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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Feeling good about feeling good about Obama's nomination 


Barack Obama is not likely to win my vote in the general election, and I believe that Hillary Clinton would make a better president, at least on the subjects that are important to me and which I believe ought to be important to others. That said, his nomination is of historical importance and does serve as virtually irrefutable evidence that America has made great progress in race matters, so I join with (to use a favorite phrase of the Democrats) other center/right bloggers who feel good about his nomination. Ezra Klein, who is manifestly not center/right, is very articulate (no risk describing him that way) on the point:

Towards the end of the 1967 movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," Dr. John Wane Prentice, played by Sydney Poitier, sits down with his fiance's white father, played by Spencer Tracy. "Have you given any thought to the problems your children will have?" Tracy asks. "Yes, and they'll have some...[But] Joey feels that all of our children will be President of the United States," replies Poitier. "How do you feel about that?" asks Tracy, looking skeptically at the black man in front of him. "I'd settle for Secretary of State," Poitier laughs.

Written in the late-1960s, the exchange was, indeed, laughable. The Civil Rights Act had been passed three years prior. Two years before, the Watts riots had broken out, killing 35. Martin Luther King Jr. would be assassinated a year later. But here we are, almost exactly 40 years after theatergoers heard that exchange. The last two Secretaries of State were African-American and, as of tonight, the next president may well be a black man. John Prentice's children would probably still be in their late-30s. They could still grow up to be cabinet officials or even presidents, but they would not necessarily be trailblazers.

Forty years. It is a very long time in the life of a man or woman frustrated in his or her ambitions because of race. It is a very short time to alter the attitudes of a continental nation about a subject lodged in its viscera since its founding. I feel good about Barack Obama's nomination because it is evidence -- not proof, but powerful, probative evidence -- that we can eventually purge ourselves of the American original sin.

Expect a lot of superficial gum-flapping in the next few weeks about the "meaning" of Barack Obama's elevation outside of the narrow context of this year's presidential nomination. Most of it will be politically-correct within its context, and if the speaker is even remotely partisan it will be calculated to achieve a political result. That said, I offer a few unpopular thoughts for your consideration.

First, Obama's nomination will gradually, but substantially, marginalize the old school "civil rights" activists to the point of irrelevance. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and their ilk will still have the power to make news by saying or doing inflammatory things, but they are no longer important. Obama has not only supplanted them, but at some basic level his nomination is going to persuade a lot of people -- rightly or wrongly -- that the Jackson/Sharpton approach has either worked so well that it has outlived its usefulness or has been superseded by a far more nuanced leader in the heart of the American power structure (to put it in lefty terms). Indeed, if Obama is going to make good on his promise to change America, he pretty much needs to speak and act in post-racial terms. Every time he does that he makes the Jackson/Sharpton approach look tired and obsolete.

Second, the example of Barack Obama may actually make things more challenging, if that could be possible, for the least successful African-Americans. In revealing that black skin is not an insurmountable barrier to the pinnacle of American power (whatever its impact on one's ability to hail a cab driven by an African or south Asian or to be treated with respect in certain less rarefied circles), Obama's nomination forces us to look more deeply into the roots of African-American poverty. Many more Americans of all races will wonder whether that poverty does not arise as much from the choices of the people themselves or simple individual bad luck or personal incompetence than from discrimination imposed upon them by a racist world. This may or may not be fair, but I believe it will be hard to avoid.

Finally, there may be an inherent tension between the first two trends -- the obsolescence of the old civil rights rhetoric and the rise of a post-racial view of poverty and social pathology -- and the political views of the judges and bureaucrats appointed by an Obama presidency. Obama, like any Democrat, is going to push as many federal judges through as he possibly can, especially if (as is likely) the Democrats control the Senate for his first term. Even if Obama wanted to appointed moderates who would not actively move the law to the left, he is going to face tremendous pressure from his more traditionally left-wing colleagues (not to mention his wife!). We may start seeing decisions from Obama's appointees on civil rights, employment discrimination, and other social change regulation that are bizarrely at odds with Obama's post-racial image and agenda. That tension might in turn reveal that the real division within the Democratic party is not socio-economic status (as appears to be the case right now) but between those who for sincere or cynical reasons regard the resolution of historical racial injustice as unfinished business and those who do not.

Release the hounds.

