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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Re: Obama and Clinton: Compare and Contrast

posted by on February 28 at 16:57 PM

If you’re outraged that HRC sat down
with Pat Robertson’s gay-baiting Christian Broadcasting Network… well, um, so did Obama.

RSS icon Comments

1

Yeah. That sucks. Minus for both of them.

Posted by Fnarf | February 28, 2008 5:00 PM
2

I would like to see more Christians speaking out about their displeasure that a murderous loon like Robertson represents them. Far too many people in the secular world, including apparently both Dem candiates, think that Robertson is a gateway to a large number of serious Christian voters. If they knew what he was about, and what legitimate Christians really think of him, they wouldn't go on his show.

Posted by Fnarf | February 28, 2008 5:04 PM
3

Hmmm... sitting down to talk with the enemy... how un-diplomatic.

Posted by Jimmy | February 28, 2008 5:07 PM
4

Zing! Point for Erica.

Posted by Vasya | February 28, 2008 5:10 PM
5

They're not the enemy, Jimmy. No one is at war with them. This isn't a negotiation; it's a misguided pander. They should be looking for some real Christians to sit down with.

Posted by Fnarf | February 28, 2008 5:12 PM
6

Actually, Jimmy has a point.

Obama has said he'd do things like reach out to opponents. Clinton has said she'd fight for gay rights, even though she's been absent on some key votes ...

Look, we all know triangulation is where her head is at, and that's what will matter when the rubber hits the road. Triangulation means you'll get gay marriage and other gay rights when heck freezes over. When it's "convenient" - it's never convenient.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 28, 2008 5:16 PM
7

All candidates want as much publicity as possible. Not saying that the pub is good. ...One thing I wish is that The Stranger folks would stop with the hatred of all things religious. Try being positive and happy sometimes.

Posted by Sunny disposition | February 28, 2008 5:16 PM
8

The difference is Obama is willing to sit down with the "enemy" and attempt diplomacy. Hillary is not. Therefore Robertson is not her enemy.

Posted by Jesse | February 28, 2008 5:17 PM
9

but, erica, you forget. obama can do no wrong. ugh.

Posted by jay | February 28, 2008 5:20 PM
10

Oh Snap!

Posted by Ms. Zip | February 28, 2008 5:25 PM
11

Interesting to see when each candidate gave the interviews. They were both desperate for attention.

Posted by Hmmm | February 28, 2008 5:27 PM
12

Actually, Jimmy missed the point.

The point was that the people willing to write off one candidate for appearing on CBN should know that the other candidate did it as well.

Posted by Aislinn | February 28, 2008 5:28 PM
13

i thought that was interesting as well, hmmm. obama does in before iowa, when he was way behind in the polls. clinton does it now, when she is trailing and more than likely going to lose.

Posted by konstantConsumer | February 28, 2008 5:30 PM
14

thumbs down! still waiting on hillary's letter to the gays, though.

Posted by brandon | February 28, 2008 5:31 PM
15

either way, i don't really care that they did interviews. it's not like they were doing fundraising for the CBN.

Posted by konstantConsumer | February 28, 2008 5:31 PM
16

Ah, but Aislinn, it turns out both appeared in the news section ... and if you've ever been at a public event you know there are tons of cameras asking questions.

In fact, up in Canada, they have these comedy shows which like to send "news reporters" down to the US to ask questions of US politicians ... things like "What do you think of Canada new Dead Baby Seal on a Stick program to feed starving kids in Africa?" and such things.

Posted by Will in Seattle, Obama Country | February 28, 2008 5:32 PM
17

Yes, because our nah-nah putting fingers in our ears and shouting at the other side (Fascist! Baby Killer! Sodomite! Pinko!) has gotten us sooo far in the last 30 years.

Posted by Jason | February 28, 2008 5:32 PM
18

The simple truth is that both Hillary and Obama would get down on their knees and give Robertson a blowjob if they thought it would get them elected. Gives you a good idea how much integrity either one of them has.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty in Waimea | February 28, 2008 5:34 PM
19

Hillary has been for the gays all along you whiners. Her campaign formed a national LGBT steering committee and she is endorsed by Barney Frank himself. Thank you Erica!

Posted by Josh | February 28, 2008 5:37 PM
20

5280, It's not something I want to envision. ...Now, I hope you're getting some in HI!

Posted by Go have some fun! | February 28, 2008 5:38 PM
21

Robertson isn't "the other side". As I said, he's beyond the pale. His involvement in African gold and diamond mining, and wars fought largely with drugged children, and psychotic dictators like Charles Taylor, put him far, far out of the mainstream of Christianity. He doesn't represent the "them" that you think he does. He represents pure evil -- mass murder for profit. He's far more dangerous than Fred Phelps and his little band of crazies.

