Remarkable Obama & Remarkable America

Barack Obama, the son of an immigrant from Kenya, has just won in Iowa. This could happen only in America. Ours is an extraordinarily open country, where clearly race and “outsider” status are no impediments to success. America is remarkable.

America is a remarkable country. Barack Obama, the son of an immigrant from Kenya, has just won in Iowa. This could happen only in America. Ours is an extraordinarily open country, where clearly race and “outsider” status are no impediments to success.

I am very likely to vote Republican in November, which means I will vote against Barack Obama. But that doesn’t stop me from being proud of my country for giving him this opportunity. Iowa is only 4% black, which means that this son of an African immigrant got the overwhelming part of his support from white voters.

Those traditonal racial categories are so 20th Century.

We really have achieved something approaching Martin Luther King’s dream, where we judge a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. In the upcoming weeks and months we will be talking politics. Obama will by winning or losing votes based on his ideas, character and campaign organization. What a country.

Posted by Jack at January 4, 2008 1:13 PM
Comments
Comment #242128

Have to disagree with you here a little bit, Jack.

Hillary was never the inevitable candidate the Press was making her out to be. Let’s face it Obama’s only real competition on the Democratic side is Hillary, and Iowa does not like her at all. She was the Press favorite, not Iowa’s favorite. Liberals were letting their adoration for Bill affact their good judgement when declaring Hillary unbeatable.

It is true that it is a great start for Obama, and yes, historical, (hysterical to those who dislike Hillary), but not a win that is really surprising, given Hillary’s Midwestern negatives. Iowa is after all, only a hop, skip, and a jump from Chicago, Obama’s nesting grounds.

I think this is the tip of the iceburg, though, and the Press will be rethinking things very quickly unless Hillary can pull out some really significant and devastating wins over Obama.

The plus for Obama: Hillary is no longer “The Inevitable One”!

JD

Posted by: JD at January 4, 2008 1:02 AM
Comment #242135

Jack,
This is a great country for a lot of things, and I’m happy that the fact that O’Bama is a black man is irrelevant to whether or not he can succeed in politics. Whether he makes it to the finish line or not is a long way off, but your points on IOWA demographics are spot on.

The Primaries were supposedly going to be a coronation for Clinton, but it is heartening to see a tiny wake-up call. The problem is, O’Bama is a soft-shoe, and the Clinton smear machine may eventually destroy him because he hasn’t yet shown the tenacity to punch as hard as they do.
I predict that Hillary’s campaign will pull out all the stops to compeltely assasinate this man’s character and reputation (regardless of his stance on issues - I don’t think he deserves that) but mark my words, it will happen.

Huckabee and Romney are sure to be dukin’ it out for the next month til’ super Tuesday, whereupon I will Caucus up here in Alaska for Huckabee, I’m excited that this is the first presidential race in which Alaska matters at all. I heard today that more airtime has been devoted to these political campaigns this “season” than has any entire presidential race to come before. That’s staggerring if you think about it. It’s almost like the media is trying to burn us out on all this before the important things come around.

Did anyone notice the turncoat Kay Bailey Hutchinson border gutting amendment that was passed over the Christmas holiday? No one has written about it here. It makes me sick to my stomach to have politicians passing legislation against what almost the ENTIRE COUNTRY wants done according to polls - and sadly, under the Republican banner.

I can here David, who I believe lives in Texas, chanting V, O, I, D, get some new blood in the seat. LOL. And he’d be right.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at January 4, 2008 2:16 AM
Comment #242142

Jack
It is something to be proud of,isn’t it.BUT race and outsider status still has effect on the lives of many.Unless you are willing to vote for him do not jump up and down so much. It is unbecoming.
More significant is that between Obama and Edwards better than 60% of Dems want f
undemental change to a more populist policy ie.screw NAFTA. The results of the Rep vote show the same ,even after culling out the RW cultist vote. Working people are going to get a better break after this election,no matter who wins.About time.

Posted by: BillS at January 4, 2008 3:46 AM
Comment #242143

BillS

I am unlikely to vote for him, but it is not because he is an outsider. I like things like NAFTA and I think we need to finish the job in Iraq, so I disgree with him on issues. I think it is appropriate to celebrate the fact that race and 1st generation immigrant status are obviously not impediments. He gets to compete; it does not mean a guarenteed win.

I am going to be smuggly American today. We are judging by the content of character, not the color of skin. Come on. This is a liberal victory, isn’t it? It is a shame if I enjoy it much more than you guys.

I think this is a good demonstration of my theory on liberals being gloomy. Today the bright light of the Obama victory warms and encourages all those who dislike the racism of the past. You do not need to be a supporter to glory in it. I just would expect supporters to be a little happier.

