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I am an associate attorney in a small firm.  I've known since I started working there a few months ago that one of my partners (I'll call him "Ted") is a Republican.  This weekend I found out that Ted mainlines the KoolAid.  I write this diary as a request for advice on how to deal with the political and ideological gap between us... perhaps you've had a similar experience and have some guidance?

Last Friday I received an e-mail from Ted...  "Now this is how to use requests for admission" he wrote above a forwarded chain e-mail about Philip J. Berg's wingnut Federal lawsuit against Howard Dean, the DNC, and Barack Obama alleging Mr. Obama is not a U.S. Citizen.  Before the court had ruled on the defendants' well-founded motion to dismiss, Mr. Berg submitted requests for admission to Mr. Obama. Some of the requests included...

Admit you were born in Kenya.

Admit you are a Kenya "natural born" citizen.

Admit your foreign birth was registered in the State of Hawaii.

Admit your father, Barrack Hussein Obama, Sr., admitted Paternity of you.

Admit your mother gave birth to you in Mombosa, Kenya.

Admit your mother’s maiden name is Stanley Ann Dunham a/k/a Ann Dunham.

Admit the COLB [Certification of Live Birth] posted on the website "" is a forgery.

Admit you were adopted by a Foreign Citizen.

Admit you were adopted by Lolo Soetoro, M.A. a citizen of Indonesia.

Admit you were not born in Hawaii.

Admit you are a citizen of Indonesia.

Admit you never took the "Oath of Allegiance" to regain your U.S. Citizenship status.

Admit you are not a "natural born" United States citizen.

Admit your senior campaign staff is aware you are not a "natural born" United States Citizen.

Admit the United States Constitution does not allow for a Person to hold the office of President of the United States unless that person is a "natural born" United States citizen.

Admit you are ineligible pursuant to the United States Constitution to serve as President and/or Vice President of the United States.

I thought Ted was joking, and sent him "ha ha" reply.  Of course he knew this conspiracy theory had long ago been debunked, right?... nope.  Ted confronted me on the way out the door at the end of the day and told me that there were a lot of people who "knew about the real Barack Obama" and that I was blind to the threat he posed...  Mr. Obama was visiting Hawaii, not to visit his sick grandmother, but to "deal with his citizenship problem."

I think my jaw hit the floor, but as diplomatically as I could I fought through my offense and tried to remind him of how easy it is to file a lawsuit and that just because one had been filed, didn't mean it had any merit.  "Obama and McCain both think that they are the right person to help this country weather a tough period, they just disagree on how to do it," I offered, "I hope we can at least agree on that."  He wouldn't.

I had to leave it there to pick up my son at daycare.  I thought my brush with wingnutville was over until Monday... wrong again.

Today I received a short e-mail from Ted... "You have to see this."  With a single link...  I forced myself to watch the entire thing so that I could tell him I had... That doesn't mean you have to...

In case you don't want to watch it, it is a video of a sermon by a black preacher who refers to Obama as a N****r AND white trash AND "Tarzan."   It is clearly a sermon meant to inspire the deep hate for, and fear of, Barack Obama, and Ted had swollowed it hook, line, and sinker.

I was dumbstruck... and when I recovered by faculties I could not help but respond.  I don't know whether it was the smartest thing to do, but this is the note I sent him:


I feel that I have to respond... please know that I am not trying to foment discord or attack your beliefs...

I have listened to the entire sermon...  Again... we will have to agree to disagree...  The pastor clearly did not read Obama's books.  He implies that Obama does not honor his mother in his books or in his public life... that is BS...  Here is a quote from the Preface to "Dreams of My Father":

"...Most of the characters in this book remain a part of my life, albeit in varying degrees -- a function of work, children, geography, and turns of fate.

The exception is my mother, whom we lost, with a brutal swiftness, to cancer a few months after this book was published.

She had spent the previous ten years doing what she loved. She traveled the world, working in the distant villages of Asia and Africa, helping women buy a sewing machine or a milk cow or an education that might give them a foothold in the world's economy. She gathered friends from high and low, took long walks, stared at the moon, and foraged through the local markets of Delhi or Marrakesh for some trifle, a scarf or stone carving that would make her laugh or please the eye. She wrote reports, read novels, pestered her children, and dreamed of grandchildren.

We saw each other frequently, our bond unbroken. During the writing of this book, she would read the drafts, correcting stories that I had misunderstood, careful not to comment on my characterizations of her but quick to explain or defend the less flattering aspects of my father's character. She managed her illness with grace and good humor, and she helped my sister and me push on with our lives, despite our dread, our denials, our sudden constrictions of the heart.

I think sometimes that had I known she would not survive her illness, I might have written a different book -- less a meditation on the absent parent, more a celebration of the one who was the single constant in my life. In my daughters I see her every day, her joy, her capacity for wonder. I won't try to describe how deeply I mourn her passing still. I know that she was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known, and that what is best in me I owe to her."