38 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 08:30:00 AM:

Where did you grow up? Because the USA prior to the so called "Civil Rights Act" was not quite the Nazi/KKK concentration camp you seem to imply with your perspective that sounds very much like a young person's, who has drank the Kool-Aid of the last 25 years on conditioning in the public schools and media. There were pockets of discrimination in the Southeastern United States - it was not throughout all fifty states. Is there a difference between "racism" and people who prefer to live and associate with others who are like them? Yes there is a difference and I submit, it is human nature to prefer the company of people of similar background. How can I say this? History, right up till these so called "enlightened times", proves it, that's how. Its simple common sense and human nature.

"Original sin"? You mean, like virtually every nation, kingdom, state in the world in 1776 and every century before it.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 08:41:00 AM:

Anonymous is full of it. I am 58 years old and I grew up in Wichita, Kansas and most of my relatives lived in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. Racism was all around baby. It was a constant in that universe. I can't speak for the other states, but I saw plenty of it in my time. Things have changed. Now it is a source of personal embarrassment for most people to say or do something that reveals the extent of their racism. People still have trouble with "darky" but they cover it up and most know that it is somehow wrong. But there is a deep emotional streak in us about this.

For anon to defend himself with that old saw about similar background simply reveals how deeply inside of him he has driven this emotion. It's called self-deception, not common sense and human nature. It is as if he is saying we are naturally racists.  

By Blogger randian, at Thu Jun 05, 09:13:00 AM:

The problem with Obama is he's not a post-racial candidate. Everything about him, from how he was groomed by the Chicago machine, his attending TUCC, and his choice of women to marry, says he's as much of a "blame and take from whitey" guy as Sharpton or Jesse Jackson.  

By Anonymous MarkJ, at Thu Jun 05, 09:47:00 AM:

Ummm, what makes anybody think Obama is "post"-anything?

The guy is doctrinaire to the point where he makes Soviet Communist Party hacks look like raging independents. One quick look at his state senate and U.S. Senate records reveals that when he wasn't fearlessly voting "Present"...he was voting as a four-square-gospel, down-the-line, old-time-religion, 99 44/100%pure hard leftist.

Prince Charming speaks a good game when it comes to "post-raciality." However, there ain't a doubt in my retired military mind that, if or when he becomes President, he'll play the race card every chance he gets. "Anyone who opposes my messianic agenda...is obviously a knuckle-dragging, troglodyte humunculus, counter-revolutionary racist."

"Post-racial?" You've got to be kidding. I've got a ten-spot that says The Prince of Appeasement, and his angry wife could very well set back racial relations 20 years.

Obama still doesn't understand that whites can also play the "victim game" too. And when they do, all bets will be off.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 09:57:00 AM:

"...irrefutable evidence that America has made great progress in race matters..."
You are dreaming! By the election, anyone not swearing eternal allegiance to Saint Obama will be branded as a racist. The media and the other flaming anti-Americans will turn everything into a racial matter.
Today's race thugs, Sharpton, Jackson, etc., will not have less influence, they will be empowered. Through them, Hussein will be able to placate and repay the folks from Wright's church and the millions of others like them.
Further, the federal government will begin to look a lot more like the governments of Detroit and New Orleans.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 10:19:00 AM:

Sounds like our buddy from Witchita, Kansas can't wrap his mind around the now know fact that most, repeat, most people of all races, ethnicities, etc. prefer to live among those similar to themselves. This is human nature. Mass immigration. affirmative action, "diversity" programs are all attempts to change society through artificial means.

This was just shown once again by some LIBERAL researchers when they published a report on the effects of mass immigration. I forget their names but their conclusion shocked the liberal world and consequently got very little MSM attention. Lou Dobbs had them on a few months ago.

People all over the world prefer to live among those who are similar. My point is that this behavior is NOT racism. The word "racism" has been corrupted and exaggerated to the point of worthlessness.

What MUST also be remembered that up until the 1970s, the USA was close to 90% caucasian. Therefore, I submit, it was only natural for caucasians to feel that non-caucasians (blacks) were a small, insignificant, marginalized group. Go to Italy, France, Germany, China, Japan.....ah, anywhere and you'll see the same behavior. Except that mass immigration of Muslims have now changed those countries to the point where they are no longer truly "Italian", "French", etc.

