Weak

This continued snub of American Muslims is a pathetic performance from Obama and his campaign:

As Senator Barack Obama courted voters in Iowa last December, Representative Keith Ellison, the country’s first Muslim congressman, stepped forward eagerly to help.

Mr. Ellison believed that Mr. Obama’s message of unity resonated deeply with American Muslims. He volunteered to speak on Mr. Obama’s behalf at a mosque in Cedar Rapids, one of the nation’s oldest Muslim enclaves. But before the rally could take place, aides to Mr. Obama asked Mr. Ellison to cancel the trip because it might stir controversy. Another aide appeared at Mr. Ellison’s Washington office to explain.

“I will never forget the quote,” Mr. Ellison said, leaning forward in his chair as he recalled the aide’s words. “He said, ‘We have a very tightly wrapped message.’ ”

***

While the senator has visited churches and synagogues, he has yet to appear at a single mosque. Muslim and Arab-American organizations have tried repeatedly to arrange meetings with Mr. Obama, but officials with those groups say their invitations — unlike those of their Jewish and Christian counterparts — have been ignored. Last week, two Muslim women wearing head scarves were barred by campaign volunteers from appearing behind Mr. Obama at a rally in Detroit.

In interviews, Muslim political and civic leaders said they understood that their support for Mr. Obama could be a problem for him at a time when some Americans are deeply suspicious of Muslims. Yet those leaders nonetheless expressed disappointment and even anger at the distance that Mr. Obama has kept from them.

“This is the ‘hope campaign,’ this is the ‘change campaign,’ ” said Mr. Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota. Muslims are frustrated, he added, that “they have not been fully engaged in it.”

This is utter bullshit, and it is the first time I remember having hot flashes of anger when discussing the Obama campaign. I understand the desire to maintain message discipline, and I understand that the email campaigns have been damaging to the Obama campaign and that many Americans still believe Obama is muslim, and I understand that every campaign needs to tack to the right for the general, but this is just pathetic. It is weak, it is timid, and it is cowardice, and I am extremely disappointed. It is the antithesis of how his campaign has run and everything I like about Barack Obama.

Meet this shit head on, don’t run around avoiding groups because the opposition is filled with sleazy opportunists who will use any smear they can to win the election- they are going to do it anyway. To give you an example of how truly spineless this is, I present you with this flash from the past:

I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. (Applause.) The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them.

That is the flightsuit in chief, a little over a week after 9/11 in his infmaous “they hate us for our freedom” address, defending Islam and showing more courage than Obama is right now. The message being sent by Obama when he overtly avoids these groups is that there is somehow something wrong with them, a fraudulent and offensive notion if ever there was one. If the Islamic community in the United States were filled with terrorists, or if there was something incompatible with Islam and Democracy, we would have a lot of evidence to prove it, as surely one of the millions of Muslim-Americans would have committed acts of terrorism in the past few years.

That is the message Obama is sending. They may think it is just pragmatism and an attempt to insulate themselves from the “Obama is a Muslim” smears, but it is not just the optics that suck, it is the actual message. The message is there is something wrong with these groups of Americans, that there is something in and of itself wrong with practicing Islam as an American, and you will not find a more craven bit of political calculation than what the Obama campaign is engaging in right now. These are Americans. They pay taxes. They go to work. They care about their kids and their country and they fight in the military and are one of us, and they deserve better from the Obama campaign. Representative Ellison is an elected member of Congress, a member of your party, and you should gladly stand next to him at a rally.

This is sickening. I am embarrassed and disgusted right now, and this type of cowardice needs to stop. Assholes.

*** Update ***

Most of you think I am dead wrong about this and the Obama campaign is right. I think it sucks. I understand what he is dealing with regarding the smears, but I disagree with how he is handling it. I see no reason why he can not easily incorporate the two notions that he does not practice Islam with the belief there is nothing wrong with Islam. Those who believe he is Islamic believe it even though they have been told repeatedly he is not.

Who knows. Maybe this thing just struck a nerve when I read it and I am over-reacting. That is the problem with being a heater.

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210 replies
  1. 1
    Chinn Romney says:

    Smart move, show those Clinton hold-outs that they still have a master triangulator they can get behind.

  2. 2
    Redleg says:

    I’ll wait to see if this becomes a pattern for Obama before I judge him harshly.

    On the other hand, we do now have a religious test for the office of President- thou shall not be a Muslim. The founding fathers would be so proud.

  3. 3
    Jimmy Jazz says:

    In a world where nobody could bring up the “issue” of a flag pin without being laughed out of the room there’d be no need for this. Sadly, I think there is a neeed for it.

    I’m much more upset by the FISA cave which you seemed to accept without much effort. Real policy always trumps this optics crap in my book.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    I’m much more upset by the FISA cave which you seemed to accept without much effort. Real policy always trumps this optics crap in my book.

    I didn’t accept it, it sucks. But I do realize there is nothing Obama can do about it. This, on the other hand, he can control.

  5. 5
    4tehlulz says:

    Why do I see another apology call in the near future?

  6. 6
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    How is this different from caving on FISA due to considerations of RealPolitik, which I think you seemed to be defending as an acceptable position by Obama??

    How is your anger now substantively different from what I expressed in my Monday morning FAX to Obama and Evan Bayh on the upcoming Senate capitulation on FISA?

    I actually stood in the audience in front of the stage when he appeared here in Bloomington, IN, at Assembly Hall. After almost giving up on politicians, I actually dared believe his words::

    “I have studied the Constitution. I have taught the Constitution. And as President, I will uphold and obey the Constitution.”

    Apparently those words did not mean what I thought they meant, in light of Sen. Obama’s rather pathetic waffling statement on the passage of the House bill last Friday. George W. Bush could have written that statement, and no one would have known the difference.

    Once again, the Democrats adopt the position that because we are afraid of some shadowy group of terrorists, it is perfectly acceptable to gut the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law, and continue to support the notion that the President can do anything he wants, illegal or not, including waging war, spying, kidnapping, and torture, and there are no consequences.

    The founders of this nation would be cringing in disgust at this notion. The Constitution is not optional. The Bill of Rights is not optional.

  7. 7
    Queixada says:

    I think it’s more about him pandering to the Christians, than defending against smears. Neither them nor the Muslims are too happy with him at this point. If he effectively chases Muslims, I think he will alienate a lot more than just the Christians, likewise, if he panders to the Christians, he’ll alienate a lot of the left. It’s a lose lose for him, I really can’t be as disappointed as John right now.

  8. 8
    Pasota says:

    He volunteered to speak on Mr. Obama’s behalf at a mosque … aides to Mr. Obama asked Mr. Ellison to cancel the trip because it might stir controversy.

    If Obama was against it from the get-go, what was there to “cancel”? I’m open to the possibility that Obama has not ruled out speaking to Muslims altogether, but just didn’t feel like letting Ellison — or anyone — freelance something “on Obama’s behalf” that he might later have to reject and denounce, etc.

  9. 9
    Mimaqueen says:

    Damned if he does, but it would show the courage he speaks about. Let’s have more demonstrations when you have to side with the people that are hated. It is not a good message to send, and he does it with black voters as well.

    Hopefully the next AA prez won’t do this BS, but this time we have to put up with a whole lot more to the get the 1st one over the threshold. Who knows, it may work out.

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    How is this different from caving on FISA due to considerations of RealPolitik, which I think you seemed to be defending as an acceptable position by Obama??

    THERE. IS. NOTHING. HE. CAN. DO. ABOUT. FISA.

    They don’t even have the votes to sustain the filibuster in the Senate. Why do you all keep missing that point in your invocation of “realpolitik?”

    This, on the other hand, is something he can control. He can determine who his fucking campaign meets with. He can determine whether or not he stands on a stage with Ellison.

  11. 11
    Queixada says:

    Also, politics.

    You’re holding him to a standard you believe he set for himself that you would never hold any other politician too. To me, he’s been just a politician. An extraordinary one. I view all of his pros as extra credit and his cons as “What did you expect”. However as an independant and a realist, it’s much easier for me to be that way.

  12. 12
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    It’s so easy for you mainstream whitebread fucks to decide what is and isn’t the right thing for Obama to do. I’d wager from Obama’s perspective, it looks a little more perilous.

  13. 13
    mitch says:

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention, John. That’s pretty craven. I can’t figure out what this is just yet: Is Obama tacking right for the general? Is he listening to the “wisdom” of his advisers? Or has he been feeding us all a line of bullshit the entire time?

  14. 14
    John S. says:

    On the other hand, we do now have a religious test for the office of President- thou shall not be a Muslim. The founding fathers would be so proud.

    Yeah, good thing our past Jewish, Hindu, Atheist and Buddhist presidents weren’t subjected to that sort of religious test.

  15. 15
    Richardson says:

    President Obama will most likely open a new and higly productive dialogue with the Islamic world. Candidate Obama will most likely avoid being photographed or seen with anything remotely Islamic.

    I understand your being pissed off over the matter, but if the GOP succeeds in tagging Obama as a closet Muslim he’s toast. It’s a far greater political liability than being black in 2008.

    In we were in 1956, and Presidential candidate of Russo-Ukrainian origin John Ivanovich Gladkov had won the Democratic nomination, you’d be seeing similar shit. No photo ops at the Russian embassy obviously.

  16. 16
    karrsic says:

    Could this and the FISA debacle possibly be the result of the Democratic institutions moving in and setting up shop to “help out” with the campaign? Will Obama’s campaign now be run by the same consultants that helped Gore and Kerry?

    Bleh.

    What Obama has (had?) going for him was the new, fresh, different outsider meme.

    The way Obama loses this race is to become the “don’t give the wingnuts an issue” candidate.

  17. 17
    Billy K says:

    He just started the general campaign. I think he’s kinda busy these days. Face it – Muslims are a small voting bloc. If he plans to visit a mosque, that will be low on the priority list.

    I give him the benefit of the doubt for now. I mean, he wouldn’t snub his own people, would he?

  18. 18
    Robert Sneddon says:

    Senator Obama and his team have been very clear on this for months now — only the Obama campaign speaks for him. After the Reverend Wright mess and the attempts by factions on the Left and the Right to paint Senator Obama with the words of others, they came up with this control-freak strategy. That’s why 527s like MoveOn have been told they can’t directly represent his campaign.

    If Congressman Ellison wants to speak out and say he supports Senator Obama for President, that’s great. If he wants to speak on behalf of Senator Obama’s campaign, that’s different. Dispensing with off-team surrogates is a radical shift in US political manoeuvering and it may not pay in the long run but it’s how the Obama team plan to operate now. Keeping the Obama campaign free of loose cannons (can we mention Bill here, or Geraldine?) was part of the reason they won the nomination and it looks like they’re going to continue with that policy.

    As for what President Bush said after 9/11, look at what he’s done and compare — virtually every prisoner ever held in Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay is a Muslim. Virtually every prisoner tortured and abused in Abu Ghraib is a Muslim. The US military holds tens of thousands of Muslims in indefinite detention in Iraq and Afghanistan without charge or access to courts and lawyers. Actions do indeed speak louder than words.

  19. 19
    Mustard is Evil says:

    Google

    As of 2-3 months ago, between 10 and 15% of voters believed he was/is a Muslim.

    Your comparison isn’t a particularly fair one. A) How many people suspect GWB of being a Muslim? B) He’s already got the bully pulpit. Obama is still trying to get it.

    Not saying it isn’t unfortunate, but it certainly shouldn’t be surprising.

  20. 20
    Billy K says:

    When Obama is President, if this shit happens on his watch, I will flay him alive. … But Obama is a junior Senator from Illinois who just finished a grueling primary campaign, has his hands full staffing and preparing a strategy for what will be a very, very tough general election (you are aware he is black and his middle name is Hussein, aren’t you?)

    I’m curious what this John Cole thinks about the issue at hand.

  21. 21
    D-Chance. says:

    It is the antithesis of how his campaign has run and everything I like about Barack Obama.

    It is the perfect example of how his campaign is run. All suit and no man. He can talk the talk, but that’s about it…

  22. 22
    Punchy says:

    This continued snub of American Muslims is a pathetic performance

    Coming from a guy who thinks there’s political fallback from merely filibustering a terrible FISA bill? Sorry, but here you’re an idiot. He is trying to reverse his image as a Scary Negro, half-Muslim, half-liberal, and half-Scary Negro Islamic gun-hating abortion-loving progressive. Step 1: stop associating with Swarmy Brown Terrorists(TM).

    Smart move on Obama’s part. Ellison’s an idiot if he doesn’t understand this.

  23. 23
    cleek says:

    fer fuck’s sake… he’s a zillion times better than McCain, so how’s about we stop all this self-righteous gasping and fainting and let him get elected ?

  24. 24
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    It is the perfect example of how his campaign is run. All suit and no man. He can talk the talk, but that’s about it…

    There ya go John, apparently one out of one Balloon-juice McCain supporters agree with ya. Let’s see how many Clintards show up to register their disgust for presumptive nominee Obama.

  25. 25
    4tehlulz says:

    cleek, this is the Democratic Party. If there wasn’t this kind of pearl-clutching, I’d have to check to see if I wandered into gop.org.