There are politicians that still want to do good with the power the People give them - they are that way because of how they were raised... and I think Barack Obama is one of them.  I certainly don't think he is perfect, but I am confident that he wants what is best for this Counrty and its people.  While I know that you will not vote for the guy, I hope that you are at least open to the possibility that the people that do vote for him are not completely insane (I truly hoped for the best when George W. Bush was elected even though I voted against him).  That's how democracy works... the people agree to carry on as normal even if their guy loses because they know if the winner screws up there will be another election soon.

I have been lucky enough to attend churches where the pators and parishiners strove to create places of hope and love, not fear and hate.  I truly think that this preacher is taking Jesus' name in vain when he invokes it to give weight to what is otherwise a racist and fear-filled rant (yes you can be racist even if you're black).  Also, the pastor in several sections simply lies (e.g. Rezko did not "buy Obama a $1.6M house" the truth is available here...

As to Barack Obama's citizenship I would ask that you read the non-partisan page on the issue... It shows that, absent a 40+ year international conspiracy to put Mr. Obama at the cusp of becomming the most powerful man on the planet when he wasn't constitutionally eligible, Mr. Berg's lawsuit was frivilous.

I write this not to start (or continue) an argument... I really just want you to know that my support of Mr. Obama is the result of much research and thought.  I send it with the utmost respect and hope that we can move on to arguing about whether supply-side economics is hopelessly flawed (voodoo economics as George H. W. Bush called it).

Anyway, thanks for the engaging political discussions...  See you tomorrow.  

Best, <me>

Writing that may have been stupid... but I wasn't thinking clearly... I have only one question for you... What do I do now?

Originally posted to ptolemynm on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:31 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What do you do now? (28+ / 0-)

    Vote Obama...then laugh at your boss on Nov. 5...

    Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.

    by Aqualad08 on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:37:45 PM PDT

  •  Your boss is a deluded idiot. (25+ / 0-)

    For any rational being, much less an attorney, to believe that BO was "sneaking" off to Hawaii to... I don't know, order mafia hits on the supposed witnesses to BO's "fake" birth certificate?  

    What do you do now?  You're an attorney: people pay YOU to think rationally.  Use yer noggin'.

    Small varmints, if you will.

    by 2lucky on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:38:07 PM PDT

  •  You just forget it. (27+ / 0-)

    My father-in-law showed up for a visit this weekend and let me know that Obama was a terrorist. My 10-year-old just started laughing and I did too. I told him he was nuts, and he said that he read his book and that was in there, had I read the book? I said I had read both of them and there was no mention of terrorist activities.

    My son tried to explain that the terrorist thing was all lies but they didn't want to listen. My husband was explaining John McCain's health care plan to his mother and she told him he was wrong. He said:

    Whose fault is it that I don't understand? John McCain's. Lets look at his website...clear as mud. If he can't explain it, how can you understand it?

    She stopped talking. They left today. Thank God. I'm tired of my kids thinking adults are idiots. Between this and Prop 8, they aren't respecting a lot of people right now.

  •  Maybe (22+ / 0-)

    since you work with the guy, it would be best to agree not to talk about politics at all?

    Or you could take the humorous approach: One of my cousins sent me an email saying Obama is the anti-christ.

    I replied, in jest of course, that this should be all the more reason to vote for him since it would bring the rapture closer--what every good Christian wants.

    He hasn't sent me anymore emails.

  •  boss or peer? (10+ / 0-)

    I doubt this leads anywhere good.  I suspect you may have to politely insist that he not discuss politics with you in the workplace.  Him being your boss is particularly problematic.  You don't want to be in a situation where you feel obligated to listen to his crap because he is in a position of authority over you.  If I were you I'd shut this down real quick.

  •  Your boss is a fucking moron. (17+ / 0-)

    Continue to take his paychecks and tell him you'd rather not discuss politics.

    When McCain talks he sounds like an evil Mr. Rogers.

    by clonecone on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:40:11 PM PDT

  •  You reacted in the only way possible... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YoyogiBear, la urracca

    if you had to pretend that you believed this nonsense, how could you have continued to work there.  If you're fired, then you get another job.

    And btw, rent a film "The man who sued God" about a lawyer turned fisherman who was refused insurance based on "Act of God" clause.  

    It's brilliant and entertaining, and a welcome relief to the stress of these days.

  •  Tell him Barack can't be the antichrist that (9+ / 0-)

    honor has been reserved for people like him.  People who profess to be believers in Jesus Christ and then proceed to support and defend torture, and murder by imperial edict, and lying(God really hates this one) and cheating and stealing by those in our government that swore an oath to protect and defend our liberties.  If he's looking for the antichirst...tell him to look in the mirror.

  •  If he's your boss don't bother (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IreGyre, voracious

    if he a co-worker learn how to ask him is he's a racist.

    This diary by SuzeNYC explains the technique

    "Sneezes are like porn to god" <- The Amazing Atheist

    by yuriwho on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:42:54 PM PDT

  •  Well, if you wanted to rile him up... (7+ / 0-)

    ... You could point out that John McCain wasn't born in the U.S.

