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Barackracy in America

Readers secede from Obamanation. Jeremy Lott replies. A special Reader Mail section.

3.21.08

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CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
Re: Jeremy Lott's Hate to Inform You:

What Jeremy Lott should be feeling is embarrassment. Obama's Siren song was no doubt pleasing to the ears of college students, New York Times devotees, and adults who still suck their thumbs. But what was Minister Barrack telling us? According to Obama's speech we need only take more money from greedy corporations to fund more entitlement programs and create new give-always for any and all groups with a gripe against the US government. By so doing we will achieve racial Nirvana, Grandmothers everywhere will no longer whisper their fear of being alone in an elevator with black males, and Reverend Wright will close his Church of the Sacred Grievance. It is a song that the Democrats have been singing for the past 40 years. The singer may have a great voice and the lyrics have been improved but it is the same tiresome tune. Let us pray that the electorate is not as empty-headed as Mr. Lott.
-- Peter F. Killie
Ridgefield, Connecticut

Mr. Lott, your last paragraph brought this to mind. In the 1990 Texas gubernatorial race, Clayton Williams, the charming Republican "good ol' boy" candidate (Ann Richards, professional lady Texan, was the Democrat "good ol' girl" candidate), made one of his many memorable quotes to a group of reporters, which I believe he thought was off the record.

Mr. Williams was not a very astute press handler. Talking about Texas weather, he likened the bad weather at the time to rape, and said, "as long as it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it." Just your typical low brow humor from a typical cowboy, right? Well, he was castigated summarily in Texas newspapers for his insensitivity to women (he was running against one after all), which, among other things, cost him the race. Rape is still rape, a bad joke is still a bad joke, and bad legislation is still bad legislation, no matter how charming the perpetrator is in any of those cases. Perhaps, if you think of what Mr. Obama would be doing to the country in those terms, it will help you in your struggle. As far as hating the sin and loving the sinner goes, if Mr. Obama in due course, were to come to his senses, seek the repeal of said legislation, and ask the country for forgiveness, he would then have all the love I can muster for a Democrat, which admittedly, isn't much, but as you say, he's such a charming Democrat.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

Based on Jeremy Lott's article and the opinions of others in the AmSpec blog I wonder whether we watched the same Barack Obama speech. Let me at least reassure you, Jeremy old chap, that while I don't hate Obama, I now despise him very nearly as much as I despise Bill Clinton. Too bad you find yourself unable to share my feelings.

What I saw was a flat unemotional reading of a speech that seemed to have been written by someone else, although we were assured Barack wrote it himself. There was no passion in his words, only a robotic attempt at nuancing serious concerns.

The message I got was that it's all our fault -- our cruelty to blacks, our unwillingness to treat them as full-fledged citizens, our stubborn refusal to comprehend the way they feel about things. And to top it off, he sacrificed his grandmother on the altar of political correctness. What a man!

Instead of blaming all his troubles and all Jeremiah Wright's insane rabble rousing on white Americans, he should have included something along these lines: "People of color should remember that while our ancestors were enslaved, the white population sacrificed hundreds of thousands of lives to free us. While we have been mistreated and abused, large numbers of non-black Americans struggled to give us full civil rights. While we have suffered from poverty, millions today pay taxes that go to our welfare in one form or another."

But that wouldn't have fit in with his strategy, which is to ride white guilt to the White House, and to raise the specter of racism at every turn.

Wise up, Jeremy, this guy is every bit as bad as the rest of those would-be totalitarians on the left -- just a lott smoother.
-- Richard Donley
New Lyme, Ohio

Sorry Mr. Lott that you cannot get worked up over the Rev. Wright's hate mongering. You must have a tepid interior. Or perhaps you don't have any investment in the War, as this family does. But as a family who has sent their son for his seventh time over there we feel gravely offended to hear G... D... America. I'd feel outraged even if our son wasn't there, as this man has just condemned the country I love and our son fights for. I am incensed he condemns the very country many have laid down their life for.

