The Deep Roots of Obama Hatred

The Deep Roots of Obama Hatred October 10, 2008

I don’t know about you, but I find recent turn of events at McCain-Palin rallies to be rather disturbing, if not downright frightening. There seems to be a rising level of anger and resentment against Obama’s ascent in the polls among a core group of white Americans, and this is leading to increasingly violent rhetoric. In the past few days, we have heard cries of “terrorist”, “communist”, “socialist”, “kill him”, “traitor”, “treason”, “off with his head”, “bomb Obama”. Of course, this dangerous cauldron of hatred is being stirred by McCain and Palin themselves, with their emphasis on Obama’s connection to an assortment of dubious characters, and cries that he is “palling around with terrorists”, plus their failure to condemn this the violent rhetoric.

If this sounds all vaguely familiar, it should be. The rhetoric is strikingly similar to the right-wing response to Martin Luther King Jnr, when he too was denounced for being a communist, an alien, a danger to the country. King was constantly in danger from the mob violence unleashed by this hatred, and it ultimately killed him. Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic Monthly draws the connection, noting that “when the McCain campaign cast the spell of diabolical jingoism, they have no idea of the forces they are toying with” and the hatred against King arose “not simply by rank white supremacy, but by people who slandered King as a communist”. One of the main instigators of this communist conspiracy theory: Jerry Falwell. Today, the communist charge has been joined with some more contemporary demons: Muslims, foreigners, “terrorists”…but the intent is the same.

Many of us had assumed, or desperately wanted to assume, that race would not be a factor in this election. And indeed, overt displays of racism or racist language are now considered beyond the pale, and politicians who indulge in them do so at their peril (remember George Allen?). But latent racism is very real, and voters can be surprisingly candid about it, as George Packer notes in his excellent indepth study of white working class voters in Ohio. I think it is probably too optimistic to assume that the great sin of American history would be erased so quickly. Segregation is still within living memory, and the white segregationists simply merged into the Republican party following Nixon’s southern strategy. Some repented and changed, but some clearly did not. A few years ago, Senate majority leader Trent Lott was caught musing wistfully on what might have been had segregationist Strom Thurmond been more successful. Even today, ex-governor Frank Keating calls Obama “a guy of the street”. And of course, the angry mob violence also owes a debt to the crude and bombastic Limbaughesque talk radio rhetoric that has become so dominant in political and cultural discourse.

Sadly, white racism will be an issue in this election. If Obama wins, it will be in spite of it. What does this mean for us as Catholics? Well, we all know that racism is intrinsically evil. If a person refuses to vote for a candidate because of his race, then that person is cooperating formally with evil, irrespective of that candidate’s support for activities such as abortion. As always, intent matters. I’ll leave you with a conjecture and a question: I think that far more white people will refuse to vote for Obama based on his race than on his support for abortion. Is this something the Church needs to address?

Update: When writing this, I assumed that it was quite obvious that the excessive demonization of people like Ayers and Wright had a certain racial twist, and mirrored the kinds of allegations made against Martin Luther King in his day. The reason I think it is obvious is that for every one of Obama’s dubious “pals”, McCain can match him, even out-do him. Remember, McCain has been associated with a convicted felon who planned on blowing up buildings in Washington DC and — far from showing remorse– gave “advice” on how best to murder federal agents. This man (G Gordon Liddy) held a fundraiser for McCain in his house and called him an “old friend”. McCain also used the money of a convicted felon to purchase his house(s). He also served on the board of a group that included a eugenics researcher studying “white superiority”, and hired the publisher of a confederate nostalgia magazine that called Nelson Mandela a terrorist. And then there are his dubious pastor endorsers, including those who call the Catholic church a “great whore” and a “false belief system”, blame America for 9/11, call the destruction of New Orleans the judgment of God, and preach a divinely-mandated war between the US and Islam? And we haven’t even gotten to Charles Keating.

Let me state this clearly: McCain is not responsible for the views and actions of any of these people. He may be guilty of poor judgment, but even that is second order. We need to move beyond the “guilt by association” nonsense. And yet, the rapid extremists on Fox News seem to want to dig up every unsavoury character associated with Obama, and yet seem blind to McCain’s equally suspicious dealings. Why is that? And why is it that these one-sided attacks play well with a certain (minority) element of white voters? And why is it that they provoke a violent reaction?


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I don’t know about you, but I’m finding this recent trend of MM posts casting McCain supporters as haters, racists, dullards, and suckers to be rather disturbing.

  • I don’t know about you, but I’m finding this recent trend of MM posts casting McCain supporters as haters, racists, dullards, and suckers to be rather disturbing.

  • If a person votes refuses to vote for Obama because of his race then that person is cooperating formally with evil

    Really? What evil is that?

    Institutionalized racism, one might say. But “formal cooperation with evil” would require that the voter intend for blacks always to be excluded from the presidency. Is that really the case for a large number of McCain voters?

    What if someone refused to vote for McCain because he was old? Or if they positively decided to vote for Obama because he was black, or positively decided to vote for McCain because he was white?

    I’m not advocating racism, but I am surprised to see MM throwing around “cooperating formally with evil” so loosely.

    I think that far more white people will refuse to vote for Obama based on his race than on his support for abortion. Is this something the Church needs to address?

    The critical factor here isn’t “white people,” but “Catholics.”

    In this election cycle, the main thing the Church has addressed has been Catholics on national television stating that a pro-choice position is consistent with Catholic teaching. Has there been a similar case of a Catholic stating or even hinting that voting against Obama because of his race is within Catholic teaching?

    —-

    Again, I find this theme of MM labelling McCain voters disturbing and unhelpful. If you’ve determined that voting for Obama is the right thing to do, then by all means do so. That doesn’t mean McCain’s supporters are immoral racists unthinking cretins.

