nuclear weapons.

    So, Mr. President, the question is how do we do our best to both defuse the real threat that Saddam Hussein poses to his people, to the region, including Israel, to the United States, to the world, and at the same time, work to maximize our international support and strengthen the United Nations?

    While there is no perfect approach to this thorny dilemma, and while people of good faith and high intelligence can reach diametrically opposed conclusions, I believe the best course is to go to the UN for a strong resolution that scraps the 1998 restrictions on inspections and calls for complete, unlimited inspections with cooperation expected and demanded from Iraq. I know that the Administration wants more, including an explicit authorization to use force, but we may not be able to secure that now, perhaps even later. But if we get a clear requirement for unfettered inspections, I believe the authority to use force to enforce that mandate is inherent in the original 1991 UN resolution, as President Clinton recognized when he launched Operation Desert Fox in 1998.

    If we get the resolution that President Bush seeks, and if Saddam complies, disarmament can proceed and the threat can be eliminated. Regime change will, of course, take longer but we must still work for it, nurturing all reasonable forces of opposition.

    If we get the resolution and Saddam does not comply, then we can attack him with far more support and legitimacy than we would have otherwise. …

    What I like about Hillary is that with her what you see is what you get. She was very clear that this was not a vote for war.

  71. okasha
    who is Caldwell?

  72. okasha skatsi, thanks for the answer. I am always looking for more ammo. I have a tendency because I am so quick to read people, not to have the actual words to back up my impressions.

  73. I have spent the last hour or so, reading comments.
    It takes me longer these days with interruptions and all to get through so that if I comment I’m not just parroting others.

    This was a great post HeidiLi. Thank you.

    I wanted to report:
    Yesterday, I asked my Obot sister from NY/VT what she thought of the Rick Warren invocation. She said “At first I was just infuriated by it. But then when other people explained to me that it was Obama’s effort to be inclusive, I decided it wasn’t a bad thing.”

    I asked her what flavor of the Kool-aid she had been drinking and she responded by saying that I wouldn’t accept anything Teh Precious (my words not hers) did. And “besides, he’s not even President yet and you’re already criticizing him. Give him a chance to do something.”

    My reply was that he had done enough for me in the primaries to know he is not a good man and he has no one’s interest at heart bu this own”.

    Sis: “You have nothing to talk about. You voted for Hillary who had the backing of the Arabs”.

    I: “You have no idea WHO backed Obama. He didn’t release his donor list. He has voted consistently in support of the oil producing nations rather than in support of decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. There were MANY discrepancies in his donations including, but not limited to, accepting contributions by persons whose names were entirely made up and whose credit card charges were not secure. Nor were the foreign contributions refused or refunded.”

    Sis: “You are a bigot. I would think you would be relieved to have Bush gone.”

    I: “You have nothing to say about Obama except he isn’t Bush. But as far as I’m concerned, he is just like Bush and I said so during the primaries. And because I know more about him than you do, And because you won’t believe anything that might have to change your opinion of Him, you won’t even consider that I’m right.”

    Sis: “you supported Edwards and then Hillary. Don’t tell me about being right.”

    My brother charged me with getting all my information “on the internet” when I asked him where he got his info, he said “the newspapers”.
    I then pointed out to him that the “newspapers” had supported Bush AND the war. Neither of which he had supported. I asked him why it was now the time to believe the MSM.
    He had no response.

    And so it went…. Merry Christmas at my family gathering —- not.

  74. And I am in moderation …. HELP !!

  75. Teresa, thank you for posting Clinton’s speech. One thing
    that angered me so much in the primary was that folks didn’t
    bother to find out the truth about her vote.

  76. I think, after a while, you are going to wish that suit had stayed empty.

  77. Terrific post, HeidLi – thank you so much. I read your wise words very late last night when I should’ve been sleeping, yet they still provided comfort. I, too, see Obama as someone entirely lacking a moral compass – he is indeed Nixon redux. Obama is simply not capable of providing the sound and decent leadership we desperately need, as he’s a man with no center and only one real interest: himself. I sometimes fear that this sham of a president will preside over a sudden unraveling of the democratic experiment in this country.

  78. DJ you are welcome. I took to saying to friends and relatives that until they went and looked at the youtube of that address I would not bother talking to them about how “Hillary vote FOR the war”.

  79. Sad thing is that even if these folks wake up I will never trust them and I will never see them the same as I did before this election cycle. The left has a 30% base too. 30% of our own side is just as devoid of critical thinking as the right. How sad is that?

  80. Exactly what issue is left for the Boy Blunder to
    “wow” us with. He’s anti-gay, he’s sexist, he wimped on FISA (although he probably never cared anyway),
    he Cheney-ed on the environment, on the war he’s keeping Bush’s war team (at least according to NoQuarter and other sites). And kicked the organic farmers in the teeth to boot.