Except Japan - they don't like immigration. China - they look at non Chinese are barbarians, they consider blacks to be monkees. Arabs/Muslims consider non-Muslims to be primitive infidels, they consider blacks to be inferior slaves, since Arabs/Muslim were the original owners of black slaves.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 10:23:00 AM:

The Obama run will certainly expose all the racial TENSIONS that currently exist across the entire country. That much is clear from the (ridiculous and one-sided) tone of many of the comments above.

I grew up in a suburb of Detroit, MI, when racial tension was very high. A political black mayor, Coleman Young, had just been elected, saying "If Whitey doesn't like it, Whitey can move north of Five Mile." (Five Mile is a reference to Detroit's northern suburb border. And it might have been Nine Mile, can't remember; I was a kid.)

In any case, heavy white flight to the suburbs followed, and the city and the suburbs have been radicalized towards each other ever since. Each blaming the other side for the separation.

Since 1985 I have lived in Texas. The prevalence of racist comments is far lower down here across the board, in Brownsville, Austin, and Dallas, the cities where I have lived and worked. I still hear it, sometimes shockingly, but it's far less prevalent. At least on the surface. Then again, Southerners are simply more polite and not inclined to blurt out to strangers or acquantainces whatever is on their mind.

But my main point may be that the quality and form of racial tensions are likely different across all the cities and suburbs and rural areas across every state. The TENSIONS (not the racism itself!) will show up in different ways.

Obama's run for the Presidency ensures this, and we're all going to find out a great deal about racial tensions, and perhaps racism, as the next five months pass.

Mike Devx  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Thu Jun 05, 11:09:00 AM:

Intriguing post and comments, lots to agree and disagree with.

Yes, people of the same ethnic type tend to cluster together, prime example is here in the Midwest where we have towns and whole counties that were primarily settled by people from the same area (example: my home church still had the service in German until around WWII). And yes, people in general are more comfortable dealing with people within their own ethnic and social zone (discrimination), and have tended to look down on other people from a considerably different social zone (racism) but humanity is working on it. Slowly. It probably dates back to “guys in my cave fine, but guys in other cave want my stuff” days.

I do believe it would be a mistake to ignore the Socialist/Conservative conflict this campaign season and focus just on race. If Obama had been a well spoken black Conservative with deep roots in the Buchanan wing of the party, complete dedication of the anti-abortion groups, and the whole staff of National Review on his campaign, the reaction of the press and black activists would be a *completely* different story. As an example, take a look at how badly Colin Powell was treated when he went to work for the Bush administration, as well as Ms. Rice and of course Clarence Thomas. This election will be between the radical leftists and the moderates, with most conservatives either sitting it out or grudgingly supporting McCain, while wondering just when he is going to hose them over (and how often).

Truth is Obama is one of the least qualified candidates the Democrats have ever proposed for the Presidency, with only one term in the Senate and no executive experience. The reason he won the Primary is because most Democrats are sick of the Clintons, want somebody who actually talks well and can inspire people, opposes the war from the start, wants to raise taxes on the rich, and supports their laundry list of special interests and spending programs without reservation. That he is a minority, is a bonus prize.  

By Anonymous in_awe, at Thu Jun 05, 11:09:00 AM:

Just wait until the Obama administration (with the help of Pelosi and Reid) starts doling out billions of dollars for more affirmative action programs and poverty fighting programs based on race. (Slavery reparations anyone?)

The uproar will be loud and long. The liberal response (as always) will be ad hominem attacks against any dissenters. Calling them racists will be the kindest thing they are called. It will not be pretty for someone claiming to be the great uniter.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 11:32:00 AM:

Slavery has been a fact of life throughout most places in the world and in most of human history. It still is a fact of life in the Arab middle east, and in much of north Africa, like Mali for example. America inherited slavery from our European forebears and the world reality of the time.

America's original sin, insofar as slavery is concerned, is perhaps that our founders did not end the practice right from the beginning. Political necessity at the time may have required a trade-off, since America's founders believed that the need for unity in seeking independence and eventually building a common government required accepting an abomination, a hypocrisy. But slavery was recognized from the start as both of those things, by much of America's leadership and population. Madison and Jefferson were not alone in knowing that sooner or later slavery would rip the fabric of the country apart.

America's failure to live up to the ideals of the Declaration was paid for full in the bloodshed of the Civil War.

It's not slavery that's still at issue in America, it's the need to build a multi-racial society. We're in the midst of that process, begun in a serious way forty-odd years ago, and a multi-racial candidate is a great symbol of the process. I just wish some of the racists and racialists surrounding him would join the "change" and not resist it in so ugly a way. "Jeremiah's" they are, but they need to change.