And I can't even get started recalling Rev. Wright's rants about whites causing AIDS, drug use, etc. etc. What I see has happened is welfare entitlement has enabled an entire group to create several generations who have developed real and genuine hate for this country, are sewing the seeds of anarchy, and diminish the sacrifices made by so many in their behalf. The only thing that comes from that is birthed anarchy and we have enough of that here already, as shown by the war protests escalating of late.

So, Mr. Lott, if you need an injection of spine or fortitude come on down to Texas and let me put you to working cattle. I'll leave you trapped in the cattle chute for a few minutes with our bull heading into the chute and let you develop the empowerment to climb out even quicker. If that doesn't give you what you need to work up some emotion over truly mindless hate mongering, nothing will.
-- Bev Gunn
East Texas Rancher

Mr. Lott, along with virtually everyone who has commented on Obama's pastor since last Friday, is not addressing what I believe to be the most important aspect of this entire matter. It appears Obama has put another one over on the masses by his focus on only the racial aspect of Wright's comments. Where is the "Christian" aspect concerning what Wright has said, and what Obama and his children have listened to for twenty years?

Romey and Huckabee were forced to answer questions about their religious beliefs. Romney was hounded for his church's refusal to recognize blacks for many years, and Huckabee was questioned about what his faith taught about the role of women, evolution, etc.. I think now is the appropriate time for everyone to ask Obama a favorite question when liberals want to play gotcha with conservatives: Mr. Obama, "What do you think Jesus would have done in your situation?"

He should be asked if he believes the "social gospel" and "liberation theology" are legitimate Christian doctrine. He should be asked to acknowledge that those ideas are rooted in Marxism. He should be asked in what ways his church has exhibited the concepts/commandments "to forgive, show mercy, and love" with regard to whites, America's racist past, and Israel.

I hope there is at least one more black liberal, like Juan Williams, who believes Obama should have left that church a long time ago. Contrary to what so many commentators say, his speech did not improve race relations. The whole sad story set back race relations for years, and we won't ever know just how much damage it has done.

Mr. Lott says he tried, tried really hard to dislike Obama, but can't. I don't understand it, but fair enough. I, too, have tried, tried really hard, to find a distinction between what I witness in the name of God with Wright and his congregants, and what I witness from the Islamist extremist videos with their rants and how they teach their children to hate in the name of Allah; but I just can't find the distinction. I truly don't understand how so many who don't personally know Obama can say without question that Obama obviously does not believe what Wright preaches and teaches. He sat in the flippin' pew for twenty years! No matter how hard I try, and I try really hard, that is too much to swallow.

As with the moderate Islamists who keep silent about the hateful teachings of the extremists, or who pay lip service by saying "it is wrong, but I understand it," there is a deafening silence from legitimate black "Christian" pastors. The ones who do speak say it is preached all over black America, and "it is wrong, but they understand it." Christian leaders of all hues should condemn Wright, his congregation, Obama, and any other black church that is exposing themselves and their children to such hateful preaching based on a complete perversion of the Bible and the Christian faith.

Obama must explain and answer all questions concerning what being a Christian means to him. He must because that would be demanded of any other candidate in his situation. Or is America now going to accept that we can't criticize the hate that is being preached in some black churches, much as Muslims insist that criticism of Islam is off limits?
-- David Tomaselli

For cryin' out loud, all the young, inexperienced senator from Illinois did was to display his arrogance and basic emptiness, which floated on some lovely rhetoric out of the past, not the future.

He became Pedant-in-Chief, lecturing us, blaming us, blaming corporate America, throwing his grandma under the proverbial bus -- whatever he could to deflect what really needed to be said.

He failed at that. In spades -- and that's no racist statement.

