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Wednesday, March 19, 2008
posted by Kyle Hampton | 8:38 AM | permalink
I agree with a point. Obama's speech was a rhetorical gem. It flowed naturally from one topic to the next and made a compelling case for his solutions. I was just left with one question after listening:

So what?

If the problem that Obama was confronting, and the need for the speech, had been general racism or discrimination, this would have been a masterful discourse. However, in my view, the problem was not generalized racism, but Obama's particular association with an extremist. It was the statements by one of Obama's closest confidants for the last 20 years that are particularly at odds with the premise for Obama's campaign. Thus, in addressing race rather than his voluntary association, Obama addressed an issue tangential to the reason for the controversy.

The big problem with his speech is that he either gave generalized denunciations to Wright's statements and then made the moral equivalence argument in several ways: equating non-family members to family members, saying all religious leaders make controversial statements, implying that all controversies are equal, etc. These excuses for his continuing association with Wright, in spite of the problems it has caused, makes me question his judgment more fully.

Don't get me wrong, Obama's campaign was smart in pivoting from Obama's particular associations to racism generally. The news, at least that I've seen, has been gushing over his speech about race and have generally forgotten why he needed to give the speech at all. Wright is glossed over and forgotten as the stations will likely do a week's worth of stories about race in America.

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Is it just me or does Obama keep some scary company.

The other person that comes to mind is Frank Marshall Davis

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