It's ironic that the multiracial candidate surrounds himself with the most evident racists, isn't it? Oh well, not to worry. America will become better, it always does, and people like Obama will someday have the courage to reject people like Wright, like Farrakhan, like Pfleger.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 11:41:00 AM:

It's Eight Mile road that separates Detroit from northern suburbs, which today are full of 3rd world immigrants, mostly Moooslims.

Who cares about racial tensions. As someone above said, up until the 1970s, the USA was almost 90% white. Its continuous, mass immigration that is changing that fact. Are we any better for it? I say no. If you say yes, please describe how we are better?

Obama is a frickin joke. He is worthy of being a state legislator, back-bencher with loony-left ideas, supporters and friends. He has almost ZERO experience, plus his is a textbook, far left liberal. Thoroughly conventional. Only young kids and the media are fawning over him.

Hamas and Hezbollah want Obama. What does that tell you? The world wants Obama. What does that tell you? The world hates Bush because he had the spine to push back against the spread of fundamentalist Islam and (was) resistent to the silliness of "global warming". The world would rather not be bothered, they are busy with their internet porn, cell phone silliness and watching the latest Hollywood crap.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 11:46:00 AM:

Please interpret the phrase "people like Obama" to mean "future candidates for the Presidency", as I intended it to mean. Can't be too careful on this subject!

Andrew  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 11:52:00 AM:

11:32 sd:
"people like Obama will someday have the courage to reject people like Wright, like Farrakhan, like Pfleger."

Please, still falling for the propaganda. There is no difference between the Obama's and these racists, only that he comes in a shiny package for leftist who base everything on image.

It is immature to think that someone would surround themselves with such people but know hold the same views.

Everyone constantly is giving Obama a pass by saying "I just can't understand why he surrounds himself with such vile people"

Read his own words, he rejected his white family to chase after a deadbeat black father who abandon him and in his disturbed thinking he apparently hates that he has whiteness in his veins and has been trying to expunge it for the past 25 years by joining the racist demagogues like Wright and Farrahkan to prove not only to the outside world but also himself that he hates whitey as much as any black.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 11:56:00 AM:

"Anonymous" at 11:32 is exactly correct on his comments about the Founding Fathers. Slavery existed for some 100+ years before the founding of the nation. The Founders compromised on allowing it to exist in the South while trying to slowly squeeze it out of the country over time.

As far as wanting to build a multi-racial society.....I would ask, why? Why is it necessary? Why must England, France, Sweden, Holland, etc. allow huge numbers of non-native, Muslim "immigrants" into their nations, destroying their native cultures, which are head and shoulders above the "culture" of the Mohammadans?

Likewise the USA. Our "diversity" is mainly because of mass immigration. 30 years ago, the US was about 85% white, 12% black and a few percent of all others. Today, blacks are still 12%, but whites are down to about 65% with the remaining 23% mostly Latino (Mexican really), Asian and Arab/Muslim.

How has it "improved" us? We have worse education in public schools, due to so much non-English speaking immigrant children, so much class time devoted to "diversity" and "multi-culutral" topics, etc.

I submit, it's all been a waste and a failure. The USA was better a few decades ago. We used to be able to engineer and manufacture great things, today we import cheap crap as we try to make money shuffling financial papers around. How sad.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 12:10:00 PM:

Tigerhawk -- I hope the commentary doesn't stop you from feeling good about the nomination for all of the reasons that you cite. I completely agree with you (from my center/left position), and so do many of my center/right and all-the-way-right friends -- MCU  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 12:36:00 PM:

How is it that a guy that brought his family to swim in a racist sewer on most Sundays is considered "post-racial"? Seems like he is right in the mainstream of racists.  

By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Thu Jun 05, 01:06:00 PM:

Anonymous 10:19 admonishes us "What MUST also be remembered that up until the 1970s, the USA was close to 90% caucasian..." thereby betraying a profound ignorance of the US Census and how to interpret it. Hispanics, for example, were not counted as a group prior to the 1970s. Only in 1960 could respondants self-assign race. Kinda puts a different face on things.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Thu Jun 05, 01:53:00 PM:

I think Senator Obama should be given a great deal of credit for being an excellent politician. The defeat of the Clinton political machine is a remarkable accomplishment -- nearly the political equivalent of the U.S. hockey team beating the Soviets in 1980 at Lake Placid!