We still don't know why he immersed himself and his family in Wright's separatist ideologies for two decades or so? Or how could it be possible he did not grasp the extremism, the racism of Wright? Or why he, who wants to run America -- or, as Wright would spell it, AmeriKKKa -- lacked the judgment and discernment to even notice?

Or my personal favorite: How can he, with straight face, ask us believe that, in those decades at this so-called Christian church, he never personally heard such poison and non-Christlike things from Wright or from some friends -- surely he has some there? -- who agreed with the pastor or who would've mentioned the pastor had railed so?

Because he was afraid to answer such questions, Obama blew the opportunity of a lifetime.

He could've gained sympathy, even support, if he'd just admitted to his lying about what he knew and when -- and asked for understanding, even forgiveness -- and, for instance, given some reassurance why he loves the country that's been so good to him.

He could've given some tangible vision of how blacks and whites and others could move closer.

But for a man who apparently can't find it in himself to even put his hand over his heart when the National Anthem is played, or who's so indoctrinated in the anti-American, anti-white, anti-anything-not-black philosophy, such words would be impossible to voice, wouldn't they?

Nor would they fit his indulgent, entitled yet narrow-minded view of America -- sorry, Mr. Wright, AmeriKKKa -- and we who live in it.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

Jeremy Lott has been duped by the audacious Barack Obama. Despite his disingenuous pabulum Obama is clearly a protege of vitriolic racist Jeremiah Wright -- even Democrats are starting to realize the "messiah" isn't all that he claims to be (Hillary is nicely positioned to seize the Democrat nomination from the Obamanation). As for Obama's mendacious speech on Tuesday Victor Davis Hanson effectively dissected its defense of African-American racism and it insipid message in a competing conservative journal.

If anything Mr. Lott reveals that too many conservatives are easily enamored with style over substance. It is reminiscent of 2006 when conservatives wanting to "punish" Republicans duped themselves into believing "blue dog" Democrats were "conservatives" and would miraculously move the radical Democrats to the right. There were outlandish declarations that the "blue dogs" would even enforce fiscal sanity on the party of tax and spend. Jim Webb and the last 2 years have proven just how gullible and foolish these conservatives were and in the case of those mesmerized by Obama still are.

The nation does owe Senator Obama a debt of thanks for revealing the insidious nature of the Religious Left and the vitriolic racism and hatred that emanates regularly from its pulpits. Obama's friend, patron, mentor and spiritual advisor would feel right at home in an extremist madrasah extolling the "virtues" of murdering innocent men, women and children. This fact goes a long way in explaining why Obama himself is sympathetic to genocidal dictators and Muslim terrorists. If one can get beyond the facile rhetoric they will find the "savior" is in fact a doctrinaire leftist and neo-Marxist of limited intellectual prowess.

Unlike Mr. Lott I don't have to hate Barack Obama to vote against him and Democrats. Simple reason long ago taught me to follow the example of Ronald Reagan and always vote a straight Republican ticket. Maybe Lott should stick to extolling the virtues of his father for President -- at least then he knows what he's writing about, because he's too easily hoodwinked by an old-time Chicago pol like Barack Obama.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

The lucubrations of Dr. Lott display a significant shallowness that is running amok in the fifth estate! Meditations on the race card or post racial issues are overplayed and banal at this point. The politics of grievance have redounded in the favor of huge blocks of our African American class. This trajectory in hiring preferences and education admissions are at the expense of others.

Senator Obama knows truly nothing about the coarseness of impoverished, inner city life. He has had a pedigreed, well heeled existence to date. His "outing" of his grandmother on a national platform as having any equivalence with this vitriolic pastor of some non-church is reprehensible, Dr. Lott! if you want to indulge yourself, and you obviously are in need, of intelligence, right reason and unflappability on the struggles and successes of our black citizens in the twentieth century concern yourself with Dr. Thomas Sowell, not this empty suit Barack Obama! This article was drivel.
-- Edward Del Colle