Posted by: Jack at January 4, 2008 4:03 AM
Comment #242144

Jack
I am not an Obama supporter in particular. The next president will be John Edwards. It is a change victory. I expect the big guns to come out early.Between both parties I see the masters comming out of their chairs at this point….yea,we should be proud of our selves,lets see how far it will go.Please,please put Huckabee up for election.You and I both know he will never be allowed to get the nomination,unfortunatly.

Posted by: BillS at January 4, 2008 4:29 AM
Comment #242145
Those traditonal racial categories are so 20th Century.
Jack

Okay I’ll make the obvious observation. While indeed Democrats in Iowa may feel some pride in their selection in the primaries. What does this say about Republicans, who rejected Mitt Romney due to his religion?

Romney’s Mormon faith was an obvious liability that cost him in Iowa. While this doesn’t qualify as a racial prejudice, it certainly is a prejudice.

Posted by: Cube at January 4, 2008 5:30 AM
Comment #242149

Jack, many nations of color have experienced minority race leadership of their countries. S. Africa for example. How can you possibly say “only in America”?

What an absurd perspective. It is good that skin color is less important today than previously, but, Obama is not the first. Sharpton and Jackson have both run for President. Obama’s bid stands on the shoulders of monumental efforts by many since Frederick Douglas and before to break down these racial barriers.

If you want to use the words: “Only in America”, use them in reference to our centuries of history of failure to fully divorce our culture from its slavery past. We are not alone in these retarded efforts, England, France, and others have been slow to progress over the centuries as well.

But, it is illogical to praise Obama’s win in a predominantly White Mid-Western state as anything unique in the world, despite its being history making progress. And there are 49 other states to go, many in the South which may not respond so color blinded to Obama’s bid.

Praising Obama’s win in Iowa is kind of like praising a Down’s Syndrome 18 year old for finally learning to read a 2nd grade book. It is a wonderful occasion and milestone for the 18 year old and family, but, the progression of learning over the years is still that of an inherently handicapped student, with one obvious difference. America’s slow progress is volitional.

That said, your article speaks well of you your sense of good sportsmanship and willingness to be congratulatory toward an opposition candidate. Many of your comrades are not so buoyant over Obama’s success in Iowa as some other conservative blogs attest.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 6:56 AM
Comment #242150

BillS, Edwards is NOT likely to win, according to the entrance polling done in Iowa. Edwards failed to garner the vote of those who would be most benefited by his policy agenda.

To his immense credit however, Clinton and Obama have adopted some of his policy and attitudinal issues. But, it will be one of them to carry the race to the White House, not Edwards I suspect. Edwards is running on traditional Democratic platform issues, and tradition was NOT what Iowans voted for last night. They voted for change from the traditional. Especially the 18 to 29 year olds, who turned out in record numbers.

There is a paradigm and generational shift reflected in the Iowa statistics, which, if paralleled by a significant number of other state’s primaries, will not support an Edwards win.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 7:08 AM
Comment #242151

Jack,
My hat goes off to Obama and Huckabee for winning the first of 49 States Collative Voice; however, it is not the Democratic or Republicans who won in Iowa nor do I expect that it will be them in New Hampshire next week. No, Edwards said it best last night when he said that the “Status Quo” lost and the Voice of Change was heard.

So, I will challenge you and others from the Left and Right of Society to prove to me and your fellow Man that you have the Courage and Conviction to keep building “A Better World” by electing those Citizens who want to come “Creek Jumping” with the Children of the 21st Century.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at January 4, 2008 7:17 AM
Comment #242152

Jack,

It is really a remarkable thing. I was not a strong support of even any candidate, but now I am unabashedly excited to see that Obama can really win. For a long time I was torn between supporting Obama with my heart and wanting a more “electable” candidate. Now I see that that there is no conflict. To be blunt about it, this is the first time since 1996 that the Dems have a candidate whom people really like. (No offense to Gore and Kerry, but they turned people off.)

I don’t buy this talk about how Hillary will destroy him. She doesn’t have the desire or the ability (unless she knows something the rest of us don’t).

On the GOP side, I was shocked to see “America’s Mayor” only get 4%. I know he wasn’t campaigning in Iowa, but still…

David,

You are being too hard on the old US of A. Can you think of a non-majority-black country with a black president? Has anyone even come close before?

Sharpton is joke, but you have a point about Jesse Jackson. When I looked it up, I was a bit surprised to see that he won 11 primaries in 1988.

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 4, 2008 7:23 AM
Comment #242154

Woody, no, I can’t. But, that is in part to the probability and statistics of election potential amongst a population of a difference racial make-up, isn’t it? Whites however inserted their leadership over predominantly Black or brown nations in the preceding 3 centuries.

This of course was largely a result of education and economic advances in European nations relative to the absence of western civilization academics in Brown and Black nations with their histories and economics far more tribally and barter based. This accounts for the one way path of whites ruling dark skinned populations and not the reverse.