While it may well be true that as a young man, Senator Obama had first hand experience with bigotry and racism directed toward him that undoubtedly hurt his feelings and helped to shape his attitudes and self-image, his family history is not the same as blacks in this country, who for centuries were denied opportunities to better themselves. Had Harold Ford been nominated, I would feel pretty good about that, for what it represents -- that the great-great-grandson (not sure about the exact number of generations) of slaves in the U.S. would be the nominee of a major party for POTUS. That would be kind of neat. Obama has melanin -- but very little in the way of shared sociological background (the "social pathology" referenced by TH) -- and that's it. Yet, clearly, his nomination resonates strongly among the African-American community, so my rather academic distinctions are meaningless in the real world. The sports page of the Philadelphia Inquirer today ran an article with interviews of prominent black pro athletes in the city, remarking on the historic nature of Obama's nomination. If it is uplifting to the African-American community, then that's a good thing, if for no other reason than it provides empirical evidence that millions of white folks will vote for a black person for a national office.

I think, however, that to expect the racial grievance community to hang up a "Mission Accomplished" banner and shut itself down in the event of an Obama victory in November is just plain silly. Sure, there is the obvious cognitive dissonance -- how racist a country can this be if a black man is president? -- but the argument will be made that there are still significant pockets of racism that have to be dealt with until it is eradicated. Furthermore, it is not as if the culture can turn on a dime. If the Rev. Wrights of the country (and I do not believe such preachers are that numerous) have been telling their church members for decades that they are victims, it may take several more decades before the belief takes hold that they are not victims.

As someone who tends to be a national security voter, Obama is also "not likely to win my vote in the general election," but I can appreciate that right now, he has slightly better than an even-money chance of winning. If he does win, then he will be my President and I will hope for his success, particularly with respect to keeping America and Americans safe from the threat of Islamist extremism. It would not surprise me if he were to be tested very early in his administration, as that has been a pattern and practice that al Qaeda has followed (i.e., shortly after Gordon Brown took office in the U.K.) I have no wish to see a repeat of the Jimmy Carter presidency, when a post-Vietnam U.S. was seemingly at its weakest point, with a leader that apparently stumbled from crisis to crisis, and was perceived as incompetent from within his own party.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 02:13:00 PM:

How did the election of David Dinkins turn out for NYC? Did it improve racial relations? I prefer to judge a candidate on the content of his/her character.  

By Blogger DEC, at Thu Jun 05, 02:22:00 PM:

Today the Voice of America (your tax money at work) has an article about African reaction to Obama's success. I found this quote amusing:

“ 'About 60 percent of Cameroonians I spoke to is in favor of having Barack Obama, an African American, to become the first black president. They hope that if he becomes the first black president of the world’s most powerful nation, the blacks would be proud of their color. The other 40 percent that I talked to they think that it is a Republican (party) ploy to get Hillary (Clinton) out of the way because Hillary could have been a tough competitor to (Senator) McCain because they say the Americans have what they call the redneck. They don’t think that the rednecks would want to vote a black man come November,' said Nkemayang Paul Foanyi, a newspaper publisher in Limbe, Cameroon."

Link:
http://www.voanews.com/english/Africa/2008-06-05-voa7.cfm  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 02:26:00 PM:

"Forty years. It is a very long time in the life of a man or woman frustrated in his or her ambitions because of race."

I guess this means that Oprah Winfrey didn't have the correct gender for such pride in that irrefutable evidence that America has made great progress in race matters..."

Actually, it's rather a sad comment on Obama, Oprah, race and America.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 02:46:00 PM:

Greenyman Timmy.....what part of "about" don't you understand? I do indeed know that Mexicans (now the pc "Hispanics") were not counted as a separate group since their numbers were so small but thanks to Ted "the swimmer" Kennedy and his 1965 immigration reform act, plus the decades since of looking the other way as the illegal Mestizo have flooded in this country to drag down education levels (and wages by the way). Mexicanos have the highest high school drop-out rate, the highest out of wedlock birthrate, the highest gang membership rate...shall I continue?

What has it gained the us? Mexico has over 10% of it's population now in the USA. What has it gained us but more problems?  

By Blogger bryan, at Thu Jun 05, 02:47:00 PM:

Original sin?