  • If a person votes refuses to vote for Obama because of his race then that person is cooperating formally with evil

    Really? What evil is that?

    Institutionalized racism, one might say. But “formal cooperation with evil” would require that the voter intend for blacks always to be excluded from the presidency. Is that really the case for a large number of McCain voters?

    What if someone refused to vote for McCain because he was old? Or if they positively decided to vote for Obama because he was black, or positively decided to vote for McCain because he was white?

    I’m not advocating racism, but I am surprised to see MM throwing around “cooperating formally with evil” so loosely.

    I think that far more white people will refuse to vote for Obama based on his race than on his support for abortion. Is this something the Church needs to address?

    The critical factor here isn’t “white people,” but “Catholics.”

    In this election cycle, the main thing the Church has addressed has been Catholics on national television stating that a pro-choice position is consistent with Catholic teaching. Has there been a similar case of a Catholic stating or even hinting that voting against Obama because of his race is within Catholic teaching?

    —-

    Again, I find this theme of MM labelling McCain voters disturbing and unhelpful. If you’ve determined that voting for Obama is the right thing to do, then by all means do so. That doesn’t mean McCain’s supporters are immoral racists unthinking cretins.

  • I’m not talking about all “McCain voters”, I’m talking about the people who have been showing up to the rallies lately, and the increasingly hateful rhetoric. Put it another way: I believe the vast majority of McCain supporters are not at all racist. But a small, and increasing nasty minority are.

    And the “formal cooperation with evil” goes hand-in-hand with support for any intrinsically evil act, and racism is one.

  • I’m not talking about all “McCain voters”, I’m talking about the people who have been showing up to the rallies lately, and the increasingly hateful rhetoric. Put it another way: I believe the vast majority of McCain supporters are not at all racist. But a small, and increasing nasty minority are.

    And the “formal cooperation with evil” goes hand-in-hand with support for any intrinsically evil act, and racism is one.

  • little gal

    JohnMcG”

    You have to understand that MM is so obsessed with Obama that he shapes and filters reality in order to fit hisdistorted view. I suspect he is either connected with the Obama campaign on either a paid or volunteer basis, but he refuses to answer the question re: his status. He is actually sounding more and more like another poster, Digby.

  • little gal

    JohnMcG”

    You have to understand that MM is so obsessed with Obama that he shapes and filters reality in order to fit hisdistorted view. I suspect he is either connected with the Obama campaign on either a paid or volunteer basis, but he refuses to answer the question re: his status. He is actually sounding more and more like another poster, Digby.

  • The McCain campaign is defending what their supporters are yelling.

  • The McCain campaign is defending what their supporters are yelling.

  • G Alkon

    John Weaver, John McCain’s former top strategist, says the Republican candidate is making both a moral and a a tactical mistake by letting abusive hecklers have free rein at rallies:

    “People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Senator Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Senator McCain,” Weaver said. “And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.”

    from huffingtonpsot.com

    Perhaps something hidden but pervasive about the essence of McCain support is being revealed at these rallies.

  • G Alkon

    John Weaver, John McCain’s former top strategist, says the Republican candidate is making both a moral and a a tactical mistake by letting abusive hecklers have free rein at rallies:

    “People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Senator Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Senator McCain,” Weaver said. “And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.”

    from huffingtonpsot.com

    Perhaps something hidden but pervasive about the essence of McCain support is being revealed at these rallies.

  • little gal

    Katerina:

    Charles Krauthammer has a few thoughts on Obama’s associations:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/09/AR2008100902328.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

  • little gal

    Katerina:

    Charles Krauthammer has a few thoughts on Obama’s associations:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/09/AR2008100902328.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

  • Katerina,

    That’s a disturbing story. If it is true, it is terrible that the McCain campaign would defend violent rhetoric, which is inexcusable no matter the circumstances.

    I hope they are not defending the violent rhetoric.

  • Katerina,

    That’s a disturbing story. If it is true, it is terrible that the McCain campaign would defend violent rhetoric, which is inexcusable no matter the circumstances.

    I hope they are not defending the violent rhetoric.

  • David Nickol

    Christopher Buckley, in endorsing Obama, said the following:

    “As for Kathleen [Parker, the conservative columnist who said Palin was “Clearly Out Of Her League”], she has to date received 12,000 (quite literally) foam-at-the-mouth hate-emails. One correspondent, if that’s quite the right word, suggested that Kathleen’s mother should have aborted her and tossed the fetus into a Dumpster. There’s Socratic dialogue for you. . . . At any rate, I don’t have the kidney at the moment for 12,000 emails saying how good it is he’s [William F. Buckley] no longer alive to see his Judas of a son endorse for the presidency a covert Muslim who pals around with the Weather Underground. So, you’re reading it here first.”
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-10-10/the-conservative-case-for-obama

  • jh

    “Sadly, white racism will be an issue in this election. If Obama wins, it will be in spite of it.”

    Oh whatever. This sound very much like the attack against the Clinton Campaign. YOU MUST BE RACIST if you don’t vote for Obama. Is this what I have to look forward too for 4 years. Disagree with Obama and you are racist.

    About Nixon MM that you sometimes cite. Nixon actually made sure those LBJ reforms went through the courts and were implemented

    YOu said

    “I’ll leave you with a conjecture and a question: I think that far more white people will refuse to vote for Obama based on his race than on his support for abortion. Is this something the Church needs to address?

    Racism is serious business and the people that throw the racism charge in a reckless manner are a part of the problem not solution”

    Perhaps the Church should address people that use racism and accuse people of it without hardly any evidence as a sin. Yeah the Church should address that.

  • little gal

    “Sadly, white racism will be an issue in this election. If Obama wins, it will be in spite of it.”

    The polls tell us that 94% of African Americans support Obama. I guess no AA is voting FOR Obama because of his skin color…

  • jh

    By the way speaking of racism that MM is talking about.

