The Content of their Characters

If your behavior changes because of someone’s race, you are behaving in a racist way. We should not differentially criticize OR defer to Obama or McCain because of race. The test is simple. You should feel neither guilty opposing Obama or McCain nor virtuous supporting either. Obama is a just politician who wants your vote. McCain too. Your choice is a choice between professional politicians. Forget the race card.

Unfortunately, Obama played the race card. I guess he was disappointed McCain was not playing along with the Democrat script, where Obama could pretend outrage. Ultra leftist candidate Ralph Nader did indeed venture into the race territory when he said that Obama was playing on white guilt, but it is less fun for Dems to pummel somebody on the left who has no chance of winning. So Obama threw down the bogus card himself in a speech on June 20. He lumps his obvious lack of experience and general suitability for the presidency with what he calls his “funny name” and his race. Is he implying that those who opposes him or are even tepid in their support are racist? Obama, just stop it. Put that dirty card back down.

There are plenty of reasons not to want Obama to be our president. In the list he made during his speech, he mentions his lack of experience and I agree with him. I would add his poor judgment, flaky economic policies, divisive rhetoric & extremely liberal track record (short as it is).

There are perfectly valid reasons to support McCain or Obama. Race is not one of those valid issues.

Obama’s rhetoric is stirring. He wants to put on windfall profits taxes; he wants to declare war on poverty; he won't explore for oil on the continental shelf. he will get us out of the war. The list goes on. He sounds a lot like those guys I remember in the late 60s and 70s. (Nixon had a plan to get us out of the war too. Like Obama, he was vague about the details.) These things sound very good. Nobody can be against the ostensible goals, but experience has shown that big Federal government programs are not the appropriate tool. They do not produce the desired results and often end up producing grotesque and pernicious outcomes, all the good intentions and soaring rhetoric notwithstanding.

If you liked the 1970s, you will probably like Obama’s first term. Jimmy Carter promised change and he delivered. Well…we got better.

If you like a more intrusive government, higher taxes, more regulation promulgated by a good looking president with a congress of his own party who will not act as counterbalance, Obama is your man. BTW – in a recent Gallop Poll the U.S. Congress, now led by Democrats, got the lowest approval ranking of anybody or any institution – ever. Do you really trust Pelosi and Mr. Defeat Harry Reid? Most Americans evidently do not.

(The military, BTW, got by far the highest. What does that tell you?)

If you’re less passionate about government bureaucrats making decisions for you, if you prefer a little more freedom and are willing to take responsibility for your own life; or if you want to trust your security to someone who knows something about those sorts of things, you may consider voting for John McCain.

Either way, you are voting for policies and politicians. You should judge both men by the content of their characters, their policies and what you think they will do as president, nothing else.

They are both politicians seeking your vote. In both cases, trust but verify and recognize that much of what they say won’t really happen … and that is probably a good thing.

Posted by Jack at June 29, 2008 2:34 AM
Comment #257049

Jack, all other things being equal between McCain and Obama, America NEEDS to vote for Obama; in the same way a young adult needs to forgive themselves their past inexperience and inadequacies as part of growing past them, taking on the demonstrations of responsibility of their new adult roles and abilities. It’s what builds confidence in a young person’s, or country’s, more mature years, those demonstrations of mature responsibilities.

America must demonstrate that race is no longer a barrier in our society. Then America can take confidence in her progress and maturing.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 29, 2008 5:25 AM
Comment #257051


We should judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. Somebody said that a while back and he was right.

I already have confidence in America’s progress. Obama’s success has already proved it, for anybody who needed the evidence. It could happen noplace else in the world.

Imagine that. A son of an immigrant, minority group, single mother w/o connections, gets to go to the best schools, makes piles of money, runs successfully for office and is nominated for the highest office in our country by a major party.

We indeed and truly live in the greatest country on earth.

If that is not enough, a victory in fall will not change those minds. There will still be the gnashing of teeth.

Posted by: Jack at June 29, 2008 6:03 AM
Comment #257059


Unfortunately, Obama played the race card. I guess he was disappointed McCain was not playing along with the Democrat script, where Obama could pretend outrage.