    Or you could send him this:

    Or you could accept that he is not only immune to reality but determined to conquer it, and not let him trouble you too greatly in the future.

  •  The fact that he suspects Obama as AntiChrist... (8+ / 0-)

    Is proof that he is not the AntiChrist.

    Ask Three Poeple a Day: What Noble Cause?

    by Random Excess on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:48:41 PM PDT

  •  neighbor like that (5+ / 0-)

    We have a neighbor like that.

    At first I thought it was funny, then I realized that wingnuts are probably going through what some Dems went through during the primary.  

    Remember when Hillary discovered her inner white person during the campaign?

    A lot of Democrats went 'there' with her and by now most have had a catharsis.  Most Dems now see a common purpose against a McCain/Palin opponent.

    I suspect my neighbor and many wingnuts won't have a catharsis and genuinely embrace Obama as their President. They'll feel about Obama they way some Democrats still feel about Reagan.  But I think some of them will come to embrace Obama in the face of some common foreign opponent.  For example, he catches Osama.  Or he rallies us through the fiscal crisis.

    Change the subject with your boss to the stock market and that crazy Dow thing.  Let him keep wrapping his mind around that baby.  

  •  That'll just make the day after the election (2+ / 0-)

    all the more sweet. There's nothing like getting a righteous gloat on over a nutty conservative. One of life's true pleasures.

    A working-class hero is something to be.

    by Reckoner on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:50:41 PM PDT

  •  You had to tell an experienced attorney (8+ / 0-)

    that not all lawsuits have merit? Wow.

    Frankly, I wouldn't have engaged. I would have just said "I'm not very political" and just not responded. I know a person who fundraises for a fairly wellknown environmental group here and she just didn't respond (or barely responded) on the two times I brought up politics. That was it. I never mentioned it again.

    The letter is reasonable and it's hard to unring a bell....if he keeps it up, maybe look for another job?

    •  Unfortunately (7+ / 0-)

      I was too openly political when I started...  Who know you had to tiptoe around a Bay Area law firm...

      •  My god, this is the Bay? You're not a fit. NT (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northsylvania, ksh01

        Former soldier. Fighting for my country. Every day.

        by SilverWings on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:25:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How flexible are you... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peraspera, YoyogiBear hooking up with another firm?  Client base?  Easily adaptable (as in, you're not in some field where there are only a couple firms practicing that kind of law)?

        Your partner is an asshole for even bringing these libels of Obama up - and if he's harassing you with them, he's harassing other people as well, which would make for a tense work environment for everyone.

        9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

        by varro on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:34:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  well (0+ / 0-)

        Isn't it funny that no matter how experienced we are, we have lessons to learn. Although I have to say, I've done all my professional practice in the Bay Area and I've come across some conservative opposing counsel, but none who truly drank the Kool ade like that.

        You would think that of all the places in the world, the Bay Area would be the safest to be a lefty.

        Maybe it's time to have a "look, we're obviously on different sides of the political spectrum. Will we be able to work together?"

        You know, I've met many attorneys who just like the oppositional aspects of political discussion. Maybe this man is one of them. Good luck!

  •  Well, if he thinks he's the antichrist (5+ / 0-)

    then he has a religious obligation to vote for him, because that means he will bring about the Rapture. The Rapture, to them, is a good thing, so how dare they go against God's wishes. They must see to it that the antichrist achieve what he needs in order to bring about the Rapture so that God's children may rise to heaven.

    Or tell him he's a complete dumbass, unless you want to keep your job.

    John McCain is such a maverick he doesn't even have to be a maverick to be a maverick.

    by jem286 on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:51:32 PM PDT

  •  Last time I read something like this, it began: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2lucky, ptolemynm

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    by ticket punch on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:51:52 PM PDT

  •  My stepmom believes he is, too (5+ / 0-)

    And she "believes it with all her heart".

    What are you gonna do?

    There were people who believed that the Halle-Bop comet was gonna whisk them away to the promised land and committed mass suicide.

    It's kinda similar.

    Evidence, schmevidence.  It's "belief" we're talking about.


  •  Is this guy the managing partner? (7+ / 0-)

    If not maybe you can feel him/her out to see what gives.  If they are all like this then I might start looking for another position.  This does not sound promising.  Leaving politics aside, he does not sound rational and I would be surpised if he was a good attorney.

  •  Hooboy. You do have a political problem here. (7+ / 0-)

    Especially after Obama wins on Nov 4, that partner will be even more irrational, and this time it'll be aimed at you. If you need this job, or just want to keep it, then you're going to have to make peace with him - but your "peace treaty" terms will depend on his political position within the firm. Practically speaking ... go out and have lots of discussions "feeling out" what the other partners (and any other power players - office manager, maybe?) feel about Obama/McCain AND about the political opinions of this wingnut partner. If they all think he's politically nuts however useful a lawyer he may be, then you need to find another basis for a respectful relationship - find SOMETHING that you both really care about and are aligned on.  If the other partners tend to agree with him in politics, then, unless you are the hottest of hot shot attorneys and your pure brilliance compels their respect and admiration, your medium-term goal should be to find another job somewhere else, because you will have been deemed "unsound" and you really won't have a brilliant future there. Or else find a rabbi - you're probably safe if the managing partner thinks you're HIS BOY. But QUICKLY find an area of interest and agreement with this wingnut, or you'll have a sniper at your back from now on.