    That seems to be a current theme about many counties in Pennsylavania. Only problem the same counties that are discusseed and the people in them voted for the black Lynn Swann in 2006 for Governor. Goodness what to make of that. There seems to be talk about white racism in SOuthern VA because they are not backing Obama GOodness years ago they went pretty much for 50 percent in these counties for the black Douglas Wilder for Governor.

    MM sure you don’t want to re think the only reason people will not vote for Obam if they are white is that they are racist?

  • jh

    “The McCain campaign is defending what their supporters are yelling.”

    Katrina to be quite honest now that we have learned that Obama was telling the Iraqis to hold off on negoations on troop witdrawal from Iraq for what appears to be his own political gain I suspect I would have been yelling a few things.

  • jh

    “The polls tell us that 94% of African Americans support Obama. I guess no AA is voting FOR Obama because of his skin color…”

    TH elephant in the room Little gal that we must not discuss.

  • Clearly, a vote for Obama is based in deep-seated hatred of Scots.

    As far as racism goes, it’s a fact among all ethnic groups. Ask yourself a simple question – who’s safer today, and less likely to be harassed based on race, a black family who moves to a white neighborhood or a white family moving to a black neighborhood ?

    I dislike the white half of Obama – It’s acting black, with all the afrocentrism, hooting and hollering in church and what not. Clearly an outhouse cracker.

    I am also not a fan of the black half of Obama. It’s acting white, with the attending college and studying hard, not to mention living in the same house as his children and being married to their mother. Clearly, he has no idea what it means to be a black man, that race traitor Uncle Tom. He doesn’t just work for the man he IS the man! Word to your mother.

  • jh

    David,

    Yeah I wish Buckleys son was behind McCain. But I will take the 2000 VP for the Democrats over him

  • jh

    MM you said
    I’m not talking about all “McCain voters”, I’m talking about the people who have been showing up to the rallies lately, and the increasingly hateful rhetoric. Put it another way: I believe the vast majority of McCain supporters are not at all racist. But a small, and increasing nasty minority are.”

    Goodness do we need to highlight the bad people at Obama rallies. How many do you think this. A couple of people out of a crowd of 10,000 yell something bad and now it is a significant minority?

  • JH: this is a bigger problem. McCain and Palin (just like the segregationalist leaders of the past) are pandering to the worst elements, provoking a violent reaction. Even mild-mannered pundits like David Gergen are voicing concern.

  • jh

    ” When writing this, I assumed that it was quite obvious that the excessive demonization of people like Ayers and Wright had a certain racial twist”

    HOw in the heck is taking issue with Ayers who was mostly the tost of white liberals and radiocals back in the day racism

  • JH: because of the double standard, and the notion that the assumption that Obama– like MLK– is somehow in bed with communists and leftist radicals.

  • jh

    “McCain and Palin (just like the segregationalist leaders of the past) are pandering to the worst elements, provoking a violent reaction. Even mild-mannered pundits like David Gergen are voicing concern.”

    David Gergen opinion is often what he feels is popular. I honestly thought what his comrade on the panel James Carville that said that blacks might riot if Obama does not win to be the most racist thing I have heard all year. Somehow this white Republican thinks a lot more or mostly Black democrats than Carville does. Of course I have been mostly ignoring what that CNN panel has been saying all year long because they have been more wrong than right

    These people attending McCain/Palin rallies are not violent.

  • Obama’s ‘radical chic’ – conviction or opportunism ? Lovely choices.

    Excessive demonization of a terrorist ? Oh good golly Miss Molly I think I’m gettin’ the vapors.

    We should be able to agree that both parties feature troglodytes among their supporters. One could say that the extreme on the right at least usually has the excuse of poor education.

  • jh

    “because of the double standard, and the notion that the assumption that Obama– like MLK– is somehow in bed with communists and leftist radicals.”

    No one is talking about MLK. Heck the MLK news of the year is how MLK niece is upset at Obama for being pro abortion

    The associations Obama has is fair game. THe only reason this did not come out and vetted during the primary was because Clinton was not able to do so because of her and Presidents Clinton past actions as to terroist and pardons

  • jh

    By the way any association that Republcians inclusing McCain and Palin have had with far right people has been just as discussed. See how the Hagee thing was so overblown.

    I have never heard the term “theocracy” so overused in my life as this past year

  • JH

    Guilt by association, if it is fair game, will justify Roman condemnation of Jesus Christ. He, as we know, would sup with zealots (you know, Romans saw zealots as terrorists in Jesus’ time, right?). Guilt by association — just mere association — is never fair, because of how the world is interdependent, and the way political parties act (no politician in the two major parties will ever be free from scandal if we find association to be a way to condemn).

  • “James Carville that said that blacks might riot if Obama does not win to be the most racist thing I have heard all year”

    Well you know them colored folks, they get uppity easily. It must be that goshdang jungle music they’re listenin’ to. They dance and dance and next thing you know the Korean store is on fire. Goodness gracious, if only they listened to Johnny Mathis or that delightful Bing Crosby. Now, I’m telling you, Bobby Lee, if that recent unpleasantness hadn’t occurred none of this would be happening. So remember to vote for those nice men from the Democratic Party. The Republicans got them negroes all crazy with the whole freedom talk.

  • TeutonicTim

    Of course it’s race.

    It couldn’t be that he associates with a terrorist, a racist pastor, has continually lied about those associations, and is a socialist.

    You don’t have to be white to hate those things.

  • David Nickol

    “The polls tell us that 94% of African Americans support Obama. I guess no AA is voting FOR Obama because of his skin color…”

    TH elephant in the room Little gal that we must not discuss.

    *whispering* Psst. Let’s talk about that elephant in the room . . .

    Blacks have been voting heavily Democratic since the New Deal, and almost exclusively Democratic since 1964. And blacks have always voted for white candidates for president.