WOW. What a lovely statement of fantasy.
You GUESS at what Obama thinks and then you write his reaction to your guess.

Do you write non-fiction too?

Obama statement was an observation based on his experiences. He would know better than most of us as he was the one that was vilified by the Republical/Rightwing nuts/Fox News for months with false reports about his Muslim roots and tying Obama’s beliefs with other people’s beliefs, among other.

Posted by: john trevisani at June 29, 2008 11:18 AM
Comment #257060


There was an article in the Washington Post re that Muslim rumor. It was started by his Democratic primary opponent back in Illinois. Much of the other slinging of mud was by the Hillary folks. Republicans didn’t care much re Obama until recently. Hillary was the one we expected to face. So don’t blame us for the sins of the Dems.

Re guessing - you guys have no trouble saying much worse re Republicans. On no evidence at all, you guys say divine the president’s inner most intentions and say he is lying.

Obama is not off limits. He’s a man. He’s just a man and just a politician.

Posted by: Jack at June 29, 2008 11:33 AM
Comment #257062

Mark today on the calendar, I actually agree with Jack! Except for the fact that if we truly have advanced and matured in our thinking, we wouldn’t be discussing the issue of skin color at all….race/sex/religious beliefs would all be a non issue.
Age is a point of concern now in regards to McCain, and more genuine (IMHO) than that of color. And there are significant numbers of people that won’t let go of the inane opinion that Obama is a Muslim!!

Posted by: janedoe at June 29, 2008 11:36 AM
Comment #257064

Why exactly is age an issue again?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 29, 2008 11:40 AM
Comment #257065

Fox ran almost nonstop with the crap story about Obama being educated in a madrassa as a child. Foxheads repeatedly called Obama “Barack Hussein Obama” in an effort to discredit him.

He’s not off limits; i agree. Neither is McCain.

So if we’re talking about experience, then why isn’t talking about what McCain’s done while he was in office. If McCain’s playing up his more than 20 years experience, then it’s fair game to bring up his ‘Keating five’ experience. After all, Keating Five was something that he did WHILE he was ‘serving’ his public.

Posted by: john trevisani at June 29, 2008 11:50 AM
Comment #257071

Age is an issue (again?) because McCain is the oldest candidate to run for the office of President, as you well know.
There are health questions and concerns generally related to advanced and advancing age. It would also seem that he has stumbled around more than once on statements that had to be corrected from the sidelines…..the word “confused” has surfaced numerous times. Is that due to age, or is it just a general characteristic?
Do you think that advanced age is less a genuine concern than how someone will function and make decisions because he is black??????

Posted by: janedoe at June 29, 2008 12:05 PM
Comment #257075


Agreed that color of skin should not factor in. Once again you are factoring in the good looks thing. A personal issue that a man of such self indulgent credibilities should avoid when attempting a pragmatic approach to politics.

You tout Obama as a hollow man of little experience. You are entitled to that opinion of course. I will be completely honest here just as you. I do not find McCain to be a particularly bright or sharp person. I have noticed that he stumbles around with issues often making careless remarks mostly out of ignorance of an issue. That combined with perhaps a bit of senility and a rather quick temperament do not imo give credence to the idea of a well balanced leader. He surrounds himself with and relies on the type of people we have come to believe as a very large part of what is wrong in Washington today. He has proved to be a rather frequent flip flopper and advocates for the status quo as a fix to our nations ailments. He is not the maverick some advertise him to be.

You have never that I can recall returned a reply as to why we as a nation would even consider continuing in the same fashion as the last eight years. Do you truly in all honestly believe that McCain will have the cajoles and necessary intellect to convince the GOP to deviate from past practice? His record does not indicate so.

Posted by: RickIL at June 29, 2008 12:47 PM
Comment #257085

Either way, you are voting for policies and politicians. You should judge both men by the content of their characters, their policies and what you think they will do as president, nothing else.