  •  Um. (5+ / 0-)

    I know this is the worst possible situation to be in, especially in a new job, but...


    I'd quit, file for unemployment and file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (both federal and state if you have one).

    And assuming 'Ted' is an attorney, I'd file a complaint with the state bar as well.

    Although your case would be significantly weakened (perhaps fatally) by your thanking him 'for the engaging political discussions'.

    p.s. You've now given him permission to use racist language around you, and you will either have to swallow it in the future or make your stand. The time to decide which it will be is beforehand.

    The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

    by two roads on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:57:23 PM PDT

    •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      can always put my foot down if it continues...

      •  No, not really. (0+ / 0-)

        To collect unemployment, you need to be fired.  Lawyers don't really do that very often because they are super cautious about such things.  Also, EEOC requires that you prove some harm like a missed promotion or opportunities.  Being pissed off by your boss does not count.

        •  That's not true (0+ / 0-)

          To collect unemployment, you need to be fired.

          In "right to work" states, being fired disqualifies one from unemployment.  

          This diarist is more than likely under contract so it would be based on his contract whether he would qualify or not.

          For most people, being fired disqualifies them from unemployment in most states because most workers are not under contract.

          •  Only for misconduct. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Being fired for other reasons, such as executives needing more money, wrong skill set, or incompetence, will not usually result in people losing unemployment benefits.

            9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

            by varro on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:39:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In "right to work" states (0+ / 0-)

              you can collect unemployment as long as your dismissal is not based on any fault of the worker.

              The worker would have to prove that they were fired for something not the fault of their own in order to to qualify for unemployment.  The burden would be on the worker, this diarist probably has a contract so wouldn't really fit under this but if they were not under contract?   Good luck getting unemployment.  Any employer can make a case for a firing based on worker performance.

              If you think otherwise, you need to come and set up an office to take pro bono cases for fired workers in Florida.   You'll not win hardly a case.

              •  I'm not sure what you disagree with here. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                varro, Lauren S

                The diarist can't get unemployment for quitting, regardless of what his employment contract says.

                Fired as I understand it means losing your job.  It doesn't mean that it was performance related or the employees fault.  There are two options, you either quit or are fired.  If you quit, you are ineligible for  unemployment.  If you are fired, you may be eligible if it wasn't your fault.

        •  Keep a diary, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NCrefugee, The Werewolf Prophet

          and back up those e-mails on a portable hard drive.

        •  Not always. (0+ / 0-)

          If you have reasonable grounds for leaving a job, you also qualify for benefits.

          For instance, medical reasons, moving out of town, unsafe or hazardous working conditions, etc.

          Along with this would also be a hostile working environment, such as the one described here.

          The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

          by two roads on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 08:42:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Quit your job. (0+ / 0-)

    Your boss is a bigot.

    I'll see your Joe the Plumber and raise you one Powell the General!

    by OReillysNightmare on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 11:57:33 PM PDT

  •  CLM (9+ / 0-)

    So, I can tell you I worked at a very conservative firm for three years, and I would encourage you to LEAVE NOW.

    The cumulative effect of working for these types of people can be corrosive.  Also, no matter what, your boss is never going to look at you in the same way again.  You probably ain't going places at that firm any time soon.  

    Two things: one, pro-tip, this is what's called a CLM, a career limiting move.  It is not always the best idea to wave the progressive flag all the time and I think it will cost you - Not your job, not now, but I would try to switch firms soon. Two, there are many ways to practice that don't involve these kinds of sacrifices of your value system. (I am in-house with a tech firm in Cali, by example).

    My sympathies, man.  I would keep you lip buttoned and find a place that suits you better.

    •  I agree with DanielRex and would advise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You immediately craft an exit strategy.  As an associate, any partner in the firm (whether a managing partner or not) has the ability to scupper your career by criticizing you.  And they can always find something to criticize--poor attitude, not a good fit with the firm--without blaming it on your politics.  So, being on the wrong side of this butthead probably limits your prospects at this firm.  And, although you may have a claim for hostile work environment, you could hurt your career by asserting it (law firms just love people who litigate against law firms, sad but true).

      But don't quit--make a smart move.  Look around for your next position while you still have a job.  Seek allies at the firm who will give you a good recommendation.  Don't engage in more political discussion, just politely decline to go there.  I would, however, inform the partner that you don't wish to receive any more racially biased material.  (And if there is a partner that you feel you can talk to confidentially, I would tell him or her about this email and suggest that the firm make a policy against such communications--for the protection of the firm, as much as anything.)  Now I'm sounding too much like a lawyer, sigh.

      I hope that things go well for you, and remember--you will enjoy life a lot more if you can work in a firm that shares your values.