Too hard on America? Perhaps. The way some would view the spanking of an exploitive and bullying child as too harsh.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 8:35 AM
Comment #242223

David

America is the most powerful nation in the history of the world and we have been dominant - predominate - for generations. It is understandable that there will be excesses - power corrupts. But the remarkable thing about the U.S. compared with all other predominant powers in times past, is our extraordinary openness, generocity and tolerance.

I am very proud of our accomplishments. Think about it. Where the Soviets dominated, people formerly prosperous people were impoverished. Where the Germans or Japanese conquered, lots of people died. It has been so long since we had a different dominant power, we have forgotten how bad they were.

You know that most of those who complain most strongly about the U.S. would love to live here. Even various types of Islamic radicals know that the place where they can practice their religion in the most freedom is the U.S.

In the last decades, the world has become more like the U.S. We are no longer as unique, but our record is great compared to any other great power.

Posted by: Jack at January 4, 2008 4:04 PM
Comment #242236

Jack said: “But the remarkable thing about the U.S. compared with all other predominant powers in times past, is our extraordinary openness, generocity and tolerance.”

You mean since FDR took office. I would agree with that. Prior to that time, corruption, slavery, racism, a wholly inadequate charity system, monopolies, and extreme intolerance toward ethnicities, religions, and minority views were punctuated by vigilante hangings, whippings that tore flesh from people’s bodies, and gangland executions and warfare in our cities, and wrought depressions the like of which have not been seen since FDR’s and Truman’s presidencies.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 5:55 PM
Comment #242237

Jack said: “You know that most of those who complain most strongly about the U.S. would love to live here.”

I live here and love this country, which makes me her most vocal critic when she fails to set the shining example for the world to follow toward peace, prosperity, and liberty. It has been an ugly time under Republican rule where war was preferred over more peaceful means, where liberty was compromised out of fear and insecurity, and now as we watch more than a trillion dollars of wealth for Americans evaporate from their investments, their home values, and as of today’s reports, a limiting job market with increased unemployment.

It is hard to imagine how Democrats, Libertarians, Greens or the American Reform Party could possibly have done worse at the helm these last 7 years.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 6:02 PM
Comment #242242

“Possibly done worse?”

Here are a few imaginable possibilities: Liberals would try and understaaaand the compleeexity of the radical Muuuuslims. Jihadists bomb target after target after target in the US because we have a emotionally centered whack-job like Al Gore in the white house who is afraid to upseeeet the global commuuuunity. Our economy is completely destroyed, not just recessed for a few years, not to mention massive loss of life.

Or another: Al Gore (by now has crushed auto-makers and shoved carbon taxes down our throats JUST in time for Man-Made Global Warming to turn around and then he can claim credit for the change. (While in our time the scientific community is more and more demonstrably discrediting the notion that it is man made at all.)

Or another - aww, forget it, it’s pointless. But don’t make the statement that it’s unimaginable how things could be worse under a different adminsitration. That’s statement does nothing but prove your real affiliations are liberal and not independant as you proclaim.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at January 4, 2008 6:44 PM
Comment #242262

Doesn’t anyone here remember Fredrick Douglas?

Being a Black Man in a Presidential Campaign is hardly the harbinger of the end of Racism.

If, Obama is the Democratic nominee, I fully expect a George Wallis style campaign with some modern subtlety.

If we have a Huckabee/ Obama expect more of the floating crosses, perhaps burning ones, in commercials.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 4, 2008 10:22 PM
Comment #242265

Yukon Jake,

you said,

Did anyone notice the turncoat Kay Bailey Hutchinson border gutting amendment that was passed over the Christmas holiday? No one has written about it here. It makes me sick to my stomach to have politicians passing legislation against what almost the ENTIRE COUNTRY wants done according to polls - and sadly, under the Republican banner.

Could you please give me a link? I live in Texas and have heard nothing about it. I know she was trying to pass a pathway for illegals children who attended college or served in the military, but I understood that failed back in mid December.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 4, 2008 10:39 PM
Comment #242271

David

A realistic assessment of American history would find a country with some greatness as well as some terrible errors. I think you need to assess the U.S. in the context of the larger western civilization and in comarison to other times and places.

Consider the slavery issue. Slavery existed from the dawn of history. It was only a couple hundred years ago that large numbers of people decided to end it. The Brits outlawed slavery in 1833. It took us 30 years later and a great civil war to do the same. We can castigate the U.S. for maintaining a five thousand year old institution thirty years longer, but in context. At that same time - 1865 - most of the world was still living in conditions similar to slavery.

If you compare the U.S. worldwide today, you also find the U.S. doing well. The problem is that we do not make the proper comparisons. We cannot compare the U.S. to Norway, for example because of fifference in size, scope etc. Compare the U.S. to the EU, China, India, Brazil or Russia. Or compare it to a regional group of similar size. I have lived in Europe. Europe and the U.S. are similar in levels of developments. I think a choice between Europe and the U.S. is a matter of taste. But imagine the life of a normal person in Russia, China, India or Brazil. We rarely make those comparisons because they are so absurd. Why? Why is the U.S. considered in a league of its own. We have to put on qualifiers on all others.

