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This is funny. Obama is clearly beyond reasonable attack, so the talking point of the Right appears to be, "his speech was conservative".

So ludicrous.

Take Andrew Sullivan, for example.

Obama struck many conservative notes: of self-reliance, of opportunity, of hard work, of an immigrant's dream, of the same standards for all of us.
Funny. I didn't realize liberals wanted government to serve their every needs. I didn't realize liberals were anti immigrants. I didn't realize that liberals didn't want the equality of opportunity. I know Sullivan is trying to square away his conservatism with the GOP's gay-hating ways, but the way to do it is not to redefine conservatism. Equality is a very LIBERAL value.

Sullivan quotes the following Obama passage as further proof of "conservative values":

No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all.
How the hell is that "conservative"? What liberal has ever said that government should solve every person's problems? Build that straw man and tear it down. It's fun. It's easy. It's bullshit.

Over at NRO's "The Corner", one of the posts reads:

RIGHT SPEECH, WRONG CONVENTION [Roger Clegg]
Barack Obama gave a fine speech, but it was not a speech that reflects the current Democratic Party. It celebrated America as "a magical place"; it did not bemoan our racism and imperialism. It professed that this black man "owe[d] a debt to those who came before" him; it did not call for reparations. It spoke of an "awesome God"; it did not banish Him from public discourse. It admitted that black parents, and black culture, need to change the way black children are raised; it did not blame or even mention racism. It quoted "E pluribus unum" and translated it correctly as "Out of many, one"; it did not misquote it, as Al Gore infamously did, as "Many out of one." Most of all, the speech celebrated one America, "one people," and rejected the notion of a black America, a white America, a Latino America, and an Asian America--a notion completely foreign to the multiculturalism that now dominates the Democratic Party.
Right. Powell was booed at the RNC convention four years ago, because his speech -- pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, didn't reflect the Republican Party. This is different.

Is reparations a mainstream liberal issue? No. Is unity a conservative value? Laughable, as the Republican Party has fueled its electoral dominance via the Southern Strategy -- using race to scare white southerners to vote Republican against their economic interests -- while attempting to maintain that dominance by demonizing gays.

And funny how Clegg doesn't mention Obama's warm talk of immigration, which is yet another fault line in the GOP's divisive efforts.

But that last sentence -- that multiculturalism is somehow incompatible with unity -- is perhaps the most laughable. The notion is as absurd as thinking that men are from Mars, women are from Venus, hence affirming one's sex makes unity impossible.

Heck, it's like saying rural folk and city slickers can't both be part of a united country. Ridiculous.

As for the "Awesome God" line, there's nothing conservative about citing God (unless Republicans are ready to welcome Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson into their fold). Conservatives want to inject religion into public life. Obama doesn't. It's that simple.

The reason Obama has put the Right into a quandry is that he exposed, in one masterful performance, every caricature the Right has of liberalism. He affirmed our belief in government's ability to make life better without conjuring up images of "welfare queens". He affirmed the right every American has to believe in the god of his or her choice, or no god for that matter, without making it a public matter. He affirmed the beauty of multiculturalism, that we are more than white, black, Asian, Latino, or anything else, without feeding the fiction that we all want a balkanized country. He affirmed that unity is an American value, while dividing Americans based on sexual orientation or race is not.

In short, he lay the Right's arguments against liberalism to waste in one relatively short speech.

(Oh, and note the slam against Al Gore for a misquote. This Clegg joker likely hasn't heard his president speak, like, within the last four years or so. Fool me once ....)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:17 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I guess it's the difference (4.00)
    between saying and doing.  

    Conservatives' alleged values are nowhere present in their actual policies.  

    Right speech, right convention.  The difference between us and them is:  it wasn't just a speech.  

    •  Print media hides Obama's face from America (none)
      Front page of the New York Times:
      No Obama photo

      Front page of USA Today:
      No Obama photo

      Front page of the LA Times:
      No Obama photo

      Seems the allegedly liberal media don't really want Americans exposed to an eloquent and unifying African-American leader.

      Of the big, mainstream papers, only the Washington Post captured the dynamism of Obama for readers who missed him on CSPAN:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/print/image

      What, I wonder, is the motivation for keeping Obama under wraps? Why do we get a big picture of Bush with Jesse Jackson in the Times, but no Obama? Is it that they don't want African-American voters motivated to vote this Fall? That they don't want people to remember that the Democratic Party is the inclusive one?

      "Animals are my friends--and I don't eat my friends." (G.B. Shaw) Click to read the 'Union'

      by Hudson on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:51:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes indeed... (none)
      Saying vs doing is exactly right.

      I think that they've focused on the labels so long that they've forgotten what the words actually mean.  So no wonder that they're thrown into a tizzy when someone comes along and speaks to those values and actually means it.

      I want to live in the America of Barak Obama's dreams, not in the America of George Bush's nightmares.

      by mlharges on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:12:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who really cares what Sullivan says (none)
      The stuff I've read from him is usually childish personal attacks.  His whole claim to fame seems dependant on being gay and in the GOP, which should be seen as selling out of the highest order.

      There are good conservative bloggers out there, but I guess nothing beats the schtik of a the token high-profile gay man in the GOP. Shame really.

  •  Great minds, Kos (none)
    I just posted a diary entry on Mara Liasson's spinning of Obama as a "rising centrist" this morning on NPR.
  •  Yeah, I noticed this (none)
    I noticed it immediately on PBS, and I saw it for the bullshit it is.

    By the way, if you watch Faux News today, as I am forced to do at work, you would think Obama wasn't even there last night.  All the news coverage is about Kennedy.

    --- Idealist (n) - An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.

    by dspiewak2634 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:21:02 AM PDT

    •  What kind of place do you work at? (none)

      "I look at the world and I see that it's turning... with every mistake we must surely be learning." - George Harrison

      by AlanF on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:34:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Network management center (none)
        Gotta keep track of possible "terrist" threats, because of how much data was lost on 9/11.  And what better way to do that than watch Fox News?

        I joke around with my dad about this -- I'll call him up every now and then, and as soon as he picks up, I'll say, "Hurry up, turn on Fox News, they're talking about terrorism!" LOL

        --- Idealist (n) - An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.

        by dspiewak2634 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:42:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh man... (none)
      By the way, if you watch Faux News today, as I am forced to do at work

      Geez, that should be preventable. That's as bad as having Rush all day long.

      •  I have to watch Fox as well...and CNN (none)
        I work at a "leading internet company" and  we have 4 TVs on all day at work....what's been interesting to me is to see the same story reported on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC at the same time...it's stunning the deception...yes, yes, we all know it...but it's not until you see the same story - as it happens - played radically different ways that you realize the deception.

        As far as calling the speech last night a conservative one, so what?  I don't care where the votes come from..I don't care if a Republican votes for Kerry because he's surrounded by "conservatives"...it's still a vote...we'll sort it all out later!  Once the world is safe again. (hyperbole...but barely).

        •  Spin (none)
          We are all hardly speaking the same English anymore.  The right redefines the words to mean what they say they mean, sorta like Humpty Dumpty.
        •  Because it's spin and bullshit. (4.00)
          As far as calling the speech last night a conservative one, so what?  I don't care where the votes come from..I don't care if a Republican votes for Kerry because he's surrounded by "conservatives"...it's still a vote...we'll sort it all out later!  Once the world is safe again. (hyperbole...but barely).

          Obama is not a conservative, he's not a 'centrist', he's a liberal. Now that the insane old Auntie of liberalism has finally broken out of the Democratic party's attic (thank you Howard Dean)and some people are listening to her it becomes increasingly obvious that she wasn't insane after all.

          "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

          by colleen on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:26:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

            •  an OT aside (4.00)
              of all the southern states the one I think will turn blue the soonest is Texas. And I think this because there are so many voices out of there like yours.
              I was trying to explain this to my sister (who lives in Delay's district, is a liberal Democrat and is subject to frequent fits of despair) yesterday. The fact is that there are too many liberals in Texas who are smart and willing to fight and too many strong Texas women and too many proud and very poor minorities for the right to prevail there.
              I wasn't at all suprised to see the 'Killer D's' being the first in the south who started to fight back. So, thank you for Jim Hightower and Molly Ivins and Ann Richards and know that we have your back.

              "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

              by colleen on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:25:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And thank you (none)
                for seeing through the stereotypes.  

                Texans, by and large, know that politics is about bidness, not ideology.  The Christianist ploy works here, granted, but it's not the only show in town.  

                Conservative Texans in west Texas know Bush isn't one of them.  Texans in general know their governor was paid to lie to them about tort reform.  DeLay is a national disgrace (to the sovereign nation of Texas).  

                Etc.  

                Watch the southwest states all go blue before the Deep South.  

                •  States aren't monolithic (none)
                  although the electoral college forces them to be so.  E.g., I live in NY state, and when Hillary ran for Senate, she won big in metro areas and lost big in rural areas.  Because of the larger number of voters in metro areas she won handily.  But to call NY a liberal state would be a mistake, as I come from a small town and I can tell you it's anything but liberal.

                  Lick Bush/Dick Cheney

                  by wry twinger on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:01:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The Electoral College (none)
                    fordes nothing of the kind. At least 2 states split their EC votes proportionally and the EC only comes into play in the presidential election.

                    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Sen Carl Schurz

                    by Bill Rehm on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:41:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Aren't we talking about the presidential election? (none)
                      I should have said "forces them to be viewed as such" in my post.

                      Lick Bush/Dick Cheney

                      by wry twinger on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:15:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  If any large state(s) (none)
                        split their EVs by Congressional district or some other scheme, we'd see a change in how people look at things, an think about them.

                        But ME and NE are too small to have a real impact on the national view....

                        A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment. -- Garrison Keillor

                        by ogre on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:35:43 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Why Texas? Because... (none)
                Texas is substantially (not entirely) a part of the Southwest.

                And the Southwest is trending Blue.  NM is.  AZ and NV are about to go.  CO is flirting with it.

                What we're seeing with Texas is an extreme retrenchment of the right, trying to lock GOP power into place for (at least) the next decade, both in-state and federally.

                And to a degree that will succeed... but when the dam goes... there will be a blue shift that will appear to have been very abrupt.

                The GOP needs to start imagining how they'll counter this.  They're going to lose the Southwest... or they're going to have to radically recast what the party stands for.  

                (If they remain where they are, they're going to have to try to get a solid grip on regions that are lightly blue or swing.  If they recast themselves... well, it depends on what the new, revised GOP stands for.  If they dust off the values of Lincoln, they could be very competitive. But to do so would be very bold... and risky.  And would almost certainly cost them the deranged rightwing fringe--religious zealots and neo-fascists.)

                A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment. -- Garrison Keillor

                by ogre on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:34:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Texas and California (none)
                  I remember reading an article in the LA Times during the redistricting fight that the big fear of the Republican Party is that they are going to lose Texas like they lost California.  Demographically, Texas and California are pretty similar, only with Texas having more African-Americans and California having more Asian-Americans.  And California used to be a pretty reliable Republican state in presidential elections, going for the Democrats only once from 1952 to 1988--the Johnson landslide of 1964.

                  If the Hispanic vote in Texas could ever get energized the way it was in California, Texas could swing left in a hurry with a coalition of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and white liberals and moderates, just as it did in California.  Yes, there are some cultural issues in Texas that are dragging the Democrats down, but don't forget that there were and are a lot of cultural conservatives and a military culture in California too.  This was one of the reasons for the redistricting fight--try to get the Republicans locked in and established just in case Texas does pull a California.

                  Texas is a big state with big state and big city problems.  Economically, it has a lot more in common with California, New York and Florida than it does with Mississippi and Alabama.  And the Republicans know that if Texas flips, they are doomed to minority status for at least the next generation.

                  'Ye who suffer woes untold,/Or to feel, or to behold,/Your lost country bought and sold/With a price of blood and gold'--Shelley

                  by LeftCoastTimm on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:40:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Forced viewing (none)
        I think it must be some kind of OSHA violation.
      •  Isn't having to watch (none)
        FOX all day at work some sort of OSHA violation?

        It could have been much worse, and there is no limit to how much better. Gershom Sholem

        by rx scabin on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:45:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Typical Republican spin (4.00)
    When we knock down their stupid straw men, they claim that we're hiding our true selves, because if we were honest we'd be acting like their straw men. Because they said so.

    Remember when Kerry first started winning primaries, and they were like, "Oh, Suddenly the Democrats like heroic combat veterans? Well THAT'S a switch!"  Do they think that just saying something makes it true?

    Why are the Republicans so wrapped up in fantasy thinking? The real world they created not good enough for them?

    George Bush's body is marching on, but his truth lies a-mouldering in the grave.

    by AdmiralNaismith on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:23:30 AM PDT

    •  answer to your rhetorical question (4.00)
      "Do they think that just saying something makes it true?"

      Yes. Yes, they do.

      •  And unfortunately... (none)
        ...most of the time it seems the media agrees with the way they take the RNC talking points and report that as news.
        •  not enough journalists (none)
          The media these days is full of reporters. They report whatever "news" is given to them without thinking much about it. The right is just better at getting their news out.

          It's funny, I realized this morning that the "news" outlets are trying to be entertainers and we've had to turn to the entertainers to get better news....

          Kinda sad, when you think about it.

        •  Everytime I see "W"... (none)
          on the television and he starts talking about Iraq, Saddam - Terrorism connections, WMD, the "improving" economy, drug benefits for seniors, education, etc., etc., etc...  I'm unable to control myself and am forced to start screaming at the tv that

          "Just because you say something is true, doesn't make it true."  