  •  Tell him that his Bible says the antichrist (9+ / 0-)

    will deny that Jesus is the Son of God.  This rules Obama out right off the bat.  Also, tell him that Phillip J. Berg's wacky citizenship lawsuit was just tossed by a federal judge.

  •  Do not continue arguing with your boss (8+ / 0-)

    There is no reason to think any outcome will be favorable to you and since he is your boss, other not so favorable outcomes could be the end result.

    Ted confronted me on the way out the door at the end of the day and told me that there were a lot of people who "knew about the real Barack Obama" and that I was blind to the threat he posed...  Mr. Obama was visiting Hawaii, not to visit his sick grandmother, but to "deal with his citizenship problem."

    This argument about Obama's "real reason" for visiting Hawaii has been all over the wingnutosphere.  That your boss used this argument shows that he is reading the far right blogosphere and believing whatever they say, no matter how insane it is.   You will not convince this man of anything, he accepts the most idiotic arguments against Obama as fact no matter what.  That is proven by his using the "real reason he went to Hawaii" conspiracy theory that was big on the far right wing blogs.

    Don't risk your job or reputation over this, he will not be swayed if he believes, against all reason and fact, what is being posted at far right wing blog sites.

    Let it go.  Some people can not be convinced that they are wrong in believing complete bullshit.  My mom is one such person... it pains me that I have had to come to accept that I won't be able to convince her that absolute bullshit is bullshit but I've had to stand back on that one.  I really suggest you do the same since this is your boss.  

    You've presented the truth and now it's up to him.  His vote won't matter but continuing the argument might affect you.

    Sucks but it's true.

  •  I would like to see JSMcCIII's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1. Military records.
    1. Medical records

    If people are convinced we do not know the "truth" they should at least be looking where they might find something relevant.

    BTW it would make no difference if Obama were born in Kenya. (I know he wasn't.)Obama's mother was American. That would make him native born.

    JSMcCIII was born in Panama to an American and he is native born. This thing cuts both ways.

    •  OT, Jane Lew: birth and Presidents (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YoyogiBear, ladona

      To qualify to be President a person must be born in the USA like Obama or on an American military base overseas where a parent is serving, like John McCain.

      Media Reform Action Link

      by LNK on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:25:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There have been a number of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LNK, AJ in Camden

        presidential candidates who have not been born in the United States.

        Barry Goldwater, was born in Arizona  in 1909 while Arazona was still a territory.
        Arizona did not become a state until 1912. Goldwater was the Republican candidate for President in 1964.

        From Wikipedia:

        George Romney, who ran for the Republican party nomination in 1968, was born in Mexico to U.S. parents. Romney’s grandfather emigrated to Mexico in 1886 with his three wives and children after Utah outlawed polygamy. Romney's parents retained their U.S. citizenship and returned to the United States in 1912. Romney was 32 years old when he arrived in Michigan.

        Also from Wikipedia.

        Lowell Weicker, the former Connecticut Senator, Representative, and Governor, entered the race for the Republican party nomination of 1980 but dropped out before voting in the primaries began. He was born in Paris, France and acquired his citizenship at birth through his parents. His father was an executive for E. R. Squibb & Sons and his mother was the Indian-born daughter of a British general.

        There is a special law confirming US citizenship people born of US citizens in the Canal Zone. US Citizenship is granted if one or both parents are citizens. It also makes no difference whether one or both parents is in the military.

        This law took effect one year after John McCain III was born. It conferred citizenship retroactively.

  •  Just tell him to stop watching the FOX chnl -n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  You could let him know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YoyogiBear, Ashiado

    (if you are receiving these emails through your company email system) that the company policy does not allow for personal use and you want to follow your company policy.

    When this happens to me at work with people I like or don't like, I'm very clear that I am required to follow company policy and I can't participate in non work related emails.

    This usually works.  However, if it's coming from my CEO, 1) I don't read it, 2) I don't reply and 3) I delete it immediately.  If he brings it up, looking for a response, I let him know "I've been pretty darn busy and didn't have time to give it the justice it deserved."

    Don't know if any of these would work for you, I know it is also scary because you don't want your job to be in jeopardy.  But realize that his could be as well, since he's the "sender".

  •  Don't try to convince him (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sheddhead, YoyogiBear, Ashiado

    There will all be a small percentage of conspiracy theory lovers. And there will always be people who don't want to be convinced. Your Boss may change his beliefs about Obama but that may take some time and it will be on his on own accord. I don't see him being convinced by an Obama supporter. It is more likely that he might be convinced by the changing views of his GOP friends and sources which he might value more in his decision/belief making.

    My suggestion, just don't discuss politics with him.

    Only a few(a small percentage) will be humble, non-egoistic and open minded to acknowledge their misplaced beliefs when contradicted with evidence. I don't think your boss is one of them. I am not one of them for that matter. It really takes some time for me to change my false beliefs, and I tend to justify them with further false evidence. (Although, I don't have such false beliefs in the case of Obama.)