    If 94% of blacks vote for Obama, that will be the same percentage that voted for Gore in 2004, when Bush got 6% of the black vote.

    How many black voters are there in America who are saying, “I’d really like to vote for McCain, but he’s white”?

    To imply there is racism because blacks will vote heavily for Obama is arrant nonsense. And it may be slightly tinged with (white) racism itself.

  • Nick

    You’re against Obama so you’re a racist! That’s bullcrap plain and simple. Obama will loose because he’s unsuitable for the job, end-of-the-story-of-all-she-wrote! I live right smack dab in the middle of Demorat country and I cannot believe how many “McCain/Palin” sings there are compared to “Obama/Biden.” The animosity toward the biased newsmedia is palpable–folks want to make up their own minds and deeply resent the brow beating that MSM is giving them. McCain/Palin, God speed!

  • “To imply there is racism because blacks will vote heavily for Obama is arrant nonsense. ”

    Racial favoritism, you know, like in Freaks – “One of us, one of us, one of us!!” ? It’s a common thing among ‘minorities’ – the Mormons went for Romney, the Martians for Kucinich, the blacks for Obama etc. That’s how people function, it goes like this: self-family-ethnic/religious group-state-country-hemisphere-planet-galaxy. I for one really hate Alpha Centaurians.

    And remember, God hates fangs. No equal rights for vampires.

  • jh

    {“Guilt by association, if it is fair game, will justify Roman condemnation of Jesus Christ. He, as we know, would sup with zealots (you know, Romans saw zealots as terrorists in Jesus’ time, right?). Guilt by association — just mere association — is never fair, because of how the world is interdependent, and the way political parties act (no politician in the two major parties will ever be free from scandal if we find association to be a way to condemn).”

    Henry it can be certaintly explored. Sometimes Assocations show bad judgment and something more or nothing at all. It is a valid to look into. If Hillary had not been in the postion where to goes to help tget the vote in NEW to have the PR terrorist pardoned she would have done it herself

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    It’s refreshing to visit a Catholic blog that takes note of the incendiary rhetoric of the Palin-McCain rallies and the near violence they are breeding, and calls it for what it is.

    I think David Gergen, George Will and David Brooks are correct. The campaign WILL be responsible for the violence it danderously close tp instigating; it’s like being mulled by a dead sheep; and it represents thug, anti-intellectualism of the most base sort.

    The blog, ‘American-Catholic,” for one, should be outright ashamed of themselves,

  • Or if they positively decided to vote for Obama because he was black…

    The polls tell us that 94% of African Americans support Obama. I guess no AA is voting FOR Obama because of his skin color…

    TH elephant in the room Little gal that we must not discuss.

    One of the reasons I will probably vote for Obama is because he is black. Of course, blackness is not only a skin color, but a social-cultural-political position. Voting for a U.S. presidential candidate because he or she is black is quite different from refusing to vote for someone who is black. This is what most whites simply don’t get.

    It couldn’t be that he associates with a terrorist, a racist pastor, has continually lied about those associations, and is a socialist.

    McCain associates with terrorists (George W. Bush and the Project for a New American Century). I don’t know about McCain’s pastor, but McCain himself is racist (the “gook” comments). Obama is no socialist (that’s in fact a laugh!), but even if he were that is irrelevant.

    And Jeremiah Wright is not racist.

    To imply there is racism because blacks will vote heavily for Obama is arrant nonsense. And it may be slightly tinged with (white) racism itself.

    Yes. Bingo.

    Racial favoritism, you know…

    As David pointed out, it’s not racial favoritism when blacks vote for a black democrat. It’s infinitely more complex than that, involving the dimensions of class, race, political power, etc.

    It’s refreshing to visit a Catholic blog that takes note of the incendiary rhetoric of the Palin-McCain rallies and the near violence they are breeding, and calls it for what it is.

    Sadly, a lot of our commenters are participants in that rhetoric as you can see.

  • And again, Jeremiah Wright is NOT racist.

  • Craig

    I teach religion at an all boys Catholic high school on the West Bank (of the Mississippi River) in New Orleans (Marrerro technically). Over the past few weeks at my school I’ve heard from every age group in a variety of different circumstances, both in and out of the classroom, that “if Obama is elected he will be shot with his first day.” From my experience most kids’ political views are rarely their own, but usually their parents views. When pressed as to why they make such claims, the answer given is because he is black…

  • little gal

    “Guilt by association, if it is fair game, will justify Roman condemnation of Jesus Christ.”

    OK, so the comparison has to be Jesus Christ? Right, would JC have denied, massaged, misled others when asked what his relationship with a particular individual was and what that individual is about? For example, what about Rev. Wright? Twenty years as a pewsitter in Trinity United (and a close one-on-one) relationship and Obama never heard the racist, trash talk? What about Tony Rezco? Oh, Obama hardly knew him? Really? What about the real estate dealings, Rezco’s helping to launch his career? The facts prove otherwise and the list goes on. It has nothing to do with race. It has to do with character.

  • One additional thought.

    MM did not say in his post that everyone who chooses not to vote for Obama is racist. He notes that there is a hatred of Obama and a double standard at work that appears racially motivated. Of course, racism is not always conscious. One can deny that his or her hatred of Obama is racially motivated, but deep down it might be. He also refers to the fact that many people who will not vote for Obama have explicitly said that they will not vote for him because he is black.

    Of course, the usual suspects here automatically rush to defend themselves insisting “But not everyone who is voting McCain is doing so because they are racist,” which MM never said in the first place. Nor are they in any way acknowledging the FACT of racism involved in some McCain supporters’ voting habits and rhetoric. If they took racism seriously, they would denounce it when it does occur among McCain supporters, but they simply cannot bring themselves to do so. This is sick and sad and anti-Christian.

  • Little gal,

    What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?