          And the news media, in the "attempt" to be unbiased (HA!) just plays the soundbite over and over.  If you repeat something long enough and loud enough, (stupid) people will start to believe it.

    •  And, yes (4.00)
      the real world they created is not good enough for them. It, consequently, must be our fault.

      "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:31:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah huh (none)
        ...even though they've been in almost complete power the last 2 years and are doing everything COUNTER to what is neccessary to fix the problems thereby making more problems.

        it's still our fault because we remind them what losers they are.

  •  I have also noticed (4.00)
    that the right gets confused when we don't live down to their stereotypes of us.  They can't deal with things that don't fit the myths they've been fed.  

    One of the disadvantages of running the Mighty Wurlitzer is that, while your propaganda might be very useful, you may in time come to believe it yourself.  

    Conservatives need their tired myths of the left to conceal from themselves the sad fact that their own leaders are radicals, not conservatives.  As I keep saying, Bush is so far out that it's easy to be to the left of him and still steer straight down the middle of America.  

    They have met their enemy, and we are America.  

    •  Best Offense (4.00)
      The best offense is strong ofense.  Liberals/Democrats have spent too much energy defending ourselves from the absurd allegations of the Right.; giving thoses allegations more weight than they deserve.  The convention policy of 'keeping it positive' forces us to play offense.  And its putting the Right on the Defense, which makes them look weak. Especially when what bthey are defending is their own lies about us.

      Better to remain silent and thought a fool, then to speak up and remove all doubt.

      by David in Burbank on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:46:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  a football analogy (4.00)
        There are two slightly competing football adages here. At first glance they seem contradictory, but they're both true.

        The best defense is a good offense.

        If you have a truly dominant offense, you don't need a stellar defense. The offense crushes the opposition, weakens their spirit, and wins by a landslide.

        This is the way the Republicans have been playing it.

        Offense wins games. Defense wins championships.

        If nobody can dominate offensively, the winner at the end of the day will be the one with the best defense, the one which can shut down your opponent. With the opponent stifled by your defense, you just need to score a few points to win the game.

        This is the game the Democrats are starting to play.

        Yes, you heard me right, the Democrats are on defense. And it's an impressive, world-class defense: one that isn't reactionary, but instead moves to shut the offense down before it starts.

        Offense is about attacking. Sure, attacks have been made by Democrats, and by others on their behalf: Fahrenheit 9/11, Howard Dean, Outfoxed, Al Gore, MoveOn.org, and more. But that's not what the Kerry campaign and the new Democratic party leadership are doing. They are playing defense.

        The Democrats are not directly attacking the Republicans. They are strengthening their message. They are girding themselves with patriotism, with wisdom, with humanity. And they are forming a wall of steel against which the Republican attack machine is going to fall flat.

        Bam! Kerry landslide in '04.

  •  The Republicans stole the flag (4.00)
    The Republican party stole the flag, and think they have exclusive rights to it and to all the central themes of the American political discourse.  They have been talking to themselves so long, they seem actually to believe that they own this country's greater traditions (conveniently abandoned when it suits them).  Somehow the Democrats let themselves get boxed in by the Republican caricature.  Clinton knew the way out, but they came close to killing him on the 'values' front.  The Democrats have two big sales jobs. The first is selling JFK as a leader for our times; the second is selling the fact that Democratic values are the values that most Americans espouse.  So far the sales pitch seems to be going well.
    •  Take it back (4.00)
      remember when Old Glory used to be on everything from biker jackets to rolling papers?  

      What's a conservative going to do?  Tell you you can't fly the flag?  

      But always be careful to remember:  the extremism and idiocy of Bush and his fluffers are making this easy ... right now.  Yes, it takes time to shift conventional wisdom, and yes, Democratic leaders haven't even been in this fight for years.  

      But right now, there's nothing the right can point to and be proud.  Their war was a lie and their peace is a mess.  Giving away America to the rich hasn't resurrected Reagan's economy.  Their values have been revealed as the teeth-gnashing, tongues-speaking vicious ignorance we always knew it was.  

      Right now the right is stepping on its own dick.  Yay.   But it won't stay this way.  It only gets harder from here.  

      Therefore:  this moment of their weakness is the time to push.  Gain as much ground now, before they regroup (or some stupid Democrat gives them a new 'scandal' to distract).  

      Clinton's speech, Obama's speech, (and, I predict, John Edward's speech) have worked an alchemical transformation that seems to amaze even the choir.  Take the point that matters most to you and shove it in the face of everyone still stupid enough to vote against their interests because Hannity told him that somewhere, someone with a PhD in literary studies thinks he's stupid.  

      They got nothing.  

      •  hmmmm (none)
        Right now the right is stepping on its own dick.  Yay.   But it won't stay this way.  It only gets harder from here.

        Those guys are tough and dedicated. If I stepped on my own, it sure wouldn't get harder

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:59:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Shorter wingnuts (4.00)
    "Damn it, can't we find any skeletons in this guy's closet?!"

    The fool wonders, the wise man asks.

    by NTodd on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:27:38 AM PDT

    •  He does have a coke bust (2.75)
      on his record from his teen years, but he's always been up-front about it, and included it in his autobiography years ago. Old news, and no traction.
      •  What did I miss? (none)
        Will you cite your source for Obama's "coke bust"?  I missed that.  I know he's acknowledged doing drugs as a youth (and who among us has not, eh?) but I have never heard that he was actually busted for drug use.  Can you produce a link or other reference?  Thanks.

        "Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." (Mark Twain)

        by cinnamondog on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:06:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can't cite the source (none)
          because I don't remember it. (And I can honestly say I didn't do drugs in my youth, so that can't be the explanation. Just information overload.)
          •  Thugs' double standard (none)
            Of course, it doesn't matter that Bush was a cokehead well into his 30s... Because, see, he was born again.

            "Animals are my friends--and I don't eat my friends." (G.B. Shaw) Click to read the 'Union'

            by Hudson on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:55:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obama's a conservative! (none)
              Don't worry! He can do Coke off of Condi's neck while Sean Hannity fans him with palm fronds as long as he's conservative. See, he'll just have to be "born again," "see the light," or "come to his senses."

              I'm loving this whole thing. He's conservative! Yay! I'm conservative, too!  Now Obama can say, okay, I'm conservative. Sure, I'll buy that as long as you allow me to run opposed FOREVER, since I'm conservative.

              Can you see it: July, 2008 Washington Post: Barack Obama nominated for President by Both Parties Republicans disappointed when he declines the nomination. Settle for John Negroponte.
              July 2008 Washington Times: Conservative Sleeper infiltrates Wussy Liberal PartyRepublicans Rejoice When Liberal Dementia becomes Permanent

              Man they are assholes. I can't wait for Obama to say, "um, folks, these were always liberal values--you guys just lied about us."  Reclaiming liberalism (and the flag, etc.): those are the coattails I want to see.

          •  I have a problem with this... (none)
            Obama was not, so far as I can find, ever busted for drug use.  (Yes, in his book, 'Dreams From My Father', he does admit that he used drugs when he was younger.)  

            To post that he was actually arrested-- busted--  for drug use, and to then be unable to verify that, is extremely irresponsible and damaging.  I know this is "only" a blog, but I think we should not post allegations that are that serious if we're not sure they're facts, and if we can't substantiate them in some way.  Those are freeper tactics, IMHO.

            "Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." (Mark Twain)

            by cinnamondog on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:53:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Chill (none)
              I'm not a freeper troll (feel free to check my diary, comment, and ratings histories if you like). In fact, I've been a contributor to this site longer than you have. I made a simple misstatement, based on a faulty recollection. Could happen to anybody. And there was no ulterior motive. I'm not trying to set Obama up for a fall--I WANT this guy as my next junior senator, and I'll be happy to see him leave the Senate for bigger and brighter things down the line, if he's so inclined.
              •  You also (none)
                misunderstand, I think.  I did not say, nor do I think, that you are a freeper.  I did not say, nor do I think, that you are trying to spread scurrilous shite about Obama or anyone else.  

                I said, and I meant simply what I said, that I am bothered by posts that make serious and negative allegations about someone, which allegations cannot be verified.  I would like it if people would check their sources before they post stuff like that, rather than waiting until someone asks for proof.    

                I'm not attacking you nor am I accusing you of anything; momentary sloppiness happens.  But it makes me uneasy that things are so lightly dismissed, here in the "blogosphere."  If your post had said "I think he was busted" or "I seem to recall he was busted" my reaction would have been quite different.

                I hope you understand my reasoning.

                "Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." (Mark Twain)

                by cinnamondog on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:19:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  From the New Yorker, and admitted in his... (none)
          autobiography: he says in the New Yorker article that "I wasn't a politician when I wrote the book".

          [http://en.wikipedia.org Wikipedia: The World's largest free-content encyclopedia!]

          by meelar on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:57:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Don't think they won't try. (none)
      I sense a Cesna full of private dicks heading north to Illinois as we speak.
      •  Pugs Can't Do That (none)
        Jack Ryan was already lambasted (before the divorce docs were unsealed) because of a videographer they'd sent to track Obama.  

        The right is truly fearful of Illinois' future junior senator.

        vote early - vote often

        by wystler on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:32:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sully's quote: (3.85)
    conservative notes: of self-reliance, of opportunity, of hard work, of an immigrant's dream, of the same standards for all of us.

    Which do not, in fact, bear any resemblance to the life and career of George W. Bush, nor any of the other Welfare Queens in Thousand Dollar Suits surrounding him.  

    The last five Republican presidents and the last ten years of a Republican controlled Congress have demonstrated ad nauseum that none of these are conservative values.  

    •  You may not be the first (none)
      but it's the first time that I'VE seen anyone call the corporate whores welfare queens - that's something we need to do all the time!  Someone should do a speech and do a big Reagan paraphrase and redefine the welfare queen as a corporation that is bloated with overpaid useless executives and badly managed and that only survives by taking tax dollars.
      •  Read oldman1787's blog (4.00)
        He's a Republican.  A real, pre-1979 Republican.  He pulls no punches when it comes to saying that too many American companies are so dependent on government handouts and protection that they can't compete in the real world.  

        That's what Republicans did.  

        Now, corporate America is soft as shite and the rest of us are going to pay for it.  Again.  Our present captains of industry aren't the generation that built American commercial power, they're the spoiled sons who've inherited it and have grown up ensuring their lifestyles by bribing the refs.  

        Bailouts.  Public subsidies for private profits.  No real value at all.  Look out the window.  No, seriously, look out your window.  See that?  That standard of living is held up by ONE THING:  CHINESE MONEY.  

        Remember when Bush's management of the Texas Rangers was supposed to be to his credit? Virtually all of the team's financial turnaround came from a new tax subsidy. Then there's Cheney.  He helps companies grow fat by bilking the government.  Kinda like the Russian mafia, except out in the open...

        •  "corporate America is soft as shite" ? (none)
          Too sweeping. In fact fundamentally wrong.

          His insight would be MUCH more powerful and accurate if GMT was to argue that there are TWO corporate Americas today.

          The Bush people favor exactly the one that is far past its value peak and should be and would be fading away under natural forces.

          There is another, potentially HUGE Democratic corporate constituency  that gets NO breaks from the Bush crowd and in fact is seriously hurting from it.

          This is exactly that part of the economy that drives the productivity and COULD be adding value to the whole economy like crazy.

          With a level playing field, of course.

          Corzine and Soros and so on are really on to something here, pursuing this vital constituency. Bush & Kerry cash sources are reflecting it well.

      •  Paul O'Neill (4.00)
        ...makes the same case against corporate welfare in the book about him (by Suskind).  Specifically referring to tax credits for R&D, he's appalled.  I can't quote directly (lent the book out), but his point is that if a company is too stupid to invest in R&D on their own, tax credits aren't going to save them (and shouldn't).

        I don't know how accurately that book reflects O'Neill, but reading it gave me a very strong impression that if you wanted somebody on the other side of the aisle debating issues with you to find real, effective solutions, he's the kind of guy you want.  He genuinely wants progress and solutions and actually cares about people.  If a guy like that made a case for how a certain tax cut would help the economy and provide benefits to people who need them, you'd want to listen.  And he'd listen to you explaining how you'd spend the money on a social program aimed at the same result.  I mean, you could almost imagine govt working.

        The fixers and thieves pushing tax cuts now are simply looting the treasury -- just as they did under Reagan.  Anybody else remember the analysis that showed that the $1 trillion debt that appeared over Reagan's presidencey was almost exactly matched by a $1 trillion increase in the wealth of the wealthiest %1?  When the govt spends, the money goes somewhere.  Any guesses where our current $400 billion dollar deficit will end up?

        •  Nor Can I Quote Directly (none)
          Specifically referring to tax credits for R&D, he's appalled.  I can't quote directly (lent the book out), but his point is that if a company is too stupid to invest in R&D on their own, tax credits aren't going to save them (and shouldn't).

          Far too many of these subsidies are wasted on preservation of monopolistic value.  Big pharma, as 1 example, blows an extraordinary amount on molecular tweakage, allowing them to, in effect, extend patent protections by changing drug chemistry without significan improvement in efficacy.

          vote early - vote often

          by wystler on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:39:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed. Obama's not a conservative, (none)
          O'Neill's a liberal.

