Sunday, January 27, 2008

Did Media Matters miss something?

In Washington, we always say, a bumper sticker beats an essay. Right now the Republicans have a bumper sticker. The Democrats have a convoluted essay...
Ed Rogers

I received an email that contained the Investor's Business Daily hit piece on Barack Obama over the weekend. In addition to other absurd charges, IBD writes:
In the bloody conflict there (Kenya), which already has claimed some 700 lives, Obama appears to have sided with opposition leader Raila Odinga, head of the same Luo tribe to which Obama's late Muslim father belonged.
Yet Obama interrupted his New Hampshire campaigning to speak by phone with Odinga, who claims to be his cousin. He did not speak with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.

In response, Media Matters wrote:
The editorial also said that "Obama interrupted his New Hampshire campaigning to speak by phone with [Kenyan opposition leader Raila] Odinga, who claims to be his cousin. He did not speak with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki." However, the editorial did not note that according to a January 12 Economist article, Obama "has apparently tried to get in touch with Mr. Kibaki, too, but without success."

Seems to me that Media Matters and Keith Olbermann missed something:
In a statement broadcast over U.S. government-funded Voice of America radio, Obama, who seeks to become America's first black president, said he was "deeply troubled" by the turmoil in the east African country.

That seems to imply that Obama acted with the permission of the U.S, government, if not at its request -- no Logan Act violations here.

As I've said before, if Obama is the Democratic nominee, how each party handles the racial politics will go along way toward determining the winner of election. I won't say that the Republicans will lose if they overplay their "race card', but they will lose if the play it ham-handedly -- unless the Democrats overdo the "racism" reaction. While I wouldn't want the Democratic Party to become the party of simplitic slogans, the IBD editorial is full of ridiculous insinuation that could easily be shot down, but I'm afraid that the average Democrat would just cry racism.
With al-Qaida strengthening its beachheads in Africa -- from Algeria to Sudan to Somalia -- the last thing the West needs is for pro-Western Kenya to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.

The response to that shouldn't be "racism." It should be, "Sudan? You want to talk about Sudan? Why the hell do you think we're too weak to a damn thing about Darfur?"

The editorial expresses concerns about Obama devoting too much attention to Africa. That's funny.

The IBD editorial was equal parts "Obama is a closet Muslim" and "Obama belongs to Jeremiah Wright's Afro-centric racist church." The "bumper sticker" response is that Trinity is part of the United Church of Christ not part of the Separatist Church of Christ. In my response to that group email, I'll mention my year-old post about Jeremiah Wright. The one speaker at The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference who blamed Nagin for the city's slow recovery was Jeremiah Wright. If there was one minister that nobody could say "blamed the white man first, blamed the white man last, blamed the white man always," it was Dr. Wright. I'll mention that in my email response, but I wouldn't know how to reduce it to a bumper sticker.

BTW, the above shouldn't be taken to mean that I'd now rate Obama the front runner. I prefer him to Clinton, but if he can't improve his standing with Hispanic voters, his campaign will crumble in California. If the "wine-track" explanation is correct, he might be able to overcome that, but I don't know if nine days is enough time.

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