  26. 26
    Neal says:

    A little more from TNR:

    Apparently Ellison and Obama got into it about the head-scarf fiasco. But here is why I support Obama for president, despite the fact that his campaign was dead wrong:

    The conversation got so heated that CBC Chairwoman Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) banged her gavel to try and quiet Ellison. Obama though asked Kilpatrick to let Ellison speak.

    After Ellison finished, Obama told the caucus that he regretted the incident, but said that he had not ordered the women to be removed. Following the meeting, Obama called the women to apologize.

    Classy. Very classy. That said, I am glad that Ellison called Obama to task. We have to hold him accountable.

    It’s been a disapppointing week for me and the MUP. From silly presidential seals, to FISA, to this.

    Balls, Barry. Use ’em.

  27. 27
    Oracle says:

    YAWN.

    The righteous indignation is a little much, John.

    Wake me up next time McCain does a photo op at the Alzheimer’s wing at Shady Pines Retirement Home.

  28. 28
    CaseyL says:

    I don’t think Ellisoin’s an idiot; I think he’s a conscientious person with a stern resolve not to see Muslims marginalized. I imaging that’s a more immediate and pressing issue to Ellison than whether or not he abides by the Obama Campaign’s message control requirements.

    Everyone has their own agenda. Obama’s happens to be getting elected by a broken system, in a broken country, in an election thoroughly compromised by special interests and a complicit mass media.

    Ellison’s agenda is perfectly legitimate. However, so is Obama’s. And Obama’s, I have to say, is a bit more important than Ellison’s, right now.

    I think the problem is that it’s doifficult to accept what a desperate case our country is in. We really don’t have any margin left – not economically, militarily, and certainly not environmentally. If McCain wins in November, it is totally Game Over for the US. Yet the interests that own most of the country, who determine the national agenda, and who keep dangling shiny things in front of the electorate, are determined to see McCain in office.

    For that reason, and because I *do* have faith in Obama to start a serious clean-up once he’s in office, I’m willing to cut him almost endless slack right now.

  29. 29
    Surabaya Stew says:

    I would bet that after election day and before his inauguration, Obama shows up at a mosque, hugs Keith Ellison and Andre Carson, shares a stage with women in hijab, and makes a speech affirming American Muslim’s rightful place in society. As much as I find his actions craven in this case, its obvious that he is playing it safe while trying to get elected. I disagree with him, but I understand; and of course I will vote for him and support his campaign. After all, its not as though McCain would ever dare to do ANY of those things EVER!

  30. 30
    Joe Beese says:

    Join us progressives under the bus, Muslims. There’s plenty of room for you.

  31. 31
    binzinerator says:

    Our nation is under the control of fearmongers and demagogues. They have come waving the flag and the bible. Joe McCarthy was but one man. Our national discourse is now manipulated by a cabal of such men, our nation’s psyche is bullied and intimidated by these so-called conservatives.

    Is there no leader who will stand up to these dirtbags? To these scum who would seek to impugn, smear and debase patriots, vets, families of the dead, disabled children, and now even entire peoples? Are those who promised change now in fear of these base men?

  32. 32
    Genine says:

    If Obama is purposely turning his back on Muslims, I don’t like it. I agree that its wrong. Unfortunately, there are certain realities one has to deal with.

    Obama HAS to be tight with his message control. He is a black man running for President of the United states, he has ALOT going against him, moreso than another candidate. Being AA and working in the Corporate world, I understand the line that has to be walked and it is a VERY tight one. Hell even in school and college I had to walk a fine line. So as much as I disagree with his actions- I totally understand them. I wouldn’t take much for him to go from Barack Obama, the presidential candidate who happens to be black to Barack Obama, the black presidential candidate. There is a world of difference between the two.

    Combine that with his name and his heritage, its practically a minefield and he has to be very careful with how he walks. Bottom line, I am WAY more pissed about the FISA business than I am about this. I can fully empathize with the position he is in. He’s in a far worse and stressful spot than I am in, so I can’t image the pressure he faces.

    I very much disagree with his position even though I understand it.

  33. 33
    benjamin says:

    That’s not overreacting at all. Not at all.

  34. 34
    jibeaux says:

    I’ll point out that it’s much easier for Bush to extend an olive branch to Muslims, it’s Nixon to China, “of course he’s not soft on terrorists, he’s a REPUBLICAN!”. It’s harder for someone repeatedly accused of being a seeecret mooslim to do that, naturally. But while it’s cautious politicking, I don’t think it’s justifiable as necessary. I definitely think he could do it and pull it off, and I think he should.

    This is a hobbyhorse that I flog and I apologize for that in advance, but voter preference is not a religious test for office. If voters prefer an amputee dwarf communist Eskimo lesbian because she’s a Christian over a mainstream Muslim neurosurgeon Senator, it still isn’t a religious test for office.

  35. 35
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Maybe you can install a bigger fainting couch with the July-August upgrade, John. The current one is gettin’ kind of crowded.

  36. 36

    From Politico:

    The man I was talking to is not a racist; he was just stating what he believes to be a fact: There is a percentage of the American electorate who will simply not vote for a black person no matter what his qualities or qualifications.

    How big is that percentage? An AP-Yahoo poll conducted April 2-14 found that “about 8 percent of whites would be uncomfortable voting for a black for president.”

    I don’t know if 8 percent sounds high or low to you, but I was amazed that 8 percent of respondents were willing to admit this to a pollster. And I figure that the true figure is much higher.

    The same poll, by the way, found that 15 percent of voters think Obama is a Muslim. He is, in fact, a Christian. But thinking a person is a Muslim probably does not encourage you to vote for him in America today.

    Linky
    I’m less angry about what the Obama campaign is doing about American Muslims than I am about the seeming necessity to for them to do it.

  37. 37
    John Cole says:

    I’m curious what this John Cole thinks about the issue at hand.

    I am well aware of the difficulties he faces- but you would think on an issue like this he would meet them head on. That is what is pissing me off. The fact that they have repeatedly reached out to him, and he keeps dismissing him. Additionally, I would argue there is a marked difference between legislation ostensibly designed to protect us from terrorists and meeting with Americans.

    Coming from a guy who thinks there’s political fallback from merely filibustering a terrible FISA bill? Sorry, but here you’re an idiot. He is trying to reverse his image as a Scary Negro, half-Muslim, half-liberal, and half-Scary Negro Islamic gun-hating abortion-loving progressive. Step 1: stop associating with Swarmy Brown Terrorists™.

    These aren’t terrorists.

    Could this and the FISA debacle possibly be the result of the Democratic institutions moving in and setting up shop to “help out” with the campaign? Will Obama’s campaign now be run by the same consultants that helped Gore and Kerry?

    It sure looks like it, at least this week.

    Senator Obama and his team have been very clear on this for months now—only the Obama campaign speaks for him. After the Reverend Wright mess and the attempts by factions on the Left and the Right to paint Senator Obama with the words of others, they came up with this control-freak strategy. That’s why 527s like MoveOn have been told they can’t directly represent his campaign.

    Which is why I said I understand message discipline. What I don’t like here is the message.

    The righteous indignation is a little much, John.

    I hope you recover.

  38. 38
    tofubo says:

    on topic: we are not being served well

    old topic: http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/007602.html

  39. 39
    HyperIon says:

    How is your anger now substantively different from what I expressed in my Monday morning FAX to Obama and Evan Bayh on the upcoming Senate capitulation on FISA?

    because….shut up!

  40. 40
    Billy K says:

    I don’t think Ellisoin’s an idiot; I think he’s a conscientious person with a stern resolve not to see Muslims marginalized.

    Look, I don’t want to see anyone (including Muslims) marginalized, but I’m pretty sure Ellison was elected to represent Minnesotans, not Muslims.

  41. 41
    John Cole says:

    because….shut up!

    I will say this one more time, and hopefully it will sink in. If not, I give up.

    It is clear that there are 68 votes for the FISA bill, and they can not even sustain the filibuster. Obama has NO control over the issue.

    On this, he has complete and total control over his campaign.

    Now if I am wrong, tell me why. But this is how I see the difference.

  42. 42
    Joe Beese says:

    John Cole wrote:

    THERE. IS. NOTHING. HE. CAN. DO. ABOUT. FISA.

    He can vote No.

    If you believe that expediency mandates he vote Yes, you must accept that expediency also mandates that he avoid any association with Muslims.

    Unless you’re one of those selective-outrage hypocrites, of course.

  43. 43
    crw says:

    Neal Says:

    A little more from TNR:

    Neal nails it. I think a large part of the problem is Obama apparently doesn’t care much for the day to day sausage making of campaigning. As a result, he doesn’t micromanage much and doesn’t really keep up on the details of what his campaign is doing. And since he comes from Chicago and surrounded himself with cynical Chicago Machine operatives, that leads to a situation where his campaign staff often make cynical decisions that he later has to apologize for.

    If he exerted more direct control over the campaign and concerned himself more with details, I suspect many of these decisions would be made differently. All to say, I don’t think Obama himself is nearly so cynical, but his people certainly are. And he’s shown a tendency to give them too much leeway. If that’s going to be his leadership style in the long haul, I damn well hope he surrounds himself with good people in office. Otherwise the results will be a left wing version of the Bush disaster.

  44. 44
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Unless you’re one of those selective-outrage hypocrites, of course.

    Hard to see how the always-on outrage models are any better..

  45. 45
    Lee says:

    No one’s asking Obama to get up early and head to the nearest mosque to give the morning prayer in Arabic, then decapitate some infidel. Look, controlling your message is one thing. Running and hiding from American Muslims is another. If he doesn’t want the scary scary pictures of him speaking at a mosque, well, I can understand that. But there is middle ground here, folks. He can speak to Muslim associations in a community center while they eat their rubbery chicken. Or whatever. But this blatant running and hiding from them, ignoring every request, is ridiculous. And yeah, I’m with quite a few of the people above who’ve pointed out how disappointing this week has been.

  46. 46
    John Cole says:

    Unless you’re one of those selective-outrage hypocrites, of course.

    Of course I am. We all are. Although I don’t think it is hypocrisy- we all have certain things that infuriate us. Additionally, if I adhere to your “logic,” i would have to get pissed off is he refuses to visit with NAMBLA.

    Additionally, voting no on the FISA bill does absolutely nothing since the bill will pass anyway. Rejecting constituencies because they are Muslim, on the other hand, does have an impact. It perpetuates the notion that there is something wrong with them, even if there is a practical reason (mainly, his being named Barack Hussein Obama and being black and having large portions of the electorate thinking he is muslim).

  47. 47
    Zifnab says:

    That is the flightsuit in chief, a little over a week after 9/11 in his infmaous “they hate us for our freedom” address, defending Islam and showing more courage than Obama is right now.

    Oh please. The GOP wasn’t going to go after their Messiah’n’King for failing to act suitably xenophobic at the height of “Rally-round-the-President” fever. Bush wasn’t going to cost anyone a Senate seat in ’02 with this speech.

    But Obama already watched his pastor rip a giant whole in his public support. The media harped on Wright endlessly and to some benefit to his opposition. This is entirely a matter of branding. Dean got thrown over a log for a microphone screech. Dukakis was beaten endlessly for a tank ride. Gore got reamed over a number of comments taken entirely out of context. Kerry was blasted for windsurfing.

    Don’t go crying to Obama because the American public is too fucking stupid to know better. He’s not going to give a speech in a mosque because it would be a media circus. He doesn’t want to tie Ellison to his campaign because everything Ellison says after that becomes a liability.

    THERE. IS. NOTHING. HE. CAN. DO. ABOUT. FISA GOP SMEARS.

    This, on the other hand, is something he can control. He can determine who his fucking campaign meets with office puts pressure on. He can determine whether or not he stands on a stage with Ellison the floor of the Senate in protest.

    ZOMG, it works both ways. :-p

    And FISA is about policy, not optics. Frankly, I don’t think any of the soccer moms and NASCAR dads are going to turn their votes on the FISA bill either way. But its a principle vote that is near and dear to the heart of Obama’s base supporters. Showing a real effort on FISA – win or lose – means more to the liberal voting block than posing for a photo-op with an Imam or showing up at an Ellison campaign rally. It’s the type of politics that political people care about and it proves Obama is willing to fight the big fights.

  48. 48
    Barbara says:

    Wake me up the next time ANY republican reaches out to Muslim voters. Talk about double standards!

    In the annals of American history I will wager that few presidential candidates have EVER visited a mosque on an official campaign vist, and then only quite recently and not quite all that publicly.

    This is the parallel (in reverse) of asking Obama to distance himself from Louis Farrakhan. that is, it accepts or insinuates by implication that by failing to visit mosques Obama has a “special connection” to a group based on his ethnic heritage.

    This is biased and complete and utter bullshit “reporting” at its worst.

  49. 49
    Rome Again says:

    I long for a day when right-wing smear machines no longer get away with their bullshit and people call them on it.

  50. 50
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Although I don’t think it is hypocrisy- we all have certain things that infuriate us.

    And any of us could have seen this building with you what with your long and outspoken history on behalf of marginalized Muslims of America.

  51. 51
    srv says:

    Let me sum up the next four months for everyone, and we can move on to new topics:

    Pragmatism is the new Change.

    Read it, surrender to it, embrace it, live it. Then you won’t be dissapointed for the next four years.