          It's amazing what happens when you listen to the other person's opinion --- GWB, 12/18/00

          by Doug in SF on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:36:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  GIT YER HANDS OFF (3.66)
    OUR OBAMA! You can't have him. He's ours!
    •  Don't worry about co-optation (none)
      I'm not worried about the party of Tom Delay ever truly co-opting Obama himself. This Corner-Sully reaction is just a reflection of their pure panic.

      Pretty soon they'll decide Obama's the Antichrist and start throwing mudballs.

      But their strategists and focus-groupers will study his speeches for effective keywords and phrases to insert into Shrub's teleprompted remarks.

      (I wonder, does the Preznit's teleprompter spell out the words phonetically? Even ABBA had better pronunciation than W.)

      "Animals are my friends--and I don't eat my friends." (G.B. Shaw) Click to read the 'Union'

      by Hudson on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:00:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ridiculous. (none)
    NPR's coverage this morning also featured "Fair and Balanced" (TM) FOX News commentator Juan Williams mentioning that "some" Vietnam vets were skeptical of Kerry's service. another piece featured "4 out of 5 people on a front porch in Ohio who are voting for Bush."

    I wonder if coverage of the GOoP convention will mention Bush's missing service (and records), Cheney's use of the F-word or his lying about Iraq and alQaeda (on display during a speech yesterday) or the fact that more than half of Americans don't think that the war in Iraq was worth the cost?

    More sh*t here than one fan can handle!

    by susanp on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:30:05 AM PDT

    •  Dipshit doesn't understand his own data (none)

      * [new] Take it back (none / 0)
      remember when Old Glory used to be on everything from biker jackets to rolling papers?  

      What's a conservative going to do?  Tell you you can't fly the flag?  

      But always be careful to remember:  the extremism and idiocy of Bush and his fluffers are making this easy ... right now.  Yes, it takes time to shift conventional wisdom, and yes, Democratic leaders haven't even been in this fight for years.  

      But right now, there's nothing the right can point to and be proud.  Their war was a lie and their peace is a mess.  Giving away America to the rich hasn't resurrected Reagan's economy.  Their values have been revealed as the teeth-gnashing, tongues-speaking vicious ignorance we always knew it was.  

      Right now the right is stepping on its own dick.  Yay.   But it won't stay this way.  It only gets harder from here.  

      Therefore:  this moment of their weakness is the time to push.  Gain as much ground now, before they regroup (or some stupid Democrat gives them a new 'scandal' to distract).  

      Clinton's speech, Obama's speech, (and, I predict, John Edward's speech) have worked an alchemical transformation that seems to amaze even the choir.  Take the point that matters most to you and shove it in the face of everyone still stupid enough to vote against their interests because Hannity told him that somewhere, someone with a PhD in literary studies thinks he's stupid.  

      They got nothing.  
      <Extradite the Neocons>

      by Grand Moff Texan on Wed Jul 28th, 2004 at 13:46:19 GMT
      [ Parent | Reply to This ]

      Shorter wingnuts (none / 1)
      "Damn it, can't we find any skeletons in this guy's closet?!"
      The fool wonders, the wise man asks.

      by NTodd on Wed Jul 28th, 2004 at 13:27:38 GMT
      [ Reply to This | Rate All ]

      He does have a coke bust (none / 0)
      on his record from his teen years, but he's always been up-front about it, and included it in his autobiography years ago. Old news, and no traction.
      Bush/Cheney: Waffle Queens

      by musing85 on Wed Jul 28th, 2004 at 13:31:47 GMT
      [ Parent | Reply to This | Rate All ]

      Don't think they won't try. (none / 0)
      I sense a Cesna full of private dicks heading north to Illinois as we speak.
      What the hell is a link blog?

      by Mark H on Wed Jul 28th, 2004 at 13:32:10 GMT
      [ Parent | Reply to This | Rate All ]

      Sully's quote: (4.00 / 3)
      conservative notes: of self-reliance, of opportunity, of hard work, of an immigrant's dream, of the same standards for all of us.

      Which do not, in fact, bear any resemblance to the life and career of George W. Bush, nor any of the other Welfare Queens in Thousand Dollar Suits surrounding him.  

      The last five Republican presidents and the last ten years of a Republican controlled Congress have demonstrated ad nauseum that none of these are conservative values.  
      <Extradite the Neocons>

      by Grand Moff Texan on Wed Jul 28th, 2004 at 13:29:23 GMT
      [ Reply to This ]

      "4 out of 5 people on a front porch in Ohio who are voting for Bush."

      Um, one of this family/group of friends was willing to say that openly?  Doesn't he know how lockstep and lemming-like freepers are?  That's huge!  If one out of five isn't willing to keep chanting "strong leadership," and "character," and "Bush will keep us safe," in spite of every single fucking data point being to the contrary, I have hope.  Of the other four, some will just stay home in November 'cause they're just plain sick of chewing Rove's shite.  

      Meanwhile, back in the realm of useful data, Ohio is too close to call.  The GOP will have to pull a Florida there.  

    •  Juan (none)
      used to be good,
      now he just disapoints
    •  In fairness, (none)
      PBS is doing a series of profiles on various Ohio regions, because the state is so important. I'm sure the 4 out of 5 segment must have been the Cincinnati suburbs one. The steel mill one was much less favorable to shrub (though you still got the inevitable xenophobe).

      It's amazing what happens when you listen to the other person's opinion --- GWB, 12/18/00

      by Doug in SF on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:41:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let them call Obama conservative (4.00)
    With luck, this will lure some right-wingers to vote for him in some future presidential election ;)
    •  You know... (4.00)

      The beautiful thing about this line of attack is that Obama is free to respond in a powerful way.

      "Conservative?  Call me what you will.  I am a proud Democrat.  This is who we are."  

      •  If Obama is conservative then what are Repugs (none)
        Think about it for a minute. If the brightest young conservative is a leader in the Democratic Party ...

        Then what is the repuglican party ???

        It isn't the party of conservatives, as the lack of conservative values in their leadership demonstrates

        Then the repuglicans are left with being the party of HYPOCRISY

        hypocrisy is all they have

    •  I completely agree (none)
      Doesn't calling Obama conservative make it "ok" for Republicans to vote for a Democrat??

      It's a desperate and weak strategy that will fail miserably in November.

      What is the new over/under on the Obama vote total in Nov?? This guy could get 65% of the vote easy in Illinois. I don't care if they run Ditka, The Fridge, The Late Great Walter Payton, Willie Gault, AND Dick Butkus against him.

      •  well (none)
        the point in calling Obama "conservative" is not to drag him down, but to make the rest of the party who aren't nearly as rhetorically gifted or blessed with the "vision thing" - Kerry especially - seem "liberal" in comparison.

        They'll also be sure to talk up Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, to show how all 3 of them are 10 times more "likeable" (or whatever) than Kerry. They're building everyone else up with the sole intent of tearing Kerry down once he speaks Thurs. night.

  •  Obama's rhetoric must catch on. (4.00)
    The heart of the GOP's success in defining the terms of debate is to do two things:
    1. Divide and conquer, using racism and homophobia.
    2. Claim a monopoly on God's blessing.
    Barack Obama took aim with both barrels directly at both of these tactics in his amazing speech, making me more comfortable with committing to the Dems (not just committing to voting for Kerry and other Dem candidates, but really joinging the party). Obama's keynote must become the template for Democratic rhetoric in this election cycle and ideally the next decade forward.

    "Ambition makes them greedy, and mediocrity makes them cheat and lie." - AnonyMoses

    by pHunbalanced on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:31:38 AM PDT

    •  asdf (none)
      Divide and conquer, using racism and homophobia.

      Racism, homophobia, sexism, and class elitism. Oh
      and xenophobia.

      They really have had more success with the additions than the two you mention.  

      "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

      by colleen on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:35:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mmmm, kinda (none)
        I think they run from their class elitism. In fact they try to turn it around against the Democrats. Sexism though has been a subtle subtext and I wish I'd listed xenophobia, which rivals homphobia as the divide and conquer flavor of the day.

        "Ambition makes them greedy, and mediocrity makes them cheat and lie." - AnonyMoses

        by pHunbalanced on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:39:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (none)
          In fact they try to turn it around against the Democrats.

          And have succeeded quite well at this.

          Sexism though has been a subtle subtext

          It's not been at all subtle to me or anyone else on the receiving end. It's a great giant foghorn of a subtext.  

          "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

          by colleen on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:40:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  they can attempt (none)
    to co-opt Obama all they want, I take delight in knowing they must be seething with envy and jealousy
    and fear at the potential of this man.

    Whatever "IT" is, Obama has IT. And he is ours, with all his heartfelt eloquence and intelligence and charisma, he is a democrat, and the next senator from ILL.  

    "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion.

    by mickey on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:32:27 AM PDT

  •  look, over there, its Arnold (none)
    The beauty of Obama is he's only getting started.
  •  As I said on musing's thread (4.00)
    I see this as a good development. Sure it seems ludicrous, but it's SO much better than a bunch of freepers going on about some liberal, "minority" caricature. Clearly he is so unassailable that they want him for their own. Obama is not going to turn into a centrist or a conservative just because they say so. However, it does seem to bode well for his future political career...(in which he would presumably have to appeal to more than just liberals)

    I'm happy with my $20 of influence

    by JMS on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:35:56 AM PDT

  •  Sorry if I Over Hype But ... (4.00)
    Obama was amazing. I was raptured as I watched him and have buckets of optimism for our party that I didn't have two days ago. Let the Republicans spin Obama any way they want to 'cause he is a Democrat, will soon be a Senator, and after that who knows.

    Win or lose in November the party is resurgent, and it is really only a matter of time before we start to see the results in the electoral process. With fine people like Kerry, Obama, Dean, Edwards, Hillary and many others we can't help but see results.

    I have this feeling that the pendulum has swung and it is just taking a little time to pry the Republicans' fingers off the steering wheel.

    •  yep (none)
      This is overhype. I listened to his speech too, and I didn't hear much that inspired rapture. It was just standard politico-speak, hitting all the American myth emotional buttons.

      Really, referring to Lincoln is a bit of a cheat because Lincoln was a REPUBLICAN. Likewise, some of the "founding fathers" OWNED SLAVES. And none of that 'all men created equal' stuff was meant to include women or blacks or Native Americans. Just property-owning white guys.

      If he'd made mention of that and said, "but we have changed for the better," it would have been quite interesting. However, what I heard in his speech (for the most part) reiterated the American Horatio Alger myth, more or less verbatim. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, we're all immigrants, land of opportunity, etc.

      Sorry, but I don't see what was so "amazing" about that. Unfortunately, that image refers to a dead time. And I'm sure that's why conservatives are trying to sponge this up themselves: they totally believe this sort of mythmaking. If you don't make it in America, it's your own damned fault.

      The one really good part of his speech was the "if so and so doesn't have access to healthcare, that makes me less healthy" and "if one Arab American is rounded up without due process, that threatens my civil liberties." (paraphrased)

      He is new to the national stage, so I hope that, with experience, he will turn more toward this sort of 'myth' than the one conservatives think is their own.

      •  Overly Cynical (none)
        I am sorry you are so jaded you can't be moved by a passionate and powerful speech. The power of the "American Myth" is that is has truth to it when we live up to our ideals.

        Your post is really overly cynical my friend. Who cares if Lincoln was a Republican?? So some of the founding fathers had slaves?? You judge them by contemporary standards which is the height of rediculousness. By this foolish rule we could not consider anything done, said or written pre 1970's.

        You espouse a kind of puritanism of history that requires perfection from any and all historical references. You disregard and devalue valuable aspects of the national identity simply because some "white guys" thought of it. So by your standard we can't be influenced by anyone but King or Gandhi? Sorry, your attitude is not going to get you anywhere but marginalized and in the end will hurt more people than help.

        Why not revere Linclon, King, Gandhi, Chavez, Anthony and all the great humanitarians of the ages? I'm really sorry you couldn't forget yourself long enough to actually hear Mr.Obama.

      •  you heard: (none)
        [If you don't make it in America, it's your own damned fault.]

        I heard:
        If we don't give you a chance to make it in America, it's our damned fault.

        That's the difference I see between most Democrats and Republicans. We may all think it comes down to individual responsibility in the end, but most Dems understand that there's a lot of infrastructure (for lack of a better word) that needs to be in place before people can even begin to have the ability to be successful in life.

      •  Lincoln (none)
        WAS a Republican.

        But he wouldn't be today.

        And that's not just trying to claim him.  The GOP has abandoned -- long ago -- its roots.

        Read Lincoln.  Read his statements about labor and capital.  Read his statements about corporations and the threat they represent.

        Lincoln was human.  Imperfect.  But today, he'd be a progressive Democrat.

        A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment. -- Garrison Keillor

        by ogre on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:02:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think Clinton referred to some of this (none)
        in his speech, when he basically admitted that America has an imperfect past. However, Clinton's argument was that the structure of our government was such that it encouraged improvements. Clinton said that after each of our major trials and tribulations as a country, we emerged as a "more perfect union." I personally think this is what Obama was referring to as well. Even if our "forefathers" had noticeable blind spots, the structure takes its own blind spots into account in some ways, and allows for improvement. Sure, we have a long way to go, and progress definitely comes too slowly for my taste. But we have improved since then, in some ways.

        "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

        by ccd on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:54:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "gay friends in red states" at RNC? (4.00)
    You know what would happen if a speaker at the RNC made any suggestion of "gay friends" anywhere?

    They would get strung up. Right there at the podium. A noose installed in the MSG roof would automatically lower itself and drop the noose to the delegates for easy access to quick lynchings.