So the general point is that we judge the U.S. by the highest of criteria, as we should. But we should be aware of that context. It is like saying Michael Jordan was not a perfect basketball player. Of course he wasn’t. Nobody is. But compared to others, he did well.

When making any assessment, there are two types of measures that are useless: those that are so high that nobody can pass or those that are so low that everybody can. Even worse than useless are measures that combine the two and apply them differentially. Too many people do that. They hold the U.S. to the impossible to meet standard while applying the easy to beat standard to most others.

We also give credit to others for what they say and meaure the U.S. by results. The comparision just are not valid.

What you can say about the U.S. is very similar to what Churchill said about democracy. It is the worst place in the world … except compared with everyplace else.

Posted by: Jack at January 4, 2008 11:47 PM
Comment #242273

I agree with D. Remer there.

In Australia, we have already elected Kelvin Rudd who have started to right the wrong brought by the Right wing politician like John Howard. We ratify the kyoto, we challenge Japanese’s whale killing, we start to seriously rethink farming technology. We want to do the right thing. And We Aussie just do it.

And you are self-congratulating a primary election victory of someone who may not become President? And you are self-congratulating a primary election victory of someone who may or may not able to bring about real changes? And you are self-congratulating because of his skin color? And you are self-congratulating while iraq war is still going, oil price broke $100 mark, more people are losing their homes? (Yeah, I still remember the term, “ownership society”. Very cute.)

The question that if American is ready to embrace “changes” on so many fronts (e.g. a non WASP president, withdrawal from Iraq, environment, social inequality, Medicare reform) remains to be seen.

Maybe at the end, the real majority dislike Obama’s color or Clinton’s gender so much that they may vote in yet another Republican president. Who knows? I have seen Bush reelected in 2004.

Posted by: jackaroo at January 5, 2008 12:22 AM
Comment #242280

Jack, your relativism is way, way, way off track. There is only one standard America should be held to, that laid out in her founding documents. Doesn’t matter what other countries do, they don’t have our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

Why do you insist on the us and them comparisons? True competition to improve is always with oneself. Mediocrity results from your reasoning that good is good enough. Good today quickly has a way of becoming tomorrow’s mediocre. America must continue to improve on meeting the goals and ideals laid out as her destiny in the founding documents. To do anything less, is mediocrity at best, and a path to failure at worst.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 5, 2008 12:48 AM
Comment #242281

jackaroo said: “I have seen Bush reelected in 2004.”

I was truly perplexed by that event in our history given how much was already known about his first 4 years which was very negative and counter to the very election promises and goals he set out in 2000.

Americans can be slow on recognizing political failure, but, when they catch on, they usually react in dramatic ways to correct the oversight. I do believe America is going to return to the Democratic Party in a sweep as their dramatic reaction to the Bush and Republican years in control.

It remains to be seen however, which problems they create in place of solving those left by Republicans, and which challenges we now face are beyond our political capacity to meet successfully. Hope is necessary, national sacrifice as well, but, most importantly, to succeed from here, there must come a political will to set political ambition aside and address the challenges forthrightly and honestly. This is Obama’s message, and it has resonated in Iowa.

We will see if Iowans are the exception or the template for what is to come. Having nearly twice as much Democratic turnout at the caucuses in Iowa as Republican, in this previously Republican state, may be a fluke. February 5 will tell.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 5, 2008 12:58 AM
Comment #242294

David,

While I generally agree FDR fought against some forms of vile opportunism, I don’t think he was a stand out against racism, nor was Truman. Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson did advance that cause.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 5, 2008 3:34 AM
Comment #242305

I have to agree with the original premise of this post.

When growing up, I was continually told that, in America, anyone…anyone…could grow up to be president.

Jessie Jackson, Geraldine Ferraro, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama can all attest to this.

What a great country!

Posted by: Jim T at January 5, 2008 11:31 AM
Comment #242322

Jack
Appreciation from where you are comming from but to be accurate a better title would be,”Democrats are Remarkable.” Obama won in the Democratic primary after all. You usually give credit where it is due.

Posted by: BillS at January 5, 2008 3:01 PM
Comment #242328

googlumpugus, I won’t disagree with you. But, then, America had more immediate priorities to deal with during FDR’s term of office like Depression, Dust Bowl, and WWII.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 5, 2008 3:37 PM
Comment #242329

David Remer,

Jack, many nations of color have experienced minority race leadership of their countries. S. Africa for example. How can you possibly say “only in America”?

Now, I’m confused. Since blacks got the vote in S. Africa has a white president been elected? You’re not saying blacks are a minority there are you?

