Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Double standards, yet again

More on Sen. Obama's speech yesterday:

Jay Tea at Wizbang notes the following:

So, for well over four years, has been spouting his racially divisive message. And during that time, honored him with a book title, extensive portions of his books, praised him in public, sought his counsel before running for the Senate and making other crucial decisions, and named him to his presidential campaigns.

I am reminded of another incident involving a United States Senator, just a few years ago.

Senator was having his 100th birthday party. In attendance were many notables and luminaries, but the most remembered moment was when Senate Majority Leader took the stage and said the following:

"When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either."
Not the smartest thing to say, considering that Thurmond ran on an explicitly segregationist platform in 1948. But how significant was it in December of 2002?

I took it not as a confession of racism, of a calling for the return of segregation, but a man saying something nice for an old man who, in all likelihood, would be dead soon. (And Thurmond did, indeed, die barely six months later.) It was in the spirit of "don't speak ill of the dead," a couple of months early.

That didn't matter. Lott was branded as a bigot and a racist, and he had to resign.

Likewise, while I am interested in what Obama has to say about Wright now, I am more interested in what he said before Wright's beliefs and statements got out into the general public. (Through the incredibly devious and underhanded tactic of buying magazines and DVDs that reproduce his sermons from the , which sells them as fundraisers.) And those are fulsome praise, unabashed and unconditional respect and affection and camaraderie.

Obama's actions also speak loudly. As I noted above, right up until word started getting around, Wright was a key member of both Obama's campaign and his life in general.

Trent Lott had to resign his Senate leadership position barely two weeks after he made his remarks.

Will Obama have to pay any sort of price for his long-standing association with Wright, or will his repudiation -- which only came out after the general public learned what those who were closest to Wright must have known for years -- prove sufficient?

The standard has been set.


I've posted a lot on this very same double-standard, and it never fails to amaze me how a Democrat can be inexorably tied to a racist (or racist words, actions, etc.) and get away with it, but a Republican can be tarred with a broad brush, with no direct ties to anything racial, and pay a hefty price for it in the end (including admonishments from his own party, as did Sen. Lott).

Incidentally... a colleague of mine asked me why I thought should be president. She was surprised to learn I don't, since (as she put it) I wanted to crush Obama.

I don't wish to crush anyone. I merely expose hate speech, hypocrisies and policies which likely to hurt my family and (I believe) the country as a whole.

If that fits the description of wanting to crush someone, that's your definition, not mine.

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