Posted by Jack

Jack I think that’s what people are planning on doing. That is why Republicans will lose big time. That is why it is bogus when you point to congresses dismal ratings forgetting that most people understand the Republicans set a record breaking the number of obstructionist filibusters in just the first year of congress. That’s shameful to anyone who understands and remember their cries to “bring it to a vote” when they led the Senate. If the dismal record of congress was because of it’s leadership it should be more a concern for republicans because they and you are the ones who need to be concerned with a veto proof democratic majority. People see the shambles of the policies you contiune to promote all around them. 80% believe the country is going in the wrong direction and they know who’s policies have ruled mostly since Reagan. Trust me they/we are note voting on skin pigment. We’re voting to save this great country for the jaws of massive greed , corruption and disloyalty.

I think what Republicans like yourself would be good to do is stop worrying about Democratic policies and turn the mirror in on yourself and the bankrupt party you continue to support. That’s where the criticism needs to fall and that’s where change will need to happen.

Posted by: muirgeo at June 29, 2008 2:37 PM
Comment #257100

JMcC’s biggest problems will come from people on the right, who want to punish the big government Rpblcns, to show that a Rpblcn can’t win without their support. JMcC’s views are theoretically consistent with theirs. It’s a little perplexing that the same people who criticize the Bushes, praise Reagan for the identical spending into debt policies.

Most people’s concerns about BHO are not racial, but based on his lack of any substantive experience. His campaign confuses me in their constant reliance on his words instead of any deeds. There wasn’t even any video when he went down to the Mississippi to fill sandbags, possibly the first real work that he has ever done in his entire life. He’s no (fill in the blank here with a long list of anyone who ever ran for POTUS after William Jennings Bryan), so people are bound to expect that, if elected, his administration would be mostly a confused mess, possibly sabotaged by the outgoing POTUS adventuring into more entanglements for his successor to untangle, like Bush41 in Somalia.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 29, 2008 4:09 PM
Comment #257105

From “Realclearpolitics” comes the following.

Listen to Obama:

“There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America, there is the United States of America.” These unremarkable words, spoken at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, set off wild applause.

And here is the similar quote that got hearts thumping in New Hampshire: “We’ve got a series of very important decisions to make, and we have the opportunity to make them, not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as Americans. And it’s that promise that I’m most excited about.”

Obama likes to say things like, “We can do better,” and, “America is ready for a new set of challenges.” He is all for “a spiritual recovery.”

The senator dislikes the “either-or” type of debate and warns against “false choices.” He’s not too left, not too right. Sort of black, and sort of white.

Obama is humble in all the right places. Before a thousand swooning fans in New Hampshire, he says, Evita-like: “This isn’t about me. This is about you.” One gets the impression from his public appearances and book, “The Audacity of Hope,” that he doesn’t even get a haircut without first consulting his wife.

What Obama really thinks should be done about health care and the terrorist threat remain secrets that his book does not unlock. His two years in the Senate certainly haven’t revealed any bold policy ideas.

This leave-them-guessing strategy slips out in the book’s prologue. “I serve as a blank screen,” Obama writes, “on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” He notifies readers that “my treatment of the issues is often partial and incomplete.” It takes some doing for a politician to write a 364-page book, his second volume, and skate past all controversy.

Obama does seem to have an impressive resume and polish. And it’s not his fault that a mania for some new political face intrudes on every presidential election season. But one does wish, for the sake of democracy, that we could skip the crush and give less glamorous contenders who actually say something more of a hearing.”

Indeed, BHO is, in his own words, “a blank slate” and that’s the problem. He stands ready to be influenced by everything and everyone having no core values of his own.

By his own admission, he is merely a reflection of diverse ideas with regard to governance. For some, that is his appeal, they see their own needs, wants and desires reflected back and are somehow convinced that reflection is the same as absorption.

We have no way of knowing which Obama, as president, will show up on any given day. He stands for nothing and everything.

Posted by: Jim M at June 29, 2008 5:05 PM
Comment #257107


How about the oath McCain swore about “for better or for WORSE”? Did he stick by his disfigured wife when he returned from Vietnam? Dropped her like a rock, he did, and jumped at a trophy wife to whom he said in front of other people, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c**t.”