You sound an awful like Obama and his America hating eco-communist buddies in the Democratic Party.

Original sin implies the entire founding philosophy of the United States is so tainted that it needs to be rejected.

Have you been listening to the Wright tapes so many times you actually buy into that garbage?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 02:53:00 PM:

Osama/Obama is a frickin joke. He is nothing but a state legislator who barely has three years experience in the Senate, two of which he has spent running for office, financed by George Soros.

BO may actually win but I rather doubt it for primary voters are but a tiny slice of all voters in November. And that tiny slice are the political junkies, the activists and such.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like McCain - he's a liberal republican, like Bush, who is a liberal republican himself. But given the non-serious person of like Barry Hussien Osama/Obama, McCain should win rather easily.
Let me remind the young'ins here: Kerry led Bush, Gore led Bush, Mondale led Reagan, Carter led Reagan......polls in spring and summer mean absolutely nothing. (Hint: the MSM is overwhelmingly liberal/democrat, so they present the "news" with a democratic bias)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 03:02:00 PM:

To Anonymous @ 11:56:

So, things were better in the US decades ago? It's all been a waste and a failure since then?


Why the increasing life expectancy, then? I have multiple sclerosis and take a drug that didn't exist decades ago and am able to work because of it. Immigration isn't the reason education is in such dire straights in the U.S - you can thank a certain Boomer philosophy that has invaded schools of education. Heck, it's schools of education and the proliferation of their students (as teachers) that has a lot to do with declining educational standards. Manufacturing has decreased everywhere, mainly due to technology. Sorry, I don't like this running down of the US all the time, whether from the right or the left. It hurts us. It really does.

*I don't much care for Obama and wouldn't vote for him, but, I can see how some people are uplifted by the story. What a wonderful country this is, warts and all.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 03:17:00 PM:

40 years is a long time for blacks to use their skin color as an excuse for failing to achieve as a race of people. How is it that so many other new Americans can come here and see the wonder and opportunity of America, yet Blacks just want to bitch about their skin and how the "man" has held them down? Obama is a product of white people who helped him, and programs that bend over backwards to promote persons of color (white apparently is not a color).

He's run his campaign on being black, and for that I hold it against him. Powell didn't make a fuss about his skin, and neither do those who needn't use it as a crutch.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 03:43:00 PM:

To Anonymous 03:02:

"Why the increasing life expectancy, then? I have multiple sclerosis and take a drug that didn't exist decades ago and am able to work because of it."
- Silly point, off issue.

"Immigration isn't the reason education is in such dire straights in the U.S"
- Of course it isn't the only reason but it is most surely a major, contributing factor. Look at a map of the country, by education. The closer you move toward the southern border, the more education level goes down. Plus, do you have kids? More than a few parents are upset having so many non-English speaking kids in their schools, since the liberals who run schools feel they must cater to said immigrants, instead of gently forcing them to learn English and assimilate to American standards, customs, etc. Plus many of these "illegal amigos" are not paying their fair share in terms of property taxes and so on, since they are using fake or stolen ID's, commiting social security fraud, income tax evasion...but hey, I must be a mean-spirited conservative to even mention these things. Let's all sing - "We are the world....."

You poo-poo the loss of engineering and manufacturing? The more we lose of those two, the more dependent we will become. We will become a "protectorate" of the UN and not a free, independent, sovereign nation. It's nothing to brush off. Japan, South Korea, China and many other nations heavily protect their firms and markets and thus US firms have little chance in penetrating those markets.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 04:31:00 PM:

Racism? Umh. Bo is the nominee primarily because he is black. If there is racism might it be the 92-95% of blacks that vote for BO because he is black and the limosine liberals voting for him because he is black, and not those voting against him simply because he is a far, far left liberal, not because of race? Seems clear to me where the racism lies.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 05:56:00 PM:

BO (Body Odor) is nothing but a smooth talking version of Jesse or Al our Screwy Louie.

Young people are fooled by hime because, well they are young and dumb!

People vote their tribe. That's why immigration needs to be reduced, even legal immigration. Bring in more Mexicans, Muslims, etc. and they will vote for people who run for office who are of their tribe.

Blood is thicker than water.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 06:11:00 PM:

So, Anonymous at 3:43

Life expectancy in the US is unrelated to your original point? But, you said things in the US are steadily getting worse. I said in response that there are areas where things are decidedly better. The drug development in this country being one of them, and increasing life expectancy another.