  •  Let Them Spin (4.00)
    Obama's speech was one of the great ones, up there with Jesse Jackson's best and it touched on many of the same themes.  If anything Obama is on the left end of the Democratic Party.  If the Repugs (and their running dogs in the press) spin Obama as a conservative, fine. That will set the tone for spin in the future, which Obama very obviously has.  "He's really a conservative" will protect him from a lot of the caricature Repugs will want to draw him as in future races.  They are desperate enough to beat Kerry that they are, in effect eating their rhetorical seed corn.  That is a good sign, both short and long-term.

    I woke up several times last night thinking, hoping, that this country might overcome ingrained racism enough, soon enough, to give Obama a chance to become president.  If Illinois can do it the rest of the country can.

    The question I have is:  After his speech, how are the Repugs going to find anyone to run against him this November?

    This aggression will not stand, man

    by kaleidescope on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:38:39 AM PDT

    •  Powell could have been President (none)
      from either party.  Some of the most racist people I know even like him, solving their coginitive dissonance by saying he's not like African black people because he's Jamaican (I guess they are right about the Jamaica thing - I have never looked it up).
      •  Jamaica? They just imagined that. (none)
        Some of the most racist people I know even like him, solving their coginitive dissonance by saying he's not like African black people because he's Jamaican (I guess they are right about the Jamaica thing - I have never looked it up).

        Your racist friends are going to have a cognitive meltdown. His father was an immigrant from Kenya, his mother was a white girl from Kansas. His father returned to Kenya when Barak was two and he was raised up by his mom and her parents.

        "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

        by colleen on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:59:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you're mistaken (none)
          Previous guy was saying, correctly, that Powell is of Jamaican descent, not Obama.

          But I want to reply to that previous post as well; I don't believe that Powell could have been president as a GOP'er unless he got a massive groundswell of support from Dems. The GOP base in the south -- hate to keep saying this, but it's true -- just WILL NOT GO FOR IT.  People can yap all they like about Condi in 2008, but put her up in a primary debate with 8 other white guys from the Senate/Governors mansions, and see how long that meme lasts.

          "I wish I had a baseball bat the size of Rhode Island so I could beat the s*** out of this stupid planet!" - Cheese, of Milk and Cheese

          by Jank2112 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:17:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oops (none)
            Previous guy was saying, correctly, that Powell is of Jamaican descent, not Obama.

            Oh, you're right. Sorry. I hadn't had coffee yet.

            And I think you're right about how Powell would go over in the South. He would do well in the rest of the country though. Those swing voters in Ohio just loved Colin Powell. I don't think Condi's too popular anywhere though.

            "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

            by colleen on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:45:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not anymore (none)
              Powell might do... ok.  There's a remaining aura of delusion.

              But I know several people who thought Powell was Mr. Wonderful... who wouldn't touch him with a ten foot cattleprod.

              He's badly stained politically.  Not just tarnished.

              A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment. -- Garrison Keillor

              by ogre on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:05:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Go ahead, Repugs, Invite Him! (4.00)
    One IMMEDIATE way to effortlessly dispatch any Pundits/Republicans who are pushing this meme is just that:  Well, invite him then, guys.  Invite Barack Obama to speak in New York in August.  I'm sure he'd come ... he's got lots to say to you.  
  •  Taking back the language (3.57)
    Conservatives just can't stand it when liberals use these emotional keywords and phrases. I've started to invoke such words as sacrifice, morality, patriotism, honor and God into my discussions with conservatives and it stops them dead in their tracks. Obama turned their world  upside down last night. That scribbling sound you hear is the sound of a hundred speeches being rewritten for the Republican National Convention.

    "Somehow 'we told you so' just doesn't say it"

    by Rp on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:43:24 AM PDT

    •  Right scribbles, wrong convention. (none)
      It's the remaining speeches at the Democratic convention that are being hastily rescribbled to inject some of the Obama tone.
    •  Dems fightin' words (3.75)
      Dems: Flag. Honor. Work. Strength. Respect. Opportunity. God. Morality. Security. Flagflagflag. AmericaAmericaAmerica.

      Repubs: Ummmm....Gays evil? Brown people are all terrorists? Theocracy now? Worship Bush? FearFearFearFear!!!

  •  Poor Andy's Confused (3.66)
    Now that his party has become the party of bloated government spending and waste, government intervention into private lives, and the supremacy of the federal government over the states, he has become disoriented since thats what he was always told the other guys were about.  It would be hard not to feel bad for him, if he weren't such an asshat.

    Send the RNC a message in New York: Shut It Down

    by gboston on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:43:26 AM PDT

    •  He's not so much confused. (3.50)
      He just harbors a stubborn unwillingness to admit that he's full of shit.

      hink

      •  That's normal (none)
        --it's cognitive dissonance at work.

        Poor SOB is having to wrestle with his in public.

        He's all but gone over to the Light Side, but it sticks hard in the human craw to admit that you were wrong, deluded, and committed gross atrocities on facts while on the other side.

        A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment. -- Garrison Keillor

        by ogre on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:08:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama appeared conservative ... (3.87)
    Because he actually took the time and eloquently spoke of the basis of true progressivism.

    Too many liberals think it's obvious that Democrats don't really believe that government will solve all problems, so they never address it. Obama realized that conservatives, after years of listening to spin, honestly think progressives want government to solve each and every problem in their lives.

    What Obama did was take a minute or so to very articulately explain that that is NOT what progressivism is about. He directly addressed the stereotypes, which too many liberals refuse to do because they consider it "straw man" arguments.

    When it's laid out as Obama laid it out -- a question of subtle shifts of national priorities -- of course it looks rational, reasonable, even (gasp!) conservative.

    Kudos for his ability to "lower himself" to explain progressivism in its most basic values to conservatives who have been drinking Kool-Aid too long. He showed he does not share the attitude of many liberals who think it's obvious that thinking people are already aware of the basic tenets of basic liberalism.

  •  What they can't stand (4.00)
    What they can't stand is that here is a speaker so charismatic that even jaded journo scum like Shields and Lehrer and Brooks bow to him.

    What they can't stand is that here's a human being with a personal narrative and response to the facts of that narrative - and not one crafted by focus groups and brand experts - resonates with many different kinds of Americans, from immigrant cabdrivers to fresh-out-of-Harvard-Law associates. It's this that allows him to unite, not divide.

    What they can't stand is that someone is deploying the rhetoric of optimism not as a cynical attempt to redefine himself but because it's what he believes in.

    What they can't stand is that Barack Obama obviously makes people feel hopeful about America in a way no politician R D or I has been able to in at least this last generation. (I go weak for the Big Dog too, but that's all about personal charisma. Barack makes me want to serve. If anyone here heard the "pay any price, bear any burden" speech in real time, tell me if JFK himself did any better.)

    What they can't stand is that we have all seen the future, and he's a skinny kid, with a funny name, who does not happen to be 0wnz0red by Halliburton or anyone else.

    Wow.

    "Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone." - Jorge Luis Borges

    by adamgreenfield on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:45:36 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (none)
      What they can't stand is that someone is deploying the rhetoric of optimism not as a cynical attempt to redefine himself but because it's what he believes in.

      That was awesomely put, the most accurate and succinct observation yet.  Kudos.

      --- Idealist (n) - An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.

      by dspiewak2634 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:48:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmmm.... (none)
      ....wrote his speech, didn't you?

      It's amazing what happens when you listen to the other person's opinion --- GWB, 12/18/00

      by Doug in SF on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:54:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Right is buying into (4.00)
    it's own description of us.  If Obama's speech didn't reflect party values, he'd have been booed.  He was cheered over and over again.  His speech was a great reflectgion of our values - it just didn't square with the way neocons try to paint us.

    A neighbor left us a phone message this morining saying he caught the speech and "that 'bomb Iraq' guy is really good!!"  had a little difficulty with his name I guess. : )

    I'm just now noticing that you said the slam against Gore was a misquote.  Typical.  Even if it hadn't been, you can find 1000 idiotic Bush screw-ups for every mistake Gore makes.

    •  Re:The Right is buying into (none)
      One form of blowback is when you start believing your own propaganda to the point that you miss what is really going on.  This is the Achilles heel of the Bush campaign's control of the media.

      This is where our attention to hard realities and the truth will empower us.  We must never succumb to the temptation to use propaganda instead of discourse.

      As Randi Rhodes says, "Believe your own eyes."

  •  How is it a bad thing... (4.00)
    that Barack Obama can express liberal values in a way that conservatives can embrace?

    Or that Barack Obama can communicate conservative values in a way that makes liberals tear up with joy?

    He's demonstrated how to bridge the divide, he's the mother fucking truth, the goddamned long-awaited answer, the right wing is either chasing after him or paralyzed in the apoplexy of cognitive dissonance that a liberal could talk like that, yet everyone here is still in attack mode?

    •  Well, (1.50)
      some of my best friends are pissed off oliphants,
      but a sticky subtle redneck point might be the white mom and the black dad.

      Does this still play in Peoria?

      Im starting to hear it.

      It is after all, us against the ragheads.

      Keep it in mind is all Im saying.

      •  Waste words much? (3.00)
        Does this still play in Peoria?

        Do you know which state Peoria is in?

      •  Excuse me? (none)
        It is after all, us against the ragheads.

        I suggest you go back and read the text of Obama's speech.  Because he's very explicit that that is not the case.

        He's aware that when they arrest one of those "ragheads", that's an attack on our civil rights.  Yours, mine, and everyone else's.  Just like arresting and interning Japanese-Americans was an attack on all our rights.

        The Democratic Party is held together by a steel net that affirms that it's All of us, or none of us.  If we do not hang together, we shall all certainly hang apart.  (Is there any question that Ben Franklin would -- today -- be a Democrat?  A cultured, cultivated, brilliant, self-educated man able to enthrall his countrymen and France (and much of Europe).)

        Let the GOP wrap itself in the flag.

        Let us wrap ourselves in America's common values--life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; justice for all and a decent regard for the opinions of mankind.

        A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment. -- Garrison Keillor

        by ogre on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:56:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  nope. (4.00)
    Obama's in the right party.

    30% of the American electorate is in the wrong one.

    "Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children. How many must die before our voices are heard...?"

    by sunzoo on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:48:12 AM PDT

  •  Obama the Disconcerting.... (3.80)
    I think GMT above, nails it with his observation re the  Right's reaction to Barack Obama's convention speech: The soon-to-be-Senator has them freaked out - because, in one speech, he has seemingly single-handedly shredded so many cheapjack strawman stereotypes of "Democrats" and their supposed ideologies, (as defined by the Republicans, of course) that they don't know how to deal.
    At least Roger Clegg, in his NRO review, merely evoked right-wing caricatures: unlike that delusional bitch Ann Coulter, who seems to have actually seen them running around!

    I hope that Kerry's organization will be wise enough to incorporate some of these themes into their general campaign (and, if he can be spared from Illinois, send Obama around to promote them)

  •  Sullivan (4.00)
    But Sullivan liked Obama!  He even concludes with "Obama is the Democrats' hope. Heck, he is the hope for all of us."

    Anyone who reads Sullivan regularly knows he defines as "conservative" anything he thinks is good, from regime change to gay marriage.  Calling Obama's speech conservative is the highest complement.  And Sullivan is almost certainly going to vote for Kerry.

  •  right speech - right convention (3.66)
    Inclusiveness is a liberal value - open-mindedness is a liberal value - fairness is a liberal value - generousness is a liberal value.
      After watching the republicans dating all the way back to Reagan, I have no idea what their values are - win at any cost? Demonize your opponent? Empower the wealthy?
      We have these bastards on the issues as was articulated in Clinton's and Obama's speech - Get that message out there.
  •  This speach is amazing. (4.00)
    And I love how they're spinning it as conservative.  The political pundits in the Chicago newspapers have been screaming for the last months about how Obama will be the most liberal member ever elected to the US senate.  Amazing.

    War Presidents don't cut taxes.

    by engray on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:50:55 AM PDT

  •  Sully and His Latest Conversion to the Dem Cause (none)
    The nearly wholesale shift of Andrew Sullivan to the Democratic cause is quite jolting. Call me cynical, but I can't help but think that this shift has something to do with the same reason previously reasonable and progressive voices like Mort Kondracke, Susan Estrich, Juan Williams, and Tammy Baldwin have decided to sell out to Fox News -- money:

    A sincere and deep word of thanks to all of you who have contributed so far in this pledge week. By being so positive about the Democrats this week, I haven't exactly picked the smartest moment to ask for support. But, hey, I figure if you like this blog, it cannot be because you agree with me all the time. I've yet to find a single reader who does. So thanks for your open minds and generosity. It has helped keep this completely independent website running for over four years now - an achievement for the new medium in itself. If you haven't donated yet, and would like to, the details are here.

    He picked exactly the right week to go soft on the Democrats. After seeing how we have filled the coffers of the Kerry campaign and 527s, we have showed a willingness to support people who support our cause. Sully as an independent? Hmmm...and that cute donkey graphic isn't a sop to us liberal softies.

    "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values" ~ The Big Dawg

    by John Campanelli on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:52:40 AM PDT

    •  After Sully came out against FMA (none)
      And said he would have trouble supporting Bush, you can bet his conservative funds dried up.