  • little gal

    “One of the reasons I will probably vote for Obama is because he is black. Of course, blackness is not only a skin color, but a social-cultural-political position.”

    Michael:

    I challenge you to discuss with a priest that you would place greater emphasis on a presidential candidate’s skin color over his pro choice voting record.

  • little gal

    Mark:

    I think it is a good thing that you left the seminary…

  • Michael:

    I challenge you to discuss with a priest that you would place greater emphasis on a presidential candidate’s skin color over his pro choice voting record.

    little gal:

    Again, one of the reasons I will probably vote for Obama is because he is black. Of course, blackness is not only a skin color, but a social-cultural-political position.

    I encourage you discuss with a priest the fact that you would emphasize an abortion voting record to the exclusion of all other considerations. Make sure not to pick a racist priest.

  • Habakkuk

    MM’s post is a vision of the next eight years in the United States. Any opposition to President Obama’s policies will be attributed to racism, latent or active, and any criticism of his person will be condemned as an incitement to assassination. The great American tradition of lampooning presidents in cartoons and comedy will be suspended for fear of offending racial sensibilities. The respectable media will restrain itself from any real scrutiny of his Administration. Bob Woodward will retire because, really, one wouldn’t want to write a racist book. Reid, Pelosi and the white Democratic establishment will ready to authenticate any indictment of Obama or his policies as “coded language” designed to stir up white resentment. And the “racists” on talk radio will be muzzled by a revival of the Fairness Doctrine. It is the perfect political weapon: the most powerful charge in the “progressive” arsenal – racism – placed at the service of the first African-American president in U.S. history. And what should be an event that makes all Americans proud will be cheapened and twisted, mainly by white liberals who will use Obama’s ascension as a club to beat their fellow Americans into silence. Pity.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Habakkuk,

    Can you read?

  • Habakkuk

    Not only can I read, I can read between the lines. Can you?

  • little gal

    Michael:

    I have already stated what priests are saying from the ambo at Mass. Many bishops have clarified the document(Faithful Citizenship) you and others here use continually as your basis for supporting a proabort candidate. The bishops are clarifying that the first moral value to be met is sanctity of life; they have underscored that Catholics cannot support a candidate who supports abortion rights. Some, like yourself, just don’t want to hear this and are sidestepping the teaching of the bishops to support how you want to vote. For my part, I do listen to what priests and bishops have been saying repeatedly and it’s not what you and others here are saying. I will also attend a lecture concerning how to evaluate the presidential candidates by a well know priest, who is faithful to the Magisterium . I highly doubt he will say that it is allowable to vote for any candidate with a voting record such as Obama’s and whose first act as President will be to sign the Freedom of Choice act. I reiterate my challenge, I will ask this priest the question. Will you do the same?

  • The bishops are clarifying that the first moral value to be met is sanctity of life; they have underscored that Catholics cannot support a candidate who supports abortion rights.

    The bishops have said no such thing.

    I reiterate my challenge, I will ask this priest the question. Will you do the same?

    Will I visit a priest in order to be counseled on how to vote? Sure. May I pick the priest? Can we chat over beers or must it take place at a MkKain-Palin rally?

    Or should I sample a variety of clerics and tally up their opinions and follow that obediently? Or ignore the priests who do not agree with your view?

    Can the priest be Canadian, since that’s all I have access to at the moment, or must the priest be a red-blooded american so that I get the “right” answer?

    Your election-time piety and concern for the souls of you political opponents is a joke.

  • Tim F.

    Habakkuk,

    I think you will find that most of the bloggers on this site actually detest most all things “American”. So don’t waste your time warning them about American traditions falling by the wayside or American liberties being curtailed.

  • I think you will find that most of the bloggers on this site actually detest most all things “American”.

    You’re a liar. Don’t blame the rest of VN bloggers for the views that I hold. It’s dishonest.

  • Tim F.

    Mr. Iafrate, your opinion means absolutely zero to me. Most bloggers and most things does not mean all or the rest. You are a liar.

  • News Alert:

    Bipartisan Alaska Legislature finds that Governor Palin “unlawfully abused the authority” of her office.

  • little gal

    “Can the priest be Canadian, since that’s all I have access to at the moment, or must the priest be a red-blooded american so that I get the “right” answer? ”

    I didn’t put any qualifiers on my challenge, but obviously the priest would have to be familiar with the USCCB document and the many subsequent public statements and documents issued by bishops in this country.

    “Your election-time piety and concern for the souls of you political opponents is a joke.”

    No joke nor false piety was intended. I had already planned to go hear the priest that I mentioned because I pray about this issue vs a vs myself and the future of the U.S. BTW, are you a political opponent or a brother in Christ?

  • Habakkuk

    Of course, blackness is not only a skin color, but a social-cultural-political position.

    If “blackness is not only a skin color,” and having publicly associated himself with the “social-cultural-political position” that is blackness, can one fairly say that Iafrate is himself now “black?”

  • little gal

    So why are my comments being moderated?

  • TeutonicTim

    Michael J. You’re just plain weird!

    Voting for a U.S. presidential candidate because he or she is black is quite different from refusing to vote for someone who is black. This is what most whites simply don’t get.

    Not really. They’re basing their vote not on moral standards, but on identity politics alone. That is wrong.

    blackness is not only a skin color, but a social-cultural-political position.

    So? It’s actually that “social-cultural-political position” that most people actually have the problem with. Just like you can say you’re supporting that “social-cultural-pilitical position”, I can completely refuse to support it, with little regard for the skin color. If that “social-cultural-political position” is completely wrong in many moral regards, I am completely secure and correct in opposing it.

    I would vote for any number of black people that correctly denounce the “social-cultural-political position” for exactly what it is.

  • TeutonicTim

    “So why are my comments being moderated?”

    Join the club. You’ll get used to it, whenever you bring up something that makes the truth so obvious.

