Thursday, January 31, 2008

Signal to noise

There's a thread that runs through these articles. Obama's Nation of Islam Staffers, Obama’s Muslim Summit, As Campaign Surges, Obama Working to Quell Jewish Fears. The answer to what the common thread is may appear "obvious". But it only appears so. Many of the answers given will actually be different. For some the articles represent "swiftboating". Still others will think they are indications of a debate between competing voting blocs in the electorate. There will be some who will say the articles are about race, or Islamophobia, or about AIPAC. A small minority might even ask themselves if the substantive questions raised in the pieces are true. But they are probably going to be in the minority.

The most amazing thing about the subject of Barack Obama's relationship with Israel is that it carries such a weight of messaging that there's actually information fratricide. Tens of thousands of words have been composed on the subject of the man and his policies and yet many are still unsure of what he represents. Jonah Goldberg recently described the reaction of a liberal blogger to one of the Man of Hope's barn-burners which perfectly illustrates Mac Johnson's remark that the Obama was above all, a "political Rorschach test". The blogger wrote:

Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair.

The other great leaders I've heard guide us toward a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.

But when the mesmeric spell is broken; after the confetti has settled on the floor; when the chairs have been stacked against the wall; when you've driven halfway home from the rally, stopped at all-nighter for a cup of coffee, it may come to you: what did you really hear? There's a thread that runs through those articles. If only we knew what it was.


Blogger Doug said...
David N. Bossie
Because of McCain Feingold, he can't show the movie.
He can't advertise the movie on TV.
But he can go on Fox, Hewitt etc

1/31/2008 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Obama crusades for illegal alien driver’s licenses; y tu, McCain?
Michelle Malkin
John McCain vs. the Right: No easy peace; Update:McCain at CPAC
by Michelle Malkin

1/31/2008 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

I was under the impression that McCain Feingold didn't prohibit free speech till 90 days before the general election. Where am I wrong?

1/31/2008 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger newscaper said...

I have grown so thoroughly disgusted by the way the MSM political coverage is almost exclusively "horse race", focusing campaign strategy&tactics rather than concretely digging into the issues and what the candidates "really" think, based on their records.
Instead it's almost all shallow.

Of course it's no different than the way they cover high profile police investigations and trials (Grace, van Susteren, etc) rather than attempting to identify "truth", much less "justice".

1/31/2008 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not sure, Mike, but both Hewitt the lawyer and Bossie say so.

1/31/2008 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The thread is that Obama is a Muslim, and if you vote for him, you're voting for a black Koran-follower.

There's been a viral e-mail program going on for weeks about his Muslim father, his initial schooling in a madrassah, and his middle name being Hussein.

I'm not sure why the MSM are getting into the act now, but that's certainly what they're doing with these "be very very afraid, Jews" (and everyone else, too) stories.

I read three different stories on the MSM today, all relating somehow to Obama's connections with the Ummah (i.e., a $3 million campaign donation from an Iraqi-born Brit). Either Obama *is* a closet Muslim and that is coming out, or the Clinton/Rove smear machine is working overtime.

1/31/2008 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

BO isn't Muslim. Not sure why this is a focus now. Unless he just converted he's a member of a Christian church. And he still smokes - which is an Islamic no-no.

1/31/2008 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jim in Virginia said...

Barack Obama as Chauncey Gardner?

1/31/2008 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

It's funny how "swiftboating" has become such a dirty work. The "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" are honorable men and had legitimate greviances against John Kerry. It was poetic justice that their efforts played a significant role in keeping Kerry from becoming President.

I find it amusing in the extreme that the moonbats behind John Kerry became such sore losers. Rather than admit that Kerry was a poor candidate for President, the moonbats opted to make "swiftboating" a dirty word and cast it as the boogyman behind their failure. These moonbats with the MSM's full cooperation have done a classic Joseph Goebbels on "swiftboating" by repeating the word over-and-over again in the context of something despicable.

On rare occasions, the shrieking of moonbats can be like praise from heaven.

1/31/2008 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Obama and Ron Paul are two sides of the same coin. Outside nutty gold standard and libertarian idiocy Paul's Ronulan campaign and Obama's have the same general attitude towards "Jews" as the source of all evil, AmeriKKKa as an evil empire, friendliness to Sharia, isolationism, and extreme hostility to American Nationalism.

Both are the ugly side of identity politics driven to their logical conclusion.

Obama DOES have Nation of Islam staffers, just as Paul has KKK staffers. Obama HAS called for a "summit" of Muslim leaders with whom he will negotiate "peace."

How? By offering creeping sharia in the US of course.

Obama has a long history of looking favorably on Muslims, Sharia, and Islam. His passages in Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance concerning his half-brothers embrace of Islam and his rejection of another for embracing European culture and classical music are telling. So too his choice (forced upon him by skeptical community leaders when he was an "activist" aka shakedown artist) of Trinity United and Rev. Wright. Wright and Trinity offer a "Black Gospel" and racial separatism with racialist superiority, they reject "middleclassness" whatever that is. Wright has made many anti-Jewish statements.

My sense is that Obama is not likely a Muslim but looks favorably on it as an "authentic" part of his racial heritage. Obama is obsessed with his racial heritage. To an unhealthy degree IMHO. He has naive and dangerous views of Islam and Muslims based on his idealized racial views.

1/31/2008 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

My sense is that Obama is not likely a Muslim but looks favorably on it as an "authentic" part of his racial heritage.