      "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values" ~ The Big Dawg

      by John Campanelli on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:58:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, I really disagree with this (none)
      Probably because I'm a liberal who gave money to Andrew Sulllivan yesterday...I enjoy his balanced conservative views...I want to encourage as much of that as possible....along with David Brooks ( who's been really really good on PBS this week), he's a shining light in conservative circles for me...and I'm hoping he'll be one of the bridges to rebuild the country once Kerry is in office.
      •  Brooks (none)
        I agree that Brooks has been okay on PBS. He seems to come across as less of an assclown on TV than in his NY Times column.
        •  at least brook's biases aren't glaring.... (none)
          His analysis on PBS is at least well conceived.  Granted some of his columns in the Times aren't as well thought out, but at least he uses coherent arguments instead of the usual conservative smear attacks.  I can at least respect the man, even if I don't agree with him most of the time.
          •  Mygod I was forced to watch (4.00)
            brooks coverage of the speeches on channel 44 the last two nights and I almost gagged on my own vomit. That man is so full of sh*&t his eyes are watering with it.  My favorite moment was after he attacked carter (in absentia) for failing to condemn islamic terrorism. the other talking heads all nodded and muttered "uh, whatever" but then Carter came up for an interview and Macneil turned to him and said "david isn't happy with you" and CArter turned a crocodile smile on brooks and said, as Brooks quaked with embarrasment "oh, david's never happy with me!" and then bitch slapped him and his cheap RNC spinpoints from here to kingdom come.

            Proud that I voted for Carter twice.
            Sickened by Brooks and his ilk.
            Going to get Cspann so I don't have to watch pbs coverage any more.

            aimai

            •  Amen! (none)
              I am not familiar with Brooks, but have been watching him on PBS and have been disappointed by his commentary.  Much of the time, I find it baseless and gratuitous.  Maybe those who are more familiar with his work have been pleasantly surprised he's not turning in his usual work?  Ah, the politics of lowered expectations...
            •  Brooks (none)
              was better on Tuesday night, when (presumably) fewer people were watching.  He was gaga over Obama, about how he tied so many things together, including his claiming of some social conservative talking points
              (parental responsibility for one).  

              On Monday, though, Brooks was his usual self, deliberately missing points, damning with faint praise, and always with that snide, condescending manner.

              We must go forward and not backward! Upward and not forward! and always twirling, twirling, twirling toward freedom! -Kang

              by lumpy gravy on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 08:48:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  And I'm so sick of... (4.00)
    Conservatives thinking Liberals hate America.  America is a great place, BUT NO THANKS TO THEM.  What we love about America, strong public schools and tolerance, they have opposed.

    War Presidents don't cut taxes.

    by engray on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:54:55 AM PDT

  •  More GOP hyporcrisy (3.50)
    Isn't the GOP the same party that is afraid to give prime time speaking slots at the RNC to the likes of Tom Delay and Rick Santorum -- BECAUSE they accurately reflect the beliefs (and extremism) of so many in the GOP?
  •  Bizarro (3.66)
    Obama was representing the Democratic party I read about in history books.  The one that came to prominence under Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  We are returning to our roots, and shedding of the cloak of confusion which we carried since 1968.

    Nice guy or not, if we're at war and I get to choose the guy in the foxhole next to me, I'll pick Kerry. At least I know he's gonna watch my back.

    by Steve4Clark on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:55:51 AM PDT

  •  Two Words (3.66)
    Scared Shitless.

    Two more?  Rockstar Liberal.

    Maybe these clowns want to talk to the idiots in the IL GOP who call Barack to the left of Mao Tse Tung.

    Let me repeat:  scared shitless.

  •  Obama co-op (4.00)
    Nothing could be better than for the right wing to try to identify Obama with conservative values. He knows who he is and he is an out and out liberal, but conservatives have so completely lost a sense of who they are that they see things like his affirmation of family and country as resonating with what they pretend they believe. Their effort to do so shows that true democratic values may begin to make some headway among that part of the polarized right that still has some element of decency. And some part of it does.
  •  Why they get away with it (3.66)
    The right is able to say this stuff because they have so successfully defined the left in this country over the past 24 years, since Reagan.

    Welfare queens, anti-God, soft on crime, tax and spend, open borders, bi-lingual education, big government, commies...  These are caricatures that have been made of the left, by the right.  And the media has bought it and it has become the shorthand for defining the left.  

    For example, when I argue about politics with a friend at work she uses the above as examples of what's wrong with liberals and Democrats.  It's as if the Clinton administration never happened and we're still in the 1970's with Carter's malaise.  Welfare reform, balanced budgets, 100,000 cops on the street...  Did these people live in the 90's too? Actually, in the conservative mind it is as if the only thing Clinton did in eight years was dirty a blue dress.

    And they have succeeded in influencing the SCLM to paint liberals and Democrats with the same broad brush.  

    So I am not surprised that they would turn around and frame Obama's words in this way.  They can do it and get away with it, because they are "conservatives", Obama's words do not much the liberal caricature or shorthand, Obama's words do speak to some conservative values, and the SCLM is too lazy to notice or care about any of this.

    But who freakin' cares anyway because Teresa Heinz-Kerry brought immigrant communities home to the Democrats last night.  Obama gave minorities a reason to believe in Democrats last night.  Bill Clinton reminded Americans that they had it was good with Democrats in the 90s.  John Kerry will close the deal the independents and moderate Republicans on Thursday.

    "It is time to transform conversations that matter into actions that make a difference." - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

    by Dmitri in San Diego on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:01:46 AM PDT

  •  Look to Dean (3.80)
    "The great lie spoken by politicians on platforms like this is the cry of  'elect me and I will solve all your problems.' The truth is the future of our nation rests in your hands, and not in mine."

    Barry Goldwater couldn't have said it better himself.

  •  I versus We (4.00)
    Obama's speech went to the difference between the two parties are about.  

    I am watching Jonah Goldberg on C-SPAN making my point for me. He is ranting about "No Child Left Behind."  He wants to leave some children behind.  He even used the the term the "nanny government."  

    The following paragraphs are not something that ANY Republican can say in NYC.  Notice the use of WE.

    Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America -- there's the United States of America.

    The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we've got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

    ***
    Let's think again about "are you better off than you were four years ago."  

    No, the real question should be: are we (the UNITED States of America) better off than we were four years ago?

    Blind faith in bad government is not patriotic.

    by MoDem on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:04:28 AM PDT

    •  Speaking of Jonah Goldberg (3.50)
      I found this really obscure porn site where puppets mouth their strings.  Ewwww!  

      Oh, wait.  It's just another campus "Review" cookie-cutter.  

      Nevermind.  

      For people like Goldberg, America must be 'free' to be raped by his sugar-daddies.  That's the Straussian definition of freedom, by the way; it's a malthusian freedom to prey and exploit.  Any government of the people that stands up to the minority of high-dollar parasites must be communist.  

  •  They're not angry (3.75)
    The sensible conservatives are laying the groundwork for rejecting the GOP.

    Liberals have learned a lot from Bill Clinton -- he said in an interview with Michael Tomasky that America is a country of progressive values and conservative rhetoric.

    So that's what I think we're seeing here.

  •  Inspiring... Who are we? (4.00)

    Incidentally, Kos.

    This is one of the best posts I've seen on a blog, anywhere.  

    Intelligently crafted, beautifully written, compelling.  

    And inspiring to me...

    It implicitly begs an important question.  Who are we as Democrats?  We ourselves have been under the weight of caricature for so long.  I feel that, in the past year, we have been emancipated of that burden.  We are at once idealists and realists.  We believe the dream that is America is a perpetual gift that must be fought for and reopened time and again, not accepted blindly as a perpetual truth.  

    We are, in a strange way, Cold War idealists without the war.  We can do anything, build anything, be that beacon of hope and opportunity and grace.  We defend liberty and Democracy with all our souls, above even looking out for our own safety.  Because our own safety is so much more worthwhile in a world that is free and full of hope and opportunity.  

    We know that we may never fully live up to that ideal, but we will try.  And when it is dangerously eroded from within - as this president is doing - we are aroused like, yes, a sleeping Giant.  We shed the caricature and division that had made us weak.  And we fight like hell for that gift, America, that awaits to be reopened.

    •  I listened but (none)
      it's not my medium. I can't comment well on what I hear, at least not as well as on what I read. I like blogs over newspapers and radio because I can talk back when I'm moved or enraged by what I'm being told. I know that's old news but hey, I was moved to say it.
  •  New meme... (3.50)
    Republicans Devide, Democrats Unite.  Shout it from the roof-tops.

    Dubya can't say 'nuclear' and that really scares me - This Land Will Vote for John Kerry!

    by RichM on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:22:35 AM PDT

  •  Let them say he's a conservative all they want. (none)
    He's still on our side. If anything, it'll make people realize that only the far right should vote for the Republican party, the rest belong with us.
  •  GOP Problem (3.66)
    The biggest problem the GOP has with Obama's speech is that Obama has so eloquently shown that Democratic and Liberal values ARE mainstream values.
    •  As I reply to my own post... (none)
      I would also like to add that the GOP views politics as a blood sport.  However, with the wonderful speeches this week from Carter, Clinton and Obama, we've drawn first blood with velvet hammers.  

      I'm looking forward to Edwards' and Kerry's speeches.  They have a very high standard to meet and I hope they're up to the task.

    •  Excellent - that's the money quote (none)
      "Democratic and Liberal values ARE mainstream values."
      Thanks

      America began begins with freedom from King George's empire.

      by bribri on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:38:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Large chunk of the Republican base is racist! (3.50)
    Re: the CoNsErVaTiVe buzz about Obama - a good sized chunk of the Republican base is racist - they will NEVER have more than a token, Uncle Tom black candidate.  Remember the white racists Southern Democrats all became Republicans.  Republicans have a black guy as their Senate candidate?  Who are you kidding?  Not in the next 20-30 years.

    One final quote from Sullivan's blog that shows the moral bankruptcy of the Republican party:

    The Republicans would love to have someone of Obama's caliber - but they have failed to attract them. That is their tragedy, and it is only deepened in a party that gave rise to Trent Lott and Tom DeLAy. Obama is the Democrats' hope. Heck, he is the hope for all of us.

    Its good to see that the racism of the Republican party is hurting them - it should!

  •  It speaks (3.80)
    Maybe this is a trivial point, but what's up with Roger Clegg at the Corner writing a whole passage on Obama's speech saying "It celebrated ... it did not bemoan ... It professed ... it did not call ... It spoke ... it did not banish ... It admitted ... it did not blame ..."  

    Obviously the "it" is the speech, not Obama, but the grammar just gets weird when Clegg writes:

    It quoted "E pluribus unum" and translated it correctly as "Out of many, one"; it did not misquote it, as Al Gore infamously did, as "Many out of one."

    Parallelism off much?  And can a speech really "translate" something?  It's a petty point, except that Clegg apparently does not even want to admit that Obama--the man, the person--believes these things, and so he has to depersonalize the event.  
  •  Articulate Speakers (2.00)
    Anybody else torqued off about the fact that the most eloquent speakers in the DP are foreign-born?

    ...the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes.

    by it was a boojum on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:44:58 AM PDT

  •  ATTN: Sully & NRO! (4.00)
    Liberals Love America!
    Barack Obama speaks for me!
    Obama reflects our values!

    Thank you for listening.

    Oh George, not the livestock!

    by espresso on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:45:00 AM PDT

  •  Rejoice! (4.00)
    Hmmm, let's see. Big media buildup to the Obama speech: Obama is the new face of the Democratic party. Opponents' complaint after the Obama speech: Obama isn't a whiny, divisive, out-of-the-mainstream loser.

    Sure looks to me like the conclusion here is, hey! Democrats aren't divisive, out-of-the-mainstream losers anymore!

    We may bristle at the "anymore" part, but I'm most worried about November. As long as a positive bounce comes out of all this, I'll be happy.

    They are playing right into Obama's hands. He's talking about uniting America, and they're complaining that he's stealing their message.

    A very good sign.

    The last time I remember lotsa Republicans complaining about a Democrat stealing their message, it was Clinton, and things worked out pretty well in the elections.

    Of course, Clinton did it by alienating part of the progressive wing of the party. Obama's doing it while being EMBRACED by the progressive wing of the party.

    Let's all pay careful attention to how he's doing that.

    Aside: Bravo to Obama for the point about a culture that says if a black kid has a book, he's "acting white." Now I'd like to see someone at the RNC talk about those pockets of white culture that ridicule intellect, where if a kid picks up a book on poetry or philosophy he's a sissy and she's an egghead who can't get a boyfriend. Or if a woman can speak five languages, she "won't play well in Peoria." Fat (cheneyism) chance.

  •  So why is it so hard to be a "uniter?" (3.50)
    Conservatives loved the same speech liberals went bonkers for last week.

    So why can't "compassionate conservatives" unite America? Given what's appearing in print this morning, you'd think it'd be a snap.

    I'm scratching my scalp raw, noodling this one.

  •  Barack, baby, Barack (none)
    Barack is an ace in the hole indeed.  To see a humbled David Brooks on PBS last night was a sight to see, if a little disconcerting because he gives me the heebie jeebies.  But nonetheless, Barack really rocked the conventions socks off.  Sullivan and other right wing hacks really need to "shove it".  This was a great American speech, one that unifies not divides, which conservatives are so apt to do.
  •  If the speech was at the wrong convention...... (4.00)
    Why did Obama get a standing O at every single applause line? Did Republicans sneak in and take over the Fleet Center? Sounded to me like not just Democrats, but truly committed Democratic activists believed in every word he had to say. How much more mainstream Democratic can you get?
  •  It looks to me (none)
    like the right just had the crap scared out of it.  About damned time.
  •  Does this mean they're going to admit (none)
    that Kerry is "conservative" too?
  •  wow (3.50)
    apparently, according to the Chicago Tribune (via The Note), Obama's speech last night was his first ever using a teleprompter.