    You may have good levels of critical thinking skills in general but it gravely suffers when it overlaps with prejudice in some specific areas.

  •  Be diplomatic, but STOP responding back him... (3+ / 0-)

    this situation could get miserable for you, as you are unlikely to change your bosses mindset.

    You are going to have to find a way to detach from your bosses politics...while maintaing your professionalism and balance..

    'Country First, People LAST'- John Mccain.

    by daq3405 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:17:07 AM PDT

    •  Ditto. (0+ / 0-)

      Fall back from the "agree to disagree" to the "I'm not very political", to the "Sigh. Did you see my powerpoint presentation".

      Don't engage him.  Now is not a good economic time to get fired or harassed.

      Just back slowly away from the lunatic and quietly look for a new job.

  •  First, print hard copies of everything. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, LNK, IreGyre
    Immediately.  Keep them off-site, not in your briefcase, or your car parked on firm property.

    Keep detailed notes, including date / time, all parties involved, etc.  Keep them off-site, not in your briefcase, or your car parked on firm property.

    This situation may further an unfavorable / discriminatory work environment for you, & you may be subject to retaliatory actions as a result, so be prepared.  I have some experience in this area, & will be happy to talk with you, if you like, but that should be off-line.  (I do not practice law anymore, & am not qualified to give legal advice.)

    Former soldier. Fighting for my country. Every day.

    by SilverWings on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:20:19 AM PDT

  •  A mess o' thoughts in reply, about antichrist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YoyogiBear, gfab

    I happen to be good at playing dumb (it comes naturally) I'd be asking "what is an antichrist? how does one recognize one? who does the labelling and why?"

    My hideously maniacal serious reply to anyone who claims Obama is the antichrist? (slightly maniacal grin first, then intone seriously how the German people swore allegiance to Hitler as their savior.........)

    I'd also ask them where they get their news from. Then I'd point out how those news outlets are owned by multi-millionaires who want to keep their control over us (viewers, employees, consumers) so they will try every trick to poison your mind about candidates who make a peep about holding them accountable (look how Republicans just gave gazillions to banks without holding them accountable the way it was done in England, etc.)..........

    I also calmly tell people like that how politics is sooooo theoretical to most people, but to me it is more REAL because I personally experienced how Democrats will help people and Republicans will hurt people........My litmus test of politicians =

    I was disabled by what should have been a preventable workplace injury. I ask people to imagine how much that hurts and what would YOU do if you suddenly were unable to look after yourself for the rest of your life........

    Democrats passed a bill to prevent injuries like mine. Republicans tore it up the first week they took back The White House.

    It was in their party platform.


    Obama the Antichrist.....I'd also calmly ask whether they would feel the same way if both of Obama's father didn't come from Kenya but came from Egypt? From Turkey? From Mexico? From Canada? From Kansas?

    I'd also ask this boss if he believes in the teachings of Jesus..........

    If he answers yes, I'd cheerfully give him little gifts of Christian Scriptural sayings in calligraphy........

    I might even risk suggesting there be a voluntary office collection box for charitable contributions (and the boss will be the first to donate!):

    The Corporal Works of Mercy
    1 Feed the Hungry
    2 Give drink to the thirsty
    3 Clothe the naked
    4 Shelter the homeless
    5 Comfort the imprisoned
    6 Visit the sick
    7 Bury the dead

    The Spiritual Works of Mercy
    1 Admonish sinners
    2 Instruct the uninformed
    3 Counsel the doubtful
    4 Comfort the sorrowful
    5 Be patient with those in error
    6 Forgive offenses
    7 Pray for the living and the dead

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:21:29 AM PDT

  •  Wow, I've got a lady at my work that's bought (0+ / 0-)

    into the whole not a citizen thing too but she's not too bright. i would have assumed that lawyers would be a little more intelligent and require a higher standard of proof.

    If the guy's your boss, I would avoid talking about politics as much as possible (9 more days!!!!). I'd also be a little worried that someone with such a logic deficit is in a position of responsibility at your firm.

  •  Response. (8+ / 0-)
    To all the allegations, DENY.

    Candidate asserts that the Requests For Admission are irrelevant, burdensome, scandalous, and not designed to produce any admissible evidence.

    Now, Mr. McCain:

    ADMIT that you committed adultery on one Carol McCain.

    ADMIT that you accepted money from G. Gordon Liddy, a known terrorist.

    ADMIT that instead of rescuing people on the Forrestal, you hid in the ready room.

    ADMIT that you told your Vietcong captors the name of your unit and your mission, thus giving them important military intelligence.

    ADMIT that you accepted money from Charles Keating.

    ADMIT that you were reprimanded by the U.S. Senate for poor judgment in associating with Charles Keating.

    ADMIT that you called your second wife, Cindy McCain, a "cunt".

    ADMIT that your melanoma is Stage III.

    ADMIT that you did not vet Sarah Palin sufficiently before choosing her as your Vice-Presidential candidate.

    ADMIT that your campaign publicized the falsified attack of one Ashley Todd.

