Wednesday, February 27, 2008

denouncing and rejecting

as low of a low point as it was in tim russert's moderation of last night's democratic debate, i do think it's interesting that many in the blog world are harping on russert's louis farrakhan questioning and not seeing what i saw in the moment: senator obama wanted to have it both ways.

first of all, the chicago tribune brought the subject up, not russert (granted, russert turned it into an operatic list of twists and turns.) during the entire first part of his answer (as belabored as it was) obama did not reject louis farrakhan's support. instead, he said things like "i did not solicit this support," "i obviously can't censor him" and "we're not doing anything, i assure you, formally, or informally, with minister farrakhan." what did we think, louis and barack were gonna have a tupperware party?

russert then asked if obama "rejected" farrakhan's endorsement. obama sputtered a bit. "well...tim. you know, i can't, uhhh, say to somebody that he can't say that he thinks i'm a good guy." (really? reagan had no problem telling the kkk to take a hike in 1980.) "i've been very clear in my denounciation of him and his past statements..." obama went on to say denouce or denounced another three, four times.

throughout this five minute back and forth, obama would not say he rejected farrakhan's support, even when russert himself asked pointedly, "do you reject it?" whatever you think about the difference between the two --- denouncing and rejecting -- obama wouldn't say it.

then senator clinton spoke up. one hoped she was going to take the high road, which she could have done by saying "something similar happened to me, here's what i did, so i understand what barack is dealing with here," letting us draw the line from she rejected objectionable support to he won't. instead, pushed by russert, she sounded petty trying to stress the difference between denouncing and rejecting.

russert then turned it over to obama, who coyly suggested that he didn't see the difference between denouncing and rejecting.

interesting that moments earlier, he clearly seemed to.
UPDATE 5:34 p.m. -- more blogger reaction to this moment, summed up nicely by andrew sullivan.


  1. Barack Obama in my opinion is a racist, The media keeps "Spinning" the truth about this fraud

    Why they did not dig deeper in the debate and ask him about the fact that he attends a "racist" church "Trinity United"

    or that Trinity Church has recently given "Louis Farrahkan" their own

    "Man of the Year award"!

    (not to mention the "Black Value" system they promote.)

    The more and more I look the more I see ties between Barack Obama and corrupt / radical people and companies

    Trinity Church
    Nation of Islam
    New Black Panther Party

    Raila Odinga (Muslim presidential hopeful, responsible for the current riots in Kenya)

    Deval Patrick (corrupt politition)
    Tony Rezko (political fixer)
    Khaleel Ahmed (terrorist contributor)
    Rev Jeremiah Wright (racist reverand)
    Louis Farrahkan (racist, anti-Semitic Islamic Radical)
    Alexi Giannoulias (terror ties)
    Aiham Alsammarae (terror ties)

    This election is rigged by the GOP in order to knock Hillary out (the only worthy opposition ot McCain once this all gets out,

    If the GOP is not real careful, the sheep will wake up, and they will get a "HELL" of a lot more than they asked for!

  2. I guess I'm having it both ways too, as I fail to see the big distinction between denouncing and rejecting. Real people generally don't make such distinctions, leaving that sort of parsing to lawyers and politicos. But if you were at a party and said something offensive, and the host said that they can't be held responsible for what you said and denounced you in front of everyone; I suspect you'd feel fairly rejected. But Obama did eventually say he denounced and rejected Farrakhan, so you're point is clearly without merit. The reason Hillary looked petty when she said that was because what she said was petty.

    Beyond that, I fail to see how he was having things both ways. The whole issue is ludicrous. As Barack said, you can't stop people from supporting you and shouldn't be held liable for what people who aren't associated with him say. But he clearly distanced himself the entire time from Farrakhan, so it all sounded like the same thing to me. And again, once Clinton suggested that he had to both denounce and reject Farrakhan, he did so.

    And anyone who suggests otherwise is playing political games rather than attempting to accept words for what they really mean. I'm actually glad to have a nominee who uses the normal meaning of words and isn't worried about parsing every word for hidden meanings. Everyone else knew what he meant, even if Hillary, Tim, and you did not.

  3. BTW, I expect you to denounce and reject Jose's comment, as he seems to be in agreement with you and posted this at your blog; with your approval as moderator. And unless you do so, I will tell everyone that you think Obama is a corrupt racist who is only winning due to a rigged election. I also expect you to denounce and reject his poor grammar, or I'll tell everyone that you have poor grammar.

    Guilt by association is fun.


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