    Jeff Zeleny wraps yesterday for Obama's hometown paper and Notes "The Tuesday evening address was Obama's first using a teleprompter. Because of that, he practiced several times in recent weeks using the device and carried with him to the podium a written copy of the speech in the event of a technological failure."

    The man is good. Real good. So good, i had to come up with a new sig:

  •  You know, (4.00)
    if you really think about it, it's the so-called "conservatives" who want government to solve all our problems. Janet Jackson shows a boob? Charge the stations a hefty fine when they didn't know what the hell was coming. Howard Stern a little too blue? Take him off the air, instead of just changing the channel. Worried your kid's doing the nasty in the back seat of the Benz? Stress "abstinence-only" education in the schools, regardless of what other kids might need.

    I think what liberals are really looking for (and what Obama seemed to stress; I missed part of his speech due to a headache) is not a "nanny", but a partner (hey, there's that word again!); we can only do so much on our own -- sometimes we need a little help.

    And as for the "God" reference...I hope it was noted that he did not specify which God he was talking about. I doubt that you'll find an imam giving the closing benediction on any day of the GOP convention.

    I was actually most impressed by little Ilana Wexler; I think I need to start taking better care of my health so I'm around for her political future. "Vice President Cheney needs a LONG time out!" Couldn't have said it better myself... :)

    "If this be treason, make the most of it." -- Patrick Henry

    Prune the Shrub!

    by Cali Scribe on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:12:46 PM PDT

  •  Far be it from me (none)
    to make fun of a guy's name, but hearing "Obama" so often is making me crave a certain scotch...

    ...and it's only 10am.  

  •  Here comes the curve ball! (none)
    You can recognize it by the SPIN:

    They'll say, "there you go again, Obama's just saying things we've ALWAYS said, stealing our talking points...!"

    (dilute, water down, co-opt, obfuscate, show Ted Kennedy... smear when necessary, repeat as often as possible...)

    •  we can turn that curveball into a hit... (4.00)
      see the thing is, those may be "talking points" for the republicans, but they are the "action points" for us!

      America began begins with freedom from King George's empire.

      by bribri on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:43:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  obama excitement (4.00)
    Another thing that impressed me so much about Obama was his interviews afterwards (I saw the one on PBS but I hope he was on the networks as well). Political interviews normally annoy me SO much because the interviewee so obviously has their speaking points, and basically ignores the question to just say whatever it is they were going to say anyways. They never give a clear cut, yes or no (dare I say black or white?) answer, but Obama, when asked why he was chosen to be the keynote speaker, gave the least BSy answer ever. He said, but in compelling way -
    'because i'm going to be the only black senator, and i represent the democratic party.' All of his answers were unbeleivably well thought out, but not canned. My prety conservative (reagn/clinton/clinton/bush/kerry voting) boss at work just told me he is donating $200 to the DSCC because of the Obama speach. weee haw!
  •  Obama Campaigning in Ohio and Michigan in October? (none)
    THE NOTE made a great comment:
    Memo to Rove.  Find Obama an opponent or he may be campaigning in Detroit and Cleveland to boost African American turnout.  

    Yep.  Now that Obama is a star- how great would it be to have him as a Kerry surrogate in places like Detroit, getting people out to vote.  

    •  yeah, (4.00)
      but who's gonna give themselves up as the sacrificial lamb?

      at this point, to get a viable candidate in IL, the GOP would have to spend tons of money. they need a millionaire who thinks he can win. (millionaires don't like wasting their money to look foolish). and after last night, what IL millionaire thinks he could seriously take on Obamamania?

      Obama has experience with voter-registration work, and would be a great asset in urban areas like St. Louis, KC, Detroit, Florida, Cleveland, etc., for GOTV.

      Giving him the keynote spot was the knockout blow. Obama now becomes a national figure with a national audience before he is even elected. He should be used nationally to the fullest extent possible (avoiding looking like he's taking the IL race for granted).

      •  No worries about that... (none)
        ... he's coming back home to do a week's worth of appearances/rallies in downstate IL -- the part of the state that isn't CHGO, basically.

        A friend and I plan to follow him around the state like the Dead, kids in tow. My husband can come along if he wants.

        i like the world it has gravity and that is good

        by LBK on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 05:37:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fear! (4.00)
     The reason for all this is that the GOP fears Obama  immensely. My wife, who is not easily impressed by politicians was completely blown away by his speech. About 3 minutes into it she said "Who the hell is that guy?", I explained he was running for the Senate in Illinois, then she said he made her want to move there so we could vote for him. By the end of it she was convinced he should run for president at the earliest opportunity.
     Like he said, he's a skinny black man with a weird name - the fact that he has crushed his opponents in the Senate race and has such broad support in Illinois, and that he has incredible charisma from a podium, gives the GOP terrible nightmares. They know he's got a bright future ahead of him and it's very likely that one day he will be a powerful leader in the Democratic party.
  •  Hey look! Over there! Its Michael Moore! (3.33)
    Even Laura Ingram last night on CNN had to stop her hate mongering for a few minutes to say that Obama's speech was good. Then in the next sentence she mentioned how she saw Michael Moore speak at some non-DNC event earlier that day and how his divisiveness is the true voice of the Democratic party and thats why they will lose.

    All the post convention yak-fests emphasized Ted Kennedy and Teresa Heinz.

    The GOP talking point on Obama: Change the subject.

    "We should never separate the lives we live from the words we speak."-- Paul Wellstone

    by 54cermak on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:38:10 PM PDT

  •  Highest possible praise (4.00)
    Trying to claim Obama's message just shows how desperate they are -- it's the highest possible praise they could have given his speech.

    And we should all be thrilled about it.  It can't possibly work to their benefit and will likely work to their detriment.  It didn't work with Clinton (when they claimed he was too centrist for a Democrat) and it won't work with Obama.  Let them crow for awhile, and if Obama shows the same care and insight in his next major address, he'll eat them for lunch.  All the man has to do is stand up there and say "Um, I don't think so."

  •  Obama-Edwards (3.50)
    I absolutely loved Obama's speech and thought about it all the way in to work this morning.  Made me proud to be an American and Democrat for all of my 52 years.  And I am eagerly awaiting Edwards tonight, who I also believe represents everything good about our country and party.  Does anyone have any thoughts on how Edwards -- or if he even needs to --  reconcile Obama's unity theme with his "Two Americas"?  I know there must be a way to make the message even stronger.  I hope he hits it.
    •  Point out how unnatural the two americas are. (none)
      "Last night, Barack Obama, a passionate, liberal Democrat proclaimed our values beautifully. He spoke of the values that you, and I, and our brothers and sisters from Maine to Montana, from Washington to Wichita, hold so dear. Well, we all know that there is one United States. The forces of a small, narrow-minded, cynical elite tried once to divide America, and they failed. Now we face a very different challenge, but once again, America faces a group of people who are trying to force an unnatural division in our country. We reject the idea of two Americas, but we must know exactly what those two Americas would look like..."  Segue into Two Americas stump speech.

      How's this?

    •  Here's One Possible Technique (none)
      By using the image in Gov. Napolitano's speech - a mirage in the Arizona desert - Edwards could clarify that it in fact describes the America that the privileged think they see ...

      (just a thought)

      vote early - vote often

      by wystler on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:29:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The day.... (4.00)
    ...I see any 'conservative' embracing the ideals expoused in the quote found in my new sig line, I'll start believing how 'conservative' Obama is.

    I'm not holding my breath.

    "If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child."--Barack Obama

    by ChurchofBruce on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:46:21 PM PDT

  •  One for the Ages (4.00)
    What a breathtaking speech. Truly inspirational. It is impossible to overhype Obama's performance. He spoke to all Americans, and it shows in the comments posted by Americans all over the internet this morning. Many have commented on the caliber of the speech - the reaction to the speech has been just as profound. Apolitical folks were mesmerized. Conservatives were speechless. Progressives beamed with pride.

    I read that Obama said when he sees an aging union worker downstate he sees his grandfather. When he sees a young black girl he sees his daughter. THAT is a uniter. His background provides authenticity to his message.

    I'm gushing.

  •  Hard Times for GOP in NY? (4.00)
    From the LAT:

    Unhappy Hosts Awaiting the Republicans
    The GOP convention will find a city of displaced merchants, protesters and residents angered by inconveniences.
    By Josh Getlin
    Times Staff Writer

    More than 50,000 delegates, guests and reporters are expected to flood into the city, along with thousands of political protesters, when the bash is held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2.

    As in Boston, where the Democrats are meeting for their convention this week, New York leaders have stressed the positive effect of the event and the millions of dollars it will bring into city coffers. But as plans are being finalized, residents have been bickering over the location and policing of planned protests; they are also complaining about disruptions of mass transit near the convention and gridlock in a city already choked by traffic.

    The biggest concern, of course, is terrorism, and some critics doubt that New York is doing all it can to protect people from an attack. How can officials protect subway riders against terrorist strikes, some ask, when it is virtually impossible to guard and patrol the hundreds of transit stations scattered throughout the city?

    "New York will be as safe as a big city can possibly be," Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has promised. He said that New York's 40,000-member police force, the nation's largest, will deploy officers on every subway rumbling into Pennsylvania Station, underneath the convention site. Officials are taking additional undisclosed steps as well, he added.

    Many observers fear that the sheer number of protesters coming to New York could pose a security problem. City officials are mindful of previous events that degenerated into violence, such as the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle and the bloody demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago.

    Along with vendors such as Contu, the ranks of protesters in New York will be swelled by members of local police, firefighters and teachers unions, who plan to picket at Madison Square Garden to focus attention on long-standing wage disputes with the city.

    If all this wasn't complicated enough, the city will hold Major League baseball games and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships and will be gearing up for Fashion Week while the convention is in town.

    And this article doesn't even mention the many protest concerts and such that will be going on, many of which are still being finalized.

    Here's my question: If Rove is such a damned genius, why didn't he schedule the convention in the Midwest (the "Heartland" as the Freepers are so fond of saying?)  

    Why not break, uh, convention, and hold the event in a Kansas City, or St. Louis, or even Nashville?  You score those brownie points with the base, and avoid the headaches that come with a huge metro city. (BTW, this would be good stratergery for the Dems next time too, but it's not the Dems who are always referring to NY as the "home base of the elites")

    Instead, in their rush to capitalize on the bodies of the WTC dead one more time, they choose one of the bluest states, one of the most congested cities anywhere, and the base of operations for lots of liberal artists and anti-Bush groups.

    Yep, he's a genius alright. I think this is going to be a fun convention...for us.

    "I wish I had a baseball bat the size of Rhode Island so I could beat the s*** out of this stupid planet!" - Cheese, of Milk and Cheese

    by Jank2112 on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:53:02 PM PDT

    •  Repubs in NY (none)
      Don't forget that MSG is located right by Penn station, and the city is going to be closing 6 of 8 entrances.  Not to mention the additional security on 6 subway lines, NJ Transit, LIRR, and Amtrak. I'm not even sure if the buses will still be able to reach the station with all of the street closings

      http://www.thegarden.com/inandaroundgarden_directions.html

      Maybe they'll figure out that holding a political convention on top of a major transportation hub is a really bad idea.  It's almost enough to make me wish that NY was a swing state, just to watch it shift firmly to the Dems after the convention

      •  6 of 8 (none)
        I read about that in the Times a few weeks back and I shudder to think about it. I arrived at Penn Station one day just as they closed ONE entrance due to a track fire. I can't begin to imagine the mob scene with 6 entrances closed.
    •  It's all about the parties! (none)
      Why not break, uh, convention, and hold the event in a Kansas City, or St. Louis, or even Nashville?

      I've been to a (professional) convention in Kansas City. Bo-ring!

      We all know that, despite their rhetoric, Republicans like to party just as much as the next guy. Sometimes more (Bill Bennett, Jack Ryan, etc.)

      Nashville, I could see. Country music is very popular among Red-Staters, I hear.

    •  Karl Rove and crew wanted NYC... (none)
      ...so that they could capitalize on 9/11 imagery, New Yorkers be damned. A year ago, I'm sure those guys couldn't wait to pose in front of ground zero. I don't think it's going to be the cake-walk they envisioned.
  •  Let the GOP call him conservative.... (none)
    It will work against them in 8 years when they try to frame him and his running mate as the most liberal ticket ever :-).

    we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States.

    by Keith Brekhus on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:11:16 PM PDT

  •  Obama Video (4.00)
    Why haven't the Dems posted this amazing speech on the Web in video format?  I want to send it to my friends who missed it, but all they have at Dems2004.org is the transcript.  People need to see and hear this speech.

    I did see it posted on CNN, but it was a subscribers-only link.  Anyone seen it posted elsewhere?

    Visit www.kansasfordean.com

    by MarkInKC on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:29:09 PM PDT

  •  Wow! Guess what? (none)
    Maybe liberals don't really hate America after all!!

    What a surprise.... :P

  •  Bobby Kennedy (4.00)
    could have given that speech.  Of course, the conservatives say John F. and Robert F. would be Republicans today.

    They got nothing.  Barack Obama voiced the beliefs of millions of Democrats last night and delivered the best message of why we're right and they're wrong that I have heard or read in a generation.

    I watched the speech four times last night and it never fell flat.  It was a masterpiece and its themes should be taken up as the rallying cry for Democrats for the next several years.