    ADMIT that your campaign threatened Jewish voters with a "second Holocaust" if Barack Obama was elected.

    ADMIT that you have failed to keep your audiences from yelling violent and bigoted comments.

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:29:29 AM PDT

  •  I wish Obama WAS the Antichrist..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YoyogiBear, Sadameatsit

    We could get in some good smiting and maybe I wouldn't have to worry about my stepkids' college tuition--or my wife's credit card bill.

    A Sarah Palin speech: "Like Gidget addressing the Reichstag.."

    by Azdak on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:32:37 AM PDT

  •  A Socialist Anti-Christ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YoyogiBear, IreGyre

    The worst kind.

    If that is so, then we must tend our own gardens then.

    by Otherday on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:34:56 AM PDT

  •  More responses, with patience (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1. I can't listen to anti-black prejudice any more because a black nurse saved my life.
    1. This I'd really REALLY like to know:

    Which bothers you more, that Obama is half-black? or that he will raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 per year?

    1. Did you know that black people used to be called the wealth of the South? And that it was only after the Emancipation of the Slaves when blacks and whites working in factories decided to get together to ask the boss for better working conditions and salaries that the bosses got together to break up the coalition of working spreading lies and smears about black people? ........Africans and African-Americans are a very loving people. Did you not see the TV show "Africans in America?"

    1. Black blood is good enough to be spilled while in uniform defending the USA..........

    Finally, it might help to know that conservatives often have worse 'startle' reflexes.....they scare more easily, in other it might help to make them feel more secure, less fearful..........OR.....get them riled up and scared about what the rich are really doing to us.

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 12:37:44 AM PDT

  •  don't let yourself be isolated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You are in a very tricky situation and I agree with the comments above that finding another job as quickly as possible is probably in your best interest not only in terms of handling the current situation but also in terms of your long term career. You will not be going anywhere in this company. That seems pretty clear. So cut your losses and start focusing on getting out before your boss and/or other co-workers begin destroying you on a professional level.

    In the meantime you need to maintain your sanity and not let yourself feel isolated. Document the incidents (I suspect there will be more) and get out.

  •  Great diary. Great answer. nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  I vote for antichrist! I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex


  •  You can't win an argument (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex, ciphergoth, FarWestGirl

    with drunks, or crazy people.

    McCrusty: "You kids get off a my lawns!!!!!!!"

    by PBJ Diddy on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 01:08:42 AM PDT

  •  Your boss is a colossal tool (0+ / 0-)

    but hopefully he's not enough of a tool to allow this to affect your work environment or job status in a negative way.  If he does, you're probably better off elsewhere.

  •  Your response was reasonable and (0+ / 0-)

    there's just not too much you can do when the fool is your boss.
    What really ticks me off about those people who are obsessed with Obama's country of origin, is that they are so profoundly parochial. They have no experience in a world of people who don't look, sound, and think like them. They can't imagine Americans with varied backgrounds and life experiences.
    It is simply the color of Obama's skin that makes him foreign to them. Yahoos like your boss are so naive and ignorant that they can't even stop to consider that Barack and his family (that's right, he has a family), and friends (not just terrorist pals) are also part of the narrative of his life. There are hundreds of people in  Indonesia, Kenya, Illinois, Hawaii, and other American states, who KNOW OBAMA. They were present for all of the mundane and magnificent moments of his life. WTF is so difficult to understand?
    Whoohoo! Sorry for the rant, and I know this is going to sound rather hypocritical considering what I just wrote but, I wish all those idiots would turn purple on Nov. 5 so we could know who to avoid. Good luck with your boss.

  •  Nice response, but I wouldn't do it again. (0+ / 0-)

    I would just continue to ask him to stop as you cannot agree, unless he is willing to discuss the issue in a reasonable and rational way.

    In my experience, it is rare that someone who will believe stuff like this can be convinced of anything else.  I believe it's because they are simply looking for justification for their personal views and this story appeals to them.

  •  You couldn't have handled it better. (0+ / 0-)


    You don't need the Weathermen to know which way the wind blows.

    by punkdavid on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 01:27:08 AM PDT

  •  Mombosa, Kenya? (0+ / 0-)

    Come on, that's not even a city. It's Mombasa.

    Ignore the ignorami. They hate Obama now, but take solace in knowing they will be sorely disappointed in eight days when he wins, and Obama will have four years to bring real change and prove his administration is not about supporting domestic terrorism, making Islam the official state religion, ushering in the Apocalypse, and destroying America so Iran can take over.

    I have a feeling a lot of Republicans over the next few years are going to have to begrudgingly admit that Obama is doing good things for this country and that he's not the awful sub-human they painted him to be. The crap they're spewing about him is so clearly outrageous that Obama has to exceed their expectations by leaps and bounds, even if he only manages to not screw everything up abysmally.

    "My greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness: it's possible that I'm a little too awesome." -Barack Obama

    by AtomikNY on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 01:33:23 AM PDT

  •  Tell him To Go Fuck Himself! (0+ / 0-)

    Don't waste you time trying to rationalize with this crazy asshole.  Spend your time phone banking and contribute to Obama in your boss's honor and tell him your doing it.