I googled the term “minority presidents” and the closest thing I got to a true racial or ethnic minority president was the president from a minority party in a parliamentary deadlock. I think Jack wins this point. Not the least this is so because Obama makes no secret of being black (nor even of being half Muslim), but he is not shoving it in people’s faces. He is running as an American who happens to be half black.

For my part I wanted Condoleeza Rice to run. She’s a strong woman, smart, very well educated, and is constantly being called an Aunt Jemima by Democrats even though she KNEW friends who were killed in church bombings. We’re going to miss her when Russians start throwing their weight around again in a couple of years. I don’t think race would be an issue at all, at least with Republicans, if she ran.

If Alan Keyes would tone down what sounds like excessive intensity and seeming arrogance when he speaks I think he would make a good candidate as well.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 5, 2008 3:55 PM
Comment #242330

googlumpugus,
Truman sure the hell did advance the cause! It was a huge risk to integrate the military. He put white men under black officers, for goodness sakes! The blacks of FDR’s time gave him tremendous credit for his efforts on their behalf, too. Remember that prior to FDR’s term most blacks who could vote voted Republican.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 5, 2008 4:01 PM
Comment #242335

Jack,
WOW!!! We agree - at least as far as America being a great country. There is one more thing that makes America great.

I, as well as millions of others still have time to decide for whom they will cast their vote. The Great UNDECIDED. Or the UNKNOWN.

I am happy to say that unlike many of the writers As for myself and millions of others, I believe the race is still wide open. And that is what makes America Great!I have read on both sides of this Blogs, as well as the Third Party Blog, I am still on the side-lines when it comes to how I will vote. There are a lot of people like me.

There are many of us with no major leaning one way or the other. Many of us who do not vote according to Party lines, but vote according to what we believe, read,and hear. We vote with our heads and hearts, because our families taught us we must not follow the hoards of party hungry crowds, but think for ourselves.

That too is part of what makes this country great. The fact that we still have ELEVEN (11) more months to go before we have to decide. Eleven months to go to review, wait, watch, calculate, and then decide whom we will support. Eleven months to see the dumbing down of the American citizen intelligence by candidates with their “commercials”. Eleven months to see what the Media can dig through, discover, print, show and prove about each candidate. And frankly eleven months to see what mess reach party creates for themselves.

Jack,
There is a long way to go before I will cast my vote - and believe me, I will research the issues, read heavily, and vote for the candidate I honestly believe will do the best job for this country - as a whole, regardless of party.

Even if the constant swarm of commercials, print ads, and telephone calls drive us crazy in the process.

(In the For what it worth column, I know people who voted against candidates because they felt they being driven crazy with literature, calls, and commercials. Romeny is well on his way to doing that in South Carolina right now.

As for myself and millions of others, I believe the race is still wide open. And that is what makes America Great!

Posted by: Linda H. at January 5, 2008 5:00 PM
Comment #242342
to be accurate a better title would be,”Democrats are Remarkable.”

It’s true. We’re the party with a much longer history of judging black polticians by the content of their characters, rather than the color of their skin. It’s the people in our party who have chosen to elect the vast majority black politicians.

Following the Reconstruction Era, number of black Republicans who have been elected to office: 5

Senate:
Edward William Brooke 1967-1979
House:
Oscar De Priest 1929-1935 (Illinois)
Gary Franks 1991-1997 (Connecticut)
J.C. Watts, Jr. 1995-2003 (Oklahoma)
Non voting territories:
Melvin H. Evans 1979-1981 (Virgin Islands)

Following the Reconstruction Era, number of black Democrats who have been elected to office: 93
That’s just too many to try to list.

There have been some Republicans appointed to several prominent cabinet positions (especially lately), but getting these politicians elected has obviously proved to be a very serious problem for the GOP.

Posted by: veritas vincit at January 5, 2008 7:06 PM
Comment #242345

Lee
As I recall Peru had a Japanese president,currently in prison.
India has a Sieke priminister.
VV
Every major piece of civil rights legislation with the exception of the ADA came about under Dem control usually opposed by the Reps.

Posted by: BillS at January 5, 2008 8:29 PM
Comment #242361

Lee,

Perhaps I am ignorant of FDR and Truman’s effort’s, then. I know lynchings still occurred in their time. While there may have been some minor efforts on their part, I’m unaware of any widespread changes made in that vein during their administrations. I agree with David that FDR had other priorities. Please, enlighten me further.

It’s my understanding that Eisenhower is the man that integrated the military.

If wrong, I stand corrected.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 6, 2008 2:19 AM
Comment #242363

Lee”..makes no secret of being black(nor even being half muslum)..”

So you will give him a bit of credit not hiding being black.How does one hide that?As to your “half Muslum” remark.You are incorrect. Obama is a Christian.Islam is a religion ,not an ethnic distinction as all religions are.