Bizarre.

Schools are under strains in border states because of immigration, that is no doubt. The real reason education is such a mess in this country is the educational system itself. Things might be better in your local school if there was less strain on teachers, but, even wealthy schools are softening standards. The students I inherit in my place of work prove that.

Manufacturing has decreased in China in the past decade because of technology. You know, machines? That was my point. Manufacturing jobs are disappearing everywhere. If your anger makes you feel better, fine, but I believe in this country and it's ability to take on the future. BO's just a bump in the road. We'll find a way to deal with immigration, too.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 06:12:00 PM:

It's too bad that Bobby Jindal immigrated to the US, eh?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 06:49:00 PM:

Do not underestimate what Jackson and Sharpton will do and say when their power is threatened. I wouldn't be surprised to hear the "one drop of white blood" argument w/r/t BO.

Anonymous at 2:13pm got me thinking of all of the black mayors and governors that were elected in the past 25 years. I cannot think of one that improved race relations in their domain.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 05, 06:51:00 PM:

RE:
anonymous@8:41am response to anonym.@8:30am...actually , you misrepresented the statement about racism, in your rush to judgement-and , btw , why the small bore trashing of that person when it's HIS/HER opinion? Rather SanFran- presumptious , aren't you? He/She was addressing that which has plagued us in 776BC (ancient Oly.Games'attempt @ peace&reason thru compet.)and plagues us now-tribalism, baby! I am 59 , so I got your exper. by a year. I object to your "tone"- go talk AT Al Franken , if you seek a superior pose propped up by hubris. HAWK: wanted to address Chris.Chambers but, got an email kick back? Anyaddress handy?  

By Blogger Joshua, at Thu Jun 05, 09:06:00 PM:

RE: Anon @ 06:49:00 PM - Indeed, I've wondered myself what the over/under is on how long before the phrase "Uncle Tom" starts to be used to describe a President Obama.

In any case, I'm less worried about what Obama might do as President than about what his fellow Democrats in the House and Senate will do once they need no longer worry about having to override a veto. Not that I expect a President McCain to be much better in that respect, mind you, but I'll take "slim" over "none" any day.  

By Blogger Miss Ladybug, at Thu Jun 05, 09:09:00 PM:

Bobby Jindal didn't emigrate to the US, his parents did. Otherwise, he couldn't be considered (as I've heard some mention) for the VP slot. But, thankfully, his parents DID. I currently have a temp job with a large international corporation with offices here. There are 3 immigrants that work in the cubicles near me: all very well educated persons. I know at least one of them is now an American citizen. THOSE are the kinds of immigrants we want (and need), not uneducated immigrants who take more than they give back to American society.  

By Blogger kreiz1, at Fri Jun 06, 08:32:00 AM:

TH, brilliant big-picture commentary. Barack's ascension- like Powell's and Rice's- evidence the remarkable dynamicism of the American process. It has an uncanny ability to adopt. This isn't a minor feat, as inertia's power makes the status quo resilient to change. Frankly, it's the reason that the left's counterbalance contributes to our overall political health; it keeps the process churning.

Now, a pet peeve: I get lost in anonymous comments. Very annoying. Reminds me of Abbot & Costello's 'who's on first?' Who knows. Can't someone grab a name?  

By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Fri Jun 06, 09:04:00 AM:

Anonymous 2:26 nee 10:19; "since their numbers were so small..." Which you know for a fact exactly how? And how nice of you to ascribe that objective and rational reason for not counting Hispanics to a government body. Do you do that often?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jun 06, 02:52:00 PM:

Great analysis TH. I agree both about the preference for Hillary and the symbolic significance of Obama's nomination.

Having said that, something I've been pondering lately: I don't know what the consensus on Obama is, but it appears to be that he's very intelligent. I don't know that I agree though, he doesn't strike me that way, nor does he come across as exceptionally well-informed (although we haven't had any impromptu foreign leadership quizzes yet). I understand a lot of Liberals are smitten over him, but I feel like that may be a combination of a) liking his rhetoric and b) white guilt. My question is, in matters of foreign policy, what happens when Obama is negotiating with a foreign leader who shares my impression of him and is not racked with white guilt (which would be almost all of them)? I feel like their perception of him would be that of a black George W., which *I think* would lead to significantly more manipulation or outright confrontation.  

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