    (I will be occassionally playing Serious Troll under this handle).

  52. 52
    empty says:

    I saw that article and thought well we won’t see that on BJ. I was very wrong and very happy to be wrong. Thank you John. This is actually worse than the FISA debacle in that it is the validation of the second class status of a group of our fellow citizens because of their beliefs or, because religion is generally a sexually transmitted condition, because of their ethnic identity. The fact that it is generally accepted that this group (did I mention they are our fellow citizens) should stay at the back of the bus “for now” makes me ashamed.

  53. 53
    Punchy says:

    These aren’t terrorists.

    Please STFU and quit acting so obtuse. You know damn well that a significant number of Americans connect the two. So tell your fucking countrymen

    According to a July 2007 Newsweek survey of Americans,[77]

    32% believe that American Muslims are less loyal to the United States (40% believe they are as loyal to the United States as to Islam)
    63% believe that American Muslims do not condone violence
    28% believe that the Koran condones violence (40% believe it doesn’t)
    41% believe that Muslim culture glorifies suicide
    46% believe that America has too many Muslim immigrants

  54. 54
    Helena Montana says:

    Looking back, I enjoyed the primary a lot more than I’m enjoying the general. And that was excruciating.

    I believe that as the virtual head of his party, Obama DID have some control over the FISA cave-in. But for the sake of argument, say he didn’t. He could have said, I DON’T support the compromise, and here’s why. He could have made some very cogent arguments about why it’s wrong (I keep coming back to Bush’s non-action when he was handed a daily briefing that said bin Laden determined to strike inside US–he didn’t follow up on that at all, with any of the powers he did have–he certainly doesn’t need any more to be abused, as the FBI has already abused the existing powers TO ABSOLUTELY NO USEFUL EFFECT). No president or law enforcement agency should have those powers in this country. It’s un-American.

    The Muslim thing, while despicable, doesn’t bother me as much. It is true that there is so much anti-Muslim prejudice in this country that a vocal wing-nut minority can cause him trouble.

    The Obama seal thing? BIG mistake.

  55. 55
    HyperIon says:

    Obama has NO control over the issue.

    he can vote No, which many commenters have mentioned on various threads. i understand that he cannot control the outcome of the vote. but he can take a strong position on it and vote No.

    there are ends, and means to ends.
    you were arguing yesterday that the ends (winning the presidency) are more important than the means of winning the presidency. been there, done that. it doesn’t work IMO.

    are we going to spend the next five months debating the triangulation of Obama? because his appeal is going to diminish if folks start to get a whiff of “i can make this issue work for me if i say…”. that’s not what brought so many into his camp in the first place.

  56. 56
    ThymeZone says:

    I’ll agree that the thing has not been handled gracefully by the Obama campaign, but I won’t agree with the faux outrage.

    The campaign season is all about message, discipline, and picking battles. Not every battle can be fought, not every issue can get the full treatment. There are 100 days in which to win an election, from here (thereabouts). A day or two spent on an issue like this is a day or two taken away from something else. Each campaign is looking for ways to take the other team off its game plan, to use up the bandwidth for something other than what was planned.

    For people to sit on a blog and insist that whatever is annoying them at the moment is just The Most Important thing is just pure bullshit, whether it’s you, John, or the usual cast of pot-and-pan-bangers who hang around here.

    Let the Obama campaign figure out what to do with today’s slice of the precious time and resources available for this huge task. If anyone here thinks they can run a campaign better, let them run a fucking campaign and show us.

    Is this what we are going to be doing for the next 5 months?

    And you know what else? I am not persuaded that the Muslim community has earned the right to display phony outrage. If they would exert the energy to reform their lunatic fringe that they expend on trying to get “fair treatment” maybe they would get more fair treatment and maybe we would get less of their lunatic fringe. I don’t see a lot of “leadership” coming from them, maybe it’s there, but I sure as hell don’t see it. Where is it?

    If I were an advisor to the Obama campaign, my first piece of advice to them would be, ignore the blogs. They are a bunch of attention-seeking loudmouth whiney motherfuckers who would gladly see you lose as long as you paid attention to their favorite gripes. Fuck them, ignore them.

    I assure you, the 2 million people like me who coughed up their lunch money for Obama do not uniformly give a rat’s ass if some Muslims are annoyed by his campaign.

    I sincerely hope the Obama campaign continues to stay on message and on discipline and ignore the idiots who want to use this turning-point moment in our history as a stage for their personal phony outrage bullshit.

    Compared to the hideous trainwreck of a McCain administration, the imagined insults to a few Muslims and the idea that we should be wringing our hands over it is a goddam insult to our intelligence and to the country.

    John McCain will surely run the most Muslim-friendly administration in US history, don’t you think?

    Fuck. Seriously, just fuck.

  57. 57
    Jay says:

    Obama should absolutely speak to Muslims and meet the smears head-on, but I think the overlooked problem here is the surrogate. Ellison is practically a 9/11 truther (http://tinyurl.com/6sax3d), the Cynthia McKinney of dudes.

    Whatever the merits of Ellison’s criticisms of Bush, his way of expressing them would be serious trouble for the senator from here until the general, so Obama ought to speak for himself here.

  58. 58
    Danothebaldyheid says:

    Hear hear – just like to say that I’m glad you can be as scabrous when Democrats and those you admire are wrong as you can be on the other side. I for one respect you a hell of a lot more for it.

  59. 59
    crw says:

    Pragmatism is the new Change.

    Heh. That would be a nice change from the last 7.5 years of inflexible neocon/club for growth ideology ruling the roost. Lets get a government that actually performs the basic functions (regulation, disaster response, infrastructure, etc) competently first. Then we’ll have the luxury of fighting ideological wars.

  60. 60
    John Cole says:

    And any of us could have seen this building with you what with your long and outspoken history on behalf of marginalized Muslims of America.

    Quit being a jackass. Defending Democrats from smear after smear and bullshit accusation is part of what turned me away from the Republican party. I always try to defend people who I think are getting shit on unfairly, even if it isn’t popular, so fuck off.

    Christ, check the archives. Search for Dick Durbin. I defended Kos when I was a full-fledged kool-aid drinker. Amanda Marcotte when she was being villified during the Edwards bullshit. Michael Schiavo. Scott Beauchamp. And on and on.

  61. 61
    Joe Beese says:

    John Cole writes:

    if I adhere to your “logic,” i would have to get pissed off is he refuses to visit with NAMBLA.

    Additionally, voting no on the FISA bill does absolutely nothing since the bill will pass anyway

    You’re equating Islam with NABMLA?

    Really?

    That’s… a point of view, I guess.

    If by “does absolutely nothing”, you mean “fails to keep the bill from being passed”, I agree. However, even if we assume for the sake of argument that the Constitution doesn’t required principled defense whatever the cost, I still don’t see how a No vote does him any damage whatsoever.

    It’s the position held by a majority of voters, for God’s sake. And I’m sure we agree that voting Yes will do nothing to forestall attacks against his security credentials, patriotism, melanin count, etc.

  62. 62
    D.N. Nation says:

    Doop-de-doo, just goin’ over the election checklist…

    The presidential candidate who will most likely get me killed in some overseas adventure is:
    Barack Obama [ ]
    John McCain [x]

    Everything else is just splittin’ hairs, I’m afraid.

  63. 63
    John Cole says:

    You’re equating Islam with NABMLA?

    No. I was noting that there is nothing wrong with being “selectively outraged.”

  64. 64
    Punchy says:

    Please STFU and quit acting so obtuse

    Sorry, John. That was a bit harsh, in retro.

  65. 65
    Lee says:

    TZ-so all Muslims are responsible for the lunatic fringe of Muslims? Even American Muslims who have no real connection with the lunatic fringe that bombed the WTC? That’s…special. I suppose we can say the same for Christians, right? Obama shouldn’t deal with any Christians until the Christians have earned the right by cleaning up the lunatic fringe. They can start with Dobson, imho.

  66. 66
    HyperIon says:

    Rome Again Says:

    I long for a day when right-wing smear machines no longer get away with their bullshit and people call them on it.

    i’d re-phrase “when people call bullshit on the right-wing smear machine so they no longer get away with it.”

    IOW WE need to change things, not “long for the day”.

  67. 67
    empty says:

    And you know what else? I am not persuaded that the Muslim community has earned the right to display phony outrage. If they would exert the energy to reform their lunatic fringe that they expend on trying to get “fair treatment” maybe they would get more fair treatment and maybe we would get less of their lunatic fringe. I don’t see a lot of “leadership” coming from them, maybe it’s there, but I sure as hell don’t see it. Where is it?

    Thymezone, you truly are an asshole. The people who committed the terrorist acts of 9/11 were not American Muslims. Something you and Glen Beck seem to have a hard time understanding.

  68. 68
    myiq2xu says:

    For what it’s worth, I agree completely with John on the Muslim thing.

    Scary, isn’t it?

  69. 69
    Brachiator says:

    This continued snub of American Muslims is a pathetic performance from Obama and his campaign

    The Stephanie Miller show played the audio of a GOP political commercial which declared in ominous tones, “Obama went to a Muslim school…. Why is he lying about it now?”

    Yeah, Obama’s waffling on this issue is damned bad. But the sad reality is that some Americans are clinging to their religion in that they fundamentally believe that only a mainstream Christian can be president of the United States, and that even the Church of Mormon is a cult.

    Ironically, only Republicans can embrace Muslims, and then only those who have been pre-approved as our allies. But even these Muslims must be foreigners, like the Saudis or the Kuwaitis, not American citizens.

    The Democratic Party should fight this, it cannot be placed on Obama’s shoulders alone, because the GOP are savage hypocrites here. If Obama strenuously fought the obvious good fight for respecting Muslims, the obvious — and effective — smear would be “he is fighting so hard to defend these people that he obviously must be one of them.”

    It is noteworthy that it is taken for granted by almost all mainstream reporters and pundits that the GOP can smear Muslims with impunity. No one is ever called on it. It is doubly ironic that although some will go on hunts to uncover sexism lurking under every nook and cranny, religious bigotry against Muslims is taken for granted as “just the way things are.”

  70. 70
    Dave says:

    Of course he can ignore the Muslims. It’s not like they live in great numbers in a swing-state like Michigan or anything.

    I agree it is pragmatic and maybe even politically smart for him to avoid a meeting like this. But it cuts across a key message of his campaign – that he is practicing a different kind of politics.

    Put aside whether you believe that or not – that’s the message. Avoiding American citizens who practice Islam clashes with that central message. It is exactly the kind of thing you’d see from a standard politician, which is what Obama says he is not.

    He’s in a corner now. My two cents would be to meet with them. The people who think that’s akin to the Apocalypse likely wouldn’t vote for him to begin with. And it keeps his central message intact.

  71. 71
    Robert Sneddon says:

    John Cole said:

    I understand message discipline. What I don’t like here is the message.

    What is the message? What I understand from what has been reported about this affair is that Congressman Ellison was not permitted to go out in front of an audience and say stuff as part of the official Obama campaign. That’s it. The Obama campaign couldn’t and wouldn’t stop him holding a rally in support of Senator Obama but they could deny him the imprimatur of representing Senator Obama officially at that rally and speaking for him. Nobody but the campaign team speaks for Senator Obama, and they believe they’ve got good reasons for holding firmly to that line.

    As for his team not accepting invitations for him to visit mosques, you might note he’s been kind of busy for the past few months and he’s had to prioritise his time somewhat while still holding down a seat in the Senate. Attending a mosque won’t hurt him and his team know it — the nutters who spout the “secret Muslim” crap are already convinced that’s what he is and the sane 98% of the population will treat it as a typical ho-hum election photo-opportunity.

  72. 72
    Genine says:

    But there is middle ground here, folks. He can speak to Muslim associations in a community center while they eat their rubbery chicken. Or whatever.

    I totally agree with that and I hope he does do this at some point in the campaign. I can empathize with walking a fine line, but there is walking a fine line and there is complete and utter bullshit. He CAN do some outreach to Muslims and still walk that line. The above suggestion is one way he can do that.

    There is a way for him to stand up for what he (hopefully) believes in and not let the smear machine dictate his actions. Believe me, its a learned skill. I believe he has learned it by now- he needs to apply it at some point.

    Rome Again Says:

    I long for a day when right-wing smear machines no longer get away with their bullshit and people call them on it.

    From your lips (or fingers) to the Universe’s ears (or eyes in this case.)

  73. 73
    Snark Based Reality says:

    28% believe that the Koran condones violence

    I believe the Bible condones violence, does that count?

  74. 74
    Queixada says:

    Enjoy your president McCain you fucking whiner.

    lol. Don’t you just feel the love here?

  75. 75
    Timmy Mac says:

    Other people have said it better, but I am willing to cut Candidate Obama way more slack on this stuff than I will President Obama.

  76. 76
    MH says:

    Giving speeches in mosques and being seen with Muslims would do a lot, lot, way lot, huge, massively collosal, big ol’ heap of a LOT more damage to Obama’s chances of November success than anything he could have done/could still do against FISA. There’s no non-idiotic way to disagree with that.

    Reapolitik sure don’t feel the same when it’s on the other foot, does it? Take your own advice and lie back, think of England, & chant to yourself, “If Obama loses in November, nothing changes!”

