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I started the day noting that the John McCain campaign team (not the candidate) might be by far the most incompetent in history.
I end the day by noting that they are actually much worse than that. In fact, there are no words in the English language sufficient to describe how pathetic these people are. Perhaps the French have a term...
I note that Governor Palin does quite well in this - having been handed a phone by someone in the campaign team and told who is on the other end she had no reason to believe she was being had. Again, it's the campaign team - who doubtless had ample advance notice/coordination on this call - that blew it. Big time. Losing an election Big Time. Barack Obama couldn't have picked a better team himself Big Time.
The commander of the smallest unit in the US military wouldn't allow himself/herself to be surrounded by people this incompetent. Maybe that's why I find it so remarkably disgusting and inexcusable.
Are you out there, Joe?
The Obama campaign team can be accused of significant failures too. One of the most obvious was the handling of the Reverend Wright video. Rather than have their candidate simply claim he never heard Wright utter comments like the ones on that brief collection they could have countered with another video compilation of excerpts of Wright preaching the message of the Gospels. The Sermon on the Mount would have been a great start:
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."Perfect, says I. From the same chapter, later verse: "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." Simple yet powerful messages, as is this "'Love your neighbor as yourself."
But instead of a video of Wright preaching the gospels, the candidate was left to go it alone :
Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he's been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.How much more powerful would that statement had been if it had only been backed by a brief video of Reverend Wright actually preaching some of those very gospels? Even if the church was unwilling to release such a video a public request by the Obama campaign for them to do so could have been nearly as effective.
The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.
Which brings us to the campaign team's second failure: Ironically, not demanding that the LA Times release a video. Not the non-existent video of Reverend Wright preaching the gospel of Christ, but a very much existing (according to the LA Times) video of Obama at a dinner party for a friend:
Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack ObamaThat story is from April, 2008 - before Obama had even secured the Democratic nomination. Arguably, the hints that he's a "friend of Palestine" may have garnered him some votes in that pursuit. That wouldn't draw my vote, but I learned long ago to ignore headlines and read even the most "detailed" stories with much scepticism. However, any verification that Senator Obama (or his opponent) believes in the importance of conversation and the search for common ground in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a positive reaffirmation of a concept with which I agree.
CHICAGO -- It was a celebration of Palestinian culture -- a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.
A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.
His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."
The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.
But many folks have demanded that the LA Times release the video so that American voters can make up their own minds on that issue. The Times has announced that they promised the source of the video that they would never do so. And that's prompted responses like this one from the right:
Even if you accept for argument’s sake the bunk about honoring the “source’s” supposed wishes, the newspaper wouldn’t need to release the tape in order to give us a more comprehensive account of what happened that evening. So it’s not that the Times is simply withholding the tape. The Times is trying to suppress the story. Not the story as Wallsten spun it back in April. The full story.The initial Times story from April acknowledges that during the party
The full story couldn’t be more relevant. Barack Obama says he is a staunch supporter of Israel. The importance of the Khalidi festivities isn’t simply that Obama lavished praise on a man who was an Arafat apologist — although that is troubling in itself. What also matters is that many speakers (no doubt including Obama’s good friend Khalidi himself) said extremely provocative things about Israel and American policy.
While that went on, Obama apparently sat there in tacit acceptance, if not approval. He didn’t get up to leave. He wasn’t roused to a defense of his country. He didn’t deliver a spirited condemnation of Islamic terror. He just sat there. And when it came his turn to speak, he spoke … glowingly … about Khalidi. He was clearly comfortable around the agitators and, equally crucial, they were clearly comfortable spewing their bile in front of him — confident that they were certainly not giving offense.
...a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace."...so while they also assure us that
One speaker likened "Zionist settlers on the West Bank" to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been "blinded by ideology."
Obama adopted a different tone in his comments and called for finding common ground. But his presence at such events, as he worked to build a political base in Chicago, has led some Palestinian leaders to believe that he might deal differently with the Middle East than either of his opponents for the White House....those doubts expressed in response aren't unreasonable.
And they're not unpredictable, either. Which is why the Obama campaign missed a golden opportunity when they failed to echo - or better yet, precede the call by the McCain campaign to release the video with their own demand for just that.
"I'm not in the business about talking about media bias," [McCain] told a Florida radio station. "But what if there was a tape of John McCain in a neo-Nazi outfit being held by some media outlet? I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different."Imagine if instead of their actual response ("This is just another recycled, manufactured controversy from the McCain campaign to distract voters' attention.") team Obama had instead announced that they, too, would like to have the tape released. It would have been a "can't lose" situation - if the LA Times had refused at least no one could accuse the campaign of hiding something they were afraid of. And if the tape had been released, proof of Obama's balanced position on the Israeli-Palestinian issue would be available for all the world to see.
Now certainly, that sort of blunder (or at least missed opportunity) on the part of the Obama campaign doesn't rise to the level of failing to ensure Joe the Plumber is actually in the crowd before telling your candidate to point him out, or not handing a phone to his running mate without somehow ensuring that the guy with French accent actually is the President of France. And certainly if John McCain says "if there was a tape of John McCain in a neo-Nazi outfit being held by some media outlet I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different" then team Obama can rely on the Washington Post to say "Mr. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, have likened Mr. Khalidi, the director of a Middle East institute at Columbia University, to neo-Nazis" - so team Obama doesn't have to worry about blunders to the degree that team McCain does.
But for some reason, with a six hundred million dollar war chest and unquestioning media support on their side, the Obama campaign can't open a reliable and significant lead in pre-election polls. In my mind, release of those two simple videos - both of which have been so well described to us we can almost see them anyway - would seal the deal, and I can't for the life of me imagine why they've failed to do just that.
The full quote you excerpted above: "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?"
Jesus didn't think to highly of tax collectors.Posted by Matthew at November 2, 2008 06:24 PM
"Jesus didn't think to highly of tax collectors"
10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
12On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
Its all a mass conspiracy from the illuminati media party. McCain was picked, because they knew he didn't have a chance against Obama.Posted by Mike Drew at November 2, 2008 07:07 PM
I feel sorry for the republicans. At the end of this process they are getting desperate and will try any trick in the book. To bad it will not work for them this time around. We have to be cautious about the actaul election process. We dont want to loose another election because it was stolen.Posted by gferrer gferrer at November 2, 2008 07:51 PM
Point taken. I shouldn't have said "didn't think to highly" - that's not quite what I meant.
Besides, they weren't the lowest on his list:
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him."
"In my mind, release of those two simple videos - both of which have been so well described to us we can almost see them anyway - would seal the deal, and I can't for the life of me imagine why they've failed to do just that."
There is no video of Reverend Wright preaching the Gospels of Christ because he never did. Obama was a 20-year member of a racist hate group that called itself a church.
As for the other video, the one that does exist, Obama better hope no one outside his campaign has a copy of that particular hate fest.
Or maybe not. Memberships in hate groups seem to get him as many votes as they might cost him. Maybe that's where the McCain campaign goes wrong - they see socialism, racism, and anti-semitism as negatives, and Obama backers don't.
If they aren't the majority, their guy won't get elected. Unless the ACORN strategy works. If that fails too, expect a few days of riots.Posted by Brave New World at November 3, 2008 01:17 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(6) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)