  • TeutonicTim

    And again, Jeremiah Wright is NOT racist.

    I think you’re missing a few pieces of the puzzle, or a few tools out of the shed.

    Are you SERIOUS?

    Oh that’s right, he’s a “liberation” theologian “scholar “and his beliefs closely mirror the struggle of the Appalachian people. I forgot…

  • Even McCain himself is trying to tame the flames of vitriol he and Sarah incited in some of the loons here and elsewhere in the Catholic blogosphere:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf6YKOkfFsE&feature=user

  • Matt

    Has Obama attempted to tame flames of vitriol at Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, and so on? I don’t think so. In fact, I still see Obama ads at the DU site, which means, the Obama campaign money is going to the DU site.

    Please.

    I don’t recall MM being so concerned about vitriol the first couple weeks of September when the Palin family was being dragged through the mud and worse.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Matt,

    Nice try!

    We are talking about the immediate effects of inflamatory speech at rallies…

  • Kudos to John McCain for correcting the views of his idiotic followers:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf6YKOkfFsE&feature=user

  • TeutonicTim

    This is a gem, and goes right along with the topic… Sounds racist to me!

    http://www.bpmdeejays.com/upload/hs_sal_in_Harlem_100108.mp3

  • TeutonicTim
  • jh

    “It’s refreshing to visit a Catholic blog that takes note of the incendiary rhetoric of the Palin-McCain rallies and the near violence they are breeding, and calls it for what it is.

    I think David Gergen, George Will and David Brooks are correct. The campaign WILL be responsible for the violence it danderously close tp instigating; it’s like being mulled by a dead sheep; and it represents thug, anti-intellectualism of the most base sort.

    The blog, ‘American-Catholic,” for one, should be outright ashamed of themselves,”

    Good greif Can people quit playing the racism card. I saw such hatred to GWB and to Christians the last two elections it is incredible. DO i=I think that is the majority of the dem base? NO let me repat NO!!! Each party has a few nutwads.

    Again the rash acusations if racism is disppointing and is so much like what was hurled agqaisnt the Clinton campaign. I have thought racism and this is not it.

  • jh

    Mark

    It appers opposing Obama is now “Infamatory” spech. It appears being alarmed now for the second ecletion cylcle in a row that opposing ACORN is “inflamatory” speech.

    Give me a break

  • jh

    “MM’s post is a vision of the next eight years in the United States. Any opposition to President Obama’s policies will be attributed to racism”

    You are right

    “And what should be an event that makes all Americans proud will be cheapened and twisted, mainly by white liberals who will use Obama’s ascension as a club to beat their fellow Americans into silence. Pity.”

    Exactly. The best response all night long

  • Jh,

    You are not responding to me, but a fictional construct of your mind.

  • RCM

    For the record, I am deeply disturbed by the growing anger and outright racism displayed at McCain rallies. I hope McCain/Pailn make it very clear that they will not allow that type of behavior and sentiment at their rallies. Of course, that may mean they will have to pull their own rhetoric down a notch or two.

  • I hope McCain/Pailn make it very clear that they will not allow that type of behavior and sentiment at their rallies. Of course, that may mean they will have to pull their own rhetoric down a notch or two.

    My prediction is that McCain will admonish his supporters to “be a little nicer” every once in a while. Palin will say no such thing and will be the one who gets the bigots going at each rally. That way the republicans will have their cake and eat it too: McCain appearing, ironically, to be critical of racism and Palin, as usual, appealing to the lunatics.

  • MkKain supporters in Bethlehem, PA:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itEucdhf4Us

  • Politics are taking a distubring turn to say the least. At least McCain finally spoke up about being respectful. Enough is enough.

    Let’s just hope Palin and their campaign staff can follow McCain’s lead. If not, then I can’t help but wonder how effective of a leader he really could be.

  • Put it another way: I believe the vast majority of McCain supporters are not at all racist. But a small, and increasing nasty minority are.

    I happen to believe that those were Obama supporters, who are trying desperately to throw a wrench in John McCain’s campaign. Much like the blacks who were caught hanging nooses to draw attention to racism.

  • JH: because of the double standard, and the notion that the assumption that Obama– like MLK– is somehow in bed with communists and leftist radicals.

    This isn’t an assumption, it’s fact. Saul Alinsky, William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, the list goes on and on. This isn’t because Obama’s black. It’s because he’s a leftist radical who studied at the feet of leftist radicals.

  • digbydolben

    How many of the REST of you sane people feel that folks who write like this are demented paranoiacs:

    “I dislike the white half of Obama – It’s acting black, with all the afrocentrism, hooting and hollering in church and what not. Clearly an outhouse cracker.

    I am also not a fan of the black half of Obama. It’s acting white, with the attending college and studying hard, not to mention living in the same house as his children and being married to their mother. Clearly, he has no idea what it means to be a black man, that race traitor Uncle Tom. He doesn’t just work for the man he IS the man! Word to your mother.”

    And,

    “You have to understand that MM is so obsessed with Obama that he shapes and filters reality in order to fit hisdistorted view. I suspect he is either connected with the Obama campaign on either a paid or volunteer basis, but he refuses to answer the question re: his status. He is actually sounding more and more like another poster, Digby.” [This particular nut obviously has an obsession with me; I’m glad I don’t live anywhere near her!]

    And, as for the mealy-mouthed objections of “Jh” to MM’s very valid concerns regarding the violent rhetoric of McCain/Palin supporters at recent Republican hate-fests, apparently YOUR OWN CANDIDATE feels they’ve gotten dangerous:

    http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2008/10/mccain_denounces_pitchforkwave.html

    And look at THIS craziness, compared to the FACTS:

    Obama will loose [Sic.]because he’s unsuitable for the job, end-of-the-story-of-all-she-wrote! I live right smack dab in the middle of Democrat country and I cannot believe how many “McCain/Palin” sings [Sic.] there are compared to “Obama/Biden.”