  •  You might want to mention to Ted that if anybody (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    has a case regarding being born in America or not it is the Democrats as McCain was born in Panama at a hospital not within the boundaries of the Panama Canal Zone, which means, technically, he isn't an American born citizen. This is something right wing Lou Dobbs brought up during the primary and you can check Wikipedia to discover that indeed McCain was born outside of the Panama Canal Zone. The reason he is considered a citizen is because the US government considered children born at that particular hospital citizens even though the treaty does not include the land the hospital sits upon as being within the Panama Canal Zone. You could also point out that if Rove or Cheney or anybody else with half a brain at the RNC truly thought Obama wasn't an American citizen they themselves would have filed that lawsuit. The reason they didn't is because they looked into it and even knowing it'd probably end up before a very Republican friendly SCOTUS there was no chance of a ruling in their favor based on the facts and the only result would be to make them look petty for filing such a pointless lawsuit in the first place. You could also mention that Democrat presidents do a far better job at managing the economy, expanding the employment sector, and growing the stock market by giving him this link:

    Then gently remind him that when W took office there were budget surpluses, we were at peace, America was admired around the world, and employment was booming. Today we have massive deficits, the insane tax cuts that were supposed to generate mountains of revenue never materialized but somehow McCain thinks they should be continued, America's federal government is unliked to despised around the world, and employment rates have been declining for eight years. Then remind him plenty of people said the same things about Clinton, that he'd ruin America's economy, lead us to socialism, and let teh gays get married. Of course, none of those things happened. You could also tell him demonizing one's opponent is one of the world's oldest rhetorical tricks and that in four years he's going to have to apologize to you when the economy is back on track, America is admired across the globe again, and the End Times haven't started.

    Krusty the Klown Brand Klassic Signatures

    by Carl Brutanananadilewski on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:17:22 AM PDT

  •  ask him where he gets his news (0+ / 0-)

    World Net Daily has "exclusive" after "exclusive" regarding Obama's supposed foreign birth and the conspiracy to cover it up.

    If his only news sources are the WND and its more secular cousin, Fox News, then this bloke has been brainwashed. Don't waste your time on him. If he's been swaying the undecideds in your firm toward McPalin, work on them instead.

    I thought lawyers were trained to see more than one side of an issue. How is this guy's track record with his clients' cases?

    The gentleman values harmony, not uniformity; the small man values uniformity, not harmony. -- Confucius (early pundit)

    by wheatdogg on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:30:19 AM PDT

  •  professional managers do not force political (0+ / 0-)

    discussions on people they manage. It would be just as unprofessional if your boss was an Obama supporter and you a Palin fan. It is manipulative and intimidating.
    You really should avoid further discussion.....besides it sounds pointless anyways.

    "The fundamentals of my economy are strong" ...John McCain

    by polticoscott on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 03:40:12 AM PDT

  •  Start looking for a new job. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Your boss will not change. He will continue to torment you all the way through both terms of the Obama administration. Your health is your primary asset. Without that, you can have nothing else. Enduring the company of an unendurable asshole is very bad for your health. Even if it means a pay cut you should leave his employ and find work elsewhere. Don't even tell him why you are leaving.

  •  You shouldn't have responded (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why does your boss think it is okay to send you e-mails with racist language?  IMO, if you responded at all you should have asked him not to send you that kind of sh--, particularly through office e-mail.  Seeing stuff like this makes me glad that I work for the gov't, because this person would have been in violation of the Hatch Act and subject to some some of discipline.

    I agree with some of the other posters that suggested that this could create a hostile work environment, but only if he continues to send racist e-mails.  Disagreeing with you politically, while irritating, is not an actionable basis for discrimination.

  •  My Boss Suspects He Might Be ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... but she isn't sure.

  •  The citizenship non-issue is straight from Savage (0+ / 0-)

    Nation, Michael Savage had Berg on, let Berg do all the talking while Savage gasped and shouted "that's terrible" in the background.

    Hate radio is a very powerful propaganda machine used against democrats, and one thing you can do is to join the fight to restore the Fairness Doctrine.

    You also might start looking around for a better outfit to share your talents with. There's no real point in you putting your shoulder to your current boss's wheel, when there may be a law firm or district attorney's office you'd be much more proud to enrich or to assist with your work.

    You know, if you stay where you are, this will happen again next election.

  •  Due Diligence (0+ / 0-)

    If this is an example of the kind of due diligence and research your boss provides to clients in his professional life I'm glad he is not representing me.  

  •  Well, erm, good luck. (0+ / 0-)

    Frankly, I think you're now in for a world of hurt at work.  Total nutjobs don't respond to reason, so reasoning with them is totally pointless.

    I would guess that your best bet is simply not to discuss politics with him in any way, shape, or form, and hope that maybe he sees how foolish his ideas were after the first four years of Obama's presidency.

    Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

    by drbloodaxe on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 05:36:50 AM PDT

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