Saturday, March 15, 2008

Distractions from the Issues

The most recent brouhaha in the Democratic primary race, following the Geraldine Ferraro debacle, is the firestorm caused by the speech by Barack Obama's former minister and mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Obama has denounced the Reverend's opinions. You can read his words here in the Huffington Post.

I don't think he could be any more clear than this about how he feels about the opinions of Rev. Wright:

"Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree [with] and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue."

My question is, isn't it convenient that this controversy erupted right after the firestorm caused by Geraldine Ferraro's comments about Obama's candidacy? I suspect the Clintons had something to do with this, especially since this controversy isn't even new. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is wondering about this. (UPDATE: Of course, it could be the Right that is behind this latest ploy, as Kristen suggests on MOMocrats.)

I am tired of this petty squabbling. I would like to see some substantive discussion of the major issues that are confronting our country, and not endless media attention on the infighting in our party.

I hope both candidates realize the harm this can do to the party and step away from this precipice before it is too late. Reportedly, Obama and Clinton have agreed to try to stick to the issues and not get caught up in these personal attacks. Let's hope they are able to keep that promise in the weeks to come.


Christopher said...

The Clinton machine, every bit as evil and determined as anything we saw from Karl Rove, is pulling out all the stops to try and destroy Barack Obama.

The good folks in Arkansas know all about the Clintons, Bill and Hillary, and they know where all the dead bodies are buried. Back in 1997, I was a naive, liberal lemming, who assumed the charges leveled at them by the rightwing was just politics as usual.

Now I know better.

From the charges that Barack is a drug user, a drug dealer, had a gay lover in Chicago he smoked crack with, to Bill's race baiting in South Carolina, to Geraldine Ferraro's vile, racist rhetoric, and now the Clinton machine trying to tar and feather him over his former pastor's offensive diatribe. Barack is up against the most monstrous husband and wife team to ever crawl out of the gutter of American politics.

If Hillary is successful and steals the nomination away from Barack, I will not vote for her in November. In fact, nothing on earth could force me to vote for Lady Macbeth. My vote matters and I don't reward racist swine with a pull of the ballot lever.

Instead, I will wait until 2012 and the entry of Al Gore into the political arena.

Mauigirl said...

I have to admit that if the Clintons are responsible for spreading all this stuff about Obama (and I have no reason to believe otherwise, sadly) it certainly doesn't make me feel too happy about voting for her myself. But I'm afraid four more years of Republican rule will be even worse. Let's hope Obama wins and it is a moot point. Interesting news about Nancy Pelosi today saying that superdelegates should go with the will of the voters...

Mauigirl said...

To be clear, it may not even be Hillary herself that is behind these things but if her campaign is doing it, she should be denouncing these tactics.

Satan said...

Stick to the issues? Issues? Clinton - and the people supporting her, whether in her campaign or not - are not going to stick to the issues. If she sticks to the issues she'll lose. Not becase Obama is stronger on these alleged issues, but because he's not winning on the issues in the first place.

-- Satan

Mauigirl said...

Satan, interesting take on it - you're right - that is why there are all the distractions.

Girlplustwo said...

i could not agree more. if we can't get back to issues, we'll be sunk altogether.

Mary Ellen said...

Why is it that everytime Obama gets in trouble, Obama supporters blame Hillary? When the picture of Obama in Somali garb came out, all the Obama supporters were up in arms blaming her. Then the truth came out and it happened to be a Republican group that sent that picture to Drudge. Was there an apology by anyone in the Obama camp for blaming her? NO. Do we still hear the Obama supporters blaming her? Yes.

Oh, and Obama who said in an interview that he believed Hillary had nothing to do with that picture, and then said that the subject should be dropped, turned around and blamed Hillary for it at a rally in Mississippi! What a lying hypocrite! At that point it was already common knowledge that it came from a Republican! He'll do and say anything to paint her as a villian, even if it means lying through his teeth to his admiring supporters.

Now, this is her fault,too?!

And if you want to talk about race baiting, maybe we should look at Obama who tries to do the best he can to paint Hillary as a racist.

The explanation from Obama was another joke. He is saying that he never heard this stuff from the not so Reverend Wright? He has a 20 year relationship with the guy and didn't know he was a raving racist??? Just like he trusted Rezko, even though he knew he was under investigation. First Obama lied about how well he knew him during the debate, and then the national news FINALLY admits that he had a 17 year friendship and business relationship with Rezko. Those who live in Chicago,like I do, already knew that. The only time Obama admits stuff is when he's backed into the corner, then he tries to lie his way out of it, and then he admits it, and his followers are patting him on the back. Unbelievable.

Distributorcap said...

i am afraid the media doesnt want either one of them to stick to the issues

bad television. low ratings. unhappy advertisers

Mauigirl said...

Jen, I agree - both of them need to stop with these side-issues and get back to basics. Perhaps the upcoming debates may help do that.

DCap, I'm afraid that's what it all comes down to - keeping the ratings up.

Mary Ellen, I apologize if I am jumping to conclusions that the revival of this issue came from the Clintons - as I added in my update, it very well could have come from the GOP, and you are right that it seems to be an automatic reaction to blame Hillary. But I'm not convinced she and her team aren't behind some of the things that have been happening. The Clintons are certainly not saints when it comes to politics.

That said, I am not saying Obama is blameless in the controversies that have been arising between the two. He and his team certainly didn't let the Geraldine Ferraro issue die. There is enough blame to go around.