If Obama and Clinton want to talk to Christians, they need to find some first.

Posted by Fnarf | February 28, 2008 5:42 PM
22

Let's not forget that having conversations with powerful religious idiots is nothing new. Check out this video of Henry Rollins interviewing Larry Flint who had an ongoing relationship with Jerry Falwell:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArllWGlAOa8

Posted by wiseblood | February 28, 2008 5:50 PM
23

hillary posted a letter to the gays (okay, to the lesbians) on ourchart.com--i believe it was a pre-super tuesday thing. it was quite a good letter, except that i don't think anyone actually uses ourchart.com.

Posted by kim | February 28, 2008 5:50 PM
24

Why do I get the distinct impression from most of the Obama supporters that putting him in the White House will "make everything OK" between white folks and black folks? Do people honestly believe that if he wins, there will be racial harmony and we'll just be all even-Steven now?

Posted by Nancy Sin | February 28, 2008 5:53 PM
25

niggas gotta do what a niggas gotta do.

Posted by seattlenigget | February 28, 2008 5:54 PM
26

@16: I don't see what any of this has to do with anything, or how it's supposed to magically refute my comment.

Posted by Aislinn | February 28, 2008 6:02 PM
27

When reported that Clinton did it -

Pat Robertson is beyond the pale, and should be shunned by all respectable people. Clinton should no more be going to talk to him than she should to Fred Phelps. There's Christians, and then there's people like Robertson. What a motherfucker. Ugh.

When reported that Obama did it -

Yeah. That sucks. Minus for both of them.
I would like to see more Christians speaking out about their displeasure that a murderous loon like Robertson represents them. Far too many people in the secular world, including apparently both Dem candiates, think that Robertson is a gateway to a large number of serious Christian voters. If they knew what he was about, and what legitimate Christians really think of him, they wouldn't go on his show.

Posted by Fnarf | February 28, 2008 5:04 PM

Posted by ouch | February 28, 2008 6:02 PM
28

Nancy, as an African American, I'm not sure where you're going with your comment. I do believe that having Obama go this far helps the black community psychologically. I know people trash him for using rhetoric. However, too many black youths lack hope, which leads them to criminal behavior. When you know that your fellow man has faith in you, and not just see skin color, it means more than I can say on here. So, while everything won't be solved, it certainly helps.

Posted by Tony | February 28, 2008 6:07 PM
29

Tony @ 28 - Does the lack of hope in black youth come from a lack of rhetoric, or are their larger problems at work here? If the later, what would Obama do to change them?

Posted by johnnie | February 28, 2008 6:11 PM
30

What's your point, ouch? My comments are perfectly consistent.

Posted by Fnarf | February 28, 2008 6:15 PM
31

Johnnie, of course there are larger problems. And there isn't much difference between the economic plans of the Dem candidates to address the larger issues. But being able to see that Obama has made it this far helps remove the excuse that "the white man is holding me down." My parents did an excellent job of rearing my siblings and me. And we never made excuses. We got our education, and have led very successful lives (i.e., the American Dream). Not bad for an openly gay black man, who has an openly gay brother, reared by a preacher in the South.

Posted by Tony | February 28, 2008 6:24 PM
32

Johnnie, of course there are larger problems. And there isn't much difference between the economic plans of the Dem candidates to address the larger issues. But being able to see that Obama has made it this far helps remove the excuse that "the white man is holding me down." My parents did an excellent job of rearing my siblings and me. And we never made excuses. We got our education, and have led very successful lives (i.e., the American Dream). Not bad for an openly gay black man, who has an openly gay brother, reared by a preacher in the South.

Posted by Tony | February 28, 2008 6:25 PM
33

Oh, I intended to say that some of the larger issues are economics, the criminal justice system, etc. And Obama and Clinton offer similar plans to address them.

Posted by Tony | February 28, 2008 6:26 PM
34

I understand, Tony, and I work with kids who also largely buy into the American dream and the promise of education. But I also recognize that my students, and you too, are exceptions, and for a large majority of minority kids these days "the white man" (read: institutionalized power structure) *is* holding them down. An Obama presidency might inspire a few of those, but without real and significant change (particularly, as you noted, economic change), it's only a temporary inspiration. Reality wins out in the end.

Posted by johnnie | February 28, 2008 6:30 PM
35

It makes sense, when you consider that Obama is Good, and Clinton is Evil.

Obama and Robertson? Cancel each other out.