Posted by: BillS at January 6, 2008 3:13 AM
Comment #242366

What seems the most remarkable is that Obama won in a state that has a black population of 2%-3%. It was also remarkable that he carried rich counties, poor counties, females and youth. This seems like a major step forward to me.

It was also remarkable to see so many people stand up for change. By looking at the approval ratings of congress and the President, it’s obvious people want change. The problem is the left and right have completely different ideas of what that change should be.

Posted by: Joe Godfrey at January 6, 2008 7:56 AM
Comment #242384

Joe, the right have elected their leaders who have shown us the changes they would implement these last 14 years. Therefore, 2008 is very likely to see a Democratic sweep. Analysts are already on the airwaves talking about how a Democratic one party government is the only hope America has for effectively tackling the entitlement, foreign relations, education failures, looming health care crisis, and deficit and national debt issues.

It is a very powerful argument, in light of the absence of progress on these issues with a divided government this last year, and the failures of the unitary Republican government prior to that to even address these issues let alone halt making them worse, as in running the national debt up from 5.65 trillion to 9 trillion in just a handful of years.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 6, 2008 1:12 PM
Comment #242385


The Warren Court.

The Civil Rights Movement and it’s martyr’s.

The liberal/progressive Democratic Party.

Posted by: jlw at January 6, 2008 1:13 PM
Comment #242386

Linda H., America’s rescue and hope lies with voters like yourself. Good for you. I tip my hat in respect.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 6, 2008 1:18 PM
Comment #242392

Lee said: “I googled the term “minority presidents” and the closest thing I got to a true racial or ethnic minority president was the president from a minority party in a parliamentary deadlock. I think Jack wins this point.”

This is too stereotypical Republican! For you this is a one way street argument. ONLY IF a White is elected by a non-White population, or vice versa, does the argument of ethnic minority leadership have validity for you. Despite the White leadership in history over India, S. Africa, or the Middle Eastern states created by the WHITE BRITISH, or the Sunni Minority Domination via elections in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, or the White Government’s role in supporting and upholding non-white dictator’s over non-white populations, as in the Blood Diamond nations of Africa, or the Pinnochet government, or the Sha of Iran government.

There are many ways minority ethnic leaders have ruled over other ethnic populations, but they are to be discarded, discounted, and rejected, like Israel’s rule over the Gaza Strip. And that reason is, again? Oh, yes, Republican revisionist history; that oh so common authoritarian tactic.

In this case, frame and restrict the issue to whites “electing” non-white leaders or vice versa, when the issue is so vastly more universal and wider in evidence than this and not nearly so black and white as this, oh so convenient, narrow definition proffered by conservative apologists.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 6, 2008 1:38 PM
Comment #242394

google.
Then you stand corrected. Truman integrated the Armed forces.Eisenhower ,as Chief of the Army concurred.http://www.redstone.army.mil/history/integrate/intchron.htm

Posted by: BillS at January 6, 2008 2:28 PM
Comment #242395

Thanks, David

Posted by: Linda H. at January 6, 2008 2:35 PM
Comment #242396

BTW-I apologize for the grammar errors in my longer post. I have been ill, and still can not type or spell worth a darn. (Now I have an excuse) My brain though is a good as it ever was - I hope!!!

Posted by: Linda H. at January 6, 2008 2:38 PM
Comment #242414

I agree with Jack.

Only in America can an immigrant’s son go so far. That has been the shining part of our history that others belittle. Immigrants and their offspring have the opportunity to do things in America that they would unlikely have opportunity to do in their countries of origin.

That Obama is 1/2-black is unimportant to me. I have seen him speak and interact for the last couple years and I am impressed with his ability to communicate. He is a warm and affiable person. If I didn’t so heartily disagree with his positions I would probably vote for him. On the level of personality, he’s the hands-down winner over both Clinton and Edwards.

Posted by: Don at January 6, 2008 6:04 PM
Comment #242417

Sorry to pop in and out, but I am traveling and sometimes cannot get Internet.

David

I agree that we Americans need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, but you have to remember that it IS a higher standard. AND, BTW, what do places like China, Russia, India or Brazil get off the hook anyway? Why are they not able to compete in the league we seem to share only with the EU (and maybe Australia)? In 1776, the U.S. was just an idea while China was the most powerful country in the world, Russia was a great power and what became the original Brazil was richer than what become the original U.S. What happened that we do not judge them to be our peers?

What I do not like is the implicit idea that others are somehow doing better. Brett Favre or Michael Jordan may have good and bad games, but they are/were always very good.

When you compared the U.S. to a child that needed to be spanked, you would have to believe that almost every other country really needed a whoopin’, since America’s high standard is still a distant aspiration for them.

Posted by: Jack at January 6, 2008 6:17 PM
Comment #242434

Bill S.