    I use this analogy when it comes to the message of the two parties:  think of a tree.  The Republicans have the same base, the same trunk every year -- low taxes, small government, strong defense and, now, values.  They add different branches for each campaign, representing the issue or constiuency group they are targeting at that time.

    Now look at the Democrats.  We are a party of branches with no trunk.  Different issues unattached to some central core.  YOu ask a Democratic elected official what we stand for, and they give us the branches.

    Barack Obama gave us the trunk.  He defined who we are and what we believe with passion and power that could well change the foundation of our party for years.

    Realignment is just a matter of time.

    The United States of America: Walk the Talk

    by Velvet Revolution on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:48:18 PM PDT

  •  Applying Sullivan's Critique to W. (4.00)
    Obama struck many conservative notes: of self-reliance, of opportunity, of hard work, of an immigrant's dream, of the same standards for all of us.

    Self-reliance--1) Shrub got into Yale in part because his dad went there; 2) Saudis or other mysterious investors rescued Shrub's failing oil business, Arbusto; 3) Did not powerful friends help him buy into the Texas Rangers, a franchise of a legal monopoly with no competition? 4) Did he not lobby for Texas taxpayers to buy a stadium for the Rangers, using government subsidy to inflate his investment?

    hard-work--How much hard-work did Shrub put into his Texas Air National Guard duty? How many vacation days has Shrub taken as president? Wasn't he on vacation a whole month in his first year as president?  Wasn't the most hard-work Bush did before finding religion in hedonistic revelry, some of it possibly illegal (certainly drunk driving)?

    immigrants-dream--I've never heard Bush say or do anything about the immigrants-dream.  I've only heard him manipulate Cuban immigrants, especially regarding the hysterical Elian business in Florida.

    same standards for all of us--Bush opposes gay marriage.  Bush does not propose universal health care, instead supports a system that excludes millions.

  •  Here's the funny thing... (4.00)
    I don't see them coopting this...


    If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief--I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper--that makes this country work.

    See, if they actually coopted that, they'd be Democrats.

    Cast your whole vote - not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.

    by eyelessgame on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:51:09 PM PDT

    •  And if they'd listened Monday night... (4.00)
      they would have heard, and maybe even understood, the Big Dog... which is the other half of Obama's magnificent vision, which he didn't have to say because it had already been said:


      But all Americans value freedom, faith, and family. We all honor the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.

      We all want good jobs, good schools, health care, safe streets, a clean environment. We all want our children to grow up in a secure America leading the world toward a peaceful future. Our differences are in how we can best achieve these things...

      We think the role of government is to give people the tools and conditions to make the most of their lives. Republicans... think the role of government is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who embrace their political, economic, and social views, leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves on matters like health care and retirement security. Since most Americans are not that far to the right, they have to portray us Democrats as unacceptable, lacking in strength and values. In other words, they need a divided America... but we don't.

      Cast your whole vote - not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.

      by eyelessgame on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 01:57:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  damn, if they coopted that, (4.00)
      they might even be Christians.

      It's amazing what happens when you listen to the other person's opinion --- GWB, 12/18/00

      by Doug in SF on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:32:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the beauty that is obama (none)
    the beauty of obama's speech is that it takes the very core of liberal and progressive values and presents in plain speech.  it presents liberal thought as the very epitomy of the american spirit - and rightly so.

    as such, it turns on its head the subtle propagandizing from the conservative message machine, beginning with ronald reagan.  for decades now we have allowed the other side to define themselves as the guardians of true liberal values and redefine those things as "conservative".  and we've allowed them to redefine us as the enemies of those same liberal values.  if you don't believe me, just take a quick look at one of hannity's books. you will see a bizarro-world where liberals are against freedom and diversity and equality, and conservatives are the guardians of the little guy against the powerful.  it seems obvious to us that the facts would speak for themselves, but a large portion of the noise machine is devoted to muddying any issue to make the truth difficult for the average person to discern.  and when some democratic politcians become beholden to the big money interests - even a little bit - it becomes ammunition for the other side.

    so this is why they're confused. obama presented the liberal-progressive message in terms so simple and obvious everyone listening had to think "well duh - of course that's what i believe!"

    someone last night said we should force every single american to watch obama's speech.  obviously we can't literally do that - like alex in a clockwork orange, but there is a way to get it in front of everyone.  it's what the conservative message machine has done for the past couple decades to redefine what's liberal and american as "conservatism" in the world of ideas, all the while allowing feudalism free reign in the world of deeds.

    it's been a tough road for them - taking decades and billions of dollars - because they are arguing against the evidence of fact.  they were helped by the fact that they had essentially no resistance.  we'll have actions on our side as well as just words, so that helps our signal to noise ratio. but we'll have to clean up our own act as well.  in order to deny them the ability to muddy the waters, we will have to throw over any of our own politicians who wade in the corruption of big money and corporate interests.

    then our message gets heard loud and clear. then we win.

    bush screwed up more in 8 months than clinton did in 8 years

    by zeke L on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:04:57 PM PDT

    •  Not Going to Rate This One, Zeke (none)
      Would have been a four if you hadn't asked us to look at Hannity's book

      vote early - vote often

      by wystler on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:38:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL (none)
        Would have been a four if you hadn't asked us to look at Hannity's book

        well that's the great thing about being liberals - i don't have this complex that you absolutely have to do what i say! ;^)

        but i saved this one for myself as a diary, in case i want to work on it later.  i'll take your complaint about h@##ity under advisement.

        bush screwed up more in 8 months than clinton did in 8 years

        by zeke L on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:24:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  CNN Quickvote (none)
    Are the Democrats making a compelling case for electing John Kerry in November?

    CNN

  •  Community (none)

    I wrote this in a diary last night after watching Obama.  But the notion that the speech was "conservative" is wrong IMO; it's fundamentally liberal because its a real paene to national community.  Obviously Obama's no socialist which is why he says that government can't solve our problems, that family is important.  But he also said, in a way nobody has in a long time -- not Edwards, not Kennedy -- that in some ways (national, spiritual and material ways) we're all family, all responsible for each other.  Unsaid but implied of course is government's role in connecting and protecting and laying the infrastructure for uniting us.

    To me, more than anything else, community is at the heart of liberalism: the emphasis on public and social responsibility, tolerance, respect for the public good over strict adherence to the rights of autonomy and privacy which are at the heart of conservatism (real conservatism, not the perverted supply-side neocon Reagan-Bush kind).  That value of community, of the public good, is what fundamentally separates the left from the right, the "progressives" from the conservatives.  It's in no way contradictory to talking about "an awesome God" or anything else.  That's why I liked "It takes a village" more than I liked "The Two Americas" and why I loved Obama's speech (my first time hearing him talk). More than just talking more about the plight of the poor or about "the two Americas" or about "the people not the powerful" or whatever -- while such ideas are useful and important -- Democrats have largely stopped talking overtly in recent times about the public good, the reaffirmation of community to halt the spread of nihilism that defined the 80s and 90s (especially the 80s).  Obama brought it back in a big way tonight.  For that, I loved him.

    And when we meet again, I will fall to my knees, and rise to your needs -- Gary Daly (China Crisis)

    by tlaura on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 02:11:01 PM PDT

  •  Obama, a five tool politician? (none)
    Ok, we were watching the Twins paste the White Sox last night as Obama was delivering his speech.

    Wow.  He was amazing.  Incredible content and delivery for most of it.  He needs some polish -- but that is what being a brilliant young  leader is all about -- needing some polish.

    I thought that the bit in the middle (where he spoke of Kerry), but the overarching messages in the rest, the blue/red states part was great.  The rejection of factionalism was also great.  He's a really powerful person.  I look forward to his future!  

    I agree completely with Kos's analysis that Obama is the STORY in Illinois, he should be able to extend his coat tails there -- we shall see.

    •  Just curious (none)
      How would the Dems polish Obama?

      "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

      by ccd on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:22:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I never thought the Dems would polish... (none)
        I never even considered the idea that the Dems would polish Obama.  I think that experience will.

        Obama is trying to be a freshman senator.  That's tricky, even for the brightest and most able -- I recall a short poli-sci prof who became more and more effective as he gained experience.  His third term...well, it should have been great (and we wouldn't have the Norman C. the republican bag-man in Boston peddling goo) .

        I think that with some time on the national scene, in the senate and beyond, his potential is so great, that the will gain the experience and knowledge to live up to his vast ability.

  •  To bungle an all sharpton quote: (none)
    "They have the christian right, we have the right christians." -A. Sharpton, Primary Debates

    I always love that guy's sayings.

  •  to paraphrase a line (none)
    from Obama's speech last night:
    we have to make it so that when a black man speaks good common sense social policy we stop saying he is talking like a conservative.

    I actually suspect that several things are going on with conservative commentators praise of Barack Obama. First, they realize that the true speech-making talent lies with the Democratic Party. Compare the speeches of Gore, Carter, Clinton, Gephardt, Dean, Obama to what we are likely to hear out of the mouths of Republicans: can DeLay give a speech like any of them? Santorum? Who is the Republican rising star?
    Second, (and here I am agreeing with others above) they actually agree with most of what he said -- it was a moving speech -- and they recognize that a speech like that draws in independents and swing voters. Third, they are acknowledging that the Democrats actually know what they are doing. None of this seems like an appropriation of Obama; it is equally an acknowledgement of how far right Bush has led his party.

    Also: Why is that Obama is marked simply as having a Harvard law degree? This man was editor of the Harvard Law Review, and what did he choose to do? Not make mega-bucks at a white shoe firm, but teach and serve in the state senate, and then go to the federal level. This is a man who actually lives in accord with what he speaks.

    Which brings me to liberalism: philosophically, Obama sounded like a fusion of communitarian and liberal to me. Not really conservative.

  •  Obama sppech means more votes for Nader (1.25)
    Nader takes more votes from Kerry than Bush because he attracts more liberals.

    If Obama stresses on values, more liberals are going to lean towards Nader.

    •  Are you a troll? (none)
      Check out the comment history.

      The Republicans need a divided country. We don't. --Big Dog

      by froggywomp on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:31:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No I am not a troll (none)
        I am a immigrant from India who supports President Bush mostly. I believe that Obama will push more people towards Nader.
        •  I don't think you're a troll, but... (none)
          This is kind of silly.  Why do you think this?  Because Obama talked about values?  He is trying to take back the word.  For too long the Right has defined 'values' their way.  What Obama did is he outlined the things that we value as Democrats.  How could this drive people away?  His entire message was one of inclusiveness.
          •  Conflict between Individual beliefs and party line (none)
            In a vast electorate like the US, the party line attracts / rejects voters. The main platform of the democratic party in the recent past has been to put progressive/liberal ideals ABOVE values and religion.

            When Obama confidently delivered his speech and put values and religion ABOVE progressive/liberal ideals, it is bound to conflict with the silent base of the party.

            Some people who progressive/liberal ideals ABOVE values and religion might be forced to pick Nader as a result of this.

            I think this comment progressive/liberal ideals ABOVE values and religion.

            This comment by another member also touches on this issue:

            http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2004/7/28/91724/5415/243#243

            I prefer politicians to stay closer to their beliefs and their party positions. I do not want George Bush claiming to be a environmentalist (though he is not for destroying the environment) nor John Kerry claiming to want to Uphold traditional American values (though he is not against them).

            Let the electorate pick either for what their beliefs and party platforms are.

            •  it depends on what the meaning of values is (none)
              I and many other moderate democrats, I think, feel that the whole republican plank about values is nothing more than hot air, not least because of the demonstrated hypocrisy of some GOPers, and the racist/xenophobic/homophobic hatemongering of others.  If hypocrisy and hatemongering is what "values" means, then they can have it.  If, however, it means supporting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then I think Democrats have the right and the obligation (see the oath of office) to support "values."

              The Republicans need a divided country. We don't. --Big Dog

              by froggywomp on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:18:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  umm, your logic sucks (none)
              Well, I should say that either your logic sucks or you are a troll doing a really good job of acting the wide-eyed naif.

              Ok, let me think.  The point must be reiterated that most hard-core Democrats are on their feet, cheering, with tears in their eyes in response to Obama's speech.  So clearly they're not being chased into Nader's arms by his invocation of values.  I promise.  I mean, take my family.  We're atheists.  We're socialists.  We're all choked up over Obama.

              In fact, though, I'd say Obama's speech turned your argument (though I hesitate to dignify it with the name argument) on its head.  Because he invoked real American values.  Not homophobia, veiled racism, and amoral capitalism in the guise of meritocracy, but equality, freedom, hard work and opportunity joined hand in hand.  Those values are far more traditionally American than the radical rightism (too radical to be really conservative) of Bush and his ilk.

              Progressive ideals are not ABOVE values.  They ARE values.  You'd do well to remember that.

            •  Values (none)
              The main platform of the democratic party in the recent past has been to put progressive/liberal ideals ABOVE values and religion.

              I cannot stress this enough.  Progressive/liberal ideals ARE our values!  They are not mutually exclusive.

            •  Not so. (none)
              The main platform of the democratic party in the recent past has been to put progressive/liberal ideals ABOVE values and religion.

               Liberal ideals are firmly rooted in religion and values. Part of the problem with the current conservative 'values' is that they're so limited and rooted in punishment and condemnation. Your basic premise illustrates a profound ignorance of liberal and progressive values.