Clinton and Robertson? DOUBLE EVIL!!!!


Hope that helps.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | February 28, 2008 6:42 PM
36

Yes, Johnnie, I know where you're coming from. However, I disagree with your statement that a large majority of minorities feel like they are being held down. I can point to most of my younger relatives and their friends up and down the east coast who are educated and doing very well. ...Bill Clinton offered great economic advances for many blacks. And I feel that Hillary or Barack would do the same. However, I feel that the opportunity to advance combined with the inspiration helps immensely. ...Full disclosure: we (my family) split our votes between Edwards, Clinton, & Obama.

Posted by Tony | February 28, 2008 6:45 PM
37

Tony, increased numbers of minorities may find themselves better off, but the large minority of African Americans in particular have seen their wages drop in the last twenty years (when accounting for rises in inflation) and still lag behind Hispanic wages, both of which are far under white wages (which themselves are below Asian wages). African Americans and Hispanics also both show small, but not significant, advances in high school and college graduation rates. While I don't have stats on who or what minorities view as the cause of these problems, I can say that from my own experience (teaching at a large school [5000+ students] that is over 90% minority and with a 95% poverty rate), most students do acknowledge large scale structural problems (they wouldn't use those words, of course) as a major obstacle. Though this is besides the point, they're generally also big Hillary supporters, though some, particulary black males, have begun swaying towards Obama.

Posted by johnnie | February 28, 2008 7:04 PM
38

I don't and won't disagree with you Johnnie. I'm simply saying that I don't accept that a "large majority" of minorities feel like they're being held down. Challenges, yes. My sister is a public school principal in SC. Her school was failing when she arrived, but is now one of the best in the country. They recently received a NASA grant. You have to offer a handup to people.

I know many, myself included, who are trying to help people by mentoring, tutoring, and offering financial means, so that youth can get education and succeed. Churches are also influential when it comes to this.

What's distressing about this campaign is the "gotchas" that people are resorting to. We all need to recognize that things have changed for the better, and either Dem is light years ahead of what we have now. My goodness, the current occupant of the White House can't even pronounce "nuclear."

Posted by Tony | February 28, 2008 7:19 PM
39

It's a shame that this is a blog that mostly middle-to-upper class, mostly white people read. I could have predicted this discussion that you all have been having because it is one that I have observed dozens of high schoolers make in "anti-oppression" workshops. But there were other opinions too: opinions of those Black kids who are still living in the projects, who know the reality of dealing with gangs. I cannot claim to speak for them (me, an upper-middle class white college student), but I can say that we cannot judge SLOG as providing near enough opinions to satisfy a complete conversation.

I believe that there is a consistent feeling of the oppressive society that we live in amongst those who are targeted by this oppression. Yes, Barack as a role model is one step to overcome this oppression, and yes, it doesn't change the historically ingrained inequities. But of the two candidates, Obama's place as a role model for so many outweighs Hillary's experience (not necessarily a correct comparison).

Posted by Will in STL | February 28, 2008 7:45 PM
40

Tony, I completely agree that education is important and can be transformative (duh, I'm a teacher), however I do not think this is so on a systematic scale. The fundamental question regarding education's ability to promote social equality or even individual advancement is whether education acts as some sort of liberatory force aside from other social institutions of oppression or whether it is itself one of those institutions. As an educator, I can say, based on my own experiences and my own study, systematic, institutional education often falls into the later category, not the first. The educational system is one created and supported by and for the current power system, and for greater equity to come about, changes to the current power system are of much more primary importance than education. Until that point, one might see more slight improvements and more Barack Obamas, but certainly not enough to change the lived realities of the majority of African Americans. It's cynical, but it's true.

To Will @ 39. Obama is a role model, but let's not discount Hillary as well. She's the first serious female candidate for president and to many, particularly my students (both male and female, but primarily female), she offers a pretty inspirational image of what women may be able to accomplish but so often cannot. (Then again, they're sixteen and didn't really live through the Clinton admin.)

Posted by johnnie | February 28, 2008 8:07 PM
41

#24 and following.

I think there is a symbolism that many Obama supporters DO feel electing him would send to the world--and to ourselves.