I stand corrected.

Thanks for the info!

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 7, 2008 12:59 AM
Comment #242446
Appreciation from where you are comming from but to be accurate a better title would be,”Democrats are Remarkable.” Obama won in the Democratic primary after all. You usually give credit where it is due.

At first I basically agreed with Jack, but this thought occurred to me, too. There is no way that you can extrapolate from a group of Democrats in Iowa to the entire country. Democrats are simply more progressive on racial issues. Now if Obama becomes President, Jack and his conservative friends may have a point…

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 7, 2008 10:06 AM
Comment #242455

Don,

Only in America can an immigrant’s son go so far. That has been the shining part of our history that others belittle. Immigrants and their offspring have the opportunity to do things in America that they would unlikely have opportunity to do in their countries of origin.

As they became immigrants only *after* they actually immigrates from their countries of origin, your statement sounds like a truism to me.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 7, 2008 12:00 PM
Comment #242456

Jim T,

When growing up, I was continually told that, in America, anyone…anyone…could grow up to be president.

Jessie Jackson, Geraldine Ferraro, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama can all attest to this.

What a great country!

Isn’t it a little bit early to brag about all this!?
I mean, so far, all American presidents where white males, right?

Meanwhile, some nations had and have currently woman leaders… Why these nations don’t get any *remarkable* label there! Are they *less* remarkable because of some Not_Done_Here_First syndrome!?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 7, 2008 12:07 PM
Comment #242486

Philippe -
“your statement sounds like a truism to me.”

Thanks for giving your opinion, but I think you do not understand (or don’t want to). You are incorrect because…

1) Jack’s context. The idea that Jack floated was that only in America would “outsiders” (like immigrants) be allowed to achieve so much.

2) My context. I’m sharing that in much of the world the repressed and the foreigner are kept on the “outside” and not allowed opportunity to advance. In the United States each person has the opportunity to change their position through hard work, education, and training. Thus, being an immigrant is more like a stepping stone to upward movement than a hindrance.

Posted by: Don at January 7, 2008 3:38 PM
Comment #242533

Jack said: “but you have to remember that it IS a higher standard.”

There you go again, Jack. Just can’t resist comparing us to others, instead of us against our own ideals. Higher than Great Britain’s? Higher than the many nations who have managed to avoid major war and civil war, and riots in their cities for more than 100 years?

The minute you open that door of comparisons to other nations, you open the door to the revelation that many other nations are vastly superior to us on a number of measures. Where does that get us? It gets us divided arguing whose flaws and strengths are longer and bigger than the next guys. Pretty juvenile and unproductive if you ask me.

We have ideals. Our job is to approximate those to the very best of our ability and shame on us if you don’t commit to those ideals, which 10’s of millions of Americans have lived, suffered, worked and died to elevate for us, their progeny. Our job is to honor their efforts, sacrifices, and commitment to their progeny with an equal effort, sacrifice, and commitment of our own, for ourselves but, like our forebears, equally for those who will inherit what we have wrought.

There is no greater shame for a nation than to dismiss its forebears for failure. It is a shame that can pass down through generations and leave those generations with a weakened history, inaccurate compass, and path into the future lacking confidence and will to succeed.

This is, if we are not very careful, the legacy we are creating at this very moment in time for the future. And just as the children of the 1960’s rejection of their parent’s generations failures caused cities to burn, assassinations of leaders, and swinging to unwise opposite extremes, so too will our progeny if we are not very careful, deliberate, and educated in our choices and priorities to improve our performance toward those ideals, rather than diminish them by word, act, and deed.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 8, 2008 4:17 AM
Comment #242535

I think america is a great country only that some times it fails to choose goods presidents but at this point in time Obama seems close to american hearts.Another reason obama has promised a lot and i believe he will deliver because he has the african american comunity at stake if being the first black president fails to deliver.A gammble on on him is worth taking and iits goind to make america popular abroad that it has been
Richard
www.jacofods.blogspot.com

Posted by: Richard at January 8, 2008 8:27 AM
Comment #242536

I think america is a great country only that some times it fails to choose goods presidents but at this point in time Obama seems close to american hearts.Another reason obama has promised a lot and i believe he will deliver because he has the african american comunity at stake if being the first black president fails to deliver.A gammble on on him is worth taking and iits goind to make america popular abroad that it has been
Richard
www.jacofoods.blogspot.com

Posted by: Richard at January 8, 2008 8:29 AM
Comment #242537

I think america is a great country only that some times it fails to choose goods presidents but at this point in time Obama seems close to american hearts.Another reason obama has promised a lot and i believe he will deliver because he has the african american comunity at stake if being the first black president fails to deliver.A gammble on on him is worth taking and iits goind to make america popular abroad that it has been
Richard
www.jacofoods.blogspot.com

Posted by: Richard at January 8, 2008 8:30 AM
Comment #242609

I just watched Obama’s NH “Yes we can” speech. I have heard him described as an inspiring speaker. Until now, I hadn’t seen it.