  77. 77
    Gus says:

    This is what happens when you allow a candidate’s rhetoric to fool you. When Obama gave his speech in St. Paul, there were a lot of comments here about what a wonderful moment this was in our history, and it was a wonderful moment to see an African-American selected as a nominee for the nation’s highest office. At the time, though, I thought people were getting way too carried away by the rhetoric. The guy’s a fucking politician people! You don’t reach that pinnacle with idealism and pixie dust. The MUP moniker was supposed to be somewhat self-mocking, but it appears that to many people, it was all too real. Get ready for more disappointments.

  78. 78
    bago says:

    He has to grab the votes of the “Inadequate black make” crowd to win. Sad but true.

  79. 79
    HyperIon says:

    TZ-so all Muslims are responsible for the lunatic fringe of Muslims?

    yep.
    just like all B-J commenters are responsible when he writes crap.;=)

  80. 80
    Svensker says:

    And you know what else? I am not persuaded that the Muslim community has earned the right to display phony outrage. If they would exert the energy to reform their lunatic fringe that they expend on trying to get “fair treatment” maybe they would get more fair treatment and maybe we would get less of their lunatic fringe. I don’t see a lot of “leadership” coming from them, maybe it’s there, but I sure as hell don’t see it. Where is it?

    And you know what else? I am not persuaded that the Blackcommunity has earned the right to display phony outrage. If they would exert the energy to reform their lunatic fringe that they expend on trying to get “fair treatment” maybe they would get more fair treatment and maybe we would get less of their lunatic fringe. I don’t see a lot of “leadership” coming from them, maybe it’s there, but I sure as hell don’t see it. Where is it?

    There. I re-wrote it for you. That way, both Rush AND Pammy Atlas will be happy to use your quotes.

  81. 81
    ThymeZone says:

    Thymezone, you truly are an asshole. The people who committed the terrorist acts of 9/11

    No, you are the asshole. I made no such assertion and there is no way you can draw a line from what I said to whatever stupid fucking thing you are saying. You’re a fucking liar.

  82. 82
    Rome Again says:

    i’d re-phrase “when people call bullshit on the right-wing smear machine so they no longer get away with it.”

    IOW WE need to change things, not “long for the day”.

    I thought I was saying the same thing, but, sometimes I can be dyslexic.

  83. 83

    It’s amazing: I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, and was disgusted and disillusioned by 1996.

    I voted for Obama in the PA primary, and less than a few months later I’m disgusted (but hardly disillusioned).

    Disgraceful. “Change”. Right….

  84. 84
    Jimmy Jazz says:

    THERE. IS. NOTHING. HE. CAN. DO. ABOUT. FISA.

    ORLY?

    As the de facto head of the Democratic Party, I suspect that if he privately told the Senate leadership he was going to publicly call them out as cowards unless they dropped this whole issue until after November (which is the best course), they would drop it until after November. Or force them to take out telco immunity and set up a Bush veto, which makes Bush look like the one willing to put politics above national security.

    I suspect that what I read elsewhere is actually the case: leading Dems are complicit in the whole illegal wiretapping scheme and want to make it go away. Their price for shutting down Hillary was for Obama to roll over on the FISA bill, and he probably doesn’t mind the extended powers.

  85. 85
    John Cole says:

    Reapolitik sure don’t feel the same when it’s on the other foot, does it? Take your own advice and lie back, think of England, & chant to yourself, “If Obama loses in November, nothing changes!”

    And I am still going to donate, volunteer, and do everything I can to get him elected, and will wake up at 6 am on election day and go vote.

    I still reserve the right to be really pissed off when I see shit I don’t like.

    What I understand from what has been reported about this affair is that Congressman Ellison was not permitted to go out in front of an audience and say stuff as part of the official Obama campaign. That’s it. The Obama campaign couldn’t and wouldn’t stop him holding a rally in support of Senator Obama but they could deny him the imprimatur of representing Senator Obama officially at that rally and speaking for him. Nobody but the campaign team speaks for Senator Obama, and they believe they’ve got good reasons for holding firmly to that line.

    Read the article I linked above:

    Yet some Muslim and Arab-American political organizers worry that the campaign’s reluctance to reach out to voters in those communities will eventually turn them off. “If they think that they are voting for a campaign that is trying to distance itself from them, my big fear is that Muslims will sit it out,” Mr. Hossain said.

    Throughout the primaries, Muslim groups often failed to persuade Mr. Obama’s campaign to at least send a surrogate to speak to voters at their events, said Ms. Ghori, of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

  86. 86
    Tsulagi says:

    This is sickening. I am embarrassed and disgusted right now, and this type of cowardice needs to stop.

    Why so pissed off? You’re a Democrat now. Control yourself. Get into some yoga type position then softly, yet rhythmically chant “you pick your battles” alternated with “today is not the day.” Rinse and repeat. You’ll feel much better once that becomes an automatic reflex.

  87. 87
    28 Percent says:

    As of 2-3 months ago, between 10 and 15% of voters believed he was/is a Muslim.

    yes i know this is true it is sad that so many of even the REAL AMERICANS who see the TRUTH and know realitie with there own eyse not throu the LIES of the LIBERAL MEDIA can not realize the TRUTH that just because he goes to a Christian church so-called that does not mean he is not a Muslim. He is not a Christian if he does not go to a bible beleiving church does he? no he does not because if he did he would not be leading the Party of Death. So he is not a Christian and he is not Jewish then he is an Athiest or a Muslim and what is the difference except that at least the Muslims do not believe in the flying spagetti monster. How stupid is that? But if you blieeve in a flying spaggetti monster maybe you believ that it is better to be an athiest than a muslim. maybe you will convince the other 15% 14% 13% 12% 11% 10% of us that he is a muslim not an athiest but then you think that would be a bad thing. shows what you know but then you think the earth is round LOLZ.

  88. 88
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Quit being a jackass. Defending Democrats from smear after smear and bullshit accusation is part of what turned me away from the Republican party. I always try to defend people who I think are getting shit on unfairly, even if it isn’t popular, so fuck off.

    Christ, check the archives. Search for Dick Durbin. I defended Kos when I was a full-fledged kool-aid drinker. Amanda Marcotte when she was being villified during the Edwards bullshit. Michael Schiavo. Scott Beauchamp. And on and on.

    How about Obama when he was being held to an unfair standard about who he should be required to have speak for him and represent his campaign? Did you stick up for his right to run his campaign the way he sees fit based on the way he views America having growing up here as an “other”? Did you suggest he was strong to push back on Ellison, a generally controversial figure in American politics?

    *crickets*

  89. 89
    Joe Beese says:

    Let’s say that the Muslim thing and the FISA thing are equally pragmatic or equally cowardly – depending on your point of view.

    The critical difference is that the FISA thing is a rule-of-law issue and the Muslim thing is not.

    The Constitution says you can’t search my shit without a warrant. Period. It’s the law.

    By voting Yes on this bill, Obama is saying along with George W. Bush: “Law, schmaw.” [And using the identical justification, as it happens.] No expediency can excuse that. Ever.

    Without law, Obama is just a new tyrant with a prettier smile.

  90. 90
    The Moar You Know says:

    Jesus Christ, John. I hate to tell you this, but Obama’s people are dead to rights on this one.

    Obama does not have this thing in the bag – not even close, in spite of the fact that McCain is the next worst candidate to a dead cat that the GOP could run. A lot of Americans are just looking for a reason not to vote for Obama, and if the opposition can show him making friendly with the same folks who OMG BOMBED NEW YORK CITY AND ARE SLITTING AMERICAN THROATS AS WE SPEAK it will be the fucking end of his campaign.

    Smears are one thing. A few pics of him shaking hands with some guys with beards and chicks in chadors should put him into a hole he won’t be able to get out of.

    I hate it too that this country is so fucked up that this is an issue. But it is. Obama knows that – the one thing he isn’t is stupid – and he’s got to deal with things as they are, not as we would like them to be.

  91. 91
    Rome Again says:

    Thymezone, you truly are an asshole. The people who committed the terrorist acts of 9/11 were not American Muslims. Something you and Glen Beck seem to have a hard time understanding.

    WTF are you talking about? This has nothing to do with whether 9/11 perpetrators were purple people eaters or automaton manchurian assassins either. What TZ was saying is the Muslims do not have the right to railroad Obama’s campaign and turn it into a special focus on the Muslim life. Obama is not beholden to make any demographic special and superior n this campaign, that includes blacks, muslims, whites, women, country club members, whatever. This is Obama’s campaign. If the Muslim people would like to run for president as a concerted conglomerate, the issues in their campaign can then be about what they choose it to be about. Go stick your head back in the sand, empty.

  92. 92
    ThymeZone says:

    TZ-so all Muslims are responsible for the lunatic fringe of Muslims?

    All Muslims are like all other people, they are responsible for what they do. People who point at other people and demand “leadership” are usually deflecting attention from their own lack of leadership.

    Barack Obama is not responsible for making sure Muslims are getting all the touchy feely attention they deserve. He is responsible for doing something very nearly impossible, which is getting elected. The alternative possibility is a disaster for this country. Even one day of this time spent on this phony issue is a day that does not drive toward that objective, a drive which requires discipline and focus.

    I give him, and his people, my confidence in carrying out that objective. 100+ days from now, if we win, then we can go on to something else.

    That, all of that, and only that, is what I am saying, and any attempt by you or anyone else to morph that into some bullshit straw argument is going to be met by me directly and it will be shoved deep and hard up your lying ass.

    Do not try to put words in my mouth. I won’t tolerate it and you will end up turning this entire thread into a contest to see whether you can get away with that or not. You’ll fail, and the thread will be totally off topic.

    Choose another tack, and try being honest for five fucking minutes.

  93. 93
    cleek says:

    By voting Yes on this bill, Obama is saying along with George W. Bush: “Law, schmaw.”

    no, he is not.

  94. 94
    empty says:

    Rome Again Says:

    See Svensker’s post above.

  95. 95
    Pasota says:

    my big fear is that Muslims will sit it out

    That’s his big fear? I should have such problems.

  96. 96
    bobbob says:

    As much as I have come to respect Obama, he is above all, a politician. Politicians suck.

  97. 97
    28 Percent says:

    28% believe that the Koran condones violence

    Yes it is true it does and that is bad it is why we must kill them before they kill us but the good thingg is that the Koran encourages chastity and forbids homosexuality and abortion so it is not all bad but it is too bad if they knew Jesus and were truly saved they would not have to die. God is giving them a chance they just will not take it.

  98. 98
    AkaDad says:

    You’re equating Islam with NABMLA?

    Aren’t they both preaching about love?

  99. 99
    D.N. Nation says:

    Doop-de-doo, just re-checkin’ that checklist:

    The presidential candidate who will most likely get me killed in some overseas adventure is:
    Barack Obama [ ]
    John McCain [x]

    OK, still good.

  100. 100
    Joe Beese says:

    AkaDad wins at the Internets.

  101. 101
    Rome Again says:

    See Svensker’s post above.

    Not directed at me, doesn’t apply to what I’m saying either. The demographic groups can have as much outrage as they choose, that doesn’t mean they can hope on the Obama train and change it’s course and direction. The only fact that applies is that this is Obama’s campaign to run anyway he chooses. If you can’t see that, well then I certainly hope you are never in such a position and feel you have to pander to the various opposition groups in the electorate.

  102. 102
    Face says:

    Is Cole upset that Obama also dissed on Deadbeat Dads? Think of all the moochers’ votes he’s lost! How dare he ridicule such a significant number of The Doublewide Electorate! How ignorant.

  103. 103
    The Moar You Know says:

    AkaDad Says:

    You’re equating Islam with NABMLA?

    Aren’t they both preaching about love?

    For the WIN.

  104. 104
    crw says:

    By voting Yes on this bill, Obama is saying along with George W. Bush: “Law, schmaw.”

    Assuming he actually votes yes. He may be trying to thread the needle aka have it both ways. That is, he’ll come out in support of the “the compromise” but find some specifics (ie the telecomm immunity clause) that give him an excuse to vote no on this specific bill. It’s not what you would call leadership, unfortunately. But I suspect it’s the best we’re going to get for now.

    We’ll see what he actually does. None of us are mindreaders, so at this point getting outraged at anything but Obama’s unwillingness to show leadership on the issue is just intellectual wankery. After all, we don’t know what he’s thinking. We’re just guessing, based on our prejudices and opinion of who he is.

  105. 105
    empty says:

    28 Percent Says:

    28% believe that the Koran condones violence

    Yes it is true it does and that is bad it is why we must kill them before they kill us but the good thingg is that the Koran encourages chastity and forbids homosexuality and abortion so it is not all bad but it is too bad if they knew Jesus and were truly saved they would not have to die. God is giving them a chance they just will not take it.

    28 percent, I think I love you!

  106. 106
    JoyceH says:

    I seriously doubt that Obama would give surrogate status to ANY Congressman, whether Muslim, Christian, Jew or atheist, who’d compared 9/11 to the Reichstag fire.