    What’s left if not gay, women, environment, organic farmers vs. agribusiness, the wars, constitutional rights (FISA), religious tolerance.

    What exactly is left?

  81. I voted for McCain. If the Republicans were against him, he couldn’t be that bad.

  82. I voted for McCain as well. At least he seemed to have some “there” there. Obama gave me the creeps–and he’s still hard at work doing the same every day.
    And the Obama followers seemed like the cast of
    “Night of the Living Dead.” I voted McCain because I knew Obama would turn out to be a useless (at best)
    tool. At least McCain would have plodded on “as usual” or perhaps surprised us in a good way.
    No illusions whatsoever on what will happen since some really gullible people bought Obama-brand.

  83. The betrayal I felt from the Democrat Party was only lessened by my protest vote for McCain. I’ll do it again if I have to.

  84. Could someone get me out of moderation, please?

    thank you.

  85. A naked emperor in an empty suit is not only a figment of somebody’s imagination, but their idea of a joke.

  86. I have been reading all the comments on the thread with great interest and learning from all of them.

    For my earlier words about when an active decision not to vote for either of the major party candidates (I did not say I did no voting on election day) does constitute an affirmative act (whether it is an act of leadership is another matter), you may want to see http://tdg.typepad.com/heidi_lis_potpourri/2008/10/conscientious-objection-and-conscientious-abstention.html

    or http://tdg.typepad.com/heidi_lis_potpourri/2008/10/conscientious-abstention-boycott-active-nonviolent-resistance.html

    But that matter is water under the bridge. I do not want to be a conscientious objector in 2012. So we better start a clear pushback/organizational effort NOW for a candidate who we can all readily coalesce around. I do not think Senator Clinton will be available, so we have to think outside the box.

  87. catarina–

    Kirbyjohn Caldwell is another megachurch pastor with an “ex-gay” ministry. He abruptly scrubbed his site when he became publicly associated with Obama, but rapidly became one of those folks B0 never really knew.

    He also officiated at Jenna Bush’s wedding–he’s been cozying up to the Bushes for years.

  88. Cinie, on December 26th, 2008 at 1:57 pm Said:
    Made me chuckle!

  89. Just as a meal lacking dietary fiber quickly leaves one hungering for healthy life-sustaining food, so too does a man lacking in moral fiber, who comes to us under the guise of a new and transcendent leader, leave one feeling empty, sick, and spiritually malnourished.

    Obama has an agenda, all right – a personal agenda. As a lifelong liberal Democrat, I always believed that government can and should exist for the greater good. Obama and the current Democratic leadership do not and never will represent good government. I remain conflicted as to whether or not my party can be reformed.

    Belated Happy Holidays to all of you, my Conflucian friends.

  90. Nell, on December 26th, 2008 at 2:10 pm Said:

    Well said.

  91. It does not recognize domestic abuse as a reason for a woman to leave her husband.

    So he believes women should just accept the abuse. When does our dear Pastor Warren think a woman is free to leave her husband?

  92. An outstanding beginning Heidi!

  93. Leslie> Your sister criticized Hillary for having “the backing of Arabs” and then called you a bigot? You should have introduced her to your teapot!

  94. Obama is the ultimate passive/aggressive personality. He never takes a clear stand on anything. Everything is in the subtext. He invites Warren and lets Warren do the talking. He only takes heat for inviting the homophobic sexist and his minions can still chose to believe that Obama doesn’t share Warren’s beliefs. Same with Wright, with Ayers, with Rezko, with Blaggervich, and on and on.

    Great post Heidi, and great comments all!

  95. Teresainpa,

    Thank you for posting the speech. I just got back and saw it.

    Downticket: He thinks she should throw herself on his flaming funeral pyre.

  96. […] It is hard for an empty suit to take a stand – or perhaps even to understand what it means to take … [Cross-posted from Heidi Li’s Potpourri] Richard Cohen’s sister is canceling her inauguration party because of […] […]