This speech was impressive.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 9, 2008 12:03 AM
Comment #242633

David

Can you think of ANY country that has avoided a major war or riots in the last 100 years? Switzerland and Sweden are nice places, but not really major players and it would be hard to follow their examples.

All life is comparison. If we compare the U.S. to other countries, we will find that we come up better than most, worse than some and overall very good. No powerful country has ever behaved better. I admire the UK (that you mention) but when they had the big power they used it to create an empire. It was a decent empire as those things go, but it was an empire.

You really cannot have standards w/o regard to real possibilities. The only way to set standards is to make comparisons. There are two sorts useless standards. One is where everybody can pass and the other is where everybody fails. The only thing worse than these is a standard where we set a separate one for everybody.

Clearly the U.S. is near the top of the heap in most measures. That does not mean we do not need to improve, but it does mean that we have to recognize the facts.

The trouble with insisting on utopia is that we usually end up with distopias such as communism or fascism. They were all among the strongest critics of America and its flawed system.

Posted by: Jack at January 9, 2008 10:28 AM
Comment #242635

“For other nations, utopia is a blessed past never to be recovered; for Americans it is just beyond the horizon.” - Henry Kissinger.

Utopia can never be reached. But trying to do it anyway is a very powerful engine for innovation.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 9, 2008 10:39 AM
Comment #242636
If we compare the U.S. to other countries, we will find that we come up better than most, worse than some and overall very good. No powerful country has ever behaved better.

The one human on five who today live in a country with an history longer than 4000 years will disagree with such last claim…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 9, 2008 10:45 AM
Comment #242703

If we compare the U.S. to other countries, we will find that we come up better than most, worse than some and overall very good. No powerful country has ever behaved better.

The one human on five who today live in a country with an history longer than 4000 years will disagree with such last claim…

And we’ll disagree right back Philippe.

Posted by: andy at January 10, 2008 3:12 AM
Comment #242785

Care to elaborate, andy?

I’m claiming that, seeing China history and humankind contributions along, can be considered another powerful country who behaved better overall. It’s an incomparable older country who managed to still be there today, still united, while along his history had invented several centuries before western civilizations compass, medicine, gunpowder, printing, papermaking and until 17th century could have crunched any foreign countries with an advanced military technology.

Except China empire didn’t conquest the rest of the world to steal their wealth, their labor force, because greed is not that much in Chinese culture.

Last but not least, self-declaiming that the only nation to ever have used nukes - two times - on civilians is the best good-doer country ever make me a little nauseate…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 11, 2008 9:38 AM
Comment #242878

Who is Barack Obama?

Something that should be considered when you make your choice. If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all
your contacts…it is very scary to think of what could lie ahead for us
here in our own United States…better heed this and pray about it and share it.

We checked this out on ” snopes.com”. It is factual. Check for yourself.

Who is Barack Obama?

Probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black MUSLIM
from Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white Athiest from
Wichita, Kansas.

Obama’s parents met at the University of Hawaii. When Obama was two
years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya. His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia. When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia. Obama attended a MUSLIM school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.

Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is
quick to point out that, “He was once a Muslim, but that he also
attended Catholic school.” Obama’s political handlers are attempting to make it appear that that he is not a radical.

Obama’s introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this
influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned
to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct
influence over his son’s education.

Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham,
introduced his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school
in Jakarta. Wahabism is the RADICAL ISLAMIC teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world. Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background. ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran.

Barack Hussein Obama will NOT recite the Pledge of Allegience nor will he show any reverence for our flag. While others place their hands over their hearts, Obama turns his back to the flag and slouches.

Let us all remain alert concerning Obama’s expected presidential
candidacy.

The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside
out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the
President of the United States, one of their own!!!!

Please forward to everyone you know. Would you want this man leading
our country?……

Posted by: Fred Coury at January 12, 2008 7:19 PM
Comment #242911

Fred Coury,

The exact same snopes.com web site also debunk these “Obama is radical muslim” emails:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp

Have a good fact-checking and, please, stop falling for those so easily…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 14, 2008 11:54 AM
Comment #242913
We checked this out on ” snopes.com”. It is factual. Check for yourself.

Yes, indeed, check for yourself on snopes.com. You’ll be surprised, as those emails emitters hope clearly you wont, reading “snopes.com” will be enough keyword to not check for yourself.

Lesson to learn: *always* check for yourself.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 14, 2008 11:59 AM
Comment #243092

Touche Phillipe…I know where your feelings stand.

Using the bomb twice gives me very proud feelings when I’m reminded…thanks for that.

You talk good about China and that’s cool…but I’ll side with my home.

Posted by: andy at January 16, 2008 10:39 PM
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