  107. 107
    Gus says:

    Ellison, a generally controversial figure in American politics

    Wha? Maybe I’m missing something. Ellison’s my rep, and the only controversy I remember is one created by crazed wingnuts because he dared to take his oath of office on the holy book of his religion. Other than that, he’s been a pretty reliably liberal member of Congress, essentially mirroring the interests and views of the majority of his constituency.

  108. 108
    Fern says:

    Mr. Ellison asked to speak for the Obama campaign. Obama said thanks but no thanks.

    I hardly see this as a massive rejection of Muslims – just a realization that Mr. Ellison could not be trusted to stay on message.

    And the fact that Ellison has gone to the press with this just goes to show the Obama campaign was absolutely correct in its assessment.

    So given that, John’s outrage strikes me as over the top.

  109. 109
    montysano says:

    I long for a day when right-wing smear machines no longer get away with their bullshit and people call them on it.

    But that day is not today. The “shorter” for whole issue:

    “I’m scared to death of Sean Hannity”

    Because that’s the mode BO is operating in right now. I’m not critisizing him for it; it’s just the pathetic state of affairs at the moment. Like the FISA issue, the last thing we need to do is hand the Flying Monkey Brigade a full clip of free ammo.

    I’m in a discussion on another blog where the prevalent feeling is “Fuck Hannity, fuck Limbaugh, who cares what they think”. The problem is, Hannity and Limbaugh together have a weekly cumulative of 25M listeners. Fox News trounces CNN and MSNBC in the ratings. In essence, a pack of professional liars controls what Howard Beale in Network called “the most awesome goddamned propaganda force in the whole godless world”. And these are not subtle liars; these are in-your-face liars, because they know that most people are too stupid or too lazy to care.

    What to do about it? I’m fucked if I know. I suppose BO could go big: “Sean, I want to come on your show. We need to have a little talk”. It might work; it might backfire horribly. Or he can keep doing what he’s doing right now: try to stay off their radar screen and get elected. But sooner or later, They’ll go to work on him.

    Thoughts?

  110. 110
    Wilfred says:

    The demographic groups can have as much outrage as they choose, that doesn’t mean they can hope on the Obama train and change it’s course and direction.

    Right. Like when he spoke at Aipac and swore to an undivided Jerusalem, something that Sarkozy, amongst others, rejected as ‘unhelpful’.

    Obama has done plenty of pandering already. His calculus is that he doesn’t need Muslim-American votes where they might matter. Maybe, maybe not. In any case, he’s now demonstrated on two occasions his disregard for Muslim-Americans as potential voters.

  111. 111
    ThymeZone says:

    The only fact that applies is that this is Obama’s campaign to run anyway he chooses.

    Exactly, and what the liar-potbangers don’t get, and have never gotten, about the Obama campaign is that “change” can refer to things like forcing people into false choices at times like these.

    One does not have to choose between re-focussing or un-focussing a very tight campaign WRT Muslim-In_America issues, on the one hand, and things like “You’re blaming all Muslims for 911” on the other hand.

    That is demagoguery, it’s a lie, and it’s what characterizes the monster, the beast, we are trying to defeat, namely, the GOP.

    I have never blamed or smeared “all Muslims” for anything, anywhere, ever, in any way, shape, or form, but the lying cocksuckers who hang around here would have you believe that I am doing so because I am suggesting that the Obama campaign ignore their useless whines and focus on something else that is more important.

    Their’s is a false choice, and it won’t stand. And it’s exactly the kind of bullshit crap that motivates me to send money to the Obama campaign, precisely because we need to move on from that kind of “choice” and on to real choices that really matter, the right choices in the right places and the right times.

  112. 112
    Gus says:

    Thoughts?

    Roughly 0% of Limbaugh and Hannity listeners will vote for Obama under any circumstances. Do you really think the Democratic nominee for president is going to “stay off their radar screen”? He can either ignore them or spend all his time playing defense to increasingly crazy charges.

  113. 113
    HyperIon says:

    Rome Again Says:

    …What TZ was saying is

    Talk about how things don’t change…after a long pause, RA resumes defending TZ. So, given that, inquiring minds want to know: you kids back together? And, the real question, persona-on-persona action or just the regular old between-actual-people stuff?

  114. 114
    Cyrus says:

    Do not try to put words in my mouth. I won’t tolerate it and you will end up turning this entire thread into a contest to see whether you can get away with that or not. You’ll fail, and the thread will be totally off topic.

    That’s fair, of course. Your own words, then:

    I am not persuaded that the Muslim community has earned the right to display phony outrage. If they would exert the energy to reform their lunatic fringe that they expend on trying to get “fair treatment” maybe they would get more fair treatment and maybe we would get less of their lunatic fringe.

    Why do you think the outrage is phony? But more to the point, can you give examples of who the “lunatic fringe” is? Honestly, when I read “lunatic fringe,” I think “religious extremists, possibly terrorists or terrorist supporters.” But you seem to be using it to mean “People who point at other people and demand ‘leadership’ (who) are usually deflecting attention from their own lack of leadership.” Maybe I took those quotes out of context, so can you give examples of the “lunatic fringe” you’re talking about, and what the “Muslim community” can do about them?

  115. 115
    The Other Steve says:

    I think it’s a problem, because Obama is showing fear of right-wing talking points.

    You can’t go into an election afraid to lose.

  116. 116
    tim says:

    Same problem here as with the FISA issue: instead of EDUCATING, INFORMING, AND CONVINCING the electorate of his point of view (which I assume is peace loving Muslim-friendly) from his campaign bully pulpit with his grand gift of oratory, exposing the bogusness of most Repub attack memes, and LEADING the country toward a new kind of politics, Obama is playing the cowering Dem.

    Ha ha…don’t you love the NEW KIND OF POLITICS, John?

    Tim the Troll

  117. 117
    Genine says:

    The Other Steve Says:

    I think it’s a problem, because Obama is showing fear of right-wing talking points.

    You can’t go into an election afraid to lose

    I’m not sure how I feel about that statement. That’s how I live my life. But I don’t know if I can apply how I live my life to how someone should run for President.

    I toe a line at work, like all people do. But if a situation gets too bad (work or otherwise) and cannot be resolved, I am not afraid to walk away. But then I am speaking as a single woman with no responsibilities other than to herself and her ideals. But I might behave differently if I had children or someone dependent on me.

    In a way, Obama has a nation dependent on him. Its very important than he wins this election. So he needs to play to win. Its a very fine line to walk, everyone has to admit that. On one hand, a lot has changed in this country and people are ready for it. But the “Old Guard”, so to speak, hasn’t up and died.

    My personal hope is that somewhere in late summer, in August or Septemer, Obama will be a little more bold then dial it back a bit in October (to soothe any ruffled feathers in time for the election). But he has shown himself to be politically saavy and so I trust he knows what to do to win.

    Once he wins though, I fully expect more boldness and a fresh direction. But he has to get to the White House first.

  118. 118
    salvage says:

    You’re not wrong John, they’re kowtowing to racism I guess to get the racist vote or something.

    Democrats going for the trifecta of losing to the GOP’s worst in the worst ways.

  119. 119
    JoyceH says:

    I think it’s a problem, because Obama is showing fear of right-wing talking points.

    It’s not right wing at all, it’s mainstream media.

    Look, if Obama sends Ellison out as a surrogate, as someone said upthread, from then on, ANYTHING that Ellison says becomes a problem for Obama – and Ellison HAS said controversial things. In fact, the stuff that Ellison has already said would probably be enough to generate a firestorm of criticism, aimed at Obama. And the firestorm would last for months.

    Is it because Ellison is Muslim? Don’t kid yourself – it’s because he’s black.

    Am I the only person who remembers when The Sainted Tim Russert asked newly minted Senator Obama to comment on the remarks of Harry Belafonte calling Bush a terrorist? (The ONLY other public figure the Sainted Tim asked to comment on those same remarks? Colin Powell.)

    It’s a double-standard and it’s not fair, but it’s reality. Obama is dealing with reality. I suggest the rest of us recognize that and cut him some slack.

  120. 120
    Lee says:

    I am not persuaded that the Muslim community has earned the right to display phony outrage. If they would exert the energy to reform their lunatic fringe that they expend on trying to get “fair treatment” maybe they would get more fair treatment and maybe we would get less of their lunatic fringe.

    I have never blamed or smeared “all Muslims” for anything, anywhere, ever,…

    TZ-Please reconcile these two statements. The first states that Muslims of any kind are responsible for the lunatic Muslims. The second says you never said any such thing.

  121. 121
    Punchy says:

    You’re equating Islam with NABMLA?

    Aren’t they both preaching about love?

    I think they’re both preaching about virgins.

  122. 122
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I know you idealist nancyboys think Obama is a magical negro who can transcend all of America’s psychoses in a single speech and was put on earth for the sole purpose of tackling your pet issue of the day but really, he’s just running for President. What a letdown, right?

    I understand you’re the smartest person you know so anybody that don’t follow yer expert advice on each and every controversy of the day is just asking for a loss in November and a good butt-reaming by you today. But I just watched him beat the Elvis of the Democratic party from fucking nowhere so I’m going to trust him on strategy.

    Now, you’ll shriek, “But Fuckhead, you said the same thing when he failed to mindmeld the U.S. Congress into voting against immunity for the telecoms!” and you’re right. I’m not going to miss the forest for the trees. I’ll hold him responsible for actual egregious shit like if he electrocutes a mentally retarded man to prove his capital punishment bonafides or votes for a misguided war to prove he’s a hawk or runs as an Independent and throws the Presidency to Republicans for eight years. Important stuff like that.

    I won’t hold him responsible for not living up to your unrealitic expectations and I won’t sit by and let you fairweather fucks bleed him to death with a thousand cuts from his left side while he’s trying to beat Republicans. This is an election not a goddamn test and it’s time to pick a side and start pulling for it. Or maybe you already have?

  123. 123

    I agree with you, essentially. I understand why he’s doing it, and I think it’s weak, and timid, and not what I’d hoped would come from Obama.

    This does not mean he’s losing my support in the Presidential campaign, but it does mean that I’ve more or less downgraded him from “man who can really change things” to “a competent administrator, and a hell of a lot better than a two-bit tool like McCain.”

  124. 124
    Cris says:

    “I will never forget the quote,” Mr. Ellison said, leaning forward in his chair as he recalled the aide’s words. “He said, ‘We have a very tightly wrapped message.’”

    If your aides are talking outside the campaign about your message control, you need better message control.

  125. 125
    b-psycho says:

    Between this & the FISA crap, I think people need to step back and realize what it is they’re actually expecting out of politics, & maybe reconcile it with reality…

    If Obama were the type to shoot down the rumors with a simple “No, I’m not, & why the fuck do you care anyway?“, explain how the real point of telecom immunity was to cover politician ass by removing any reason for the telecom companies to describe the crimes they were goaded into aiding, and while he’s at it articulate how for the most part the Iraqis aren’t doing anything we wouldn’t have done if some jerkoff w/ a military invaded & took over our country (seriously: imagine what all those hillbilly militia groups would be doing), and it were possible to still win while being that honest, then I’d be much more inclined to see benefit in the political process.

    But here in the real world, the type of person that I could see myself supporting would have absolutely no chance in HELL of winning. One can’t deliberately offend the tender sensitivities of The Average American Voter and expect to represent them, whether the words are the truth matters zilch to our system as we know it. So rather than point out the numerous crimes, forcefully call out war profiteers, & say straight-up “dammit people, gas is not going to go back to $1 per gallon, we cannot simultaneously have ever lower taxes and endless government benefits for everyones pet interest group, and what consenting adults feel like doing to each other is ABSOLUTELY none of your business whether you like it or not, holding your breath ’till you turn blue isn’t going to change this”, we get nibbling around the margins. We get dinky tax credits for what some bureaucrat thinks is ideal citizen behavior, meanwhile the people that actually benefit from the State have a lower rate than everyone else in the first place. We get debates about Military Boondoggle X vs Military Boondoggle Y instead of “do we really need to spend more on doling out death efficiently than much of the rest of the world combined to be safe?”. We get even more oil company blowjobs in the same breath as lip service about conservation & alt-fuels.

    In short, we get fucked. Sometimes its with lube & a condom, sometimes its rawdog angry ass-rapery, but fucking shall commence either way.

    Either you accept the nibbling & try to opt for lube, or you reject the entire premise of the “choice”.

    If you accept it, then what Obama did in both cases is fine. It’s understandable, he needs to do that to be accepted, to be elected, it’s about getting Good People in power.

    If you reject it, then fine, be mad. But realize that by rejecting this practice you essentially reject the entire system that gave rise to it.

    There’s a reason why “change” is such a popular thing to run on, but actual change is not going to come about through politics — in fact, the kind of change needed is inherently ANTI-political once considered thoroughly. Expecting people that are amoral enough to succeed in this system to take your criticism of it seriously is wasted breath, no different than attempting to disarm a madman by saying “please”.

  126. 126
    Mr Furious says:

    Fuckhead nails it.

    Feet to the fire next year. Not now. I lambasted Obama last week on FISA, and have since come to realize the prgmatism he is forced to swallow.

    The fact that there is even a rumor that Obama was sworn in on the Koran is because of Ellison. Sad to say, but Obama can’t mess around with that shit.

    And Ellison and his small-time staff of loudmouths have already confirmed Obama’s decision as the right one.