Spare us your soliloquy about Barack Obama, Jeremy Lott. I could care less about "hating" this person but I don't find him that likable either. I perceive him as a phony. He sounds good and he's able to fluff off incidents like this off pretty good with his oratory. However, looking at the proposals he has put forth shows an old time liberal who believes government will solve all the problems. It's the typical entitlement mentality of the left and Obama has packaged it in a sound good feel good wrapping, while the focus is on how he handled this Wright flap. I think once the primary is over and the real campaign gets under way, the real issues will surface and people will not be so enamored of this fellow. After all, the majority in this nation consider themselves independents and McCain is leading big time among that group.
-- Pete Chagnon

One doesn't have to be "mad as hell" to not vote for Obama. His very liberal leanings are enough for me. However, the very ugly images of Rev. Wright spewing his hate speech will stick in the consciousness of many voters and the eloquence of Obama's damage control did nothing to resolve his twenty year relationship with such a man.
-- John Nelson
Hebron, Connecticut

The question is not whether having Obama step down for Hillary will cost her African-American votes this election, the question is whether it will cost Democrats the African-American vote for the foreseeable future. Imagine a series of ads run throughout the campaign in heavily African-American markets and venues that highlighted the history of the Civil Rights Movement with emphasis on the Democratic Party's opposition to it. Start with images of Rosa Parks being ordered to the back of the bus so that a white man can take her seat, then cut to a montage of Barack Obama victories with the delegate count, followed by Hillary's sudden leap into the nomination. Another would show prominent Democrats making the kinds of racist comments that they normally get a pass on from the mainstream media. Robert Byrd's use of the N-word, followed by Cruz Bustamente's, followed by a few more examples, then fade to archive footage of George Wallace or Bull Connor using the same language. A truly enlightening one would feature Jesse Jackson, then and now, with speeches from his pro-life, anti-welfare days, cut against his current sell-out positions. And of course, a vote tally from the passage of the Voting Rights Act and 1964 Civil Rights Act, with the "No" votes of prominent Democrats highlighted (especially Al Gore Sr's), intercut with Eisenhower forcibly integrating Little Rock, Teddy Roosevelt fighting for anti-lynching laws and stills of Lincoln with the Emancipation Proclamation being read in the background. Emphasizing the Republican Party's origin as the party of abolition and emancipation in the context of a Democratic backroom deal would be a no-brainer. The only question is why it didn't happen sooner.
-- Mike Harris
MAJ, U.S. Army

He does not have a good shot at winning the Pennsylvania primary. In fact, he has dropped in all the polls, and his presidential campaign may be dying, although he will surely win the Democratic nomination.
-- Ed Vidal
New York, New York

"Obama's speech...won over many of his skeptics(?)" He won over precisely you. Perhaps you missed the Rasmussen poll that indicated that 0% (that's right-not one) of Republicans look more favorably at Obama after his speech. Now you are either not a Republican or you are in the 2% of Independents who look more favorably upon Slick Obie after his grandmother slamming apologia. Save your starry-eyed longings for the Daily Kos!
-- Ralph Alter
Carmel, Indiana

I am amazed at the condescension in Jeremy Lott's column. What has hate got to do with conservatives' reaction to recent developments concerning Barack Obama? People are raising legitimate questions about a presidential candidate who belongs to a church which is basically an offshoot of the Black Power movement of the '60s.

You can ignore that and sweep it under the rug and bring out the old "conservatives are haters" routine, or you can look at the facts. This man wants to be our president. He has not been thoroughly vetted by the mainstream media and now will capture the Democrat nomination. It's time to look at Barack Obama warts and all and not give him a pass because he says some things that make you feel good.