              "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

              by colleen on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 12:13:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  What? (none)
          What in the world would you being Indian or an immigrant have to do with your motivations for posting? Troll status is determined by whether or not you participate in good faith.
  •  Illinois Coattails (none)
    Now we need to hope that Obama's coattails help IL rep candidates.  There are some interesting races, especially in Southern IL where unemployment is running at about 11%.  We need to support these candidates as I believe they probably have the best chance to win:

    Tim Bagwell  www.bagwellforcongress.com
    David Gill  www.davidgillforcongress.com

    •  And the Race Card is Played! (none)
      Conservative magazine editor Terry Jeffrey On HardBlogger:
       
      "But with slight tinkering, Obama could have delivered the same speech at the Republican convention next month to just as rousing a response.

      Would he stand with Teddy Kennedy and the Democratic leadership, for example, in blocking by filibuster the appellate court nomination of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Brown, an African-American raised in rural Alabama, under segregation, whose personal story is as inspiring as Obama's own? Stay tuned."

      Of course, nothing matters here but "blackness." This appeal to racial essentialism is sickening. Of course it never occurs to Jeffrey to mention why Republicans would like Brown, or why Democrats would not.

      What the hell is that? Do all inspirational black people "look alike?" A new southern strategy?

  •  Believing the Echoes in the Chamber (none)
    Obama's speech and this double-take/double-talk of conservatives spotlights the conservative echo chamber.  It also highlights the codifying of the Democratic party's positions.

    For such a long time, there's been such a chorus produced by Republicans defining what Democrats "stand for," with almost no real rebuttal.  The false echoes struck at the heart of American ideals, specifically individualism, self discipline, and rewards for hard work.  They said things like Democrats think the government should take your money and redistribute it to the lazy.  Ridiculous.  

    Finally, the truth has punched through the reverberating din and a clear note is ringing through the party.  This will focus the Democratic party anew, and attract new folks to Democratic values, values that in the past were painted up to be conservative values but really aren't, like fiscal responsibility, and wed them with true Democratic values like community, cooperation, and equality for all.

    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." --Mark Twain Shagging Fung

    by Hamlet on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:50:54 PM PDT

  •  Andrew Sullivan is a Liberal (none)
    Just like all the NeoCons.  They are revolutionaries, John Kerry is far more 'conservative' in the literal sense then the radical capitalists that occupy the Whitehouse today.  Anyway.



    And hasn't Sullivan been saying he'll be voting for Kerry, anyway?
  •  more division (none)
    Does it seem odd to anyone else that the right-wing response to Obama's speech, which decries the division of the U.S.A. into conservative vs. liberal, is to brand it conservative? Isn't that a perfect example of what Obama is talking about?
  •  Since They Consider Obamas Speech to be Right Wing (none)
    I guess we can expect to see the same type of passion and intelligence in a speech from Bush or Schwarzenegger at their convention.

    Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. Napoleon Bonaparte

    by daimon on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:48:30 PM PDT

    •  Pompous fools at NRO don't know Latin! (none)
      The NRO write that Obama's speech "quoted 'E pluribus unum' and translated it correctly as 'Out of many, one' it did not misquote it, as Al Gore infamously did, as 'Many out of one.'"

      Latin is an inflected language.  It doesn't depend on word order.  Both mean the same damn thing.  Fools.

      •  not quite right... (none)
        You're right; the word order doesn't matter, but that doesn't mean that "out of many, one" means the same as "many out of one."

        For the latter, you'd need to switch the cases of the two nouns. Something like "Ex uno plura"? There's a terrible David Foster Wallace essay about television that tries to reconfigure the motto, too, but I think he gets it wrong on purpose.

        E pluribus unum / out of many, one --> Many yields one

        Ex uno plura / out of one, many / many out of one --> One yields many

        So exactly opposite.

  •  Tucker Carlson (none)
    How long will CNN tolerate Tucker Carlson lying to the American people (http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/special/president/convention/dnc/press.pundits/archive/index.072804 .html):

    --
    He came out for tax cuts for corporations; that's kind of interesting. He didn't say anything about Iraq; that's interesting too. He didn't say anything about the Patriot Act. He didn't say anything about desecrating the environment. He said not a word about Halliburton. In other words, his speech sounded nothing like the typical Democratic speech this year. I thought it was good.
    --

    For those who didn't catch his speech (unfortunately, they bumped the keynote speech from network TV in favor of Ron Reagan Jr. talking about stem cell research), here's the link: http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/07/27/dems.obama.transcript/index.html

    1. Kerry is for corporate tax cuts too. That was straight from the Kerry platform.
    2. Obama did say things about Iraq. Bush did not follow any provision of this recommendation when going into Iraq:
    --
    When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.
    --

    3) Obama did say something about the Patriot Act. When Obama mentioned the agents poking around in libraries, that was a direct reference to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act:

    --
    The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states; red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.
    --

    I would imagine Carlson was trying to mislead people on #1 and #2. For claim #2, it sounds like he's just trying to be partisan in saying that Bush didn't leave our soldiers in the lurch. For #3, he just needs to do his research.

    http://ark.blog-city.com/read/749395.htm

  •  Affirming Unity vs Denying Difference (none)
    I have to disagree with Kos, and apparently with almost the entire dKos community, here. While I found a lot to admire in Obama's keynote, I was also pretty troubled, from the left, by what's clearly unsettling some of the right-wing pundits about this speech.

    It comes down to profoundly, radically different ways of thinking about unity and equality. The right likes to assert, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that we're on a level playing field: as a result, the government's job is just to stay out of the way (Obama's "we can make sure that... the doors of opportunity remain open to all") and let a kind of laissez-faire meritocracy take it from there. For me, this Horatio Alger rhetoric was strongest in the section where Obama implied that, instead of welfare, disadvantaged (and, particularly, black) Americans just need to try harder (turn off the TV; stop stigmatizing reading).

    Conversely, the hardest, and to my mind most important, job for progressives is to acknowledge that there are different Americas-- oftentimes tragically and to our shame. We've all seen how powerfully Edwards has invoked and decried this state of affairs, and I was surprised that few posters here seem to have registered the deep incompatibility between Edwards' "two Americas" and Obama's "there is not a black America and a white America..."  

    This isn't just a question of rhetoric, or even of realism (by every measure imaginable-- from income to incarceration rates, life expectancy to literacy-- black Americans are living in a different America than white Americans, to take the starkest example). This is also a question of policy: the claim that there aren't different Americas is the line used by Republicans to dismantle affirmative action (as Andrew Sullivan rightly notes, "the same standards for all of us" is a Republican talking point), to deride African-American studies, to disallow police or health departments' efforts to track data on racial disparity. (Taken far enough, the call for "the same standards for all of us" means a flat tax rather than a progressive tax, no Medicaid, no welfare, no small-business start-up grants, no farm subsidies...). Of course progressives would like to see everyone have the same opportunities-- MLK's "not by the color off his skin, but by the content of his character"-- but one of the key ways that we differ from Republicans is our willingness to acknowledge that we're not there yet, and that to get us there will take much more than the government opening the doors and personal responsibility handling the rest.

    In other words, while I was impressed and moved by Obama's call for unity, I was concerned by the way that it became a denial of difference. In particular (and I've been very surprised that other Kossacks weren't troubled by this), I felt notably excluded from a unity message whose bridging of red and blue states began by assuming a common monotheism. Kos claims that Obama affirmed my right not to believe, but I don't find that in his speech: instead, his invocation of a unity that starts with a belief in an Awesome God left me, and millions of Americans who don't believe, or who believe differently, out of the equation. Isn't that the difference between republicans and democrats? They insist that unity has to entail uniformity, while we think that there can be difference without division.

    •  Denial of difference? (none)
      I don't think that Obama thinks there are no differences, or that Edwards' Two Americas doesn't exist.  His remarks have to be considered in the context in which he framed them, that of Republican attempts at divisiveness.  

      To say "we worship an awesome God in the blue states" is not to say that Democrats are all Christians, or believers of any particular stripe at all; it's to say that the Republicans do not have the right to wrap themselves in the mantle of religion as though they owned it.  

      To say "there is not a black America and a white America" is to refute the Republican racism that says there should be such a division, to refuse the suggestion that the economic and educational aspirations of African-Americans can be, or should be, different from those of white Americans.  It is not to deny that racism, and huge differences of economic and educational opportunity, do exist.

      In other words, the stereotypes that the right trades in, in the attempt to create an "us vs. them" environment, are both inaccurate, because they don't capture the true complexity of our society, and morally wrong.  That's Obama's message at that point in the speech.

      If you look at the larger speech, Obama's references to, for example, Arab-American families being persecuted, inner-city kids not getting good educations, and grandmothers who can't afford to both pay rent and buy their medications, were all explicit acknowledgements of the disparities and inequities that exist.

      Obama made, as Kos (I think it was Kos) said, the right speech at the right moment.  You needn't fear that Edwards' message is going to be swallowed up by a sudden blanket denial of the fundamental inequalities that characterize so much of U.S. society.

      Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. - Albert Einstein

      by Leslie in CA on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:22:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes and no (none)
        I agree that the moment in Obama's speech when he invoked unity to call for shared responsibility was powerful and on-target:

        "If there's a child on the South Side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.
        If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.
        If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.
        It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper -- that makes this country work."

        That's the part that had me cheering and applauding the TV screen.

        But we can't just rewrite other parts of his speech, as you suggest: "To say 'there is not a black America and a white America' is to refute the Republican racism that says there should be such a division." If Obama had said "there shouldn't be a black America and a white America," I'd be enthusiastically on board. But of course that's not what he said.

        As I suggested above, I think this is a crucial distinction. The opposing Republican/Democratic views on affirmative action make a strong case study for why this matters: if, as the right claims, there already isn't a white America and a black America, then we shouldn't, and in fact must not, consider race in college admissions, hiring, etc. On the other hand, if there still are disgracefully deep divisions in this country, it's essential to acknowledge them and to work (and legislate) to undo their effects, instead of counting on a "tolerant" and "generous" America in which neither race nor class prevents a non-rich kid with an African name from achieving his potential. In far too many cases it does.

  •  Me on Carlson on Obama (none)
    Tucker Carlson is a moron. I just read his "report card" on Obama's speech last night at cnn.com. Apparently, Carlson can't read between the lines:

    Carlson: He came out for tax cuts for corporations; that's kind of interesting.

    Obama: John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he'll offer them to companies creating jobs here at home.

    My take: These are quite selective tax cuts, not at all what BushCo supports.

    Carlson: He didn't say anything about Iraq; that's interesting too.

    Obama: And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option, but it should never he the first option. A while back, I met a young man named Shamus at the VFW Hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, six-two or six-three, clear-eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he'd joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week. As I listened to him explain why he'd enlisted, his absolute faith in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all any of us might hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Shamus as well as he was serving us? I thought of more than 900 service men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who will not be returning to their hometowns. I thought of families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or with nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were reservists. When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

    My take: Carlson doesn't even need to infer Obama's intent here; he DOES mention Iraq by name!

    Carlson: He didn't say anything about the Patriot Act.

    Obama:  John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us...That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody's son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will he counted -- or at least, most of the time...If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

    My take: If you don't think this is a swipe at the Patriot Act, you are a moron.

    Carlson: He said not a word about Halliburton.

    Obama: John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he'll offer them to companies creating jobs here at home...John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren't held hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil fields.

    My take: Sure, nothing about no-bid contracts, but the first quote is about corporate responsibility, which Halliburton lacks. The second part is a swipe at Halliburton because Halliburton is an OIL COMPANY, which is opposed energy independence. It is also clearly a swipe at Kenny Boy and Enron.

    -Mr Boma
    _____________
     "Everything they have put into play since Sept. 11 has come up horse turds."  
    -Former Ambassador Joe Wilson on President George W. Bush's post-Sept. 11 administration (7/13/04)

  •  Thank you, Bush (none)
    Does anyone else think we should send W a thank-you card for unifying the party and giving us so much good material to work with?

    The best part is, we're just getting warmed up.  It seems likely that sometime during the remainder of the campaign, more pointed, surrogate based criticism of Bush will be unleashed.  Meanwhile, he's been using up his ability to do this for lack of any other material....  Incumbents don't usually get buried by their challengers, but I could see it happening as the election approaches.

    The Republicans need a divided country. We don't. --Big Dog

    by froggywomp on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 06:26:50 PM PDT

  •  This is Obama's brilliance (none)
    For me, what we are seeing here reflects the true brilliance of his speech: that he enunciated all of the values that Conservatives claim (and that true Conservatives genuinely hold), and said "these are not Conservative values, these are American values".

    You do not own God
    You do not own patriotism
    You do not own self reliance

    And then he wrapped them into a vision which was unmistakably liberal - "I am my brother's keeper".

    Damn he was good.

  •  Barak Obama (none)
    will scare the hell out of the wingnuts and invigorate the left, moderate and far.
    The GOP is already getting their dirty tricks campaign ready, and Barak is a target to be sure, they don't want this politician to get legs.
    He could become their worst nightmare, we on the left can only hope that is the case.
    Barak, congratulations on a great speech, good luck and stay safe.
    PEACE!
    ABB&B!!!
    KERRY/EDWARDS 2004
  •  Americans are so hungry for authenticity (none)
    I really think Obama is poised for great things, most of all because of his potential for reaching non-voters. If he can keep it real and authentic, and have enough grass-roots support to spread the message (which I think would be no problem for someone with his rhetorical gifts), he could turn on legions of new voters. IMHO.

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

    by ccd on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:58:12 PM PDT

  •  Nice (none)
    More good knowledge to know.

    Faux news needs faux wood blinds to shade the failures of the Bush presidency.

    by dopies on Fri Sep 03, 2004 at 11:28:25 PM PDT

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