  127. 127
    nightjar says:

    Obama is operating as candidate for POTUS with a pragmatism that is cold and calculated. He has one mission right now and one mission only, and that is to get more votes than MCcain.

    Having said that, they are making decisions, such as this one, on the run in a state of barely controlled hysteria that every campaign for POTUS has. The problem is, when you decide to exclude a group of people based on fear of association, it becomes easier to do the next time, and the next. It’s a bad road to get started on, and hard to turn around, and sooner or later they will have to deal with the rumor smears head on.

    What’s been fun to watch from Obama’s very few mistakes so far, is the ability of his campaign to recognize them and deftly make quick course corrections. Right now he is still introducing himself to the American people as a black guy with a funny name, and a not so funny middle name (to many Americans). After that’s done, might be the best time for him to correct this one.

  128. 128
    Shinobi says:

    So, the highest estimate I can find for the Muslim population in the US is 6.7 Million, which is 2.2% of the US populations. (other estimates are closer to 2 million, which is less than a total percentage point.)

    Conversely 10% of the US believe that Obama is a Muslim. Unfortunately “Obama is a secret Muslim” wouldn’t be a smear tactic unless people thought being a Muslim was a bad thing.

    While I respect people’s freedom of religion and right to their culture, Islam is not exactly a big winner right now with the US Electorate. And Obama’s already got enough to overcome, both with the general US electorate, as well as with Jewish voters(florida).

    Obama is making the only choice he can make right now and still get elected. If there were a way to include US Muslims without losing national support, I would hope that he would take it. But right now there is not. (Perhaps some kind of all faiths convention/speech/thing where he celebrates freedom of religion in the US?)

  129. 129
    Loquacious Mute says:

    The NAMBLA vote that clearly goes to the republicans as they have the strongest record for man boy love in the house:)

  130. 130
    Shinobi says:

    Also…. How many Mosques has McCain spoken at?

  131. 131
    MNPundit says:

    This is John Cole’s FISA.

    Note that Obama personally called the two muslim ladies that got snubbed at his rally to apologize.

  132. 132
    John Cole says:

    Obama is operating as candidate for POTUS with a pragmatism that is cold and calculated. He has one mission right now and one mission only, and that is to get more votes than MCcain.

    it is not that I disagree with you, it is just that in this case it honks me off. I am still supporting the guy.

    And if it is pure consistency you want, this is the wrong blog. I veer from side to side, lurch back and forth, backtrack, change my mind, and can be all over the place. Sometimes it is ugly. I know all this.

    If consistency is what you want, mcCain is your man. he is consistently wrong.

  133. 133
    Rainy says:

    What the hell? Screw what 10% of Americans think. Those people are retarded. How many times does Obama have to say he’s not a Muslim? I mean good grief. It is not good or right for the Obama campaign to be distancing itself from Muslims. What if he was doing it to Blacks, Hispanics or Jews? Obama’s the guy I’m voting for but I’m not going to give him a pass on this. How would he feel if it was 2008, but everyone had a 1955 mindset? Give me a break.

  134. 134
    Pixie says:

    I agree with you John. This stance by Obama is cowardly and offensive. I know people think that it is his mission to do whatever it takes to get to the white house whether it be snubbing the Muslim community or agreeing to shred the 4th amendment of the constitution by voting YES on FISA. Pandering is pandering, and I think it is damn time that someone ran HONESTLY and with conviction. It was the one thing that attracted me to Obama, but the more I look at him, the more he looks like a prettier, more intelligent version of Bush. Do whatever it takes to get to the white house and continue on with the status quo. I seriously can’t see him undoing the destruction caused by the Bush admin. I mean they worked so hard to neuter the other two branches of government….it’s really difficult to see him willingly handing that power back over.

  135. 135
    Nellcote says:

    This story is getting heavy rotation on cable today. I smell a Clinton-zombie (aka Ellison) stink bomb. Keep in mind that Obama isn’t the official Dem nominee yet. Clinton only suspended her campaign “just in case something happens”

  136. 136
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Note that Obama personally called the two muslim ladies that got snubbed at his rally to apologize.

    Wow, did he bake them cookies using Cindy McCain’s recipes as well? Obama’s campaign has fucked this up royally, and the more they dance around the subject, the more they allow the likes of FOX News to drive the narrative. Not only is he a secret Muslim, he’s a self-hating, self-denying secret Muslim who is probably the Manchurian candidate the wingnuts fear.

  137. 137
    wobbly says:

    If I were Obama, I’d meet with American Muslims currently serving in the United States’Armed Forces and get my picture taken with them and their chaplains…

    Iraq or Afghanistan would make a nice backdrop.

  138. 138
    nightjar says:

    And if it is pure consistency you want, this is the wrong blog. I veer from side to side, lurch back and forth, backtrack, change my mind, and can be all over the place. Sometimes it is ugly. I know all this.

    I wonder if you read the rest of my post. I agree that it was a mistake and I don’t how in the world you take my comment as a criticism of you and that I am looking for “pure consistency” like that of Mccain. The quote of mine you cited was only a description of how all campaigns generally operate IMO. Not something I believe in or approve of. And MCcain is about as consistent as the weather in Colorado.

    My only point, if there was one, is that it is somewhat understandable the Obama campaign response considering that he is not well known yet.

    If consistency is what you want, mcCain is your man. he is consistently wrong

    And this is just a stupid remark. Get a grip on yourself Cole and remember you have the ban key if you don’t like somebody or what they say. I suggest you use it in liew of nonsense like this.

  139. 139
    Mr. AV says:

    So, it’s confirmed then. There’s no difference between Muslims and Neo-Nazis.

  140. 140
    Loquacious Mute says:

    Primary poilitics ≠ General Election
    Ellison/Mosque = minefield for Obama

    Just last week Scarborough spent each segment on his 3 hour show reiterating what an ass Obama was for the Michigan incident w/ the Muslim women, which MSM was also playing on a loop, never mind the rightwing nutjobs, like Limbaugh. Now imagine what they would do if Obama went preaching at Mosque along with the help of Mr. Ellison. It would serve as one giant distraction and not be helpful, even though it would please most of us. Is that weak? No, just necessary at this point in his campaign. Maybe down the road he will figure a way to navigate this, but at this moment it is what it is, a general election.

    Let’s also remember that Obama is being scrutinized at every level, and has been unfairly treated no matter what rightwingers say. He is held to a higher standard. When he has a change of heart (flip flop) it is the end of the world, but when McCain does the same he is hailed as a maverick who only has the interest of the American people at heart. How can we be so angry about this when Charlie Black and Phil Gramm are still on his campaign and no one except maybe for KO is making this an issue which it is, and a giant one at that.

    Obama is not a perfect man nor is he a perfect candidate, so: debate, vent, and move on, but let’s not live up to our same old m.o. by derailing our candidate. That is the republican’s job. We can rail once he has the job and we have the power.

    Buck up were are going to the show!

  141. 141
    HyperIon says:

    Obama is operating as candidate for POTUS with a pragmatism that is cold and calculated.

    gee, just a few weeks ago when that phrase was used to describe another dem candidate, it was considered pejorative. now cold and calculated appears to be a good thing. hard to keep up…

  142. 142
    John Cole says:

    I wonder if you read the rest of my post.

    I agreed with your post and the consistency part was just saying in general, although it does look directed at you. In a rush and sloppy this afternoon.

  143. 143
    nightjar says:

    gee, just a few weeks ago when that phrase was used to describe another dem candidate, it was considered pejorative

    Not by me and the criticism about HC was not about her pragmatism but her corrupt ideas on the rules of road for the primary. Like counting votes for herself that were illegitimate, among other things.

  144. 144
    John Cole says:

    It was the one thing that attracted me to Obama, but the more I look at him, the more he looks like a prettier, more intelligent version of Bush. Do whatever it takes to get to the white house and continue on with the status quo. I seriously can’t see him undoing the destruction caused by the Bush admin.

    We need to slow the crazy train down here a few km/hour. While this is disappointing, his ability to speak full sentences alone puts him above Bush.

  145. 145
    Oracle says:

    By voting Yes on this bill, Obama is saying along with George W. Bush: “Law, schmaw.”

    Not really. Obama is saying “Change the law” whereas Bush said “The law doesn’t apply to me.” That’s a big difference, even if the results are the same.

    At least, with legislation to back up the wiretapping program, the federal judiciary will be able to rule on its constitutionality.

    Those who believe he is Islamic believe it even though they have been told repeatedly he is not.

    That assumes there are only two types of voters: those who think he is Muslim and those who do not. I guarantee, though, that there are millions who are still on the fence. A fence that will be obliterated with the first picture of Obama embracing someone in a turban.

    The real issue here is: why is McCain throwing the Alzheimer’s crowd under the bus?

  146. 146
    Punchy says:

    Who knows. Maybe this thing just struck a nerve when I read it and I am over-reacting. That is the problem with being a heater hater.

    Fixed? ;)

  147. 147
    nightjar says:

    agreed with your post and the consistency part was just saying in general, although it does look directed at you. In a rush and sloppy this afternoon

    No Problemo. I wouldn’t comment so often on this blog if I didn’t generally agree with the owners viewpoint.

  148. 148
    Jill says:

    You know what, John? I agree with you…and I disagree. I agree that it’s gutless, and I agree that it is in no way going to quiet those who insist that he’s a Muslim, and it’s not going to change the minds of people like my friend who was unsure about Obama and chose of her own free will to believe the e-mails instead of my debunking of them. That said, the reality is that for him to be seen with anyone in a hijab is giong to just give them a reason not to vote for him. He can make nice later.

    On balance, though, I’d rather see him confront this for the horseshit it is….because we have been playing whack-a-mole against the barrage of Republican smears now for three presidential elections…and I had hoped Obama would have the balls to put a stop to it.

  149. 149
    Corner Stone says:

    would have you believe that I am doing so because I am suggesting that the Obama campaign ignore their useless whines and focus on something else that is more important

    Their useless whines. As with all misunderstood minorities in American culture. Let’s see, maybe they should be ignored because they are different and therefore scary to the overly-fearful American public. Yes, I think that’s probably the safest, most pragmatic course of action. I suggest we stick them in the closet with teh gheys, or possibly on the back of the bus with AA’s.

  150. 150
    Corner Stone says:

    Feet to the fire next year. Not now. I lambasted Obama last week on FISA, and have since come to realize the prgmatism he is forced to swallow

    With what? With what in the absolute fuck will you “hold his feet to the fire”? You gonna hold your breath and stomp your dainty little feet? This is the silliest damn notion I’ve seen expressed on this board lately.**

    **naturally this excludes any assholish statements by ThymeZone.

  151. 151
    HyperIon says:

    A fence that will be obliterated with the first picture of Obama embracing someone in a turban.

    turban? WTF?

  152. 152
    Phoebe says:

    John, you’re right.
    He should meet it head on, like Michelle Obama’s fist met the fists of the Veiw panel. Get it out of the way. In fact it’s another opportunity to show that he isn’t a “secret” Muslim. There’s nothing wrong with being a Muslim, but he does have a right to deny that he is a secret one, or that he is lying about his Christianity.
    This panders to the bigots [ugh ugh ugh] while not endorsing their view or appearing to be one himself.
    This begs another question: What can you do with bigots? Yelling at them doesn’t work, although it makes the non-bigots happy. Kind of like – what do you do with the Clinton dead-enders? Again, you want to yell at them, but if you do you get scolded for being divisive. This is not a rhetorical question, really – what do we do with the bigots?

  153. 153

    What Obama’s campaign is doing is not just wrong. It is stupid.

    They are afraid of adding fuel to the “Obama is a secret muslim” smears? Well, avoiding Muslims won’t stop the smears. It will just attract attention to the smears. In fact, it will add weight to the smears because people will be able to say, “He doesn’t want to be seen with Muslims because he is a SECRET Muslim.”

    It’s messaging 101 folks: you draw more attention to something when you purposely try to NOT draw attention to something.

  154. 154
    JoAnne Martinson says:

    I think it’s wise not to believe everything you’re told. From your comments the last few days, I gathr you’re about ready to support McCain. Be honest: go do it.

  155. 155
    Mr Furious says:

    Bite me Corner Stone.

    I’ll hold his feet to the fire next year with exactly the same thing I use now. My worthless blog.

    Just like the rest of us jackasses arguing in this forum. Like anything said here makes a difference? I’m just talking about my personal dispensation of slack. I’ve decided to be loose with it now. Next year it’ll be a shorter leash. But, no, of course I don’t expect to actually have an individual impact.

  156. 156
    John Cole says:

    I think it’s wise not to believe everything you’re told. From your comments the last few days, I gathr you’re about ready to support McCain. Be honest: go do it.

    What alternate reality are you dealing with here?

  157. 157
    flyerhawk says:

    John you are falling victim to the same problem that many others do when they are talking about politicians.

    Obama isn’t being gutless. He’s just not being stupid. This country has not only elected solely Christian white males there is only one who wasn’t a Protestant. Obama CANNOT be perceived as the “Muslim” candidate. And Pyrrhic victories on this subject will do no one any good.

    You never let the other side validate their smears in any way. When he wins in November he will have 4 years to right this particular wrong.