Hate has nothing to do with it -- unless it's the hate of Obama's pastor for his own country. We need to know who Barack Obama really is. He wants to be our president, and we have a right to ask questions about where his loyalties really lie.
-- Deborah Durkee
Marietta, Georgia

I gather from Mr. Lott's column on Obama that Mr. Lott has certain character traits that I would appreciate in a business associate. I am in the real estate development business and have a few properties in 'natural wetlands' and others with 'enhanced mountain views' in which I can tell that Mr. Lott would be interested. I will send over one of my smooth talking confidence men, uh, I mean salesmen, and I'm sure Mr. Lott will soon be a happy, happy, uplifted purchaser. Get out your wallet Mr. Lott, we'll be right over.
-- Fred Z

Lott wrote: "Obama was intelligent and unflappable. This was supposed to be a campaign crushing crisis but it didn't show. He refused to reject Rev. Wright the man, but did something more effective, and almost unheard of these days: He criticized the Rev.'s ideology for failing to accurately grapple with what America is. Wright, said Obama, wrongly believes that this country is intractably and irredeemably racist, and held up his own campaign as proof."

And yet, Obama, knowing the Rev. Wright's flawed beliefs and flawed ideology, not only stayed under the spiritual guidance and mentorship of Rev. Wright, but placed his own family under the spiritual authority of Rev. Wright and his flawed beliefs and flawed ideology. I understand and applaud Obama for loving the sinner and hating the sin. But at some point, wouldn't wisdom dictate that it is better to remove one's self and family from the atmosphere of an ideology you claim to detest, rather than having to explain to your daughters week after week at the dinner table why their pastor's beliefs and ideology should be denounced?
-- Mark D. Culham
Kentucky

Okay. I get it. Every once in a while you guys feel you need to print a truly nutty piece of drivel, just to make sure we're paying attention.

As I understand Mr. Lott's article, Barack Obama is a truly gifted orator, ergo, we should all go out and vote for him. Pay no attention to the fact that during the speech, he made statements that conclusively show that he had previously "disremembered" whether or not he was fully aware of Pastor Wright's racist harangues. (My grandpa used to call that "a lie" -- but he was a simple minded fellow.)

Mr. Obama is a dissembler of an order even higher than that last great Democrat president, William Jefferson Blythe Clinton. I thought his "confrontation" of the race issue from both the white and black standpoints was indeed brilliant. Brilliant in the sense that Mr. Obama has made himself a master at manipulating white guilt on the race issue and he knows how to play it to the bone.

Mr. Lott's ecstasy at Obama's oration is second only to Chris Matthews. It sounds to me like they both were swept up into paroxysms of pleasure at the sound of his voice, as he dissembled with the greatest of ease.

The entire premise of the article is stupid. One need not "hate" an individual in order to abhor the idea of that person being POTUS. Mr. Obama has a track record -- albeit extremely brief. He has been rated as the most liberal of all the United States Senators. And folks, that's saying something! He has a book in print that is available for the small percentage of our populace who can read and comprehend the English language to peruse.

That book contains some truly frightening insights into the life of this rather bizarre individual. Here is an extreme left wing Socialist idealogue who is willing to declare defeat in the war on terror, have the United States government take over our health care system as well as all other aspects of our daily lives. I don't need to "hate" Mr. Obama in order to know that his election to the presidency could spell the death knell to life in this country as we now know it.

My advice to Mr. Lott -- read the text of the speech. If you have any sense at all, it won't inspire you -- it will scare you to death.
-- Keith Kunzler

It sure has been fun to see the MSM hive provide such great buzz about Barack Obama's pedestrian apologia for his involvement with an apostle of hate. It has been less amusing to see various so-called conservatives (Murray, Thernstrom, Lott, Scarborough as examples) accept the greatness of this speech as providing "context" as to why Barack submitted himself, his wife, and their two young daughters to the regular trashing of "whitey" and of the country he would lead. I guess if we don't accept his offer to change America by electing him, it will just further justify the "black community" (or, rather, his understanding of the black community from his twenty years at Trinity) in its paranoid delusions and hate-filled rants.