  97. Obama is not some evil doer coming into your home to skin your pets and eat your flesh. Great post but I don’t agree with this whole idea that something bad is about to happen with Obama in high office. Curious here … were you against Bush this strongly in 00′ or 04′? Obama isn’t my first pick but that is what politics is in nature. You into McCain and Palin? Read my post about this Warren pick to get a better understanding of why Obama did this.
    http://ericlightborn.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/rick-warren/
    “Since when does agreeing with someone have anything to do with loving them?” Warren said it but I think he doesn’t want to absorb his own words. Sinners, as he sees them, deserve the double-time love of him. Yet he wants them kept down and shamed. Obama can’t fix that anymore than he can mix fundamentalism in all religions.
    I know exactly what you mean about the party leaving US, the people, in the dust. But why exactly do you seem to expect PERFECT representation from your party or any official in office?
    Here are your words:
    “Somebody running for the office of President and who was at the time a U.S. Senator, Mr. Obama had a particular responsibility for denouncing his then-pastor’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ, for giving the anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan a special award during the primary season. I find it troubling that neither Mr. Cohen nor apparently his sister have not been, as far as I can tell, overly concerned by President-Elect Obama’s equally eloquent silence and inaction regarding the sexism and misogyny directed at Senator Clinton and her supporters, particularly the sophomoric expression of these attitudes by Jon Favreau, the man writing President-elect Obama’s inaugural address.”
    I submit to you that our sentiments are likely the same as Obama’s only his are within the privacy of friends. Honesty (this is awful but true) earns you no votes. If he is to do anything at all he must dawn a mask of silence or is painted as a loon. Look at Gravel, Kucinich, Paul, etc.
    “People can learn.”
    Warren can be turned. I can help a lot. I can Bible-time with these people and stay based in scripture and all that. You are losing hope because they are so vocal and so hateful.
    “To be an “empty suit” is to be devoid of the weightiness that real leadership requires, including the gravitas to admit to a mistake and change one’s position. … a morally wrong-headed leader takes a stand, e.g. George W. Bush’s legitimization of torture, and one can rally people against the stand she or he takes. The morally empty leader takes no stand.”
    Empty suit is easy to say and makes you and your friend feel good but you are only losing perspective on what really matters in ALL politics. The only difference between us and Republican is the way we want to use government. We are all Americans and all interested in the common good. When you call a politician I would label less-than perfect an empty suit you degrade not only his message (which has value on its own) but you degrade the entire democratic nature of the Democratic party by saying that all these people in Illinois and now the whole nation voted for a man who wouldn’t stop a gang beating anymore than he would a state-mandated religion.
    You frighten me with this idea of having ANY moral leader we can find. That’s straight-up insane. The Spanish Inquisition had lots of moral people handing down lots of really nice and moral-seeming things for their underlings to do, at the time. Morality is as subjective as justice. Hence the need for a secular system of governance that is inclusive to ALL religions. Even fundamental versions of. Look up “THE CALL” and Lou Engle and tell me you think that kind of stuff would have a thumbs up from Obama. Warren is by his very presence among Democrats a measure of new bipartisanship growing in America.
    This country is about to destroy itself not in war or poverty but words and rage. There is one hope and one message and Obama has nothing to do with it at all. Just the guy sitting in the boat longer than anyone else was on the bipartisan-issue. I am a liberal, Democratic voter and if you think all this is true I invite you to run for office. You obviously know exactly what you want out your leaders and are not getting it. I’m kind of happy about Obama coming in to office. Not quite crazy-like-wow or anything but if he is really interested in balance in politics we might not all have to talk about ‘THE LATE GREAT USA.’

  98. I think this is all a red herring. My blood has always run cold at what I could feel emanating from Obama towards the gay community. Of course Obama does not support gays and is almost certainly a homophobe, but he did not create all this furor for that reason. I do not find him particularly bright, and being a homophobe he may not have realized there would be SO MUCH of a reaction, but he had another underlying reason. I believe he wanted to distract us and the press from the problems with Blagojevich. That troublesome Governor now wants the Obama people to be subpoenaed into the investigation.

  99. I agree rockrooky that he wanted the Blagojevich thing to die down and he wanted to be far removed and thats why his so called investigation was released just before Christmas hoping that the people would have their minds on something besides the problems he’s having! But I think this is to big to go away that easy!

    An attorney for convicted fundraiser Tony Rezko is listed as the owner and taxpayer for Barack Obama’s Chicago mansion, according to records obtained by WND.
    http://goodtimepolitics.com/2008/12/26/rezko-attorney-owns-obama-mansion-really/

  100. “Curious here … were you against Bush this strongly in 00′ or 04′?”

    I was even more opposed to Bush, because each time we had a Democrat on the ballot to choose instead.

    This year we had two Republicans to pick from.

  101. I left the Democratic party as soon as I was called racist for not supporting Obie.

    I knew it was lost. There isn’t any hope for the Democratic party to change until there is new leadership in the DNC ranks.

    Dean needs to go. Reid needs to get voted out in 2010…and being from Nevada…I can do something about that

    Pelosi needs to go…unfortunately Obie has 4 years to go but if we can change the dynamics of Congress. He will either be forced to listen or perish in 2012, either to Clinton or (IMHO) Palin.

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