Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Being America’s First Black President Has Its Privileges

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Apparently, being America’s first black President has its benefits. It means President Obama can cry racism (and get away with it) anytime Republicans criticize his policies or his past, specifically his past association with a racist pastor.  When the  New York Times  published a story last week about a GOP plan to run negative ads connecting Obama to Reverend Jeremiah Wright and his race baiting sermons, the Obama race machine pounced.

bama campaign manager Jim Messina called it “The blueprint for a hate-filled, divisive campaign of character assassination speaks for itself. It also reflects how far the party has drifted in four short years since John McCain rejected these very tactics.”  How is it hate-filled or racist to run ads revealing the truth about Obama’s 20 plus year relationship with Wright who gave race-baiting sermons? If anything running such ads would reveal a hate-filled side of Obama’s character. How could Obama allow a reverend like Wright to marry him and baptize his two children?

The moment the story ran, the mainstream news media, who is so in the tank for Obama no matter how bad a president he is, called the GOP strategy “hard line” and  “racist.”  And as predicted, Romney, billionaire Joe Ricketts and Karl Rove ran scared and repudiated the strategy. In 2008, Senator John McCain declined to produce similar ads for fear of being called a racist by the media. Obama and his team have put Republicans on notice that they will  inject race into the 2012 campaign at every turn.

Talk about a double standard. The Republicans should not have caved into Obama’s campaign of threats and intimidation. I bet all the white presidents before Obama would have liked to be able to pull the race card out of their back pockets at the drop of hat. I’m sure Bill Clinton really wished he could have used the excuse of being black to blame Republicans for trying to impeach him.

A turn coat Republican leaked the now derailed 54 page plan, to the New York Times. The plan, entitled The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good, outlined a strategy to run a series of ads linking Obama with Rev. Wright. Billionaire Joe Ricketts  planned to pour $10million into a pro Romney Super PAC to run ads reminding Americans of Obama’s long relationship with racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

What’s wrong with this strategy? Obama belonged to Wright’s Chicago church Trinity United Church of Christ. This is where Wright gave racists sermons. According to the book Game Change, Wright railed about the treatment of blacks: “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes the three-strike law, and  then wants us to sing God Bless America. No, no, no! Not God bless America-Goddamn America!” In another sermon, he referred to America as the “US of KKK A,” (Game Change, p. 234).

After 9/11, Wright preached America brought this horrific act upon itself: “We bombed Hiroshima! We bombed Nagasaki! And we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yards!,”(Game Change, p. 234).

Some Republican Super PAC should have the guts not only to run ads connecting the deep relationship Obama had with Rev. Wright but also include remarks from Obama’s 2008 race speech “A More Perfect Union.” The speech was a political gimmick Obama used to get the fawning media off his back when Rolling Stone first exposed his relationship with Wright.  But Obama refused to denounce Wright. He said “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.”

There is nothing racist about running a political ad which shows Obama never denounced his relationship with a race-baiter like Wright who preached America deserved 9/11. Since  2008, Obama and his team have always been the ones injecting race into his campaign and administration. While campaigning in Missouri in 2008, Obama accused McCain of trying to scare voters about him even though McCain vigorously defended Obama against attacks from some McCain supporters. Obama said: “So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s too risky,” (Game change, p. 331)

If Obama thinks it’s fair game to attack Romney’s record at the equity firm Bain Capital, then it’s fair game for Romney and Republicans to shine the light on Obama’s past. Being the first black president does not give Obama a free pass on being held accountable to the same standards of criticism as those who went before him. Voters deserve to hear the truth about Obama in 2012, not narratives spun of make believe.

GOP Led Virginia Assembly Making Republicans Look like Biggest Losers

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Unemployment is running at an historic high, 5.5 million Americans have been out of work for 27 weeks or more, wages have declined, gas prices are $4 a gallon or higher in some spots and Virginia Republicans want to waste time forcing women to have vaginal probes before they choose to have abortions. This isn’t just the wrong bill at the wrong time, when Americans want their elected officials to get the country back on track, create jobs, and boost this lifeless economy, it makes Republicans look like Puritans conducting the Salem Witch Trials and utterly out of touch!

As a cab driver told me this week, “Virginia Republicans are making us look like a laughing stock with this ridiculous bill which tramples on women’s rights and any chances for the Republican presidential nominee to win Virginia or the election.”

In their collective stupidity, Virginia Republicans  decided to use their majority in the assembly to push an anti-abortion bill which would mandate a woman in her first trimester of pregnancy have an invasive ultrasound before choosing to have an abortion. At that stage of pregnancy the only way for an ultrasound to be performed is by inserting a probe into the woman’s vagina. (While they’re at it, the Virginia Assembly should mandate the man who impregnated the woman receive a probe up their genitals to be fair.) And the procedure would not be covered by insurance companies because it wouldn’t be considered medically necessary so a woman would have to pay for the state pushing its extreme religious views on her. But hey, their party line is “let’s just treat women like heretics.”

Making matters even worse, Virginia GOP lawmakers also introduced a personhood bill, which sought to change the definition of a person to a fertilized egg. It’s troubling at a time of economic turmoil that conservatives would focus on a social issue like abortion with such zeal. What the Tea Party movement taught us in 2010 is fiscal issues are the most important thing to voters right now and focusing on these issues help Republicans win elections (see House GOP Majority).Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell won the governor’s race in 2010 because he focused on the bread and butter issues of jobs and the economy not wedge issues like people’s bedrooms or abortion.

Standing up for traditional family values is important for Republicans to do in an age where political correctness seems to be driving the traditional family and morals from the definition of normal. But making social issues, like limiting abortion, legislative priorities is a losing proposition and a waste of political capital. Republicans condemned Obama for violating the Catholic Church’s 1st amendment right in forcing Catholic organizations to pay for contraception in their healthcare plan and rightfully so; however, Virginia Republican lawmakers are trying to force their religious beliefs on all women in the state.

The bill violates a woman’s 14th amendment right, as the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 in Roe vs. Wade . In the Supreme Court’s ruling, it expressly states during the first trimester of pregnancy, the decision to have an abortion rests between a mother and her physician not the state. By mandating a woman receive an ultrasound in her first trimester, Virginia’s anti-abortion bill deliberately violates Roe vs. Wade in an effort by Republican zealots to force their religious views upon women which also violates their 1st amendment rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting free exercise thereof;”  As individuals we may abhor abortion due to religious or personal beliefs but we cannot force our beliefs on others, especially since that would violate the US Constitution.

Perhaps realizing the disastrous repercussions this bill could have on the GOP and more importantly its presidential nominee, Governor McDonnell, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, is urging lawmakers to change the bill so it won’t require a vaginal ultrasound saying:

“No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure,” said McDonnell.

But McDonnell said he would sign the bill if it requires a regular ultrasound. Following the governors logic, if no person should be forced by the state to have a medical procedure before having another then forcing women to have any kind of ultrasound is wrong. A better solution would be for McDonnell to encourage Virginia Republicans to abandon this madness altogether.

In 2008, the people of Virginia voted for Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama, turning this red state blue for the first time in 40 years. With legislative moves like this made by out of touch Republicans, Virginia has a good chance of staying blue in this election cycle and the GOP stands a good chance of becoming the biggest loser of 2012.