    As an FYI there will be several more examples of this sort of thing in the next 4 months. Sucks, but such is life.

  158. 158
    empty says:

    Obama CANNOT be perceived as the “Muslim” candidate.

    I don’t think not marginalizing a minority will result in his being perceived as a “Muslim” candidate. It would probably have strengthened the view that he is a decent person of integrity. And that could be a plus in the election.

  159. 159
    Tsulagi says:

    I think it’s wise not to believe everything you’re told.

    Wise words there, JoAnne, more should take them to heart.

    You were doing good, until that slip on the “gathr” banana peel about Cole and McCain.

  160. 160
    Mr. AV says:

    This is how sad the world has gotten. When people are more than willing to avoid doing the right things in order to appease perceptive ignorance, there should be no wonder why solutions are ignored.

  161. 161
    Loquacious Mute says:

    Damed if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

    Already this story has more legs than Charlie Black’s, I hope we are attacked so McCain can win the election comment from yesterday.

    Either way Obama looses. Not just being attacked by LW bloggers, but rightwing nuts, moderates and whoever else chooses to pile on. MSNBC (except for KO) the network that is supposedly in the tank for Obama cannot seem to shut up about this. I say let it go and he will deal with it in time. I have faith he will not leave this on the table for long, But cut him a little slack and let him figure out an approach.

  162. 162
    Loquacious Mute says:

    And now for something completely different, but not any less amusing nor any less beat to death, which I will also due and perhaps someone has already beat me to the punch:

    From politico A**hole Ben Smith:
    “McCain aware of Internet and its traditions.”

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/

    Wow that really got around.

  163. 163
    flyerhawk says:

    I don’t think not marginalizing a minority will result in his being perceived as a “Muslim” candidate. It would probably have strengthened the view that he is a decent person of integrity. And that could be a plus in the election.

    Well I think it is a pretty huge reach to say that a minority is being marginalized here.

    I also think it is naive to think that American voters would have a positive reaction to Obama showing close ties to Muslims.

  164. 164
    Natascha says:

    John, I agree with you 100%. Obama looked like he was glad to confront bullshit smears head on. Now he’s retreating to his happy place.

    So damn disappointing. Keith Ellison was the subject of Barack Obama’s smear e-mails a lot of the time, and Obama could have shown that he gave a damn.

  165. 165
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I think you’re right on this, John. There is supposed to be a measure of courage about the Obama campaign, not least in its intention of getting people out to vote in places where they’ve usually stayed at home.

    Fuck ‘election politics’. If pictures of Obama in a mosque get turned into 14,000 fucktard email forwards, fuck the people who read them and take the bullshit at face value. The campaign needs to grow a pair about this.

    If there were a way to include US Muslims without losing national support, I would hope that he would take it. But right now there is not.

    Why not? Has it been decreed as such? If Obama’s campaign clips and clips and clips its wings now that the primary’s over, it’ll end up a trussed broiler bird.

  166. 166
    johnosahon says:

    you people on the blogosphere are REALLY naive, i thought you guys were wiser. Obama does not pander to any group because of this type of mess.

    He did not pander to the gay groups so they abused him in PA.

    he did not pander to the black community, he did not go to any of the events they held, even Smiley was abusing him for not attending his event.

    he is not going to start now, especially when a whole lot of people think is a muslim come on barack HUSSEIN obama.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE, the most important thing is POTUS and i am focused on that.

    Stop whinning and come back into reality.

  167. 167
    Corner Stone says:

    and I understand that every campaign needs to tack to the right for the general,

    You understand the need to tack right? Well, you should because the perception is that moving right is the only way to get elected in the GE. Mainly because of ignorant assholes like you who voted for GWB TWICE.
    The nation is not a right-center nation. Civil rights? ERA? Other things?
    Tell us why exactly there is a need to tack right? I know the end result is to get elected, but why is there the need again?

  168. 168
    johnosahon says:

    and let me just say Obama is NOT Jesus, he is NOT the second coming, he is a POLITICIAN who MUST win this election for US,you can whine all you want but HE MUST WIN THE ELECTION, he knows it, and i know it BUT i don’t think you people know it.

    I understand your disappointment BUT the do-or-die attitude,”the i cannot believe this, i will not vote for him,i taught he was the one, i taught he was different” shit is FRANKLY disgusting.

    FOCUS PEOPLE, MAN OR WOMAN UP AND GET INTO THE FIGHT FOR OUR FUTURE.

  169. 169
    flyerhawk says:

    Tell us why exactly there is a need to tack right? I know the end result is to get elected, but why is there the need again?

    Because vote based on their pocketbooks and their fears.

    That doesn’t mean that a Progressive agenda can never happen. But Obama needs to get into the White House and sell that agenda. We have had most of 40 years being fed a Conservative agenda. That doesn’t go away because Obama decides to fight his own party on FISA or allow a handful of Muslims to be on display at his rally.

    In 1932, FDR ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility. In 1940 he ran on a promise of never sending our boys to fight in Europe.

    FDR changed America not by telling everyone how wrong they were. He changed America by convincing Americas that his way was the best way.

  170. 170
    nightjar says:

    You understand the need to tack right? Well, you should because the perception is that moving right is the only way to get elected in the GE. Mainly because of ignorant assholes like you who voted for GWB TWICE

    Geeze CS, you were beginning to sound almost not like a frothing rager until this. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect tacking right for a liberal would put them nearer the center where most Americans voters are. You would agree with that I hope. If not, then you’re just wrong, and the world keeps turning.

  171. 171
    johnosahon says:

    FINALLY John, i remember Martin Luther King day when Obama did not attend the ceremony in Martin’s museum, as black a man,i wasn’t too happy he did not attend to make that day greater.

    But also as a black man,I perfectly understood why he did not attend, because if you do not realize he has “disadvantages” attached to him.

    just as his being black prevented him from attending that event, his muslim background also prevents him from the situation.

    People need to wake up,anything can bring him down, he is not unstoppable as you guys think. he just 6 points of mccain.

  172. 172
    Pasota says:

    Punchy Says:

    Who knows. Maybe this thing just struck a nerve when I read it and I am over-reacting. That is the problem with being a heater hater.

    Fixed?

    I didn’t quite follow that either. Urban Dictionary offers three alternatives:

    1. the heater: gun, weapon with which to do bodily harm. see also peacemaker Don’t make me go to the trunk and grab the heater

    2. the heater: To shove, forcefully, a fully-engorged penis into someone’s rectum. Without lube and without warning. …

    3. the heater: A fastball in baseball lingo. …

    I’m still lost.

  173. 173
    Darkrose says:

    I’m with you, John. I understand why, but I’d hoped we were finally getting a Democrat with spine.

  174. 174
    Corner Stone says:

    I don’t know for sure, but I suspect tacking right for a liberal would put them nearer the center where most Americans voters are

    What liberal? Where? You mean the guy who doesn’t believe in UHC? Or the guy who’s into FISA? That liberal?
    Richard Wolffe on MSNBC just called BHO a punk bitch for his stance on FISA. I happen to agree but that’s not the point. The point is that the right of center media is going to crucify the D candidate no matter what. Why not be a D on the issues and principles and at least buck up your base constituency? You’re never going to win over the Muslim-hating-faux-news-watchers.
    Gore was just fucked in 2000 (his repudiation of WJC didn’t exactly put him in good stead. And I could kick him in his nuts for the whole Joementum choice. Motherfucker.) but Kerry did tack right in 2004. Remind me again what happened there? Oh yeah, people saw an R and a flip flopping elitist.

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    I’ll hold his feet to the fire next year with exactly the same thing I use now. My worthless blog.

    JJC – is that you?

  176. 176
    Emma Anne says:

    If you are an old Mac user like me, you remember that we used to say things (like the Mac) “suck less.” We realized that all OS’s suck. The most you could hope for was sucking less.

    My point being that all politicians suck. Obama sucks less. I kind of envy you MUPs, because your first choice got the nom. That hasn’t ever happened to me. But even if Edwards had gotten it, he’s still a politician, and he’d still have sucked less, at best.

  177. 177
    Emma Anne says:

    I always try to defend people who I think are getting shit on unfairly, even if it isn’t popular, so fuck off.

    And it’s an endearing trait. I have to think you are much better off as a Dem, even with all our flaws. Repubs in general just don’t relate to this attitude.

  178. 178
    nightjar says:

    What liberal? Where? You mean the guy who doesn’t believe in UHC? Or the guy who’s into FISA? That liberal?

    Yes he is a liberal, maybe on some issues not enough to suit you CS. He’s also a realist and a pragmatist who realizes nobody gets all they want all at once in American politics. If he wasn’t this way, I wouldn’t be in the tank as far as I am. You and others seem to need more ideology than he’s providing. Well your just gonna have to rant and rave that your needs are not being met, and when election day comes vote or not vote for whomever you wish or not wish. And on FISA, that’s been covered to the hilt here. Opinions differ greatly, but why don’t we wait and see what happens in the Senate and what Obama actually does. Which will almost certainly have no effect on the outcome one way or the other.

  179. 179
    nightjar says:

    My point being that all politicians suck. Obama sucks less. I kind of envy you MUPs, because your first choice got the nom.

    No emma anne, that’s just not true. I was full out for Edwards and after that would have accepted Obama or Clinton, until Clinton went to wingnut style campaigning and generally off her rocker. Many, if not most here at BJ have similar stories.

  180. 180
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I kind of envy you MUPs, because your first choice got the nom.

    Who you calling MUPpers? Because he was at best my fourth or fifth choice. But we run the nominee we got not the one we want, which is why my support is unconditional and I’m not given to.. periodic bouts of emotionalism or irrationality.

    When we win in November it will because enough of us hung together despite our own huge egos and efforts to make this about ourselves.

  181. 181
    Corner Stone says:

    You and others seem to need more ideology than he’s providing.

    No. This is so wrong I don’t have time to unpack it. Obama isn’t about ideology, and everyone who hears him hears that.
    Fuck me. He’s going to sell out every expectation anyone on his side has. Period.
    Why is he a liberal? Because he opposed the Iraq War in front of a south side CHI audience?
    No rational man/woman should be “in the tank” for any politician. They all have a spectrum of opinions they must serve. There’s nothing wrong with that. But for God’s sake, can the D politician be on the left side for on fookin time?

  182. 182
    Loquacious Mute says:

    You know what now I am fucking mad. This is so like the dem party, we are incapable of just letting our candidates win the fucking election. This story is all over the media now thanks to Mr. Ellison, who I now deem and asshole and a traitor to our party for not speaking with Obama first and instead going to the NYT and airing his grievances. This is total BS. John McCain gets away with wishing terrorist attacks on our country, lying about campaign financing and oil drilling and it all get s swept under the rug, because Obama supposedly snubbed Ellison and the Muslim community, when we know that he has always stood up for them in the past. Could Ellison perhaps be exagerating this because he has hurt feelings? We just immediately think the worst of Obama. WTF does that say about us.
    Give me a break, and give one to Obama as well.

    If McCain wins and the conservatives take over the courts with a majority how will the muslim community feel when and if another attack happens on our soil and they are blamed. Will we resort to internment like in WWII or have we learned our lesson. Obama has said he will not let that happen, but how about McCain?

  183. 183
    Emma Anne says:

    I should’ve said First Generation MUPs. We’re all MUPs now.

  184. 184
    nightjar says:

    No rational man/woman should be “in the tank” for any politician

    I’m in the tank for the election. You know why. Cause there’s only two friekin’ tanks available and the other one is chocked full of wingnuts, and I’d as soon jump in a vat of spiny lizards.

    And when a dem is in the Whitehouse, I’ll be picking nits with the best of them on “how I wished Obama did this, or that, or didn’t so this or that”, hopefully all the while aware the alternative would be much, much worse.

  185. 185
    nightjar says:

    Emma Anne Says:

    I should’ve said First Generation MUPs. We’re all MUPs now.

    LOL, very well said Emma Anne.

  186. 186
    Jim says:

    John, you are so dead spot on. And I’m so glad you said it.

    Many months ago I spoke with a friend about this issue when the issue of Obama’s middle name first seemed to be surfacing. At the time I advocated Obama saying something like, “Although I am not a Muslim, I honor and respect the millions of patriotic Americans who adhere to the Muslim faith. Islam is one of the great religions of the world, and has been for hundreds of years. American Muslims are and always have been honored and valuable members of our society.”

    Those words are not exactly what I said at the time. In fact, my friend mailed in what I did write to the Obama campaign. Clearly, they didn’t listen to poor little old me.

    As for the do-anything-to-get-elected fools all over the comments section, I suggest that many things are worthy of compromise. Other things, such as caving to Islamophobia (or the trashing of the Constitution, Obama’s other execrable position this week), are not.

    Imagine, for a moment, if this candidate refused to visit a synagogue.

    Imagine (pace Godwin) if a political candidate in Germany in 1933 refused to visit a synagogue.

    Amazing.

  187. 187
    Michael57 says:

    I have read through this whole thread and no one has pointed out that this “outrage” occurred in December, before Iowa, before Obama had much of a chance to identify himself to the American public. ANd so the first thing he should have done, right before the season, was let Ellison speak for him? Crazy ass bullshit. WHo can blame the campaign for saying no? This whole controversy is manufactured and it stinks to high heaven. Ellison didn’t get thrown under the bus, he decided to stand in front of it, 6 months after what supposedly pissed him off happened.