Then there’s the Keating Five, and McCain’s flip-flops on campaign reform, Jerry Falwell, and let’s not forget TORTURE.

Character indeed.

Race and Obama? I have to think about all the times I’ve watched him in an all-white crowd…sorta like a raisin in the sun….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 29, 2008 5:10 PM
Comment #257119

Glenn, your comment concerning what Mr. McCain supposedly said about his wife is objectionable to any reasonable person reading this comment. Desperate and slanderous words from you merely show hatred and don’t belong in a public opinion site.

Posted by: Jim M at June 29, 2008 7:33 PM
Comment #257123

Jim M…regarding your comment #257119….. you’re kidding, right????

Posted by: janedoe at June 29, 2008 10:29 PM
Comment #257125

Jack said:

“We should judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. Somebody said that a while back and he was right.”

Many of us do. There are those among us, however, who play fast and lose with both reality and history.

If one considers race a non-issue, one has to live in the fantasy of a non-racist reality. Being white, living in a separate, and likely not parallel society to the black experience in America, provides one the cushion to live in such a fantasy.

Some of us even engage in sly racist rhetoric and them plead, while touting our awareness of politics and social issues, ignorance of it’s meaning or impact. Some even claim that to acknowledge that, is in fact racist. Some go so far as to claim a reverse discrimination advantage by oppressed races because others of us claim it is well past time to stop the partition of the ultimate all white board room.

Obstruction comes in all forms. Some of it passive, some of it aggressive, some of it childish and absurd.

I choose to stand with the inevitablilty of ceding to change. As Dylan once epicly sang, if you can’t lend a hand then get out of the way.

Progress typically disturbs those that cling to the past. Goldwater didn’t recognize his changing times. Arizona was among the last of the states to adopt MLK day as a holiday. In the all white boardroom, men congratulate themselves on their fairness without ever really having to sacrifice anything to demonstrate it. It’s sort of like being generous when you are so wealthy, it doesn’t affect you personally. It’s simply empty rhetoric.

It’s rather sad at times to watch those who the times have passed by. They cling to old ideas and talk about declining values, and fail to see their ideals did not work. They are often blind to their own obstructionism. It isn’t that they have ill intent, they just don’t get how things always change. That history marches on. It is inevitable.

A man of character isn’t so wrapped up in his own small world that he fails to see when it is time to change.

The difference is as clear as night and day in this election.

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 29, 2008 11:41 PM
Comment #257128

McCain would certainly NOT be a continuation of the last eight years. He differed with Bush (and most of his party) on Iraq, climate change, & immigration. We adopted something like the McCain policy in Iraq in 2007 and since that time it has worked very well. Yes I would like to continue our success in Iraq. The policy until 2006 did not work. The same goes for climate change. I even support McCain on immigration reform, which. So the premise of your question is mistaken.

Beyond that, you cannot neatly divide history as in the last eight years. You have at least three distinct periods 2001-2 – Clinton hangover/9/11; 2003-6 Bush economy/Iraq war; 2007-now Dem congress/changed Iraq policy.

There is good and bad in all these things. The economy was bad in the Clinton aftermath and the downturn that started they year before Bush took office. I would not want to continue that. The robust growth from 2003-6 was good. I would like that again. Recent slowdowns are bad. Prefer to stop that. However, lots of economy is beyond the reach of the president in the short term and sometimes in general. I can wish it would be different, but it won’ be.

I mentioned Iraq above.

I am happy with our policy against terrorism. We have prevented another attack in the U.S. This is a major accomplishment.

I also take issue with the general lack of nuance among liberals. They really do not understand dynamic change. Things never stay the same. Yesterday’s solutions are today’s problems. We are always changing. This idea that you get a choice about it is childish and the idea that someone can stand for change w/o specifying what change is pernicious.


Good. Look at policies and promise. Look hard.


See above re change. I embrace change everyday and all the time. I don’t wait for a politician to tell me re change. That is the nature of our society. Liberals cannot seem to understand the dynamics of American society. They think it is ordered from the top and by government command and control.