    THESE are the FACTS:

    http://www.pollster.com/

    At least SOMEBODY here has sense enough to call one of these nut-cases out for what she is:

    Little gal,
    What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?

    I mean, how many Catholic troglodytes can gather together at one website?

    “Habbakuk” may be worried that all criticisms of Obama as President will be drowned out by charges of “racism,” but what I’m worried about, as someone who cares about bank failures and terrorism and fossil fuel costs, is to what extent such an amount of vitriolic hatred as what is on display here from among the “Catholic right” will hamper even his most modest attempts to achieve cobbled-together, compromising solutions to avoid even the most obvious looming catastrophes, such as debt crises, negotiations with “enemies”—and even, after Bush, allies—and the environmental problems and arms control, etc. ad nauseam.

    Apparently, most of the people who write here, at this obviously right-wing ultramontane Catholic website, have forgotten how to put ideological animosities aside and cooperate with each other as fellow-citizens. One gets the impression that the American polity has been thoroughly dismantled by the “culture wars”—to the extent that, for instance, the most pragmatic, temperamentally conservative left-of-centre politician to run for national political office in that country in a generation is lambasted as a “terrorist” and a “socialist.” If we were talking about a powerless banana republic, it would be hilariously funny; as it is, we are talking about the most privileged and powerful community of people on earth, and your lack of balance and even temper at a moment of truly world-shaking crisis is horrifying.

  • Again, one of the reasons I will probably vote for Obama is because he is black. Of course, blackness is not only a skin color, but a social-cultural-political position.

    Thank you Michael. You have just given everyone a get-out-of-racism-free card.

    “I’m voting against Obama because he’s black, but remember, like Michael Iafrate said: ‘blackness is not only a skin color, but a social-cultural-political position’. Since voting against a social-cultural-political position is not racist, then I can’t possibly be a racist.”

  • digbydolben

    “Since voting against a social-cultural-political position is not racist, then I can’t possibly be a racist.”

    No, but you CAN be a “proto-fascist,” defined as somebody who hates those whose political consciousness has been raised by deprivation and racial discrimination, and I’m betting that that’s exactly what you are, Tony!

  • Matt
  • little gal

    “The great and powerful Oz (digby) has spoken.”

  • little gal

    Matt:

    I live in Chicago and grew up learning that ‘dead people vote.’ None of this is a surprise to me. FYI, Tony Rezco’s sentencing has been put on hold as he is singing to the Feds. I predict that something will come out soon re: his relationship with Obama.

    I am going to be an election judge for the first time in November and am prepared for absolutely anything to happen–

  • Little gal,

    Please do not share with us your oneiric life so gleefully.

    Have some sense of decorum.

  • Thank you Michael. You have just given everyone a get-out-of-racism-free card.

    Are you admitting, then, that you’re racist?

  • little gal

    “The bishops are clarifying that the first moral value to be met is sanctity of life; they have underscored that Catholics cannot support a candidate who supports abortion rights.”

    ‘The bishops have said no such thing. ‘

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/voxnova/2008/10/08/some-needed-clarity/#comment-39408

    “The first temptation would be to consider all life issues morally equal and thus fail to • see that there is a hierarchy among them. We must keep first in mind that the direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong. It is not just one issue among many and must always be opposed. Our support for the sanctity of human life is dishonest if it does not include opposition to abortion.” Message from the Catholic Bishops of Ilinois

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=13963

    http://www.archchicago.org/cardinal/letter/letters_2008/letter_090308.shtm

  • TeutonicTim
  • Are you admitting, then, that you’re racist?

    No, I’m admitting that according to your definition I cannot be racist. You can’t have it both ways.

  • Tony – You must be misunderstanding me. Since it’s unclear what the hell you’re talking about, I am unable to correct your understanding of what I have written here about race. Oh well.

    Little gal – I agree with this statement, of course: “It is not just one issue among many and must always be opposed. Our support for the sanctity of human life is dishonest if it does not include opposition to abortion.” But I don’t see the bishops saying that one cannot vote for Obama. Try again.

  • little gal

    Michael:

    The bishops cannot obviously use Obama’s name, but they can say where the ‘rule outs’ start –that would be not only opposition to abortion, but not supporting “choice” thru one’s legislative votes. This necessarily eliminates Obama as a choice.

    “In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, the present democratic candidate voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act. This law was meant to protect a baby that survived a late-term abortion. When the same legislation came up in the Judiciary Committee on which he served, he held to his opposition. First, he voted “present.” Next, he voted “no.”

    “Along with 108 members of Congress, the present democratic candidate for President continues his strong support for the Freedom of Choice Act. In aspeech before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund last year, he made the promise that the first thing he would do as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. What a choice for a new President! Today we live in a democracy. We choose our leaders who make our laws. Every vote counts.

    Today, either we choose to respect and protect life, especially the life of the child in the womb of the mother or we sanction the loss of our most basic freedoms. At this point, we are still free to choose!” Bishop Serratelli

  • David Nickol

    little gal,

    Below is a letter to the editor in The New York Times which presents a different view from your own. Your contention is that the bishops are making it clear to Catholics that they must not vote for Obama, only the bishops can’t come right out and say it. If so, one can only wonder what they meant when they said, “We bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote.” Would it be your contention that when bishops send messages in code about whom Catholics may not vote for, those bishops have to lie about what they are doing?

    To the Editor:

    Your article refers to the 2007 statement from the United States bishops explicitly condoning a vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights if the vote is cast for other “grave” reasons. This official statement, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” also states, concerning abortion: “Sometimes morally flawed laws already exist. In this situation, the process of framing legislation to protect life is subject to prudential judgment and ‘the art of the possible.’ ”

    Apparently some Catholic bishops are ignoring the letter, which also says, “We bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote.”