Obama's policies are 90% the same as Clinton's, plus there is a really good argument that he is more electible in the general election if you trust the polls. But that symbolism factor pushes many of us over the edge--here's why:

Many liberal progressives want to be patriotic--desperately! We want to have that "we're the best country in the world" feeling that conservatives claim a monopoly on. We know the US Constitution is great, but it was flawed from the start from slavery. We know the words on the Statue of Liberty are great, but we know immigrants NOT from Europe didn't elicit quite the same welcome. Obama won't fix that, but he shows we're trying. It IS symbolism, but damn powerful symbolism. We just waged a war against someone whose last name was Hussein? Well Americans are fair and broad-minded enough to ELECT someone named Hussein, we're smart like that! It's a way to one-up places like France who claim to oh-so-more liberal than us but would never, ever elect a president whose father came from North Africa. Obama won't solve racial problems, but it will show Americans are better--or at least different--than most of the world assumes.

Hillary has symbolism too. However, its not so uniquely American and not that different. Many nations have elected a woman president/prime minister and they often hold influencial surnames. A Hillary wins brings about a sense of "about time". An Obama win brings about a sense of "wow, America ain't kidding with some of this anyone-can-make-it shit!"

Posted by Jason | February 28, 2008 8:14 PM
42

But Jason, while that Horatio Alger story might be inspiring, it's also the same mythology that keeps most of us from rising while the occassional 'anyone' gains great power over others.

PS - Perhaps unimportant sidenote - many European immigrants were greated with just as much hatred as current non-European immigrants are. For examples, see the Irish, Jews, Germans, and Italians. For a particulary apt example, see Oregon's ban of bilingual education during WWI, though the education then was German.

Posted by johnnie | February 28, 2008 8:21 PM
43

True...but will McCain or Clinton be better? I know its an inspirational story, pure symbolism.....a cherry on the cake.

And, like it or not, about 20-30% of th population does vote based on this touchy-feely, "who is a leader" nebulous factor. Why not have them on the Dem side for a change? Reagan took them over the the GOP and lets win them back. We need the votes.

Posted by Jason | February 28, 2008 8:27 PM
44

PS to Johnnie: Agreed about the immigrant thing--thanks for the catch--and agreed about students (primarily female) thing. Also a teacher....

Posted by Jason | February 28, 2008 8:32 PM
45

Whoops. Looks like Dan's effort to pull an ECB was foiled by ECB.

Posted by tsm | February 28, 2008 8:42 PM
46

Erica,

It would be nice if you didn't have to run to Clinton's defense every time someone else criticizes her. Let's face it: a greater majority of Americans prefer the other Democratic candidate.

Feminists, it's time to suck it up and realize that this is not Clinton's time. Maybe later. Maybe not. Now, can we focus on getting ANYONE but McCain or another fucking Republican into the White House? Really, Obama and Clinton are so damn similar that it is ridiculous that we are having this debate.

- 19-year-old VO

Posted by Corette | February 28, 2008 11:39 PM
47

TER

Posted by Corette | February 28, 2008 11:40 PM
48

@39 - But, Will in STL, how do you know we're upper middle class? In fact, I think a lot of SLOG is people who make $30K or less ... around here that's not much. In Spokane that's a bunch - but in Seattle that isn't.

But, hey, maybe GWB thinks that's a lot, cause he doesn't seem to know how much gas costs ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 28, 2008 11:44 PM
49

I wouldn't define class by income alone. Add in education level, type of work, etc.

Posted by LMSW | February 29, 2008 6:33 AM
50

There have been a slew of reports about the rate at which blacks are incarcerated for "obstructing justice" catch alls, drug offenses, etc... compared to whites. It is clear there are some serious racial issues facing this country. I don't know if an Obama candicacy can change these problems in any fundamental way except for the lingering impression in some white peoples minds that black men are somehow more criminally inclined. These people are more likely, I think, to vote for Republicans. Dems lost the south when they supported civil rights and it went to the Republicans that openly support a return to segregation in schools (re;ending busing and efforts by colleges to recruit students based on race). I think the biggest obstacle to a more fair society
is in changing the minds of these whites. And so far they vote in greater numbers. If Obama gets the nomination but loses the Presidency it could be the last chance for a black president for a very long time and be a big blow to the black psyche.(and people like me who would love a black president like Obama)

Posted by Vince | February 29, 2008 7:03 AM
51

@39 - Upper middle-class? Are you serious? Have you seen my paycheck lately? (But then again, I'm not entirely white, so I guess I don't fit in your assumption)

But back to the topic, Fnarf is right: points off for both of them. Pat Robertson should be shunned, or at least ignored, by all reasonable people.

Posted by Hernandez | February 29, 2008 8:39 AM
52

Hey, Fnarf: I'm a Christian, and I'm pretty fucking sure that Pat Robertson doesn't represent me or mine. Anyone who assumes that the 700 Club has anything to do with mainstream Christianity in America has only himself to blame for such lazy thinking.

Posted by Greg | February 29, 2008 3:02 PM

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