Just to be clear, I don't think Obama is a card-carrying Muslim either, and I agree with the assessment above. However, I *do* believe the thread is the smear and that someone is pulling puppet strings behind the stage trying to scare American voters by implying Islamist tendencies in Obama. Call it camel-boating.

1/31/2008 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

Nancy: Call it the Clintons. They will accept race war rather than defeat.

1/31/2008 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

Daniel Pipes' point of view is that Obama may not consider himself a Muslim, but Muslims might. It could work in his favor or make him a target depending on how dogmatic a particular Muslim might be. I suspect that it's something the Secret Service worries about.

1/31/2008 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

Political Rorschach is a perfect way to put it. The analogy gains some bite when you understand that some people ask the psychiatrist, did I get it right? In fact, it's entirely possible that there is nothing definitive there, that the idea of supporting a fixed platform or a set of policies is anathema to Obama's philosophy.

1/31/2008 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Obama is quoted in the Jerusalem Post:

Palestinian refugees belong in their own state and do not have a "literal" right of return to Israel, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Monday. ...

"There has been a constant and virulent smear campaign via the Internet that has been particularly targeted against the Jewish community," he said. "It is absolutely false. I have never practiced Islam. I was raised by my secular mother, and I have been a member of the Christian religion and an active Christian."

Obama said he wanted to speak personally on the subject so that voters in the Jewish community could hear "from the horse's mouth" that "there is no substance there and that there is a strong and deep commitment and connection to the Jewish community that should not be questioned."

The key here is Obama's public rejection of the Palestinian's "literal" Right of Return.

1/31/2008 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He thinks EVERYONE has a right to live in this country, and be given the famous "path to citizenship."

Also FAVORS Drivers licenses for illegals.

Question from a Black Woman:
What can be done about the decimation of jobs and wages for blacks and others by illegals?

Barrack blows it off as scapegoating and prattles on, throwing Blacks under the bus.

Black man calls in and says he's out of touch, that it is discussed all the time in many black churches.

I'll try and get an mp3 of that part of the Kevin James show to you, Wretchard.
I would appreciate it if you could forward it to others, esp Instapundit.
PAPER: Dem say McCain nearly abandoned GOP...
This story should be a blockbuster, but will be buried if the blogs don't swarm it.
Names and places, including statements by Tom Daschle of extensive discussions.

1/31/2008 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Daschle said that throughout April and May of 2001, he and McCain “had meetings and conversations on the floor and in his office, I think in mine as well, about how we would do it, what the conditions would be. We talked about committees and his seniority … [A lot of issues] were on the table.”

Absolutely not so, according to McCain. In a statement released by his campaign, McCain said, “As I said in 2001, I never considered leaving the Republican Party, period.”

Some of the meetings Daschle referred to are detailed in the former senator’s 2003 book.

Other senators who played major roles in the intense recruiting effort, according to Democrats, were then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) as well as Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“John [Edwards] at that time was working with McCain on a couple things and there was a sense that because of his relationship that he might be a good person to talk to him,” Daschle said. “He was clearly one of those that we thought could be helpful.”

A source close to Edwards said Daschle’s comments are accurate.

1/31/2008 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Obama is an unusually gifted speaker with the ability to reflect back whatever the listener wants to hear. If you catch any interviews of the audience after an Obama speech you will hear things like "He understands me." "He understands what I'm thinking."

A person with Obama's rhetorical skills is very dangerous in a democracy. The Founders lived in a time when a classical education included rhetoric and they were versed in the rhetorician's tricks of persuasion. The Founders chose Electors as a rational and dispassionate intermediary between the people and direct democracy. Every educated person in those days knew how gifted speakers like Acibiades advanced their own ambitions at terrible cost to Athens by manipulating the emotions of the demos.

An earlier thread discussed how deeply apocalyptic visions have been woven into the culture. Obama represents the hope of salvation from the coming destruction. We can see how quickly the celebrity crazed MSM has picked up on that theme by the many associations of Obama with JFK's Camelot, MLK's Dream, and Obama's promise to "talk" with our enemies as if his magic voice can turn lions into lambs.

Whether Obama is a disciple of the Relgion of Death or not I do not know. We do know that he has the most liberal (totalitarian) voting record in the Senate.

Maybe I'm channeling some ancient Greek bastard who got the willies listening to Alcbiades but I see an Obama presidency as a time of misery and destruction we have never known.

2/01/2008 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Black Orpheus.

2/01/2008 02:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Occurred to me that some of his charm and comfort level probably came from growing up here in multicultural paradise.

Our son could be a politician if he chose to be, knows literally many hundreds of people from all walks of life and cultures. Base commander said he would do well in the service with his ass-kissing abilities!
Barry also had the advantage of living with his older, white, grandparents, and going to the most expensive and exclusive private school in Honolulu.
I had forgotten the name (knew a girl in college that went there, her dad was an admiral, and the family owned a high-end restaurant and inn on the Calif Coast. - Punahou - Tuition $15725 ) so looked it up and was reminded of these additional details:

His mother married another foreign student, Lolo Soetoro, and the family moved to Soetoro's home country of Indonesia in 1967.[14] Obama attended local schools in Jakarta from ages 6 to 10, where classes were taught in the Indonesian language.

2/01/2008 03:19:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

...I see an Obama presidency as a time of misery and destruction we have never known.

I had been comforting myself thinking that *surely* he couldn't be worse than (or stupider than) Jimmy Carter, and if we survive the peanut farmer we can survive Obama.

In my reluctance to vote for McCain I had also been thinking I'd rather vote for Obama.

Perhaps I need to re-think that.

2/01/2008 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 02/01/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

2/01/2008 11:50:00 AM  

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