This diary will be brief, but we have a big last weeks ahead of us and I figure we could all use the chuckle. Drudge's current, bold-faced headline is: 2001 OBAMA: 'TRAGEDY' THAT 'REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH' NOT PURSUED.
The video contained therein is the, "bombshell," proof they've, "uncovered," from a a 2001 Chicago Public radio interview in which Obama discusses the Warren Court and its ramifications through the lens of the Civil Rights Movement. They then take issue with the fact that Obama says the Warren Supreme Court, "never ventured into the issues of REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH and served the more basic issues of political and ECONOMIC JUSTICE IN THE SOCIETY," (emphasis theirs - see the video) and in this way, "IT WASN'T THAT RADICAL. IT DIDN'T BREAK FREE FROM THE ESSENTIAL CONSTRAINTS THAT WERE PLACED BY THE FOUNDING FATHERS IN THE CONSTITUTION."
Note, of course, that Obama isn't suggesting we need radical judicial change in the Constitution, but is instead defending the Warren Court and saying it did not overstep its bounds enforcing civil rights issues and the integration of the bill of rights. He goes on to say that the Warren Court only defines what the state cannot do to you, and that one of, "THE TRAGEDIES OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT was, because the Civil Rights Movement became so court focused there was a tendency to lose track of the POLITICAL AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZING and activities on the ground that are able to put together THE ACTUAL COALITIONS OF POWER through which you bring about REDISTRIBUTIVE CHANGE and in some ways WE STILL SUFFER FROM THAT." Later Obama says he is, "not optimistic about bringing major redistributive change through the courts - the institution just isn't structured that way." Now, sane people understand that Obama, when talking about redistributive change, is not suggesting redistribution of wealth to African Americans, but is talking about fundamental issues like job/wage equity, fair housing, leg-up education programs, and other issues to help bring equality and fairness to a recently segregated South.
Many in the civil rights movement, even up to the 1980's and Jesse Jackson's candidacy, were in favor of Reparations and wealth redistribution to try and remedy the problems of a suppressed black polulace. Obama, in this interview, rejects those ideas as not the responsibility of the court, but goes on to say that some of the grassroots community rebuilding that should have taken place overlooked, in their pursuit of court remedies, fundamental issues of economic/employment fairness, equal housing, or costly special education programs to provide a leg up to children who had fallen behind.
Of course, the makers of this video don't care to bore you with the content or history of Obama's remarks. Instead all they want you to hear, emphasized by their boldface select subtitles, is, "REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH... RADICAL (ayers!)... BREAK FREE... FROM THE FOUNDING FATHERS...CIVIL RIGHTS (he's black!)...COMMUNITY ORGANIZING (acorn!)...COALITIONS OF POWER...REDISTRIBUTIVE CHANGE (socialism! scary!). You see, Obama uses the phrase, "redistribution of wealth," ergo, he must be advocating for it. The funny thing is, they continue to play the interview, emphasizing several more times Obama's comments about the Warren Court not being too radical. Perhaps the Republican wingnuts want to refight the 50 year old Civil Rights Movement - might be worth a point or two in some of the state they're having trouble with, like Arkansas.
The point is - this is the best they've got. Eight days out from the election, 10 points down nationwide and at least 100 Electoral Votes in the hole, with Obama making continued gains in Indiana, Georgia, North Dakota, Montana, and Arizona, a five minute long soundbite talking about a supreme court issue your average American probably has, at best, cursory knowledge of, in the midst of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression (when a little wealth distribution might not sound too bad to some of those millions of whiner Americans who lost their jobs in the Bush/McCain/Grahamm economy) is the very best they could pull out of their hats. I suggest you take it like I do, with a hearty chuckle. And while you're laughing, head down to your local Obama HQ and sign up for a shift to make calls and GOTV heading into this last weekend. My homestate of North Carolina has some 16,000 volunteer hours it needs AT A MINIMUM to continue its effort, and I know my neighbors Georgia and Virginia are in for some nailbiters of their own. Find out what your state needs, and let's show these clowns that their race-baiting classwar nonsense is laughable not just to the DailyKos, but to America as well.