    Terri MacKenzie
    Chicago, Oct. 5, 2008

    The writer is a nun.

  • digbydolben

    Oh leave her to her own devices, David. All she’s going to do is to call that lady a “renegade nun.” Abortion has driven the poor soul mad, just as slavery drove some abolitionists mad, and she, like them, will settle for nothing other than “war.”

  • digbydolben

    For her, it’s a “holy war.”

  • This necessarily eliminates Obama as a choice.

    No, it doesn’t. Feel free to read whatever you want into the bishops’ statements, but leave the rest of us alone.

  • Dave

    McCain/Palin very well could be using innappropriate rhetoric in their campaign but to object that anyone would call Obama a socialist is ridiculous. He absolutely is a socialist. There is no question when truly looking at his economic policy. He will violate property rights and take from those who created to give to those who did not. There is no question. I would have much more repsect for him if he just came out and admitted it.

  • Magdalena

    Well, we’re not doing too well in the respectful dialogue and Christian charity departments, are we. 23 days until the massive occasion of sin that is presidential politics is over.

  • Dave – Produce some evidence that he is a socialist.

  • Kurt

    Dave,

    I am a Socialist. I know what my own kind look like. Neither Barack Obama nor your definition of a socialist past the test.

  • But Kurt, the anti-commie sniffers like Dave certainly know what socialism better than socialists like you and me because they have been given the tools to identify it.

  • digbydolben

    Does the term “socialist” really have any meaning anymore when the most right-wing, nationalist Administration in American history has just opted effectively to “nationalize” so many financial institutions? Could we just get some COMMON SENSE going here, and understand that there are a VARIETY of types of “capitalism”–many of the European kinds being mistakenly viewed by Americans as “socialism”? What we’ve got to do is simply to MAKE IT WORK, as a globalized system, and STOP OUR OBSESSION WITH THE DAMNED LABELS!!!

    Folks, it’s the fact that we’re all globally networked now, which is taking away certain of our so-called “freedoms,” and it’s the CORPORATE, CAPITALIST model of “globalization” that you right-wingers were so enamoured of, just a short time ago, which has done it–NOT GOVERNMENT!

  • Kurt

    Michael —

    Odd thing about those anti-commie sniffers. No one in the political front has fought Communism harder, tougher and more effectively than the Socialists. That is why Eisenhower send millions in American tax dollars to subsidize the Socailists parties (thank you, Ike). Jay Lovestone, we miss you!!!!

  • No one in the political front has fought Communism harder, tougher and more effectively than the Socialists.

    Yep.

  • little gal

    Michael:

    It’s interesting that you are walking away from multiple statements of bishops who clearly state the greater significance of the issue of abortion in the decision of whom to vote for…just remember, you were told…

    David:

    I checked her original quote… she has taken one sentence from the FC document and used it to dismiss everything else in the document and the other teaching documents that the bishops have issued. We are called to listen to the bishops’ teachings/guidance, not some nun, who doesn’t even list her order after her name.

    Digby:

    You’re not even a practicing Catholic, so your posts are read with that in mind.

  • TeutonicTim

    No one in the political front has fought Communism harder, tougher and more effectively than the Socialists.

    Yep.

    Yep, because socialists have done so much good for the world, the least of which was fighting communism “harder, tougher, and more effectively” than anyone else.

    What planet do you people live on? Jeesh.

  • It’s interesting that you are walking away from multiple statements of bishops who clearly state the greater significance of the issue of abortion in the decision of whom to vote for…

    Of course abortion is of “greater significance” than a great many issues. But it’s not of greater significance than all issues. All issues where the direct killing of human life is at stake are equally important.

    just remember, you were told…

    Thanks, Mom.

  • Kurt

    TT — So Ike was sending that money because he was a closet Red?

    LG — Your claim that the issue of abortion is of greater significance is not the slam dunk you think it is. We are not voting on the “issue” of abortion but of particular policies and potential policies. I disagree with Obama on FOCA. Not being a FOCA supporter, I helped elect anti-FOCA candidates like Bob Casey, Heath Shuler, Tim Ryan, Joe Donnelly and Travis Childers. Thanks to their election, FOCA will never reach the president’s desk or even pass a single chamber. It likely won’t even get a subcommittee vote. You can disagree with my political analysis, but in doing so you concede your point, as political analysis is a matter of the personal discernment of the laity and not a matter of church doctrine.

  • Mark Shea

    MM:

    Any remarks on the Obama supporters chucking molotov cocktails? I mean, I know you’re so concerned about the craziness of some political types and all.

  • little gal

    Kurt:

    I take it that you are a political operative from your statement that you helped elect all of these Democratic office holders from different states. Obama has stated what his first act as President would be and a handful of pro life Dems won’t stop him. I suspect that many voters will continue to blame the current administration for everything connected with the financial crisis that we are having –instead of at least looking at the changes in loan qualification guidelines pushed by the Dems that forced lenders to loan to nonqualified applicants, which is the basis for the problems that we are currently having–and they will boot out as many of the prolife Republicans as they can–changing the make-ups of the House and the Senate. Obama will have the votes he needs. Just watch.

  • little gal

    A bit of background on Obama and his friends:

    As Rezko starts to sing… Barack Obama might be days away from an indictment…

    http://www.puma08.com/2008/10/10/as-rezko-starts-to-sing-obama-might-be-one-note-away/

  • little gal

    Michael:

    Here’s a recent joint statement by two bishops on voting in the upcoming election. Still think that the bishops aren’t clarifying what the preeminent issue is?

    http://www.prolifedallas.org/pages/Joint_Statement

  • gal, check out our discussion of this on another thread. There are multiple problems with this statement and it is inconsistent with FC.

  • Little gal,

    Are you a PUMA cat? I thought that organization became defunct months ago.

    Advice: there website is not a credible journalistic reference.