Posted by: Jack at June 30, 2008 12:43 AM
Comment #257133

Jack, fact check, McCain sided with and supported Bush on 95% of the issues in 2007. 5% differentiation does not a Maverick make. Besides, who trusts mavericks, anyway. They are unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

If folks want the predictability of following through on Bush’s tax cuts, Bush’s foreign policies, Bush’s expansion of executive authority and privilege, and Bush’s domestic policies of allowing corporations to advise and determine policy, McCain is your candidate.

If you want a change from any or all that, Obama, Nader, McEnulty, or Barr, are your options.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 30, 2008 2:33 AM
Comment #257139


McCain’s energy policy was written by the oil lobbyist currently serving as his campaign staff. No doubt they have promises for great jobs later.
Obama will face the same stagflation Carter faced, left over from massive Republican mis-management of the economy and budget. It will be rough. Maybe you guys can pull off the same trick and blame him for the problems like you did Carter.
I do agree with you that often massive federal programs can be harmful. Just look at the Iraq war. BTW,Failure in stopping that war IS the reason congress is so unpopular.
I recently checked the election results in the US district we used to reside in. My congresswoman there who opposed the Iraq involvement from the start,who invited Cindy Sheehan to the State of the Union Address,among other things,got re-elected with 98% of the vote. Hell,thats better than Saddam could pull off. You guys are in trouble.

Posted by: Bills at June 30, 2008 6:10 AM
Comment #257140

Jim M -

‘desperate and slanderous words’?

What, exactly, in my post is NOT TRUE? As I recall, the topic of discussion here is CHARACTER. If I posted anything false, please point it out and I’ll GLADLY apologize and retract my statement.

Please show where I made a false accusation. If you cannot do so, then tell us exactly HOW McCain’s actions do not relate DIRECTLY to his CHARACTER.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 30, 2008 6:29 AM
Comment #257148

Did McCain actually say that?
I was unaware of that. It would speak to character. It’s bad enough the guy is so darn OLD. I prefer sweet old folks to sour, angry old folks.

Posted by: steve miller at June 30, 2008 8:36 AM
Comment #257153


He opposed Bush and Republican insiders on Iraq, immigration and climate change. Those ARE the the three central issues. For doing those things, people (us included) thought he could never win the nomination. Now some of us pretend it was a sure thing.

There is not ONE big policy where Obama opposed his party mainstream (except to go against Clinton).

Obama’s “courage” reminds me of the old Soviet joke.

American - We have free speech in the U.S. If I want to say “Reagan sucks” I can go right into the main street in Washington and say so.

Soviet - That’s nothing. We have the same rights. If I want to say “Reagan sucks” I can go right on the main streets of Moscow and say it.


Is that you? Welcome back.

Posted by: Jack at June 30, 2008 9:24 AM
Comment #257162

Glenn said, “Dropped her like a rock, he did, and jumped at a trophy wife to whom he said in front of other people, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c**t.” That someone would attribute these words to Mr. McCain, without citing the source, is desperate and slanderous.

Were you one of these “other people” Glenn and have firsthand knowledge or are you just spreading slander from desperation?

Posted by: Jim M at June 30, 2008 11:39 AM
Comment #257163

It was another dumb thing for Obama to say.
Nader also said some dumb things last week.
However, It isn’t like McCain has never made a racist remark.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 30, 2008 11:43 AM
Comment #257172

woohoo WATCHBLOG is back!!!!

Posted by: Edge at July 26, 2008 2:56 PM
Comment #257173

Welcome back

Posted by: Cube at July 26, 2008 3:25 PM
Comment #257552

It’s still difficult for me to read through entire articles like this one. I think the most important issue buried in all that other stuff is the voting.

Something that is very easily overlooked when others are trying to pander their opinion is that those of us with the right to vote in this country can cast our votes based on any criteria that we would like, including race, including the kind of car the candidate drive, what kind of food they like, etc.

No one has the right to even insinuate that a vote must be cast based one any set of criteria other than what the VOTER determines.

Posted by: Kim-Suef at August 2, 2008 9:07 PM
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