For those who don't know, slavery was finished some 150 years ago, Jim Crow some 50 years ago. I guess some of us missed American History 101/102 covering the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Warren Court, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act (and the federal oversight that continues to this day to ensure African American access to the political system). If there has been any impediment to a more color-blind America, it has been in the transformation of affirmative action to quotas, and the creation through gerrymandering of minority majority political districts that have had the effect of ghettoizing African American political representation (rather than political success through the building of multi-ethnic/racial coalitions). Undoubtedly, the real reason for Barack's involvement with Trinity and its nutty pastor was to establish his "street cred" to get elected in his adopted community.

As one old enough to have been thrilled by the televised oratory at the 1963 March On Washington, I wonder how those messages of hope and color-blindness in the face of real grievances could transform into hate and victimology in a time of real opportunity for everyone. There is no country in the world where people are judged more on the content of their character than by the color of their skin (or by their sex, or by their religious creed). There is no country in the world that is more open to the individual attaining his aspirations with hard work. Certainly not the Palestinian areas, the Islamofascist countries, or the African hellholes of corruption and tribalism that seem to attract our Reverend Wrights.

Since many commentators are placing Barack's speech way up there with MLK's "I have a dream" speech, let me demonstrate the absurdity of that:

I have a dream: That small children will learn that the white government created AIDS to kill black people, and deliberately spreads drugs into the black community.

I have a dream: That black thugs will not be locked up in prisons, but rather will be left alone to continue to terrorize decent people in their communities.

I have a dream: That religious folk will sermonize about victimology rather than the community's self-help needs for valuing education, hard work, marriage, and stable families.

I have a dream: That the USA will be conflated with the KKK, and that our pulpits will preach hatred of the best country in the world.

I have a dream: That our Christian ministries will make common cause with Islamofascist murderers, and justify terrorist acts against people of the "great Satan" (that would be the U.S.) and the "little Satan" (that would be Israel).

I have a dream: That only increased socialism and economic fascism can redeem America's racist past.

I have a dream: That our community will be judged on the color of our skin rather than the content of our character.

Yeah, right.

At least, we no longer have to wonder about Barack's refusal to wear an American flag pin, or his wife's lack of pride in the country until his emergence as a front runner for President, or his reluctance to take on Islamofascists who have been at war with us since at least 1979, or his willingness to talk, without preconditions, with every tinhorn dictator on the planet. It is clear that Barack believes that what he sees as American imperfections justifies submission to lectures from crazies around the world. I wonder what his administration would do after a new 9/11 as he
struggles to see it "in context."

When I was in junior high school, we were assigned to read The Man Without A Country. I assume that such a story would never be assigned today, and perhaps many of you don't know it. If not, you really should read it. Certainly, Barack Obama has the right to believe anything he wants about our country. However, I would sooner see him suffer the fate of Philip Nolan
than be elected President of the UNITED States.

Yes, indeed The CHICKENS are coming HOME to ROOST.
-- Stephen Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri

Jeremy Lott replies: Most of the letter writers would have benefited from a closer reading of my column. They act as though I endorsed Barack Obama, when I did no such thing. I simply stated that I couldn't bring myself to hate the man, and that he delivered a remarkable speech.

Readers accuse yours truly and Senator Obama of excusing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's hate-filled homilies. No. I described his sermons as "nutty, vile racist anti-American rantings." Obama said that his former pastor's statements flowed from "a profoundly distorted view of this country -- a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

Readers also act as though I ignored Senator Obama's thoroughly left wing politics. Try this: "One neat trick [Obama] has developed is to fairly accurately summarize the concerns of others and then sidestep them to propose standard issue big government solutions to all of life's problems." Or this: "he's now got a good shot at winning... the White House, where he will put his Barack Hancock on some truly awful legislation."

The point of the piece was supposed to be this: We aren't always fortunate enough to have unlikable political opponents. A few readers get this. They concede, albeit grudgingly, that the Illinois senator is a force to be reckoned with, not because of his liberal ideas but because of his considerable personal charm.

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