Friday, February 29, 2008

Don't Stand So Close to Me

Barack Obama's open letter to LGBT voters yesterday sure went a long way to undo the early Donnie McClurkin damage. But what do we make of this? Obama strikes me as the type to be pretty straight forward. Would he really be so scared that the right wing nutjobs out there would later seize upon a photo of him with "that mayor" and use it against him? I guess the answer is yes, although I guess that's what politics is all about: Avoiding controversy when you can and then pandering to people when you need them. Obama is certainly not alone here (Hillary and John are just as bad). Unfortunately, it's the idea that Obama is not "one of them" that makes him so appealing to people, yet as this and the Rezko case show, for better or worse he's just another politician.

6 comments:

Timmy said...

Hey Kenneth. Thank you for publishing that information. When I found out the other day that ads for the GLBT community in Ohio and Texas were about to hit, I was a bit skeptical. In my mind, something's not adding up and I can't quite but my finger on it.

Thanks for keeping us informed.

Mike said...

I think he is the real deal. Say what you will, at least he will bring up the LGBTQ community - even when its not that popular with his immediate crowd.

Anonymous said...

Like most things Obama, there is no there there. There is no LGBT listing under the issues in his website like there are for so many other crucial issues. He certainly addresses the civil rights issues of the African-American community (one wonders why he could not do that for the LGBT community). In the end, I suspect that he will do little for LGBT community other than meet with them and say a nice thing occasionally (which seems great given the past 7 years). I won't believe in his change talk until his spells out exactly what he will do (he could always say that he would end don't ask don't to be different from Clinton). In the end, I think that all the LGBT community will get is a pat on the back and hope but NO change.

Dee said...

Yup, this guy's a phony.

When he denounces and rejects his homophobic supporters, then MAYBE i can think about giving him my vote.

mattrett said...

I think it's ridiculous that some commenters seize on one or two let-downs to pronounce him a "phony" with no "there there." Seriousy, I voted for Hillary, but I could list probably 100 self-serving, politically expedient things she's done. With Obama, the strikes against him are so minuscule and rare, I can't quite get my head around lumping him in with the average career politician. I hated the McClurkin thing, but it was so minor, such a trivial mistake in the grand scheme of things. Hillary authorized the war only to help her future run. (I say this because I respect her intelligence too much to believe her when she claims she did it authentically.) Not posing with a lightning-rod figure is completely standard in politics. When Kerry made his military gaffe during the '06 elections, I'm sure nobody wanted to stand in a pic with him, and there are probably a whole lot of people who John McCain wouldn't stand near...including Walter Matthau's late wife, though mainly because he resembles her, wink.

Anonymous said...

MLK once said “Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.” MLK was not afraid to stand with people when it was neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but it was the right thing to do. Obama’s limited public record shows he will not do that with the LGBT community or anyone else for that matter that might soil his political record. He has not lived the life that merits his calling himself the candidate for change.

He privately is very boastful and full of hubris (this comes from my friends who knew him at Columbia or at Harvard Law). Even his claim to be the first African-American President of the Harvard Law Review is tainted (it is now based on popularity rather than merit as it had been until recently). For a person with such a limited public record there are serious questions to be asked about his character – how does he justify buying a mansion when he and his wife were earning public sector income (his first book went straight to paperback and the second one was published after the mansion purchase), why does Obama not explain the real estate deal that he entered into when he bought the mansion (as the Chicago papers continue to ask for), why has he changed his view on public funding of the election that he called for a year ago. These examples are enough to show that the public and private Obama are really locked in a Jeckle and Hyde conflict.

Obama has presented a fantasy to the voters that will crumble once he is elected and the honeymoon period has ended. The economic, political and foreign policy realities will force him to talk a good game while not delivering the promises made to those who vote for him. Sadly, the ones who support him will be the ones most hurt during the coming recession, but that would be just in my opinion. The only shame is that he will be so woefully ill-prepared to deal with Putin, the Chinese, and the Middle East.

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