    FISA is a bigger issue in my mind, and I hope Obama has the stones to vote no. But he has said he is voting yes.

  188. 188
    handy says:

    I didn’t read all the comments so sorry if this has already been hashed/snarked on/etc, but let’s not lose sight of the “concerned” Republicans who are actively working to elect Bush to his third term John McCain. Like Lindsey Graham’s tearful performance over Obama “flip flopping” on public financing. And then today, some gum flapper on Dan Abrams all agasp that Candidate Obama is locking out Muslims–because we know how much campaign finance reform and respect for Islam matter to these people.

    And again, MUP is a POLITICIAN. But he’s better than McCain. He’s just a politician…and a better alternative to McCain. Right now, that’s all that matters to me. If I want to worship Jesus, I’ll go to Church.

  189. 189
    Corner Stone says:

    And when a dem is in the Whitehouse, I’ll be picking nits with the best of them on “how I wished Obama did this, or that, or didn’t so this or that”, hopefully all the while aware the alternative would be much, much worse.

    Fail.

  190. 190
    nightjar says:

    Fail.

    Whatever dude.

  191. 191
    Will says:

    If you actually think Barack Obama needs to spend more time soothing the nerves of the American Islamic community, well, then you probably think John Kerry just needed to windsurf more often in public.

  192. 192
    Jess says:

    I am so exasperated with y’all. Every candidate knows they have to tack towards the middle for the general election–note that John “mr. green” McCain is doing so as well–and yet every election their base freaks out about it. Get a grip, you guys–this is normal and necessary, and everything any candidate says during the general should be taken as symptom of the American voters’ psyche, not as a reflection of the candidate’s soul.

    Obama has been entrusted by those who voted for him in the primary to do what he needs to do to win the general. That is his job right now, and Ellison is a fool if he thinks Obama is going to do anything to undermine that. And we are fools as well if we demand that he do anything to risk losing in November.

    He obviously learned a harsh lesson during the primary about the guilt by association strategies of his opponents, and perhaps now he’s erring on the side of caution, but I for one am glad that he’s doing his best not to let us down. Give him a break, and show a little trust. He’s not going to be perfect, but looking at his past record it’s clear that he’s pretty damn good. Especially for a politician.

  193. 193
    Jim says:

    “If you actually think Barack Obama needs to spend more time soothing the nerves of the American Islamic community, well, then you probably think John Kerry just needed to windsurf more often in public.”

    The fact that you equate a solo sports outing with speaking to and standing up for a group of patriotic Americans who are daily targeted with hate and suspicion shows just how incredibly shallow your analysis is.

    I know my own history as a Jew. I take it seriously. My people have too often been the targets of hate, suspicion and worse. I won’t tolerate it happening to anyone.

  194. 194
    Jim says:

    Jess, some compromises are “normal and necessary”, both in the name of getting elected, and in the name of getting work done once elected.

    Some things are not negotiable. Things like the Constitution, and things like standing up for communities targeted for hate.

    If you’re so attached to “winning by any means necessary,” then I question whether you’d find ANY “compromise” unacceptable.

    Support pandering to haters if you want. I refuse to.

  195. 195
    Jess says:

    things like standing up for communities targeted for hate.

    WTF? In what way is Obama “pandering to haters?” Maintaining some distance from Ellison (who seems to be behaving like Wright these days) and the Muslim community during the general election is hardly the same as throwing them under the bus or curtailing their civil liberties. Obama has a well-established record of speaking out against hate and discrimination, but he’s also learned to be pragmatic as a politician–which was a big reason why he won the primary, and why he has a good chance in the general.

    I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. And I also accept the facts that a) politicians have to carefully package and market themselves to sell their brand to a nation as large and diverse as ours, and b) no politician is ever going to make me happy all the time–it’s their job to negotiate as well as to lead, and sometimes they have to negotiate with other Americans whose values I find absolutely abhorrent. Welcome to reality.

    But why am I even bothering to explain this to you. You’re obviously confusing electing a president with canonizing a saint. Or you’re just a concern troll.

  196. 196
    GoMS says:

    I told you so…Obama is a politician and he will do what politicians do, get elected. Now if you think politicis is about serving your country and all that nonsense, you have had your fucking head in the sand for the last couple of hundred years! Jesus, when will you people who think Obama is going to save the world or do anything that will change it wake the fuck up? Yes, it is a time for change and it will be a big change…for his family!

  197. 197
    Jess says:

    You’re obviously confusing electing a president with canonizing a saint. Or you’re just a concern troll.

    Okay–I’m being too harsh. Sorry. I realize that many people see elections as opportunities to debate values and ideals, but I’m more concerned about practical results. I think people have gotten too caught up in ideology and abstract principles while levees break and kids get blown to pieces in Iraq. I would never support a candidate who I thought would pander to the haters, but Obama isn’t the one doing that in this election.

  198. 198
    Jess says:

    I told you so…Obama is a politician and he will do what politicians do, get elected. Now if you think politicis is about serving your country and all that nonsense, you have had your fucking head in the sand for the last couple of hundred years!

    Doing what you need to do to get elected, and then serving the needs of your country are not mutually exclusive. Despite the example set by the GOP.

  199. 199
    TenguPhule says:

    This is sickening. I am embarrassed and disgusted right now, and this type of cowardice needs to stop. Assholes.

    If Americans had wanted someone with big brass ones, they’d have voted for Dodd.

  200. 200
    slightly_peeved says:

    I realize that many people see elections as opportunities to debate values and ideals

    They aren’t, and people shouldn’t treat them as such. You get to tell the country which of a small number of candidates you prefer on the whole. The candidate who wins will be assumed to have won because:

    a) Their policies, as a whole, were preferred by the American people,
    b) Their personality, as a whole, was preferred by the American people.

    You want to debate issues? Join the party, or talk to party members, before the elections happen. The only thing less likely to get you heard than voting is not voting.

  201. 201
    pinola says:

    Welcome to the Democratic Party, John!

  202. 202
    Dayv says:

    Most of you think I am dead wrong about this

    Most, but not all.

  203. 203
    pinola says:

    Having won the nomination, Obama is now in a different place. Let’s face it, people who, by now, are so ill-informed about the two candidates’ positions that they still haven’t decided between the two are the very type who are hardwired to believe the ‘Obama is a Muslim’ myth without investigating the facts. This is the group he is focusing on right now. That doesn’t make it any less repugnant, but Dems who have been burned over and over again with false Republican memes are apt to embarce this strategy. We’ve come a long way, but we won’t really completely get there until we control the Presidency and Congress again. Republicans can no longer be trusted. And you can be pissed at Dems all you want on this issue. They’re going to ignore you. Trust me.

    Former idealists and purists (like me) who’ve been in the political process for a few years, at least, understand that he’s not pure, but we also know he will be a reasonable, *sane* leader, something we’ve *got* to have right now if this nation is to survive. This is where we are, like it or not.

    Bush’s comments carry no weight whatsover since he was already president and, at the time he uttered them, the peeps thought every word that issued forth from his lips was nectar of the gods. Plus, um, he’s responsible for having a bunch of these folks tortured.

    BTW, I like Keith Ellison a whole, whole bunch, I’m glad we have a Muslim in Congress, but he can sometimes be a dick.

  204. 204
    fleinn says:

    It’s no different than FISA, and Obama should use his pulpit to make the noise necessary to put this on the agenda, while putting his weight behind doing the right thing – and of course he should. It would fit squarely into the entire “we don’t imprison people for life without cause because they’re muslim” narrative Obama’s blogospheric campaign division tried to pull off early on, which was so successful.

    But now it’s 2008, so I guess it’s perfectly fine to “compromise” on the rule of law, the fourth amendment, and religious freedom, and shit – isn’t that right, fuckers.

    And congratulations, Cole – I just checked the cryogenic chamber where everyone stored their spines some time around 2000, and where it says “do not open until 2009” over the door – and one of the jars…. was missing. *chord*

  205. 205
    Corner Stone says:

    Let’s face it, people who, by now, are so ill-informed about the two candidates’ positions that they still haven’t decided between the two are the very type who are hardwired to believe the ‘Obama is a Muslim’ myth without investigating the facts. This is the group he is focusing on right now.

    And these are the people he will never, ever win to his side. This is the part about the “need to tack right” that is misplaced. The Democratic party has a larger demographic. With birth and death rates being what they are, the D party will continue to have a larger pool of eligible votes than the R party. Whatever else Rove screwed the pooch on, he was correct about courting the Latino vote. Without it the R party is sunk for the next generation (or until such time as they re-brand themselves to pander to a new coalition of voters).

  206. 206
    fleinn says:

    Exactly. And you really need to realize that with less… LESS.. than 50% of ELIGIBLE voters turning up at election time – you’re not really fighting insane hordes on the right with superpowers who steal the elections. You’re fighting voter apathy. And you’re fighting uneducated, uninterested voters. In any order you’d like.

  207. 207
    Oracle says:

    Moral vanity, thy name is John McCain Jim.

    Guess what everyone, American Muslims will survive without Obama pandering to them. Their “religious freedom” will in no way be curbed, their interests in no way disregarded. If Obama makes it to the White House, that is.

    This has to be the concern-trolliest thread ever on BJ.

  208. 208
    Corner Stone says:

    Exactly. And you really need to realize that with less… LESS.. than 50% of ELIGIBLE voters turning up at election time – you’re not really fighting insane hordes on the right with superpowers who steal the elections. You’re fighting voter apathy. And you’re fighting uneducated, uninterested voters. In any order you’d like.

    For some reason the second part of my post above was cut off. But trust me, it was the pithiest, most lucid and well reasoned point evah.
    Anyway, you’ve made my point for me in a roundabout way. If you start a contest with a raw numerical advantage then it should be your focus to *rally* those sheer numbers to your side. Why would you take a numerical edge, piss all over a large part of them, then continue to piss right in their faces at every opportunity only to try and maybe-possibly-hopey-changey recruit numbers from a side that is almost never going to vote for you and is desperate for one teensy slip on your part so they can decide that By-Dog! you are in fact a secret Islamo-Mooslim-Terraist and a greater danger to this nation than unsliced bread?

  209. 209
    fleinn says:

    Guess what everyone, American Muslims will survive without Obama pandering to them. Their “religious freedom” will in no way be curbed, their interests in no way disregarded. If Obama makes it to the White House, that is.

    You mean, he’ll let the NSA run around ordering people to be arrested for ordering pizza with the wrong tone of voice – and then magnanimously pardon his allies in destroying America afterwards?

    Because if you don’t, a move like this demonstrates how – once again – free speech and religious freedom in America basically means keeping your head down, and keeping your mouth shut.

    That’s what this is about.

    @Corner Stone:
    Sure. But the reasoning the democrats have is that everyone on the left is going to vote for them no matter what – and therefore they should do everything the republicans want, so the GOP won’t hammer them for being soft on terror in November. This way, they say, they will be acceptable to “the center” (that is, those who favour slightly indefinite war, telecom amnesty, abolishing the fourth amendment, and “reasonably” unlimited executive power) – which they have deemed necessary to placate in order to win.

    The Obama campaign also insists that keeping off any controversy is what will grant him the victory – they even go so far as to say that now when the primary is won, it’s a different game altogether, and now it’s time to do everything the GOP wants and betray everyone who voted for him and his platform.

    In other words, they’re calculating that large parts of the US electorate are insane, but wants to call themselves centrists. They also calculate that republicans are willing to vote “centrist” even though it’s a democrat (which is a flawed proposition if I ever heard one), while they find that “the center” lies somewhere slightly left of Hitler.

    So not only does the argumentation not make operational or practical/cynical sense. It’s also dead wrong. But it’s based on the usual Washington mentality – that you have to sell your soul, because otherwise you’re not working hard enough. Or you have to compromise on your principles, because they don’t have anything to do with how things really work.

    Ask your local representatives about how Albania works, for example, and you’ll get the most sober and calculated assessment in the world about how their practical support of that state will magically cause communism and terrorism to fail by magic. Very practical and realpolitical.

    ..or so it appears to be in Washington, at any rate..

    But why does it do that? It’s becuase just like with the Albanians, the people involved don’t see their constituents directly. They just know the overarching narrative of the day – about how democracy is taking place, and how the “insiders” know which corrupt mafia- dude to support. And so they’re “compromising” on their principles because that’s what they have to do to win.

    The same is now taking place in the democratic leadership – they’ve convinced themselves that the democratic vote has nothing to do with what they are doing, and that the left will vote for them no matter what they do. And therefore, it’s only reasonable to accept the “center” – the magical place where the right won’t complain that you’re weak on terror, and the constitution is void – as the most viable political position.

    And you know what? If no one tells them, clearly and forcefully, that this is fucking wrong – and no one supports campaigns to target democrats who consider dropping the fourth amendment in return for campaign contributions from the telecom lobby – then the democratic leadership may just as well have been right about their calculations. That most americans just aren’t interested enough to know what they’re actually voting for in practice.

    And so, through the wonder of democracy – once again you’ll get exactly the leadership you deserve.

  210. 210

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